Last year, Netgear introduced the Orbi, which is one of the best mesh Wi-Fi networking systems on the market. Featuring a 4×4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi dedicated backhaul, it was the fastest home mesh Wi-Fi system we’ve tested to date, but due to its high cost, it wasn’t accessible to those who weren’t interested in spending $400 on a Wi-Fi system.
In order to bring the Orbi to a wider audience, Netgear is expanding the Orbi lineup with two new Orbi mesh Wi-Fi kits, the RBK30 and RBK40 priced at $299.99 and $349.99 respectively.
In order to lower the pricepoint for the RBK30 and RBK 40, both are AC2200 systems featuring a 2×2 802.11ac backhaul rather than the RBK50’s 4×4 802.11ac backhaul. The difference between the RBK40 and the RBK30 is the satellite unit as the RBK30 includes a RBW30 satellite unit while the RBK40 includes a RBS40 satellite unit. More on that below.
The two new satellite units being introduced today is the RBS40 and RBW30.
|Radios||3 (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz Backhaul)|
|Antenna Configuration||2×2 MU-MIMO, 2×2 (Backhaul)||2×2 MU-MIMO, 4×4 (Backhaul)|
|Ethernet Ports||None||Four 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (One WAN, Three LAN or Four LAN)|
|Release Date||March 2017||August 2016|
The RBS40 and RBW30 are AC2200 devices featuring a dedicated 2×2 802.11ac wireless backhaul system paired with a separate 2×2 802.11b/g/n/ac radio for wireless clients. The difference between the RBS40 and the RBW30 is that the RBS30 is designed to be a wall unit similar to a range extender while the RBS40 is designed to be a desk unit which gives it Ethernet ports for those looking to use the Orbi as a wireless bridge.