Seeking the best Wi-Fi mesh router system for your house? The Orbi 963 from Netgear surpasses the gigabit-per-second speed barrier, providing extraordinary throughput that reaches every corner of a mansion.
The RBKE963 package includes a router and two satellites that employ the newest Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax) protocol plus a number of speed-boosting methods to provide more than enough wireless data to fill the home of a tech millionaire. The Orbi 963, which comes with Netgear’s Armor security software as a premium add-on, demonstrates that high-performance networks need not compromise on safety.
A networking tour of force, the Orbi RBKE963’s $1,499 price tag is equally stratospheric. Still, for that amount, you only get one year of security upgrades from Armor and 90 days of free tech assistance. Still, it’s the greatest performing mesh system out – if you can afford it.
Netgear Orbi 963 Review: Pricing and Availability
The Orbi 963 package I checked out included a host router (RBRE960) and two satellites (RBSE960) that communicated with one another across the 2.4-, 5-, and 6-gigahertz Wi-Fi bands. According to experts at Netgear, the total system can cover up to 9,000 square feet, which is more than three times the size of the typical American house.
The whole system costs $1,500, which is much more than the national average for either housing costs or rent. For an additional $600, you can buy a satellite that will expand your network’s coverage by around 3,000 square feet, making it as expensive as Netgear’s top Wi-Fi 6e gaming router.
If all this seems a bit too expensive for your blood, Netgear expects to soon start offering a cheaper two-piece variation, the RBKE962, with a host router and a satellite that combined will cost $1,100 and cover 6,000 square feet.
Netgear Orbi 963 Review: Design
The Orbi 963 kit is the result of the work of Netgear’s designers, engineers, and software developers, and it ushers in the age of high-performance Wi-Fi 6e through mesh routing. Orbi’s tower-shaped router and satellites each measure a hefty 11.1 by 7.5 by 3.0 inches, yet they’re easily distinguishable from one another thanks to their rounded corners. That’s twice as big as the already bulky Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 mesh units and seven times as big as the Amazon Eero mesh devices.
The Orbi Wi-Fi 6e devices do not look like a Christmas tree with a tonne of flashing lights, unlike some other routers and mesh systems. Instead, they each have a single LED status strip embedded in the base. When the status bar is blue, communication between the host and its satellites is functioning normally. In contrast, if the LED strip is glowing purple, it has stopped working.
The Orbi RBKE963 is equipped with Qualcomm’s top-tier Networking Pro 1610 chipset and a 2.2GHz quad core-processor. Active memory on the router and satellites totals 1GB, with a further 512MB available for software and configurations.
Data transfer rates are maximised by using cutting-edge 802.11ax technology and 4K Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) in the mesh network. The RBKE963 includes improved data-traffic management to further simplify operations, in addition to beamforming for signal generation in order to establish the best possible connections with customers and MU-MIMO for data distribution among several devices. The RBKE963 is offered in two distinct colorways: the standard white (with chrome accent) and a special edition black.
These mesh components are very visible in any hue. They may be too large to fit on a desk, but they should be able to fit on most shelves and do double duty as bookends. You’ll need to spend an extra $23 on Netgear’s RBKWM bracket (opens in new tab) to mount them on the wall, although the company makes one available for purchase separately.