Being an early adopter of cutting edge tech in Australia can be an expensive hobby and Wi-Fi systems are no exception with Netgear’s new world first quad band Wi-Fi 6E 3 pack Orbi RBKE960 mesh system soon to be sold here for an eye watering $2799 from next month.
The main big difference is the RBKE960 adds the newly available 6GHz Wi-Fi band hence it is a quad band system.
If you don’t own any Wi-Fi 6E phones, laptop, smart TV device etc then you won’t be able to make use of your router/mesh system extra Wi-Fi 6E 6ghz band connectivity until you do.
Netgear claims the new RBKE960 offers substantially better 5Ghz speed and coverage compared to it’s previous flagship RBK850 mesh system.
Something to bear in mind when buying a Wi-Fi 6E router/mesh system is that slow 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi has the largest coverage area, 5Ghz Wi-Fi 6 offers substantially less coverage area and 6ghz Wi-Fi 6E will have less coverage area again because the higher the frequency the more easily it gets absorbed by walls, furniture etc.
The RBKE960 has the highest cabled connectivity speeds of any Orbi to date, supporting 2.5Gb ethernet between the main router and satellites as well as up to a 10Gb fibre ethernet connection!
The RBKE960 supports up to 16 Wi-Fi streams (the highest specification available) for all 3 bands, 2.4, 5 and 6GHz. Furthermore like previous tri-band Orbi systems it uses a dedicated 5GHz backhaul for data exchange between the router and satellites without impacting the performance of connected devices.
If you connect your RBKE960 router and satellites via ethernet this 4th band will remain unused rather than being available for Wi-Fi devices to use, which is disappointing.
The new Orbi system also supports four separate WiFi networks. In addition to the default home WPA3 mesh network for 2.4, 5 and 6GHz devices and a guest network, users have the option to set up their new 6E devices on an exclusive WiFi 6E network to ensure these devices realise the best speeds and performance possible. There is also an IoT network for smart home devices such as smart plugs, lights, sprinklers, etc that only support WPA2.
These discrete networks allow for flexibility of network configuration, maximum performance and the separation of less secure devices from the main network.
The RBKE960 includes a free 30-day trial of NETGEAR’s Armor service to protect your connected devices online threats. Also available as a paid subscription is NETGEAR’s Smart Parental Controls, which help parents easily manage their children’s time and access online across all connected devices, promoting safe and healthy screen habits.
Frankly for the amount Netgear is expecting Aussies to pay for the RBKE960 I’d expect a substantially longer free trial of NETGEAR’s Armor service to be included eg: 1 year and parental controls included for free.
The Orbi Quad-band Mesh WiFi 6E System RBKE963 (router and two satellites) will be available exclusively through JB Hi-Fi and the NETGEAR Australia website from July 2022. In addition, the special edition Orbi Black Edition is exclusive to the NETGEAR store and available for pre order from the 10th of June 2022.
Pricing is as follows:
- RBKE963: Orbi White Router and 2 Satellites – 3 pack, $2,799 AUD
- RBKE963B: Orbi Black Edition Router and 2 Satellites – 3 pack, $2,799 AUD
- RBSE960 and RBSE960B: Add-on Satellite, $999 AUD