How much would you pay for one of the fastest home wireless networks possible? More than you paid for your computer or phone? If so, Netgear has your solution. The company has introduced what it says is the first quad-band WiFi 6E mesh networking system, the Orbi Quad-band Mesh WiFi 6E. Pay a staggering $1,500 for a three-pack and you’ll get 10.8Gbps of total bandwidth across the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and now 6GHz bands, plus the backhaul band (at ‘just’ WiFi 6 speeds) to keep the main frequencies clear. Your home network could easily outpace your internet connection, even if you have multi-gigabit service.
There are some improvements beyond pure speed. The three-unit bundle offers about 9,000 square feet of maximum coverage (up from 7,500sq. ft. for WiFi 6 models), and the WAN Ethernet port now supports up to 10Gbps. Accordingly, there are more 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports on the router and satellites to improve bandwidth for wired devices. You can create up to four distinct WiFi networks, including a 6E-only network to ensure newer devices run at full speed.
The Orbi Quad-band router is available for pre-order now, with shipping expected “in time for the holidays” (Netgear’s store quotes an October 29th ship date). You can also buy additional satellites for $599 each. That’s a massive amount to spend on your home network, but Netgear is clearly counting on at least some customers who’ll pay whatever it takes to get no-compromise WiFi. Just know there are some good-enough alternatives. Linksys’ AXE8400 doesn’t have the backhaul band, but its one- and two-node options (plus lower overall pricing) could make it a better pick if you’re more interested in WiFi 6E compatibility than raw throughput.
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