January 23, 2020
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Wifi in the home has been wanting for some time now, so I went to my local Microcenter and purchased an Orbi System from Netgear. It was model RBK20W and was a whopping $173.99. So what is it? Orbi is a “Whole Home Mesh WiFi System” – fancy term for a router and a wall plug Satellite. It’s good for 3500 sq feet, which is enough to cover the three floors in my house. I did a perfunctory review-check and CNET rated it highly. FWIW…
What sold me on it was this: the two pieces of hardware actually “sync” to form one unified network throughout my home. That’s great news, because those wifi-extenders I was using didn’t really work that well. In certain rooms, we would need to toggle our wifi to get it working, and the issues I have had with the Google Home/Nest Minis may also be related.
Anyway, setup was a breeze because the Orbi has browser-based configuration, a big plus over using an app, and another selling point. After a quick firmware update, I setup my WAN, LAN, DNS servers and SSIDs for both wifi and Guest-wifi. I did need to go into my U-verse modem and mark the new router for DMZ services. One niggle, I had to buy a switch because the router has only one (1) ethernet port.
All seems pretty good, I did check “beam forming” to boost quality, and did move the satellite’s placement. The web interface does have a very graphic display detailing Attached Devices to the router, including which access point it’s connected to. It also allows device annotation and is great for seeing exactly what’s connected in my home. Happy wifi days ahead? We can hope!
One the web:
Orbi Wifi System (RBK20W)