Netgear’s Orbi 860 mesh routers are a more affordable option for multi-gig internet

NETGEAR already offers one of the few mesh WiFi router systems that can fully support multi-gigabit internet access, but the $1,500 minimum spend rules that out for most homes. Thankfully, there’s now a much cheaper option. The brand has introduced Orbi 860 series mesh routers, which offer the 10Gbps Ethernet of the 960 series, but with tri-band WiFi 6 instead of the quad-band WiFi 6E of the higher-end model . You can also buy a standalone router if you don’t need extensive coverage.

You’ll be familiar with the design if you’ve seen the Orbi 850, but a new antenna system promises more range and real-world speed than the earlier model. You might notice higher performance at the edge of your network. Both the router and its satellites have a total of four Ethernet connections, although wired connections on satellite units are limited to 1Gbps. NETGEAR claims coverage of up to 8,000 square feet with a full network.

The core router, the RBR860S, is available now in the US for $430, with a similar price for individual satellites. A bundle with the router and two satellites costs $1,100. This is still pricey when an alternative like the Eero Pro 6E is “only” $699 for a three-pack. However, Netgear is clearly targeting a different audience with the Orbi 860 – this is for people who want to be ready for next-gen internet service and are willing to pay a (reasonable) premium.

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Russell Falcon

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