How much would you pay for one of the fastest possible home wireless networks? 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 $1,500 for a three-pack and you’ll get 10.8 Gbps of total bandwidth on the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and now 6 GHz bands, plus the backhaul band (at “only” 6-speed WiFi) for keep the main frequencies clear. Your home network could easily overtake your Internet connection, even if you have multi-gigabit service.
There are a few improvements beyond pure speed. The three-unit set offers maximum coverage of approximately 9,000 square feet (compared to 7,500 square feet for the WiFi 6 models), and the WAN Ethernet port now supports up to 10 Gbps. As a result, there are more 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports on the router and satellites to improve bandwidth for wired devices. You can create up to four separate WiFi networks, including a 6E-only network to ensure new devices run at full speed.
The Orbi Quad-band router is available for pre-order now, with delivery expected “in time for the holidays” (Netgear’s store cites an October 29 ship date). You can also purchase additional satellites for $599 each. That’s a huge sum to spend on your home network, but Netgear is clearly counting on at least some customers who will pay whatever it takes to get WiFi without compromise. Just be aware that there are some pretty good alternatives. The Linksys AXE8400 doesn’t have the backhaul band, but its one- and two-node options (plus a lower overall price) might make it a better choice if you’re more interested in WiFi 6E compatibility than raw throughput. .
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