Netgear Orbi 970 Series

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I previously posted about the Netgear Orbi 970 Series back in September 2023, and it has been available for US buyers for a while now.

WiFi 7 devices have taken a little longer to arrive in the UK, which is likely due to regulatory reasons, with WiFi 7 being a new WiFi standard. Other brands like Linksys and TP-Link have had delays with their launches.

I previously reviewed the superb Netgear Nighthawk RS700 WiFi 7 router, and it was able to achieve WiFi throughput speeds of up to 3.5Gbps, so I have been eager to get my hands on a WiFi 7 mesh system to see if I can achieve multi-gig WiFi speeds throughout my home.

The good news is that Netgear has now finally launched the Orbi 970 series for pre-order.

This is an incredibly expensive WiFi 7 mesh system but one of the few models on the market with 4×4 MIMO for each of the four bands allowing a dedicated backhaul and then multi-gig Ethernet ports for the fastest speeds possible.

Netgear Orbi 970: Exceptional Speed and Coverage

The key enabling technology behind the Orbi 970 series is WiFi 7, which builds on WiFi 6E by expanding channels up to 320MHz wide. This allows the transfer of much more data with each wireless transmission, massively increasing throughput.

Netgear claims that by harnessing the power of WiFi 7, the Orbi 970 can achieve wireless speeds up to 2.4 times faster than WiFi 6 systems. With a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 27Gbps across the router and satellites, the Orbi 970 has enough capacity to simultaneously support multiple 8K video streams, VR gaming, video calls and more without slowing down.

The Orbi 970 series uses Netgear’s patented Quad-Band mesh technology with four streams each of 6GHz, 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies for complete whole-home coverage. An elegant new antenna design provides 360-degree WiFi throughout all corners of the home, from the front door to the back yard.

Multi-Gig Wired Connectivity

Netgear Orbi 970 Ports

As well as exceptional wireless capability, the Orbi 970 series packs serious wired connectivity, too. The router features a 10 Gigabit WAN port to connect to fast multi-gigabit cable or fibre broadband, allowing you to achieve speeds up to 10Gbps from your ISP.

There is also a 10Gbps LAN port and four 2.5Gbps LAN ports on the router. Then, one 10Gbps and two 2.5Gbps ports on the satellites are used for wiring in devices that need reliable high-speed connectivity. For example, you could connect a NAS, gaming PC or the satellites themselves via wired backhaul.

Backwards Compatibility and Easy Setup

Importantly, WiFi 7 is backwards compatible with older WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 client devices. So you can benefit from the Orbi 970’s cutting-edge performance while still supporting all your existing phones, laptops, tablets, smart home gadgets and more. Netgear says the Orbi 970 is designed to ensure WiFi stays fast across all devices simultaneously.

Despite its advanced capabilities, Netgear promises that setup remains simple with the Orbi mobile app that guides you through the process in minutes. The app also enables easy ongoing management and monitoring of your network.

Enhanced Performance Technologies

Netgear Orbi 970 Dedicated Back Haul

As well as WiFi 7, the Orbi 970 router and satellites pack an array of performance-boosting technologies to further enhance real-world speeds throughout the home:

  • Multi-Link Operation – Taps into both the new 6GHz and existing 5GHz bands at once to maximise throughput and avoid congestion or dead-spots if clients move out of range of one band.
  • Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul – Full-duplex communication allows satellites to simultaneously send and receive data via the dedicated 5GHz-1 and new 6GHz backhaul bands without contention.
  • Preamble Puncturing – Smart interference management blocks out competing WiFi signals from your neighbours to strengthen connections.

Security and Parental Controls

The Orbi 970 includes a 1-year subscription to NETGEAR’s Armor security software powered by Bitdefender. This provides complete anti-malware protection and a VPN to keep all devices on your network safe from online threats.

For families, Netgear Smart Parental Controls enable easy management of kids’ screen time and online activities across their phones, tablets, computers and games consoles. Basic controls are free, with a premium subscription adding more advanced features.

Models and Availability

The Orbi 970 series will be available in two different packages:

  • RBE972S – 1x Router + 1x Satellite, covering up to 5,000 sq.ft
  • RBE973S – 1x Router + 2x Satellites, covering up to 8,200 sq.ft

Additional satellites can be added to extend coverage across even larger homes exceeding 10,000sq.ft.

The Orbi 970 WiFi 7 mesh system is available for pre-order now in the UK via and leading retailers. The RBE972 two-pack has an RRP of £1,599.99 but is not currently available to pre-order on the website. The RBE973 three-pack is £2,199.99, with shipping from the 6th of March

So in summary, the cutting-edge Netgear Orbi 970 series looks set to be the ultimate future-proof mesh system for delivering blazing multi-gigabit WiFi 7 speeds throughout even the largest homes, all while supporting existing devices too.

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