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Last year I reviewed the amazing but extraordinarily expensive Netgear Orbi RBKE963. It is the first and only quad-band WiFi 6E mesh system on the market (there are some quad-band routers) and therefore offers the best performance compared to anything else out there.

Netgear is now launching the Orbi 960 router part of the system as a standalone product.

The Orbi WiFi 6E standalone router (RBRE960) offers wall-to-wall coverage with up to 2,500 square feet coverage which is ideal for smaller homes.

With an impressive 16 WiFi streams, the highest specification available, it operates across all three bands – 2.4, 5, and 6GHz. This advanced technology guarantees a seamless and robust wireless experience for users, even in bandwidth-intensive applications. The WiFi 6E ecosystem is poised for rapid growth. Many devices already support WiFi 6E from brands, including Samsung, Apple, Dell and Lenovo, with more to come. For laptops and PCs not yet equipped, Netgear provides a solution with the WiFi 6E USB 3.0 adapter, Nighthawk A8000.  

Netgear RBKE963 Review 3
10GbE WAN + 2.4GbE LAN on the RBRE960

The RBRE960 is equipped with a 10 gigabit WAN port, one 2.5GbE LAN then three gigabit LAN ports. This makes it perfect for multi-gig home networking. My home is now almost fully 2.5GbE or higher for networking products, and it makes life much easier for anyone that deals with large files. This is particularly important for the growing creator community and high-resolution footage that needs to be stored and edited.

With a multi-gig network connection and WiFi 6E, I typically see around 1.5Gbps throughput over WiFi when in the same room as the router/access point.

The Netgear Orbi RBKE963 is the most expensive mesh WiFi system on the market, so it comes as no surprise that this has a premium price attached to it. The  Orbi 960 series RBRE960 router has an RRP of £699.99.

Netgear has now also started selling the mesh system as an RBKE962 two pack (it was previously a three-pack only) for £1200.

The add-on satellites have an RRP of £700, but Amazon has the black model for £650.

It is worth noting that there are other quad-band WiFi 6E routers on the market. ASUS has the ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000, which is about £570. The TP-Link Archer AXE300 is even cheaper but for some reason not available in the UK.

If you only ever plan to need a router with no satellites for mesh, then a tri-band router would also work well. Netgear has the Nighthawk RAXE500 for £430 or the Nighthawk RAXE300 for just £300.

I’d say the main reason I’d get the RBRE960 is if I think I may want to upgrade it with additional satellites in the future.

It is also worth noting that WiFi 7 is around the corner. Some people have already managed to buy the tri-band TP-Link Archer BE800 (RRP $599.99), and there is the Archer BE24000 quad-band WiFi 7 router due to launch soon for an unknown price.

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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