Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6 (SXK80), hands-on: Premium mesh networking for small businesses and home workers Review

Maria J. Danford

It is hardly surprising that gross sales of Wi-Fi devices — and particularly mesh networking systems — have soared in the latest months. With more and more men and women now functioning from home, Wi-Fi connectivity is essential not only for movie calls, company e-mail and internet browsing, but also to cope […]

It is hardly surprising that gross sales of Wi-Fi devices — and particularly mesh networking systems — have soared in the latest months. With more and more men and women now functioning from home, Wi-Fi connectivity is essential not only for movie calls, company e-mail and internet browsing, but also to cope with increased desire for on-line leisure. 

Cost & options 

Most mesh systems are designed for home customers, but Netgear’s Orbi Pro is one particular of the couple of that specifically caters to the protection requirements of company customers. The original Orbi Pro was introduced again in 2017, so it was unquestionably due for an update — not minimum to present assist for the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology (a.k.a. 802.11ax). So, as the title indicates, the new Orbi Pro WiFi 6 brings every thing up to day, giving best-of-the-array tri-band Wi-Fi six performance with a maximum pace of 6Gbps — a hundred% more rapidly than the 3Gbps and Wi-Fi five (802.11ac) of its predecessor. 

Selling prices for the Orbi Pro WiFi six get started at £677.49 (ex. VAT £812.99 inc. VAT) or $769.99 for the SXK80 model, which is a two-piece technique consisting of a major router and secondary ‘satellite’ unit. This technique can protect areas of up to 6000 sq. ft (557 sq. m), with 3-piece and 4-piece systems also accessible for larger sized premises. The unique Orbi Pro with 802.11ac wi-fi also stays accessible, with a price lower to £341.sixty seven (ex. VAT £409.99 inc. VAT) or $499.99 for enterprises with more modest requirements. It is well worth noting, while, that the Orbi Pro WiFi six is not compatible with more mature Orbi products that use 802.11ac. 

netgear-orbi-pro-wifi6-main.jpg

The Orbi Pro WiFi6 is a tri-band (1x 2.4GHz, 2x 5GHz) 802.11ax mesh technique giving combined maximium throughput of 6Gbps. There are 5 ports on every of the two models: 2.5Gbps WAN or LAN furthermore 4x Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)on the router 2.5Gbps LAN furthermore 4x GbE on the satellite unit.


Photos: Netgear

Structure & features 

The unique Orbi Pro incorporated various capabilities that set it apart from its more client-oriented rivals, such as the ability to build 3 independent networks (SSIDs), every with its have password, for admin staff members, workers, and for company or clients in general public destinations such as hotels or places to eat.  

To accommodate the development for functioning from home, the Orbi Pro WiFi six product now adds a fourth network — identified as ‘IoT’ (Net of Factors) by default — which is specifically designed for small enterprises or men and women functioning from home. Gadgets that connect to the IoT network can nonetheless use your web connection, but can’t connect to the broader LAN, properly producing a barrier to independent your ‘home’ products from perform products. This ability to isolate groups of products or customers — recognized as a VLAN (digital LAN) — is accessible on all 4 of the Orbi Pro’s networks, making it probable to build a number of VLAN configurations for different teams or departments inside an organisation. 

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Like most mesh systems, the Orbi Pro’s primary router needs to be connected to an present broadband modem or router, which it does by means of a 2.5Gbps Ethernet WAN port. This port can also be used to assist large-pace workplace networks, and there are 4 extra Gigabit Ethernet ports for products that require a wired connection. The satellite unit has one particular 2.5Gbps and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. 

So, while the Orbi Pro WiFi six is plainly an high priced, best-of-the-array resolution, its pace and ability to configure a number of networks for different groups of customers would make it a superior alternative for many organisations, as very well as for company customers who are now functioning from home.

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