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Netgear boosting its Orbi mesh networking with Wi-Fi 6 later in 2019

Netgear has used CES 2019 to introduce an updated version of its Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi system, its mesh-based networking product, with the latest version offering connectivity using sixth-generation Wi-Fi, 802.11ax.

Current models of the Netgear RBK50 Orbi Wi-Fi System

Current models of the Netgear RBK50 Orbi Wi-Fi System

The new generation of networking devices in the range are claimed to be ideal for households with high bandwidth needs, such as those with video monitoring security systems or streaming 4K video to devices. Netgear's Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi System utilizes Fastlane 3 technology and is claimed to be capable of delivering sustained gigabit Internet speeds across the wireless connection.

The units will offer Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, a recent rebranding of the Wi-Fi naming system that translates to 802.11ax, for the backhaul. Added on top is 2014 QAM with a 4x4 backhaul between the router and satellite units for increased speeds, coverage, and capacity.

New models will feature a quad-core Qualcomm System-on-Chip and be capable of hosting up to 12 concurrent streaming services on the tri-band networks. The changes also means each node of the network will have four time the capacity, making it ideal for hosting smart home appliances that can put a strain on some networks that are unable to handle high device counts.

The first Orbi models with Wi-Fi 6 will start shipping in the second half of 2019, starting with the Orbi RBK50-series devices. Pricing for the new models has yet to be announced.

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