Orbi, via NETGEAR, is back with today’s review of the RBK763S mesh networking kit. Featuring tri-band WiFi 6 connectivity, with a total throughput of 5400Mbps. Sharing some DNA from the RBK753 we took a look at recently, let’s dig in and have a closer look at what’s different…
Orbi RBK763S: Specifications
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.6 x 2.5in each
- Weight: 1.6lb each
- WiFi Coverage: 7,500 sq. ft.
- AX5400 Router & AX5400 Satellites (600 + 2400 + 2400Mbps)†
- Simultaneous Tri-band WiFi: Radio 1: IEEE® 802.11b/g/n/ax 2.4GHz—1024-QAM support
- – Radio 2: IEEE® 802.11a/n/ac/ax 5GHz—1024-QAM support
- – Radio 3: IEEE® 802.11a/n/ac/ax 5GHz—1024-QAM support
- MU-MIMO capable for simultaneous data streaming
- Implicit & Explicit Beamforming for 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands
- Processor: Router & Satellites
- – Powerful dual-core 1GHz processor
- Memory: Router
- – 4GB eMMC NAND flash and 1GB RAM
- Antenna: Router & Satellites (each)
- – Six (6) high-performance internal antennas with high-power amplifiers
- Ports: Orbi Router
- – One (1) 1 Gigabit Ethernet WAN port
- – Three (3) 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- Ports: Orbi Satellites (each)
- – Two (2) 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- Control your WiFi using voice commands when you have Amazon Alexa™ or the Google® Assistant
- Security: NETGEAR Armor whole home Internet security with automatic protection, updates, & alerts that monitors and helps safeguard all connected devices from hackers and data theft
- Standards-based WiFi Security (802.11i, 128-bit AES encryption with PSK)
- Guest WiFi Network is easy to setup separate & secure Internet access for guests
- NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls™: Easily manage your kids’ time online across their connected devices. Learn more at www.netgear.com/spc
Support & Warranty
- Warranty: This product is backed by a NETGEAR limited 1-year Hardware Warranty.
- Find troubleshooting tips to diagnose product issues in our knowledge base.
- Extend your warranty & technical support within 90 days of product purchase [US only].
What’s In The Box
- One (1) Orbi Router (RBR760)
- Two (2) Orbi Satellites (RBS760)
- One (1) 2m Ethernet cable
- Three (3) Power adapters
- Quick start guide
Product page: CLICK HERE
Orbi RBK763S: Unboxing and Closer Look
Taking a look at the box. In typical Orbi fashion, the RBK763S kit comes in a white box with blue accents. It features a nice picture of the product on the front and a whole bunch of useful information on the back and sides.
Opening it up, we’re greeted with a multi-lingual setup guide via the smartphone app. Very glad to see the internal boxes cardboard with minimal plastic use inside wrapping the router and satellites inside. Keep these in the box to use them again in the future or, please, recycle them if possible.
The power connectors are included in a separate box. The adapters come with EU and UK plugs and are rated to operate between 100-volt and 240-volt mains power and output 30w. A single flat white cat 5e cable is also included.
A close-up view of the router unit from the front and side. The units look incredibly good with the white and silver colour scheme. The separation gap lights up below the Orbi logo highlighting booting up and errors and then turns off when it’s in normal operation.
Another view of the bottom and top of the router unit. Nothing major to note here other than ventilation on the top and bottom which should allow plenty of ventilation for passive cooling as no fans are present in the units.
Finally, a shot of the rear of both the router and satellite units.
The router is on the left with the yellow WAN port labelled Internet, as well as 3 additional Gigabit Ethernet ports. Note the first port to the right of the “Internet” port can be aggregated to allow two separate Gigabit internet connections. It’s nice to have, even if the majority of people won’t make use of it.
The satellite(s) on the right features a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports which can be used to connect wired devices or a switch for additional connectivity.
Finally, the big sync button is on the left-hand side of all the units. This is used to manually sync the units or add an additional satellite.
A size comparison photo between the RBK763S and the RBK753 we reviewed recently here. We can see the RBK763S is slightly smaller than the RBK753 which while being the better spec model in the lineup.
Orbi RBK763S: Setup and Configuration
Setting up the Orbi RBK763S requires a mobile app, so make sure you also have a NETGEAR account as this is needed.
Usually, a web browser could be used to complete the setup, but in this situation, Orbi has made it so easy to do so that I’d recommend using it. However, if you really don’t want to or can’t use the smartphone app then connect a laptop, PC, or Mac to the router unit and set it up there using the www.orbilogin.com URL.
The Orbi app is simple to use and I completed the configuration, including manually entering my ISP’s FTTP connection, WiFi configuration, connecting the two satellites, and a firmware update in about 15 minutes flat.
It’s hard to articulate just how easy Orbi and by extension, NETGEAR has made setting up the RBK763S for anyone, which for technology, is no mean feat! But the user interface is well laid out, and the steps are simple to follow.
Once done, you can make most configuration changes in the app. However, you’ll need to switch over to the web-based configuration page, using the www.orbilogin.com URL, to make more “advanced” changes typically found in a standard router menu.
Orbi RBK763S: Under The Hood
Orbi has added a whole list of features to the RBK763S that you might find useful. We’ve compiled a list of them for you:
- Tri-band connectivity – utilising a single 2.4GHz and 5GHz band for WiFi devices to connect to the internet, and a dedicated 5GHz WiFi link for faster data connections between Orbi Router and Orbi Satellite.
- WiFi 6 (AX) – With a rated speed of 5400Mbps. 2.4GHz (600Mbps) + 5GHz (2400Mbps) for WiFi devices to connect to the Internet. 5GHz (2400Mbps) dedicated WiFi link for faster data connections between Orbi Router and Orbi Satellite.
- 2×2 Wi-Fi – 6 streams – High-performance internal antennas with high-powered ampliﬁers.
- Seamless roaming between satellites – The Orbi RBK763S units work together to form a unified network with a single network name. Walk through your home and stay connected.
- Beamforming – Concentrates wireless signal strength towards clients to expand the WiFi range.
Orbi RBK763S: Testing & Results
The Orbi RBK763S offers tri-band WiFi 6 (AX) connectivity with the 2.4GHz band at 600Mbps and a 5GHz band at 2400Mbps for WiFi devices. There is a second dedicated “backhaul” 5GHz band with HE160 (160MHz) band running at 2400Mbps for a total theoretical bandwidth of up to 5400Mbps, hence the AX5400 branding.
Network speed test (iPerf3) using a Lenovo Legion 5 laptop with an Intel AX210 WiFi 6 (AX) card installed connected to a workstation (Host) on 10Gbps Ethernet via a switch.
As we’re testing a mesh networking kit, the RBK763S, the testing needs to be extended.
As well as range testing (on a single unit), we want to see the speeds the satellites communicate with each other, this is called the Wireless Backhaul, this is done using 2 computers connected via Ethernet, which eliminates additional WiFi links.
The units are positioned in what we’d call a typical home layout with one downstairs acting as the router and a second unit upstairs in a central location. We believe this is the most typical use case for a mesh networking product like this.
2-metres (MegaBits): 883 Mbps
10-metres (MegaBits): 846 Mbps
15-metres – Second Floor (MegaBits): 681 Mbps
Wireless Backhaul Testing:
Uplink (Megabits): 1559 Mbps
Downlink (Megabits): 1578 Mbps
The Orbi RBK763S did well in terms of coverage. The 3-pack can handle a home of about 7500 ft² (696 m²). The RBK763S also supports 75 devices connected concurrently.
Orbi RBK763S: The Verdict
Remembering that the Orbi RBK763S is specced as an upper mid-range product in Orbi’s lineup, the results are actually not bad at all, with the best WiFi device speeds as well as the fastest backhaul speeds we’ve seen so far!
That being said, it’s also the best spec we’ve tested so far, so we must temper expectations. Though, the performance on offer is brilliant for a 7 series Orbi mesh product.
The range of the 3-pack is very good too at about 7500 ft² (696 m²) and is probably overkill for my 3-bedroom house. I’d recommend the RBK762S unit instead, with a router and single satellite.
The Orbi RBK763S is limited in terms of what user-configurable options there are, especially when it comes to Wi-Fi.
Typically routers allow adjustments to be made to things like the HT link speed e.g. 20/40MHz on the 2.4GHz band and 80MHz or 160MHz on the 5GHz band, for example. But no such luck on the Orbi RBK763S, the only wireless options are the ability to change the name (SSID), the channel selection for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels, and what security e.g. WPA, WPA2-PSK, WPA3-Personal, etc.
Like the RBK753 we saw recently, I personally had issues connecting 2.4GHz devices from my TP-Link light bulb and security cameras when WPA3-Personal was selected. But I’ve since learned that it’s due to the WiFi settings not offering WPA3 and WPA2 modes concurrently, instead they’re separate. Be sure to choose the mode that will work with all the devices you plan to connect.
With a nice overall white and silver accent aesthetic, including the matching white power supply and Ethernet cable, as well as a familiar and easy-to-use app with fantastic WiFi speeds, as well as matching the quoted range. They all come together to make a cracking package.
So, with everything on offer. What’s it going to cost you? £599.99!
Expensive? At first, I thought the same thing, but taking a look at the features and performance on offer, as well as the pricing of matching competitor products it becomes a much better option and one I fully recommend for those wanting a high-spec product that is treading very close to the toes of it’s bigger brother, the 850 series.
Especially after you also factor in the included 1-year of NETGEAR Armor (powered by BitDefender) which is a product costing £84.99 per year.
Typically Orbi only offers 30-day cover out of the box so this is great to see should you be wanting a router, and personal device anti-virus all-in-one protection.
So is the Orbi RBK763S for you?
If you’re looking for a decent spec mid-range mesh Wi-Fi kit, that comes with Wi-Fi 6 (AX) out of the box with an excellent range at around 7500 ft² (696 m²), awesome performance with tri-band connectivity, supports 75 concurrent connected devices, looks great on a shelf and just plain works with minimal configuration then the Orbi RBK763S should certainly make your shortlist.
Big thanks to Orbi for sending the RBK763S mesh kit over for today’s review!
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