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NETGEAR Orbi (RBK23) AC2200 Mesh Wi-Fi System Review

The NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 mostly lives up to its billing. The range with 2.4GHz 802.11n is phenomenal, and very good with 5GHz 802.11ac, albeit slower than the premium options. The Web management interface has plenty of configuration available, although not as much as a dedicated router, particularly from ASUS. The Disney Circle parental controls will be a boon to families.

However, the 802.11ac performance in close proximity is disappointing, and you do lose some features over a standalone router or the higher-end Orbis. There’s no USB for printer or storage sharing, and the two Gigabit Ethernet ports per satellite will be a limitation if you want to hook up multiple desktops in a home LAN.


Overall, though, the range just about swings it. If you only want to cover a small house or larger flat, the RBK20 might be enough for your needs and a snip at under £200, whilst the RBK23 is a decent budget option for stretching your WiFi over a larger house. However, in our experience the two-unit RBK50 can provide a similar coverage with better performance and features. With a cheaper current price of £249, this remains our top pick for mesh WiFi.

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The NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 is available from Amazon.co.uk for £280.

Pros:

  • Great 802.11n coverage.
  • Decent 802.11ac coverage.
  • Disney Circle parental controls.
  • Decent range of features in Web management interface.
  • Smartphone configuration app.
  • Reasonable price for three-unit setup.

Cons:

  • 802.11ac performance disappointing in close proximity.
  • Only two Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • No USB ports for printer or storage sharing.

Kitguru Says: The NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 provides excellent 802.11n and good 802.11ac range extension, but it is down on features and performance compared to the premium Orbi options.

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Rating: 8.0.

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