Are you tired of losing out on network at different spots in your home or office? I’ve been in your shoes and know exactly how speed and coverage suck. If you’re planning to set up a mesh network with a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, Netgear Orbi RBK752 is a worthy consideration.
It is an AX4200 tri-band mesh where AX means Wi-Fi 6 and 4200 refers to the 4200 Mbps combined speed capacity which is further divided into three bands. Priced at below $350, Netgear provides one router (primary unit) and one satellite unit.
When these two units combine, it can cover areas of up to 5,000 Sq Ft and handle 40 devices at once, which makes it a suitable mesh WiFi system for big houses. But does it live up to the claims? Well, I used it for two weeks straight and decided to share my experiences in the form of an RBK752 review.
Netgear Orbi RBK752 Specs
|Wireless Standard||Wi Fi 6 (802.11ax)|
|Aggregated Speed||AX4200 (4200Mbps)|
|2.4GHz Speed||600 Mbps|
|5GHz Speed||1200 Mbps|
|5GHz Speed||2400 Mbps|
|Wi-Fi Range||Up to 5,000 Sq Ft|
|Connections Capacity||Up to 40 Devices|
|Ports||Router: 3 x Gig LAN + 1 x Gig WAN
Satellite: 2 x Gig LAN
|Security Standard||WPA2 / WPA3|
|Dimensions||9.1 x 7.2 x 2.8 inches|
|Weight||1.9 lbs (per unit)|
Netgear Orbi AX4200 Review
For two weeks, I used the Orbi AX4200 with a Motorola MB8600 modem paired with Optimum Internet. I indulged in playing games like Valorant and Red Dead Redemption, streamed and uploaded videos, and used multiple devices at the same time.
I even had guests over who used the WiFi. So all in all, I’ve thoroughly tested Netgear RBK752 and here are my findings:
Speeds & Suitability
The Orbi WiFi 6 consists of one 2.4 GHz band which pumps out 600 Mbps and two 5 GHz bands which offer 1200 Mbps and 2400 Mbps, respectively. The ‘backhaul’ band or the third band was designed to facilitate communication between the two nodes and it puts out 2400 Mbps with twice the radios, 4 to be precise.
The Orbi AX4200 is also one of the few mesh routers that support Ethernet backhaul, allowing you to replace the WiFi connection between the satellite and router of the 3rd band. As a result, more bandwidth is freed for your other devices.
To test out how Netgear Orbi RBK752 speed turns out in real-life scenarios, I used Optimum’s Gig internet plan and ran a test on the 5 GHz band. I scaled the result to 907 Mbps in download and 35 Mbps in upload. This was constant and I didn’t experience any lag.
Such higher throughput makes Netgear RBK752 ideal for streaming, gaming, content creation, handling multiple bandwidth-hungry devices, and more.
WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity
If consistency and long coverage is what you’re looking for, the RBK752 is the right fit for you. Orbi satellite and router both are equipped with 6 high-performance internal antennas. Since it is a tri-band router, it can easily handle more devices and connections compared to dual-band and allow more freedom in terms of multi-device usage.
It promises to cover 5,000 Sq Ft. I can attest to great coverage as my 3,700 Sq Ft house fared great in terms of signal quality. Plus, MU-MIMO makes it easy to have multiple streaming sessions at once, in different rooms.
The OFDMA feature helps decrease any congestion in the network since this tri-band system claims to support 40 devices. I connected 35 devices and they seemed to work just fine.
I was giving a presentation on a Zoom call, coordinating through my cell phone, and using a different laptop along with a smart TV. But I had nothing to worry about as the RBK752 mesh router performed as expected with multiple connections.
Design & Connectivity
If you think that the design and build of this Orbi wireless router look a little familiar, you’re not wrong. The RBK752 looks just like the RBK753S which I reviewed recently.
The satellites look clean and self-effacing and since this Orbi WiFi 6 features integrated antennas, nothing is sticking out and looking shabby. With soft rubber feet, mounting these devices is not that easy. Luckily, quite a few third parties and Netgear itself sell mounting hardware that is not so expensive.
The RBK752 AX4200 also uses passive cooling with fresh, cool air coming in from the bottom, and making its way out at the top. The devices have reportedly never crossed 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, unlike status lights present on the Netgear modems, both devices lack LED light features and just feature a single LED band that turns blue when the device is functioning well and magenta when it needs troubleshooting.
And as for ports, there are 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices. The router unit features a single Gigabit Ethernet WAN port which makes it a good mesh WiFi for Gigabit Internet. With port aggregation, the first Gigabit Ethernet port can support speeds of up to 2 Gbps. There are no USB ports featured which I think is not a big deal or downgrade.
Wireless signal through this system is secured with 128-bit AES encryption with PSK security and with Netgear Armor, anti-virus and data theft protection are provided for Mac, Windows, and mobile devices. To add security for guest users, you can set up guest login credentials which I think is very cool.
Netgear Armor powered by Bitdefender takes your mesh network’s security a notch ahead. It provides advanced protection from any kind of cyber threats not just at a router level, but for all and any devices connected to the network, including tablets, PCs, smartphones, and laptops. Anti-virus, anti-malware, and data theft protection, this device covers all.
The only letdown is paid parental controls and a paid subscription to Netgear Armor after a year’s free trial.
Hardware & Performance
The Orbi wireless router features a quad-core 1.4GHz processor, 512MB NAND flash, and 1GB of RAM and storage space for settings and software.
Judging from what I experienced, the set moves up to 600 Mbps along the 2.4 GHz band and 1.2 Gbps on the first, data supplying the 5 GHz band. If you add in the dedicated Orbi wired backhaul channel that provides 2.4 Gbps, the system can power up and move to a whopping 4.2 Gbps.
So whether you’re hosting a party with a few friends, streaming videos, watching movies, running Netflix in the background on your Tv as you scroll through your phone, or just doing whatever you want, this Orbi WiFi will keep your flow steady. Browse easily and enjoy videos, video games, movies, and all your internet-related chores smoothly.
Netgear Orbi AX4200 Setup
Setting up the Netgear Orbi RBK752 AX4200 is as simple as any other mesh. You plug the router and satellite units in, download the Orbi app on your smartphone, locate the QR code on the bottom of the device, scan it and follow the instructions given by the wizard. You can also update the existing firmware with the wizard’s help.
Anyone with a basic understanding of technologies and instructions can easily set up the entire system in under 20 minutes. It barely took me 15 minutes to get the system up and running. The wizard just makes things easier and swiftly guides you through the entire process.
Additionally, it also supports voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. I did not get to try this feature during my use but it’s definitely worth the mention!
My Likes & Dislikes
- Exceptionally fast
- Long WiFi coverage
- Multiple Ethernet ports
- 1-year free Netgear Armor security
- Easy set-up and management
- Google Assistant & Alexa support
- No QoS
- No multi-gig port
Frequently Asked Questions
A modem is not included in the Orbi systems. Hence, the first Orbi unit or the ‘router’ features a Gigabit WAN port which enables you to connect your existing broadband modem or router. The device also features 3 additional Gigabit Ethernet ports for devices that require a wired connection.
There are many differences between the RBK752 and the RBK852. To answer your question, the WiFi speeds of the two are different; the RBK752 features 6 high-performing antennas, whereas the Netgear Orbi RBK852 features 8 of them. The processors of the two devices are also different. You can look up all the spec differences to know more.
Netgear’s Orbi system outperforms Amazon’s Eero system undoubtedly. The Orbi system provides more Ethernet ports, higher speeds, and more coverage in terms of area.
There are many differences between the two but the key difference is that the AX4200 has 600 Mbps + 1200 Mbps + 2400 Mbps while the AX6000 has 1200 Mbps + 2400 Mbps + 2400 Mbps.
Compared to its big brother, the RBK852, this device is a lot cheaper and it offers a great range and throughput. I enjoyed long coverage and Gigabit speed. Netflix, games, work, and all multi-tasking were possible with the Orbi AX4200. However, an expensive price tag and a lack of a 2.5 Gbps WAN port are the two major down points.
Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems have started gaining momentum and when you’re using a device such as the Orbi RBK752, the results will be easily noticeable. It is next-generation fast and offers great coverage that spreads throughout the house.
Below are my overall ratings:
- Speeds & Throughput: 4.5 / 5
- WiFi Coverage: 4.3 / 5
- Ports & Connectivity: 4.5 / 5
- Ease of Setup: 4.0 / 5
- Security Features: 4.1 / 5
- Hardware & Performance: 4.5 / 5
- Affordability & Value: 4 / 5