The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year showcased a ton of mesh networking WiFi systems, and it looks like this year’s show will be no different, as Netgear just announced a new mesh-networking WiFi router ahead of CES 2018. Currently, mesh networking is mainly being deployed for indoor home and apartment use, but the company is trying to change that with the introduction of the Orbi Outdoor Satellite (RBS50Y) in hopes to take the wireless system more outdoors. The device will allow users to expand their WiFi coverage by up to 2,500 square feet, making it ideal for outdoor use by the pool, garage, guest house, deck, patio, etc.
In case you are new to how mesh networks work, they use multiple devices that act as access points, which works on the same network, to increase signal reception throughout the home and eliminate dead spots, or areas with poor signal. The only downside to introducing a mesh network system is the price. For example, Netgear’s Orbi and satellite kit costs $400, whereas their R700P Nighthawk router costs less than $200, depending on where you look. Additionally, for price comparison, a 3 pack of Google WiFi routers cost $229.00.
However, unlike WiFi extenders, the Orbi Outdoor Satellite works as another node in the mesh network, giving the user a single network name and seamless transfer between moving between indoors and outdoors. Additionally, the router has a dedicated channel for data transfers between the satellite and router, in turn freeing up the main channels for other devices on the network. Furthermore, there is also a guest network, which can be used for additional protection.
When looking at the specifications, the device uses Netgear’s FastLane3 technology with Tri-band WiFi and quad-stream wireless transfer over the 5GHz band. According to Netgear, the setup process can be completed “in minutes” via a special button or using the Orbi app. Additionally, you can have more than one Orbi Outdoor Satellite routers on the same network.
To make sure that the router can withstand weather, it features an IP56 rating for dust, water, and sub-zero temperatures, and comes with a stand or wall mount. Interestingly, the device also features an ambient night LED nightlight, which can be turned on or off at specific times.
When looking at the price, the Orbi Outdoor Satellite router will retail for $330 through Netgear partners, reseller channels, and e-commerce sites starting today.
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