Antonio Villas-Boas/Samantha Lee/Business Insider When Ireviewed the mesh WiFi system from startup Eero back in May, I was instantly impressed. Unlike many so-called WiFi range extenders, multiple Eero routers cover my whole home in good, speedy, reliable WiFi.
But now there's a new kid on the block. It's called Orbi, it comes to you from WiFi veteran Netgear. Orbi spreads faster and more consistent WiFi speeds than the Eero throughout my home.
At first glance, it seems like the Orbi is set to dethrone Eero as king of the routers because of its sheer performance, but a few important factors reel the Orbi back into a more humble position.
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Netgear's Orbi WiFi mesh router works in much the same way as the Eero.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider You connect the main Orbi unit to your modem, then wirelessly connect multiple Orbi satellite units to that main unit that's connected to your modem. It works just like a regular WiFi router and range extenders, which have been around for years.
But unlike a regular WiFi range extender, the Orbi satellites don't cut your speeds in half. On top of that, the transition between Orbi units as you walk around your home is much smoother than it is with a regular WiFi extender. So, for example, your Skype call won't be interrupted as much — if at all — if you move around your home while your device connects to different Orbis.
However, the Orbi differentiates itself from the Eero in one key way: It creates its own dedicated connection between each Orbi unit to transmit internet data.