Netgear Orbi RBK13 Mesh Wi-Fi System review
Quick Verdict: Netgear's lower-priced Mesh Wi-Fi system predictably doesn't reach the heights of fancier models, but if you're after basic mesh extension for your home Wi-Fi, it's well priced for what you get.
- Nice node design
- Easy app-driven setup
- 3 nodes at this price is good
- Satellites lack ethernet ports
- Middling performance at long range
Netgear has a wide range of mesh network products designed to improve home Wi-Fi throughput in the market, but with the Netgear Orbi RBK13 it targets a rather specific sector. Many Mesh network systems work on the presumption that you want cutting edge technology and you're happy to pay for it, but the Netgear Orbi RBK13 is instead pitched at a more budget-centric crowd. That means it does lack a few features found in the fancier mesh gear, like a dedicated backhaul channel or ethernet ports all round to spare. Still, for its asking price, it's a very nicely designed and easy to use set of mesh nodes.
- Low profile nodes
- simple notification lights
- satellites lack ethernet ports
- App based install
- trials of Internet security and parental control products embedded
- Fair performance for a 3-node system but not the best
- Not super fast, but good value for money
Should you buy it?
Netgear doesn't promote the Netgear Orbi RBK13 as its flagship mesh product, and that's vital to recognise when assessing its value. We're hoping to get its fancier RBK50 system in soon for testing, because that'll give a better head-to-head result against the more capable and expensive systems we've largely tested to date.
Where that leaves the Netgear Orbi RBK13 is in the value mesh segment. It would be a good match if you need a bit of network boosting across a wide area with not too many interference variables. If, like me, you've got an area where Wi-Fi signals fear to tread, however, you may have to spend a little more to make the most out of your home Wi-Fi connection.
Pricing and availability
The Netgear Orbi RBK13 starts at around $299.95 in Australia (three-node system). Alternative bundles are also available.