Netgear Orbi RBK863SB WiFi 6 Mesh System review: all mesh, no mess

I’m a big proponent of mesh routers. These are pricier compared to regular routers but I think the benefits they offer outweigh the cost. In the hyper-connected world we live in these days, most households have a bunch of assorted gadgets that rely on Wi-Fi connectivity. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, gaming consoles, smart speakers, security cameras, and other smart home devices like smart bulbs, plugs, etc, a reliable, ubiquitous wireless home network is as important as an uninterrupted supply of electricity. And as a longtime user of Netgear’s Orbit mesh system, I can vouch for its capabilities.

The new Orbi RBK863SB WiFI 6 Mesh System I have with me now is a whole new beast, however. As Netgear’s fastest Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, it packs serious grunt, a ton of features and a matching price tag. And I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say it might be overkill for smaller homes, and even those that don’t use many Wi-Fi devices. But if you want to cover a large home that includes a smorgasbord of gadgets with superfast, reliable Wi-Fi, the RBK863SB WiFI 6 Mesh System should do nicely. Here’s why.


The three-piece system includes the main router and a pair of satellites, featuring a tall shape finished in elegant grey-black that crudely resembles a vase. There are no protruding antennas, and I’d say the design is subtle enough to hide in plain sight and blend in with any decor, without raising any eyebrows. And that’s good enough for a router.

The router and satellites are indistinguishable in terms of the design, except that the router has an additional Ethernet port for internet access. Other than that, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back of these devices, along with an indicator LED and a socket for the power adapter. Sync buttons are also located towards the back.

Featuring a 10-gig internet port, Wi-Fi 6, and supporting a whopping 6Gbps maximum wireless speed and up to 100 concurrent devices, the Orbi RBK863SB WiFI 6 Mesh System promises to cover up to 8,000 square feet with fast, stable Wi-Fi. Netgear’s patented Tri-band tech uses a dedicated backhaul that enables the router and satellites to transfer Wi-Fi directly, giving the brand a technological advantage over others and ensuring fast, unimpeded network access across the covered area. The router and satellites utilise 2.2GHz quad-core processors, along with 512MB NAND Flash and a gig of RAM, and boast no less than eight high-performance internal antennas with high-power amplifiers.

Setup and management

Setting up and configuring routers used to be a painful task just a few years ago, but not anymore. In the case of the Orbi RBK863SB, just like the brand’s other mesh systems, the Netgear Orbi app comes to the rescue. Available on both Android and iOS, the Orbi app makes setup a cinch. Once you power up the router and add the internet connection via a LAN cable, it’s a simple matter of using the Orbi app to configure your home network. While I won’t get into all the details, you need to create a Netgear account, sign in to the app, and let the app guide you through the process, step by step. As part of the process, you get to modify the factory-configured network SSID and password (mentioned on a sticker on the router itself) and set them as per your preferences. Once set up, you can use the app to check the status of your router and satellites and view a map of your network. You also get access to a traffic meter and a speed test utility. One of the most useful components of the app is the device manager, which lets you see all the devices hooked up to your Wi-Fi network at any point in time, and disable their internet access individually if you so wish. If you find yourself sharing your Wi-Fi passwords often with friends and other visitors at home, there’s an option to enable a guest Wi-Fi network that creates a separate SSID with its own password.

Netgear throws in a year’s subscription to its Armor Internet Security suite, which can also be accessed via the app and promises to safeguard your home network and connected devices from hackers and other not-so-good aspects of the online world.


I confess I don’t have a fast enough Wi-Fi network or a large enough area to test this mesh system’s real potential. That said, I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a power user when it comes to the number and variety of Wi-Fi devices I have at home — the Orbi app shows about 20 or so active devices at any given time. The list includes phones, laptops, Smart TVs, a printer, a gaming console, and a bunch of smart home devices comprising plugs, lights, smart speakers, universal remotes, security cameras and a smart door lock. Did I mention the Orbi Mesh system also offers a separate, dedicated Wi-Fi network just for IoT devices? I tested the mesh system’s capabilities using a bunch of devices and network diagnostic utilities and was quite impressed. The layout of my house is such that there’s a dead zone right in the middle, which is basically a corridor that connects the rooms at the back with rooms at the front. To be able to get Wi-Fi signal there is really the litmus test, and I’m glad to report that the Orbi RBK863SB passed with flying colours. Talking about before and after, the network available moved up to a very usable 87 percent for me, from a lowly 59 percent. Needless to say, the other rooms which had the benefit of hosting the router or one of the satellites, displayed 99 percent connectivity, and almost full network speeds too.


The Orbi RBK863SB is listed at a princely sum of Rs 1,05,999 on the Netgear website, and clearly, you need to evaluate your requirements carefully before investing in it. Its capabilities go much beyond the requirements of regular households, but thankfully, Netgear has mesh systems to suit smaller areas, lower network speeds, and tighter pockets as well. The Orbi RBK753 for instance, can support up to 40 connected devices simultaneously, offer speeds up to 4.2Gbps, and can be yours for Rs 47,999. Of course, that’s still higher than what you’d pay for a conventional router and a bunch of Wi-Fi extenders (which don’t really work that well anyway). But believe me when I say that mesh routers are the way to go if you want fast, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity over large areas. Coming back to the Orbi RBK863SB, it’s pricey, but if you have a large enough area and a superfast internet line, it could be worth the investment.

Editor’s rating: 8 / 10


  • Easy to setup
  • Large coverage area
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 & up to 100 devices
  • Fast, stable connectivity


  • Pricey
  • Not meant for everyone