Questions and Answers (FAQ) about Netgear Orbi (Router and Satellite)
Netgear Orbi is one of the hot WiFi Mesh Systems right now. It is reliable, super fast, very flexible and provides great WiFi coverage for various types of homes (one floor, two floor, large homes etc).
A lot of people, however, have several questions about this product before deciding if its right for them or not.
In this article we have identified the most frequently asked questions about Orbi and well try to answer them below.
For a more detailed presentation of the capabilities and features of Netgear Orbi, have a look at this comparison between orbi and velop. Also, we have compared orbi with eero 2nd generation which is another popular choice of WiFi mesh system in home networks.
The video in this article shows a quick overview of Orbi with some recommendations of the suggested models (in our opinion) for different home environments.
Table of Contents
Is Netgear Orbi a Modem or a Router?
The Netgear Orbi is technically a set of two or more wifi routers that can connect to your existing modem or router (provided by your ISP) to help blanket your home or apartment in Wi-Fi. There are also several Orbi models that include three wifi units to increase the coverage area.
One exception is the Orbi CBK40 model which includes an embedded Cable Modem (in addition to the WiFi Router) so that you can remove your existing ISP cable modem (and save on rental cost) and use the CBK40 model instead.
All Orbi models should work with most existing modems or routers supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
In every Orbi kit, there is always a central WiFi Router unit which must be connected to your existing ISP modem or router (with an ethernet cable). In addition to that, there are one or more extra Satellite WiFi units which are connected with the central Router unit either via the high-speed wireless backhaul or via ethernet cable.
Here are some of the most popular Orbi Models:
- RBK50 (AC): 1 x Router + 1 x Satellite ( Mbps combined wireless speed from the 3 bands). This is the most powerful and popular model.
- RBK53 (AC): 1 x Router + 2 x Satellites ( Mbps combined wireless speed from the 3 bands).
- RBK40 (AC): 1 x Router + 1 x Satellites ( Mbps combined wireless speed from the 3 bands).
- RBK43 (AC): 1 x Router + 2 x Satellites ( Mbps combined wireless speed from the 3 bands).
Have a look at the official website to see all possible combinations and kits of the product.
How to Add a Satellite to Netgear Orbi
If you have bought a new Orbi kit or if you have reset the Orbi to its default settings you will need to add the satellites and sync them to the mesh network.
The process below shows the cases when you are setting up the Orbi system for the first time or when you add a satellite to an existing system.
Let’s see the step by step instructions:
1) Setting up Satellites for the First Time
- The easiest way to setup the Orbi for the first time is to download the Orbi app for your smartphone device (from Android or Apple stores).
- Connect both the Router and Satellites to power sources without turning on.
- Start the Orbi app and create an account.
- The app will request access to your camera so that to scan the QR code on the back of your router unit.
- After you scan the QR code, the app will continue with instructions.
- First connect your ISP modem to the Orbi router unit (yellow port) and power-on the router unit.
- Now power-on the satellite device and wait for it to auto-sync to the router unit. The LED color on the satellite should be Solid Blue if the sync is successful.
- Now your mobile app will ask you to connect to the WiFi network.
- Follow the app instructions to finish the installation.
2) Adding an add-on satellite to an existing mesh Orbi system.
- Connect with the Orbi app on your smartphone to the existing Orbi system and log-in with your username/password.
- In the Menu (top left) tap on ADD SATELLITE
- Follow the screen instructions to add the unit
How to Reset Netgear Orbi to Factory Defaults
Sometimes the only way to bring your Orbi router back to an operational state is to reset the device to factory default settings.
However, you should keep in mind that resetting your Orbi means that you will lose all personalized settings such as SSID name, WiFi password etc.
Moreover, this operation will break the synchronization between the router and satellite units so you will need to run the setup from scratch again.
Having said that, let us see how to reset an Orbi router:
- Make sure the Orbi router unit is connected to its power source and turned ON.
- As shown on the image above, get a paper clip and push the tiny reset button.
- Keep the Reset button pressed until the Power LED blinks amber.
- Your Orbi device is now reset to default factory settings.
Does Orbi Work with Verizon Fios?
YES. The Orbi does work with the Verizon Fios service. This service bundles phone, internet, and television into one package delivered across fiber-optic networks. The Orbi system will work with the Fios service if you follow the setup instructions.
One option is for the Orbi to be set as an access point through the advanced setup menu. You then need to switch the system to AP mode. The Fios router then assigns an IP address to the Orbi router. Also, you can switch off the WiFi on the FIOS router and have the Orbi working in normal router mode thus assigning IP addresses to wireless clients (this is the best option in my opinion).
Is Orbi a Mesh Network?
The Orbi is a type of mesh network, as it is using more than one router to increase the Wi-Fi coverage in your home. A typical mesh network would consist of a central router that connects to the modem, along with several satellite routers positioned throughout the property.
Initially, the product was considered a Hub-and-Spoke topology (one central hub unit and several satellite spoke units). With a new firmware update, the satellites can now connect with other satellites in the network (daisy-chain) thus forming a type of mesh network.
The Orbi creates a home mesh network using two or three routers, depending on the system that you purchase. However, these systems are easy to set up, even with limited technical experience.
Is Orbi Compatible with Comcast?
YES. Comcast customers are provided with a standard gateway device that serves as both a modem and a router. The Orbi system does work with these devices.
To connect the systems, you need to turn off both devices and connect the Orbi to the Comcast modem. Log into the Orbi menu and set AP mode through the advanced setup menu. You can then reboot the Orbi and allow the Comcast device to assign an IP address to the Orbi.
Moreover, the CBK40 model can replace the cable modem provided by Comcast thus connecting directly to the ISP (cost savings).
Does Orbi Need a Modem?
The Orbi system is designed to work with your existing modem or router. However, it is recommended that you turn off the Wi-Fi on the existing ISP modem or router (if it has wifi) to improve the performance of the Orbi.
If the modem has router functionality, the Orbi needs to be set to AP mode. If the modem does not have router functionality, the Orbi can be set to router mode.
If you want to replace the provided modem with the Orbi, you will need the Orbi Cable Wi-Fi system (CBK40). This version of the device can connect to the cable outlet and works as a modem and a router.
Does Orbi Work with Xfinity?
The Orbi is compatible with the Xfinity cable internet services. Users can connect the device to the Xfinity modem.
If the modem is set to bridge mode, the Orbi should be set to router mode. This allows the Orbi to assign IP addresses and handle wireless connections to home users and devices. When using the modem in router mode, the AP mode should be used on the Orbi.
Does Orbi Work with DSL?
Yes, you can connect an Orbi to your DSL router or modem. However, the Orbi cannot replace the DSL modem. Most DSL internet service providers rent customers a DSL modem with router functionality. This allows Orbi users to connect the device to the DSL modem and use either AP or router mode.
To use the Orbi in router mode, the DSL routers WiFi should be turned off and have the Orbi router assign IP addresses to clients. This option is not always available on DSL gateway devices. If the router does not allow this option, the Orbi can be used in AP mode which means that the DSL router will assign IP addresses and the Orbi will just provide WiFi connectivity.
Is Orbi Good for Gaming?
Internet gaming often requires high speed internet connections, especially with massive multiplayer online games and first-person shooters. The performance of the Orbi depends on the speeds available through your internet service provider and connected modem.
The latest Orbi systems can transmit up to 1, Mbps between the router and the satellite devices. Most games recommend 5 to 6 Mbps internet connections for optimal gaming performance. This means that the Orbi should handle gaming pretty well if you have fast enough internet service.
Keep in mind that there are dedicated routers in the market that are more suitable for high-demanding gaming.
What Is Orbi Fast Roaming?
With the Orbi system, you have one or more satellite routers in your home plus the central unit. Your phone or tablet connects to the closest device. When you walk across the house, your Wi-Fi enabled device may disconnect from one unit and connect to another.
The latest Orbi system updates include Fast Roaming, which is a method of improving the efficiency of switching from one access point to another.
This option can be enabled or disabled accordingly. If you notice that your wifi clients connect back and forth between router and satellites too much, then you can disable this feature.
Does Orbi Work with Spectrum?
Yes, you can connect your Orbi to a Spectrum modem/router. You have two options for connecting the device. The Spectrum modem can be set to bridge mode, which disables the Spectrum router while still allowing the modem to function. The Orbi in this case will be working in normal router mode.
You can also choose to set the Orbi to AP mode. The Spectrum modem/router still handles the wireless connections while the Orbi simply serves as an access point. You may also purchase the Orbi Cable Wi-Fi system to replace the Spectrum modem.
Does Orbi Work with Alexa?
The Orbi is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Users can enable the Netgear skill on their Alexa devices, allowing users to interact with the Orbi system using voice commands. You will also need to enable remote management on your Orbi system. This option is accessed through the Orbi menu.
You can access most router settings through Alexa after enabling the features. For example, you can ask the device to tell you the Wi-Fi password, Wi-Fi settings, and internet speed. You can also change settings and options via voice commands.
Does Orbi Work with ATT Uverse?
You can use your Orbi with ATT Uverse. ATT provides customers with a gateway modem/router. You cannot set this device to bridge mode, which disables the ability to use the Orbi in router mode.
However, in newer ATT Uverse gateway devices you can set the gateway to IP Passthrough mode and connect the Orbi Internet port (yellow port) to the ATT gateway (LAN port). This basically forwards all incoming/outgoing traffic from/to the Internet towards the Orbi which can work as a router.
If you want another simpler way to connect the Orbi to the ATT gateway device, you need to turn off both wireless bands on the ATT router. The Orbi system then needs to be set to Access Point (AP) mode and will serve as the WiFi provider in the house. See the section below about Router vs AP mode for more information.
Which Orbi model is right for me?
With so many different models available, many people get confused and want to know the best kit for their home.
There are many factors that one must consider to select the best wifi system for them according to their needs. Factors like how big the home is, materials of the walls, how the wifi will be used (e.g just for internet access or also for heavy internal communication), all contribute to different needs for different people.
Roughly though, here are some general guidelines:
- If your Internet connection is Mbps or more and if you want to transfer large files locally (or you have some heavy local traffic within the home), then go with an AC model (RBK50, RBK53).
- If your Internet connection is less than Mbps and you dont have much internal traffic (i.e between devices within the home or office) then go with an AC system (RBK40, RBK43).
Orbi Access Point (AP) Mode vs Router Mode
Netgear Orbi supports different modes of operation such as access point, router mode etc.
The Router Mode is the most popular one (and actually is the default mode of operation) and is used when you already have a standalone modem from the ISP (e.g a cable modem or DSL modem) and thus you connect the Orbi routers Internet (WAN) port to the modem. In this setup, the Orbi should be working as WiFi router mode in order to assign IP addresses to home network clients and also route their traffic towards the modem and then towards the ISP and Internet.
The Access Point Mode is used when you already have a router gateway device (e.g combo modem+router) connected to the ISP and thus you want to connect the Orbi behind this existing router. In AP mode, not all features of Orbi work. e.g parental control does not work in AP mode.
See the diagram below for more details:
As shown from above, if you already have an existing modem gateway device (3) which already has router and WiFi capabilities, then you should connect the Orbi Internet port to a LAN port of the existing gateway. Then, you should disable the WiFi functionality of the existing gateway router and set the Orbi in AP mode (under ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Router/AP Mode.)
So, to summarize, the difference between Orbi router mode vs AP mode is the following:
- If you have a standalone modem (without WiFi) connected to the ISP (e.g cable provider) then setup the Orbi in Router Mode (the default).
- If you have a combo modem+router gateway (i.e with WiFi) connected to the ISP, then setup the Orbi in AP mode but make sure to disable the WiFi on the combo gateway device.
How many Satellites can you connect to the Orbi Router?
Orbi kits come with one or two satellites (such as the RBK23 and RBK53 which have 2 satellites). However, you can connect many more satellite units and people have reported up to 5 satellites working fine as described here. You can also mix and match between wired and wireless backhaul connections between satellites and router nodes.
Keep in mind that if all of the satellites are connected via wireless backhaul, then the link is shared among all satellites therefore the total WiFi backhaul bandwidth will be reduced if you have many satellites. This does not happen if you connect them via wired backhaul though.
Filed Under: Mesh WiFiSours: https://www.tech21century.com/netgear-orbi-questions-and-answers/
At what speed and bandwidth can my Orbi system transmit data?
Xfinity xFi Features with Orbi
I've had the Orbi mesh WiFi system for a long time, and up until now, the only way to use it on an Xfinity network, as far I knew, was to put the Xfinity Gateway into Bridge Mode. By doing that, you loose many of the neat Xfinity network management and virus protection features.
But now I've found a way to Put the Netgear Orbi into AP (Access Point) mode.
Note: You loose some Orbi features by doing this.
From a web browser, you go to orbilogin.net and then go to ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Router/AP Mode, and SELECT the AP Mode radio button.
After that, Reboot the Gateway, then, from a computer connected the the Xfinity Gateway, via a hardwired cable, Go to in a browser, Login to the Xfinity Admin page, and DISABLE Bridge Mode.
Then, reboot all your Orbi's.
After a while everything will come back. If your speed does not improve, reboot the Gateway.
First test on Fast.com was Mbps, and that still wasn't right, so I rebooted the Gateway, and when it came back up, I was at Mbps down, 37 Mbps up.
That was better.
Now I had the Orbi's using AP (Access Point) mode. The Xfinity iPhone App worked too. I also had my laptop computer directly connected to the Xfinity Gateway.
I also found xfinity.com/myxfi which showed me:
Plan Speed: 1, Mbps
Speed to Gateway 1,,3 Mbps
Upload Speed Mbps
Latency 9 ms
Test Speed to this device:
Download speed: Mbps
Upload Speed: Mbps
Latency: 11 ms
Host: Boston, MA
Speed Test Lookup Device
My MacBook Air (inch, Mid ) Expected WiFi Speed is Mbps.
I'm going to be getting a new MacBook Air, depending on what is released on November 10th. I think that will help. ;-)
I looked up speed ratings on Internet cables and found how the categories of cables are rated:
|Category||Max speed transmission||Max bandwidth|
|Cat 5e||1, Mbps||MHz|
|Cat 6||1, Mbps||MHz|
|Cat 6a||10, Mbps||MHz|
I had a Cat 5 cable, so I switched to a "Cat 7", which is listed at 10, Mbps, and is shielded. I think Cat 6, rated at 1, Mbps would be enough.
Here's the Fast.com speed test, with the "Cat 7" cable:
Download speed: Mbps
Upload Speed: 36 Mbps
Latency: 9 ms
Xfinity.com Test Speed to this device:
Download speed: Mbps
Speed test from Xfinity iPhone App:
Speed test to iPhone 11 Pro Max:
Download Speed Mbps
The Orbi WiFi Systems Tri-band WiFi technology includes a dedicated 5 GHz ( Mbps) band for communication between an Orbi router and satellite. The remaining WiFi bands are used to connect devices to your Orbi system.
The performance you experience depends on the devices, WiFi interference, and the construction materials in your home. In most circumstances, you can expect the following speeds:
- Up to Mbps for older devices that support GHz and QAM
- Up to Mbps for newer devices that support 5 GHz and ac
I think I'm on the right track, and am glad to have the Xfinity network management featured available.
I presented at a conference and got good upload and download speeds, /
Now getting download speeds of ////
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Orbi with Xfinity modem/router
I am totally at sea as to how to connect the Orbi to my Xfinity router. Right now I have the yellow ethernet cord connecting my desktop and my Xfinity router. I'm not sure how to connect from the Xfinity router to the Orbi router as this post says to do. There do not seem to be any extra outlets in the back of the Xfinity router which would permit connecting the Orbi to it. If I connect the ethernet cord from the Xfinity router to the Orbi, then it won't be connected to my desktop.
Nor am I sure how to change the Xfinity router settings so that it will be compatible with the Orbi. If there are any clear step by step instructions already published explaining how to do this, or someone can lay this out for me here I'd be grateful.
Hi @richards10, let me see if I can walk you through the process as I have an xfinity router and have my Orbi setup and running pretty well.
First, we will need to place your xfinity router into bridge mode. With your current setup, navigate your web browser to http:// Login to the modem with the following, User ID: admin, PW: password. Once you are logged in, the main page will have a toggle for entering into bridge mode. Select that, and allow the modem to reboot.
Next, disconnect the yellow ethernet cable from your computer (not the xfinity router), and then plug it into the YELLOW ethernet port on the Orbi. You will need to connect a second ethernet cable into one of the other open ports on the Orbi and then directly to your computer. Power on your Orbi router and wait for it to boot.
Now, connect to the Orbi via the web login (http://) and setup the router according to the instruction card that came with the Orbi router. Hopefully this helps. If not, PM me, and I can walk you through the process as best as I can.
Modem: Netgear Nighthawk® CMV DOCSIS - Xfinity Gigabit | Router: ASUS RT-AC88U | WiFi: Orbi RBK53 (RBR50 + 2x RBS50) - Ethernet Backhaul | Switches: 2x TP-Link TL-SG (8 port Gigabit) + TL-SG (5 port Gigabit)
Netgear has made a new mesh Wi-Fi router that can also replace your cable modem.
If you’re sick of having extra devices around the house, Netgear’s latest Orbi router is a 2-in-1 device, with a built-in cable modem and a router that offers Wi-Fi coverage of up to 4, square feet. If you need bigger coverage for your property, you can also add additional Orbi routers to your setup, which will give you another 2, square feet per satellite.
Netgear says the new system’s cable modem supports download speeds of up to Gbps, while Wi-Fi speeds can reach up to Gbps for devices that connect to Wi-Fi on your home network. The device can be controlled via the Orbi app or through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
It may be tough for Netgear to sell this new product in the US, where people often don’t buy modems and instead rent them through cable companies. While some cable companies in the US charge a monthly fee to rent your modem, users who buy a modem like this outright can avoid those fees.
The Orbi modem is compatible with all major cable internet service providers, and it works right out of the box with Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox. The new system will also support parental controls, which Netgear says will be offered soon.
Netgear first introduced the multiunit router called Orbi in as a combination of a router, range extender, and software that can blanket 4, square feet of space with a single Wi-Fi network. Router companies have increasingly added more products and multiunit systems to their range that help with blanketing larger properties with more robust Wi-Fi.
The Orbi router (CBR40) costs $ An Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi System that consists of the Orbi Tri-Band Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router and one Orbi satellite costs $ They’re available now through Netgear and major retailers.
Orbi to xfinity connect
If having extra devices in your house makes you sick, the Netgear Orbi router seeks to eliminate your problems – especially when looking at the issues Xfinity internet seems to have.
As a Comcast user, you automatically receive a standard Xfinity Gateway device that you can use to join other networking devices. Netgear Orbi is among the more popular Wi-Fi mesh setups, thanks to its flexibility, reliability, and speeds that cater to small and large homes alike. If you already use an Xfinity setup, you may have questions about whether getting the Orbi is a worthwhile decision, as you may be concerned that the two systems are incompatible.
Well, there is some good news for you: Netgear Orbi and Xfinity are fully compatible. All you need to do is set it up as an AP (Access Point), disable the Xfinity Wi-Fi, and change the Orbi’s password and Wi-Fi SSID to avoid conflicts with the two networks.
How to set up the Orbi and Xfinity
The best way to connect your Xfinity and Orbi is to set up the Orbi in access point mode and then connect it to your router (which is already in bridge mode).
Therefore, the differences between the AP mode and router mode in the Orbi are in the table below:
Access Point mode
It is the default setting.
You will need to set it manually.
It works when you have a standalone modem that connects to the cable provider (ISP).
It works when you have a router-modem combo that connects to the ISP (like Xfinity in this instance).
To set the Xfinity router to bridge mode
Xfinity routers function as a modem-router combo by default to create a reliable Wi-Fi network. However, changing the setup to bridge mode will allow you to set up another device as a router and the Xfinity device to function as the modem.
When you activate the bridge mode, you cannot use xFi pods or Xfinity xFi. Follow the steps below to set it:
- Connect the Orbi and Xfinity router using an Ethernet cable.
- Using any device that is connected to your Xfinity network, open its web browser and type in https:// in the URL search bar.
- This will direct you to the Xfinity portal, where you can log in with the credentials: password (for the password) and admin (for the username).
- Once you log in, you can access the settings and click on the ‘Gateway’ menu. Select ‘At a Glance.’
- Select ‘Enable’ (next to the Bridge Mode).
- The screen will bring up a warning pop-up message and asking you to confirm whether you want to activate bridge mode. Select ‘OK’. At this point, the wireless gateway might restart to confirm your changes.
- In place of the Xfinity Gateway router functionality, you can now use your router. On the top right section of the page, tap on ‘Logout’.
Setting the Orbi as an Access Point
- Disconnect the Ethernet cable from the computer (do not interfere with the Xfinity router connection), then plug it into the Orbi’s Ethernet port. The connection should be between the Orbi and Xfinity routers.
- On a device connected to the Orbi network, launch a web browser.
- In the URL search bar, type in orbilogin.com. This will direct you to the Orbi portal, where you can log in.
- Enter your credentials as ‘admin’ (for the username) and ‘password’ or the one you created during set up. The credentials are case-sensitive.
- The portal will direct you to the BASIC Home page. In the Settings menu, click on ‘Advanced’, then ‘Advanced Setup’, and then ‘Router/AP Mode’. This will display the Router/AP mode where you can change the Orbi to an Access Point.
- Click on the AP Mode radio button to activate the setting and adjust the page.
- You can now choose between 2 IP address settings:
- Using a fixed IP address (not recommended). It will allow you to set a specific IP address for the Orbi when it is in AP mode. Do not activate it unless you have advanced networking knowledge.
- Getting it from an existing router dynamically. This option allows the other router (Xfinity in this case) to assign an IP address to the Orbi while it is in AP Mode.
The compatibility of Orbi and Xfinity is not in doubt, as Orbi routers are built to work with almost any router in the market. You only need to adjust the network settings by using the Orbi as an Access Point and the Xfinity as the modem, and this will avoid problems in the network.
How can I install Orbi on my Xfinity router?
The easiest method to set up the Orbi is configuring it and its satellites first before connecting them to your Xfinity. Once you sync the Orbi units, change to AP mode, and then connect them to Xfinity.
Is it possible to use my router alongside Xfinity?
Yes, you can buy a modem to use with the Xfinity router, as long as it is compatible.
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