Thursday, January 21st, 2021

eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200 (RBK572): It’s a No-brainer

eero Pro 6 vs Orbi AX4200
The amount of network ports are one of the major differences between the eero Pro 6 and Orbi AX4200.

I’ve published the comparisons between eero Pro 6 and the Linksys Velop MX4200, and then between the latter and the Netgear Orbi AX4200 (model RBK752). Putting two and two together, you can easily find out the outcome of this eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200 matchup.

But deductive reasoning and math can be a headache. So here goes. To cut to the chase, for my money, the eero can’t hold a candle to the Orbi.

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eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Similarities

The only thing in common between these two is the fact they share similar Wi-Fi specs. Both are tri-band solutions, including two 5GHz bands (4×4 2.4Gbps + 2×2 1.2Gbps) and one 2.4GHz band (576Mbps).

Neither feature the venerable 160MHz channel width or has a multi-gig port. As a result, chances are Wi-Fi 6 end-clients can only connect at the negotiated speed of 1.2Gbps. There’s no USB port, either, so don’t expect any network storage feature out of these two.

As tri-band, both are designed as full wireless mesh systems, but they support wired backhaul, too, where you can link the hardware using network cables.

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Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Hardware specifications

Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Differences

It’s a long list of differences between these two.

First of all, it’s the design. The Orbi is larger and comes with multiple LAN ports (in addition to the WAN). The eero Pro 6 is relatively small, with only two network ports.

In a mesh setup, the Orbi rigidly includes a router and one (2-pack) or two (3-pack) satellites. The eero, like the case of the Linksys Velop MX4200, comes in 2- or 3-packs of identical routers. It’s more flexible.

On the inside, the Netgear includes a full web interface with a standard set of network settings and features (QoS, Dynamic DNS, VPN server, and so on.) It also has an optional mobile app.

The Orbi requires a login account with the network but offers the additional feature, including vendor-assisted remote management and a paid Armor protection feature.

The eero, on the other hand, has no web interface. Instead, it’s a fully app-operated vendor-dependant Wi-Fi solution. As a result, you can’t set it up without an Internet connection nor can you manage your network without first connecting to eero’s server. It’s a potential privacy nightmare.

On top of that, the eero a spartan set of features and settings. But similarly, it does have options to add more features via a paid subscription or linking your network to an Amazon account.

As tri-band solutions, both are designed for a fully wireless setup. The Orbi dedicates its 5GHz-2 (4×4) band as the permanent backhaul band, while the eero uses dynamic backhaul. Generally, this means the Orib is faster.

In a wired setup, though, chances are the eero will work better since all of its 3 bands will be available for clients to connect to. In this case, the Orbi’s 5GHz-2 band is still being used as a (backup) backhaul.

Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Performance

As standalone routers, eero Pro 6 and an Orbi RBR750 are quite similar in throughput speeds. However, as wireless mesh systems, the Orbi RBS750 did much better than the eero Pro 6 counterpart, likely thanks to the strongly dedicated backhaul.

eero Pro 6 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200
eero Pro 6 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200

You can see their numbers on the charts. What you don’t see, though, is the coverage which the Orbi, as a single route or a mesh system, was much better in my testing. It was consistent deliver some 25 percent better range.

Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Ratings

Amazon eero Pro 6 Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router

$229.00
6.9

Performance

7.0/10

Features

6.0/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

6.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use, especially for iPhone users
  • Good Wi-Fi speeds
  • Compact design
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • Wi-Fi range could be better
  • Internet and login account required for setup and ongoing management
  • Minimum ports, no Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, or Multi-Gig
  • Online Protection and Parental Control require a monthly subscription
  • Home automation feature requires Amazon integration
  • No web interface, spartan Wi-Fi and network settings
  • The eero app for Android is a bit buggy

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (RBK752)

$379.99
8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Relatively affordable
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features

Cons

  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware
  • Few LAN ports; No Multi-Gig, Dual-WAN, or LAN Link Aggregation, or USB port
  • The fast 5GHz band only works as backhaul, even in a wired setup

For my money, the Orbi has everything the eero Pro 6 has and then some. The two costs almost the same, by the way.

That said, if you’re looking for a fully wireless mesh system for a large home with a sub-Gigabit Internet connection, the Orbi AX4200 is clearly a much better choice.

If you have wired your home, though, strictly in terms of performance, the eero Pro 6 might be a better idea. But in this case, you should consider the Linksys Velop MX4000, or any dual-band mesh on this list, instead.

Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.

3 thoughts on “eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200 (RBK572): It’s a No-brainer”

  1. Netgear has been so unreliable, constantly losing connection and having to reboot. Good luck with customer service..they don’t care.

    Reply
  2. Your title says no-brainer, but the speed analysis in the article shows similar and sometimes better performance for eero. It seems you are biased.

    Reply
    • You need to read more than just the performance chart, John. And yes, in this case, I’m biased against the Eero, check out the full review to know why.

      Reply

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