Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200 (RBK752): 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.

READ  Linksys Velop MX4200 Review: A Well-Priced Velop for a Large Home

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.

READ  Wi-Fi 6 Explained in Layman's Terms: The Real Speed, Range, and More

Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200: Hardware specifications

Full NameAmazon eero Pro 6 
Tri-band AX4200 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router
Orbi RBK752
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6
Mesh System
Modeleero Pro 6RBK752
Wi-Fi DesignationAX4200AX4200
Mesh Availability3-pack 
(identical hardware units)
2 or 3 -pack 
Router (RBR750) + Satellite(s) (RBS750)
Dimensions5.3 x 5.3 x 2.1 inch 
(13.5 x 13.5 x 5.3 cm)
9.1 x 7.2 x 2.8 in 
(23.11 x 18.28 x 7.11 cm)
Weight1.49 lbs (676 g)1.9 lbs (862 g)
5GHz-1 Wi-Fi Specs4×4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 2404 Mbps 
(20/40/80MHz)
2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 1201 Mbps
(20/40/80MHz) 
5GHz-2 Wi-Fi Specs2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 1201Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
4×4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 2404Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 574Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
Mesh Backhaul BandDynamic5GHz-2
Wired Backhaul SupportYesYes
Processor1.4 GHz quad-core CPURouter or Satellite
Quad-core 1.4 GHz CPU
Memory1GB RAM, 4GB FlashRouter: 512 MB flash,1 GB RAM
Satellite: N/A
Backward Compatibility 802.11ac/n/g/a/b802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA2, WPA2/WPA3 Mixed ModeWPA2, WPA2/WPA3 Mixed Mode
Mobile AppEeroOrbi
Web User InterfaceNoneYes
AP (Bridge) ModeYes Yes 
USB PortNoneRouter: 1x USB 3.0
Satellite: None
Gigabit Port2x Auto-SensingRouter: 1x WAN, 3x LAN
Satellite: 2x LAN
Link AggregationNoWAN only 
(WAN+LAN1)
Multi-Gig PortNoneNone
Dual-WANNoNo
Suggest Retail Price$229 (1-pack), 
$599.99 (3-pack)
$450 (2-pack)
Hardware specifications: Amazon eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200

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.

14 thoughts on “eero Pro 6 vs. Orbi AX4200 (RBK752): It’s a No-brainer”

  1. Hardware specs table is between the Eero and Linksys Velop, not the Eero 6 and Orbi.

    Can you correct the table of specs please?
    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Great write up!

    I have a 5,000 sq ft two story house and the Google mesh system I have drops out at times and I cannot figure out why. I want fast as I have 400 meg coming in, and in a couple rooms I have music streamers with only ethernet ports…no wifi. I’m not techy. I want easy, fast, DEPENDABLE, and an ethernet port. Or two.
    Which one?

    And if I needed another ethernet port and added another “node” if that’s what they’re called is that a problem having TOO many? Thanks!

    Reply
    • What you want there is what EVERYONE wants, Kevin. And it would help if you spent some time to figure it out for your own situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution if that’s what you’re looking for. I’d recommend that you start with this post. It’ll be a fun read.

      And no, you don’t want to add another node just because you want more network ports. For that, you need a switch. More in this post.

      Reply
  3. Hello! So happy to have stumbled on your site. Great work and very thorough! I understand your reasons for favoring orbi over eero but I have had bad experiences with netgear in the past so I purchased eero.

    My question is: I have Fios and I have my internet and coax going into the Verizon fios g3100 router. This broadcasts its own network. When I add on a mesh there will be two networks broadcast (double nat)

    Will my performance suffer?

    Reply
  4. Greetings Dong, I have previously used your sage advice with success in determining how to modify my home network. The Orbi NBK753 was the originally chosen device. It took effort to set up, although once active it was impressive in terms of speed and coverage. The problem was it disconnected every four days. Today I have no Netgear equipment and I am very happy. I am using an Arris modem with the Eero Pro 6. The system took minutes to set up and has been flawless for weeks. The equipment reset quickly after a brief power outage. The network has suffered a loss in coverage and speed, as your tests portray; however, the network remains more than sufficient for our use of almost one terabyte of data transmission each month. Dealing with Netgear is almost as frustrating as dealing with Comcast. There has been no need to communicate with either Arris or Eero, so no comparison point. Practical usability and stability outweigh the top performers when something is used constantly. By the way, I continue to be a huge fan, and extremely appreciative for your gracious sharing of your knowledge and experience; thank you again.

    Reply
    • Glad it worked out, Greg. The eero 6 Pro is not all bad. If you can deal with the issues you mentioned and the privacy risks, it’ll serve you fine.

      Reply
  5. I too have recently had a bad experience with Orbi RBK50 2 node + extra satellite mesh system. 2200 sq ft house and I’m constantly seeing buffering on devices (15-17 in total on network), losing connection, and having to reboot. I wish I could dictate which devices connect to which nodes. The way the connect today with Orbi RBK50 makes no sense. Upstair devices connect to downstair node and downstairs devices connecting to Upstairs satellite node.
    Any system or mesh system you would recommend as an alternative to Orbi or Eero Pro with the same speeds, more control, and reliability?

    Reply
    • That happens a lot when you use a canned system, Will. It’s designed for a generic scenario that works for most cases. However, if you want something else a bit different, things start to fall apart. I’d recommend you check out this post first to have an idea about mesh. After that, get an AiMesh set.

      Reply
      • Thanks again Dong for your reviews and guidance!! Changed to a pair of Asus RT-AX86U for my 2200 sq ft house with wired backhaul which took some work to run the wire between upstairs and downstairs units but WOW what a difference in the stability, performance, and the capabilities you get with Asus. Thank you for making me an Orbi to Asus convert!

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

    Reply
  7. 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

Leave a Comment

Appreciate the content? ☕ Let Dong know via a Ko-Fi ❣️