Looking deeper, it’s a different story. There’s a lot more to love in this new and well-balanced mesh Wi-Fi system. The fact it’s significantly more affordable alone means many can experience it. Most importantly, chances are it delivers the same experience you’d get from the RBK852 anyway.
So, if you live in a large property with a sub-Gigabit Internet connection, this 2-pack full-wireless mesh is an excellent buy, especially considering the current cost of around $400 for a 2-pack or $515 for a 3-pack.
Netgear Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (RBK752)$379.99
- 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
- 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
Netgear Orbi AX4200 (RBK752): A well-rounded wireless mesh for a large home
It’s impossible to look at the RBK752 without thinking of its older and beefier cousin RBK852. That’s because the two are almost the same. They share the same mobile app, web interface, settings, features, and physical design — with the former being a tad smaller.
Extra: How to read Wi-Fi 6 Orbi model numbers
There are three telling things in the model number of a Wi-Fi 6 Orbi hardware unit: The first letter, the third letter, and the last digit.
- The First letter (often R or C) means the character of the hardware.
- R = It’s a standard setup, be it a single router or a mesh system. For example, RBK852 means this one is a standard mesh system.
- C = There’s a cable modem involved. For example, CBK752 is a mesh system with a built-in cable modem.
- The 3rd letter (often K, R, or S) means the hardware unit’s exclusive role.
- K = Kit. This means you’re looking at a multi-hardware-unit package. So RBK752 refers to a kit of more than one hardware unit.
- R = Router unit. For example, RBR750 is the router unit of the RBK752.
- S = Satellite unit. For example, RBS750 is the satellite unit of the RBK752.
- The Last digit (often 0, 2, and 3) shows the package’s total hardware units.
- 0 = Single hardware unit (either a router or a satellite.)
- 2 = A 2-pack (router + satellite). For example, RBK752 is a 2-pack cable-ready mesh that includes a CBR750 gateway and an RBS750 satellite.
- 3 = A 3-pack (router + 02 satellite). The RBK853 is a 3-pack mesh system that includes one RBR850 and two RBS850 units.
OK, if you’re confused, that makes two of us. I’m keeping my fingers crossed right now in hopes of not having made a typo, to say the least.
The hardware of the Orbi RBK852 and RBK752 work interchangeably. So you can use an RBR850 router with an RBS750 satellite, or vice versa. They are also both not backward compatible with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware.
That said, this review is somewhat a supplement to my take on the Orbi AX6000. It’s a good idea that you check out that one first.
Netgear Wi-Fi 6 Orbi hardware specifications: RBK752 vs. RBK852
As you’ll note on the table below, the RBK752 is slightly smaller, lighter, and doesn’t come with a 2.5Gbps WAN port. It also has one LAN port fewer in both the router and satellite unit.
Both share the same WAN Link Aggregation feature, where you can combine the WAN and LAN1 ports into a single 2Gbps WAN connection. This is a great feature when you use a supported modem and a faster-than-Gigabit Internet connection.
What’s most significant is that the RBK752 uses two different 5GHz bands, and only the lower-tier (5GHz-1) is available to clients. So while the two have the same backhaul speed, the sustained speeds at the end-devices are more modest on the RBK752.
(In reality, though, that made a little difference as you will see in the performance section below.)
Like the RBK852, the RBK752 also doesn’t support the venerable 160MHz channel. As a result, at best, clients can connect at 1.2Gbps of negotiated speed with the sustained rates significantly lower. But the mesh will be fast enough for any sub-Gigabit Internet connection.
Extra: Orbi RBK752 vs. Orbi CBK752
The Orbi RBK752 is available as a cable-ready variant called Orbi CBK752.
As mentioned above, “C” in this case is for cable. So, the only difference between the two is that the latter’s router unit, the CBR750, is a cable gateway — it a router + modem combo.
In many ways, the CBR750 unit is the same as when you use the RBR750 and a CM2000 modem together.
However, note that while the RBR750 can work with any broadband service, the CBR750, which doesn’t have a WAN port, can only work for those with Cable Internet. So, it’s more rigid.
Other than that distinction, from Wi-Fi performance’s perspective, the RBK752 and CBK752 are the same. Keep that in mind if you’re looking for a review of the Orbi CBK752. By the way, I might review the CM2000 modem separately when I manage to get a faster Internet connection.
An improved design
While looking the same as the previous model, the more compact design actually makes the RBK752 a lot better, in my opinion. The hardware units are now shorter and narrower, yet it has the theme thickness, resulting in a better footing. They won’t topple easily.
While they are not wall-mountable out of the box, they also come with screw holes for mounting accessories. They also look slightly better, too, with a sleek and slightly concave top.
Netgear Orbi AX4200 (RBK752)’s detail photos
Pre-sync hardware, familiar setup setup process
Other than the minor differences in the look, ports, and Wi-Fi specs, the Orbi RBK752 shares the rest with the RBK852. To avoid repeating myself, I’ll recap them here.
Out of the box, the two hardware unit are pre-synced. As a result, all you have to do is set up the RBR750 unit like it was a standalone router. After that, just plug the RBS750 (satellite) unit at a good distance and you get yourself a full-operational mess.
(Note: Each unit does have a sync button which is only necessary when you use it with hardware unit of another Orbi set or a standalone Orbi satellite.)
It’s important to note that the Orbi has a full web interface that’s available at its default IP address which is 192.168.1.1 (or routerlogin.com). Just navigate a browser there from a connected computer and the rest is self-explanatory.
Alternatively, you can also use the Orbi mobile app. In this case, you need an account with Netgear to tie your mesh to. Now, you’ll be able to conveniently manage your network on your phone even when you’re out and about, at the risks of your privacy.
It’s worth noting that the app is quite well designed. It also comes with a visual network map and some handy tools, including a speedtest.net-based internet speed test, and a real-time WiFi Analytics section.
Standard feature set, Zero Wi-Fi settings
Like the case of the RBK852, the RBK752, specifically the RBR750 router, has a common set of network settings found in most home routers. These include QoS, Dynamic DNS, IP address reservation, port-forwarding, and so on.
There’s also a built-in OpenVPN server which will come in handy for those who travel a lot, and Traffic Meter that monitors and controls the Internet bandwidth.
And like most Netgear routers and mesh systems, the RBK752 comes with a short trial of Netgear Armor online protection. To use it, though, you’ll need to resort to the mobile app. Similarly, you can also opt for Netgear Circle by Disney Parental Control feature, another entire app.
Like most Netgear routers, and especially Orbi systems, the RBK752 is thin in Wi-Fi settings. There’s almost nothing you can do with it other than changing your Wi-Fi network’s name and password. But this is not exactly all bad. It makes life easier for those who want something they can set up and forget.
Netgear Orbi AX4200 (RBK752): Excellent performance
Without a multi-gig port, the RBK752 doesn’t have any chance to wow anyone in its sustained Wi-Fi 6 throughput. As it turned out, though, the mesh very well in my testing, even edging out the beefier cousin in certain tests.
Indeed, as a router, the RBR750 scored sustained speeds between some 710Mbps to 875Mbps to a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client, which had the negotiated connection of 1.2Gbps within the range of up to 40 feet (12 m) away.
Due to the lower Wi-Fi specs, the router didn’t do as well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, however. I used a 4×4 one at the close range (10 feet) test, and it had a sustained speed of some 660Mbps. At 40 feet away, my 3×3 client averaged some 600Mbps. Still, these are impressive numbers.
As a mesh system, the RBS750 did well, too. One thing to note right away that there was little signal loss. (I always test mesh systems in a wireless setup.)
You’ll note in the chart below that the sustained number of the satellite unit is quite close to those of the RBR750 router. That’s a clear sign of a strong wireless backhaul band.
The Orbi RBK752 registered about the same coverage as that of the RBK852. specially. The router unit, by itself, could handle some 2000 ft² (186 m²). And that means with two unit, you can expect to blanket a home of some 4000 ft2.
Of course, the actual coverage will vary depending on the environment. But it’s safe to say this set has a great range.
As a single router or a mesh system, the RBK752 passed my 4-day stress test with no issues at all. I used it as our main system, and there was nothing to complained about. That’s quite something since some individuals in my household tend to complain a lot.
The Netgear Orbi AX4200 (RBK752) Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System delivers a clearly better experience than the previous and much more expensive version, the RBK852. Part of that sure is because I tested the latter almost a year ago, likely with less refined software. (The RBK852 indeed works better now than I first tested it.)
But you can’t beat the price. At more than $200 less, the RBK752 is comparatively a steal. So, again, if you’re looking to get a full wireless mesh for a large home, this one is an easy recommendation.