Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Netgear’s “budget” Orbi RBK752 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Is Now Up for Grabs

Netgear RBK752 Mesh System
The new Orbi RBK752 Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system.

Looking for a new Wi-Fi 6 solution but can’t stomach the cost of Netgear’s Orbi AX6000 (model RBK852)? Here’s some good news. Starting today, you can find the networking vendor’s less expensive Wi-Fi 6 alternatives, the Orbi AX4200 mesh system (RBK752).

READ NOW!  Netgear Orbi AX6000 (RBK852) Review: Great Wi-Fi for a Hefty Price

Netgear Orbi RBK752: A more affordable but stripped-down mesh

At the suggested price of some $450, the Orbi AX4200 aims to make the budget-minded happy. And it might do just that, but you do get what you pay for.

Two-piece hardware, wired backhaul support

Similar to the higher-end system, the new mesh is also a tri-band and includes two different hardware units, a router (model RBR750) and a satellite (RBS750). Going forward, there will be a 3-pack option (model RBK753) that includes one more satellite unit.

The two units share the same physical design, which is similar but slightly smaller than those of the RBK852’s, each measuring 9.1 x 7.2 x 2.8 inches (23.11 x 18.28 x 7.11 cm).

The only difference you can see between the two units is the fact the RBR750 includes three Gigabit LAN ports and a 1Gbps WAN port, while the RBS750 only has just two Gigabit LAN ports.

Like most Orbi sets, the new RBK752 aims to be a convenient system that allows users to extend Wi-Fi coverage in a large home wirelessly. However, for a wired home, you can use a network cable to link the hardware.

Netgear Orbi RBK752: Hardware specifications

Netgear Orbi RBK752s hardware specifications
Netgear Orbi RBK752’s hardware specifications.

Lesser hardware specs, no 160 MHz channel support

Like the case of the RBK852, the RBK752 also doesn’t support the venerable 160 MHz channel width. As a result, its two 5 GHz bands will have the ceiling speed of 2400 Mbps and 1200 Mbps, respectively.

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It’s important to note that the system’s faster 5 GHz band works as the dedicated backhaul, so in a wireless setup, the system caps at 1200 Mbps on the client-side.

This is the main difference that sets it apart of the RBK852, of which the front-haul 5 GHz band also caps at 2400 Mbps.

Another thing is the new mesh sports a 1.4 GHz processor, compared to much more powerful 2.2 GHz one of its more expensive predecessors.

And finally, the RBK752 has no multi-gig port at all. So overall, its Wi-Fi speeds will be significantly lower than the older cousin’s.

Netgear Orbi RBK752: The same feature set, no backward compatibility with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware

The Orbi RBK752 will come with Armor protection ready right out of the box. On top of that, it will share the same web interface and Orbi mobile app with previous Orbi sets.

It’s important to note that the new Wi-Fi 6 Orbi AX4200 doesn’t work with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware. So if you’re using an older Orbi set, like the RBK13, and want to upgrade, you won’t be able to re-use any of the existing hardware.

According to Netgear, the differences in the two Wi-Fi standards are too significant to make this work. But the hardware of the RBK752 and RBK852, both are Wi-Fi 6 equipment, will likely work with each other.

In a spending mood? (•)

Considering the Orbi RBK752’s hardware specs, it’s safe to say it will deliver the type of performance suitable for those living in a large home with a modest Internet connection. Check back in a while for its full review.

Update: The Orbi RBK752’s full review is available here.

42 thoughts on “Netgear’s “budget” Orbi RBK752 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Is Now Up for Grabs”

  1. Dong:

    A couple days ago I asked you a weird question about deciding between wifi 6 and tri-band. You suggested that I read through your wifi basics article. I read it and many of the the mesh network articles and product reviews. Your detailed information and willingness to provide thorough and specific advice is a rare pleasure. Thank you.

    After educating myself somewhat, I think that the best solution for me is tri-band wifi 6 mesh network. My situation is a large (4000 sq ft) area, over three floors with traditional walls, etc. My Comcast Xfinity modem/router (xFi Gateway 3rd Gen. XB7-T) is in a 2nd floor bedroom/study and I work out of my basement. [My wife has the study 🙁 ] I have two adult sons hunkered down working here too so lots of wifi use that often slows/drops. I have a Netgear wifi extender on the 1st floor that aggravates me more than it should.

    I do have nor do I want to install any cat wiring in my walls. I hope to downsize within 3-5 years. My ‘weird’ question was based on trying to keep cost down but I now realize that I need tri-band for dedicated wireless backhaul on one of the 5 GHz bands. I also want the wifi 6 to ‘future proof’. I figure the money and time that I save not wiring can be spent on the more expensive system.

    I read your info about the Linksys Velop MX4200, Asus ZenWiFi (XT8) and Netgear Orbi 75x system. I’ve settled on the Orbi RBK753S (Costco $499) as I feel I need the three devices (router in the study and satellites for 1st floor and basement). I realize that I won’t be able to set up a ‘star’ topology.

    My questions:
    – Does this decision seem correct? Am I missing anything or ‘mis-educated’ myself?
    – Is there a way to purchase through your site?
    – Should I consider replacing the Comcast gateway which becomes just an internet modem? I would do this if there’s a better alternative and would then eliminate the monthly fee.
    – If it makes sense to replace the gateway, any suggestions? I assume sticking with Netgear.
    – I currently have 300mbps service from Comcast. the current gateway can support 600mbps and ‘Gig speed’. Should I consider 600mbps (after checking what speeds the mesh network gives me?)

    Sorry for the long post. I like to be detailed. I really appreciate any advice or support that you can provide.

    Reply
    • You’re right on, Dan. I’d go with the RBK753. That will work out well. Yes, go ahead and upgrade your broadband (I just did myself). You likely still won’t get full Internet speed on the end-device, but that’s another story. But faster is always better when it comes to the Internet pipe.

      Reply
    • @Dong Ngo,
      Thanks. I just got back from Costco with the RBK753 for $430 (after $70 discount). Compared to $310 for the TP-link X60 3 pack, the extra $120 is worth getting Wifi 6 AND tri-band. Can’t wait to set it up.

      I’ll read the gigabit internet article before moving forward on the broadband upgrade to at least 600mbps. Since the Xfinity modem ‘is gigabit’, is there any need to replace it besides saving on monthly fee?
      Dan T

      Reply
  2. Great Info. Was between this rbk753s (3 pack from costco $430) vs the deco x60 (3 pack) for $300. I have a three level house (each level about 1700 sqaure feet including basement open concept). It is wired with cat5e for satelite backhaul if need be. Im coming from the previous version orbi which has been rock solid. Do you think the orbi is worth the price difference in my situation? Thanks!!

    Reply
  3. velop mx 12600 vs orbi rbk753 (both 3 unit packages). Which would you choose out of those 2 completely wireless setup) or would you go with something else entirely such as an Asus product or other? Curious as to why netgear hadn’t updated their mesh Nighthawk version and have only updated the Orbi brand recently.

    Reply
  4. Hello – Your site is terrific – so much information. I had initially decided to buy the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8, but no one seems to have it. I then settled on an Orbi RBK752 or RBK85x, but the privacy issue is a concern. I’m now thinking about getting an Asus GT-AX11000 and pairing it with a less expensive Asus to form a mesh system. Is that advisable? Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Hello:
    I have a few questions please.
    1) If I used CAT5 wire  to connect main router and satellite box, would I be able to make use of  the 3rd 5GHz band for my own WiFi usage OR is it solely for backhaul and it can not be used for front-haul traffic if not used for backhaul?

    2) Is there a way to FORCE 2.4G WiFi connection with ORbin router? My Ring Doorbell-2 does not have 5G Wifi support! So I need to firce it to 2.4G somehow! Else it would not connect right now.

    3) What does this mean? One can not link-aggregate? towards WAN? or towards use devices? 1 Gbps is max, is that what you mean? 
    >>> And finally, the RBK752 has no multi-gig port at all. So overall, its Wi-Fi speeds will be significantly lower than the older cousin’s.

    Thank yo uso much.
    Sam

    Reply
    • 1. No, the backhaul band of ANY Orbi will ALWAYS be backhaul, it will NEVER work as the front haul. This is why you want to use Orbi ONLY when you can’t wire your home. The system DOES support wired backhaul but it won’t use all bands for the front haul. At least that’s been the case up to now.
      2. You don’t need to force it, it’ll connect to the 2.4 GHz if it doesn’t work with the 5 GHz. Just make sure you use the same SSID (network name) for both bands, which is the default of any Orbi. Generally, folks are more worried about the other way around — when a client can work with both and still chooses to use the slower one.
      3. Link Aggregation means you can combine two network ports into a 2 Gbps connection, there are WAN LA and LAN LA, this Orbi has none.

      Reply
  6. Orbi RK753s vs. Nighthawk MK63 vs. Deco x60 – Backhaul handled by Moca 2.0 Adapters

    Hi Dong,

    I’m choosing between these 3 Wifi 6 Mesh systems and having trouble deciding.
    The prices at Costco vary quite a bit with recent/temporary sales: MK63 is $200, Deco X60 is $250, and Orbi is $440.
    I use Actiontec MOCA 2.0 adapters for backhaul so not sure how much tri-band gives me. I’d consider dumping the MOCA for simplicity if their some benefit. My wife would appreciate less devices and wires. Also, I have some switches for additional ethernet ports. This could go if I went with the Orbi which has enough ports for my wired devices.

    I’m not sure how much it matters but for the front-haul the Orbi is limited to 2×2 on the 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks. The Deco x60 is 4×4 on the 5ghz network which I assume can be used all for client communication since bachaul will be Moca 2.0.

    I have the MR63s installed right now. The wifi coverage on the patio goes up and down and it doesn’t switch to the closes satellite that smoothly. It’s not as bad as others have reported but would appreciate more stability. I have a smart home with around ~40 devices so lots of IP addresses that need to be assigned…with only more on the way.

    Would appreciate your input. I’m guessing that many Costco fanatics are struggling with a similar choice!

    Nitin

    Reply
    • If you have wired backhaul, Nitin, you shouldn’t get any Orbi. They are designed mostly for wireless-only situations. I’d go with the Deco X60 since you can daisy-chain wired backhaul with it (you can’t with the Nighthawk MK63 — it has just one LAN port on each unit.) Check the reviews (linked) for more. But it won’t be much better than the MK63. Also, don’t expect “magic”. Wi-Fi is more about setting it up correctly and hand-off (moving from one hardware unit to another) is ALWAYS hit or miss because it depends on SO many factors. In your situation, I’d check to make sure the MoCA backhaul works, the system might be in the wireless mode right now.

      Reply
      • To add:
        I am testing Nighthawk MK63 and mu issues have been: sudden speed degradation and wifi connection drop! Laptop gets much lower speeds than my cell phone. Even though we are NOT moving from that same room!

        In any case:
        I have CAT5 wire connections in the house. SO are you suggesting that I should NOT buy Orbi?

        For Orbi 753 or Deco X60 (same questions):

        1) Can I make a star topology between 2 satellites and 1 router hub? I mean connect each satellite directly over CAT5 onto back of main router?

        2) If CAT5 cable is not available at 1 location, can I connect 1 satellite over CAT5 to main router and let 2nd satellite connect/sync using wifi backhaul to main router?

        3) Seems like the additional 2.4Mbps 5G band can only be used for backhaul in Orbi BUT for Deco, it can ALSO be used for my usage, streaming. Is that true? That will be a HUGE PLUS I think.

        Thanks

        Reply
  7. Dong – Rocky again -forgot to mention that I have Cat6A cabling throughout the house. Monoprice Cat6A Solid 550mhz, UTP, CMR, Riser Rated, Pure Bare Copper, Wire, 10G, 23AWG are the specs.

    Now, I am reading that with this cable, I dont need a multigig which supports older cables with 2.5 to 5 gbps.

    So, the question is if my cables support 10g, what do I need from the modem to router (perhaps nothing) and from router to switch (TrendNet TEG-30284 which has 4 10G SFP+ ports) – one them I plugged 10f sfp+ copper transceiver but not plugged anything into it.

    Reply
  8. Hi Dong – Rocky here. Current setup GT-AX11000 primary and two XT8 nodes. Total cost with tax is $960. Still in return window. Costco is selling RBK753 (3 units) for $460 incl tax. While I have zero issues with Asus, I am torn between the extra $500 for Asus and fewer settings on Netgear. But, as far as speeds, shouldn’t both units register around similar speeds? Granted I will miss the multigig port which is on Asus but again – I am not having any real need for a multigig WAN or LAN port at the moment or for the next few yrs. In fact, I dont even know if multigig has any use in a traditional home setup. My home setup is wired backhaul. IF you were to make the decision, which way would you go?

    Reply
    • I can’t say one way or another, Rocky. Personally, I’d stay with the Asus. With the Orbi you’ll have to surrender your privacy, at all times. But $500 is a big saving. Tough call.

      Reply
          • Hello:

            Sorry, to make sure I understand what the he privacy concerns are:
            1) Netgear as a company will be able to “see” the traffic? Other comapny routers handle things differently?
            2) OR with NEtgear Other people/neighbors can tap into my wifi home network?

            thanks

            Reply
            • 1. Yes, if your router connects to a third party, that third party can see everything. What they choose to see or record is up to them as stated in their privacy policy. It’s up to you to trust them.
              2. #1. This is “security” you’re talking about and it’s a different thing.

              Reply
  9. Looking forward to your review. Reading that this has a limit of 40 connected devices. Hope this is incorrect as it would be quite limiting given how many connected devices we have in a home in this day and age.

    Reply
  10. Hi Dong, I just came across a good deal on this set at Costco. I was debating between this and the gryphon ac3000 for a 3 story 3000sq ft home. Which would you recommend more As far as speeds and ease of use.

    Reply
  11. Hi Dong,

    I recently purchased this to replace an old google wifi setup (3 pucks ac1200). I would be interested to see what your thoughts are for folks like me who are upgrading from an older mesh wifi system such as the original google wifi to this AX4200 or similar. Do you have plans to compare it to some of the older routers maybe with a performance graphic? Thanks in advance.

    – Faiz

    Reply
  12. Hi,

    I’ve been interested in your comments about this new system and especially in your thoughts regarding it in comparison to the ASUS ZenWifi AX XT8. One of those systems will be used to set up a home office for my daughter, who somewhat unexpectedly will be languishing in a back bedroom here at home while she takes her first-year law school classes at UC Berkeley online.

    I purchased an Orbi RBK753 set from Costco–and then almost immediately canceled the purchase when I read your review of the ASUS units. Nonetheless, the Costo order arrived today, while Amazon won’t be able to send me the ASUS set that I orderd until a week before classes begin. So: Should I return the unopened box to Costco and wait for the ASUS set?

    I understand that the RBK75x system is slower than the RBK85x devices that you reviewed, but I don’t know how that will compare to the ASUS units or if that difference will matter to me. I suppose that stability might matter more than speed (Zoom doesn’t seem very demanding), and any differences in the ability to move within the network might be unimportant given that she’ll be chained to a desk or at just a few other sites for most of the day. I’d appreciate any advice that you might offer.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Brian. The RBK75x is the same as the RBK85x except it comes with more modest hardware specs. (I’m in the process of requiring one for a review, by the way, things are slow considering what’s been happening). That said, unless you need top speed, you can have almost the same experience with it as you do the RBK85x. Compared to the ZenWiFi AX, the Orbi has way fewer features and settings (which can be a good thing since it’ll be much easier to use), but they probably have similar performance. It’s your call but you can always return the Orbi at a later time if you don’t like it. Costco’s return policy is pretty generous.

      Reply
  13. Hi Dong,

    Between this Netgear Orbi RBK752 and the Nighthawk AX11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Router, which one would you recommend buying?

    Reply
  14. I look forward to your review of his (RBK752, RBK753, RBR750, RBS750) as well as Netgear’s most affordable WiFi6 ‘mesh’, the Nighthawk MK62.

    Reply
    • Things are a bit slow due to severe shipping delays and other issues where I live, Eric. But stay tuned. 🙂

      Reply
  15. OK – thanks! My intent is to put one of the satellites in a downstairs office (almost directly beneath the main router), and the other satellite in one of the kid’s bedrooms to extend better wifi coverage to that end of the house. I will likely be connecting an unmanaged switch to one of the ports on the office satellite to feed several devices that require a wired connection (some lab equipment, and a few raspberry pi’s that I like to have a wired connection). Honestly, I don’t know where I would even need the Asus router – I think the wifi coverage improvements will be a big improvement and deploying the Asus will be a redundant piece in the system.

    Reply
    • You can use the Asus in the place of the switch, Jeff, in the AP mode. Just make sure you don’t place it too close to the Orbi Satellite.

      Reply
  16. Hello, love your site – so much useful info for researching my wifi solutions!

    I just have a question for you…

    I know this isn’t a full review, but I just ordered the RBK753 from Costco (includes 2 satellites). I am replacing an Asus RT-AX58U that has been giving me trouble. Would this router still be useful as a wifi to ethernet bridge if combined with this Orbi system? I may not need it if I place the 2 satellites appropriately, but I hate to just put this less-than-6 month old ASUS router out to pasture if it still can be useful…

    Thanks!

    Reply

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