If you have been keeping up, then you may be aware that Netgear has taken some serious steps in the smart router industry. This is because of the latest features that are present in their products which make them as fast as a rocket. The Netgear Orbi comes with beam forming, MU-MIMO which makes it reliable even when multiple devices are connected and voice assistant support while the Netgear Orbi Pro comes with a 2.4 + 5 + 5 tri-band configuration, WiFi dead zone reduction as well as an aesthetically pleasing Ring Chime vs. Chime Prodesign. Which of the two routers reigns supreme? We will compare the two smart routers against each other and help you make a judgment as to which device offers the best performance.
Alternatively, just skip to either the Orbi or the Orbi Pro on Amazon.
Table of Contents
Netgear Orbi vs. Netgear Orbi Pro Comparison Table
|Feature||Netgear Orbi||Netgear Orbi Pro|
|Wired Connectivity||Four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports|
One WAN, and three LAN
One USB 2.0 port Orbi Satellite Four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports One USB 2.0 port
|Four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports|
One WAN, and three LAN
Orbi Pro Satellite
Four 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
|Wireless Connectivity||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Tri-band Wi-Fi radios,|
Simultaneous 2.4GHz, 5GHz
|IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Tri-band Wi-Fi radios,|
Simultaneous 2.4GHz, 5GHz
|Radio 1||IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz–256QAM||IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz–256QAM|
|Radio 2||IEEE 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM||IEEE 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM|
|Radio 3||IEEE 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM||IEEE 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz–256QAM|
|Coverage||5000 square feet – with a router (1) and a satellite (1)||5000 square feet – with a router (1) and a satellite (1)|
|Reduces Wi-Fi Dead Zones||Yes||Yes|
|Google Assistant Support||Yes||No|
|Bridge Mode||Yes – default router mode||Yes – default Access Point (AP) mode|
|LAN, WAN||3 Gigabit, 1 Gigabit||3 Gigabit, 1 Gigabit|
|Subscription||Premium Circle app features|
Technical Support after 90-day free trial
|Technical Support after 90-day free trial|
|Dimensions (inches)||8.9” x 6.7” x 3.1”||6.8” x 9.7” x 3.3”|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Key Differences between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro
The key differences between these two devices are highlighted below:
- Default AP/Router Mode
- Add-On Satellites
- Maximum expansion and user connections
- Traffic separation
- Captive portal
- Wired connection
Key Similarities between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro
The key similarities between the two devices are highlighted below:
- Security protocol
- Number of radios
- Reduce dead zones
- FastLane3 Technology
A Comprehensive Comparison between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro Features
1. FastLane3 Technology
FastLane3 technology refers to a dedicated Wi-Fi backhaul that is present in both devices. This feature sets these routers apart from the other traditional routers on the market because when a traditional router gets more devices added to it, it becomes slower and slower. The Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro maintains lightning fast speeds even when several devices are connected to it. This backhaul guarantees a fast, dedicated wireless connection between the Netgear Orbi or Netgear Orbi Pro router and the satellites. This ensures that your home or workplace experiences amazing Wi-Fi speeds that are capable of sustaining high-bandwidth loads such as 4K streaming and gaming.
2. Wi-Fi Dead Zones
A mesh network format is used with these devices – the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. Through the strategic placement of satellites, these devices help to reduce Wi-Fi dead zones. This allows for a seamless experience for the users using the Wi-Fi network.
3. Tri-Band Technology
Both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro come with tri-band technology. They have the 2.4GHz, and two 5GHz bands. The 2.4GHz and one GHz band are used to provide a high speed connection. This connection has a theoretical throughput of around 1.2Gbps. The third band is used just for backhaul and is used to take some of the load from the main network. This ensures that there is a very strong connection between the router and its connected devices. This allows the devices to offer excellent network speeds.
4. Multiple User Multiple Input Output (MU-MIMO)
This is a feature that is common to both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. This technology feature allows for the network to be able to transmit data among multiple devices. The routers that use the MU-MIMO technology provide a better network with a stable and consistent network. This allows for the connected devices not to compete for the network but instead to share the same frequency without any drop of speed.
5. Smart Home Support
This is yet another feature that is common to both devices. Both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro allow smart home support. This gives your smart home as well as all of the connected devices a reliable, consistent and speedy connection. To use this feature, what is required is a smart Wi-Fi router as well as a Z-Wave Hub or a ZigBee device.
6. Wireless Connectivity
This is another attractive feature present in both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. This allows there to be a wire-free connection between the router and the satellites. As mentioned above, there are three radio bands, and two are used for data flow in the network. The third network is used to transmit frequencies that help in transmitting data from the device to the Orbi satellite and vice versa. This leaves you with much less clutter to deal with.
7. Bridge Mode
This is a feature common to both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. This allows you to use your router as a simple mesh WLAN. In order to do this, all that needs to be done is the manually change the settings to AP mode in the Netgear Orbi. The Netgear Orbi Pro comes in AP mode so there is nothing much to change in this case.
8. Ease of Installation
Both of these routers are quite easy to install and get ready to use. All that is need to be done is to take them out of their boxes and refer to the user guide. The very simple, well-crafted steps will help you get your router set up in no time.
9. Beam Forming Technology
This technology is present in both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. It allows for any signal to be beamed in a focused manner towards the device connected to the network. This allows for effective connectivity between the connected device and the router, thus, allowing for very fast internet speeds.
10. Default Mode
This is where the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro start to get different. The Netgear Orbi is made mainly for homes (though it can be used in businesses). It defaults to “router” mode during the installation process. If you want to change this setting, it is quite easy to do so. All you need to do is to navigate to advanced settings and activate the Access Point (AP) mode.
The Netgear Orbi Pro is made mainly for small businesses. This device defaults to the “AP” mode during the installation process. If you want to change this setting, just like with the Netgear Orbi, all you need to do is to navigate to the settings and change it to function as your primary router.
11. Add-On Satellites
The Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro function as a mesh network. This means that they rely on satellites in order to expand their coverage. The default Netgear Orbi satellite is an add-on. This will expand the network by up to 2400 square feet, and allows for you to connect more wired devices using the included 4 Ethernet ports.
Other options include the:
- Netgear Orbi voice add-on Wi-Fi satellite and smart speaker
- Netgear Orbi Outdoor satellite
- Netgear Plug In satellite
The Netgear Orbi Pro comes with limited options. The default Netgear Pro satellite is an add-on. The only alternative to this is the Netgear Orbi outdoor satellite. The Netgear Orbi Pro will not work with the regular Netgear Orbi satellites.
12. Maximum User Connections and Expansion
The Netgear Orbi can support up to 1 main router and 3 satellites. This is more than adequate for its intended market i.e. the residential market. In addition, only 20 connections are allowed at any given time.
The Netgear Orbi Pro can support more devices. It can support up to 40 device connections at any given time. This is quite adequate for an office environment.
13. Traffic Separation
This is where the gap between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro starts to widen. The Netgear Orbi allows for you to have a personal network as well as a guest Wi-Fi network. This helps separate the two networks to prevent the guest from getting full access to your private home network. The guest network is quite easy to set up.
The Netgear Orbi Pro shines in this application. It gives the ability to create up to 3 Wi-Fi networks with traffic separation. In the configuration settings, you will find the options for Admins, Employees and Guests. This allows you to create three different networks with three different purposes. Let us explore these networks.
This network is mainly for outsiders who enter the business premises and are given access to the Wi-Fi network for a limited time. This prevents the guests from hogging the Wi-Fi network with their endless downloads. In addition, this network requires agreements to particular terms and conditions which allows for you to protect your company and maintain the integrity of your network. This network can also be configured in such a way that it will not have any access to any critical infrastructure.
This network is there to provide internet access to the employees who work for your organization. This restricts access to critical network functions, and requires a SSID password to connect. This is an access control measure present to keep your business secure.
These are for the administrators. These networks administrators will have complete control over the network. These accounts are password protected. This allows your IT team to adjust the network as needed for maximum efficiency.
14. Parental Control
The Netgear Orbi is designed for residential applications. This means that kids need to be protected from visiting websites that are not appropriate for them. The Netgear Orbi allows for you, the parent, to get access to a host of features offered by the Circle App. This will need a premium subscription to unlock all of the features present. Without a subscription, you will get access to the basic features
In addition, you can pause your internet whenever you please, filter out inappropriate content, as well as monitor the browsing history on your children’s devices.
The Netgear Orbi Pro was developed for businesses so it comes with no parental controls.
Both the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro are designed quite beautifully. The Orbi Pro routers are designed with an excellent cooling system, with a fan that makes very little noise. The Netgear Orbi Pro does look better than the Netgear Orbi, but that is not much of a problem to most users.
Features to Consider when choosing between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro
1. Number of Users
You need to ask yourself how many users you would want to connect to the network. If there will be less than 20 users, then the Netgear Orbi may be a viable option. If there are more than 20, then the Netgear Orbi Pro may be a better option
If you want to use the router in the home, then you may find the Netgear Orbi as the best device for use. This is because is supports a wide variety of devices and comes with enough features to make it suitable for use at home.
If, however, you want a device to use at your small business then the Netgear Orbi Pro is the best device for this. This is because of the features it has such as offering support of up to 40 devices, and traffic separation.
If you are choosing between these two devices, and you have many children that will use the network, then the Netgear Orbi may be your best option. This is because of the very many parental controls that this device comes with that are unavailable in the Netgear Orbi Pro.
You need to consider how large your territory is. This will then guide you to choose between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro as they both have satellites that help extend the range. If you prefer using the satellites offered by the Netgear Orbi, then this will be the best option for you to choose.
This is a rather unimportant aspect to most consumers, but not all. If you want a really beautiful looking device, then go after the Netgear Orbi Pro. It is eye candy, and will definitely be appreciated by anyone who visits your offices, or place of residence.
The article explored the differences as well as the similarities between the Netgear Orbi and the Netgear Orbi Pro. We included a list of features that you will need to consider when choosing between the two. This will help you to choose which device will best suit your needs for your particular application.
We declared the winner to be the Netgear Orbi Pro. This is because the Netgear Orbi Pro can support up to 40 devices at a given time, it has the traffic separation feature in which you can create up to 3 Wi-Fi networks with three different purposes and it is more aesthetically pleasing than the Netgear Orbi.