Editors Choice. Technology Product of The Year Netgear Orbi AC3000


Netgear Orbi AC3000


In the world of internet hardware, Netgear is the undisputed standard with an array of products that run the gamut from modems and routers to devices like the one I have spent a better part of a year with, a signal enhancer called the Orbi.  The Orbi functions like a modem but with 3 bands of Wi-Fi using both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequency.  The exact model I have been using is the AC3000 which comes in a dual pack and promises a 5,000 square feet range throughout your home.

My home is slightly over 3000 square feet with 3 levels and I have every connected device imaginable from multiple VR-capable desktop computers, laptops, a PS4, an Xbox One, multiple Macs, multiple network-capable receivers , multiple mobile phones, smart watches, Wi-Fi glasses, you name it.  I basically live in a networked oasis and I have enjoyed putting the AC3000 through to use.  I have Comcast for my high-speed internet connection at their highest speed available which gets me about 200 Mbps to 250 Mbps.  The challenge prior to the Orbi was maintaining speed and also getting good, consistent access.  The Orbi alleviates that and with multiple units, I can connect devices on multiple levels to the units and not suffer a downgrade.

I use to get around 10 Mbps on my Xbox One that is placed a floor below my modem and now I get a range of 50 Mbps – 100 Mbps when downloading games. I have over 150 games on a 4TB hard drive so one can imagine how much downloading I’m doing.  Playing online is also great and games like Call of Duty and Madden are seamless.  I also travel a lot so having access to my files remotely is a huge issue.  I hooked up Plex to one of my gaming system builds and have it connected to the Orbi.  While I was in Europe and Asia I was able to access my video and music content and stream it with decent quality.

When having a server, one needs to have good connectivity and the Orbi did not fail there either.  I simply have not been able to part with the Orbi which, for a high usage person like myself, has been the ultimate must-have technology for the home.  As more things become connected I could only see the need for the Orbi growing.  The Orbi is capable of 1 Gbps through Ethernet but most households don’t have that capability yet. The primary issue is getting a great signal and download speed while you have so many things connected and in that arena, the Orbi passes with flying colors.  The Orbi AC3000 costs $399.99 and is available through most electronic retail outlets.  For more info, visit www.netgear.com.