Netgear’s Orbi 860 mesh routers are a more affordable option for multi-gig internet

But they’re still very expensive.


Netgear already offers one of the few mesh WiFi router systems that can fully support multi-gigabit internet access, but the minimum $1,500 outlay rules it out for most homes. Thankfully, there's now a much more affordable option. The brand has introduced Orbi 860 series mesh routers that offer the 10Gbps Ethernet of the 960 line, but with tri-band WiFi 6 instead of the higher-end model's quad-band WiFi 6E. You can also buy a stand-alone router if you don't need extensive coverage.

The design is familiar if you've seen the Orbi 850, but a new antenna system promises more range and real-world speed than the earlier model. You could see higher performance on the edge of your network. Both the router and its satellites have four Ethernet connections in total, although wired links are limited to 1Gbps on satellite units. Netgear claims up to 8,000 square feet of coverage with a full mesh.

The core router, the RBR860S, is available now in the US for $430, with a similar price for individual satellites. A bundle with the router and two satellites costs $1,100. This is still pricey when an alternative like the Eero Pro 6E costs 'just' $699 for a three-pack. However, Netgear is clearly aiming the Orbi 860 at a different audience — this is for people who want to be ready for next-generation internet service and are willing to pay a (reasonable) premium.