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Netgear Orbi RBK50 vs. Netgear Orbi RBK33: Which should you buy?

Netgear Orbi RBK50 vs Orbi RBK33 tech specs

While most of these specs appear to be similar, there are a couple of notable features you should check out.

Orbi RBK50Orbi RBK33
Coverage5,000 sq ft5,000 sq ft
PerformanceAC3000
(1733 + 867 + 400Mbps)
AC2200
(866+866+400Mbps)
Frequency2.4 GHz, 5 GHz2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Wireless standardsRadio 1: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 256QAM support

Radio 2: 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz, 256QAM support

Radio 3: 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz, 256QAM support
Radio 1: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 256QAM support

Radio 2: 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz, 256QAM support

Radio 3: 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz, 256QAM support
ProcessorQualcomm IPQ4019Quad-Core
MU-MIMOYesYes
Memory4GB Flash
512MB RAM
Router: 4GB Flash and 512MB RAM
Satellite: 256MB Flash and RAM
PortsUSB 2.0No USB
EthernetRouter: 1 WAN, 3 LAN

Satellite: 4 LAN
Router: 1 WAN, 3 LAN
Satellite has none
BeamformingYesYes

Performance

While the Orbi RBK50 offers AC3000, the RBK33 offers AC200. As you can see above, the AC200 offers 1,046 fewer Mbps at 867Mbps for the first band, but the other two remain the same. This means you'll get slightly less backhaul performance, but the other bands will remain the exact same.

On top of this, the plugin satellites with the RBK33 have significantly less memory at 256MB Flash and RAM then what's offered in the RBK50. While the routers themselves have the same memory, the satellites in the RBK50 offer 4GB Flash and 512MB RAM. So with the RBK50, you get that additional room.

The only other difference that's important to note is that the RBK50 satellites will require shelf space and, while it doesn't take up much space, it might be unappealing if you like your routers invisible. In this case, the RBK33 would be a better option for you. With that one, you can just plug the device into your wall and forget it exists.

Features

The Orbi RBK50 router has a built-in USB 2.0 that you can use for ReadyShare or compatible external hard drives. With ReadyShare you can print directly from your phone, laptop, or computer as long as they're all connected through the same Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, the Orbi RBK33 doesn't have a compatible USB port on the router or either of the satellites that come in the package. This only leaves you out of ReadyShare and more memory expansions, but if you're not one to use too much memory in your routers anyway you'll be just fine (most people only use the router space to store image files or computer backups).

One of the amazing things about both of these routers is the Parental Control options they both have. This is run through Disney Smart Parental Controls, which allows you to manage content and Wi-Fi times on any device connected to your network. Not only that, but all of your internet is managed by one Wi-Fi Network for your entire home, under one name.

Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.