The router with endless options
If you're looking for the full set-up to make your home smarter, Orbi is the router for you. With expansions to give you some speakers and voice commands, it's quite the catch. Prices are a bit high, but worth it if it the perks are what you're looking for.
- Up to 5,000 square feet of coverage.
- Orbi Voice is available as expansion.
- More LAN ports.
- No speaker.
- Not compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Upgrade your home with Smart commands
It's the same Orbi RBK50 router, except this time with a satellite that's got a speaker and voice command abilities. Upgrade your home with your favorite music and Smart controls.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Speaker system.
- Saves you $200 from buying as an expansion.
- Only 4,500 square feet of coverage.
Netgear Orbi RBK50 vs Orbi RBK50V tech specs
Abilities are one thing, but the specs are where the real decisions usually are. Here's a look at what's under the hood.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Orbi RBK50||Orbi RBK50V|
|Coverage||5,000 sq ft||4,500 sq ft|
(1733 + 867 + 400Mbps)
(867 + 867 + 400Mbps)
|Frequency||2.4 GHz, 5 GHz||2.4 GHz, 5 GHz|
|Wireless standards||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
|Ports||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|Ethernet||Router: 1 WAN, 3 LAN|
Satellite: 4 LAN
|Router: 1 WAN, 3 LAN|
Satellite/Speaker: 2 LAN
Before we get too deep into comparing the features, I want to note that your Orbi RBK50V package comes with the RBK50 router. This means the only thing you're sacrificing is the satellite that comes with the RBK50 package, and instead, you're getting the speaker satellite known as the Voice. Compared to the original satellite, the Voice will give you 500 less square feet of Wi-Fi coverage as well as an AC2200 standard instead of the AC3000. As you can see above, the AC200 offers 1,046 fewer Mbps at 867Mbps for the first band, but the other two still remain exactly the same. This means you'll get slightly less backhaul performance, but the other bands will deliver the same performance.
Other than the notable difference in specs between the two types of satellites you could get with the RBK50 router, there are a few physical differences you'll see as well. For example, the standard satellite comes with four LAN ports for you to use, while the Orbi Voice only has two LAN for you. However, since they both carry the same router, you'll still have the compatibility of a USB port, regardless of which one you decide is right for you. Not just that, but they both offer the same amount of memory as well.
What this decision comes down to are the satellite feature differences between the two packages. Since you'll be getting the same router regardless, you want to compare what they're capable of doing to see if it fits your tastes. The Orbi RBK50 Voice package comes with one RBK50 router and one Voice. The Voice is a speaker system that also has mics inside to be able to take voice commands that are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This means you could tell the Orbi Voice to turn off the lights in your kitchen, for instance, and it will.
Really, the only difference between these two packages is the square footage they're able to cover. While you can get the Orbi Voice is $110 more than the standard package, you'll actually be saving money in the long run, since the Voice itself is actually offered as an expansion for $300. That means for $200 less (when you consider the package is only $100 more), you could get the Voice package and only miss out on 500 square feet of coverage. However, you gain all of the abilities of the Voice, mentioned above, plus the ability to play your favorite music with a steady connection speed. So if you're willing to sacrifice that coverage, you get more features.
Our pick for smarter homes
Great Wi-Fi, smarter home
With 4,500 square feet of coverage and mesh tri-band performance, it's easy to see why Orbi Voice is a great choice. You'll upgrade your internet speeds while upgrading your home with voice commands to other Smart devices.
Our pick for covering your ground
Mesh Tri-band for performance
With this mesh system, you get 5,000 square feet of coverage and up to 3.0Gbps on your internet speed. There are eight total Ethernet ports between the router and satellites, and even the ability to take it a step further with the indoor and outdoor expansions.
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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.