Netgear's new Orbi Dual Band Mesh WiFi will take the strain of bigger homes

New mesh features satellites compatible with Alexa and Assistant

Netgear's Orbi Dual Band Mesh releases
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Netgear has announced a new member of its ever-expanding Orbi family, the Dual Band Mesh WiFi System, which works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

The system is comprised of one central router, and one or more satellites placed around the home, suitable for a floor-plan of 3,000 square feet or more.

Read next: Best mesh Wi-Fi systems

The integration with smart assistants means you'll be able to use your voice to control functions like enabling guest Wi-Fi, although the router or satellites don't actually pack their own microphones, so you'll need a smart speaker of your own.

The system also marks a departure in terms of design - previous Orbi systems have all had similarly curved looks, with towers and blue lights. The Dual Band Mesh system is, instead, more like a small, squat box, at 4.1 inches wide and 2.7 inches tall, with a textured top. It might be a little easier to hide in the background of a room, or on a shelf. It's a bit less futuristic-looking, basically, but in a potentially good way.

Netgear releases new Orbi Dual Band Mesh WiFi System

Netgear says the system can deliver combined speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, or 400Mbps each over 2.4GHz bands, if you're likely to be beaming that much content around your home, and it shouldn't creak under the strain of a family's simultaneous use. To that end, though, it also comes with built-in Circle Smart Parental Controls.

These will let you manage the screen time of any kids in your home by managing their ability to connect to the home Wi-Fi system. You'll also be able to set content filters for each individual user according to their age, or your inclinations.

Explainer: What is Wi-Fi 6?

The Orbi Dual Band Mesh WiFi System is available now from the official Netgear website, priced at $229.99 for a pack containing a router and two satellites. You'll also be able to pick up a pack with just one satellite, if desired, for $149.

That's quite a lot cheaper than Netgear's Orbi 6 system, its flagship mesh system, which costs far more, at $699, and indicates that Netgear's trying to break into wider slices of the market.




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