Netgear Orbi RBK852 Review: The Ultimate Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System for Your Home

If you’re tired of sluggish internet speeds and spotty coverage, the Netgear Orbi RBK852 might just be your knight in shining armor. This mesh WiFi system harnesses the power of WiFi 6 technology to deliver blistering-fast speeds and seamless coverage throughout your home. With its sleek design and user-friendly setup, the Orbi RBK852 is poised to revolutionize your home network.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive deep into the features, performance, and user experience of the RBK852 to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your home. So, let’s get crackin’ and see what makes the Orbi RBK852 tick!

Quick Verdict

The Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a powerhouse WiFi 6 system, offering tri-band speeds up to AX6000—that’s up to 1200 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 2400 Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands. It’s designed to cover big homes, with a range of up to 5,000 sq. ft., making it perfect for households with high connectivity needs. Setup is a breeze with its user-friendly Orbi app, and it comes loaded with features like parental controls, guest networks, and Netgear Armor for enhanced security.

Although the price tag is high, the Orbi RBK852’s blend of speed, coverage, and advanced features justifies the investment for those looking for a top-notch home WiFi experience. Ideal for large homes filled with WiFi-hungry devices, this system aims to future-proof your home networking setup.

Pros and Cons 


  • Blazing-fast tri-band WiFi 6 speeds
  • Excellent coverage for large homes
  • Easy setup and management via Orbi app
  • Advanced features and security with Netgear Armor
  • Expandable with additional satellites and accessories


  • Expensive compared to some competitors
  • Large units may not blend seamlessly with all décor
  • Some advanced features require a separate web interface

Suitability and Overkill

While the Orbi RBK852 is the flagship model in Netgear’s mesh Wi-Fi product lineup and offers the best performance for larger homes, it may be overkill for those with internet speeds under 300 Mbps or smaller areas to cover.

For users with fast internet connections and no Ethernet, who also require extensive coverage, the Orbi RBK852 is a strong contender, although the Eero Pro 6 is recommended as the overall top pick for such scenarios.

Performance and Coverage

The Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a high-performing mesh Wi-Fi system that has been praised for its impressive Wi-Fi performance, particularly in terms of speed and range.

It is equipped with AX6000 Tri-Band radios, capable of delivering up to 1200 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2400 Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands, one of which is dedicated to wireless backhaul.

This system is designed to provide extensive Wi-Fi coverage, with a 2-pack covering up to 5,000 sq. ft., a 3-pack up to 7,500 sq. ft., and a 4-pack up to 10,000 sq. ft..

Netgear RBK852 – Unboxing and Design

Upon unboxing the Netgear Orbi RBK852, you’ll find the following components:

  • 1 Orbi Router (RBR850)
  • 1 Orbi Satellite (RBS850)
  • 2 Power adapters
  • 1 Ethernet cable
  • Quick start guide and documentation

The Netgear Orbi units feature a sleek, modern design with a white and gray color scheme. The router and satellite are identical in appearance, with a tall, oval-shaped body and a matte finish. The units are well-built and feel sturdy, with ventilation grilles on the top and back to prevent overheating.

Compared to other premium mesh systems like the Eero Pro 6 or Asus ZenWiFi AX, the RBK852 has a more substantial and noticeable presence. However, the design is still relatively unobtrusive and should blend well with most home decor styles.

Netgear Orbi RBK852 – Hardware Specifications

Under the hood, the Netgear Orbi RBK852 packs some impressive hardware:

  • WiFi Standard: WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax)
  • Speed: AX6000 (1200 + 2400 + 2400 Mbps)
  • Processor: Quad-core 2.2GHz processor
  • Memory: 512MB NAND flash and 1GB RAM
  • Antennas: 8 high-performance internal antennas per unit
  • Ports (Router): 1x 2.5Gbps WAN, 4x 1Gbps LAN
  • Ports (Satellite): 4x 1Gbps LAN
  • Coverage: Up to 5,000 square feet (2-pack)

The RBK852’s tri-band WiFi 6 technology is a standout feature, enabling faster speeds, lower latency, and better performance in congested environments. The 2.5Gbps WAN port is also notable, futureproofing the system for ultra-high-speed internet plans.

Compared to the Netgear Orbi RBK752, the RBK852 offers higher speeds (AX6000 vs AX4200) and an additional 1Gbps LAN port on the router. However, the RBK752 is a more affordable option that still delivers excellent performance for most households.

Setup and Software

Setting up the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a breeze thanks to the user-friendly Orbi app (available for iOS and Android) and web interface. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Connect the Orbi router to your modem using the included Ethernet cable.
  2. Power on the router and wait for the LED to turn solid white.
  3. Place the Orbi satellite in a central location, ideally halfway between the router and the farthest area you want to cover.
  4. Power on the satellite and wait for the LED to turn solid blue, indicating a strong connection to the router.
  5. Download the Orbi app or visit to complete the setup process, including creating an admin password and customizing your WiFi network name and password.

The entire setup process takes about 10-15 minutes, and the app guides you through each step with clear instructions and illustrations.

Once set up, the Orbi app and web interface offer a range of features and customization options:

  • Parental Controls: Set time limits, schedule internet access, and pause the internet for specific devices or profiles.
  • Guest Network: Create a separate WiFi network for guests with customizable settings and time limits.
  • Traffic Meter: Monitor your monthly internet usage and set limits to avoid exceeding your data cap.
  • QoS (Quality of Service): Prioritize bandwidth for specific devices or applications to ensure optimal performance.
  • Security: Enable WPA3 encryption, set up a VPN, and monitor your network for potential threats with Netgear Armor (subscription required).

The Orbi app and web interface are intuitive and easy to navigate, with helpful explanations for each setting. However, some advanced features like QoS and VPN setup may require more technical knowledge.

Alternatives and Competitors

The RBK852 should not be confused with the slightly cheaper RBK750, which offers fewer spatial streams for 5 GHz clients. In comparison to newer models like the Wi-Fi 7-powered Netgear Orbi RBE973, the RBK852 may not reach the same high speeds or offer the same advanced features, such as multiple 10 Gbps Ethernet ports. 

Compared to the Netgear Orbi RBK752, which retails for around $329, the RBK852 offers higher speeds (AX6000 vs AX4200), an additional Ethernet port, and slightly better performance. However, the RBK752 is still an excellent choice for most homes and provides better value for money.

While the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is undoubtedly a top performer, it’s not the only mesh system vying for your attention. Some notable competitors include:

  • Eero Pro 6: Another tri-band WiFi 6 mesh system with a user-friendly app and built-in Zigbee smart home hub.
  • Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8): A powerful tri-band mesh system with advanced features like VPN Fusion and robust parental controls.
  • TP-Link Deco X90: A more affordable WiFi 6 mesh option that still delivers impressive speeds and coverage.

While these alternatives each have their strengths, the Orbi RBK852 remains a top pick for its dedicated backhaul, 2.5Gbps WAN port, and advanced features like Netgear Armor security make it a compelling choice for users who prioritize performance and future-proofing.

User Experience and Reliability

Netgear Orbi RBK852 is incredibly user-friendly and reliable. The Orbi app and web interface made it easy to set up and manage the network, with helpful prompts and explanations for each feature.

Some users have reported issues with the RBK852, such as slower speeds compared to the previous year, devices losing connection, and the need to frequently reboot or reestablish connections. However, these issues may be resolved with troubleshooting steps such as factory resets, adjusting settings, or ensuring proper placement away from other electronics.

Some users reported minor issues with the Orbi app’s responsiveness and occasional hiccups with the guest network feature, but these were relatively rare occurrences.

Security and Support

The RBK852 comes with Netgear’s Armor security package to protect connected devices from online threats. However, the support policy is limited to 90 days, which may not be sufficient for all users.

Netgear’s customer support is generally responsive and helpful, with a comprehensive knowledge base, active community forums, and 24/7 phone and chat support. However, some users have reported longer wait times and inconsistent support quality, particularly during peak hours.


At a retail price of around $399 for the two-pack, the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is undoubtedly a premium mesh WiFi system. However, its top-tier performance, extensive coverage, and advanced features justify the cost for households with demanding connectivity needs.

Ultimately, the RBK852’s value depends on your specific needs and budget. If you have a large home, multiple high-bandwidth devices, and a gigabit (or faster) internet plan, the RBK852 is a worthwhile investment. However, if you have a smaller space or more modest connectivity needs, a lower-priced mesh system like the RBK752 or Asus ZenWiFi AX may be a better fit.

See also:


The Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a top-of-the-line mesh WiFi system that delivers exceptional performance, coverage, and features. Its tri-band WiFi 6 technology, dedicated backhaul, and 2.5Gbps WAN port make it an excellent choice for households with demanding connectivity needs and future-proofing concerns.

While the RBK852’s price may be a barrier for some users, its impressive real-world performance and user-friendly interface justify the cost for those who prioritize a seamless, reliable home WiFi experience. The system’s extensive coverage, fast speeds, and advanced features like Netgear Armor security make it a standout choice in the premium mesh WiFi market.

If you have a large home, multiple high-bandwidth devices, and a fast internet plan, the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a worthwhile investment that will provide a robust, reliable WiFi network for years to come. However, if you have more modest needs or a tighter budget, consider alternative options like the Netgear Orbi RBK752 or Asus ZenWiFi AX.


Is the Netgear Orbi RBK852 easy to set up?

Yes, the RBK852 is very easy to set up using the Orbi app or web interface. The process takes about 10-15 minutes and requires no technical expertise.

How many devices can the RBK852 support?

The RBK852 can support up to 100 connected devices, making it suitable for even the most device-heavy households.

Does the RBK852 come with a warranty?

Yes, the RBK852 comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty and 90 days of complimentary technical support.

Can I use the RBK852 with my existing modem?

Yes, the RBK852 is compatible with most cable, DSL, and fiber modems. Simply connect the Orbi router to your modem using an Ethernet cable.

Does the RBK852 support wired backhaul?

Yes, the RBK852 supports both wireless and wired backhaul. You can connect the router and satellite using an Ethernet cable for even better performance and stability.

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