I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
We recently reviewed Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi RBK752 and found that Eero was better in nearly every way. However, we also noted in that review that RBK852 was a superior mesh router, so how will it fare here with Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi AX6000?
AX6000 refers to the specific speed and hardware of the Orbi models, and there are actually three that fit the bill: RBK852, RBK853, and RBS850. Not only will we review Orbi AX6000 vs Eero Pro 6, but we’ll also tell you the difference between these three Orbi models so that you know which is best for you.
We are going to compare these based on speed, reliability, distance, software, and any other differences that we can find.
Read on and find out which mesh router is best for your home.
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a mesh router is speed. You want to make sure that you can stream movies, play games, and load files as quickly as possible. While mesh routers tend to be a little slower because they are focused on increasing range, they are still very fast as long as you have a good internet plan.
Always keep in mind that mesh routers can’t improve your speed. If your plan is 500Mbps, then don’t expect higher speeds than that.
We know this is a review of Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi RBK852, but in this section it’s really AX4200 vs AX6000, respectively. Both of these refer to router standards and protocols and are known for different speeds.
Eero Pro uses the AX4200 standard and is capable of gigabit speeds, or 1Gbps. However, remember that with mesh routers the speed is spread out and thus reduced, so you can expect closer to 500-750Mbps in a realistic test.
Orbi RBK852 uses AX6000 and is capable of beyond gigabit speeds. This can work with up to 2.5Gbps plans. Once again, you’re not going to get speeds of 2.5Gbps spread evenly across all the nodes, but you can expect over 1Gbps in most cases.
If you have gigabit speed, then we highly recommend Orbi AX6000. If you have a slower plan, then weigh your options. Eero Pro AX4200 might be the better option for it as it’s more affordable and the speed might be nearly the same.
Reliability and Switching
Things are going to turn around in this section. Switching refers to one a different node takes over. You may not experience this with stationary devices (like desktops or gaming consoles) but you will notice it with mobile devices like tablets, phones, and laptops.
Switching means that you are now receiving bandwidth from a different node. Sometimes this process is seamless and you won’t notice the connecting cutting off, or it could be a few seconds until the new node starts feeding your device a signal.
Eero’s signature strength is switching. It’s what these mesh routers are known for. Eero Pro 6 happens to be one of the best, but the whole line is known for seamless and rapid switching. Sure, there will be the occasional lag, but it’s very rare. You should have no problem using the internet even if you’re walking back and forth in your home.
What about Orbi RBK853 or any of the other models? Netgear Orbi AX6000 is pretty good at switching as well. You might notice a few seconds where the connection is weak or cuts, but it should pick right back up. It’s not quite as efficient as Eero here, but we can’t say that it’s bad either.
This is a classic example of great vs best.
Orbi is great, but Eero is the best here. If there’s lots of movement in your home with devices going in every which way, then Eero will be more accommodating to your lifestyle.
Mesh routers are ideal for extending the WiFi range in your home. They work by having one main node (also known as the router or gateway node) that feeds a signal to the other nodes (also known as satellites or secondary nodes). This effectively increases the WiFi range to ensure that everyone gets a strong signal.
As a general rule of thumb, having more nodes means more distance. Every node increases the range. While you can connect one node to another, it’s best if the gateway node is in the center and the other nodes on opposite sides. Otherwise the signal strength might suffer.
That being said, which mesh router is better?
Eero Pro 6 Range
The most popular Eero set is the Eero Pro 6 3-pack, so we’ll cover that one. This set covers 6,000sqft, which should be enough for many people. If that’s too big, then consider getting the Eero Pro 6 1-pack for 2,000sqft or the Eero Pro 6 2-pack for 4,000sqft. In general, it’s 2,000sqft per node.
- Amazon Eero 1 Pack: 2,000 sqft
- Amazon Eero 2 Pack: 4,000 sqft
- Amazon Eero 3 Pack: 6,000 sqft
Orbi AX6000 Range
How does Orbi compare?
This is where all the different model names come into play. Unlike Eero, where they designate how many nodes you’re getting, Netgear decided to give their 1, 2, and 3 pack different model names. So, let’s go through all of them to see how the distance compares.
- Netgear Orbi RBS850: 2,500sqft (1 router)
- Netgear Orbi RBK852: 5,000sqft (1 router, 1 satellite)
- Netgear Orbi RBK853: 7,500sqft (1 router, 2 satellites)
While we’d prefer more consistent naming like with Eero, we can’t debate about the superior distance here. Netgear wins the battle overall.
Both models are good in this regard, but Netgears has better distance. That being said, many people will find that Eero still suits their needs. Remember to compare their costs to see which is the better value.
Orbi AX6000 vs Eero Pro 6: Software
When it comes to software many mesh routers have an app and web-based system. The app is ideal for controlling the routers through your phone while the web-based system works from your desktop or laptop (or phone too through the browser, but why use that when you can use an app?).
This is very similar to our Eero vs Orbi RBK752 review, so check that out if you want to see more.
In general, Eero excels with their app. Not only is it one of the best apps we’ve ever seen, but it also gives you lots of control. You can group devices by name or function, pause the network for specific devices or groups, make guest networks, and so much more. Plus, there are lots of advanced features as well that you’re sure to love.
You can also check bandwidth usage and see if any nodes aren’t outputting bandwidth (which makes troubleshooting problems much easier). You get similar features with other models, as you can see in our Eero Pro 6 vs Eero 6: Plus review.
Unfortunately though, we can’t say anything about the Eero desktop system. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that there isn’t one. We aren’t really disappointed since the app is so good, but some people might dislike this.
Let’s check out Orbi AX6000. It’s basically the same as Orbi AX4200, which is to say that the app is really bad. The layout is awful, it rarely loads properly, you don’t get enough controls, and it takes forever to load. We’re surprised they even released an app like this, it’s that bad.
Thankfully the web-based system is pretty good, so that’s a saving grace. Netgear actually gives you a lot of features with the web-based interface, so many that we’d actually recommend this for power users who want advanced control over their routers. Plus, it’s actually pretty easy to use. We’re surprised it’s so lopsided, but we suggest using your desktop or laptop with Netgear Orbi.
Overall we want to give the win to Eero here. Not only because the app is easier to use, but we have a feeling that most people would prefer using their devices to control their routers. But, if you’re a power user and want really deep control of your mesh routers, then Orbi might be better for you.
Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi AX6000: Design
In this section we’re going to compare the design aesthetically and functionally.
Aesthetically you’ll find that Eero has a sophisticated, upscale design that looks fantastic. Whether it’s the Eero pro 6 or any other model, these routers have a shiny white finish, rounded corners, and a modern design that lets them fit anywhere. Plus, their small size is convenient when you’re installing the routers.
Orbi’s aesthetic is OK. It’s very tall and harder to position, but it’s better than some other routers we’ve seen. Honestly, it looks more like a wireless speaker than a router, but overall it’s alright. Not the worst router we’ve seen, but definitely not the best (that honor goes to Eero).
Functionally they are similar, but Orbi RBK852, RBK853, and RBS850 are somewhat better.
It really comes down to ethernet ports, and it’s another reason why we suggest Netgear Orbi for power users.
The Pro Eero comes with two ethernet ports per node, which is pretty good. However, Orbi doubles that with four ports per node. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the main router or a satellite, they all have four ports.
If you find yourself always needing more ethernet ports, then Orbi is the way to go. But, if you never use them, then Eero looks better and its design makes it easier to install.
What is the Difference Between Eero Pro 6 vs Netgear Orbi AX6000?
These two are very effective mesh routers, but they serve very different needs and were made with completely different populations in mind.
If speed and power are your thing, then the Netgear Orbi AX6000 line is your best bet. These routers have better speeds by a large margin, better distance, double the ethernet ports, and a very advanced web-based system that power users will love.
However, if you prefer a more set-it-and-forget it solution, or you’re setting up a mesh network for your family, then Eero Pro 6 is better for you. The speed is good, the switching is fantastic, the app is very easy to use and comprehensive, the routers are extremely easy to install, and the design makes these routers easier to position. Plus, Eero comes with built-in parental controls.
We also suggest that you consider your internet service plan before purchasing a mesh router. If you are paying for gigabit speed, then you want a mesh router system that really gives you all that speed and power. Orbi is better in that regard. If you have a smaller plan, then either router might be better for you depending on your other preferences.
What’s the Difference Between Netgear Orbi RBK853 vs RBK852 vs RBS850?
We covered this above, but figured it deserved its own section (just in case you missed it). These three Netgear mesh routers have completely different model names, but they’re not as different as you may think.
Each model has a different number of nodes. Speed won’t increase with more nodes, but distance and ethernet ports will.
RBS850 has 1 gateway node, 4 ethernet ports, and covers 2,500 sqft. RBK852 has 1 gateway node and 1 satellite node, 8 ethernet ports, and covers 5,000 sqft. RBK853 has 1 gateway node and 2 satellite nodes, 12 ethernet ports, and covers 7,500 sqft.
We would say the biggest thing to consider is distance. Consider how much coverage you need and buy appropriately.
Which is Best?
We’re going to quickly compare the Eero Pro 6 3-Pack vs Orbi AX600 models to show you which is best. We are picking the 3-pack because it’s the most popular and readily available, plus we feel that it’s the most useful of the bunch.
- Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi RBS850: Eero has better range, more overall ports, looks better, and better app, Orbi is better price and faster speed
- Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi RBK852: Eero has a better design, better app, more user-friendly, and better price, Orbi is faster and has more advanced controls, distance is similar between them
- Eero Pro 6 vs Orbi RBK853: Eero has better design, better app, more user-friendly, and better price, Orbi is faster, more distance, and more advanced controls
So, which one is better here? That’s hard to say because they each cater to different people. In many ways we prefer Eero. It looks much better, is easier to install, has a much better app, and is amazing with switching.
However, Orbi was made for power, and those with gigabit speeds would likely prefer Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 AX6000. You want to enjoy the speed that you’re paying for, and that makes sense. Plus, the controls are more advanced and you get more ports.
So, which one is right for you? Be sure to let us know.