To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: An excellent but overpriced Wi-Fi 6 mesh

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £600
inc VAT

There’s little to fault with this user-friendly mesh, but it’s a questionable choice when you can get a Wi-Fi 6E system for less


  • Superb Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Tasteful, compact design
  • Mature management app and web portal


  • Won’t get the best from new 6E devices
  • No multi-Gigabit Ethernet
  • Price is very hard to justify

Netgear’s Orbi RBK752 mesh has been one of our favourite Wi-Fi systems of the past few years, offering strong Wi-Fi 6 speeds at a fairly palatable price. Now Netgear has unveiled its successor: the Orbi RBK763 has many similarities to the older mesh, but it brings a cleaner, more compact design and an upgraded radio configuration.

In terms of performance, and general user experience, it’s a hit. Unfortunately, the launch price is very high: competing meshes offer more than adequate performance for a lot less money, and that even includes some Wi-Fi 6E-enabled systems. That means there aren’t many scenarios in which the Orbi RBK763 is the best candidate.

Buy now from Netgear

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: What you need to know

The Orbi RBK763 is a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system with three stations; Netgear claims these will provide enough coverage to reach seven rooms, over an area of around 560m². For less spacious abodes, there’s the cheaper RBK762 package, which includes only two units and is recommended for up to five rooms or 460m².

Each station has three Wi-Fi radios – one 2.4GHz transmitter for low-bandwidth connections plus a pair of 5GHz radios, dedicated respectively to client and backhaul connections. It’s the same basic configuration as the RBK752, but the hardware has been boosted: where the older mesh supported a maximum client connection speed of 1.2Gbits/sec, the RBK763 can go up to 2.4Gbits/sec on both the client and backhaul networks.

READ NEXT: The best broadband provider

Practically speaking, that’s all that’s changed. There’s still a glowing LED strip at the front of each unit to show its status; at the rear there are still four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the primary router unit, with the satellites offering two ports apiece.

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: Price and competition

The Orbi RBK763 costs £600 for three stations, or £420 for the twin pack. That makes it one of the most expensive meshes we’ve ever reviewed, so if you’re considering buying this system then pretty much every alternative is also on the table.

That includes the Linksys Atlas Pro 6, which offers strong Wi-Fi 6 performance across three stations for a much lower £380. Or you might consider the TP-Link Deco X68, which is even cheaper at £321 for two units.

Frankly, though, if you’re working with a budget of £400 and upwards, there’s no reason to limit your shopping list to Wi-Fi 6 systems. The TP-Link Deco XE75 adds Wi-Fi 6E support for extra performance and bandwidth, and at the time of writing you can get two units for £380, or three for £550.

Another option is the Google Nest WiFi Pro, which gives you three stations for the relatively knock-down price of £380 – although we’d only recommend that system if you’re focused on integration with the Google Home app and ecosystem, as its performance isn’t especially impressive.

Indeed, if you’re not looking for extreme performance then there are plenty of far cheaper meshes that deserve a look. The TP-Link Deco X50 and Huawei Mesh 7 are decent options costing under £300, and even bargain systems such as the £165 D-Link M15 Eagle Pro or the £170 Huawei Mesh 3 are perfectly fast enough for typical domestic Wi-Fi duties.

Buy now from Netgear

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: Design and features

From the front, the three Orbi RBK763 stations all look identical, with an upright design in tasteful two-tone plastic. They’re not exactly compact, but their 211mm height is 20mm shorter than the old RBK752 units.

Unlike other meshes, however, the Orbi units aren’t interchangeable. The main router unit has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one of which connects to your internet line, while the other two are designed as satellites and have two network sockets each. I can’t complain about the number of ports, but for the price it’s a little disappointing not to see any support for 2.5GbE or 5GbE connections; there are also no USB ports for connecting storage or mobile internet adaptors, although that’s entirely normal for meshes.

The easiest way to set up your network is to use the Orbi mobile app, which lets you connect for the first time by simply scanning the QR code from a sticker on the main Orbi unit. You can then conveniently log into the management interface with a fingerprint, and check connected devices, control the guest network and carry out various other everyday tasks from the convenience of your phone. It’s a slick and solid app, and it also includes a handy Wi-Fi analytics module, to help you find (and hopefully eliminate) any “notspots” in your home.

For more advanced configuration you’ll need to switch to the browser-based interface. This is the same one you’ll find on all Orbi systems, and it should satisfy most techie types: across its numerous pages you can configure your IP address settings, adjust Wi-Fi options, set up IP address reservation and so forth. As usual with Netgear routers and meshes, you can enable a VPN server for secure access to your home network, although there’s no option to set a third-party VPN gateway to protect your outbound internet connection.

The RBK763 also supports Netgear’s two signature smart services. The Armor security platform is free for the first year, including active detection and blocking of threats on your network – but after that you have to pay £85 a year to keep it going. And if you want parental control functions, to block unsavoury websites and set usage limits on kids’ devices, that’s another £50. It feels like a bit of a liberty, but if you’re willing to spend £600 on the hardware then perhaps a couple of additional subscriptions on top won’t faze you.

READ NEXT: The best Wi-Fi extenders

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: Performance

Since my three-bedroom home is somewhat on the cusp of Netgear’s coverage recommendations, I tested the Orbi RBK763 in both two-node and three-node configurations. In both cases, the primary node was installed in my study, connected directly to the internet line and also (via Gigabit Ethernet) to an Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro NAS appliance.

I situated the second node at the far end of the bedroom next to the study, and for the three-station test I put the third Orbi unit in the living room downstairs. I then took a test laptop, equipped with an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi card, to various locations in my home, and measured the average transfer speeds when copying files to and from the NAS appliance.

MB/secBathroom downloadBedroom downloadKitchen downloadLiving room downloadStudy download
Netgear Orbi RBK763 (3 nodes)45.477.647.263.497.1
Netgear Orbi RBK763 (2 nodes)47.176.923.859.299.1
Netgear Orbi RBK75238.423.136.640.256.6
TP-Link Deco X5032.253.223.335.460.2
Huawei Mesh 734.538.233.934.559.2
Linksys Atlas Pro 644.354.846.250.460.2
TP-Link Deco XE75 (6GHz)76.581.764.88184.1
MB/secBathroom uploadBedroom uploadKitchen uploadLiving room uploadStudy upload
Netgear Orbi RBK763 (3 nodes)20.722.316.922.728.2
Netgear Orbi RBK763 (2 nodes)20.122.320.821.228.2
Netgear Orbi RBK75219.316.120.120.434.5
TP-Link Deco X501720.818.11832.2
Huawei Mesh 718.519.31919.432.4
Linksys Atlas Pro 618.520.219.318.831.8
TP-Link Deco XE75 (6GHz)19.921.218.919.728.7

The Orbi RBK763 is certainly a speedy mesh. It delivered exceptionally quick downloads at close range, approaching 100MB/sec – one of the fastest rates we’ve seen from any Wi-Fi 6 system.

It acquitted itself equally well in other areas of the house. With all three stations in place, the new Netgear mesh easily outpaced the older Orbi RBK752 in every room – as well as competing meshes from TP-Link, Huawei and Linksys.

Even in a two-node configuration, the Orbi RBK763 delivered impressive performance, mostly matching the speeds of the three-station setup all around my medium-sized home. The exception was the kitchen, where the absence of the third Orbi satellite roughly halved my download speeds. Even then, I didn’t feel that I was short on bandwidth – you’d need to be doing something pretty intensive to demand more than 24MB/sec downstream.

This is all good stuff, but it doesn’t necessarily make the Orbi RBK763 king of the castle. The latest meshes and devices are starting to support the new Wi-Fi 6E standard – and when tested with a 6E-compatible client, TP-Link’s 6E-enabled Deco XE75 mesh achieved download speeds that the Orbi couldn’t match.

It’s also worth noting that the RBK763 is one of the more energy-hungry meshes we’ve tested. It won’t make a big dent in your electricity bill, but I measured an idle draw of 11.5W for the primary router unit, and a maximum of 14.3W during my tests, in addition to two satellites idling at 10.5W apiece.

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: Should you buy it?

The RBK763 is a definite upgrade on the previous-generation Orbi. It’s undeniably faster, and the physical units are smaller and neater. The standard firmware meanwhile ensures you don’t miss out on features.

The problem is the price. The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is fast enough for almost anyone’s needs, and gives you three stations for £220 less than the Orbi. Or you could move up to the TP-Link Deco XE75, gain the performance benefits of Wi-Fi 6E, and still walk away with £50 change. No matter what you’re looking for, a simple value calculation is likely to rule out the Netgear Orbi RBK763 – at least until the price comes down a bit.

Buy now from Netgear

Read more