Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: speedy Wi-Fi 6 around your home

The Netgear Orbi RBK763 deserves a place on your mesh system shortlist

Netgear Orbi RBK763
(Image credit: Netgear)
T3 Verdict

The price and the power of the Netgear Orbi RBK763 system (one router and two satellites) isn't going to suit everyone – many users will do fine with something more modest – but there's no arguing with the speeds and the range of this mesh networking package.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Easy setup

  • +

    Strong performance

  • +

    Reliable signal

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bulky units

  • -

    It'll cost you

  • -

    No Wi-Fi 6E

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The Netgear Orbi RBK763 is another attempt from Netgear to get on our best mesh Wi-Fi system list, and the three-pack (two satellites and a router) offers everything you would expect from this manufacturer in terms of the quality and the reliability of the hardware.

With this Wi-Fi 6 system you can spread your Wi-Fi across multiple rooms and floors, making sure there are no dead zones to be found and keeping dozens of devices online at the time. The standard Netgear Orbi software on your phone is used to manage it all.

This in-depth Netgear Orbi RBK763 review will tell you whether or not this is the best mesh Wi-Fi system for you, and we've got plenty of other guides for you to take a look at as well: you might want to view our lists of the best wireless routers and the best Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Netgear Orbi RBK763: price & availability

The Netgear Orbi RBK763 system is out now and available to buy for around £600 in the UK and $600 in the US, though check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest deals around the web – and do double-check the model number as well, because there are a few different ones around.

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: design and setup

Netgear Orbi RBK763

(Image credit: Future)

The Netgear Orbi RBK763 units follow the trend set by previous models in the range: these are relatively big and bulky devices, though not heavy. Each one measures 211 x 168 x 64mm, so they don't have the compactness of something like an Amazon Eero Pro – though the extra size does mean the signal performance can be ramped up. Just be aware that these aren't the easiest pieces of kit to hide away in your home.

Setup is the same as always with Netgear Orbi routers, which is via the mobile app. It felt like we were watching progress bars for a long time, but in reality you can be up and running in as little as 15 minutes (add on a bit more if a firmware update is required). Something we did like in the app was the guidance about where to place the satellites, and everything is straightforward and easy to follow.

The main router plugs into your existing router that you've been sent from whichever company supplies your broadband, and then the two satellite units are automatically detected in seconds. As directed by the app, you'll need to position these smartly so as to maximise the Wi-Fi coverage across your home. With a router and two satellites you can cover up to 12,500 square feet (almost 700 square metres), though if you have a smaller home you can opt for the pack with a router and just one satellite unit and save yourself some money.

Netgear has done a good job with the subtle light bars on the router and the satellites that reassure you that everything is connected and working (or that there's a problem, depending on the colour). Included in the box with the RBK763 system you get the router, two satellites, power adapters for all three, and an Ethernet cable (for attaching the Netgear router to your existing router).

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: performance & features

Netgear Orbi RBK763

(Image credit: Future)

Reviewing mesh networking systems is always tricky, because we can't exactly call round at each one of your houses and see how the Netgear Orbi RBK763 copes with your converted basement and the large fish tank in your living room, for example. But we can tell you that in our two-storey, compact semi-detached house the units delivered speedy and reliable Wi-Fi into every corner of our home.

With one satellite a couple of rooms away from the router and the other upstairs, we got the same speeds everywhere we went, even outside in the garden – walls and floors and glass doors would appear to be no problem for the Netgear Orbi RBK763 package. If you need wired connections, there are a couple of Ethernet ports on each of the satellite units, and three on the router.

Netgear also promises that you can hook up as many as 75 devices at once and get maximum speeds of 5.4Gbps (which will of course depend on your broadband connection, provider and chosen package). It's a tri-band router, so as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels for your actual gadgets, there's also a dedicated 5GHz channel just for the router and the satellites to talk to each other – that's not something that every mesh system has, and it means much better reliability (as well as a higher price).

In addition to the mobile apps, there's also a web interface, which isn't much to look at but which gives you access to more advanced settings like port forwarding and UPnP. Overall the software is fairly plain-looking and not the most intuitive, but it gives you access to everything that you need. You get a year of the enhanced Armor security protection for free, but after that it's a monthly payment, as are the advanced parental controls (though all the basics stay free).

Netgear Orbi RBK763 review: verdict

Netgear Orbi RBK763

(Image credit: Future)

The verdict on the Netgear Orbi RBK763 is more or less the same as it is for any other bit of Netgear Orbi networking kit (which is no bad thing): these devices offer top-notch networking you can rely on at a relatively expensive price, which means they're perfect if you want among the best home Wi-Fi network money can afford. 

The 760 series that the RBK763 is part of is actually the more affordable out of Netgear's three options: the 860 series and the 960 series spread Wi-Fi even further, support even more devices, and can accept even faster connection speeds (not that you're likely to get close to them most of the time with your home broadband). If you have hundreds of devices you need to get online, or need to cover more space, these other solutions might suit your needs better.

With decades of experience behind it, you know you can rely on Netgear for a high-performance, reliable Wi-Fi mesh system, and that's certainly the case with the Orbi RBK763. Users with more modest needs might want to go for something cheaper though, while power users will perhaps be looking for Wi-Fi 6E, as you'll find in the Netgear 960 series. 

Also consider

We have previously looked at the Netgear Orbi NBK752 mesh system, and while it doesn't give you quite as much in the way of performance as the RBK763 model, it does have a 5G SIM card slot included – and that means if your main internet goes down you can get connected over a cellular network, assuming you have a strong signal where you live and you can afford a data plan with the network provider of your choice. It's far more expensive though, in the four-figures bracket!

For something that's much more affordable than either Netgear option we've looked at here, the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is absolutely worthy of your consideration, though again it doesn't quite reach the same heights in terms of functionality and performance. If you're wanting to cover a smaller area with Wi-Fi and you're looking to stick to a smaller budget, then you may prefer to opt for the Linksys.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.