Simple and speedy

Eero Pro WiFi System

More for less

Netgear Orbi RBK50 WiFi System

The Eero Pro WiFi System offers quick and easy installation along with great coverage and speeds. Management via the Eero app is simple, providing access to the basics that most users need, and it supports Apple's HomeKit Secure Router feature for complete smart home security. However, it is stingy on ethernet ports, lacks advanced features without a subscription, and it's priced much higher than the competition.

$499 at Amazon

Pros

  • Easy app set up and management
  • Covers up to 6,000 square feet
  • Wi-Fi speeds up to 1Gpbs
  • Supports Alexa and Apple HomeKit
  • Eero Secure service extras

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited ethernet ports
  • Security features require subscription

Even though the Orbi RBK50 offers set up and management via a friendly app, it comes with more features out of the box. This system supports Alexa and the Google Assistant, has four ethernet ports per satellite, and comes with parental controls without a subscription. Since this system only comes with two satellites, its coverage area is not as good as the Eero Pro.

$292 at Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Four ethernet ports per satellite
  • Covers up to 5,000 square feet
  • Supports Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Disney Circle parental controls included

Cons

  • Only two satellites included
  • Netgear Armor service lacks extras
  • Larger, bulkier design

Mesh networking technology in the Eero Pro and Netgear Orbi provides reliable whole-home Wi-Fi coverage through a series of nodes that enable seamless roaming. If you want the largest coverage area and highest wireless speeds around without having to navigate a series of complicated features, then go with the Eero Pro. If you want parental controls without a subscription, need more ethernet ports in each room, and don't want to spend a ton of money, then go with the Netgear Orbi system.

More than just the hardware

Netgear Orbi RBK50 app managementSource: Netgear

Both the Eero Pro and Netgear Orbi are massive upgrades from the traditional, single access point routers of the past. These routers can cover every corner of your home with a strong Wi-Fi signal and provide access to quick and easy controls via their respective apps. These systems also work silently in the background to scan traffic for threats, filter content, and update automatically with the latest security fixes. With these features may come some added expenses, though, so it's important to determine which is the best for your household before purchasing.

Eero Pro WiFi System Netgear Orbi RBK50 WiFi System
App management iOS & Android iOS & Android
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Radios Tri-band Tri-band
Coverage Up to 6,000 sq. ft. Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Wi-Fi Speeds Up to 1 Gbps Up to 500 Mbps
Ethernet Speeds Up to 1 Gbps Up to 1 Gbps
Ethernet Ports 2 per node 4 per satellite
Works with Apple HomeKit Yes No
Works with Amazon Alexa Yes Yes
Works with Google Assistant No Yes
Expandable Yes Yes
Processor 700 MHZ Quad-Core 710 MHZ Quad-Core
Memory 512mb Ram 512mb Ram
Storage 4gb flash 512mb flash
Bluetooth LE 4.2 Tri-band
Family Profiles Yes w/Eero Secure Yes
Internet Pausing Yes Yes
Ad Blocking Yes w/Eero Secure No
VPN Yes w/Eero Secure+ No

Despite the Eero Pro having a price tag that is almost double that of the Netgear Orbi, parental controls and advanced security features are all locked behind a subscription. Eero actually offers two different subscription tiers of its Eero Secure service, both of which are affordable but are yet another subscription.

The cheaper $3 a month Eero Secure plan includes the aforementioned parental controls and security scanning but also includes a handy ad-blocking feature, which not only hides nuisances, but may provide a small speed bump. The more expensive $10 a month Eero Secure+ throws in subscriptions to popular apps and services like 1Password, Malware Bytes anti-virus, and encrypt.me VPN.

Netgear also provides subscription services for the Orbi, one that focuses on security, and another that enables even more parental controls via Disney Circle. The $70 a year Netgear Armor service scans for potential threats like malware, phishing attempts, and includes anti-virus protection.

Disney Circle Premium, which costs $5 a month or $50 a year, includes expanded usage history information, scheduling, and a reward system for family members. In either case, the subscription services for both Eero and Netgear provide some pretty nice benefits, although depending on your needs, you may be able to get by without a subscription.

Similar specs, different features

As you can see, both the Eero Pro and the Netgear Orbi offer very similar hardware specs, but some key differences are important to consider. The Eero Pro WiFI System includes an extra node giving it an additional 1,000 square feet of coverage area over the Orbi, and it supports up to 1 Gbps speeds over wireless.

The Eero Pro also includes extra on-board storage that enables additional capabilities such as Apple's HomeKit Secure Router feature that keeps smart home devices safe and secure. However, the Eero Pro lacks parental controls without subscribing to the Eero Secure service, which only adds to its already high price.

If you have a small to medium-sized home and basic internet speeds, then the Netgear Orbi WiFi System may be a better choice due to its lower price and feature set. This system includes two satellites but still has the same number of ethernet ports that the Eero Pro's three nodes include, and it comes with free parental controls via Disney Circle baked right in. Disney Circle allows you to create profiles for each member of your household, enabling content filters, pausing, and usage history, all without a subscription, and all at the router level, not on the device.

Simple and speedy

Eero Pro WiFi System

Speed for everyone

The Eero Pro WiFi System offers simple set up that can be up and running in a matter of minutes, blanketing large homes with ultra-fast speeds. This system provides the basics out of the box, making it a set it and forget it solution.

More for less

Netgear Orbi RBK50 WiFi System

Bang for your buck

Netgear's Orbi RBK50 provides all of the great benefits of mesh networking along with fantastic parental controls without a subscription. It may not have the best range or speeds, but its abundant ethernet ports, and included features make it a solid choice.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.