Orbi Vs Ubiquiti – Enhancing connectivity for all your networking devices

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Orbi vs Ubiquiti

To be able to enjoy best internet speeds and long-range coverage, you have to invest in a wireless access point such as the Netgear’s Orbi or the Unifi Ubiquiti, which offers the best signal strengths and long-range coverage.

The innovative technology introduced to help enhance signal strength and long-range internet coverage has enabled businesses, companies, and industries to run in real-time. Multi-tasking is now possible but with the best internet devices; however, how do we ensure that we enjoy the fastest internet speeds? Well, the first thing to do is to get a device that will blanket your home or office with faster internet speeds.

Such devices are the Orbi and Ubiquiti Wi-Fi access points, the excerpt below will, therefore, dig deeper into their functionality features and establish one that offers the best internet speeds and coverage.

What are the differences between Orbi and Ubiquiti 

Model
Orbi
Ubiquiti
Coverage
5,000 sq. ft.
400 ft.
Speeds
500mbps- download speeds

20mbps-upload speeds

157mbps-download speeds

172mbps-Upload speeds

Mu-MIMO & Beamforming
Yes
No
Warranty
Limited hardware warranty
No

Orbi vs Ubiquiti- How do they compare?

Capacity and range

Capacity in a Wi-Fi device is a unit’s ability to accommodate a large number of internet-enabled devices, but still be able to offer the best signal strengths to each of them including the higher bandwidth consumers. So for the Orbi, users are allowed to link up to 25 devices or more, in one network because coverage is 5,000 sq. ft. and remember this unit has been equipped with the mesh technology, you will, therefore, be able to use your Wi-Fi anywhere in your home.

The Orbi is not restricted to the 5,000 range and therefore has the capability of offering more coverage but you will have to buy an additional satellite to achieve the extra coverage. There are also other features incorporated in this unit that ensure the devices within the coverage range enjoy high internet speeds.

For example, the Tri-Band Backhaul feature is a dedicated band between the Orbi router and the satellite whose job is to free up the other two bands and ensure that users are enjoying maximum speeds. The unit has also been designed with MU-MIMO, which enables the device to simultaneously communicate with multiple devices and at the same time decrease the time that each of the devices has to wait for a signal.

For Ubiquiti, things seem to be rather thick because for one they don’t offer wider coverage, as you will find that most of the units give a range of 600 ft. going down. For example, the Ubiquiti Networks UniFi AP Enterprise WiFi System can only cater to a range of 400 ft. which is about 122 meters, and when it comes to the number of Wi-Fi devices that can connect to this unit let’s just say it would be best if the unit is not overloaded.

The results of a test carried out on the Ubiquiti devices and their ability to accommodate large numbers, it was discovered that they could connect up to 50 users but if you were to increase that number to let’s say 60 then some of the users in the network will suffer from low throughput and experience performance issues.

But even when accommodating a small number of 50 devices the signal strength and speeds during interaction will largely depend on whether the devices are engaging in higher or lower bandwidth activities or. Also depending on the Ubiquiti device that you are using some units can comfortably accommodate up to 95 devices.

Positioning in relation to signal strength

Wi-Fi devices have to be positioned accurately to offer the best signal strengths, a rule of thumb that applies to all Wi-Fi devices is that they should be placed in an area with no obstructions, and in an elevated position especially if it is a mesh network device. So while utilizing the Ubiquiti’s access points in a room with no interference users can expect to get speeds of up to 500 Mbps.

The signal strength will consequently reduce if there is another person connected on the network from the next room and these individuals will, therefore, experience speeds of up to 350 Mbps, which is a drop and it will continue the same if there are more rooms with devices that use the same network. However, you always have the option of getting more access points to enhance coverage.

So in conclusion, if you are to use Ubiquiti as your home Wi-Fi device, the best signal strengths can only be achieved if the unit did not have to cater to devices located more than one wall away. Better yet you could consolidate all the devices in one room that has most of the network-connected devices. And if you are still having problems with finding the best positions for your Wi-Fi devices, just download the Wi-Fi man mobile application from Unifi.

The latter has been equipped with tools that will monitor, analyze and improve your Wi-Fi performance. The Wi-Fi man application will provide you with the channel graph information and here you will be able to view the channels on 2.4GHz and 5GHz and how the nearby Wi-Fi networks are using them. You will also be able to carry out the speed tests and the most important feature offered by the unit is its ability to evaluate wireless coverage.

The above will also enable you to identify gaps in wireless coverage. Orbi devices are best placed at the center of the house; another important parameter to consider with the Orbi is the distance between the satellite and the routers. Orbi, therefore, seems to be more sensitive in offering the right signal strength when compared to Ubiquiti.

For example, an activity that involves moving furniture will quickly interfere with the device’s signal strengths. Be informed, however, that the 2.4GHz signal by Orbi normally does well when you want to use it between walls or in longer distances. The 5GHz signal, on the other hand, will be stopped if there is any metal obstruction, or if the different points have to contend with thick walls.

In essence, is that you need to keep off metal objects such as the window frames; construction materials are also your device’s enemy so be wary. Therefore, for the best connection, you should have a 30 feet distance in between the satellite and the access point device but this also has a lot to do with the building materials.

Application and other support systems

To get your Orbi devices up and running, you will have to download the Orbi application on your smartphone. The application gives users the liberty to custom set various settings to suit their needs, the app has testing and monitoring features, and it also allows users to control their Wi-Fi from any location and at any time.

The units security features do not come with the application but you will find them incorporated in the device, therefore, through the Netgear armor multi-layer security software, you will be exposed to the best anti-virus and anti-malware features, your data will be protected and you can also initiate the parental control feature on devices used by the younger individuals. Ubiquiti users will also be able to access the services by downloading the recently launched Wi-Fi man mobile application.

One thing that is very clear between these two access point management applications is that Ubiquiti’s seems to be detail-oriented as it helps users to establish areas with the best Wi-Fi signals, and shows how the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz channels are being utilized by the wireless networks. However, don’t expect to get any security features on the Wi-Fi man.

Structure and Design

The Orbi Wi-fi access point does have a unique sophisticated structure that can easily complement your home décor. The unit’s shape allows it to be strategically placed in an elevated position in your home, and at the back, you will find the relevant Ethernet ports, sync buttons, and the on and of power buttons. Ubiquiti’s access point, on the other hand, features a flat circular structure with the relevant ports on the underside of the unit.

The above, therefore, makes positioning and placing of the unit very easy and convenient given its inconspicuous nature.

Orbi vs Ubiquiti – A comparison overview

Ubiquiti

Ubiquiti Networks UniFi AP Enterprise WiFi System UAP-3 (Pack of 3)
  • 802.11n MIMO UniFi AP supports WiFi standards 802.11 b/g/n; 2.4 GHz
  • Capable of speeds up to 300 Mbps with a range of up to 122 m (400 ft).

You can never go wrong with a Ubiquiti Wi-Fi access point device, this is so because you have a wide variety to choose from. The Wi-Fi access points form Ubiquiti are also scalable and easy to customize using the provided Wi-Fi man application that can be managed from a smartphone or a tablet.

The Ubiquiti Wi-Fi system UAP-3 comes in a pack of three and offers users speeds of up to 300mbps while covering a range of 400ft. The above-provided speeds of 300mbps can offer users a download speed of up to 37.5 Mb per second, now the above speeds in a Wi-Fi connection can comfortably cater to devices that engage the high bandwidth activities such as gaming, watching TV and movie streaming.

The Ubiquiti’s Wi-Fi system also features a led provisioning ring designed to provide administrator location tracking, the unit also enables users to get alerts for each of the devices.

Pros

  • The Wi-Fi access points are scalable
  • Users can customize the units to suit their Wi-Fi needs
  • Complete coverage can be achieved by just using one device
  • Covers a range of 400 ft while accommodating a large number of devices

Cons

  • The internet is not stable
  • The unit has poor connection speeds

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The Orbi

NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50) – Router & Extender Replacement Covers Up to 5,000 sq. ft., 2-Pack Includes 1 Router & 1 Satellite White
  • No more dead zones: Whole home mesh WiFi coverage of up to 5,000 sq. ft. and 25+ devices. Mesh technology...
  • Tri-band backhaul: A dedicated band between your Orbi router and satellite frees up the other two bands...

The one thing that makes the Orbi stand out is the fact that it can be integrated with the smart home devices such as Alexa. Users can, therefore, expect to achieve a range of up to 5,000 sq. ft. with a connected network supporting 25+ devices. The incorporated mesh technology ensures that all the devices within the provided range receive strong internet signals.

What’s more, is that the unit is scalable through the addition of another satellite where you will be able to cover up to 2,500 additional ranges.  Low speeds, internet buffering and downtimes have been obliterated by the incorporated Tri-Band Backhaul technology that offers a dedicated band between the Orbi router and the satellite.

Customization is enabled via the parental control features, where parents are allowed to set online time limits; they can also pause different devices internet access and benefit from the Netgear Armor, which is an advanced cyber threat protection feature.

Pros

  • The Wi-Fi device is easy to set up
  • Can be integrated with different internet service providers
  • Features a guest capability option
  • The unit is loaded with the latest technology

Cons

  • The firmware upgrade is rarely responsive
  • The Netgear Armor Security features come at a premium

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Conclusion

Both the Orbi and Ubiquiti Wi-Fi devices are great options for people who want to get great coverage while using the internet at home. However, the Ubiquiti home Wi-Fi device seems to be a bit limited in terms of functionality but does accommodate a good number of devices while covering a small range. The Orbi, on the other hand, can be very effective for users with expansive homes or those who want to use the unit in the office.

Verdict: So which is better? the Orbi or the Ubiquiti

The Orbi Wi-Fi device takes the lead when compared to Ubiquiti, the reason being that it has incorporated many innovative features though some come as a premium package. Some of its best features are its wide coverage capabilities while also giving users the ability to scale up its coverage range via the addition of an extra satellite.

FAQs

Does the Orbi application come with a monthly subscription fee?

Whether you want to own or use the Orbi device you will not attract any premium packages, also the application used to manage the device can be downloaded for free.

Is it necessary to have an Unifi account?

The only problem that you will encounter by not having an Unifi account is the inability to manage the third party devices. However, it is not a must for you to have the Unifi Topology.

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