The new Netgear Orbi Pro and Nighthawk M5 offer flexibility for "the new normal"

Aside from flexibility, the Orbi Pro features scalability and the M5 offers mobility.

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Netgear has just released two new routers here: a 5G router with Wi-Fi 6 support, and a new tri-band mesh system router.

NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 (SXK80)

The new Orbi Pro WiFi 6 is designed for home offices or small scale businesses with simplicity in mind, featuring tri-band WiFi 6 (802.11ax) with a dedicated band for router and satellites.

The base system consists of one router and one satellite unit that covers up to 6,000 square feet of space and manages around 60 devices. It can be expanded on and support up to six satellite nodes, covering about 20,000 square feet. That’s four streams on 2.4GHz and eight streams on 5GHz, while each unit delivers up to 6Gbps of data throughput.

Each satellite will have a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port along with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, two of which can be combined for Link Aggregation, which essentially simulates a 2Gbps port.

Security-wise, the Orbi Pro utilises WPA3 along with support for four SSIDs and VLAN. Coupled with the latest connectivity features such as dedicated quad-stream WiFi 6 backhaul, OFDMA and MU-MIMO, it will be a while before you need a tech upgrade.

Part of the Orbi’s charm is that it’s supposed to be so simple to set up that you don’t need an IT specialist to do it (I assume they mean the basics). Netgear says that its system is suitable for any workplace that employs anywhere between 5 to 100 employees and expanding the network is a matter of adding a satellite whenever needed. And to do so, you simply press a sync button and then follow instructions on the mobile app to synchronise the new device.

Orbi Pro supports up to four independent SSIDs, which helps to maintain data security and reserving bandwidth for each department and guests where applicable. You can dedicate one SSID for 2.4Ghz frequency alone, which means you can lump all users of legacy devices onto this network if need be. You can assign bandwidth allocation for each of the SSIDs through the Insight remote management app.

Insight is Netgear’s attempt to make enterprise-level network and security easier to configure and manage. It is subscription-based though, but every Orbi Pro comes with a free 1-year subscription.

The Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Tri-band Mesh System (SXK80) is priced at $1,299 and is available on NetgearStore.sg. Additional satellites (SXC80) are priced at $639.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router (MR5200)

The Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 is a 5G-equipped mobile router that’s suited for business operations that spend a lot of time on the move. It supports WiFi 6 and can accommodate up to 32 devices at any one time.

The rechargeable battery gives the router an operating life of up to 13 hours on a single charge and can be removed if you want to use it purely indoors as a modem, or configured with a secondary router through the 1Gbps Ethernet port.

Aside from WPA3, it is also equipped with VPN pass-through support and password protection to limit exposure to risks on public WiFi.

The Nighthawk M5 Mobile Router currently retails for $1299 on NetgearStore.sg and is available through other online retailers including Lazada, Shopee and Amazon.

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