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Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 AX6000

Forbes’ Gordon Kelly recently did a very comprehensives and honest review of Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 AX6000 mesh router system. I found this very interesting in that echoed issues that we ran into when we moved into our current residence back in 2016. Our Internet incoming connection was feed into one of those OnQ boxes in the master closet. The master closet is about as far away as you can get from the rest of the house. Upon purchasing a new laptop, I quickly discovered I had horrible WiFi reception in the front of the residence. This was long before Cox started offering their ‘Pantomimic WiFi’, which very likely would have fixed our issue.  We tried to use on those ‘Range Extenders’ (repeater) that you can get at Best Buy and it would work great…for a couple hours. But then it would start getting into a fight with the main router and no one would be able to access the Internet via WiFi. Seemed to be something to do with DHCP conflicts. Returned those extenders and started doing some research, found a local company that specialized in WiFi coverage issues. They ended up installing in one of the bedrooms at the front of the residence a wireless access point/switch. Unlike the range extender which received the Internet traffic wirelessly and simply rebroadcasted, this device is hardwired. It is like having the modem and wireless router in that room.  I know they had to do some configuration on both the access point and on the main router, it wasn’t a simple plug-and-play like the range extender was. Cost wise, I don’t recall how much we paid this company for the access point and the installation/configuration services. It likely came very close to the same cost if not more than this system when you factor in we are renting our modem from the local ISP.

The reason I see the Netgear system working better is the router and satellite are designed to work with each other. The same can not be said for those range extenders and your ISP’s modem. Again, the upfront cost is high, but in the long run you are likely to save money. So with Cox’s Pantomimic WiFi, you have to rent their modem and I also believe they charge and additional service fee for the Panoramic WiFi on top of your regular rate. The downside to not renting your modem from your local ISPs is if it fails or they decided it is obsolete it is on you to replace it. In our case I would think the Panoramic WiFi would be overkill for our needs given it is only a single level residence (just long distance from front to the rear) and we only have a couple laptops, phones and tablets connected to the WiFi and most are never at the same time. Only my main PC is hardwired and that is only because I prefer to have a LAN connection for gaming. I believe the DiSH box is connected to the WiFi as well, but we rarely use OnDemand or any of the streaming services, same goes for the Smart TVs. In that case a system like the Netgear would suit our needs fine.