[CES 2108] Netgear has just announced that it will feature the new Orbi Outdoor Satellite at CES 2018. As you can guess by its name, this is a product designed to be located outdoors, and it extends the home WiFi network to up to 2,500 square feet, says Netgear.

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Of course, actual performance depends on the positioning of the devices relative to the Orbi Outdoor Satellite, but with a perfect line of sight, this should be achievable.

If you are unfamiliar with Netgear’s Orbi, it is a WiFi Mesh Networking kit that comes with several satellites. It works in a similar manner to the Samsung Connect Home mesh network we reviewed in November. Mesh networks act as a single network with one password, and devices hop onto the best connection dynamically. With old WiFi repeaters, this was just not possible or extremely unreliable. In some ways, Mesh WiFi work similarly to cellphone networks.

Orbi, like other mesh networks, has a private wireless network for the nodes or Satellites to communicate. That way, the regular WiFi traffic isn’t overcrowded by the inter-node data exchange. In fact, the private node-to-node speed can reach 1.733 Gbps, thanks to four 433 Mbps channels that can be used simultaneously. Communications with your WiFi devices can reach 400 Mbps for 2.5GHz WiFi and 866 Mbps for 5 GHz WiFi.

The Orbi Outdoor Satellite will act like a regular Orbi node, except that it is designed to be outside. Its resistance to the elements include an IP56 rating which means that

  • IP5x: Prevents moderate amount of dust from entering but is not Dust tight
  • IPx6: Strong water jets (~12.5mm nozzle) won’t harm the device. 3mn test, 100L/mn at 100 kPa, 3 meters away. No water immersion.

You can check what other IP ratings there are, but IP56, it should be protected from rain, but not from immersion. That is the bottom-line. This device can also operate at -20C to 50C (-4F to 122F).

It has an ambient light control function, so if you place it strategically, it can serve as a night light for an entrance.

The Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite power source will need to be connected to a wall outlet. These WiFi routers are high-powered devices that can churn a lot of data, so you apparently can’t really power them with a 12V current which used for garden light.

Filed in Home. Read more about CES, CES 2018, Netgear and WiFi.

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