Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Orbi 4G (CES 2020)

Netgear adds 4G to Mesh WiFi

If the NBN is taking its sweet time or not doing its job, an addition by Netgear to mesh networking at CES could be the fix your home is looking for.

Try as we might, fixed broadband doesn’t always hit the nail on the head the way we all want. Whether your connection just isn’t hitting the speed it should leaving technicians puzzled, or you find wired broadband isn’t fast enough as a whole, it might be time to consider wireless.

There are solutions out in the market by Australian telcos, but if you’re looking more for one that lets you choose the 4G connection you’re using, you typically need to bring your own 4G modem or 4G modem router. That may not be quite as easy as you’d hope, because only a handful of companies release them.

However this year at CES 2020, Netgear has an interesting approach: an Orbi mesh Wifi router that includes support for 4G LTE.

That’s an addition to the Orbi mesh WiFi solution that can spread wireless throughout your home using a network point to network point infrastructure and deliver a more solid wireless experience at home, but the Orbi 4G LTE WiFi Router essentially brings a Category 18 4G option to mesh networking setups with a nanoSIM port (below).

“Many homes around ANZ, such as those in rural areas and holiday homes, don’t have an effective option for high speed internet. It’s either too slow, too expensive, or non-existent,” said David Henry, Senior Vice President for the Connected Home at Netgear.

“We are solving this problem for customers by delivering fast broadband for the home, wherever there is mobile coverage,” he said.

Orbi 4G (CES 2020)

According to Netgear, it can be added to an existing Orbi setup and should be able to be used with existing Orbi extras like Orbi Voice, or be used individually with up to 185 square metres of range.

Pricing for Netgear’s 4G Orbi isn’t yet known, but Netgear’s Australian arm has said that this Orbi addition will launch in Australia after the middle of the year.

While that’s not a 5G supported option, it does mean that as 4G costs begin to drop and data becomes more affordable, 4G plans that bundle in plenty of data can become a viable home internet solution, or even turn the Orbi 4G into something you can take on the road.

Leigh Stark was flown to CES 2020 in Las Vegas, USA as a guest of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

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