Today, Netgear unveiled its first WiFi 7 mesh system, the Orbi 970 Series. Positioned to succeed its current flagship, the WiFi 6E Orbi 960 Series, the new offering aims to redefine what’s possible in the realm of home networking with true multi-gigabit WiFi.

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Netgear Orbi 970 Series Features

  • Ultra-Wide 320MHz Channels: This new feature amplifies the bandwidth, offering speeds that are up to 2.4 times faster than previous WiFi standards. Additionally, WiFi 7-enabled devices can experience speeds up to 5Gbps.
  • 4K Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM): By utilising 4K QAM, the Orbi 970 Series optimises the use of existing bandwidth, translating into higher speeds for users.
  • Preamble Puncturing Technique: This function allows for a more expansive channel, particularly beneficial in areas with significant interference, making your connection more reliable.
  • Multi-Link Operation (MLO): The use of multiple WiFi bands concurrently enhances both backhaul and fronthaul connections, leading to an improvement in network reliability, latency reduction, and maximised data delivery speed.
  • Advanced Backhaul Capabilities: With Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul, the router and satellites leverage MLO to combine a dedicated 5GHz and a 6GHz band. This creates a 10 Gig wireless backhaul for faster data transfer and lower latency.
  • Multi-Gig Internet Port with 10GbE Support: This feature allows for cable and fibre plans up to 10Gbps and is compatible with any internet service provider.
  • High-Capacity Ethernet Ports: The system incorporates one 10Gig and four 2.5Gig Ethernet ports, providing options for high-speed wired connections between the router and satellites.
  • Support for Data-Intensive Activities: The Orbi 970 Series can handle up to 200 connected devices. This makes it ideal for a variety of applications, from 4K/8K video streaming and interactive gaming to Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality experiences and seamless video conferencing.
  • Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platform: Ensures robust WiFi 7 performance, making the Orbi 970 Series suitable for hyper-connected homes.

Unparalleled Performance with WiFi 7

WiFi 7 isn’t just an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, WiFi 6E; it’s more of a quantum leap. While WiFi 6E was lauded for opening up the 6GHz band, WiFi 7 expands the channels to 320 MHz, delivering unprecedented speeds and lower latency. The Orbi 970 Series is engineered to harness these enhancements, ensuring optimal performance across any home—regardless of its layout.

Advanced Quad-Band Technology and Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul

A unique feature that sets the Orbi 970 Series apart from the competition is its patented Quad-Band technology coupled with Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul. Multi-link operation (MLO), a hallmark of WiFi 7, allows Netgear to combine a dedicated 5 GHz band with a 6 GHz band. The result? A 10 Gig wireless backhaul that promises reduced latency and faster data delivery.

The Orbi 970 Series goes a step further with its Smart Connect functionality, which intelligently selects the fastest WiFi band for each device, ensuring that performance remains consistently high across the network.

Uncompromising Design and Connectivity

Aside from its technical prowess, the Orbi 970 Series strikes a balance between form and function. The router and satellites feature a sleek, cylindrical design that is as pleasing to the eye as it is unobtrusive in a room. Moreover, each unit houses 12 high-performance internal antennas paired with high-powered amplifiers, guaranteeing 360-degree coverage across your home.

Connectivity options are equally impressive. The router features a 10 Gig internet port, along with one 10 Gig and four 2.5 Gig Ethernet ports, paving the way for multi-gig speeds and superior wired connections.

Added Services for Security and Parental Control

Purchasers of the Orbi 970 Series will receive one year of Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender as part of the package. This integrated security solution is designed to shield all connected devices on your network from external threats. Additionally, Netgear Smart Parental Controls offer a suite of features to help manage online activities across various devices in your household.

Extensive Coverage with Add-On Options

For those seeking coverage over a larger area, the Orbi 970 Series won’t disappoint. The three-pack system covers up to 8,200 square feet and supports up to 200 devices. Optional add-on satellites can further extend this coverage by up to 2,700 square feet each.

Price and Availability

The Orbi 970 Series is set to be available soon in both classic white and black options.

The Orbi 970 will be available in either a 2-pack or 3-pack system, and you will be able to buy additional satellites. Pricing will be as follows:

  • RBE973: Router and 2 Satellites – 3 pack, £2,199.99 MSRP
  • RBE972: Router and 1 Satellite – 2 pack, £1,599.99 MSRP
  • RBE970: Add-on Satellite, £799.99 MSRP

The existing WiFi 6E Orbi 960 series is priced at £1,199.99 for the 2-pack and £1,699.99 for the 3-pack.

Final Thoughts

Much like the Orbi 960 series did with WiFi 6E, the new Orbi 970 Series is a no-expense-spared flagship product from Netgear to showcase the best features and performance possible with WiFi 7.

It is undeniably expensive, but this is aimed at buyers who want the absolute best.

WiFi 6 and 6E were a little disappointing as it felt that the jump in performance was that significant compared to a good WiFi 5 router or mesh system.

WiFi 7 is in a completely different league, the 320MHz 6GHz should double the real-world throughput compared to WiFi 6E, so that should be around 3Gbps is achievable, and that’s before the added benefits of Multi-Link Operation (MLO).

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