In 2011, the United Nations stated that disconnecting people from the internet amounts to a violation of human rights.
Today, we are talking about smart homes: smart bells, smart heaters, smart light bulbs, smart key locks, smart plugs, smart… you can name them. All these intelligent devices require a reliable internet connection to function effectively.
These days if you are a photographer, you need a WiFi-enabled camera, and you can share your photos instantly as you take them.
In the wake of the fast-changing world, having a wireless connection is no longer an option. Therefore, you need a router that you can trust: A router that will provide you with a fast and reliable WiFi signal.
In comes Netgear Orbi and Google WiFi routers.
The two routers are arguably some of the most popular WIFI systems up to date.
They are very much identical in terms of functionality but also have some key differences.
We have already reviewed the best wireless routers money could buy but these two deserved their own podium! That is why we have this dedicated comparison and review to put them through the proverbial sword. This in-depth look into the two routers will help you tell them apart, understand the technology and make a decision on which one will be suitable for you - hopefully!
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
6.7 x 3.1 x 8.9
4.2 x 4.2 x 2.7
Netgear Orbi vs Google WiFi Similarities
The two routers offer you reduced WiFi dead zones
How do you like it running around the house trying to find a WiFi sweet spot? Does that thought put you off? Well, with either of these routers in your home, you can say bye to WiFi dead zones in your house as they provide ample coverage even for a large house.
The routers have a mesh setup that transmits WiFi signals to all corners of your home with the strategically placed satellites.
Design & Ease of Installation
Both Orbi & Google routers come with a high-quality body construction that assures you durability and also adds a sleek look to your home. The two have a smooth white finishing that makes them elegant. They also have a compact design that makes it easy for you to set them up without taking much space.
Another similarity between the two WiFi routers is their ease of installation. You do not need to be an experienced technician to set them up. All you need is a Smartphone and the router, and you can comfortably set the WiFi up on your own.
Smart Home Support
With the insurgence of smart devices in our home, such as smart bells, you need a reliable internet connection that will keep them running.
In this aspect, you cannot go wrong with the Netgear Orbi or Google WiFi. Both come with ports that you can plug your smart devices and enjoy a fast and stable connection.
Now let’s individually look into each one of them:
For ~$349, you will get two units of the Netgear Orbi together with the satellite that fills your house with reliable internet. This may sound expensive at first. But when you take a look at all the features that the router comes with, you’ll realize that it’s cost-effective. It also assures you of a fast and stable internet connection so that you can use all your devices, even the powerful ones, without losing your connection.
Design & Set up
Do you have an eye for sleek and elegant items? If so, then Netgear Orbi is your device.
The router comes in a sleek, elegant, and modern design that you can proudly display in your living room without losing your sense of style.
The router has a compact design that measures 5.6x2.4x6.6 inches and weighs 1.05lb. This means you can seamless;y carry it around and install it at your place of choice. It also comes with two 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports and one WAN and one LAN.
The router features Led lights at the top. The lights turn blue or amber to indicate a weak or strong connection. The lights will then turn off when there is a stable connection. This is very convenient for you, as you can check your internet connection with just one glance.
The Orbi router comes with four high-performance internal antennas attached to its smooth white shell. The antennas have high-powered amplifiers.
Netgear Orbi offers you an app and a mobile interface that you can use to set the device up and play around with the settings. You can also use the app to manage your WiFi. You only need to plug in the satellites and connect the router to your modem.
After that, you will connect your device to the router and follow the instructions that follow.
Orbi comes with a powerful Quad-Core 710 MHz processor.
With this product, Netgear has managed to provide a high-performance whole-home WiFi system. It offers you a WiFi coverage of approx 4,500 square feet. This ensures that every home corner has a WiFi connection.
The router guarantees you of fast internet for all of your devices.
One unique thing that should excite you with the Netgear Orbi is that it works with all major internet providers. You, therefore, do not have to struggle much while looking for a provider for your internet.
With the Orbi router, you are assured of a seamless network connection. In the case you move from one room to another, you can be sure that you will not lose your connection.
Another feature that you might like is that the Netgear Orbi WiFi router can work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can, therefore, use your voice to command and control your WiFi network. How does that sound?
If you are a parent, and you’re deeply concerned about the content that your children are accessing online and the amount of time that they spend on the internet: worry no more. The router features parental controls so that you can manage the content that your kids can access and the time they spend on the internet.
The router comes with a power input at the back and an on/off button. There are also buttons to reset a device.
- With the Netgear Orbi router, you can create guest accounts. This will allow guests to use your internet without you giving them your WiFi credentials.
- The tri-band WiFi guarantees fast speed internet even when using powerful devices like streaming a movie on your TV.
- The router comes with an Android and iOS app.
- Users complain that the coverage decreases with time
- It does not maintain the WiFi speed for long
You will part with about ~$114.58 if you want to purchase one unit of Google WiFi. One unit will cover around 1500 square feet. This is a good deal if your home is this size.
If your home is more than this size, then you should consider taking two or three units. You can get three units at ~$269.99.
Google WiFi is for you if you love small, elegant, and beautiful items. The router comes in a smooth white design that adds a touch of class to your house.
Google WiFi is a dual-band WiFi. It offers you 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz channels, which means that you can use the 5 GHz to connect your modern devices and the 2.4 GHz to connect the old devices in your houses that are compatible.
Google WiFi comes with 4 GB flash and 512MB RAM.
It has no USB port, unlike the Netgear Orbi, and it features 2 Ethernet per unit. The two ports are WAN and LAN on the primary WiFi point. If there are additional WiFi points, the two ports will act as the LAN ports.
Each Google WiFi router covers 1,500 square feet, which means all three will cover 4,500 square feet. This means that it will cover all the corners of your home with a stable WiFi connection.
You can even add more routers if you feel your home needs more for maximum WiFi coverage.
For you to set up Google WiFi, you require the following:
- Google account
- Google WiFi app
- Broadband Internet Connection
- Android or iOS device
All setup and configuration of Google WiFi are done using a Google app. Unlike Netgear Orbi, Google WiFi does not have a web interface.
The easy to use app allows you to configure your WiFi easily and effortlessly manage the setting.
- You can use the app to set up guest WiFi. This will allow guests to use the WiFi without you giving out your WiFi details.
- You can also use the app to set up parental controls. This ensures that you can limit the kind of content that your children and family members can access on the internet. You can also limit the amount of time that they spend on the internet.
- The Network assist feature allows you to access the fastest internet speed by choosing the clearest channel on your ISP.
- You can add routers to make sure that your WiFi covers the maximum range in your home or office.
- It has no web interface
- It does not have a USB port
Differences between Netgear Orbi and Google WiFi
Google WiFi unit is dual-band while the Netgear Orbi is tri-band. What does this even mean?
A dual-band router has two separate signals. It has 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. What this means is that your new devices can connect using the higher 5 GHz signal while the older devices in your home can connect through the 2.4 GHz.
Then we have a triband that has three signals: Two 5 GHz signals and one 2.4 GHz signal. The two 5 GHz allows you to use several devices without affecting the performance of your WiFi.
That was simple. Right?
Google WiFi kit is compact in terms of design than the Netgear Orbi. Its routers and nodes are shorter than the Orbi, which makes it easy to fit. You need to install the Google WiFi in a cool place as it does not have heat management features.
The two devices also differ in terms of coverage. The Netgear Orbi can cover 5,000 square feet with just one router and one satellite. For Google WiFi to cover the same range as the Orbi, it will require more routers.
The Netgear Orbi product has four gigabit Ethernet ports, power input, and an on/off button. It also comes with a USB port. On the other hand, Google WiFi does not have a USB port, and it comes with two gigabit Ethernet ports.
Final verdict - Is Orbi Or Google WiFi Better?
Both the products are similar in terms of functionality. There is no doubt the two strive to give you a fast, stable, and reliable internet connection.
The two devices feature amazing features, such as guest access and parental controls and make you feel connected all the time with their mesh network — a truly remarkable experience.
However, when we compare the two, we can confidently declare that the Netgear Orbi is better than Google WiFi. The most significant undoing of the Orbi being that it is a little bit more expensive.
The parental controls of the Orbi are more comprehensive than Google WiFi. It also has a more prominent coverage with only one router and satellite. The router also comes with an additional % GHz channel that allows you to connect more devices without affecting the internet speed.
Finally, the Orbi comes with more ports than the Google WiFi.
With an impressive coverage of up to 7500 square feet, the Netgear Orbi is a better selection than the Google WiFi system limited to 4500 square feet. Netgear’s extensive range ensures its ideal for more homes giving you extra flexibility as to where you can enjoy your connection.
Moreover, you get tri-band functionality using Netgear Orbi with Google WiFi allowing dual-band operation. Given Netgear’s improved connectivity, you can use more devices compared to Google WiFi. So, it is a better selection for gamers.
We also love the added connectivity options you get with Netgear Orbi. It features one USB port with four extra gigabit Ethernet ports to connect to more devices. On the other hand, Google WiFi comes with two-gigabit ethernet ports without any USB port.
Although you may pay less for Google WiFi, the Netgear Orbi system proves a better option given the intensified connectivity it provides.