Arris Surfboard Max Ax6600 vs Orbi vs Asus

Previously, Arris released Surfboard ax11000 which is the first wifi-6 mesh product with aggregated bandwidth of up to 11Gbps into the market, and then followed by Asus gt-ax11000 and Archer ax11000 wifi-6 routers, not mesh wifi. Then Arris released two more Surfboard series in the ax7800 network segment with the Surfboard Max Plus series and the ax6600 with the Surfboard Max series.

We will focus on the Surfboard Max Ax6600 which is a competitor product to Orbi Rbk852 ax6000 and also the Asus Zenwifi XT8 ax6600.

Arris Surfboard Max AX6600

Arris Surfboard Max kit can consist of two Surfboard max routers or one router plus one Surfboard max extender. The model is designed exactly the same as the previous Surfboard Max Pro and Surfboard Max Plus series where both are polished in black charcoal, while Surfboard Max ax6600 is polished in pearl white.

Arris Surfboard Max ax6600
Arris Surfboard Max ax6600

Highlights

  • Simultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 with 8-streams you can expand up to three Surfboard Max routers
  • Speeds up to 4,800Mbps @5GHz (4×4) plus 1,200Mbps @5GHz (2×2) plus 600Mbps @2.4GHz (2×2) for total aggregated bandwidth up to 6,600Mbps
  • Single network name mesh wifi, backhaul link for communication between router nodes @5GHz 4,800Mbps, and optional wired Ethernet backhaul between mesh routers
  • Internal antennas with One 4×4 and two 2×2
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet Port WAN/LAN ports
  • Wide network coverage up to 5,500 sq ft
  • Comes with SURFboard Central app for network management and easy setup and parental control

Cons

  • No USB port

Compared to its competitors’ products, Surfboard Max ax6600 is sold at a lower price, although the specs are not much different. Click the link below to shop the product in Amazon (#ads).

Click here to SHOP Surfboard Max

Arris Surfboard Max vs Orbi vs Asus

Now, take the other two competing products offered by Netgear and Asus and see how they are different. So far Netgear offers Orbi Rbk850 series (Orbi Rbk852 for two packs) as the flagship in wifi-6 mesh wifi, and the other product is offered by Asus with its Zenwifi xt8 ax6600 mesh wifi.

As references, two spec comparison tables below show you the three product comparison.

Orbi Rbk852 ax6000
Orbi Rbk852 ax6000

Wifi technology

Both Surfboard max and Zenwifi xt8 are designed to work @ ax6600 network segment with 8-streams. While Orbi Rbk852 (two packs) are designed to work @ ax6000 network segment. However, all the three bands are 4×4 MU-MIMO, 12-data streams. Technically with the same number of connected devices with MU-MIMO support, Orbi with 12 streams will be faster in streaming 4×4 all radio bands.

Refer to wifi speeds row in the two table, Orbi ax6000 has different speeds in each of radio bands compared to either Surfboard or Asus.

Backhaul link

Surfboard Max uses one radio band @5GHz @4,800Mbps as dedicated backhaul  link, all the connected wifi devices use the other two radio bands with total bandwidth up to 1,800 (1,200+600) Mbps. With Asus Zenwifi xt8, you can select which two radio bands @5GHz will be used as dedicated backhaul link between the nodes. You also have option to use wired Ethernet backhaul link and leave the three radio bands for connected devices.

Asus Zenwifi XT8 AX6600
Asus Zenwifi XT8 AX6600

Orbi rbk850 series comes with two radio bands @5GHz with the same bandwidth and one of them is used as dedicated backhaul link.     

2.5Gbps WAN port

What makes Arris lose compared to the two competitors is that Arris Surfboard ax6600 only provides 1Gbps WAN port, while Orbi Rbk852 and Asus Zenwifi xt8 provide 2.5Gbps WAN port. This multi gig 2.5Gbps WAN port is ideal for connecting to DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that comes with 2.5Gbps Ethernet port such as the new Surfboard s33 and Nighthawk cm2000 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.

The other less advantage for Surfboard Max is that it comes with only two Gigabit Ethernet port (WAN/LAN). While the other two competing products either Orbi and Asus come with more Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Table 1 below shows you spec comparison table between Arris Surfboard Max and Orbi Rbk852. See that Orbi is the most expensive kit than Arris and Asus.

Table 1 Arris Surfboard Max vs Orbi Rbk852

Mesh modelArris Surfboard Max (2-pack)Orbi Rbk852 (2-pack)
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 8-streamsSimultaneous tri-band ax6000 with 12-streams
Wifi speedsup to 4,800 @5GHz band 1 up to 1,200Mbps @5GHz band 2 up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz1,200Mbps @2.4GHz band 4×4 2,400Mbps @5GHz band  4×4 2,400Mbps @5GHz  4×4
Backhaul Dedicated 4×4 4.800Mbps @5GHz2.4Gbps dedicated backhaul link @5GHz
CoverageUp to 5,500 sq ft / 2-pack5,000 sq ft (2-pack)
Ethernet Port2x Gigabit WAN/LAN port2.5 Gbps WAN port and 4 LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports 
USB PortN/AN/A
AntennasOne 4×4 and two 2×28x high performance internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers 
Price$399.99$592.60

Table 2 below shows you spec comparison table between Surfboard Max ax6600 and Zenwifi xt8. Zenwifi xt8 is more advantage with 4x Gigabit LAN ports and 1x USB 3.0 port.

Table 2 Arris Surfboard Max vs Asus Zenwifi xt8

Mesh modelArris Surfboard MaxAsus Zenwifi xt8
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 8-streamsSimultaneous Tri-band mesh wifi 6 ax6600 with 8 steams
Wifi speedsup to 4,800 @5GHz band 1 up to 1,200Mbps @5GHz band 2 up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz802.11ax: Up to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1 up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
Backhaul Dedicated 4×4 4.800Mbps @5GHzSelect one of two radio band @5GHz as backhaul link Optional wired Ethernet backhaul
CoverageUp to 5,500 sq ft / 2-packUp to 5,500 sq ft / 2-pack
Ethernet Port2x Gigabit WAN/LAN port3xGigabit LAN ports 1×2.5Gbps WAN port
USB PortN/A1x USB 3.1 Gen 1
AntennasOne 4×4 and two 2×26x Internal antennas
Price$399.99$448.72

Technically Arris Surfboard Max ax6600 offers lower specs than the other two competing products Orbi rbk850 and Asus XT8. Prices are always fluctuating by time, Click the link below to see current price and shop the products in Amazon (#ads).

Click here to SHOP Orbi Rbk852 in Amazon

Click here to SHOP Asus Zenwifi XT8 in Amazon

Related products

For low end wifi-6 router products, see Asus rt-ax55 ax1800 router and the high end product Archer ax11000 wifi-6 gaming router.

To support your business, consider Ubiquiti Unifi 6 AP or Omada, scalable enterprise business network.

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