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Home » Popular Orbi Rbk852 vs Asus XT8 Zenwifi Which One is Better

Popular Orbi Rbk852 vs Asus XT8 Zenwifi Which One is Better

Netgear made its debut in mesh wifi 6 system with its Orbi rbk852 which is popular to date together with Asus xt8 even though wifi 7 products have been introduced into the market. How Orbi rbk852 vs asus xt8 perform, which one is suitable to meet your business?

In This Article

Orbi RBK852

Netgear’s successful track record with mesh wifi products based on wireless ac (wifi-5) came to a halt with the emergence of wifi-6 technology. To adapt to this change, Orbi launched its flagship product, the Orbi rbk852. This was the highest series for Orbi, followed by the Orbi Rbk 752 series (a two-pack of Orbi rbk750) and other series as well. Nowadays you can find ultimate models of Orbi Rbk963 based on enhanced wifi 6e technology, and the ultimate Orbi 970 series based on next generation of wifi 7 standards..

It is worth noting that Orbi distinguishes between Orbi mesh router and Orbi mesh satellite for almost all its series. Unlike other mesh wifi models such as Asus Zenwifi or TP-link Deco, these cannot be interchanged.

The Orbi rbk850 is sold in a kit of two units known as the rbk852, which includes one unit of Orbi mesh router (rbr850) and one unit of Orbi mesh satellite (Orbi rbs850). The 3-pack kit is called the rbk853, and it includes one unit of rbr850 and two units of Orbi rbs850.

Orbi wifi 6 mesh wifi system
Orbi RBK852 Wifi 6 mesh system

Rbk852 vs Rbk752

After the release of the Orbi Rbk850, which was the highest series from the Orbi mesh wifi system line, Netgear introduced another series called the Orbi Rbk750 a few months later. This series was designed to be more affordable compared to the high-end Orbi Rbk850. So, if you feel that the Orbi Rbk850 is too expensive, you can opt for the Orbi Rbk750 series instead. The price difference between the Orbi Rbk852 and Orbi Rbk752 is roughly $200.

Currently, the latest Orbi line products include the Orbi Rbk963 quad band with wifi 6e technology, which is quite expensive, costing around $1400 for a 3-pack.

If you’re wondering about the difference between the Orbi Rbk850 and Orbi Rbk750 series, you can refer to the following spec comparison table 1.

Wifi

The main difference between the Orbi Rbk850 and Rbk750 is the network segment they operate in, either ax6000 or ax4200. The total bandwidth for connected devices on the Orbi Rbk850 is around 3600mbps (1200 + 2400), while the Orbi Rbk750 only offers 1800mbps (600 + 1200Mbps). Additionally, one band on the Orbi Rbk850 is dedicated to a backhaul link at 2400mbps at 5GHz. Therefore, the Orbi Rbk850 can technically support twice as many clients as the Orbi Rbk750.

Hardware

The difference in bandwidth results in varying hardware designs, including the antenna design and the processor used, which also has a different clock rate. The Orbi Rbk852 is driven by a clock rate of 2.2 GHz compared to the Orbi Rbk752, which operates at only 1.4 GHz, even though it uses the same quad-core processor.

One major difference between the two models is the 2.5Gbps Ethernet WAN port on the Orbi Rbk852, which is ideal for internet bandwidth requirements of up to 2Gbps. You can use a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that comes with a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port to support your 2.5Gbps WAN port. Some options you may consider include the Surfboard s33 or Netgear cm2000 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, while a cheaper option is the Motorola Mb8611.

In case you anticipate the need for multi-gig internet speeds of up to 10Gbps in the future, neither of the current Orbi series would be capable of supporting the upcoming DOCSIS 4.0 technology. For an Orbi series that can meet this requirement and support the future DOCSIS 4.0 cable lab, you may want to consider the new Orbi Rbk860 series.

What is the difference between Orbi Rbk850 and Rbk860 series? Both series have the same technical spec except the multi-gig 10Gbps for Orbi Rbk860 series.

See also Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem vs Arris Surfboard.

Below is a comparison table for the two products, pay attention to the price difference, so make sure your choice fits your business needs.

Table 1 Orbi rbk852 vs Rbk752

Orbi seriesOrbi Rbk852 (2x rbk850)Orbi Rbk752 (2x Rbk750)
Wifi technologySimultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6000 wifi 6Simultaneous Tri-band AX4200 with MU-MIMO
and 8 streams
Wifi speeds802.11ax:
Up to 1200Mbps @2.4GHz
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
Up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz +
Up to  1200Mbps @5GHz band 1+
Up to 2400Mbps @5GHz band 2
Backhaul link2,400 Mbps @5GHz band dedicated backhaul link
Optional wired backhaul
Dedicated backhaul @5GHz 2,400Mbps,
optional wired backhaul
AntennasEight (8) high performance internal antennas with
high-powered amplifiers
Six (6) high performance internal antennas
with high-powered amplifiers
Ethernet Ports1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN;
4x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN;
Satelite: 4xGigabit LAN ports
Orbi router (Rbr750):
1x Gigabit WAN +
3xGigabit LAN ports
Orbi satellite (Rbs750):
2xGigabit Ethernet LAN
USB portsN/AN/A
Technical coverageUp to 2,500 sq ft /unit2,500 sq ft / unit
ProcessorPowerful Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor
with 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM
1.4GHz quad core processor with 512MB Flash
and 1GB RAM
Price$560.00 / 2-pack$279.00 /2-pack

The Orbi rbk850, like other mesh wifi models, merges an Orbi mesh wifi router and one or more Orbi satellite nodes that establish communication between each other through a wifi backhaul link. Orbi sets itself apart by using a dedicated backhaul link for communication between mesh router and satellite nodes, but you also have the option to use a wired Ethernet backhaul for faster and more reliable wired connection backhaul.

How to wired backhaul

If you opt for a wired backhaul, you can use a Cat6 UTP cable with each end utilizing RJ45 connections. Wondering how to connect using this UTP cable? Please refer to the figure below for detailed instructions. There are two models of wired backhaul topology to choose from: star topology and daisy chain topology.

The star topology (fig 1) requires you to connect each Orbi satellite to the Orbi router, using two LAN ports of the Orbi router and running UTP cables to each of the Orbi satellite’s Ethernet ports. On the other hand, the daisy chain topology (fig 2) involves running one UTP cable from the Orbi router to one of the Orbi satellites, and then running another UTP cable from the first Orbi satellite (that has a connection to the Orbi router) to the second Orbi satellite.

Orbi rbk852 wired backhaul topology
Orbi rbk852 wired backhaul topology

You can also deploy with star topology using an Ethernet switch. Run one UTP cable from Orbi router to the Ethernet switch that might far away from the Orbi router unit, and then you need to run each of Orbi satellites to the switch. Note that you need to use “Unmanaged switch” instead of “managed switch” or any kind of Switch with non-green technology. Click this link for wired backhaul details.

Now, we take one of Asus mesh wifi system products to compare with Orbi rbk852.  

Orbi vs Asus AX6000

Upon the release of the Orbi rbk850, Asus also unveiled the Asus rt-ax92u, which was followed by the Asus xt8 Zenwifi a few months later. Asus has since released a few more products, with the most recent being the Asus et12 mesh wifi 6e, which now stands as the main competitor of the Orbi rbk962. For a detailed comparison of the two, check out our article on Asus et12 vs Orbi rbk962.

To further understand the differences between the Asus rt-ax92u and Asus xt8 Zenwifi, let’s take a look at the specs comparison in Table 2 below.

Asus rt-ax92u mesh wifi system
Asus rt-ax92u wifi 6 mesh ytem
Asus ax6600 series

It’s worth noting that there are differences in wifi design between the two models, particularly in the connection between nodes or backhaul links. The Asus rt-ax92u features the @5 GHz @4800Mbps radio band as a backhaul link, as well as for wifi-6 connected devices. Meanwhile, the Zenwifi xt8 offers two @5 GHz radio bands that you can choose as a dedicated backhaul @2400 or @4800. Both models also provide a wired backhaul option.

Asus Zenwifi XT8
Asus Zenwifi XT8

Take a look at more spec comparison between Asus rt-ax92u and Zenwifi xt8 below.

Table 2 Asus rt-ax92u vs Zenwifi xt8

Asus modelAsus RT-ax92uAsus Zenwifi xt8
Wifi technologySimultaneous three band ax6000Simultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6600
with 8 steams
Wifi signal speeds400Mbps @2.4Ghz
867Mbps @5Ghz
4,804Mbps @5Ghz
Up to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz  
up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1
up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
Backhaul link4,804Mbps @5Ghz wifi 6; Optional wired backhaulYou can configure which 5GHz radio band
will be used as backhaul link; Optional wired Ethernet backhaul is available
Antennas2x Internal antenna ; plus External antenna x 46x internal antennas
Ethernet Ports1x 1.0Gbps WAN port;
4x Gigabit LAN port
1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN ;
3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN
USB PortUSB 2.0 x 1
USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 1
1x USB 3.1 gen 1
ProcessorQuad core processor with 256MB NAND Flash and 512MB RAM1.5GHz quad core processor with 256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM
Coverage5,500 sq ft /2-packUp to 5,500 sq ft (2pack)  / 2,750 sq ft / unit
Price$340.99$349.99

When comparing the two models offered by Asus, the Asus xt8 Zenwifi appears to be a fairer option than the Orbi rbk852. This is because both the Orbi and the xt8 Zenwifi models come equipped with a high-speed 2.5Gbps Ethernet WAN port, which can handle internet bandwidth demands of up to 2Gbps.

If you’re looking for a cable modem that supports up to a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, there are a couple of options available. The new models of Arris Surfboard S33 cable modem or Nighthawk CM2000 are both DOCSIS 3.1 compliant and support up to a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port. You’ll need to contact your internet cable provider to request an upgrade to a blast internet speed of up to 2Gbps.

Orbi Rbk852 vs Asus Zenwifi XT8

The following table 3 is a spec comparison between the Orbi rbk852 and the Asus Zenwifi xt8.

Wifi signals

The Orbi Rbk852 and Asus XT8 Zenwifi are both tri-band wifi-6 mesh systems with similar total bandwidth, but there are some differences in bandwidth allocation. Specifically, there is a bandwidth difference at the 2.4GHz radio band and the two @5GHz radio bands. Orbi uses one of the @5GHz radio bands as a dedicated backhaul link between Orbi nodes, while Asus xt8 Zenwifi allows you to choose which @5GHz radio bands will be used as a dedicated backhaul.

While Asus does offer a wired backhaul option, it’s important to note that using a wired backhaul does not necessarily mean that a dedicated @5GHz backhaul can be used for device connections. Instead, the dedicated @5GHz backhaul is reserved as a fallback backhaul link in case there is a disruption to the Ethernet backhaul link. You can choose between a dedicated @5GHz @1200Mbps backhaul and a wired Ethernet backhaul option, resulting in a total bandwidth of up to 480 + 600 Mbps for connected devices.

Operation Modes

At times, the network setup in your home may not be a cable modem but a cable modem gateway, such as the Netgear cax80. Consequently, Orbi cannot function as a router in this setup, but it can serve as a wireless access point. Orbi offers the option to operate as a WiFi AP. To achieve this, you need to connect one of the Ethernet gateway ports to the Orbi router’s WAN port and modify the configuration settings by selecting Advanced > Advanced > Router / AP Mode and choosing the AP mode radio button.

Similarly, Asus xt8 also provides an option to allow the device to work as a WiFi AP like Orbi, offering various operation mode options. You can select operation mode in the general settings and choose Asus xt8 to work in wireless router mode (default mode), AP mode, Repeater mode, Media bridge, or Aimesh node. It’s worth noting that most of Asus’s recent products feature Aimesh technology, which enables this device to join other Aimesh products to create a whole-home system. For instance, if you already have the latest Asus ET8 mesh wifi 6e system, you can configure xt8 to work as an Aimesh node.

Security protection

The Orbi rbk852 provides a paid feature called Netgear Armor, which offers network threat protection against various internet threats like malware, ransomware, adware, and phishing attacks. The cost of this service is around $35 per year. On the other hand, Asus provides a free subscription of Asus AiProtection powered by Trend Micro. AiProtection offers real-time network monitoring to detect malware, viruses, and other intrusions for all devices connected to your network.

Asus AiProtection provides a straightforward way to assess the network protection of the xt8 router against all possible internet threats. To initiate the process, navigate to the General menu > AiProtection and select the network protection tab. Click on the Scan button to generate a risk security assessment report from your router. The report will offer valuable insights into the level of protection provided by your router.

Asus Aiprotection risk assessment report
Asus Aiprotection risk assessment report

One critical area to pay attention to is the default user and router password. It is advisable to change these passwords when configuring the system for the first time. Additionally, the report will indicate the strength of your password and highlight any potential threats, such as phishing, brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, among others. Please refer to the following image as an example of a risk security assessment report for your current router.

This Asus AiProtection is a free software powered by Trend micro. For spec comparison details, please refer to the following table.

Table 3 Orbi Rbk852 vs Asus Zenwifi XT8

ModelOrbi rbk852 (2pk)Asus XT8 Zenwifi (2pk)
Wifi technologySimultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6000 wifi 6 with 8 streamsSimultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6600 with 8 steams
Wifi speedsUp to 1200Mbps @2.4GHz  
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
Up to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz  
up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1
up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
CoverageUp to 5,000 sq ft / 2,500 sq ft /unitUp to 5,500 sq ft (2pack)  / 2,750 sq ft / unit
Backhaul link2,400 Mbps @5GHz band is used as dedicated backhaul link, optional wired Ethernet backhaul is also availableYou have option which 5GHz radio band to configure  as dedicated backhaul link, or optional wired Ethernet backhaul
AntennasEight (8) high performance internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers6x internal antennas
SSIDSingle network nameSingle network name or one name each band
Ethernet Ports1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN
3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN
1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN
3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN
USB PortN/A1x USB 3.1 gen 1
ProcessorPowerful Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor with 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM1.5GHz quad core processor with 256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM
ProtectionNetgear ShieldFree Commercial Grade Security & Advanced Parental Controls powered by Trend Micro
Price$560.99(2-pack)$349.99 (2-pack)

See that the price difference is very much around $200 more expensive for Orbi. Prices are always fluctuating; you may check the current price and rating in Amazon (#ads) by following the product link below to shop and see more details in Amazon:

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You may like to see the ultimate product of the first quad band Orbi rbke963 axe11000 mesh wifi 6e and comparison with asus et12 axe11000.

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