Orbi rbk963 axe11000

The First Quad Band Orbi Rbk963 Axe11000 Wifi 6e vs Linksys Atlas Max 6e Which One is Better

Netgear released the Orbi Rbk963, the industry’s first quad radio bands mesh wifi 6e router. How will this product compete with Linksys Atlas Max 6e, the first mesh wifi 6e router released to the market?

What this Orbi Rbk963 does

Orbi rbk960 was released by netgear to answer the challenge of advanced wifi6e technology which adds one @6ghz radio band in addition to existing two @2.4ghz radio band and @5ghz radio band so that wifi 6e provides three different radio bands. Orbi rbk963 is Orbi kit for sale which consists of one orbi rbr960 router plus two orbi rbs960 satellites.

6GHz for connected devices

However, netgear offers a different product by adding a separate @5GHz radio band for dedicated backhaul link between nodes, does not use the new @6ghz radio band as dedicated backhaul like its competitor Linksys atlas max 6e. Unlike atlas max 6e that uses @6ghz and other @5GHz radio bands for dynamic backhaul link that means to share with other wifi 6e connected devices, orbi rbk960 uses @6ghz radio band for wifi 6e connected devices. The dedicated backhaul link uses one of the two available @5ghz radio bands. There are total four radio bands for this new Rbk963 product.

Orbi RBK963 AXE11000
Orbi RBK963 AXE11000

See also new Asus et8 vs Linksys Atlas max 6e and also new line of Atlas Pro 6 vs Orbi rbk752.

Of course the selection of @6ghz radio band specifically designed for wifi 6e connected devices in order to provide a maximum experience without sharing with backhaul link if you already have several devices with wifi 6e devices available. Currently there are few models of available pci-e adapter devices with wifi 6e such as the OKN ax5400 and Fenvi ax5400. See also the article Various models of wifi 6e adapter.

To understand more about this product, we will compare it with similar product that has been released by Linksys previously.

Orbi rbk963 vs Linksys Atlas Max 6e

You can refer to table 1 below to show you spec comparison between Orbi rbk963 and Linksys Atlas max 6e. Linksys Atlas is widely available in the market while Orbi rbk963 the availability is still limited.


It has been discussed briefly above that Orbi uses 4 radio bands and one @5ghz radio band @4800 is used as a dedicated backhaul, so that three other radio bands with total aggregated bandwidth of up to 6,000 Mbps (1,200 + 2,400 + 2,400) are specifically for connected devices.

Linksys Atlas Max 6e
Linksys Atlas Max 6e

Unlike the Linksys atlas max 6e which uses dynamic backhaul method, the system will allocate how much bandwidth for backhaul when communication between nodes is needed. The larger bandwidth used for connected devices the greater the bandwidth for link communication between nodes. In general, for backhaul link that are share bandwidth with connected devices, no more than half the maximum bandwidth is used for backhaul link. If Linksys uses dynamic backhaul involving all three radio bands, the maximum bandwidth for backhaul is 4,200mbps while the total bandwidth for clients is also the same (4200Mbps).

Technically total bandwidth for Orbi for connected devices is 6,000Mbps, on the other hand Linksys Atlas not more than 4,200Mbps.

Wired backhaul

Besides wifi backhaul, both Orbi and Atlas products provide wired backhaul option for connecting between nodes using cat5e or cat6 utp cable. Both products have more than two Ethernet ports allowing you to use star topology or daisy chain wired backhaul topology depending on which one suits your needs.

If the placement of two satellite nodes in series, of course, the daisy chain topology is more suitable. If the two satellite nodes are on the left and right side of your mesh router, the star topology is more suitable.

The wired backhaul option is certainly more profitable if running the network cable is not too difficult to do. However, if you have to drill holes in the walls between rooms is a problem, or if pulling cables through the ceiling is difficult, it’s a good idea to find the right location for each satellite nodes to use wifi backhaul.

See also Orbi rbk852 with wired backhaul configuration.     

Ethernet ports

If Linksys atlas provides one 5Gbps wan port, Orbi provides 10Gbps wan port which is double the atlas bandwidth. If you want to use the wan port up to 5gbps or 10gbps of course you need a cable modem that can support the same Ethernet port speed, or you may consider high speed fiber optic internet. So far the fastest DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem only up to 2.5Gbps Ethernet port like those products offered by Arris with Surfboard s33 or Netgear cm2000, or the Motorola mb8611. See also Motorola vs Arris Surfboard DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.

Orbi provides one 2.5Gbps LAN port for both router and satellite in addition to 3x 1.0 Gigabit LAN ports. If you choose wired backhaul then use this 2.5gbps port. However, if the number of satellite nodes is more than one, for example two or three nodes use a multi-gig switch and use star wired backhaul topology to get high speed wired backhaul up to 2.5gbps. You need to use an unmanaged multi-gig switch for example the tp-link TP-Link TL-SG105-M2 which is equipped with 5-port 2.5Gbps port.

With Linksys your wired option is up to 1.0Gbps either daisy chain or star topology.

Besides the technical hardware spec, orbi gives you separate four SSIDs for home standard network name for the three radio bands (2.4Ghz; 5Ghz and 6Ghz) like mesh wifi in general, special SSID for wifi 6e, special SSID for IoT devices, and the last one is guest network.   

For more details, take a look at the following spec comparison table between these two products, Orbi rbk963 vs Linksys Atlas max 6e.

Table 1 Orbi Rbk963 vs Atlas Max 6e

Wifi 6e modelOrbi Rbk963Linksys Atlas Max 63
Wifi technologySimultaneous four band axe11000 mesh wifi 6eSimultaneous tri-band axe8400 with Velop Intelligent Mesh™ technology
Streams #16 streams12 streams
Signal rates1200 Mbps @2.4GHz 4×4  2400 Mbps @5GHz 4×4;  2400 Mbps @6GHz 4×4 ;  4800Mbps @ 5GHz 4×4 (backhaul)1147Mbps @2.4GHz 4×4 2402Mbps @5GHz 4×4 4804Mbps @6GHz 4×4 (backhaul and wifi 6e connected devices)
Antennas12x high-performance internal antennas with high-power amplifiers12x internal antennas
Ethernet PortsRouter: 1x 10.0 Gbps WAN port; 1x 2.5 Gbps LAN port; 3x 1.0 Gbps LAN ports   Satellite: 1x 2.5Gbps LAN 3x 1.0Gbps LAN ports 1x 5.0 Gbps WAN port; 4x Gigabit LAN ports
USB portsN/A1x USB 3.0
Backhaul4800Mbps @5GHz dedicated backhaul and optional wired backhaulDynamic backhaul; Optional wired backhaul is available 
ProcessorPowerful Quad-Core 2.2GHz processor 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM2.2 Quad core processor with 512 MB flash and 1GB RAM
Coverage9000 sq ft (3-pack)9,000 sq ft (3-pack)
SecurityNetgear ArmorLinksys Shield
Smart homeWorks with Google assistant and AlexaWorks with Alexa
Dimension11 in x 7.5 in x 3.3 in (279.0 mm x 190.5 mm x 83.8 mm)113.0 mm x 113.0 mm x 243.0 mm (4.45 in x 4.45 in x 9.57 in)

With three nodes, Orbi rbk963 is tagged with more expensive price than Linksys Atlas. Orbi rbk962 is currently available in Amazon and is tagged costly around $1,499.99, we’ll see how the retail price will drop when Asus ET12 AXE11000 will be available in the market. Click the product’s link below to read more details each the product in Amazon (#ads).

Related products

For all-in-one device, you may consider Netgear cax30 vs Motorola MG8702 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem with wifi. New lines of Netgear cable modem gateway with wireless router. 

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