Best Netgear and Orbi Wi-Fi routers in 2024

Netgear is one of the oldest router brands, and its Nighthawk series continues to dominate sales charts. The brand has pivoted to mesh networking with the introduction of Orbi mesh systems, and it has steadily risen up the ranks in this category, with recent launches like the Orbi 960 offering unmatched coverage and an extensive set of features, including 10 Gigabit connectivity. So if you're looking to upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 router or need a reliable budget router to deliver a steady signal to all of your devices, these are the best Netgear routers available today.

Level up your home network with these Netgear and Orbi routers

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

What's the best Netgear router you can buy?

The Nighthawk AXE7800 is one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers you can buy right now. It has more throughput than you'll need, and it does a phenomenal job delivering reliable connectivity to all the devices on your home network. This router is designed for power users, and can handle several dozen devices, so if you have a few phones, tablets, notebooks, and a lot of IoT gear, this is the ideal option for you.

Don't need Wi-Fi 6E and want something on a budget instead? The Netgear RAX43 has all the features you'd need in a Wi-Fi 6 router, and it does a fabulous job in daily use.

How to choose the best Orbi mesh system

Orbi continues to be one of the best mesh systems you can buy today, and the latest offerings extend that lead. The Orbi 960 series is a terrific mesh system that gives you unmatched Wi-Fi 6E coverage and bandwidth, and one of the best selling points is its ease of use. The downside is that it costs quite a lot of cash, but if you're interested in switching to a mesh system and want a feature-rich router that doesn't miss out in any area, the Orbi 960 is the way to go.

The Orbi 760 is a great choice if you need a mesh system that's much more affordable. You still get a dedicated wireless backhaul and all the custom utilities that make Orbi's mesh systems stand out, but there's no Wi-Fi 6E, and the range isn't as high. That said, the standard 2-pack should still be able to deliver whole-home coverage without any issues whatsoever.

What you need to know about Netgear and Orbi router software

Netgear offers extensive customization options on its Nighthawk-branded routers, with the Orbi series missing some of these features. The brand notes that Orbi mesh systems are designed to be easy to use, and Netgear uses a slate of custom features to intelligently optimize the network. As a result, you don't get the ability to set up and manage Orbi systems from a web interface — it's all done through the app.

Netgear heavily pushes subscription plans on its devices, and there are two services aimed at home users: Armor and Smart Parental Controls. Netgear Armor is a security suite that's powered by Bitdefender, and it provides a network vulnerability assessment, protects all devices connected to your home network, filters potentially harmful sites, viruses, spyware, and ransomware. Most high-end Netgear products come with a one-year license to Armor, and then the service costs $99 a year. Other brands like ASUS offer a similar service — albeit not as comprehensive — for absolutely free, but you don't get quite as many features.

Smart Parental Controls is a service that lets you set internet usage limits on your children's devices. The free version lets you assign devices your children use to access the internet, but if you want to monitor traffic and app usage, filter content, set time limits, daily routines, and other parental control features, you'll need to pay for the premium plan that costs $6.99 a month or $69 a year. 

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.