In Netgear's huge Orbi product catalog, there is also a 4G LTE WiFi router. The Orbi 4G LTE Advanced Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi router offers the speed of the 4G LTE mobile network, (up to 1.2Gbps) allows you to create WIFi connections for home or work environments and is characterized by being equipped with an integrated cellular modem (it is sufficient to insert a SIM card of the main compatible 4G LTE service providers to have Wifi always active, useful, for example when a wired Internet connection, for example fiber, cable or DSL, is not available or is interrupted , allowing you to switch smoothly from the wired network to the wireless network. The following features and functionality of the product:
The Orbi 4G LTE advanced tri-band router arrives in a cardboard box inside which we find: the router / satellite itself (dimensions: 170x79x226mm, weight 0.78kg) the power supply, plugs (including the Italian one) and an ethernet cable (useful for the first configuration). On the actual router there is a transparent plastic band with the wifi network name (SSID), default password and a QR-code that allows you to access the network (just frame the QR-code on the camera).
On the back of the router we find the connection for a possible antenna, the Sync button (for synchronization with other satellites), a WAN / LAN port, a second LAN, the input for the power supply, the slot for the nano SIM and the connection for a second antenna. The external antennas are not included and can possibly be purchased to improve reception, in particular inside buildings with particularly thick walls or when the router must be placed in some point not particularly favorable for the reception of the 4G LTE signal.
The design of the router is elegant and according to Netgear it is capable of covering up to 125m2. The integrated cellular modem is compatible with the CA Orbi satellites, convenient for those who already have a WiFi Mesh system, a real standard that allows you to cover even very large surfaces; peculiarity of this type of networks is the devices connect to the strongest signal, automatically moving access to the nearest WiFi access point. the router / satellite included in the package alone allows, as already mentioned, to cover about 120 square meters.
The Orbi 4G LTE wifi router (indicated with the code LBR20-100EUS in the manufacturer's package) can reach the maximum speed of 1.2 gbps on the cellular network but obviously a lot depends on the telephone operator used, the network coverage and others factors still. It is basically a full-fledged Orbi product with the difference that it integrates a modem for managing 4G LTE connections. As we mentioned at the beginning, as well as for use as a WiFI router it can also be used as a backup system for the wired network, like any other router and with all the necessary features.
The installation is very simple. It can be done in various ways but the simplest thing is to download the Orbi app, following step by step the procedures on the display of the iPhone or iPad. In any case, just insert the SIM, connect the power supply, turn on the router and follow the instructions on the screen. It is just as easy to add any “satellites” to further expand coverage: just place the satellite somewhere, connect the power, press the “Sync” button on the main router and on the satellite and you're done. The nano SIM fits into the slot easily with a simple “snap” mechanism.
The app and the control and management functions
The Netgear app (download from here) allows you to manage the network name, passwords, control access and other services offered by the manufacturer. Among the features that can be activated, there is also “Netgear Armor”, a security solution proposed in collaboration with BitDefender that allows you to receive alerts on your smartphone or computer when threats are detected or blocked. Circle, on the other hand, is a parental control system, which allows parents to establish rules for their children to access the internet, set time limits, block inappropriate websites and pause browsing. The basic functions are free, for advanced functions a monthly subscription of 4.99 euros per month is required. Advanced functions allow you to specify the time that children can spend online, decide which applications can be used and also create a mechanism of recognition and awards for virtuous behavior.
The tests with a TIM SIM (from the Orbi app you can follow the speed tests) showed great speed, at least in the area where we tested the router. The router in question does not offer the new WIFi 6 standard (it uses WiFi 5) but it is in any case possible to manage without problems the maximum transmission speed on Wi-Fi of 2.2 GB / s, far higher than that available in most of Italy.
In our case, browsing using a data connection with a SIM is even faster than that offered by the same cable operator, with a speed of 180 Mb / s in download and 75 Mb / s in upload, definitely higher than what the Telecom modem / router can get on a wired network.
How it behaves
It is a very high level product, powerful, with all possible and imaginable features and at the same time simple to set up.
The same company offers cheaper alternatives but we see this 4G LTE wifi modem well not only at home but also in offices to ensure 3G / 4G LTE as a reliable source of failover and backup for the Internet (2 × 2 (866 Mbps) in so that the Internet is always up and running.
Thanks to the unlimited access offers of the various operators, you can also use this device for streaming or gaming, with perfect connectivity throughout the home. The device is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The warranty is for one year and manufacturer basic technical support 24/7 for 90 days from the date of purchase.
The cost (349.00 euros at the time of writing on Amazon) is certainly high but the set of additional features offered is priceless compared to competing products.