Orbi Home Wi-Fi System RBK50 by Netgear – Review



Having internet dead spots is one of the most frustrating things!  I recently was given the chance to test a Netgear Orbi and it’s safe to say my frustrations are much less!  Previously I have tried a number of routers and ultimately needed to use boosters in the house to get the signal strength throughout the house.

What we love…

Orbi is easy to set up router that provides wi-fi in my whole house without having signal boosters or dead spots

What we’d love to see…

Reminders from the app from Netgear to update firmware or simply reboot the router every so often

Summary

Orbi has made my home internet so much faster.  Even though the cost of the Orbi is a bit higher than a traditional router – having a simple easy solution means I can spend more time with my family doing what matters without having to worry about my internet.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

netgear-ambassaodorDisclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.

iMum Mary had similar experiences when she reviewed Orbi last year.  Read her review here.

Out of the box, Orbi was easy to set up.  I installed the companion app on my iPhone and within 10 minutes, I had both the main unit and satellite set up – firmware updated and running!  The best part – I no longer need to remember two network names – my devices will seamlessly swap between the 2.5G to the 5G network without me having to change anything!

Orbi is an all in one unit – there are no antenas that are external.  You place one unit close to your home modem and use an ethernet cord to plug the modem and the base unit together.  Then, you can place the satellite unit in the house where  most of your electronics are – for me that’s on the first floor near our living room.  We have a TV/DVD player that we use to stream, a home laptop as well as various bluetooth speakers and a charging dock for our devices.  Orbi is cool to the touch, so I didn’t worry about my four year old touching it in error and hurting his hand.

One of my favorite things about Orbi is the ability to configure as little or as much as you wish!  I have an Orbi app on my phone and can use my Amazon Alexa to enable or disable the guest internet with a simple spoken voice command.  I also loved the integration with Circle parental controls – as a mom I’m always watching how much screentime my kids get – with Orbi I have a second person on my shoulder helping to monitor and make sure that they are not accessing sites that I don’t want them to.  Once I got Orbi, and upgraded my cable modem to a CM 1000 I was finally getting the speeds I was paying for with my home internet!  One of the other things I liked was the ability to share WiFi with a QR code or even via a text message to other Apple devices.

 

Inside Orbi

6 dedicated WiFi antennas supporting Tri-band WiFi with dedicated 4×4 Tx/Rx backhaul.

2 antennas for Dual-band front haul connections to WiFi devices (2.4GHz + 5GHz Low-band).

 

To start using Orbi, you plug it into your cable modem using the included Ethernet cable.  Plug in Orbi and turn it on.  Orbi will turn solid white and then pulse white when it is ready for you to set up with your home internet.  The goal is with the base and satellite, that you get a blue ring.  Blue= good connection, amber= fair connection, magenta= unable to connect.   When I first set up the Orbi in one part of the house I got an Amber, so I simply moved it around a bit until I got a better connection.  My favorite part?!?  I finally got a connection in both parts of my downstairs as well as on my side deck so we could stream to our heart’s content.  If you still struggle to get a good connection, Orbi has other units you can purchase to help boost the signal throughout the house as well.  When setting up you can either plug into the included ethernet ports or use WPS setup to allow your devices to find Orbi.  You can see a device list of connected devices and turn on/off the internet with a tap.  WIth our previous router and old modem, I was lucky if I got half the speed I was paying for.  Now I can stream on multiple devices, use the internet and even play music without worrying about my connection.  I pay for Blast services with Comcast and got 296 down and 12 up once I installed Orbi.  This was not location dependent within the house either.

In terms of improvements, I wish the Orbi app would send you a reminder when you need to update firmware or do some other type of maintenance to the network.   Other than that – really there is nothing I would change.

Orbi has made my home internet so much faster.  Even though the cost of the Orbi is a bit higher than a traditional router – having a simple easy solution means I can spend more time with my family doing what matters without having to worry about my internet. Available from Amazon and other fine retailers.



NETGEAR Orbi NETGEAR Orbi by NETGEAR

Price: $FREE

The Orbi App from NETGEAR makes it easy to set up and get more from your Orbi WiFi system.

You can quickly install your WiFi in just a few steps. A dashboard provides easy access to additional.

 


Circle: Smart Family Controls Circle: Smart Family Controls by Circle Media Incorporated

Price: $FREE

Circle is the smart way for families to manage content and time online, on any device.

Circle works with your home Wi-Fi and manages every device on your network, both wireless and wired, without.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly. The iMums are  NETGEAR Ambassadors.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs

Combined WiFi speed 3,000 Mbps (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)
Coverage 5,000 sq ft
Dedicated Backhaul 4×4 (1.7Gbps)
WiFi Technology Tri-band

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

SnapPower Safe Light and USB Charger by SnapPower – Review

What we love…

super easy to install SnapPower Safe Light allows you to childproof and install night lights throughout your house.  Snap Power Charger is a perfect outlet replacement especially if you have a home office where you might need to charge your electronics without having them downstairs

What we’d love to see…

ability to use in a bathroom or kitchen using GFCI

Summary

Easy to install child proofing solution that has the benefit of pathway lighting and no covers to lose or cords to lose when charging your cell phone. I love how easy it is to access my outlets now and don’t worry my toddler will see me removing one of the plastic outlet covers and try to do so himself potentially resulting in a hazard.  Simple.  Easy.  A must have product in my home.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

 

SnapPower Safe Light by SnapPower is an easy to install wall replacement switch that not only childproofs but adds lights so you don’t need to take up one of the outlets with a nightlight.  As a mom of a toddler, I increasingly found myself telling my son “no” when it came to power outlets.  I remember childproofing with my first involved cumbersome outlet covers or the little white outlet covers you would remove just so you could vacuum and then stick back in.  I knew that there had to be a better solution.  At our house, in addition to needing to childproof, many of our outlets had nightlights plugged into at least one of the outlets.  We have some pretty dark corners, especially at the bottom of the stairs.  Other products in the lineup include switch plate covers for light switches
Installation was a snap – it took me more time to go downstairs and turn off the breaker than it did to install each of the three SnapPower Safe Lights.  You simply switch off the power, remove the outlet cover, and then insert the new outlet cover which has metal prongs on each side.  These prongs go inside the outlet and provide power for the LED guidelight at the bottom of the outlet.  Not only are they childproof, but you gain an outlet back and nighttime lighting.  Each outlet contains a sensor which turns the light on and off based on the light conditions or you can set it to high or low, and it costs mere pennies a day to use.  It’s so much brighter than the previous blue nightlights we were using, but not too bright if my older son gets up during the night to use the bathroom.

We also tested the Snap Power Charger, which allows you to convert your outlet to a USB charger, without losing the outlet.  We have a lot of tech in our house – and sometimes our home charging dock is full – or I might just want to plug in my iPhone if it’s running low on battery.  Installation for this was simple as well – the outlet screw provides the connection to power with the power prongs providing power and you simply snap on the cover.

For purposes of the review – I have used both the SnapPower SafeLight and Snap Power USB Charger for over a month – and I honestly love them.  I love that I don’t need to fiddle with plastic outlet covers if I need to do a quick vacuum of the playroom or worry about coming down the stairs in the dark.  When I use the SnapPower SafeLight I simply insert the plug of whatever item I want to use,slide the outlet covers over and am on my way.  When I am done, I unplug and don’t have to worry any longer about putting something else back into the outlet or fiddling with putting the cover back on.

The SnapPower Guidelight and SnapPower USB Charger work on standard outlets – they do not work with GFCI outlets due to the need for a reset button – so you can’t use them in the kitchen or bathrooms.  I would love to see this in the future although I am sure it will require a redesign of some sort.

Overall, this has been a fantastic solution for night time lighting, childproofing and charging for our family.  I love how easy it is to access my outlets now and don’t worry my toddler will see me removing one of the plastic outlet covers and try to do so himself potentially resulting in a hazard.  Simple.  Easy.  A must have product in my home. Items can be purchased directly from SnapPower or via Amazon.

RRP of SnapPower Safe Light is $17.00 USD for a single or 10 for $140 USD.

RRP of the SnapPower USB charger is $20 USD for a single or a three pack for $54 USD.

all>NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Meet CUJO and protect your #connectedhome

CUJO Smart Home Security Appliance

Having a #connectedhome is a term we might not have considered even five years ago, but it is rapidly becoming the norm. In my house alone, I have multiple smartphones, tablets, a Smart TV, Smart Surge Protectors, Smart Lights and more. I once was able to protect my home using simple desktop virus protection, but now, that protection only covers my desktop and selected tablets instead of every device in my home which it once did. Although security software has evolved, the hacking world has evolved faster. Take for example, the local schools that have internet. I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by our local school and seen a car parked in the lot using the unsecured internet, it’s hard to say if they are doing legal activities or not, but that internet could be hacked into since it’s open to the public.
A new company, CUJO, is planning to introduce a smart device which will plug into your router which will help to protect your home internet from viruses, hacks, phishing and more for all of the connected devices in your house including television, DVD player, appliances, baby monitors and more which rely on your home internet to send diagnostics’, operate and function in your #smarthome. CUJO is a “virtual shield” which adapts and learns your behaviors to keep you safe.  One of my favorite things is that it is plug and play, one cord and it’s running with nothing more for me to do.  It’s like your home alarm system to protect your devices, except smarter because it will learn what you use and how you use it to prevent attacks.  It learns from all of the behaviors of usage and constantly updates with new adapts safety measures to safeguard against virtual intruders.
CUJO analyzes your internet behavior and secures devices on your network which can include: televisions, baby monitors, refrigerators, thermostats, alarm systems or anything that uses the internet wi-fi in order to operate. If it detects something out of the ordinary, you are sent an alert on your smartphone while the attack is prevented. I store many things on my devices and run a backup frequently, but with my digital life being so #connected I worry about hackers getting information that they should not. A funding campaign will be launched in September with more details to be provided soon. Until then, check out this great video of how CUJO can protect your #connectedhome and read an interview with the CEO of CUJO.

I don’t open my front door to strangers and I’m glad that a device will exist so I can prevent my virtual front door from being opened.  CUJO is the world’s first smart device that protects your home Internet and connected devices from hacks, viruses, malware, phishing, and other virtual attacks. With so many connected devices in your home, your personal information is now accessible through various gadgets. CUJO acts as a shield for your entire home network, adapting continuously to keep you safe.  There will be a funding campaign on Indiegogo announced for this product on September 15, so be sure to stay tuned! They also have a Facebook event page too!

smart-home-2-01

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

News: iHome HomeKit-enabled iSP5 SmartPlug Available for Pre-Order Beginning June 15 for $39.99

First in ‘iHome Control’ series of Intelligent Home Products

RAHWAY, NJ, June 2, 2015 – iHome announces its HomeKit-enabled smart plug (model iSP5) will be available for pre-order on June 15 at iHome.com for $39.99 and is expected to start hitting retail destinations in late June and throughout July.

 

With the HomeKit-enabled iHome iSP5 SmartPlug, consumers can use Siri or the iHome Control app to control lamps, fans and other home devices from anywhere with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Users can also group several iHome SmartPlugs into individual “scenes” to control multiple connected devices within a home. Additionally the iHome Control app allows for the creation of custom scenes to control multiple SmartPlugs with a single command, or to create schedules for complete home automation.

smartplug.c8a69629d131

 

The sleek design of the iHome iSP5 SmartPlug fits a standard wall socket and will not block the other outlet. The slim design allows for one plug to be free, or the installation of two SmartPlugs in one standard wall socket. The iHome iSP5 SmartPlug requires a Wi-Fi connection and HomeKit requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 8.1 or later.

 

The iHome iSP5 SmartPlug is the first in a planned series of products from the new iHome Control line of smart home accessories.

 

To preorder the iHome iSP5 SmartPlug, or for more information, visit: http://www.ihomeaudio.com/discover/smart_plug/.

 

About iHome

iHome was established in 2005 as a division of SDI Technologies, a company with over 60 years of consumer electronics innovation.  The first iHome product introduced, an iPod-docking clock radio, was the top-selling iPod accessory for the year and firmly established iHome as the premier brand in the audio accessories market.  Today, iHome remains the #1 selling brand in digital player speakers* with an impressive catalog of award-winning products.

 

iHome is currently pioneering a new area of connected consumer electronics with the release of its iHome Control line of smart home products.  Compatible with Apple and Android portable devices, the first product in the series, the iHome iSP5 SmartPlug, is a launch partner with Apple’s HomeKit smart home software.

 

iHome’s products can be found at retail and online locations in over 70 countries.  For more information on iHome and its products, visit ihome.com, Facebook (facebook.com/iHome), or follow @iHome on Twitter.

*According to NPD data

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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