Netgear Orbi vs Asus ZenWiFi: Mesh Routers Comparison

By Naila Syifa
Updated September 2023

Netgear Orbi vs Asus ZenWiFi: Mesh Routers Comparison

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and greatest Wi-Fi standard, promising faster speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity.

Some of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers on the market today are the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) and the NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852). Both of these systems are packed with features and offer excellent performance, but they have some key differences that are worth considering.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the price, technical specs, design, features, and setup process for each product to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

Overall, Asus ZenWiFi XT8 is better than Netgear Orbi RBK852. ZenWiFi covers 5500 sqft with 6.6 Gbps speed, while Orbi covers 5000 sqft with 6 Gbps speed. Orbi also requires a subscription for parental controls and internet security, while ZenWiFi provides both for free. However, Orbi has a more powerful processor, larger RAM, and storage than ZenWiFi.

SpecsAsus ZenWiFi AX (XT 8)Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)
Price$349.99 (2-Pack)$599.99 (2-Pack)
ColorWhite, blackWhite
Wi-Fi ProtocolWi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 6
Frequency BandTri-BandTri-Band
Maximum Range (2 Routers)5500 sq. ft.5000 sq. ft.
Data Transfer Rate6600Mbps6000Mbps
Processor1.5GHz Quad-Core2.2GHz Quad-Core
Storage256 MB512 MB
Number of Ports3 LAN, 1 WAN, 1 USB4 LAN, 1 WAN (main router unit only)
Ethernet Backhaul SupportYesYes
Parental ControlYes, free for lifetimeYes, free trial for 30 days
Network SecurityYes, free for lifetimeYes, free trial for 30 days
Smart Home CompatibilityAlexa, Google Assistant, IFTTTAlexa, Google Assistant
Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Great Value for Money

✓ 5500 sq. ft. coverage and 6.6Gbps speed
✓ 1.5GHz Quad-Core, 512 MB RAM, 256 MB storage
✓ Parental control and internet security for free
✓ Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

High-End Option

✓ 5000 sq. ft. coverage and 6Gbps speed
✓ 2.2GHz Quad-Core, 1 GB RAM, 512 MB storage
✓ Parental control and internet security with subscription
✓ Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

#1 Price

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) is priced at $349.99 for two packs and $209.99 for one pack, in case you need to expand your coverage later. On the other hand, the NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852) is more expensive at $599.99 for 2 packs and $349 for 1 pack on Amazon. If price is not a concern for you, you may as well consider purchasing an Orbi router with a 1-year NETGEAR Armor subscription included, costing $624.90 for two packs.

#2 Technical Specs

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Both the ZenWifi AX and Orbi AX6000 support the next-generation Wi-Fi 6 technology that provides faster speeds and a more stable connection. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is also compatible with all generations of Wi-Fi, including 802.11ac and 802.11n, so you can use it with all your devices. Both mesh systems are also tri-band, meaning that it has a dedicated Wi-Fi band for communication between nodes, which helps to reduce congestion and improve overall network performance.

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) has better coverage of up to 5500 sq. ft. for 2 routers, and expansion up to 2750 sq. ft. for each additional router you purchase. On the other hand, the NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 has a coverage of up to 5000 sq. ft. for 2 routers, and expansion up to 2500 sq. ft. The ZenWiFi AX also has a slightly faster speed of 6.6 Gbps compared to Orbi AX6000 with a speed of 6 Gbps.

However, Orbi AX6000 does have some advantages over ZenWiFi AX. It is powered by Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor, has 1 GB RAM, and has 512 MB of storage. The ZenWiFi AX (XT8) on the other hand is powered by a 1.5 GHz Quad-Core processor, has 512 MB RAM, and 256 MB of storage.

#3 Design

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) comes with a dimension of 6.4 x 3.0 x 6.3in and a weight of 1.61lb for each unit. The Orbi AX6000 is slightly bigger and heavier with a dimension of 10 x 2.8 x 7.5in and a weight of 2.86lb for each unit. A bulky design offers better heat dissipation and more room for antennas, resulting in enhanced signal performance. However, the Asus ZenWiFi AX features specially designed vents for increased airflow and double heatsink for maximized heat dissipation.

Each unit of the ZenWiFi AX system is identical. They can either work as the main router or the satellite node, and they all have 3 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, and 1 USB port. In contrast, the Orbi AX6000 system has a specific router unit and satellite unit, so they can't be used interchangeably. The router unit features 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports, while the satellite unit features only 4 LAN ports.

#4 Features

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

Both the ZenWiFi AX (XT8) and NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 come with a variety of features that make them stand out from the competition. Some common features include a web interface for managing the network, guest network, parental controls, and network security. However, it is worth noting that NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls and NETGEAR Armor (for internet security) require a paid subscription. In this aspect, ZenWiFi AX is preferable with its Trend Micro Internet Security and Advanced Parental Controls free for a lifetime.

The ZenWiFi AX also has more advantages with its compatibility with PlayStation 5 and flexible network naming feature, which allows you to set different names (SSIDs) for each frequency band, making it easier for your smart home devices to connect to the right network that they're compatible with.

Asus ZenWiFi AX also provides support for Alexa and IFTTT, while the Orbi AX6000 has support for Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands.

#5 Setup

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Setting up both the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) and the Orbi AX6000 (RBK852) is a fairly straightforward process. Both systems use a mobile app to guide you through the setup process, and both offer easy-to-follow instructions and intuitive interfaces.

Both Wi-Fi systems also support Ethernet Backhaul. With this setup, instead of relying on a wireless connection, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect your satellite to your router or another satellite. This provides even more stable and reliable networking as it reserves the three Wi-Fi bandwidths exclusively for your wireless devices.

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) also offers AiMesh, a feature that allows you to connect multiple Asus routers of different models to create a mesh network. This allows for flexibility as you can extend your coverage even further by adding your existing Asus routers to your network.

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) vs NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

Final Thoughts

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852)

Both the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) and NETGEAR Orbi AX6000 (RBK852) are excellent Wi-Fi 6 mesh router systems that provide fast and stable network coverage with a variety of features.

At a higher price, Orbi offers better hardware specs, but it has lower coverage, speeds, and requires subscriptions for some features. For a more affordable option with wider coverage, faster speed, and free advanced parental controls and internet security, Asus ZenWiFi AX is a better choice.

If you like to read more about Wi-Fi Mesh Systems, check out our other relevant guides here:

Best Wi-Fi Mesh Systems in Singapore (2023)

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) vs Eero Pro 6: Which One is the Better Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router?

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) vs Google Nest WiFi Pro: Which is the Better Wi-Fi Mesh System?

Google Nest WiFi Pro vs TP-Link Deco XE75: Best Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Routers Comparison

Don't miss out on tech

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest tech trends and guides on the best gadgets around.

Recommended reading

iRobot Roomba j9+ vs i7+

By Naila Syifa | Sep 28, 2023
Read more

iRobot Roomba j9+ vs s9+

By Naila Syifa | Sep 28, 2023
Read more