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Review: my thoughts on the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mesh System SXK80 (2024)

My thoughts on the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 (SXK80): performance, security, VPN uses, and reliable support.
Donald Moore



January 3, 2024


I’ve been looking for a good Wi-Fi system for my connected home and office. I chose the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 for its promised fast speeds, extensive coverage, and advanced technology. Below is my experience with it.


Property Value Property Value
Brand NETGEAR Model Name SXK80
Special Feature Beamforming, QoS Frequency Band Class Tri-Band
Wireless Communication Standard 802.11ax Compatible Devices iPhone, Laptop, Gaming Console
Frequency 5 GHz Recommended Uses For Product Security
Included Components One (1) Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Router (SXR80), One (1) Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Satellite (SXS80), Two (2) wallmou… Connectivity Technology Wi-Fi, Ethernet


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 back Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 front Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 installed


Next-Level WiFi Performance

Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 installed

As someone who relies heavily on a stable and fast internet connection for both work and leisure, I’ve been on the lookout for a robust Wi-Fi solution that can keep up with the increasing demands of modern devices. After some research, I decided to try the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 system, which promised to deliver a next-level WiFi performance. The technical specs were certainly impressive, touting a Tri-Band Mesh System and compatibility with the latest WiFi 6 devices. My experience with its performance has been mostly positive, but let’s break it down a bit.

WiFi 6 Technology and Speeds:

  • Tri-Band Radios: The ability to simultaneously send and receive data on three different bands does improve overall network efficiency.

  • 6000Mbps Data Throughput: This has proven to be more than sufficient for handling multiple devices streaming 4K videos or engaging in high-definition video conferences.

  • 6000 Sq. Ft. Coverage: The coverage area is expansive, and it holds true to the claims, providing excellent range even in areas of my home that previously experienced weak signals.

  • Compatibility: There’s no need to fret about older devices since it seamlessly supports WiFi 5 gadgets as well.

Personal Experience:

I have found the initial setup to be quite intuitive and once up and running, the connection speeds were consistently high. It’s refreshing not to experience the dreaded “buffering” symbol during a family movie night or while I’m in a crucial video call for work. The provision of six gigabit speeds allows me to rest easy knowing that my internet can handle whatever demands I place on it.

However, this system isn’t without its hiccups. While the majority of the point-of-sale features worked out of the box, I’ve noted that the system conducts periodic firmware updates. While necessary for security and performance improvements, these updates can sometimes cause temporary connectivity issues or require a quick router reboot.

The most prominent benefit is the noticeable improvement in device handling. With an ever-growing number of devices in my home, from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices, the Orbi Pro WiFi 6 effortlessly manages to provide each one with a stable and fast connection. I haven’t experienced any notable lag or decline in speed, even as the number of devices connected to the network climbs.

Yet, the system isn’t perfect for everyone. The price point may be a turn-off for those with simpler needs or smaller spaces. Moreover, as a power user, I find that the network management interface could be more streamlined – shifting away from complexity without sacrificing advanced features.

In sum, the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 delivers on its promise of enhanced coverage and speed, making it a great fit for a demanding home office environment or a small business setup. While the investment feels significant, the return in terms of reliable performance and the flexibility to expand my network confirms its value. The few drawbacks, such as managing through software updates, are minor inconveniences compared to the overall benefits.

Advanced Security and Management

Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 back

In my experience with the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6, I’ve found its advanced security and management features quite impressive, but like most tech solutions, it’s not devoid of its quirks. The business-grade security stands out, adding a significant layer of protection with multiple SSIDs tied to separate VLANs, which is essential for segmenting traffic and protecting sensitive data. The inclusion of WPA3 security also offers peace of mind, knowing that the latest security protocols are in place to safeguard the network.

Here’s a breakdown of what I appreciate about its security features:

  • Multiple SSIDs and VLANs: This allows for efficient network segmentation, which is critical in my setup for separating different device types and managing access levels.

  • Dedicated 2.4GHz SSID: Giving 2.4GHz devices their own SSID helps in avoiding bandwidth congestion and ensures better performance for those devices.

  • Business-grade security: The WPA3 encryption and the ability to have separate DHCP servers for each VLAN enhance security.

On the flip side, here are a few drawbacks:

  • Accessing the web configuration: It’s limited to VLAN 1, which can be a bit restrictive if I want to manage the network from a different VLAN.

  • Insight remote management: While convenient, it introduced an unexpected issue with password sync during a firmware update which was rather annoying to troubleshoot.

However, the Connectivity Technology provides robust options with both Wi-Fi and Ethernet. This dual-mode ensures I can have stable wired connections for latency-sensitive tasks while also offering wireless convenience.

The internal antenna design is another facet touted to improve performance by 20%, and in practice, I have noticed a more stable signal throughout my workspace. The AX6000 speed claim holds up quite well with WiFi 6 devices, giving me smooth streaming and video conferencing experiences.

For a tech enthusiast like me, it’s also a plus that it works seamlessly with various devices such as iPhones, laptops, and gaming consoles. I particularly appreciate the ease of connection with newer devices that support WiFi 6, as it ensures that I’m utilizing them to their fullest potential.

While I have had a mostly positive experience with the Orbi Pro WiFi 6, I also recognize the importance of keeping configurations up-to-date and backups ready, as firmware updates can occasionally introduce unexpected issues. Nonetheless, despite these minor setbacks, the positives have far outweighed the negatives, and I’d reckon it’s a solid investment for those seeking a robust and secure networking solution for either a home office or a small business setup.

VPN Service and Business Use

Netgear orbi pro sxk80 wifi 6 front

When choosing a mesh network for business use, the VPN service provided by Netgear’s Orbi Pro WiFi 6 is a major advantage. Its ability to create secure site-to-site or site-to-multi-site connections is essential for connecting multiple office locations or remote workers. Using a single corporate SSID for these connections enhances security and simplifies the user experience.

Here’s a quick rundown of the VPN service benefits and considerations:

  • Secure Connections: The VPN ensures that sensitive business information remains protected when transmitted over the internet, particularly important for industries handling confidential data.

  • Site-to-Site Capabilities: Ideal for businesses with multiple locations, ensuring all offices are seamlessly connected under one network.

  • Remote Access: Employees working from home can connect to the company network as if they were in the office, accessing resources securely.

  • 30-Day Free Trial: A great way to test the waters before committing to the add-on subscription service.

However, there are a few drawbacks. For smaller businesses or those without a dedicated IT team, setting up and managing a VPN might present challenges. Additionally, after the trial period, the VPN service is an additional expense on top of the hardware investment.

Personally, I found setup to be a manageable process, despite some initial reservations. I appreciate the layer of security it adds, especially when I’m accessing my work network from public Wi-Fi hotspots. The seamless integration with the Orbi Pro WiFi 6 system makes the added cost worth it for me; however, the subscription-based model might not be for everyone.

While the free trial is handy, it can often feel like a double-edged sword when you’re pushed towards a paid subscription. That said, from my experience of networking equipment, finding a system that offers this level of business-grade capabilities and performance without ongoing costs is rare.

As I integrated the Orbi Pro WiFi 6 into my business environment, I was impressed with the ease of management. Netgear’s Insight app makes monitoring and making changes to the network straightforward—even for users who may not be as IT-savvy.

In evaluating whether this setup is suitable for your business, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the VPN service within the context of your specific needs. For larger businesses or those with heightened security requirements, the benefits are clear. Small businesses might need to carefully consider their current and future networking needs to decide if the additional cost is justified.

The bottom line is, the VPN service offered with the Orbi Pro WiFi 6 is a forward-thinking addition for a business-focused WiFi solution, despite the need for a subscription and the potentially complex initial setup for some.

Stable Connectivity and Support

A stable signal icon with contrasting background for reliability

In my experience using the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the stability and reliability of my business’s network. This is a big deal for me as disruptions are more than just inconveniences; they equate to lost productivity and potential revenue. Let’s break it down:

  • Speed and Coverage: The promise of 6,000Mbps total data throughput and an expansive 6,000 sq. ft. of coverage has held true for my setup. I’ve consistently experienced ultrafast speeds which are critical for data-intensive tasks like HD video streaming and large file transfers.

  • Device Capacity: Being able to connect four times more devices compared to previous generations has been a game-changer for my IoT-heavy environment. From smartphones to smart home devices, everything coexists without a hitch.

  • Stability Over Time: Since the update on 8/2/21, apart from a couple of hiccups that I believe were ISP-related, this router has delivered a rock-solid performance, maintaining connections without fail.

  • Customer Support: My personal interaction with their customer support following a firmware update was surprisingly smooth. The knowledgeable representative helped me quickly navigate through a password issue caused by the firmware, saving me from unnecessary hassle.

However, it hasn’t all been perfect. There are a few drawbacks worth mentioning:

  • Complex Settings: For beginners, the advanced settings can be daunting. While the Insight app streamlines some of this, truly maximizing the router’s potential requires a bit of technical know-how.

  • Firmware Quirks: The firmware issue that reset my admin password highlighted a complexity that could be problematic for less tech-savvy users.

While one could argue that these are minor compared to the router’s benefits, they are pain points that one needs to consider. For instance, if the router loses connection, although it does regain it swiftly, identifying whether it’s an ISP issue or something else can be tricky. And the firmware quirky behavior that impacts the admin password could knock off a user’s confidence, as losing admin access is concerning even though it was quickly addressed.

In conclusion, if I had to encapsulate my months of using the NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6, I’d chalk it up as a win for my business. With its future-proof features and business-grade security, I am confident about my network’s capacity to sustain growth and accommodate new technologies. It’s not without its complexities and occasional firmware foibles, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Just keep in mind that this router, while powerful, might be overkill for simpler home setups—a perfect fit for tech-savvy users or small businesses needing robust, scalable connectivity.