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Trying out the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y Outdoor WiFi Range Extender (2024)

My thoughts on Netgear Orbi RBS50Y for extending Wi-Fi outdoors: connectivity, performance, setup, and durability.
David Miller



January 29, 2024


I recently invested in the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y to extend Wi-Fi coverage to my outdoor spaces. Below is my experience with its connectivity, performance, setup, and durability.


Property Value Property Value
Brand NETGEAR Wireless Communication Standard 802.11ax, 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 300 Megabits Per Second Frequency Band Class Tri-Band
Color White


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender box Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender mounted outside Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender front Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender front view Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender unpacking


Reliable Outdoor Connectivity

Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender mounted outside

In my quest for reliable outdoor connectivity, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various extenders. The Netgear Orbi RBS50Y has largely met my expectations and even exceeded them in some areas. Having a robust Wi-Fi signal throughout my property, including the garden, pool area, and the garage, significantly enhances the convenience and utility of my connected devices.

Primary Benefits:

  • Extended Reach: One of the most significant advantages has been the impressive extension of coverage by up to 2,500 sq. ft. It’s been a real game-changer for maintaining strong Wi-Fi signals in previously unreachable spots.

  • Seamless Transition: Moving from indoors to outdoors without losing connection has greatly benefited my family’s entertainment needs.

  • Single Wi-Fi Name: Having one Wi-Fi name for all devices simplifies connectivity and minimizes confusion when guests are over.

  • Enhanced Outdoor Use: This system has ensured that my smart home devices remain online, which has proved essential for both security and convenience.

However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. While performance and range are commendable, compatibility issues have arisen since the RBS50Y is not compatible with Orbi WiFi 6 systems. This is a bit of a letdown because it limits future network upgrades. Furthermore, despite its weather-resistant design, there have been instances of people facing challenges with water ingress, raising some questions about its long-term durability outdoors.

Another aspect to note is the initial cost. Though steep, the investment into my Orbi system, including this outdoor satellite, has proved its worth through its robust performance and ease of management. As someone with a background in IT, I’ve found the tri-band technology and the system’s capacity to handle multiple devices without lag to be quite impressive.

However, it’s important to mention that some users reported needing to reset the device frequently, which raises concerns about its reliability. This hasn’t been my personal experience, but it’s worth considering when purchasing.

Lastly, while Netgear’s customer support has been helpful, the experience with returns and repairs seems to be a recurring pain point for some. Opting for an extended warranty could be a sage decision to mitigate post-purchase risks.

Overall, the Orbi RBS50Y has proven to be a strong performer in the realm of outdoor Wi-Fi solutions. It may have some shortcomings, but when weighed against the comprehensive coverage and performance benefits, it’s a choice that I’m content with for my outdoor Wi-Fi needs.

Compatibility and Performance

Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender box

When it comes to expanding Wi-Fi coverage outdoors, the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y presents a lucrative option that’s hard to overlook. Its compatibility with non-Orbi routers and the tri-band mesh technology it boasts serves as an assurance of its adeptness in delivering a reliable internet connection, even when stepping out into the sun-drenched garden or venturing into the brisk ambiance of a home workshop.

While I appreciate the RBS50Y’s adaptability to various weather conditions with its IP66 rating, the main draw for me has been its seamless integration into my home network. I’ve employed the device to bridge the connectivity gap between my indoors and various outdoor spots like the garage and the pool, which has led to a marked improvement in connection strength. Here’s a quick rundown of the compatibility and performance aspects:

  • Compatibility: Works flawlessly with non-Orbi routers, which is a plus for those who don’t have an Orbi system.

  • Performance: The tri-band technology ensures fast and stable Wi-Fi, even with multiple devices connected.

  • Signal Reach: Extends coverage impressively up to 2,500 sq. ft., covering my entire yard without issues.

  • Same Wi-Fi Name: The device maintains the same network name, which simplifies connectivity as I move around the property.

However, it’s not all roses and rainbows. I do need to point out the not-so-small matter that the RBS50Y is not compatible with Orbi Wi-Fi 6 systems. For those who have invested in the latest Orbi tech, this could be a limiting factor. Additionally, while the performance is generally reliable, there have been instances where the connection can waver, prompting the occasional need to reset the device.

Another point to consider is the up-front cost, which might not appeal to the budget-conscious. Yet, in my opinion, the investment is justified by the coverage and consistency of the signal it provides. Just a word of advice, if the longevity of the device or technical issues are a concern, adding an extended warranty might save some hassle from having to wrangle with customer support down the line.

In essence, the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y is a solid choice for those needing that extra stretch of Wi-Fi outdoors. Sure, there’s a cost consideration and a hiccup here and there with compatibility, but the performance-to-cost ratio tips favorably, especially given the expansive outdoor coverage and the convenience of a single network name. For anyone in a similar setup as mine, it’s a worthwhile addition to your home network arsenal.

Installation and Setup Experience

Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender front

Embarking on the quest of extending Wi-Fi coverage to my outdoor spaces, I found myself gravitating towards the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y. Throughout the setup process, several aspects stood out:

  • Ease of Syncing: The Orbi harmonized effortlessly with my existing router, negating the need for a complicated installation. It was a plug-and-play scenario.

  • Mounting Simplicity: Positioning the device was a straightforward task. I secured it in my garage, opting for an area that would ensure maximum signal spread across the yard without being too far from the primary signal source.

  • Seamless Network Transition: As advertised, the transition from indoor to outdoor connectivity was smooth, maintaining one Wi-Fi name across different zones.

However, like any technological endeavor, there were a few hurdles:

  • Periodic Resets: Occasionally, the unit required a reset to maintain connection stability, a minor inconvenience that was an unwelcome disruption to an otherwise stable network.

  • Tech Support Tango: I experienced a few hiccups with customer service which, while ultimately helpful, was time-consuming.

To encapsulate my initial installation and setup journey, here’s a quick rundown:


  • Uncomplicated syncing with my existing router.

  • The weather-resistant design facilitated outdoor installation without concerns.

  • One Wi-Fi name across all environments simplified connectivity.


  • The occasional need for resets to sustain the connection.

  • Support processes seemed unnecessarily complex and lengthy.

I was particularly impressed by the weather-resistant design, which instilled confidence that the extender would withstand the elements – something essential for any outdoor Wi-Fi solution. Moreover, the tri-band technology ensured top-notch speed and range expansion: a crucial feature given my need to cover areas like the pool and remote corners of the yard that were previously dead zones.

Yet, installation wasn’t without its drawbacks. While I didn’t face the water damage some reviewers cited, I did find myself occasionally troubleshooting connectivity dips—an aspect that could detract from the impressiveness of the product.

Navigating the customer support also added a layer of complexity that seemed disproportionate to the product’s otherwise user-friendly image. Lengthy support calls and layered service levels felt at odds with the straightforward setup.

Overall, while the process wasn’t devoid of challenges, the positive aspects of installation and setup largely outweighed the negatives. More importantly, the end result was a robust extension of my Wi-Fi coverage that met my outdoors needs head-on—testament to the RBS50Y’s design and capabilities.

Durability and Longevity Concerns

Netgear orbi rbs50y outdoor extender front view

In reflecting on the overall durability and longevity of the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y, I’ve considered the various perspectives and experiences that I’ve encountered during its operation. While the unit is indeed weather-resistant and has an IP66 rating, providing confidence in its ability to withstand external elements like rain, snow, and dust, concerns have arisen regarding its long-term reliability, which can’t be overlooked. Below are key points encapsulating my thoughts on its resilience over time:

  • The weather-resistant design and IP66 rating are significant advantages, as they imply the unit should hold up against the typical onslaught of outdoor conditions.

  • However, some users have encountered issues with water ingress, specifically related to the power cable port. This highlights a discrepancy between expectations set by the rated standards and actual user experiences.

  • The fact that I personally positioned the Orbi Outdoor Satellite inside near an exterior wall, has possibly mitigated potential risk of water damage, which appears to be a pragmatic approach to managing durability concerns.

  • In the long-term, there have been instances of users needing to replace the unit after just over a year of use, which brings to light potential limitations in the product’s lifespan.

These factors all indicate that while the Orbi Outdoor is built to be resilient, one’s experience may vary, and the environment in which the product is placed plays a significant role. Evidently, placement under a cover or within a protective enclosure may extend the life of the unit, which is an important consideration for anyone looking to maintain a robust outdoor wi-fi extension over years.

In conclusion, while the Netgear Orbi RBS50Y brings a great deal of convenience and connectivity to the outdoors, its lifespan can be a point of contention. Despite the advanced features and performance, the durability of the unit under the conditions it’s rated for might not meet every user’s expectations. For this reason, investing in an extended warranty could be a wise choice to protect against unforeseen malfunctions or failures. The lesson here seems to be to prepare for the possibility of needing a replacement or repair down the line, and to position the device strategically to minimize exposure to the harshest of elements. When it comes to enhancing Wi-Fi reach outdoors, the Orbi RBS50Y is a powerful addition, but one that requires careful consideration in terms of longevity.