Expand and improve your home Wi-Fi with the Netgear Orbi for $179.99 – CNET

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

How’s the Wi-Fi in your place? Pretty good? No complaints? Then maybe skip on down to the bonus deals; nothing here to see.

If, on the other hand, the coverage is spotty and/or the speed is inconsistent, it might be time for a new router. And these days, mesh routers are all the rage, offering fast, blanket coverage of your entire domicile.

Alas, those kits can be pricey, usually starting at around $250 and rising sharply from there. That’s why today’s deal merits attention.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Netgear Orbi RBK30 Home WiFi System for $179.99 shipped (plus tax). It’s available from Amazon for the same price, but let’s support the little guy for a change, shall we? (Yes, I just called Best Buy a “little guy.” Because compared to Amazon…)

It works like this: You connect the Orbi router to your modem, then plug the satellite into an electrical outlet somewhere that needs a signal boost: upstairs, basement, etc.

Owing to colossally bad design on Netgear’s part, that satellite will almost certainly block anything else you might want to plug into that same outlet. It’s also a little on the big, bulky side, though not what I’d consider an eyesore.

I haven’t used an Orbi, but I do have the similar Eero system, which vastly improved the speed and coverage throughout my house. Your mileage may vary, of course. Start by reading CNET’s review of the Orbi RBK30, then check out the user reviews on both Amazon and Best Buy. The latter average out much higher (4.4 and 4.6 stars, respectively, from nearly 300 buyers apiece); CNET strongly disliked the satellite size, but I don’t think it deserved a lower score because of it.

Even at $179.99, the Orbi is still on the expensive side for a router — but if it solves the problem of slow/spotty Wi-Fi in your home, it’s probably worth it.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: A phone/tablet stand can really come in handy, whether you’re reading at the breakfast table or watching a movie on the airplane tray-table.

Here’s a ridiculously good deal on one: This Ugreen folding adjustable phone stand is $4.94 when you apply promo code D6UCNL3Q at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers.

The stand can accommodate pretty much any phone in portrait or landscape orientation, and it should work with smaller tablets (Amazon Fire 7, iPad Mini, Kindle, etc.) as well. You can adjust the angle to your liking and fold it nearly flat for easy transport and storage.

Five bucks out the door. What’s not to like?

Bonus deal No. 2: This is nuts: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Totu (via Amazon) is offering its wireless sport earbuds (green) for $7.98, shipped free with Prime, with promo code EJBZKBAO. Reg. price: $19.99.

These in-ear, noise-isolating ‘buds feature a sweatproof design, noise-cancelling microphone and 8-hour battery. They come with small, medium and large tips so you can find the best fit, plus those little rubber “wings” to help keep them in place.

Caveat the first: As with many/most Bluetooth earbuds, connectivity can be iffy when you’re outdoors, because Bluetooth signals need something to bounce off. Caveat the second: User reviews (nearly 400 of them) average out to just 3.8 stars. From what I can tell, some folks didn’t like the fit, while others had connectivity issues (perhaps not realizing the above?).

But Totu does back these with a 12-month warranty, and for less than eight bucks out the door…

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