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Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

ChristineT
Admin

Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Greetings Business Wireless customers,

 

Some owners of WAX214 have experienced connection issues with iOS 14.x devices. We have a new trial firmware that we would like to confirm if it improves the connection quality. This firmware is specifically targeted to address any customers that may be experiencing this issue. 

 

If you were running into connection issues with your iOS 14.x devices we recommend downloading this trial firmware with the patch fix and let us know the results of your testing.

 

Download: WAX214 V1.0.2.300

 

We look forward to your feedback!

 

Kind Regards,

ChristineT

 

 

Message 1 of 15
JBox
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Can you provide more detail on what issues this update resolves? Does it resolve any of the WPA2/WPA3 hybrid security mode stability issues?

Message 2 of 15
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

@JBox,

 

As per the initial post, it was not mentioned specifically if it addresses the WPA2/WPA3 hybrid security mode stability issues.  Since it is a trial firmware, you may want to try it and kindly post your observation on the performance of your WAX214.

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA

NETGEAR Community Team

Message 3 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

WAX 214

iPhone SE (2020) with iOS 14.5

iPad Air 2 (2014) with iOS 14.5

Lenovo Thinkpad with AX210 and Win10 20H2

 

PoE powered via GS310TP V1

 

 

 

Still crashes. It's very late here, I'll gather more data when I can.

 

 

Message 4 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Alright, continuing from last night. Added in a Netgear 12V 1.5A power brick. No change, system still crashes (upon bootup, it bootloop cycles seeminly indefinitely).

 

WPA is Mixed (2 and 3).

2.4GHz and 5GHz are set to 20MHz bandwidth

ax mode enabled on 2.4GHz

Lots of other WiFi APs in the area - I can see ~80 between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios.

 

Just for fun, since the question was about iOS devices, I turned off my laptop's wifi for the next attemp. Now, with just the two iOS devices, tthe AP actually starts up and works. 2.4G LED is not lit up on the device (2.4G is enabled, though).

 

When I added the laptop ~10min after bootup, the wifi network didn't crash. It has mantained this newfound stability even after several hours and a break inbetween.

 

Now to test:

If the presence of the Intel AX210 laptop during AP startup will cause the bootloop.

If so, how long after the AP is booted, will I need to wait before it doesn't instantly bootloop?

And of course, if this stability is present without the 12V 1.5A power brick, since without PoE, this AP is useless for my use.

Message 5 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Huh. It's working now with:

starting up with the AX210 laptop searching for a network

PoE

both iOS devices connected.

WPA mixed. 

 

 

Dunno why it's working now and not earlier. Also, now I remember, I disabled the 2.4GHz radio the last time I used this access point (about a month ago), in an attempt to figure out if there were any ways to mitigate the reboot/bootlooping problem.

 

Maybe the updated firmware needed a few reboots to really flush out the gunk?

Message 6 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

and it crashed again, into another bootloop.

Message 7 of 15
JBox
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

@jeremyshaw

Maybe try with the security mode set to WPA2 only? I would be interested to see if that resolves the boot looping. I have found that the WPA2/WPA3 hybrid mode will not crash your setup right away. I think it has to hit the Group Key Update Interval timeout before crashing. My setup is similar to yours except that I don't have any AX clients. I think all of mine are AC at the highest. I have not tried this beta firmware yet.

Message 8 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Thanks @JBox , I did not think about that. Looks like the interval is dafaulted to 3600 (seconds?) If so, that is 60min. Dunno when does it start counting. I know my iPad Air 2 cannot use WPA3, since it failed to connect when I had it in WPA3-only mode, and Apple says so here (Protocol security - Apple Support).

 

Now it did also crash in WPA3-only mode, so I wonder if WPA2-only will result in stability. That being said, if it's WPA2-only, that's about 1/2 of the WiFI6 upgrade rationale broken (other 1/2 being hard to prove improvements in RF performance).

 

Definitely a bit tempted to both reduce the interval and see if Wireshark can capture anything, though I already have work + hobbies, and I'd rather not have to combine both to fix a paid product.

 

EDIT: Also, since this is almost the 3rd month of this device not working (I bought it from Netgear the moment it was offered, and it arrived in early February). I am tempted to just give up on it.

 

 

Message 9 of 15
JBox
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

I have mine setup with one SSID using WPA2 only and one SSID using WPA3 only. My uptime for this config is a little over a month now with most traffic being on the WPA3 only SSID. If you are seeing crashes on WPA3 only, you are probably seeing issues beyond what I have encountered unfortunately. There is another thread here about the WPA2/WPA3 hybrid mode issues specifically. The main devices that use my network are iPhones running iOS 14.x, so I wonder if it is your laptop that is causing your issue. I am also using the original firmware on the WAX. Having said all of that, it might still be a good test to try WPA2 only and see how far that gets you.

Message 10 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

@JBox Thansk for your help and advice. WPA2-only is working for me, and has been stable for >24 hours. This beats its previous record of ~1-2 hours by a long shot.

 

Current settings are:

2.4GHz: 20MHz

5GHz: 20MHz

WPA2-only (PSK)

AX enabled on 2.4GHz

Bitrate and Channel are Auto

Client Limits disabled

Band Steering Enabled

 

Just about everything else is at default settings.

Message 11 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

After almost 48 hours of continuous uptime, it crashed again, when I tried connecting my laptop to it. I had used my laptop earlier today without issue, but after a couple of hours, I resumed my laptop from standby, it briefly connected, then lost the connection. I looked over, and the WAX214 was rebooting again. It rebooted at least one more time after that before I left for a moment. When I came back, the WAX214 was up and running again, and I could use the connection.

 

That's it. 3 months of being strung along by false hope after false hope, after spending at least a few days worth of hours trying to determine what was happening, the potential causes, potential solutions (power, thermals, configurations, etc).

 

In the end, all of the problems center around this most unuable WiFI Access Point. I am going to put aside the WiFi AP for at least a few months, perhaps forever.

Message 12 of 15
jeremyshaw
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

I will note this:

 

I have two POE switches (both capable of POE+), Netgear GS310TP and Netgear MS510TXPP.

 

Running on either switch results in the AP crashing at some point. Inevitably, it will crash.

 

However, running a Netgear 12V 1.5A power brick to the AP, with the current beta FW, does seem to have some stability.

 

I will note, the POE class the WAX214 reports itself as is Class 0. AFAIK, that means it doesn't report a class at all. Meanwhile, my Raspberry Pi 4 with the Raspberry Pi POE hat reports itself as a Class 3. Never crashed. Though my Mikrotik cAP AC also reports as a Class 0 and has never crashed.

 

If I have to run a 12V cable alongside the ethernet cable, there is no reason to chose this AP over any other. Currently, the AP sits ontop of a toolbox, in a temporary testing location.

 

I also wonder, since this is an Engenius product (the FCC ID gives it away - AJ8 is Engenius' FCC ID, not Netgear), does it work with Engenius POE switches? Somebody somewhere had to have tested this AP with POE.

Message 13 of 15
schumaku
Guru

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

Absolutely nothing wrong with a PoE 802.3af device reporting as a class 0 unit - the majority of PoE devices (cameras and APs) I've seen over many years run as class 0, and the difference of a class 3 device (to class 0) is mostly academic.

 

Convinced the WAX214 was Beta'ed on various deployments, I did not had the pleasure to test drive the WA214 and it's Insight WAX610 sibling.  

Message 14 of 15
JBox
Tutor

Re: Trial Firmware: WAX214 connectivity issues with iOS 14.x devices

I am powering mine via POE with a TRENDnet TPE-115GI injector. This is an unmanaged device, so I am not sure how the WAX is reporting itself. Uptime around 45 days now.

Message 15 of 15
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