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Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

rmanski
Tutor

Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

I have a Night Hawk RAXE500.

Firmware Version: V1.2.13.100_2.0.54
Hardware Version: RAXE500

I have the iPhone App but the App is limited to simple functions.

Given the that the RAXE500 is a premium router there should access to more advance functions on the APP.

 

Reason this is important.

 

I was away. During this period there was a power outage. As a result of the outage all configuration settings were lost including all port forwarding which prevented access to several devices. The only way to resolve the issue was to reload a backup cfg file or re-input the port forwarding data again. Unfortunately, both can be done only when on the home router network. This is a real disadvantage when you are away and can't access the home network.

 

For a premium router this should be a standard feature. An advanced tab on the App, which could be secured with dual authentication, should be added. An alternative would be to add a feature to the App that would save the cfg data file in the App or in the cloud.

 

A feature could be added to the section where you have an option to reboot or update the firmware. The added feature would reload a known working backup of the cfg file.

 

This is doable and would seem to be an easy fix.

Message 1 of 9
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

NH app already supports a rebooting of the router and when FW updates are available and NG puts it up on there services that the NH app see, will let you know if a FW update is available and can be performed thru the app. NG makes the decision to auto update or let users manually update FW. 

 

Back up config operations is only done thru the routers WEB UI using a web browser:

https://kb.netgear.com/24231/How-do-I-back-up-the-router-configuration-settings-on-my-Nighthawk-rout... 

 

A router should not loose it's configuration if a power cycle or power OFF and back ON happens. IF this is happening, then it needs to be figured out.

Something I've not seen with my RAXE500. 

 

Message 2 of 9
plemans
Guru

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

Agreed with @FURRYe38 , you shouldn't be losing your settings during a power loss. I've got that router and never had issues during reboots/power failures or losing settings. That should be checked into. 

Plus if you're losing power that often, pick up a cheap UPS to put on the router. I lost a flagship router once to power issues, and after that, it's always been on a USP. Even a pretty basic (but decent quality) will run a router for quite a while and provide protection. It's a cheap investment in an expensive product. 

Message 3 of 9
rmanski
Tutor

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

Thank you. Comments are appreciated!

 

I agree that a power disruption should not cause a loss of settings. But, it did. In fact, I have since disconnected the router power and upon reconnection settings were intact.

 

I do not lose power often and I do have a good and reliable UPS protecting the router and modem.

 

Something odd did happen during that event. I lost all port settings. The 2GHz password was also lost but the 5GHz password remained intact.

 

At the same time, one Wi-Fi smart LED bulb in the house also lost its settings. No other problem was observed.

 

Perhaps rare, this is problematic. I depend on the router when I am away. It is mission critical. It would seem reasonable and prudent for NetGear to add a feature to its NightHawk App that would allow saving the settings as a backup and allowing the App to restore a backup. Currently, we are provided a feature to reboot, and a feature to update the firmware. A third feature to restore a backup would seem reasonable to add and not terribly difficult to provide.

 

 

 

Message 4 of 9
plemans
Guru

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

I agree that it's a nice feature to suggest. I'm unsure how well it'd work and if it wouldn't cause more issues. the reason why is if someone is putting a backup in place, the router has to be online (so its internet connection settings are correct), connected to your account, and working without issues. Otherwise, installing a backup from an app from a different location would put you at significant risk for corruption. Or it just wouldn't work. And then people would complain either about it not working or it bricking their device. 

Its a Pandora's box, and I'm not sure if Netgear would implement something that could potentially cause more issues than it fixes. 

 

Makes me wonder if you didn't get a power spike or something if more than 1 device was corrupted. UPS's can protect a lot but things can still be quick enough that a spike impacts them before the ups can do its thing. I've seen a few tests on that and they can protect from the basics. 

Message 5 of 9
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

Something you can do to help ensure the system is loaded correctly. 
Manually re-load FW on to the router:

https://kb.netgear.com/23960/How-do-I-manually-update-the-firmware-on-my-NETGEAR-router

 

After it's up and running factory reset:

https://kb.netgear.com/24233/How-do-I-erase-the-configuration-settings-on-my-Nighthawk-router

And the router and setup from scratch with a wired PC and web browser. https://kb.netgear.com/22697/How-do-I-install-my-NETGEAR-router-using-the-router-web-interface

 

After it's set up again fully, save off a backup configuration to file:

https://kb.netgear.com/24231/How-do-I-back-up-the-router-configuration-settings-on-my-Nighthawk-rout...

 

Some mobile apps don't have ways to save files back to mobile devices. Some of this is do to how Apple and Android give only certain access to there file system and device storage restrictions. I presume something that NG may not have access too or may not want to get involved with. So main operation is for use with a PC or laptop for advanced configurations and saving of backup configuration files to PCs where access is less restrictive and easier to manage with the browser on the PC. However, feel free to post here about this:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Idea-Exchange-For-Home/idb-p/idea-exchange-for-home

 

If the router is mission critical, then you should get into a UPS system as mentioned by @plemans for your ISP modem and the router if you feel that the system should be always up and running, even thru a power brown out. 

 

Message 6 of 9
rmanski
Tutor

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

A lousy work around would be to leave a computer on and remote in. Not a preferred option.

 

The risk to brick would be no different than what would happen with losing power during a firmware update.

 

The cfg settings file should be relatively small and not too difficult to store within the App.

 

I do have a reliable UPS. What ever happened did so through the UPS. I know this sounds implausible. Only other possibility is that the power outage happened during a firmware update or some other process that I am unaware of.

 

I would see value in the App having more advanced features similar to the web browser version. It could be protected by allowing only people who agree that they understand the risks.  It could also be protected with dual authentication.

 

As it is now, the App is useful but too limited. 

 

Message 7 of 9
plemans
Guru

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

I'd argue that the risk of bricking from installing a backup from a remote location would be higher. If you're within your network, the data is going directly from a device to the router. If you're remote, you're relying on how many different ISPs, servers, etc to relay that information and to do it accurately. Daily I run into issues on my phone and have to reload browsers or apps because something didn't load properly. yes, the file is small and should have a checksum that could be compared. But it only takes a small error to mess something up that causes bricking, not running properly, or some other issue. And then Netgear is responsible for replacing it (if in warranty) or paying support to help fix it. A costly risk for something rarely used.

Again, not saying its not something worth suggesting but not sure how practical it is.

Even if you had a remote computer, if the router was corrupted somehow during a storm, its surprising it even connected back online. A remote computer wouldn't do much in those cases.
Message 8 of 9
rmanski
Tutor

Re: Need advanced configuration for NighHawk App

Actually, after the power returned everything else worked. I had access to the router via the NightHawk App. I also had access to my heating system, lights, and other network-controlled items. I even had access to my network drive.

 

The damage was limited to the lost port forwarding information and the lost 2 GHz password.

Message 9 of 9
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