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Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Hi,

 

I've been struggling with this issue for several months and I've tried everything I can.  I work for a large tech company and very network savvy and I've done everything I can to solve this on my own, without replacing the router.  I'm pretty sure it's not a "bad" router/bad hardware. I've found some random comments sprinkled online about similar sounding issues on R6900 and R7000 routers, the posts seemed like they could have been the same issue but they lacked detail.  I also have a co-worker with a R7000 and he had the same issue, he replaced the router thinking it was bad hardware.

 

I'm really hoping someone from Netgear will read this and reach out. To me, this looks like a firmware bug.

 

Issue Summary:

Using any Intel AX200/AX201 based wifi device on my home network (R6900P router) on 5Ghz randomly causes ALL clients connected on 5Ghz to stop communicating.  The clients don't get disconnected, they are still connected to the router but they can no longer communicate to anything. To get each client working again, you have to disconnect/reconnect each client to the Wi-Fi network.  This only happens connected on 5Ghz, not 2.4Ghz. 

 

The key is I can only repro with a Windows device that has a Intel AX200 or AX201 chipset.  Because of my job and that I'm stuck at home right now, I have many devices with me, and only the Intel AX201 and AX200 ones have issues. The Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Marvell ones always work fine (they are all AC or NC based).

 

The easiest way for me to repro this is download something like an ISO file from the Internet, or copy large files to/from a NAS connected to Ethernet on the router (so eliminating the ISP/cable modem from the issue). I'll get great speed for a while, and then it will suddenly stop copying and eventually show an error. If I don't do the easy repro, it will just happen at random times.

 

Router config:

Guest SSID is on, WPA2 with AES
5Ghz and 2.4Ghz are on WPA2 with AES
2.4Ghz auto channel
5Ghz, tried all the channels, same results

 

Things I've tried, that made no difference:

Factory reset on router
Smart Connect on or off (I had it On previously, so the issue was more random because I wasn't always on 5Ghz).  
Changing 5Ghz channels
Changing the Mode/speed/channel width settings
Short/Long Preamble
Guest wifi turned off
4 different wifi driver versions from Intel (on client devices)

 

The only thing that seems to solve it was to change the Intel driver settings on each client to force the network adapter into N mode, that seems to stop the issue (but then I have slower Wi-Fi speed on every client). Forcing clients to AC using the same setting did not solve it.

 

Has anyone else seen this exact issue or does anyone from Netgear have a way to solve this?


Thanks!

Model: R6900P|Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 1 of 5
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Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I don't see this in list of things you've tried, but have you tried updating Intel AX200/AX201 drivers?

 

Read through the Notes.

 

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/29520/Windows-10-Wi-Fi-Drivers-for-Intel-Wireless-Adapters

 

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
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Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Yes, I mentioned that in my post under things I tried:  "4 different wifi driver versions from Intel (on client devices)"

 

So I've already tried the driver you are referring to, and several previous ones back to Aug 2019. 

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Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I've tried changing other settings on the router, and nothing is changing the behavior so this appears to be firmware/hardware bug to me.  I'm hoping someone else can repro the same or knows if Netgear is working on a solution?

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Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I tried the new R6900P beta firmware, no change it still reproes the same.  

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