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Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

michail71
Apprentice

Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I deciced to replace the AP on my Comcast XB6 with the RAX120.  Everything went great at first!  I was hitting 870+ Mbps on WiFi 6 and 600-700 on 802.11 AC devices.  Latency was low and legacy devices got a nice bump too.  I have about 14 Devices on 5 GHz, of which 3 are WiFi6 compatible.  There are 17 devices in on 2.4 Ghz, mostly light bulbs, switches, etc.  WAN speed wired is 940/46 Mbps as reported by router.  Overall, there would only be a few heavy streams at most.

 

However, I had my comast AP still up.  I had an SSID overlap on the 2.4 band.  Most devices seemed to stick there.  With the 5 GHz SSID still operating on comcast, I setup a test SSID and had a few devices hooked up. This is how I ran my initial tests. Even 120 MHz was working great for AX and AC devices.  I was using 3 PCs on AC and two PCs on AX.  A few light bulbs wandered over to the 2.4 GHz band.

 

It all went down hill when I shut off the WiFi on the comcast modem. The 802.11 AC devices became unusable. Much worse performance than the the comcast modem ever had.  Download was under 1 Mbps.  The decices that are AX compatible still work great.  There are just over 30 devices connected.  The light bulbs all seem fine. App is reporting -40dBm.  Comcast modem is at -50dBm.

 

I set the router back up on a 80 GHz channel but it didn't make any difference.  The only other setting I have that isn't default is OFDMA is turned on in 5 GHz.  I tried channel 36 and 157, which are both listed as best on the app.  There doesn't seem to be an auto option?

 

I reactivated WiFi on comcast to make things usable.  

 

So far I'm not too impressed with the router given it's price. 😞  

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 1 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Just to update, I've disabled OFDMA but it didn't change anything.  The Comcast modem just seems to outperform the RAX12 at 802.11AC and below, despite having an advantage in signal strength.  Channeles are all clear, tried swapping them around.  

 

I'm still confused on the great performance on both AC and AX I got on day 1.  Nothing changed other than the SSID overlap going away and moving over 8 additional 802.11 AC devices that are mostly inactive.  

Message 2 of 22
RajaDaja
Luminary

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I believe it is the firmware. I’m on a beta I got from the Netgear Mod. I’ve had mine since March, and boy let me take you.. this top of the line router was a little disappointing first. I follow the community so I was able to filter thru all the issues. I never disabled any of the features. I very happy with my RAX200. My one wi-if 6 device reached 900megs connected to it.
Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 3 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

My WiFi 6 device works amazing too. How does one get the beta firmware? I've done everything else up to this point.

Message 4 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I'm not sure if it's related or normal but the Admin UI is also very slow. Only 3 to 4% CPU and 418 MB of memory in use.

Message 5 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I'm back to my original testing setup and it's now blazing fast on 802.11 ac.  So something with a device(s) or the load it doesn't like?

Message 6 of 22
RajaDaja
Luminary

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Private message Christian_R
He’s a Netgear Mod.
Include your S/N with a brief description of your issue(s). My RAX200 had no ipv6 functionality with the last two firmware updates along with occasional lose of wi-fi and Ethernet.
Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 7 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I hope it helps.  While my performance is good with a couple test devices I seem to be getting occasional drops.  I first noticed when I connected back a couple times to the comcast SSID.  I removed the auto connect and now every so often I just lose internet connection.  Seems to come back with good performance.  It's like a hiccup.  

 

Are my expectations just too high?

Message 8 of 22
RajaDaja
Luminary

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Not really,
These AX router have new tech so there are issues, and that’s with other brands also. We are the guniea pigs . LOL!
Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 9 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I'm wondering if I get the RAX200 instead, would I be able to seggragate the AX and non AX on the different 5 G channels? That could possible solve my problem. 

Message 10 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

It's getting stranger.  I think it could be certain adapters and driver versions on the client side that are getting fouled up when more clients join the 5GHz band. 

 

I have some devices on 802.11 ac that are fine while the others are having a come apart.  But why is everything fine when on the comcast AP?  Netgear not out of the dog house yet. 

 

I'm having great results with the TP-link WiFi 6 PCIe cards.  They just seem to work if forced into AC mode, on an AC router or full on with an AX router. Unfortunatley, Amazon capped me at two purchases. 

 

I'm an engineer, I wonder how non technical peple can get this stuff going, lol.  But this is the bleeding edge of tech.  After this much time I could have run some CAT 7 cables. 

 

Message 11 of 22
Farscape
Guide

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Sorry, not understanding your actual configuration.

 

Are you running both the XB6 and the RAX120 in router mode and are they situated near each other?

 

I have the same 2 devices and I tested the following two configurations:

1)  XB6 in Router Mode w/WiFi off and the RAX120 in AP Mode

2)  XB6 in Bridge Mode and RAX in Router Mode

 

I ended up using the configuration #2, but both configurations worked.  I also hard reset the RAX120 when the firmware was updated.

 

Not running as many devices and have 3 AX capable iPhones.

 

Message 12 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

I have the XB6 in router mode with AP still active and the RAX in AP mode.  I had them near each other and have experimented with a 100 foot patch cable by moving the router around.  Position in house has not mattered.

 

Each AP has 2 SSIDs, for the RAX I have duplicated the SSIDs with a *_test.  (I've never found that 2.4/5 GHz selection works.  I think that's just something ISPs and manufacturers use to simply things.)    

 

My clients that started failing were

  1. PCs using a Realtek 8812AU based adapter with high gain antennas.
  2. Surface Book 2. It could not hold connection with the Realtek or internal.  Every Surface device ever made has terrible WiFi performance. 
  3. PC with both Realtek failed
  4. Same PC from 3 with a TP-Link WiFi card worked perfectly in AX mode and failed when driver forced to AC mode.
  5. I didn't get around to testing the TVs and smart deveices but Alexa did seem confused at one point.

What's odd is they all worked great with the initial _test setup.  It's only after switching off the XB6 and reassignng the SSID in the RAX on the 5 GHz SSID that everything went to hell.

 

I fired back up the XB6 with the _test SSID on 5 GHz and then tested the clients that failed.  The worked great, even with lower signal strength.

 

My guesses are

  1. Related to load
  2. The RAX doesn't like a 802.11ac device on my 5 GHz SSID side

I doubt it could be #1, this router is mostly idle with light bulbs making the count large.  No settings or other setup has impacted the problem in a positive or negative way.

 

My kids are in fear of me activating the Netgear router on the SSID they are using. 

Message 13 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Back to the saga, I was able to finally get everything transitioned over to the Nighthawk.  I messed around with Adaptive Parity settings on the Realtek 8812AU adapters and it seemed to fix the overall stability of 802.1ac on the Nighthawk.  My AX Intel cards were pulling 800-940/42 Mbps and the AC clients were respectable.  Looking good!

 

Then this morning happened.  Nothing changed and everyone in the house was sleeping.  The Intel cards were getting 300/20 to the Nighthawk in AX mode. ???

 

  1. Then I connected the Realtek to the Nighthawk and got around 100/10  
  2. I connected the Realtek adapter to the Comcast modem and got a solid 600/40 through AC with around a signal that was -25dBm weaker. 
  3. I connected then Intel AX adapter to Comcast and got around 700/40
  4. Back over to the Intel AX adapter and Nighthawk and got 300/200.  Not only was it slower, the speed test started off much slower and took longer to ramp up.  I've noticed this on most of the tests.  Much longer time to get up to speed. 

I was puzzled but then remember the thread about needing to reboot every couple days.  So I restarted the Nighthawk. It took several minutes to get connection back but when I did the Intel AX card was getting 600-700/30 with consistency.

 

The general analysis seems to be:

  • Best consistent setup is Intel ax Adapter to the Comcast ac AP (that's on another floor on the another side of the house)
  • Best performance is the Nighthawk, but only on ax and random at that.
  • 802.11 ac performance can be worse on the Nighthawk 
  • Nighthawk has slightly better latency
  • WiFi connections/negotiation seem to happen much faster to the Comcast AP (I picked this up with all the testing).  This can be a delay of many tens of seconds

I'll try a firmware rollback but I'm getting exhausted.  😞

 

I know this is the least popular statement on the internet but it appears "The cable company's equipment is better". I'd like to be proven wrong as I want this to work.

 

Message 14 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP


@Farscape wrote:

Sorry, not understanding your actual configuration.

 

Are you running both the XB6 and the RAX120 in router mode and are they situated near each other?

 

I have the same 2 devices and I tested the following two configurations:

1)  XB6 in Router Mode w/WiFi off and the RAX120 in AP Mode

2)  XB6 in Bridge Mode and RAX in Router Mode

 

I ended up using the configuration #2, but both configurations worked.  I also hard reset the RAX120 when the firmware was updated.

 

Not running as many devices and have 3 AX capable iPhones.

 


How did you get bridge mode working?  I tried twice and the XB6 and RAX don't seem to negotiate the settings. 

 

Although, at this point I don't trust the RAX to be using it as a router and the only AP.  I'm keeping an SSID open on the XB6 as an emergency fallback.  

Message 15 of 22

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP


@michail71 wrote:

How did you get bridge mode working?  I tried twice and the XB6 and RAX don't seem to negotiate the settings. 

 

Although, at this point I don't trust the RAX to be using it as a router and the only AP.  I'm keeping an SSID open on the XB6 as an emergency fallback.  


I just logged into the XB6 and enabled Bridge Mode.  Even after it enabled, I rebooted the XB6 again to make sure it stayed in Bridge Mode.

 

Note that you can't have another device connected to the 2nd XB6 network jack or you won't get an internet connection on the router (RAX120).  It will "confuse" the XB6 to have 2 devices requiring an ip address after bridge mode is enabled.  It makes sense to me now, but at the time, it was frustrating.

 

I made the mistake of having both the RAX120 (jack #1) and a laptop (jack #2) plugged into the network jacks of the XB6.  I was using the laptop wired directly to the XB6 to enable bridge mode.  I kept ending up with the red light (no internet connection) on the RAX120.  I even did a couple of resets of the RAX120 and still no go.  Finally found the answer on the xFinity forum.  You may also need to have the router connected to jack #1 (instead of jack #2) on the XB6.

 

I'm using the RAX120 in a home with 3 floors of concrete block and doesn't have the ethernet or coax wiring to each floor so I was looking for a router with range and also curious about WiFi 6.  The RAX120 is located near the middle of the 2nd floor.  If there were ethernet or coax wiring on each floor, I would be using a different setup and equipment.

 

So far the RAX120 has been working well (no disconnects) and generally full speed except for the first floor where speed appears reduced about 65% from max (probably due to additional concrete block).

 

I do see an anamoly where my AX capable iPhone seems to prefer the 2.4GHz signal at night on the 3rd floor whereas it connects to the 5GHz signal during the day in the same area.

Message 16 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

LOL on the prefers 2.4.  Most devices seem to blindly grab 2.4 when they see a stronger SNNR.  With WiFi 6 it isn't as bad, but not optimal.  I've got my desktop and router within 10 feet of each other and they will still go to 2.4 without a bit of configuring and "forget this" on my part. 

 

I could sware I did port 1 only on the XB6 only and it still failed. 

 

I've replaced all of my desktop clients now with Intel AX200 cards.  They will outperform the direct ethernet connection but I'm suffering from random failures on all systems now.  They can be easily bounded by an on/off of the wifi connection. But it only happens when connected to the RAX in ax mode. I think these failures are realted to the cards and perhaps not 100% the RAX.

 

If I could combine the best of the XB6 and RAX, it would be an amazing device.  Netgear needs to get their act together on a few things. 

Message 17 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

It's going back to Best Buy today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have that odd relieved feeling one gets when breaking off a bad relationship. 

Message 18 of 22

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP


@michail71 wrote:

... I've replaced all of my desktop clients now with Intel AX200 cards.  They will outperform the direct ethernet connection but I'm suffering from random failures on all systems now... 


A wired connection is the best way to connect devices when possible.

 

Going further, using separate vlans for ioT, guest and main in some form is also additionally preferred.  One can get really complicated here too with vpn and intervlan routing, etc.

 

It is why I use a different setup in my main residence (40+ devices) and have everything connected via wire where possible and enough AP's to cover those that need wireless.

Message 19 of 22

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP


@michail71 wrote:

It's going back to Best Buy today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have that odd relieved feeling one gets when breaking off a bad relationship. 


I feel for you.

 

I had an Orbi setup when it first came out and it worked flawlessly.  Subsequent forced firmware updates made it unusable for the household with continuing satellite disconnects about 6 months later.

 

It's when I decided to wire the house and go for a prosumer setup.  Working flawlessly ever since.

Message 20 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

Yeah, I would but I'm renting and the runs wouldn't be easy in the house.  Otherwise I'd go for a CAT6A or CAT8 setup.

 

When the RAX worked I could get faster speeds from the WiFi than I could wired directly to it.  It was just blazing fast as could be untill it decided to drop 5GHz. Which seems to be about 3 to 15 times per day.  The PCs on WiFi 6 would get the sudden slowdown, all randomly, which we could reset at the adapter quickly.  Then all 5GHz connections would crash at once 1 or 2 times per day.  The 2.4 GHz band seemed okay. 

 

I think anyone running a single SSID may not notice these problems as much as this is a good 2.4 GHz AP.  But I refuse to run fixed based systems on 2.4 GHz with excellent signal strength available. It may be why it works for some people.  Neatgear may be masking the issue on 5 GHz that way?

 

I had a similar experience with an Orbi mesh system a cople years ago.  It just prooved to be too unstable. 

Message 21 of 22
michail71
Apprentice

Re: Terrible WiFi with RAX12 after switching off Xfinity AP

 

Final report as I took it back to the store but I wanted to try one more thing (besides run over it with my car). 

 

I thought perhaps using one SSID may help with stability so I combined both frequencies.  I did see a stumble on my PC where it dropped from and 5 GHz AX and then connected to 2.4 GHz.  However, I did lose connection at the time, I could tell because I was RDPd to several servers on an Azure data center while working on a project. It took a bit to regain the remote desktop sessions.

 

Performance on 2.4 GHz AX was okay, but not $500 router from 10 feet away okay.  My Surface Book 2 would also only connect on 2.4 GHz channel in that configuration.  Ever Surface device I've had needs to be forced on 5 GHz, even if it's next to the AP. 

 

The 802.11AC connections would all drop at the same time. I can tell because I have 4 Alexa devices.  They all like to go off at once and complain when the internet goes down.  Which happened two times while I was doing the combined SSID test.

Message 22 of 22
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