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JJNorcal
Tutor

R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Wifi became frustratingly slow again for me today.  Speedtest registerd me around 15Mps rather than my normal 150+.  I rebooted the router, but this did not clear the problem.  I rebooted it again w/o success.  This router is in AP mode, so I rebooted my main router and my Comcast modem as well.  Still extremely slow wifi.

 

I then checked wired speeds at my main router, and it was 400Mbps+.  So I checked the wired speed on an R7000 port, and it registerd about 190Mbps (don't remember it being significantly slower than when measured at main router, but not certain).

 

I then did a paper clip reset, not a full factory reset, and the wifi immediately cleaned up at around 200Mbps.  But NetSpot indicated that 2.4 was down, so I rebooted from the admin console again.  This time 2.4 came up fine, and wifi speeds are fine.

 

I believe I was experiencing similar if not same issues running 1.0.9.28.  I know I had performed full reset and reprogramming after last upgrade, but I THINK that I last upgraded to 1.0.9.28.  I do have auto-upgrade enabled, so maybe the router upgraded on its own.

 

How can I tell if I'm running into a s/w problem or if the router has h/w issues?

Message 1 of 25

Accepted Solutions
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Final thank you to those contirbuting to my understanding.

 

The NG implementation of band steering, which doesn't support roaming between bands, really won't work for my home unless I disabled 5G altogether; we have some areas not covered by 5G, so every device would need to be on 2.4 to support occasional use from worst case location.

 

So either I invest in mesh replacement or leave smart connect off.  The latter approach has been working well on 1.0.9.28 for almost a month now without any problems and without any router reboots.

 

I'm going to move forward with single SSID and disabled smart connect for now.  It has been working well for my household since I bought the router, which is not surprising.  Netflix HD streaming, for example, needs some 5Mbps, which is an easy reach for us if all 5 members of my household were sharig a single band.  We occasionally host events where some 40 people are all using our wifi at the same time, but in this case none of their devices are driving high bandwidth applications, and noone has issues.

 

In conclusion, while my house is a candidate for mesh, the dual band r7000 is more than adequate for us provided that we levarage roaming between bands.  I plan to use separate SSIDs if or when we actually run into a bandwidth challenge.

 

Thanks again.

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Message 24 of 25

All Replies
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Happened again today.  Slow wifi for no apparent reason.

 

I'm not certain which version I was previously running, so I went back one version to 1.0.9.32.  I did not touch anything else on my network.  Immediately after applying v32, the router came up and wifi speeds are normal again.

 

Can someone at Netgear help me figure out if my router is malfunctioning?

Message 2 of 25
aabshire
Apprentice

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

I am having the same problem since moving to this version. My Windows 10 is flakey and extremely slow on wifi, even if I move within a few feet of the router along with sites, not being able to connect.  I also seemed to have noticed that devices are dropping again, (mostly my wifi plugs, google homes and amazon alexa devices and my HP printer.

 

This is just like the old FW versions that experienced these problems.

Allen
Message 3 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Unusable wifi again this evening.

 

I'm now back on 1.0.9.28.

Message 4 of 25
aabshire
Apprentice

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Did you just upload the older firmware or perform a factory reset


@JJNorcal wrote:

Unusable wifi again this evening.

 

I'm now back on 1.0.9.28.


 

Allen
Model: R6700|Nighthawk AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
Message 5 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

So far just installed older firmware.  Factory reset has never affected peformance for me, which makes some sense since I don't have any particularly interesting settings.  Configured as access point, same SSID for 2.4 and 5, basic settings with exception that I set preamble to short for both radios.

 

1.0.0.9.28 has been running well so far.

Message 6 of 25
aabshire
Apprentice

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Just had the dropped connection again with this firmware and the .28 version.

Allen
Message 7 of 25
KH-
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Recommendation:  Do not install V1.09.34.  If you have, rollback to a prior version.

 

I've experienced several issues since upgrading to firmware version 1.0.9.34.  After several days of fiddling and frustration, I've rolled back to V1.0.8.34_1.2.15 (no particular reason, just don't trust 1.0.9.xx branch right now).  Issues experienced are as follows:

 

1.  Neither my Epson nor my HP networked printers would connect / stay connected to the 2.4 gHz band.  I tried both WPS and manual setup up with fixed IP, neither worked even after numerous attempts with router resets/reboots, etc....  Same goes for other 2.4 gHz devices such as Sonos players (sometimes 3 out of 5 would show, sometimes none).

2.  The attached devices list in the UI, both via the genie app and via the web browser, no longer showed a complete list of attached devices.  It seemed to only show devices on the bandwidth of the connected device.  For example, if I connected via my Windows 10 pc on the 2.4 gHz band, the list only showed wired devices and devices connected to the 2.4 gHz band.  When connected to the 5 gHz band, the attached devices list only showed devices on the 5 gHz band. 

3.  Referring back to the printer issue #1, the printer would indicate network status GOOD with the proper IP address.  However, the printer(s) never show up in the connected devices list.  Also can't print to them - device not found.

4.  As indicated by others in this thread, devices would randomly drop.  Not a big deal for a browser, just hit refresh.  But for other devices like smart TVs, it is a big deal.

5.  Also as indicated by others, speedtest via the router would give ~330 Mbps download.  Speedtest via a browser or the Speedtest App (on iPhone 7+) ranged between 7 Mbps and 30 Mbps.  Since downgrading firmware, speedtests consistently better (but not great)

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 8 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Really disheartenening to hear these types of posts.  I've owned this router for years and have been sitting happily on 1.0.7.6 until yesterday.  I skipped 1.0.8 all together (the capture telemetry branch) and have tested several interations of 1.0.9.x with unsatisfactory results.  Last build I tested was .26 and like the others, it was nothing more than an epic failure. 

 

Then I see .34 and its impressive list of changes. I tried it and was amazed.  Had Netgear finally got 1.0.9 right?  So far it seemed.  Like others, I don't like resetting/reconfiguring from scratch after flashing, but in my experience, it does matter and can/does affect the outcome in many cases. 

 

Yesterday was no different, so after flashing I reset the router and couldn't believe my eyes.  I had full downstream bandwidth where previously I had only had 50% (even after reset).  Short on time, I put it down for the evening.  This morning I returned to finish configuration.  Suffered my first set back.  One of my settings had put me right back to 50% of my downstream bandwidth.  Reset agan and back to full speed.  My 24hr celebration was again short lived. 

 

To make a long story short, I figured it out.  If you want to read about it - Its here

 

But on to your issues.  My Wifi is fine.  I'm using separate SSID's 2.4 / 5g broadcasts.  There is a lot of streaming going on in my house.  Bandwidth, connection and stability is 100%.  Nothing is flaky.  I've got consistent sustained bandwidth across my wired and wireless connections and no discernable packet loss. 

 

So I really feel for you guys.  I hope you can figure it out.  I've been resigned to staying on 1.0.7.6 (forever) until moving to another device.  This finally changed. 

 

For reference:

I'm using separate SSIDs - Primary wireless

Guest networks are disabled

2.4 is broardcasting on channel 1 - best (neighbors use others)

5Ghz is channel 153

Using WPA-PSK) AES

 

I haven't made any changes to Preamble, Fragmentation, CTS/RTS or any settings on that page.  WPS is disabled, MiMo and Beamforming is enabled.  The only setting I've had to give up is Traffic Meter.  If that is enabled, regardless of the settings below, my dowstream bandwidth decreases by 50%.  Turn it off and I'm good wired or wireless.

 

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 9 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

@shadowsports I'm happy to hear that the firmware is working for you.  I really wish I could say the same.

 

Unfortunately, I can assure you that 1.0.9.34 does not perform well for me.  My upgrade process goes like this: [1] upgrade to new firmware [2] if all is well, then I'm done [3] if any problems at all, perform factory reset.  This is the procedure I followed when upgrading to .34, and yes, I did pull the trigger on step #3 and perform full reset with negative results.

 

I let the router pick 2.4 frequency, I leave the 5G frequency at its default, I leave smart connect off, one SSID for both radios (better automatic room-to-room behavior with laptops in my home), guest networks disabled, WPA2-PSK (AES), AP mode.  The only unusual setting I have is short preamble, which I'd be happy to turn off is somebody indicates important.

 

Unfortunately I have not been taking good notes abouts the various releases I have installed prior to .34.

 

My assessment of .28 so far is that it is more stable than .34 and .32, though I admit I haven't been running it long enough to reach a real conclusion.  That said, I couldn't reliably reboot the router on .34 (again, after a factory reset) to clear an obvious throughput problem.

 

I don't stare at NetSpot 24/7.  I react to really crappy browing experience.  I'm running Windows 10 with all updates, and the situation gets bad enough that I have had to take action almost daily.

 

The real tell with speedtest.net is the upload speed.  I'm paying for 10, typically get 12, and I just never see it below 10.  But when the problem manifests, upload speeds craw at 2 or 3Mbps, even though download might be 25Mpbs (paying for 400).  I'm aware that proximity to the router affects speed.

 

We've used online gaming, Netflix, smart TVs, skype, and others, yet never has the entire household been concurrently frustrated with network performance.

 

Given this is not my main router, I guess I don't have to worry about the russian router hack, but I would like to have security fixes wrt crack.  So I'd love for .34 to work well, but so far, it just isn't.

 

Given stated problems with .26, I guess I'm thinking I likely will go back to 1.0.8 if .9.28 doesn't hold up.

Message 10 of 25
KH-
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Day 3 after rolling back.  Huge difference.  Devices are no longer dropping out.  Speed tests are great, and repeatable.  On 1.0.9.xx I was getting ~30 Mbps.   On 1.0.8.34 I'm consistenly getting ~330 Mbps, even over wireless connections.  I would like to know why some users are experiencing good results while others like myself are not.  But, that's a question for Netgear to figure out....

 

 

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 11 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

***EDIT - Funny...  we were both posting around the same time, so you've rolled back then... 

 

Greetings,

If you aren't going to use "SamrtConnect" I would not suggest using SSID's with the same name and password.  This is still a "newer" feature in consumer based Wi-Fi products and only became common as mesh solutions started becoming mainstream outside of business environments.  Notice that the default SSID names are different by default.  I would suggest enabling Smart Connect if you are going to use identical SSID names.  Not doing this might cause your dual band connected devices to jump back and forth between the two braodcasts which could cause issues.  Note  I said could, not will.  But do test to see if it helps.       

 

Advanced > Wireless settings.  Documentation states not to change these settings from default unless you are troubleshooting.  At least try returning to "Long Preamble" since "short' is not working for you.  I know it changes the length of the packet header, and if you are using newer wireless hardware both standards are likely supported.  Also ensure "Airtime Fairness" is enabled if you live in a wifi "congested" area.  Restart the router after making these changes. 

 

Yes, indeed strange that our results are "so much" different than one another.  I'm testing the only 2.4Ghz single band device in the house today and its working great too.  How did I get so lucky?

 

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Message 12 of 25
KH-
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

If you do rollback, I'll be interested in your results.  ALL of the issues I experienced on 1.0.9.xx are gone on 1.0.8.34.  The one thing I have not done is restart my Netgear WiFi extender.  I unplugged that puppy on 1.0.9.34 when my two network printers wouldn't stay connected.  Unplugging the extender didn't make a difference.  If the network status on 1.0.8.34 remains good, I may reenable the extender to see if things get wonky again.

 

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 13 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Greetings,

I have no reason to roll back.  The .34 build is working for me.  Wired and wireless performance rivals 1.0.7.6 and the connections on both interfaces have been stable.  (Lucky I know).  I've dodged a bullet.  Whew!  

 

 

 

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 14 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Almost 4 full days now, and 1.0.9.28 is behaving fine in my environment.

 

I have occasionally run speedtests, and all acceptible.  I must admit that I'm too lazy to move my laptop around my house, so I'm only looking for clear anomalies and am ignoring expected 2.4 vs 5 and proximity variances.  In other words, my internet is behaving well for me throughout the day.  I work at home, so the wifi gets thorough exercise.

 

I did notice the Attached Devices issue metioned by @KY with the .34 firmware.  There was one point where my iPhone was not showing up on .28, but it is now, and I am seeing a mix of 2.4 and 5 devices.  I did not do an extensive reveiw of the device list, but the dozen or so devices is probably a complete list.

 

I have reservations regarding @shadowsports suggestion of using separate SSIDs or enabling smart connect.  I tried smart connect when I first bought the router, but it appeared to be playing games with the signals in that one of the radios would sort of disappear from my laptops perspective (Is/can it play games via beamforming, or was I experiencing signal dropouts?).  Furthermore, I could not locate any clear description of the algorithm it uses, and am therefore reluctant to rely on it.  My home is large enough that we need to use 2.4 in some rooms and in the back yard, I don't want to ask my family to manually switch to a new SSID, and frankly all of our PCs, iPhones, and macs are making solid radio decisions and automatically switching radios as devices move around my house.  I have wired connections for my main router (erlite-3), TVs, and NAS, and the semi-frequent online gaming, Netflix streaming, etc has never caused any problems.  All of that said, can somebody clearly articulate exactly how smart connect works?  Does it handle roaming well, forcing devices down to 2.4 when the 5G signal gets week?  How does it force a device to use a particular radio?

 

I reviewed release notes, and it appears that 1.0.9.28 has some (mysterious) security fixes that are probably not in 1.0.8.34, so I guess I stay at .9.28 barring further problems.  But please offer any advice you might have on this matter.  And why does the .8 release branch contain only one version?

 

Thanks guys!

Message 15 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

I think the only thing to say here is you'll never know if you don't try.  I'm not sure I understand what reservations you have?  If you work at home, you can quickly and easily evaluate the performance of your wireless while experimenting with various settings.

 

Don't want force your family members to connect to a new SSID?  What do they do when they visit a starbucks, an airport, a school or a friends house for the first time.  Excuse you for inconveniencing them while you try to improve their wireless performance.  

 

This will help you understand Smart Connect

 

Granted its a little vague.  The next 2 go into deeper detail.

 

KB1

 

KB2

 

Basically it uses a combination of frequencies in the same band to optimize throughput.  Note: 2.4Ghz broadcast has a greater broadcast range, but lower bandwidth.  5Ghz has a shorter broadcast range but increased bandwidth capability. 

 

And a good App such as Wi-Fi Analyzer or even Genie for iOS or Android (both free) will instantly allow you to see how your network is performing, as well as what your neighbors are doing.  Broadcast, signal strength, channel usage and more.  They can help you tweak and further optimize your settings by providing quantitative results.    

 

Don't sell yourself short.  All the tools you need to verify, confirm and/or improve your wireless performance is at your finger tips.  The choice is yours.

 

jj.png

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Message 16 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

1.0.9.28 still running fine for me.

 

@shadowsports do you have anything that descibes how smart connect works on the dual band r7000?  Letting the router ballance between two 5G radios is compelling, but I would like to understand how it handles the situation when I go out back and the 5G radio is suddenly unavailable.  Not positive, but I believe 802.11 leaves radio selection decision with the client, which would mean that the router must be playing some tricky game to force the client to use a particular radio.

 

Thanks.

Message 17 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Look at my post above. I put a bunch of links in it regarding SmartConnect and the load balancing that happens behind the scenes.

There is no trickery. It simply looks at the connecting adapter and takes into consideration what is connected now and balances for best overall performance. It might put slower devices on your 2.4Ghz network, but if they are dual band and you move out of the 2.4's broadcast range, it's going to move them to the 5G broadcast. I personally like to control this myself which is why I use separate SSID names for my networks. You can try it and see how it works. If you decide its not right for your, then I would go with my original suggestion. 2 networks, 2 names.

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Message 18 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

The links make a case for tri-band, but I'm still not getting dual-band.  My devices wouldn't care which of two 5G radios are selected (if I had a tri-band router), as they would both have the same signal strength.

 

Given that my devices are going to attempt to pick the radio (right?), how does smart connect force them to use one of two (or three) different options?

 

Again, I was confused when, with SC enabled, the 5G radio disappeared from perspective of my laptop.  Was this because I was experiencing a frequency dropout, or was it because SC attempts to "hide" all but one frequecy?  And again, I really don't understand the capabilities of beamforming.

Message 19 of 25
IrvSp
Master

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

@JJNorcal,

 

I can tell you are confused... R7000 and Trr-band routers are different cases. I've got both an R7000 that I DID not use Smart Connect with and an R8000 that I do.

 

First, there are differences in what Smart Connect can do and NG's implementation works.

 

Smart Connect as the name implies will 'figure out' what goes to what SSID. It will also manage 'load'. That is in its 'specs' (I forgot which chip maker makes this but for this discussion it doesn't matter).

 

On the R7000 it works managing both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band. With it enabled a SINGLE SSID is seen. SC somehow determines what frequency to connect a device to by what it can. That is all 2.4Ghz devices will go to the band. Now comes the tricky part Dual Band devices, they can use either. However, as stated before there are differences on those band. Basically strenth at distances from the router. From what I've seen in reviews NG's implementation isn't complete. Once a device is assigned a band (and it can change which one from day to day) it stays on that band as long as connected. The implementation will level the number of devices per band as they connect. That means it is possible an AC device might wind up on a 2.4Ghz band UNLESS in the R7000 it is implemented that that device will got to the 5Ghz band automatically. For that reason I've never used Smart Connect. I alway let the device decide what band to connect to and all 5Ghz capable devices use that band.

 

Now on the Tri-Band R8000, different story.  Only the 2 5Ghz bands are under Smart Connect Control. The NG implementation doesn't always work well and again, as it seems it doesn't load each 5Ghz radio equally but for me that isn't a problem, but could be for some. In the Tri-band case each 5Ghz radio is assigned different channels, with the slower 5Ghz devices (N speeed) assigned to lower frequencies and faster 5G devices (AC speed) to the higher frequencies.

 

Now if you are using the SAME SSID for both bands this can be a problem. Especially for dual band devices. How can they tell if they are connecting to 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz signals? Do they see 2 SSID's and guess? Do they see one only? For ease of use, make them different. I'm sure there are devices that are or could be near the edge of the router signal (or weaker due to walls/floors) that might work better with a different band and two different SSID's makes this an easier choice.

Message 20 of 25

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

@JJNorcal

 

 

@IrvSp has described it perfectly.  Also, please note that the KB articles I references says applies to in the right hand pane...  "R7000" and describe the behaviors of the radios depending on the dual or triband capability. 

 

Further, he confirms what I said at the very start.  The importance of using separate SSIDs for the broadcats if you aren't going to use SmartConnect.  So we've come full circle and as you can see, he is in agreement with my suggestions depending on the route you decide to go.   

 

You've been given suggestions and tools to help you troubleshoot and tailor your settings for what should be optimal performance.  The rest is up to you.

 

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Message 21 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Appreciate the info and advice.

 

Did some googling.

 

There clearly are a good number of one vs multiple SSID debates out there.  Some adamanant for one (automatic from end user's perspective) and other adamant for separate (complete control on a per device basis).

 

The technique I've been trying to understand seems to be called "band steering".  I read through a couple of different implementations:

https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/features/3254-what-does-wifi-band-steering-mean/

https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/Radio_Settings/Band_Steering_Overview

 

Only link I saw on roaming in conjunction with band steering recommended enabling the feature and made a case for throughput improvements:

https://www.excentis.com/blog/wi-fi-roaming-gotchas

 

So I re-enabled smart connect this morning and did a few experiments, still with version 1.0.9.28.

 

First off, while wifi immediately came up after reconfig, I was unable to access router admin.  A paper clip reset cleared this problem.

 

Attached Devices indicated that my win10 laptop was using 2.4, but I could not get my iPhone to show up.  I moved my laptop closer to the router and at some point it was moved to 5G (I think immediately after the router reset).  I then did some roaming experiments, and from what I can tell, my laptop was forced to stick on 5G even though the signal got extremely week.  When I got to a spot where the 5G signal was gone, my laptop stuck with 5G for maybe 30-60 seconds and then finally switched to 2.4.  Without smart connect, Windows aggressively switches to 2.4 well before the 5G signal disappears.  My iPhone showed up in Attached Devices at some point using 2.4, and I have not been able to get it to show up as 5G (I can confirm radio selection in win10 but not on my iPhone).

 

To be fair, smart connect does force my laptop to stay on 5G in places where, while weaker than 2.4 by some threshhold, 5G speedtests outperform 2.4G.

 

After my laptop was downgraded to 2.4, it was left on 2.4 even though the 5G signal was usable, albeit weaker than 2.4.  These are locations where Windows would have chosen 2.4, but smart connect had let me use 5G before the radio downgrade.

 

NetSpot behaves the same as when I first tried smart connect.  The signal associated with the radio not selected (for device where NetSpot is launched) disappears for periods of time then it comes back, disappears, and repeat.  I verified that I could connect to my 2.4G printer, so not a radio dropout.

 

Please let me know if any of my observations are unexpected.  And thanks.

Message 22 of 25
IrvSp
Master

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

You might think reading some links makes things clear to you, but they are either for 'true' smart connect or theoretical.

 

NG's implementation do NOT do load balancing after device connection. Once on an SSID you stay on it.

 

Your first link is for Band Steering which although similar is not completely the same.

2nd link appears to be for Cisco AP's... and is a different implemtation.

Last link, not even about the same thing. It is using the SAME SSID as the other router(s) are using the same as the original. So let's say you are at an airport and you connect at one end and walk to the gates you stay connected. Your device picks the strongest signal it can find and automatically picks the closest one up. Same as Range Extenders in the home.

 

What we are discussing is using the SAME ID for BOTH (or more) SSID's on your router. You said you set the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz SSID to be the same. I asked then HOW COULD ANY DEVICE know which band it was connecting to? Either it would only see ONE SSID, the strongest one probably, or BOTH but not know which one to use? That IS the problem! Now if a device that can only use the 2.4Ghz band this will not be a problem as it can't see the 5Ghz band. It is the Dual band device that will have a problem.

 

Smart Connect FORCES the 2 bands on the R7000 to be the same... and it determines where who goes, and in some cases it will put a Dual band device on the 2.4Ghz band. There is NO guarantee with NG's implementation which band a Dual Band device will go on either, but the single band 2.4Ghz device will always connect to the 2.4Ghz band.

 

Just like your example of losing the 5Ghz signal, even with Smart Connect the same thing will happen as once a device loses connection it retries. 5Ghz doesn't go as far at the 2.4Ghz but as you get further away from the router the 5Ghz signal does stay stronger until it is gone.

 

Now if your device doesn't 'know' the 2.4Ghz SSID because you never joined it or 'forgot' that connection in both cases you'll be prompted for credentials. If you have Smart Connect enabled and your dual band device was never on the 2.4Ghz SSID (or was told to forget it) you will also be prompted (but it will be saved for future use).

 

You seem to be questioning how things work and trying to justify using the same SSID on both radio's? I can't tell how you could tell one from the other to even suggest you know where everything 'will' connect (without looking at the router to tell).

 

Device connection problems, who knows why?

 

You have 2 choices... and in the case of the R7000, I think only if you know ALL your h/w should you be using 2 SSID's, otherwise, Smart Connect should work for you. That said, you have to realize some device that you want greater throughput on might wind up on the 2.4Ghz band and be limited. Even the 5Ghz band can be limited by an N device on as well as an AC device. I never used Smart Connect as I wanted ALL my 2.4Ghz devices on that SSID, and ALL the Dual Band devices on the 5Ghz SSID.

 

By the way, NG uses Broadcom's XStream architecture, and implemented only what it wanted to, at least on the R8000, see https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32474-netgear-r8000-nighthawk-x6-first-loo..., and from it:

 

=============

Instead, I chose to explore NETGEAR's SmartConnect feature.

 

To recap, SmartConnect is NETGEAR's implementation of Broadcom's XStream architecture. SmartConnect uses two 5 GHz radios and assigns client to each one when they connect. The assignment is static until the connection between router and client is broken.

Dynamic client assigment is part of the XStream architecture, but vendors can choose which XStream features they use. NETGEAR told me they disabled dynamic client assignment because some devices "do not make a graceful switch".

==============

 

Obviously the R7000's is over both bands... but only NG knows what was implemented, or not. I'd be surprised is it has the Dynamic assignment. This is a the SSID load leveling feature making sure each SSID has about the same device load/use.

 

Feel free to do what you please.

Message 23 of 25
JJNorcal
Tutor

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

Final thank you to those contirbuting to my understanding.

 

The NG implementation of band steering, which doesn't support roaming between bands, really won't work for my home unless I disabled 5G altogether; we have some areas not covered by 5G, so every device would need to be on 2.4 to support occasional use from worst case location.

 

So either I invest in mesh replacement or leave smart connect off.  The latter approach has been working well on 1.0.9.28 for almost a month now without any problems and without any router reboots.

 

I'm going to move forward with single SSID and disabled smart connect for now.  It has been working well for my household since I bought the router, which is not surprising.  Netflix HD streaming, for example, needs some 5Mbps, which is an easy reach for us if all 5 members of my household were sharig a single band.  We occasionally host events where some 40 people are all using our wifi at the same time, but in this case none of their devices are driving high bandwidth applications, and noone has issues.

 

In conclusion, while my house is a candidate for mesh, the dual band r7000 is more than adequate for us provided that we levarage roaming between bands.  I plan to use separate SSIDs if or when we actually run into a bandwidth challenge.

 

Thanks again.

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Message 24 of 25
Arizona_Dane
Aspirant

Re: R7000 2.4 signal and wifi speeds flaky (1.0.9.34)

I had the same issue after the last upgrade with my ORBI. Drove me nuts. Community was offering code rewrites...noooooo.
My 2.4 gigahertz Withings scale wasn't going to slow down my entire home network!
So. I have a guest network set up. Guest network appears to be much more forgiving. Withings has stayed connected for over a week!
Message 25 of 25
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