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Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Maniacal611
Tutor

R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

I believe this issue started when I updated the router's firmware to version V1.4.1.30.  I started noticing that some devices could no longer see my 2.4Ghz WiFi SID.  Devices that support 5Ghz continue to work fine and connect without an issue.  For example, my mobile phone could see and connect to either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz.  However, my older Windows 7 laptop which only supports 2.4Ghz no longer displays the 2.4Ghz WiFi SID on the "available networks" screen and now I can only connect via a hardwired ethernet cable.  My laptop does display my neighbor's WiFi SIDs.

 

After doing some analysis, I discovered that the 2.4Ghz band was being broadcast on channel 44-48.   I have to assume that this is the reason older devices are not able to discover the 2.4Ghz band as they typically only support channels 1-11.  Anything broadcasting on a higher channel is probably assumed to be 5Ghz.

 

I've tried all sorts of combination of settings, turning things on/off, but nothing seems to get the 2.4Ghz band to broadcast on the "normal" channels of 1-11.  I'm using the WiFiAnalyzer app on my android phone to determine which channels the 2.4Ghz band is broadcasting to.  It sees my neighbors WiFi and does show their 2.4Ghz as being broadcase on channels 1-11, so I believe the information I'm getting the from phone app is correct.

 

I will attempt to downgrade my router's firmware to see if I can get it to broadcase 2.4Ghz in the 1-11 channel range.

 

Has anyone encountered something like this?  Am I totally missing something obvious?

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Update:  I reverted the router firmware serveral versions back, but with each previous version I was not able to get the 2.4Ghz band to broadcast on channels 1-11.  Ultimately I went all the way back to the originial firmware on the router when I bought it (i.e., 1.0.1.8), and did a factory reset, but all to no avail.  The router at present is broadcasting the 2.4Ghz band on channel 36 and is reporting the same in the UI as shown below:

 

2.4Ghz Config.jpg

This is totally inconsistant with my understanding of how channels 1-11 are reserved for the 2.4Ghz band. 

 

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 2 of 23
antinode
Guru

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

> [...] the 2.4Ghz band was being broadcast on channel 44-48. [...]

 

   All I know is what I read on the Internet, but:

 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

 

suggests that those are 5GHz channels, not 2.4GHz channels (which 1-11
would be).


> [...] I'm using the WiFiAnalyzer app on my android phone to determine
> which channels the 2.4Ghz band is broadcasting to. [...]

 

   Or, you're determining which channels the 5GHz radio is using.  What
does the _router_ say that it's doing?

 

      ADVANCED > Setup > Wireless Setup
      ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Wireless Settings

 

   Is the 2.4GHz radio enabled?

 

> [...] as shown below:

 

   In-line images in these forums must wait for moderator approval, so I
can't see yours yet.  (An attached file incurs no such delay.) Some
little description would be nice, even if the pictures were visible.
Copy+paste of plain text can be more useful than pictures of plain text.


   I haven't touched an R8000P (with any firmware version), so I know
nothing, but it sounds as if something is seriously wrong.  Are you
really looking at the 2.4GHz radio settings?  Or any router settings?

Message 3 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Antinode, thank you for your reply.  I was beginning to think that my understanding of how channels are supposed to be assigned to the 2.4Ghz band was wrong.  

 

The router is reporting that it is broadcasting the 2.4Ghz band on channel 36, even though in the UI I've specifically selected channel 1.  I've confirmed that it is in fact broadcasting in channel 36 via a phone app called WiFiAnalyzer.  My neighbor's router is being detected by WiFiAnalyzer and it's showing the channel as 1, so I'm confident the app is reporting channels correctly.

 

I've tried setting the 2.4Ghz channel to "auto" and from 1 to 11.  But the channel remains at the 36 - 44 range.  

 

There is a feature in the UI called Smart Connect that has the following description: Let the router select the best WiFi band for your WiFi connection. With Smart Connect, you must use the same WiFi network name (SSID), security options, and password for all radios for which you enable Smart Connect.  One Wireless Network Name (SSID) for 2.4G and both 5G radios.  The feature is used to balance wireless stations into two different radios, which can prevent situation that most of wireless stations connecting to a radio, and the other one is idle.  When the feature is enabled, most 5GHz-1 Radio's wireless setting is used and overwriting the settings for 5GHz-2 Radio, such as SSID and Security Options.

 

I'm very suspecious of that feature now.  I did check the box to activate it, just to see what would happen.  However it didn't change the channel assignment for the 2.4Ghz band (remained at 36).  But this certainly smells like a smoking gun to me.  My guess is that, even though I don't have the Smart Connect box checked, this feature is overriding my manual channel assignment.  Below is the UI screen where this feature is available:

 

2.4Ghz Config 2.jpg

 

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 4 of 23
duckware
Virtuoso

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

apply a 'reasonable' firmware version and then facotry reset and see what happens.  Confirm that you are on the support page that matches your router modem number entirely (there are R8000 and R8000P pages) -- of the sticker on bottom of router.

Message 5 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Hi Duckware!

 

Tonight I'll install a several previous firmware revisions and do a factory reset for each to see if that can resolve the problem.  However, I've successfully installed a number of previous firmware revisions, the last one being 1.0.1.8 and did perform a factory reset on that version, but it did not resolve this problem.

 

My router is a R8000P/Nighthawk X6S model, so I believe I am in the correct support section.

 

This situation is frustrating because I own at least 4 WiFi enabled devices that can only operate on the 2.4Ghz band and this issue is preventing them from being able to detect my 2.4Ghz WiFi signal.  Only 5Ghz WiFi enabled devices can see my 2.4Ghz SID as a result of the broadcast channel being in the 5Ghz range (Ex., Channel 36).

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 6 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Update:  Per the previous suggestion, I reverted back to what I deemed "reasonable" firmware which was version 1.2.1.6 followed by 1.1.4.6.  At each attempt I performed a factory reset.  Unfortunately, the behavior of the router did not change.  Regardless of which channel I select, it refuses to broadcast the 2.4Ghz WiFi band on channels 1-11, effectively making this router useless for me.  

 

I've tried everything I can think of to make this router operate properly.

 

At this point, unless NetGear releases a fix (assuming this is a firmware issue), I'm going to look elsewhere for a reliable router.  I'm disappointed to have this router fail after approximately 1 year of use.  If this turns out to be a hardware issue, I'm out of luck as the warranty expired on 1/15/2019.

 

Thanks to all who offered suggestions for resolving this issue!

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 7 of 23

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

This is not a FW issue.  I've been running 1.4.1.30 for serveral months.  Its stable.  While it does have some bugs, the 2.4Ghz radio broadcasting on channels other than 1~11 in NA, or 1~14 in other regions is not possible.  The country cannot be changed by the end user, and this radio doesn't broadcast above 14. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~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 8 of 23

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Sorry didn't get a chance to finish... 

What I mean is, not the result of defective firmware. 

 

Cannot speculate what you are seeing or why. 

 

As others have suggested, recommend you reflash the router's firmware manually from a machine connected via ethernet using the routers GUI.  Do not use Genie. Once reflashed, perform set up from scratch.  Do not use a saved config file.  Do not enable SMART Connect, QoS or Traffic Meter.   WiFi Analyzer is a great app written by a gentleman who goes by FarProc.  Been using it for years.  Channels aboove 14 are not selectable for the 2.4Ghz broadcast.

 

If you feel confident you've done the above, its time to walk away from the hardware.

 

 

~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 9 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Shadowsports,

 

I agree with you that this doesn't appear to be a firmware issue.  I've tried all the things you've suggested without any success.  I was very happy with the router before this started happening, so I'll just chalk this up to "Sh_t happens".

 

Who knows....perhaps the 2.4Ghz radio in the router has died and it has a built-in fallback strategy to piggy back off the 5Ghz channels?  I'm just speculating and pulling this theory from you know where!

 

Thank you for your suggestions and insight!

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 10 of 23
Kitsap
Luminary

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Just a suggestion.  With the firmware you have installed now, access your router and rename the 2.4 GHz SSID to something you have not used before.  Restart your router, then access the client device and search for 2.4 GHz signals and attempt to connect.

 

Many times the client devices "remember" features and settings about a signal that change from firmware version to firmware version on the router.  With a new not previousely used SSID you are essentially "forgetting" the previous connection and establishing new client settings associated with the firmware that is now broadcasting the signal.

 

 

Message 11 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Kitsap,

 

Renaming the SID was one of the first things I tried and unfortunately it didn't change the router's behavior. 

 

From my perspective this isn't a client issue but is a problem with the router not broadcasting the 2.4Ghz band on channels 1-11.  I have numerious client devices (Ex., wireless doorbell) that only supports 2.4Ghz and their internal WiFi transceiver is not able to receive or send WiFi signals outside of the 1-11 channel range.  Therefore they never "see" the WiFi SID.  Even if I manually input the SID and password, the connection fails since the router is not using the correct channel and the client can not connect.

 

For the longest time I thought my wireless doobell was having problems until I setup my old ASUS router as a test and was shocked (and pleasently surprised) to find the camera connected immediatly to it without any issue on the 2.4Ghz band.  That ultimately led me to research why the camera refused to connect to the NetGear router.

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 12 of 23
duckware
Virtuoso

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Make sure the 2.4 and 5 SSID are unique (not the same).  Can you actually then connect to either in the 5G band?  What channel width (20/40/80) does the WiFi analyzer say the router is broadcasting each?

 

According to wikidevi, the wifi chip for the first band (2.4 GHz) is BCM4365E, and the wifi chip for the second band (5 GHz) is ALSO a BCM4365E.  That would suggest that the wifi chip is 'programmed' by the router for which band to use?

 

If all of this is true, Netgear is going to have to chime in and explain what is going on (why programming the chip for 2.4 band failed).

Message 13 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Hi Duckware!

 

To answer your questions:

  • Make sure the 2.4 and 5 SSID are unique (not the same).  Yes, they are different.
  • Can you actually then connect to either in the 5G band?  My mobile phone will successfully connect to either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz band.  However, no WiFi device that I have which only supports 2.4Ghz can connect to the 2.4Ghz band due to the channel being in the 5Ghz range.  For example, the 2.4Ghz Wifi Doorbell Camera refuses to connect to the 2.4Ghz SID.
  • What channel width (20/40/80) does the WiFi analyzer say the router is broadcasting each?  With my present configuration, the channel width is 20 for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

 

Following are some screen prints of my current Wireless configuration and what's actually happening:

 

 

2.4Ghz configuration2.4Ghz configuration

 

 

 

5Ghz-1 Configuration5Ghz-1 Configuration

 

 

 

5Ghz-2 configuration5Ghz-2 configuration

 

 

The following shows that the 2.4Ghz band is being broadcast on channel 48.  Note also that the 5Ghz-2 band is showing a channel of zero, which is puzzling since the radio for that band is on and a channel has been manually specified.

 

 

Band/Channel Usage Reported in Router UIBand/Channel Usage Reported in Router UI

 

Following is the WiFiAnalyzer app which mirrors the information reported in the router UI:

 

 

Band/Channel Usage Reported in WiFiAnalyzer AppBand/Channel Usage Reported in WiFiAnalyzer App

 

It would be great if NetGear would provide an explanation of what I'm seeing.

 

 

 

 

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 14 of 23
JimBobTexas
Aspirant

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

I believe that your Wifi sniffer has the answer: Your router is down to only two 5Ghz channels because the 2.4Ghz radio is dead/offline/not responding. Since the 2.4 Ghz radio is dead the GUI menu presents the two existing radios (both 5Ghz) in slots 1 and 2 explaining the ‘channel 0’ on the third channel.
Maybe somehow some user settings shut the 2.4 Ghz radio off, but the short answer is that it is probably dead. Probably a voltage spike.
Might play with the channel settings more but sounds like you have already done it all. Might use the old 2.4Ghz router as an access point and still use the Netgear for the 5Ghz and routing functions.
Sorry but I believe it is time for a new router and also recommend surge suppressor/UPS if you don’t have one. Good luck!
Model: R7900P|Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 15 of 23
JimBobTexas
Aspirant

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Ok some here is something to try - just saw a post by @MrEnigmaPuzzle in this same Netgear community where his 5Ghz quit working so he turned off the main wifi and turned on the Guest Wifi. That fixed it and he went back to turn on his main wifi. Look for his post - he also has a Reddit post about it.
Maybe this will save you buying a new unit, Good luck!
Model: R7900P|Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 16 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Hi JimBobTexas!

 

I tried your suggestion about turning off the main SID's and only using the Guest SID's, but that unfortunately didn't resurrect the 2.4Ghz transceiver in the router.

 

In an earlier reply I speculated that the firmware was somehow compensating for the loss of the 2.4Ghz transceiver by broadcasting the 2.4Ghz SID using the 5Ghz band.  Doing that would serve to prevent WiFi signal loss for any device that accepts both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.  For example, my mobile phone could connect to either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz SID, even when the 2.4Ghz SID was being broadcast in the 5Ghz channel band. 

 

But any device that only recognizes the 2.4Ghz band won't be able to see the 2.4Ghz SID or establish a connection because it's not designed to receive channels above 11.  I've got plenty of 2.4Ghz devices that fall into the "it don't work" category.  Therefore this fallback strategy (assuming it is intentionally designed this way) would not fully compensate for the loss of the 2.4Ghz transceiver.

 

I have the router plugged into a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) that provides surge protection.  However, I concede that it's still possible a voltage spike could have damaged the router.  But because of the numerous reports of similar behaviour, it's my belief that the router was made with cheap unreliable electronics that simply couldn't stand up under normal use.

 

I've dusted off my old ASUS router and it's now handling all the 2.4Ghz WiFi duties.  The NetGear router is handling the 5Ghz duties plus hardwired Ethernet until I can decide on a suitable replacement.

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 17 of 23
JimBobTexas
Aspirant

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Hey Maniacal611!
Thanks for the update! I agree your 2.4Ghz radio is dead - and the firmware is doing something wonky as a result with the remaining two 5Ghz radios. Probably unintended shifting af settings after the fail.
Yep the fail could have been many things...
At least you have the ASUS available. I had an ASUS prior to this one also. It was a good unit and lasted four or five years. A good workhorse. - Best wishes!
Model: R7900P|Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 18 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

JimBobTexas,

 

Earlier this evening I noticed one more bit of odd behaviour that I wanted to share just for yucks!  I tend to forget about all the status lights that are available on the top of the router.  Once the router is configured and physically positioned where I want it to be, I rarely need to see it with my own two eyes to know if it's working or not. 

 

But tonight when I walked over to it to confirm it was in fact plugged into the UPS, something caught my eye.  I noticed that  both of the 5Ghz status lights were totally dark, which indicates that the 5Ghz radio is turned off.  However, the 2.4Ghz light was flashing like crazy which indicates that the 2.4Ghz radio is turned on and WiFi traffic is busy being sent/received over the 2.4Ghz band.

 

I'm not sure how this correlates to the issue I've been having with the 2.4Ghz WiFi band.  However, I've been told that NetGear uses 2 separate and identical transceiver chips for the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.  Is it possible that the 5Ghz transceiver is the one that actually died?  Perhaps.  But if that's the case, I'm stumped how the 2.4Ghz chip suddenly started broadcasting in the 5Ghz band unless the firmware is causing the behavior, intentionally or not.

 

I found this ironic since the WiFi status I'm getting from the router lights conflicts with what's reported in the user interface.  Smiley Frustrated

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 19 of 23
JimBobTexas
Aspirant

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

Maniacal611 - That's too funny!

I suspect that this is just one more indication that the firmware is out of whack with the dead 2.4 Ghz radio.

I am not an EE but I believe the radio units are pretty much designed for each wavelength, so I don't think a 2.4 can just transform into a 5 Ghz by some software/firmware trick. I suspect the lights are just as confused as the GUI menu. Really pretty funny though.

- Cool Wifi snifer you used by the way....

Model: R7900P|Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 20 of 23

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

@Maniacal611 

 

As I said previously, time to walk away.  

 

 

~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 23
JimBobTexas
Aspirant

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

@Maniacal611
Just had an idea. - If you bought it at Costco or a similar buying club, they will often refund or replace, often with no time limit and no questions asked. - Another consideration is if you used a credit card to buy it - many CC have extended warranties on electronics just for using their card... time to check the fine print!
Model: R7900P|Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 22 of 23
Maniacal611
Tutor

Re: R8000P won't broadcast 2.4Ghz on channels 1-11

JimBobTexas,

 

Thanks for reminding me! 

 

I'm currently looking at the new WiFi 6 routers as a way to obsolete-proof my purchase for the longest period possible.  Unsurprisingly, they are not cheap and their newness brings a whole bunch of new firmware/performance issues that makes me think I should wait a while before I take the plunge!  But I'm always happy to save $'s where possible!

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 23 of 23
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