× Introducing the Orbi 970 Series Mesh System with WiFi 7 technology. For more information visit the NETGEAR Press Room.
Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
Reply

Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

geowars2
Guide

Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

I am using a Netgear RAX200 router.

The router typically has about 50 devices connected, although the majority are IOT devices like lightbulbs which don't have high data or bandwidth demands.

The issue I'm having is that the fan keeps coming on my router every few minutes. It'll turn on and I'll hear the whiney sound that puny awful fan makes for about 20-30 seconds then it'll switch off. A few minutes later it's back on again.

This could be normal, but here's the thing: It only exhibits this fan behaviour some of the time.

What I've noticed is that if I reboot the modem, the fan will NEVER operate. For days and weeks it will happily operate with no noise.

Now, if I open the Nighthawk app on my phone, even one time, this seems to cause the fan on my router to start coming on every few minutes indefinitely until it is rebooted.

Whilst I can reboot the modem to get it back to its quiet state, it does make me wonder: Is the router acting normally that the fan comes on every few minutes? Or alternatively, is my router overheating when it's in the "quiet mode"?

In either case, I've noticed that I can use the hidden debug page to view CPU load, but it seems to be showing about 1 percent in either case so it doesn't seem like the fan is coming on in response to high load.

To be honest, for a high-end router, with advanced config, it's disappointing that there is no temperature displayed to users or fan control control settings, whilst many other high end routers do.

Additionally, the acoustics of that fan are horrible, hence this post. There should be an option to run the fan longer at a slow speed.
Message 1 of 10
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

What Firmware version is currently loaded?
What is the Mfr and model# of the Internet Service Providers modem/ONT the NG router is connected too?
Be sure your using a good quality LAN cable between the modem and router. CAT6A STP is recommended. 

 

Does this happen with both wireless and wired devices? 
What channel configurations are currently set on the router?  

Do you have Smart Connect enabled or disabled.

Does this happen if you say change the PW to something different temporarily. Then apply the change and only connect say your phone or pad to the router? Does the fan keep turning OFF and ON? Change the PW back to what you had before after checking this. 

 

Has a factory reset and setup from scratch been performed since last FW update? A complete pull of the power adapters for a period of time after the factory reset then walk thru the setup wizard 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
Recommend setting the default DHCP IP address pool range to the following after applying and a factory reset: 192.168.#.100 to 192.168.#.200.
https://kb.netgear.com/24089/How-do-I-specify-the-pool-of-IP-addresses-assigned-by-my-Nighthawk-rout...
https://kb.netgear.com/25722/How-do-I-reserve-an-IP-address-on-my-NETGEAR-router
I would power OFF the ISP modem for 1 minute. Factory reset the router and power it off. Power ON the ISP modem and let it sync. Then power ON the router and walk thru the setup wizard again using a wired PC and a web browser.
Press the back reset button for 15 seconds then release. 
https://kb.netgear.com/31486/How-do-I-reset-my-Orbi-system-to-factory-default-settings
Or use the ERASE button on the routers web page to factory reset the router:
https://kb.netgear.com/000062081/How-do-I-erase-the-configuration-settings-on-my-Orbi-WiFi-System
https://kb.netgear.com/9665/How-do-I-perform-a-factory-reset-on-my-NETGEAR-router
Or use the ERASE button on the routers web page to factory reset the router:
https://kb.netgear.com/24233/How-do-I-erase-the-configuration-settings-on-my-Nighthawk-router

 

Something I put under any router I have online:

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Cooling-Receiver-Playstation-Computer/dp/B08ZSJFNMS

 

Sadly, NG didn't include custom controls on the RAX series like they did back when they did the XR7000 and R9000 router models. 

Message 2 of 10
geowars2
Guide

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

Thanks for the response. It'll take me a while to go through all the steps, particularly the full factory reset.
Great suggestion on temporarily changing the password too. This should help me to rule out the possibility of my devices causing high load.

I'll follow up but too answer some questions so far:
- it's on latest firmware 1.0.6.138
- it's connected to a BT homehub 4 ISP router
- I'm not sure of the network cable standard. I will look at replacing it with the standard you suggest, but I'd have a hard time believing the issue could be related to this.
- smart connect is disabled
- three bands are enabled - channels are Auto for 2.4ghz (currently channel 1+5), 44, 100.

On the prospect of an external fan; I'd hesitate to add an external fan as my router is in my living room and that would affect both the noise and aesthetic.

Also, I suspect that the fan issue is not temperature related for these reasons:
- it seems to come on and off at regular intervals (I'm going to time it when I get a chance to see...)
- Even in low ambient temperature the fan still comes on and off at the same intervals as it did in the Summer time when the ambient temperature was much much higher.
- Having looked at the debug.htm page in my browser, CPU usage is always low
(as an example, this is what it looks like with 45 devices connected: CPU1: 1.48% CPU2: 1.40% CPU3: 0.94% CPU4: 0.94%. I don't think the CPU usage is high enough here to be causing excessive heat...).

I'd also be interested if anyone else with this router can reproduce this issue. All I need to do is open the nighthawk application on my phone, and as soon as it connects, this is what seems to place my router into "noisy mode" where the fan comes on every few minutes and continues to do so indefinitely.

I do think it's whatever way the nighthawk app is connecting to the router, is inducing some bug. I'll do some additional hunting...
Message 3 of 10
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise


@geowars2 wrote:
Thanks for the response. It'll take me a while to go through all the steps, particularly the full factory reset.
Great suggestion on temporarily changing the password too. This should help me to rule out the possibility of my devices causing high load.

I'll follow up but too answer some questions so far:
- it's on latest firmware 1.0.6.138
Might update FW as well: https://community.netgear.com/t5/Nighthawk-with-WiFi-6-AX-and/New-RAX80-RAX200-Firmware-Version-1-0-...
- it's connected to a BT homehub 4 ISP router
Is this router bridged? Having a router infront of another router can be problematic as well. This would be a double NAT (two router) condition which isn't recommended. This would be a double NAT condition which isn't recommended. https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT
https://kb.netgear.com/30187/How-to-fix-issues-with-Double-NAT
Couple of options,
1. Configure the modem for transparent bridge or modem only mode. Then use the NG router in router mode. You'll need to contact the ISP for help and information in regards to the modem being bridged correctly.
2. If you can't bridge the modem, disable ALL wifi radios on the modem, configure the modems DMZ/ExposedHost or IP Pass-Through for the IP address the NG router gets from the modem. https://kb.netgear.com/25891/DMZ-on-NETGEAR-routers
https://kb.netgear.com/24086/How-do-I-set-up-a-default-DMZ-server-on-my-Nighthawk-router
3. Or disable all wifi radios on the modem and connect the NG router to the modem, LAN to LAN configure AP mode on the NG router.
https://kb.netgear.com/20927/How-do-I-change-my-NETGEAR-router-to-AP-mode
Try option #2 first...

- I'm not sure of the network cable standard. I will look at replacing it with the standard you suggest, but I'd have a hard time believing the issue could be related to this.
- smart connect is disabled
- three bands are enabled - channels are Auto for 2.4ghz (currently channel 1+5), 44, 100.

On the prospect of an external fan; I'd hesitate to add an external fan as my router is in my living room and that would affect both the noise and aesthetic.
Then fan I suggested has speed controls and is fairly quiet. Would sit under the router.

Also, I suspect that the fan issue is not temperature related for these reasons:
- it seems to come on and off at regular intervals (I'm going to time it when I get a chance to see...)
- Even in low ambient temperature the fan still comes on and off at the same intervals as it did in the Summer time when the ambient temperature was much much higher.
- Having looked at the debug.htm page in my browser, CPU usage is always low
(as an example, this is what it looks like with 45 devices connected: CPU1: 1.48% CPU2: 1.40% CPU3: 0.94% CPU4: 0.94%. I don't think the CPU usage is high enough here to be causing excessive heat...).
Ya, Wouldn't be doing that. Lets try a FW update after a factory reset to check this.

I'd also be interested if anyone else with this router can reproduce this issue. All I need to do is open the nighthawk application on my phone, and as soon as it connects, this is what seems to place my router into "noisy mode" where the fan comes on every few minutes and continues to do so indefinitely.
Your the first reporting this kind of fan behavior. 

I do think it's whatever way the nighthawk app is connecting to the router, is inducing some bug. I'll do some additional hunting...

 

Message 4 of 10
geowars2
Guide

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

Thanks again.

Apologies, I am already on the latest firmware (V1.0.10.140_1.0.79), not sure where I got the other version from.

The BT homehub router does not support a bridge or modem only mode. Given the docs you linked, I'll look into setting the Netgear to access point mode but I will read the docs first, as I don't understand its side effects well and don't want to negatively affect my IoT devices which generally work fine.

Fwiw, The routers are approximately 40-50cm apart and whilst I can disable the wireless radios on the homehub, I've actually chosen to enable the 2.4ghz radios on the opposite end of the spectrum in my ISP router, so that I can connect some devices it (currently there are 16). Unfortunately I have at least one device which refuses to work with the Netgear router, notably my Nest smoke alarm, so this forced me to do so. I then connected some additional devices to my ISP router for the purpose of spreading the load.

I'll look into the fan some more, so thanks for that. If I could look into using a noctua fan through a controller that would be ideal as I'm not, excuse the pun, the biggest fan of fan noise.
Message 5 of 10
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

Lets try a Factory reset and if you can try option #2 on the ISP router for the RAX. Lets try the ISP routers DMZ for the RAX in router mode as well. 

 

But first thing, try changing the pass word on the SSID and see what happens. 

Ya the fan in this routers are the greatest. Why I chose a external fan solution for my needs. 

 

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Message 6 of 10

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise


@geowars2 wrote:

The BT homehub router does not support a bridge or modem only mode.


Yes. BT's hardware is best avoided. I have several still in their shrink-wrap.

 

Unless you are on BT's IP telephony service, other options are available. Even with that, you may find workarounds.

 

The Homehub 4 is a DSL modem/router. Is that the service you are on?

 

Unfortunately, Netgear, and most brands, abandoned the DSL modem market some time ago.

 

I got in just before that happened and switched to a pair of Netgear DM200s. (One of those was an open box resell.) I have used these alongside a raft of different Netgear routers.

 

If you are prepared to buy reused, the spread of BT's fibre-optic-to-the-home service has created a good market for second hand DM200s. Strongly recommended. That would be a great feed for the RAX200 .

 

Not sure if it would do much about the fans. Have you looked at:

 

http://routerlogin.com/debug.htm

 

That can have some hidden settings.

 


I'll look into the fan some more, so thanks for that. If I could look into using a noctua fan through a controller that would be ideal as I'm not, excuse the pun, the biggest fan of fan noise.

I suspect that this is a red herring. The UK is not exactly tropical, especially now.

 

How old is your router? Less than a year and I'd be tempted to go for a warranty RMA. 

Message 7 of 10
geowars2
Guide

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

I appreciate it.

An easy option for me to try right now is setting up my Netgear in access mode so I have completed that and things are working ok. I will see how it goes with this, before I jump to the factory reset and consider the other options like the DMZ stuff that I'm not too familiar with (sorry, not a networking expert!)

Since I had rebooted earlier the fan issue isn't actually presenting right now and there are over 40 (mostly iot) WiFi devices connected to the router. I will also wait to see if the fan starts spinning up before I change the WiFi password.
Message 8 of 10
geowars2
Guide

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise

Thanks for the reply.

I'm mistaken, it's actually a BT Smarthub 2 I have.

To clarify, It's a fibre connection into my home, which connects to an Openreach Modem (ONT). That modem connects to the Homehub 5 via ethernet, and then my Netgear router is connected to the Homehub via ethernet.

I'm on the BT fibre to the home 900mb service and fwiw I actually can achieve the 900mb speed through my Galaxy S23 connected to the Netgear RAX200.
I don't use the BT telephony service at all, and never will.

The homehub, despite being a basic modem/router, is still surprisingly reliable, And although I'll never get the speeds I can get through the Netgear, I've actually had better luck connecting some devices to it versus my Netgear.

I'd be open to using something like the DM200 but given the fact that a separate modem is used in addition to the smarthub, it may actually be possible for me to eliminate the Smarthub router completely anyway. I've just looked and this is actually possible.

This would be good as it would make things simpler and power consumption would be reduced.
The things that gives me pause in doing this are :
- If I remove the smarthub I will have all devices connected to Netgear which will be around 60 active connections (albeit most iot devices)
- The fact that one or two devices I have simply will not play ball with my Netgear router.

The notable example is my Nest smoke alarm, which can connect to the router on an initial setup but then after the smoke alarm disconnects from WiFi (it does this by design because it's battery powered), it never connects ever again. I've had no issues when connecting it to the homehub! I could maybe try again with my Netgear in AP mode just to see if that could have resolved it, since I do understand that the "Double NAT" issue can cause compatibility issues.

On temperature: I'm in Ireland in a 1935 constructed house, so ambient temperature in the room with my router relatively low!

Lastly, my router is probably now out of warranty, having purchased it in August 2022.
Message 9 of 10

Re: Netgear RAX200 - Strange fan behaviour and awful fan noise


@geowars2 wrote:
Thanks for the reply.

I'm mistaken, it's actually a BT Smarthub 2 I have.

To clarify, It's a fibre connection into my home, which connects to an Openreach Modem (ONT). That modem connects to the Homehub 5 via ethernet, and then my Netgear router is connected to the Homehub via ethernet.

That makes all the difference. The DM200 would be useless.

 

Do you have anything else connected to the Homehub?

 

If not, it might be possible to leave it out of the mix and connect the RAX200 to the ONT.

 

You might get better advice over on the BT (or is it EE today?) community.

 

Welcome to BT’s official support community.

 

You wouldn't be the first to try that:

 

and

 

Settings For Netgear Connection to ONT What do i e... - BT Community

 

Solved: Don't know how to connect TP Link router to ONT - BT Community

 

For once, BT has managed to set up something that works, perhaps because, like this place, it also has input from knowledgeable "volunteers".

 

 

 

Message 10 of 10
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
  • 9 replies
  • 689 views
  • 5 kudos
  • 3 in conversation
Announcements

Orbi WiFi 7