× NETGEAR is aware of a growing number of phone and online scams. To learn how to stay safe click here.
× Introducing the new Orbi 770 Series Mesh System. To learn more click here.
Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
Reply

RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

coppockm
Guide

RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

I set up my RAX80 yesterday (V1.0.1.64_1.0.27 firmware) and enabled Smart Connect. All of my devices are connecting, but some (media streamers and laptops) that support and require 5GHz connections are connecting as 2.4GHz. 

Is there a way to force certain devices onto the 5GHz band (and vice versa)?

Model: RAX80|Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi Router
Message 1 of 22
plemans
Guru

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Not using smart connect. To force it, seperate out the ssid's.  Many prefer this option so they can ensure their high bandwidth devices are using the 5ghz.  i know they're refining smart connect so it might be better in the next firmware version. 

Message 2 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@plemans wrote:

Not using smart connect. To force it, seperate out the ssid's.  Many prefer this option so they can ensure their high bandwidth devices are using the 5ghz.  i know they're refining smart connect so it might be better in the next firmware version. 


It's odd. This is the first router I've used with similar functionality that's had this problem. My previous Asus and TP-Link routers handled this perfectly -- devices that could make use of 5GHz connected to 5GHz and otherwise they connected to 2.4GHz.

 

Hopefully this is something Netgear will fix, and soon. It's a rather basic capability with modern routers and should be bulletproof.

Message 3 of 22
plemans
Guru

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

The device might switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon usage. Not sure the exact mechanism within the RAX devices but my orbi devices would switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon bandwidth needs. Provided the device was close enough to the router/satellite. 

I know they adjust the formula that decides which radio they connect to based upon bandwidth, rssi, and device load. not sure exactly how. 

Message 4 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@plemans wrote:

The device might switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon usage. Not sure the exact mechanism within the RAX devices but my orbi devices would switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon bandwidth needs. Provided the device was close enough to the router/satellite. 

I know they adjust the formula that decides which radio they connect to based upon bandwidth, rssi, and device load. not sure exactly how. 


Hmmm, that's an interesting concept and it does make some sense. I'll keep an eye on whether devices are switching accordingly.

Message 5 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@plemans wrote:

The device might switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon usage. Not sure the exact mechanism within the RAX devices but my orbi devices would switch from 2.4ghz to 5ghz based upon bandwidth needs. Provided the device was close enough to the router/satellite. 

I know they adjust the formula that decides which radio they connect to based upon bandwidth, rssi, and device load. not sure exactly how. 


Actually, I just did a test with one of my laptops, and it's not connecting to the 5GHz band as it should based on my bandwidth needs. So, if this is how it's supposed to work, it's not doing its job.

Message 6 of 22
plemans
Guru

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

again, my understanding is it takes multiple factors into account when it bases which band to be on. Mine would stick to 2.4ghz for some speedtesting but after repeated speedtesting, would bounce to the 5ghz. I'm not sure of the exact formula so I can't tell you what exactly you need to do.   

 

One thing you can try doing with the RAX devices though is upgrade/downgrade firmware.  They are netgears newest line of routers as well as they're a new wireless standard. They change/optimize things and sometimes those optimizations don't help or make things worse. If the version your on made things worse, downgrade over a hardwired connection, reset the device, and see how it functions. 

Message 7 of 22
digitsnbits
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

It's not the router that decides which band the client connects to it's the client itself.

The router itself doesn't choose which band the device connects to its the device that looks 

for whatever bands are available and connects itself.

Message 8 of 22
plemans
Guru

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Message 9 of 22
digitsnbits
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Obviously on these routers smart connect isint working so it's the device that's choosing the band is

not the router but the client itself.

Message 10 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@digitsnbits wrote:

Obviously on these routers smart connect isint working so it's the device that's choosing the band is

not the router but the client itself.


I disagree. As I said earlier, this is the first router I've used with a smart connect function where devices that support 5GHz connections are connecting to the 2.4GHz band. And I'm talking about the same devices.

Message 11 of 22
digitsnbits
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

It's the client that chooses which band to connect to, not the router, depending on a number of factors. Google can be your friend.

Message 12 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@digitsnbits wrote:

It's the client that chooses which band to connect to, not the router, depending on a number of factors. Google can be your friend.


Hmmm... That doesn't make much sense to me. The very nature of the Smart Connect feature is that the router determines which band a device runs on. If the client controlled which band it connects to, then the Smart Connect feature would be impossible.

 

And once again, I've used other routers (an Asus and a TP-Link) that both consistently placed 5GHz clients on the 5GHz bands and 2.4GHz clients on the 2.4GHz band. The RAX80 is the first that doesn't perform consistently.

Message 13 of 22
digitsnbits
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Unfortunately you've run into the debacle that is the RAX80. Smart connect doesn't work on these routers, never has and unless they get their act together it probably never will.

Ive tested nearly every single router and mesh in the last five years and this is the biggest mess I've ever encountered. That being said AX Asus routers with the same chipset are having the same issues

so in no way is it unique to Netgear. 

Message 14 of 22
GabboCH
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Debacle is a great description for the RAX80...

 

Smart Connect basically doesnt work in this router but I'm unsure whether its because the functionality of shared SSID isnt working or because the router is not able to maintain a stable connection on both 2.4G & 5G channels.

This might suggest that SmartConnect was actually working (selecting 2.4G instead of 5G because the throughput of the 5G connection was too low).

 

In the month or so I've had the router, I dont think I've had a week without a loss of 2.4 or 5G connection at some point & I've lost track of the number or power resets & soft reboots..

Message 15 of 22
GabboCH
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

I should say that like the OP, my previous (non branded generic router from Compal) which I've had for 3-4 years has had no problems at all with the combined SSID for 2.4 & 5G channels.

Message 16 of 22
TRAFALGAR
Aspirant

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

I'm hoping a future software arrives soon...right now my experience with "Smart Connect"  makes it an oxymoron.

Message 17 of 22
GabboCH
Apprentice

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Smart connect works fine on my EX8000 Netgear extender (and on my non-branded IAP modem/router).

 

It is clearly broken on the RAX80 along with all Wifi functionality in general.

I have no confidence it will ever be corrected on this router as the same issues have been around for many many months without any fix..

Message 18 of 22
jhollington
Aspirant

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

Yup, after much testing I've come to the conclusion that Smart Connect is a hot mess on this one. I'm sure part of the problem is that its a "black box" in terms of whatever voodoo Netgear is using to handle the allocation.

 

Signal dropouts (likely as a result of band steering), an inability for my HomePod to find my iPhone, even when they're clearly on the same network, and peformance that's sometimes inscrutable are just a few of the problems that disappear once you turn off Smart Connect.

 

Band steering like this is a function of the router, however, not the client. Yes, the client decides which band to connect to initially, but then a router that supports features like Smart Connect can direct that client to switch to a different band. The RAX80 doesn't handle this well at all. On my network, pretty much everything sits on 2.4GHz, even though there are about two dozen devices on that band, and the occasional times that something appears on the 5GHz band, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why. 

 

By comparison, while Asus' GT-AX11000 doesn't handle it flawlessly either (I agree with the point that somebody else made about the AX chipsets, as it works brilliantly well on Asus GT-AC5300), at least Asus offers you the ability to customize the rules that steer traffic to each band, so you can tailor it to your preferences and get a better idea about why it may not be working the way you expect. 

Model: RAX80|Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi Router
Message 19 of 22
MacauBBS
Star

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

close Smart Connect,
Set the same SSID (2.4G & 5G), perfect.

Message 20 of 22
coppockm
Guide

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly

So when you say "perfect," does that include connecting to different 5GHz channels? So there's some kind of distribution? Seems like that's certainly worth a try, thanks!

Message 21 of 22
jhollington
Aspirant

Re: RAX80 Smart Connect connecting devices incorrectly


@coppockm wrote:

So when you say "perfect," does that include connecting to different 5GHz channels? So there's some kind of distribution? Seems like that's certainly worth a try, thanks!


No, it wouldn't be. Without Smart Connect, there's really no way that devices could be steered to the appropriate channels.

 

Most client devices should still try to connect to the 5GHz channel if it's a stronger signal, but unfortunately that's up to however their Wi-Fi chipsets are implemented, and many of the ones I've worked with tend to connect to the stronger signal, not necessairly the faster one. In many cases a weak 5GHz signal still offers better performance than a solid 2.4GHz one, especially when there's a lot of congestion in the lower frequency range (which there usually is).

 

In extreme cases, this can be frustrating, as I've had laptops lock on to a "strong" 2.4GHz signal that's only providing 5Mbps of throughput, and yet if I connect to the 5GHz deliberately (e.g. by using separate SSIDs) I can easily get 100Mbps+.

 

That said, however, it wouldn't surprise me if client devices themselves still do a better job of figuring it out than the badly broken Smart Connect does.

 

 

Model: RAX80|Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi Router
Message 22 of 22
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
  • 21 replies
  • 6097 views
  • 13 kudos
  • 7 in conversation
Announcements

Orbi 770 Series