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Aspirant

Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

We just set up an Orbi RBR850 with three RBS850 satellites. All three satellites are connected via ethernet to the RBR850. The RBR850 has Firmware Version V3.2.10.11_1.2.12, which is current. Satellites have the same firmware version.

 

I'm on a Mac using an older email program called PowerMail, connecting via POP for incoming email, and SMTP for outgoing email. I've got three email providers, Earthlink, Gmail, and Yahoo. POP ports are 110 and 995, SMTP ports are 465 and 587.

 

I cannot receive or send email when connected to the Orbi system via WiFi.

If I connect via ethernet to the RBR850 I can send and receive email.

If I connect via WiFi to my iPhone's hotspot I can send and receive email.

If I reconnect our AirPort Extreme base station (set up as a WiFi access point, plugged into one of the Orbi satellites) and connect to that I can send and receive email.

 

So the only time I cannot send and receive email is when using Orbi WiFi. All other internet connections from my Mac appear to work fine on Orbi WiFi (web browser, Slack application, various iCloud functions, FaceTime, Messages, etc.) Only email has a problem.

 

Netgear support wanted me to use port forwarding to try to fix the problem. I am concerned that this adds a security risk. And it should not be necessary. My suspicion is that Netgear's firmware is messed up, and will not pass POP and SMTP requests that come in on WiFi.

 

Any other suggestions? It's not practical for us to keep the Orbi if it won't work for email on WiFi.

 

 

 

(Aside re forum posting: There is no way to enter RBR850 as a model in the "Model" line of the form to make a new post.)

Message 1 of 14
Highlighted
Guru

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

What is the Mfr and model# of the Internet Service Providers modem/ONT the NG router is connected too?

What Mac do you have?

What OS do you have loaded on the Mac? 

 

Try this:

Be sure to check your CTS and RTS values. If they are at 64, please change both to 2346. Reboot both RBR and wireless devices. 

 

I use a Mac Mini and Mac Book Pro 2018 OSX 10.14 and Mozilla Thunderbird. No issues sending or receving emails when wirelessly connected to the Orbi AX router. Never had had a problem. Though I don't use this PowerMail program. 

 

Is odd that the one email program won't send or recived email when wirelessly connected to the Orbi AX router with just using default settings. uPnP is enabled by default. 

 

 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>RBK853 v3.1.15.32(Router Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 2 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

What is the Mfr and model# of the Internet Service Providers modem/ONT the NG router is connected to? 

Manufacturer: ARRIS

Model Number: BGW210-700

Service is AT&T gigabit fiber. Gateway is set to IP Passthrough.

What Mac do you have?

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010). Has 16 GB memory

What OS do you have loaded on the Mac? 

Mac OS 10.11.6

 

CTS/RTS Threshold is set to 2347 for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. Was done a couple of days ago, and has not made any difference.

 

Our Airport Extreme was plugged into one of the satellites. When connected to the AirPort Extreme I could receive mail, but intermittantly, and not send email.

 

When I plugged the AirPort Extreme directly into the RBR850 I was able to both receive and send email normally. It actually took me connecting my Mac to the AirPort Extreme via ethernet first, then switching back to WiFi. But having done that email is working normally. This indicates the problem may be with the satellites.

 

I have not tried disconnecting all the satellites to see if the RBR850 alone allows me to use email over WiFi. But even if it does, that's not a solution as we need the satellites to give us full coverage.

Message 3 of 14
Highlighted
Guru

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

You can try and disable AX mode on the RBR, however i don't know if that will result in anything changing. 

 

Well one thing you can try. Remove the IP pass thru configuration for the RBR from the modem. Confiure the RBR for AP mode.

https://kb.netgear.com/31218/How-do-I-configure-my-Orbi-router-to-act-as-an-access-point

Use the modem as your router and Orbi as just WIFi. See if the problem still happens. If it does with this one app over the wireless connection, you'll need to contact NG support and have them review this. Send them your debug logs that you'll need to capture when you go to use this email program. 

 

Also would be interesting to see if a different email program does the same thing. Try Apples default email program or Mozillas Thunderbird as a test. 

 

Do you have any other Mac to try to test with? 

 

 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>RBK853 v3.1.15.32(Router Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 4 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

Thanks for the suggestions. Netgear support already had me disable AX features.

 

We can try putting the Orbi router in access point mode, with the AT&T gateway as the router. Our previous setup used the gateway as the router, with an AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules as the WiFi access points. Normally I'd be quick to blame the gateway, which does not have a normal way to disable its routing function, but it does not appear to have anything to do with my email problem.

 

My son thought the Orbi might have a better firewall than the gateway, and a faster router, which was one of the reasons to get the Orbi, so we'd lose those benefits. But we'd still benefit from a stronger WiFi system.

 

I'm not sure how to get to someone at Netgear support who would help more, or ask for copies of logs. I've now made 5 or 6 calls to Netgear support, and spoken to about 5 people (the first call disconnected when I got through the queue). I've been transferred three times to an "expert". Don't some companies have a system for flagging bugs? Apparently not Netgear.

 

We had a lot of trouble setting up our Orbi RBR850 system. My son commented that it felt like a beta product. Pretty expensive product for all the problems.

Message 5 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

I'm trying to set up Apple Mail for POP access to Gmail, but so far without success. Google may require that I generate an app specifc password to make it work. I'll have to come back to it.

 

All of our other devices use IMAP for email, which is working OK. My old email program doesn't handle IMAP well. I actually prefer POP, as one feature of PowerMail is a very robust search function, which works whether I'm on or off line.

Message 6 of 14
Highlighted
Guru

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

What do you see if you load up and install Mozilla Thunderbird? 

 

Ya you have to allow some apps to get access from Google security configurations in your google profile. 

 

Wondering if there maybe some protocol missing or older legacy incompatible protocol from the older PowerMail programming that just isn't workign with newer wifi protocols. 

 

My poor Mac Book Pro 2008 died on my last October Or I would help test this out. I had it for 10 years. Great laptop. 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>RBK853 v3.1.15.32(Router Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 7 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

FURRYe38 wrote:

"Wondering if there maybe some protocol missing or older legacy incompatible protocol from the older PowerMail programming that just isn't workign with newer wifi protocols. "

 

This seems unlikely to me. My email program has worked on every WiFi connection I've ever used (where the connection is strong enough for things like web browsing to work too). Admittedly the Orbi is newer tech, but if the problem were with WiFi protocols, I'd expect other internet connections on my Mac not to work as well.

 

It seems more likely that the Netgear Orbi firmware isn't passing POP and SMTP port requests properly from WiFi to the router. The satellites and the Orbi router act in part as bridges between two kinds of networks: WiFi and ethernet. There is a translation that has to take place to get from WiFi to ethernet. As most people these days use IMAP, I'm guessing that someone involved in the Netgear firmware screwed up and left out or disabled what needs to happen between WiFi and ethernet for POP email.

 

When I connect to the Orbi router via ethernet, there is no bridging which has to happen - it's ethernet from my Mac to the Orbi, and ethernet from the Orbi to the AT&T gateway. (And then ethernet from the gateway to the fiber interface box, which is another bridge.)

 

That a WiFi connection works fine using an AirPort Extreme as the WiFi to ethernet bridge is another indication that it's a firmware issue with the Orbi. The AirPort Extreme is an 802.11ac WiFi device on 5 GHz (how I'm connected to it), as is the Orbi (yes, the Orbi is WiFi 6 aka ax, but it reports as ac with my WiFi scanner). That's the same WiFi protocol.

Message 8 of 14
Highlighted
Guru

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

I might agree however when I say protocols I mean behind the scenes protocols that we don't see or configure. This is programming on the FW level and in the wifi driver that resides in the FW and any behind the scenes programming of that email program. 


I can tell you that i have 3 POP and 3 IMAP email accounts in Thunderbird on my Windows 10 PC and On my Mac Book Pro 2018 I have same Tbird app with 2 POP emails and 3 IMAP accounts. If Orbi AX was not passing POP protocols, I would have seen this a long time ago. Just saying. 

 

I would give T-bird a try to see if the problem follows or not. 

 

For any app to see AX correctly, it needs to support AX mode protocols. Also the platform hard may need to be AX supporting as well. I know I use iStumbler on my mac which doesn't support AX and the app only reports AC modes. 

 

 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>RBK853 v3.1.15.32(Router Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 9 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

FURRYe38 wrote:

"For any app to see AX correctly, it needs to support AX mode protocols."

 

Thanks for the additional detail. AX mode is turned off on the RBR850.

 

I'm also using iStumbler to view the WiFi network. Interestingly, my Mac only does 802.11n, but iStumbler can see which networks are ac.

 

Need to find a free hour to fiddle with setting up an alternate email program for comparison. Gmail doesn't make it as easy as it could be. But I'm not ready to abandon PowerMail. I've yet to find a program which works as it does. (It's a spiritual successor to Claris Emailer.)

Message 10 of 14
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

OK, I've gotten Apple Mail partly set up. It appears to work properly with one Gmail account when connected to the Orbi's WiFi.

 

This is discouraging, as it means that there is something about my old PowerMail. Or, more likely, Mail has some workaround to not following standards that Apple has incorporated, which aren't in PowerMail. My impression is that PowerMail was written to follow standards strictly. But it's no longer updated, so whether the problem is not following standards, or changed standards, it's still not working. It is really strange that it only has trouble when I connect via WiFi on Orbi, not WiFi elsewhere, or ethernet on Orbi.

 

I've had other issues with PowerMail from things like messages sent by Outlook that don't follow standards. Reminds me of the time when web pages were written for Internet Explorer. (Some still are. I was told a few weeks ago by our health insurance company's tech support to use Internet Explorer on a "regular computer" when their web site was having problems. Really.)

 

I've done some looking at email application alternatives, but am loath to make a change. Half my life lives in PowerMail.

Message 11 of 14
Highlighted
Guru

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850

Seems that if PowerMail hasn't been updated in a while, it maybe time to migrate to something that is kept up to date. There comes a time when old apps just don't work like they use to. Might look to see if there is a export function in this older program. 

 

I recommend that you look more into T-Bird. It's flexible and as it has matured over the years has always been stable and solid. Has many features that you might come to like and enjoy. It's always been my main email program. It just works. As OSX version progress, T-bird doesn't seem to care. I've upgraded many times on my Macs. Thunderbird keeps on trucking along. 


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>RBK853 v3.1.15.32(Router Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 12 of 14
Highlighted
Virtuoso

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850


@All41 wrote:

I cannot receive or send email when connected to the Orbi system via WiFi.

If I connect via ethernet to the RBR850 I can send and receive email.

If I connect via WiFi to my iPhone's hotspot I can send and receive email.

If I reconnect our AirPort Extreme base station (set up as a WiFi access point, plugged into one of the Orbi satellites) and connect to that I can send and receive email.


You've tested very thoroughly.  This behavior is very surprising to me.  What error are you getting from Powermail when you are connected to the Orbi wifi and cannot read mail?

 

Have you tried putting the IP address instead of the DNS hostname for one of your POP endpoints?  It shouldn't matter, but just something else to try.

 

Message 13 of 14
Highlighted
Virtuoso

Re: Cannot use POP or SMTP on WiFi with RBR850


@Mikey94025 wrote:

@All41 wrote:

I cannot receive or send email when connected to the Orbi system via WiFi.

If I connect via ethernet to the RBR850 I can send and receive email.

If I connect via WiFi to my iPhone's hotspot I can send and receive email.

If I reconnect our AirPort Extreme base station (set up as a WiFi access point, plugged into one of the Orbi satellites) and connect to that I can send and receive email.


You've tested very thoroughly.  This behavior is very surprising to me.  What error are you getting from Powermail when you are connected to the Orbi wifi and cannot read mail?

 

Have you tried putting the IP address instead of the DNS hostname for one of your POP endpoints?  It shouldn't matter, but just something else to try.


Also, are you running any firewall or antivirus software on your Mac?  Sometimes these programs may have rules or overrides specific to paticular network devices and that might explain things.  It's unlikely, since you are able to send/receive mail over wifi to the iPhone and the AirPort, just not the Orbi wiki, but you never know...  I can't think of what else might behave differently on your Mac depending on what IP address it gets assigned (other than an IP conflict, but then your other internet apps would also be affected).

 

Please let us know if you ever figure this out.  I love a good mystery!

Message 14 of 14