Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

SXK80 - VLAN and wired backhaul


SXK80 - VLAN and wired backhaul



I recently bought a Orbi Pro WiFi 6 (SXK80B3) and configured a wired backhaul. All access points are connected to a managed switch, which supports VLANs, RSTP and LACP.


Everything works fine so far, but I'm wondering why it is not possible to use VLAN tagging for VLAN ID 1. For other VLANs (guest, ...) it works without problems, if the switch port is configured to tag outgoing packets to the Orbi device. If I enable VLAN tagging on my switch for VLAN ID 1, the Orbi devices are not reachable anymore. Is this a known problem in the current firmware (V4.2.3.102)?


Logging in to the Orbi Router over telnet also reveals that there is no VLAN device configured for VLAN ID 1 (if I'm not completely mistaken).



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Re: SXK80 - VLAN and wired backhaul

What might look well on the wired VLAN drawing board might have consequences under some conditions. I guess Netgear want to protect the customers and their support resources from various issues.


I understand you think in the pure wired infrastructure situation. Part of the Orbi Pro design is the ability to operate on a wireless backhaul. This is however not the only are of the network where required communication happens outside of the tagged trunk. Examples are STP/RTSP/MSTP. Other examples is the internal Orbi device communication.


By far not all Orbi Pro users have a full VLAN managed switch infrastructure.


Just like you are disconnected from the Orbi Pro device communication when forcing VLAN 1 as tagged on the trunk (obviously because the VLAN 1 isn't tagged on the connecting Orbi Pro LAN port), there are certain limitations. Here it is that the untagged network on a trunk, or on an access ports needs to be logically assigned to a real VLAN. 


Recently a customer with a wired Orbi Pro infrastructure (well managed to the VLAN level of how I understood) mentioned having added a satellite using a wireless backhaul, and has defined all satellite LAN ports to become access ports for yet another random VLAN. Subsequently, the Orbi Pro Satellite was no longer reachable. My suspicion is that Orbi Pro falsely took the untagged network and had logically assigned it to a different VLAN. And yes, I had complained that it appears something does default differently under this special configuration.


The compromise - considering unmanaged switches as well as VLAN aware switches have no defined binding of the untagged frames flowing to the switch - is to define that untagged frames have to be assigned to a defined VLAN, and the common unspoken implicit industry standard is that this could be VLAN 1, even if this is nowhere configured accordingly. So this is to protect and isolate the undefined untagged network...


Let's see what fellow @BruceGuo from Netgear's Orbi Pro engineering group can tell us about.

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