Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service


2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service

Recently, I've upgraded my Xfinity service to 1.2gb/70mb from 1gb.


My iMac has a local 10gb ethernet port which is tied to a private 10gb network which includes a Synology NAS (replacing a dead Thunderbolt Drobo NAS).


The iMac has two Thunderbolt ports under one Thunderbolt controller - one port goes to a Thunderbolt disk enclosure from OWC containing four HDD in a JBOD configuration; the other Thunderbolt port goes to an Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock which has a 1gb ethernet port.


I used to route my internet traffic through the Anker to the Orbi Satellite in my offiice which provided the best throughput, but now I'm routing the traffic through my iMac's Wifi connection to the Orbi because it's giving superior performance - but for the life of me I can't figure out why.


Connecting through Wifi, I'm getting 813/77.8 - through the wired connection to the Satellite LAN port I'm getting 507/75.8 - and that's the best I've seen since it's the middle of the night and during the day the speed is more like 339/72.3.


Can anyone explain to me what's going on here?


-- Thanks, Verne

Message 1 of 5

Re: 2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service

Due to the LAN ports on the RBR and RBS being 1000Mpbs max, you'll not see much past 900mbps. 

The 2.5Gb WAN port on the RBR supports beyond 1000Mpbs so pipe that to the wifi radios which if you do have wifi devices that support 4x4 MIMO on 5Ghz AX, you could see past 1000Mpbs on the wifi radios. 

Message 2 of 5

Re: 2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service

I just want to clarify so I'm reading this right. 

How is the satellite wired in? IS it hardwired in for a wired backhaul? I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to or if you're just stating that's how those devices are connected.


Message 3 of 5

Re: 2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service

The satellites use a wifi 5ghz backhaul - the iMac connects wired via Thunderbolt to a Thunderbolt hub, then the 1gb ethernet port of the TB hub goes to a satellite LAN port.


Used to be that the wired path always won - but now the wifi iMac connection to the satellite wins.


The Xfinity service was 1gb which meant that the RBR850 speed test saw about 1.2gb/40mb, but now the service is 1.2gb so the RBR850 sees about 1.5gb/85mb.


The office satellite is on the same desk as the iMac and TB hub - just having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that the wifi connection to the satellite is outpacing the wired path.

Message 4 of 5

Re: 2020 iMac 5K and new Xfinity service

As @FURRYe38 pointed out, the Orbi 850 series features WiFi6 (802.11ax) with 4x4 MIMO.  The wired pathway is limited to 1Gbps (which is about 950MBps in practice) because it is connected through gigabit Ethernet.

If the iMac has 4x4MIMO, then its theoretical maximum is 2,400MBps (which also cannot be achieved in the real world).


The first step would be to determine exactly what WiFi capability is in the iMac.



Message 5 of 5
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