Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

Mesh Networking Questions


Mesh Networking Questions

Couple of questions I have in regards to mesh networking.  I have a RBR750 router and two RBS750 satellites.  My house is a bit over 3000 square feet.  The router is upstairs and the I have one satellite upstairs and one downstairs.  Whenever I log into the Orbi mobile app I hardly ever see any of my devices connected to the satellites.  Is this common and if not, how do you resolve it.


Also, I have read whenever we need to reboot the router, we should unplug the satellites, reboot the router first, and then reconnect the satellites.  Is this the proper way to rebooting the mesh networking system or is there a more appropriate way?


Last question is adding another satellite overkill?  I have a pretty good size property lot and just want to ensure I can get good coverage to the entire property.

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Re: Mesh Networking Questions

I've never worried to much about what order i turn off/shut down devices in. 

I've powered off satellites and powered them back on, the router, etc. Never had an issues. 

In terms of coverage, you're probably a little overkill if you have 2x satellites. I have a 3200sq ft home and only use 1 satellite. 

So you might not see as many devices on the satellites as they can connect to the router fine. 

In terms of lot size, thats a harder one as its usually the exterior of homes that blocks signals. Its usually made of materials like cement board, brick, foil lined insulation, metal siding, etc that are great at blocking wifi. 

How big is your lot that you're wanting to cover? 


Message 2 of 4

Re: Mesh Networking Questions

@dalucca2003 wrote:

Whenever I log into the Orbi mobile app I hardly ever see any of my devices connected to the satellites.  Is this common and if not, how do you resolve it.

I agree with @plemans  that the sequence of powering up Orbi units makes no difference. If the router must be power cycled for some reason, the satellites can be left on. 


The first question (above) is one of the most common topics on the user forum.  We humans are offended when WiFi devices do not connect to the closest WiFi access point (where we know damn well they should connect) and we want to force them to do what common sense dictates.  Alas, how WiFi devices connect is entirely a function of the 802.11 standards and the Orbi system provides the user with no method to dictate where devices connect.


My experiments with an Orbi RBR50 system indicate that when the Orbi router is powered off, all of the Orbi satellites cease broadcasting the WiFi SSID within seconds.  When the router is powered on again (even if the satellites have been powered up the entire time), the router begins broadcasting the WiFi SSID significantly before the satellites begin to broadcast it.  (or, them if there are both primary and guest SSID's). Thus, there is a window of time when all the WiFi devices in the house which are looking for a WiFi access point that they know about to appear will see only the router broadcasting the SSID.  Within seconds, they will connect to the router.


WiFi devices have different software programming.  Devices that are expected to move around, such as phones, tablets, laptops, etc. will continue to survey the WiFi space looking for the opportunity to find a "better match".  (There are even 802.11 standards k, r, and v to make "fast roaming" more efficient. Apple has a nice description here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202628 )

Devices which are not expected to move often appear to 'stick' to the first access point that is compatible and do not change.

This all depends on the programming of the WiFi components of the device. Manufacturers do not publish information about how their WiFi systems are programmed.  (They may not even know, since it appears to be common to "purchase a solution" rather than develop their own.)


An interesting experiment is to go to an actual device that is connected to the 'wrong' access point and power cycle the device. (Actually unplug it.)  This can be hard to do as a lot of Internet of Things (IoT) devices do not have on/off switches.  Using a remote to "turn off" a TV does not actually turn it "off".  It is still awake waiting to be told to turn the screen back on. See where it connects when power is applied again.


The bottom line is that it is futile to try to control this because eventually the router will get powered off, either deliberately, by a firmware update, or a general power failure. When it comes back up, those device will connect to it again.  And, the fact is that most IoT devices have such tiny data requirements that which WiFi access point they connect to makes no difference.

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Re: Mesh Networking Questions

Almost 10,000 feet

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