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Orbi 6 Satellite Out of Sync - Wired Backhaul

justonwo
Follower

Orbi 6 Satellite Out of Sync - Wired Backhaul

I just moved to a new house that was already wired for Cat6, so I figured I would take advantage of that to create a wired backhaul on my existing Orbi setup. I brought with me a router (RBR850) and a single satellite (RBS850) that had already been synced wirelessly at my old house (which didn't have Cat6 wiring). I have my Orbi router connected to a Netgear switch, which then feeds all the Cat6 jacks in the house.

 

I purchased two new RBS850s to expand my wireless network. I felt these two additional satellites were needed because it's a three story house and things are spread out. I connected both satellites to the Cat6 jack in their respective rooms and attempted to sync them to the router. There were all kinds of problems getting them to sync. After restarting the satellites are router multiple times, the Orbi app told me the satellites were properly synced. However, the web interface told me the satellites were out of sync. I ignored the web interface at that time, assuming perhaps it was wrong. I did get the dark blue light on the satellites that seemed to indicate they were working properly.

 

For the past couple of weeks since install, I noticed that no devices would connect to those satellites even though the app says those satellites are working fine. I assumed there was a handoff issue and spent 30 minutes on the phone with Netgear "support" trying to get to the bottom of the issue (and I do put support in quotes becuase, geez, I can't believe they actually want you to pay good money for the laughable level of support I was given). While I was busy waiting for the Netgear support person to look up a solution, I browsed through some old community posts. I noticed a few people mentioning that the satellites have to be synced WIRELESSLY before they are wired.

 

I asked the technician on the other end of the line if it matters if the satellites are synced wirelessly or wired and he said it didn't matter. Since the technician didn't actually seem to know anything about Netgear products, I decided to test the theory anyway.

 

I disconnected the Cat6 cable from the first Orbi satellite that the web interface told me was having a problem. Then I started the sync process again and, voila, it synced properly and gave me an "ok" status on backhaul in the web interface. I then reconnected the Cat6 cable and the web interface updated to say the backhaul status was "ok" and that the connection was wired instead of wireless. I did this for the second problem satellite and experienced the same thing.

 

Now that the web interface says there are no problems with the sync, I notice that devices that are close to the satellites now connect to them and that handoff from one room to the next seems to work well. If I'm sitting right next to a satellite, my device connects to that satellite, rather than trying to connect to the router 2 floors up. And I can verify high throughput rates by running speedtest when connected to the satellites. As I move from the top floor of the house to the bottom, I get very good handoff from one satellite to the next.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

 

1) You MUST sync the satellites WIRELESSLY or they will not work. When you buy a new satellite, you must sync to the router without a Cat6 connection or the process will not work properly. The Orbi app may tell you they are working, but the app isn't reliable.

2) The Orbi app status indicator is not accurate. The two satellites that were not working had the "all is clear" green dot next to them in the app, indicating they were working fine. If you want to get the true status of your system, use the web interface. The web interface status indicator is the only accurate indicator.

3) Once you have synced your satellites wirelessly and confirmed they are properly synced via the web interface, THEN you can connect the Cat6 cable to get wired backhaul. You can confirm they are using wired backhaul by refreshing the status on the web interface.

 

I'm hoping this will be helpful to someone experiencing similar problems. Thanks to those members who posted this tip. You saved me from a lot of headache.

 

Message 1 of 3
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Orbi 6 Satellite Out of Sync - Wired Backhaul

I always sync my RBS wirelessly first one at a time while the RBS are in same room as the RBR. Then once they are synced, wire connect them. Also setting up IP address reservations for the RBS is good as well. 

Message 2 of 3
Reanime
Aspirant

Re: Orbi 6 Satellite Out of Sync - Wired Backhaul

Had the same problem with my RBK853 (RBR850 +2 sats), but the problem was self-inflicted since I was trying to salvage my old RBS50 satellites to add to the new RBS850 setup.  When first setting up, the new RBS850's synch'd up to the RBR850 router lickety split without even trying.  I then realized I needed  2 more satellites for proper coverage but not enough to fork out another $500 for a pair of RBS850's So, with great determination, and reading a handful of documented but unverified successes, I attempted to synch a pair of RBS 50's from my previous Orbi RBR 50 setup.   After hours and hours of trying to synch the old RBS50 satellites wirelessly to the new RBR850 router (factory resets, FW updates, power cycling entire network, etc) I got the constant red halo on both sats, and ultimately caved, deciding to just use the old kit (RBR50/RBS50's) as a wired access point with same SSID/PW as main 850 router .  Well that created conflict and an overall performance hit, oddly enough due to the old RBR 50 router being unintentionally recognized and served up as a 3rd satellite by the new Orbi RBR850 at the expense of the 2 RBS50's  being ignored (as in, invisible).  So to avoid going down that hole, I was resolved now to just creating a 2nd wired network (different SSID, but same LAN to be managed by main router.  But after unplugging the old RBR50 Orbi router, with its 2 satellites still plugged and wired via ethernet, I noticed even without ever successfully synching them, they were giving me a great signal (wired) on my phone, they were showing up as recognized satellites albeit "out of synch" but all the local wireless devices were connecting wirelessly thru the 2 wired RBS 50's, with the same fast speeds as when I was next to the 2 newer satellites close to the main router.   So I don't know what the right answer is anymore , but an old pair of RBS 50's wired in and yielding the same speeds as the two RBS 850's makes the whole obligatory process of wirelessly pre-synching an afterthought.   I only wish I had been told. 

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