Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
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RBK353 AP mode no internet

Bockeman
Aspirant

RBK353 AP mode no internet

RBR350, in AP mode + 2 satellites RBS350

Firmware version: V4.3.4.7_1.9.53
Hardware version RBR350
Hardware Type ORBI

This is operating in an environment with 40+ devices and several NETGEAR and other switches.  Servers (desktops, laptops, etc.) are wired using CAT6G or CAT5E. Mobile phones are connected via 5G and IoT devices via 2.4G with the ISP cable modem WiFi (Virgin Media Hub 5) on a different SSID from Orbi.  DHCP and DNS are served from my own servers (with failover provision for when a server is unavailable).

 

Servers with attached 10-bay HDDs (acting as NAS) are noisy, so have been relegated to the garage, but the CAT6G cable between garage and cable modem is ugly and hard to disguise.

 

The purpose of the Orbi plus Satellite is purely to replace this CAT6G cable. Line of site distance about 5m through 1 single skin brick wall.  In other words: 1 ethernet cable into the Internet port of the RBR350 and one ethernet cable into an ethernet port of the satellite RBS350, WiFi is unused apart from the fronthaul and backhaul.  Administrative access to the RBR350 is via the wired ethernet from a desktop web browser.

 

During setup (before I switched to AP mode) I noticed that there was no internet connection for the RBR350 as shown via the web browser.  After switching to AP mode, there is still no intenet connection.  Devices connected via the satellites (or for test purposes only, via Orbi WiFi) do have internet access and can run speedtest etc.

 

The RBR350 reports that the gateway address is 0.0.0.0.  This is wrong.  My DHCP servers are configured with

option routers 192.168.0.1,82.37.32.1;

and all other devices pick these gateway addresses correctly.

 

Without an internet connection, the RBR350 NTP service does not work (so time is incorrect), I cannot run speedtest and I cannot update the firmware.

 

Should I expect internet access, and if so, any suggestions on how to achieve that?

 

 

 

Message 1 of 17

Accepted Solutions
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks again @CrimpOn and @FURRYe38 for nudging me in the right direction.  I have done multiple factory resets and an enormous number of experiments with different settings.

As it turns out, I have to use AP mode because it is the only way to get DHCP settings served to clients that are wired to one of the satellites.  I have not experienced any problems with AP mode, per se, but thanks for the warnings.

 

The real problem is that the RBR350 does not accept a comma separated list of gateway IP addresses from a separate DHCP server.  I think this is a bug in RBR350 because, strangely, other Netgear products that I use (e.g. web managed switches GS108Ev3) do correctly pick the first gateway address from the list of those supplied by my DHCP server(s).

 

A detail: I am operating a HA service, and all storage devices (NAS) and services (e.g. DHCP server) have live copies which reside on more than physical machine with automatic failover capability dropping to an alternative when the first selected becomes unavailable.  When I first experimented with DHCP server settings to see if changing from a list of gateways to a single gateway address made any difference, I missed one of the several locations that I should have changed.  Unbeknown to me, a list of gateways was being served by DHCP to the RBR350 by the one instance that I had failed to adjust.  My mistake, and I paid sorely in time wasted trying to track down what was actually wrong.

 

 

 

View solution in original post

Message 16 of 17

All Replies
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

How is the RBR set up for AP mode? Dynamic IP address or Static IP address on the RBR? Static IP address configuration is recommended that resides outside of the host routers default DHCP IP address pool range. 

 

How is the RBR connected to the host router while in AP mode? The YELLOW WAN port is required on the RBR to be used in AP mode.  

 

Is the front LED on the RBR OFF or ON and PINK? Should be OFF if it's getting good internet services from the host router.


Also CAT# comes in CAT5, CAT5E, CAT6 and CAT6A. There is no CAT6G cabling. 

Message 2 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks @FURRYe38 

 

In AP mode, the option for setting Static IP (ADVANCED | Setup | Internet Setup) is greyed out, otherwise I would try that.  Before switching to AP mode, I tried Static IP, but things got into a big mess and I was forced to start again with a factory reset.
(If you could walk me through a procedure for setting Static IP (unsetting RBR DHCP, etc) and then switching to AP mode, I'd give that another go.)
[I understand about setting static IP address outside pool range].

 

The host router (VirginMedia Hub 5), has 4 ethernet ports, one of these is connected to the yellow WAN port (internet port, as opposed to other ethernet ports).

 

The RBR front LED is solid magenta (pink/purple) = "The router cannot connect to the Internet." (from p9 of the user manual).

Oops, typo (well actually I was focused on the "no internet" problem, not the specific type of cabling I used).  It's CAT6A.  All wired connections have been tested and are proven to support 1Gbps.

 

What am I doing wrong?

Message 3 of 17
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet


@Bockeman wrote:

 

The RBR350 reports that the gateway address is 0.0.0.0.  This is wrong.  My DHCP servers are configured with

option routers 192.168.0.1,82.37.32.1;

and all other devices pick these gateway addresses correctly.


This is the place to start. The RBR350 router has made a DHCP request which has failed to return the correct information.

Did the RBR350 and the RBS350 receive the correct IP assignments, subnet mask, and DNS server IP through DHCP?

 

Could you please describe the DHCP configuration in more detail? "option routers 192.168.0.1,82.37.32.1" is a bit unusual. 

 

Thanks

 

Message 4 of 17
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

While in router mode on the RBR, does the RBR get internet services from the ISP router at all? 

 

 

Message 5 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks @CrimpOn 

 

I agree, I am concerned about the gateway address 0.0.0.0.  One thought I had was that the RBK350's are designed to be hooked up to an ISP modem with only one ethernet port that accepts or routes packets for 0.0.0.0 as the only way they can go.  I hope this is not the case.

I have not worked out how to see inside the satellites to examine their IP configuration.  But from my DHCP servers perspective, and other information, I know they have picked up the correct IP address from the DHCP server.  The RBR is correct apart from the gateway address 0.0.0.0.

The "option routers" line is from dhcp.conf in my DHCP server.  I changed it to simply

option routers 192.168.0.1;
and checked that other devices worked without the alternate gateway.

I then rebooted the RBR.  Still no internet.

Message 6 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks @FURRYe38 

 

While the RBR is in router mode, I never got it to get any internet services from the ISP router.

 

In router mode, I did try Static IP, and manually set the gateway address.  I cannot say that did not work because I could no longer access the RBR to check for internet access.

This may or may not be related.  I cannot select "Anywhere Access".  I presume this is because there's no internet access.  Therefore, I am a little apprehensive about getting admin access from the yellow ethernet port.

 

If you think that setting a static IP address, and then switching to AP mode does not override that,  then I'll try this again.

 

Last time I gave up because I could not get admin access (wired or WiFi) and was forced to factory reset.

Message 7 of 17
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet


@Bockeman wrote:

One thought I had was that the RBK350's are designed to be hooked up to an ISP modem with only one ethernet port that accepts or routes packets for 0.0.0.0 as the only way they can go.  I hope this is not the case.


Correct. This is not the case.  All Netgear Orbi WiFi routers are designed for the WAN (yellow) port to be connected to some device that eventually leads to the internet.  This can be:

  • An ISP modem or Optical Fiber Termination (ONT) that assigns the router a public IP address through the DHCP or PPoE process
  • An ISP combination modem/ONT/router/WiFi device that assigns the router a private IP address through the DHCP process and acts as the gateway from the ISP local LAN to the internet. A Virgin Media Hub5 would be one such device.
  • Any network connection that uses the DHCP process to provide the required private IP address, subnet mask, gateway address, and DNS server IP.  This appears to be your setup.  The Hub5 is the gateway, but the Hub5 DHCP process is not active and network information is being provided from a separate server.

Once connected, the Orbi has two modes:

  • In router mode, the Orbi creates a local network (LAN) with a private IP space that is different from the LAN that its WAN port is connected to.  If the primary network has assigned an address of 192.168.0.x to the Orbi, then the Orbi create a LAN with 192.168.1.x  It the primary LAN happens to be 192.168.1.x, then the Orbi creates a LAN of 10.0.0.x.  In router mode, the Orbi uses DHCP to assign network information to devices connected to it.  (IP, mask, gateway, DNS server).
  • In Access Point (AP) mode, the Orbi LAN and DHCP processes are disabled.  The Orbi simply relays DHCP broadcasts from devices connected to the Orbi to the primary network and relays responses back to devices.

When the Orbi router boots up, it should broadcast a DHCP request through the WAN port and expects to be informed through DHCP of the correct IP, subnet mask, gateway IP, and DHS IP.  This information is displayed on the Orbi web administration "Internet" page.  Note that the only way to reach the Orbi web admin is through the LAN side of the Orbi.

Message 8 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

RBR350 double fronthaul and backhaul bandwidth

RBR350, in AP mode + 2 satellites RBS350

Firmware version: V4.3.4.7_1.9.53
Hardware version RBR350
Hardware Type ORBI

 

This is the same environment as discussed in
AP mode no internet 

And related to

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-WIFI-6-AX-AND-Wi-Fi-6E-AXE/RBK353-poor-satellite-performance-a... 

and

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-WIFI-6-AX-AND-Wi-Fi-6E-AXE/Mixed-backhaul-connection-Mixed-Top... 

but not addressing this specific issue


This is operating in an environment with 40+ devices and several NETGEAR and other switches. Servers (desktops, laptops, etc.) are wired using CAT6A or CAT5E. Mobile phones are connected via 5G and IoT devices via 2.4G with the ISP cable modem WiFi (Virgin Media Hub 5) on a different SSID from Orbi. DHCP and DNS are served from my own servers (with failover provision for when a server is unavailable).


Servers with attached 10-bay HDDs (acting as NAS) are noisy, so have been relegated to the garage, but the CAT6A cable between garage and cable modem is ugly and hard to disguise.

 

The purpose of the Orbi plus Satellite(s) is purely to replace this CAT6A cable. Line of site distance about 5m through 1 single skin brick wall. In other words: 1 ethernet cable into the Internet port of the RBR350 and one ethernet cable into an ethernet port of the satellite RBS350, WiFi is unused apart from the fronthaul and backhaul. Administrative access to the RBR350 is via the wired ethernet from a desktop web browser.

 

Although I think I can accept the additional latency of a wireless fronthaul/backhall, the bandwidth is critical.  There are regular "rsnapshot" backups during the day, transferring many GB of data, typically taking half-an-hour or so over the present 1Gbps wired configuration.  Half the bandwidth would mean this time extends to over an hour with knock on consequences.

 

I measure bandwidth by transferring a 1.0GiB file (once, each way) using the linux command "dd" which reports perfomance for the wired connection as:

1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 9.40128 s, 114 MB/s
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 10.0156 s, 107 MB/s

where MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) is close to the limit of 1,000Mbps (bits per second).

 

The rated bandwidth of the Orbi RBK353 is 1200Mbps, so I was expecting to at least equal that of the wired configuration.  But I am dissappointed because in practice I am only getting less than of half this. The wireless configuration for fronthaul/backhaul is very sensitive to distance, positioning and other factors.  A typical "dd" result for the wireless configuration, where the satellite is about 3m from the router, with only wood/air between, is:

1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 19.862 s, 54.1 MB/s
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 18.8958 s, 56.8 MB/s

well short (less than half) of the rated bandwidth.  If the distance was less than 3m or purely an air gap, then I hardly see the need for a wireless connection, and consider my 3m arrangement to be near ideal.  Yet, much less than the rated bandwidth.  Am I missing something?  (Yes, I've seen the footnote caveats, but 1200Mbps drop to 500Mbps in near ideal conditions is pushing it).   Is this consistent with other users' experience?

 

Circumstances meant that I have exceeded the returns period, for this product which is not fit for the purpose I intended.  So be it.

 

But can I double the bandwidth by using two satellites in parallel?  I propose having the RBR350 (router) connected to my ISP modem, but not so close that the WiFi of the ISP modem does not interfere with the Orbi WiFi.

240216 Orbi RBR350 Router.PNG

I then propose placing the two satellites close together, but 5m away from the RBR350, with wired connections between them:

240216 Orbi RBS350 Satellite Pair.PNG

My assumptions (hopes) are:

  1. Although there is only one router RBR350 box, it has sufficient capability to talk to each of the two satellites simultaneously.
  2. The firmware supports packet distribution to each satellite and subsequent ordered reassembly at the destination.

 

Is there anything to gain from this arrangement, or am I just deluding myself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message 9 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks @CrimpOn. A very informative reply.

 

By "Correct", do you mean that my feared thought "that the RBK350's are designed to be hooked up to an ISP modem with only one ethernet port " is correct, or that "I hope this is not the case."?  I hope the latter. And that the "This" in "This is not the case" refers to my feared thought?  I hope so. (I trust this clarifies for other readers).

However, forgive me, but I fail to see how this helps me with "no internet".  I think I comply with your detailed explanation (thank you), and that in AP mode DHCP is broadcast and responded to correctly.  All devices connected (by wire) to the satellite devices receive DHCP information correctly, including gateway address(es).

 

But, I am still stuck with the RBR350 not picking up the DHCP broadcast response for the gateway address(es).  This is my issue.  Can you help?

 

Contrary to your final paragraph, I am accessing the RBR350 router from the WAN side physical connection.  Though peversely, I am using the IP address associated with the MAC address of the LAN side.  Perhaps the packets come through the WAN to the LAN and are then picked up by the LAN side of the RBR350.  I really don't care, because I do have admin access, so no problem.  And this should not distract from the headline issue: the RBR350 has no internet access. So I cannot update firmware, cannot speedtest, and NTP is frozen about four years ago.

 

 

 

Message 10 of 17
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

IF the ISP modem, if it includes a router, and it's in router mode, if the RBR is configured properly for AP mode, should get an IP address from the ISP router. IF the ISP modem does NOT have a built in router, then the RBR needs to be configured for router mode and not AP mode. 

Message 11 of 17
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Sorry for the confusion.  Netgear router WAN ports can be connected to anything that

  • Provides network parameters using DHCP
  • and those network parameters lead to an Internet gateway at the IP address provided in the DHCP response.

With a gateway IP address of 0.0.0.0, the Orbi router simply cannot function.  The primary task should be to determine how this is happening.

 

Access Point (AP) mode is a bit of a mess, which is why the common advice is to first get the system working in router mode and then switch to AP mode.  In router mode, I can guarantee that the only way to access the router web interface is through a LAN port.

 

What I personally would do is

  • do a Factory Reset on the RBR350
  • Connect the WAN port to the Hub 5
  • Boot it up and observe the LED.
  • Connect a wired computer/laptop to one of the LAN ports on the RBR350.
  • Verify that this computer has been assigned an IP address by the RBR350 and record the Gateway IP address.
    (I would use ipconfig /all and look at the Ethernet adapter settings.)
  • Open a web browser on the computer to the Gateway IP address assigned to the computer.
    (If the Hub5 LAN is 192.168.0.x, then the Orbi should be giving out a Gateway IP of 192.168.1.1)
  • On the web interface, open the Internet page on the Basic tab and look at the settings.
    • IP address should be 192.168.0.??
    • Subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0
    • Gateway should be 192.168.0.1 (the Hub5)
    • DNS IP should be the IP address of your DNS servers
  • The wired PC should
    • have internet access.  i.e., it should be possible to reach an internet resource, such as 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS)
      i.e. ping 8.8.8.8
    • should be able to resolve URLs into IP addresses.  i.e. ping ford.com
    • open an ordinary web site, such as Google.com
  • My point is if the router does not work in the default, "out of the box" condition, then something is seriously wrong.
Message 12 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks @FURRYe38, I appreciate the niggly details.

 

I just checked, my ISP modem is in router mode. But DHCP is turned off in my ISP modem.  DHCP is served from my servers (with failover capability).

 

Please confirm, AP mode is correct for my application?

 

Still does not help with: RBR350 Orbi router is not picking up the gateway address when it boots.

 

But this may be a clue: see previous response. The RBR350 picks up the DHCP response associated with the MAC address for the LAN side.  I see no DHCP broadcast request from the WAN side MAC address, otherwise I would see this from the pool range leases from my DHCP server, and regardless it would still dish out the desired gateway.

 

Before jumping to conclusions, let me double check what I think are the MAC addresses from WAN and LAN side of the RBR350.

 

Snip from desktop web browser 192,168,0.80

240216 Orbi RBR350 Router ADVANCED Home.PNG

This suggests it is the LAN side that picks up the DHCP broadcast response.

 

Screenshots from smartphone via Orbi WiFi

Screenshot_20240216-225659.png

Screenshot_20240216-225725.png

Note that the internet (WAN) side External IP Address is 0.0.0.0
This confirms the response from @CrimpOn indicating no access from WAN side in AP mode.

But I need "Internet Access" for Firmware Update, NTP, Speedtest.

 

Help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message 13 of 17
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

The ISP modem/router needs DHCP services running to get a good IP address and gateway from this device to the RBR in router or AP mode. Gateway is showing all zeros which is not good. 

Message 14 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBR350 double fronthaul and backhaul bandwidth

Please ignore message above "Re: RBR350 double fronthaul and backhaul bandwidth.". It was intended for a separate thread.

Message 15 of 17
Bockeman
Aspirant

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Thanks again @CrimpOn and @FURRYe38 for nudging me in the right direction.  I have done multiple factory resets and an enormous number of experiments with different settings.

As it turns out, I have to use AP mode because it is the only way to get DHCP settings served to clients that are wired to one of the satellites.  I have not experienced any problems with AP mode, per se, but thanks for the warnings.

 

The real problem is that the RBR350 does not accept a comma separated list of gateway IP addresses from a separate DHCP server.  I think this is a bug in RBR350 because, strangely, other Netgear products that I use (e.g. web managed switches GS108Ev3) do correctly pick the first gateway address from the list of those supplied by my DHCP server(s).

 

A detail: I am operating a HA service, and all storage devices (NAS) and services (e.g. DHCP server) have live copies which reside on more than physical machine with automatic failover capability dropping to an alternative when the first selected becomes unavailable.  When I first experimented with DHCP server settings to see if changing from a list of gateways to a single gateway address made any difference, I missed one of the several locations that I should have changed.  Unbeknown to me, a list of gateways was being served by DHCP to the RBR350 by the one instance that I had failed to adjust.  My mistake, and I paid sorely in time wasted trying to track down what was actually wrong.

 

 

 

Message 16 of 17
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBK353 AP mode no internet

Glad you got it working. Be sure to save off a back up configuration to file for safe keeping. Saves time if a reset is needed.
https://kb.netgear.com/000062080/How-do-I-back-up-the-configuration-settings-on-my-Orbi-WiFi-System
Enjoy. 📡

Message 17 of 17
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