Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

Re: RBK353 poor satellite performance and drop outs


RBK353 poor satellite performance and drop outs



I've started to receive connection drop outs between my router and satellites.  I have a 1gb fibre connection, and use the RBR350 as both router and modem, no ISP modem is involved in my setup.  Speed test at the router (via the orbi app), says I'm getting ~950mbs both up and down, ping of 3m/s - so it's quick.


However, when I'm connected to satellites, I can only get 200mbs over Wifi (tried a number of devices).  Tested via both LAN and wifi from the satellite, and never go above 300mbs.  The satellites used to give me more like 80% of my router speed, so was solid and didn't suffer much loss.


Other info:

  • My ISP is Hyperoptic 1gb fibre
  • My mesh is Orbi RBK 353
  • Orbi Firmware is on all devices
  • Using a shielded cat6 LAN cable from ONT to Orbi RBR, and have switched out various cables to eliminate issue
  • I have already tried full factory reset which hasn't worked either
  • My home is just under 2000 sq. foot
  • Router positioned downstairs
  • 1 x satellite downstairs, 1 x satellite upstairs
  • Distance is 30ft at least between devices


I'm thinking whether the Orbi is struggling with fulfilling modem and routing capabilities.  I could try adding the ISP modem back in (and disabling it's WIFI).  I don't think it has a bridge mode sadly.


Thanks in advance for any advice

Message 1 of 3

Re: RBK353 poor satellite performance and drop outs

Just a tiny note:  The RBR350 WAN port is connected to some device provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

  • For customers of a typical cable television system, this device is a modem (although ISPs often want to provide a combination modem/router/WiFi unit).
  • For customers of a fiber based ISP, the device is an Optical Network Terminator (ONT).
  • For customers of a telephone company ASL/DSL service, this device is also a modem.

In no case does the RBR350 perform any "modem functions."


If the ISP provided a router to attach to the ONT, then it is not a modem either.  Placing their router between the ONT and the Orbi should do nothing to improve performance.


Measuring speed is a highly technical subject.  In this particular case, the Orbi 350 series is a "dual band" system, which is more economical because it uses the same 5G WiFi channel to support user devices and to support the connection between router and satellite.  This 5G channel has a maximum theoretical link rate of 1,200Mbps (with a tiny footnote symbol leading to this footnote:

† Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and wireless coverage will vary and be lowered by network and environmental conditions, including network traffic volume, device limitations, and building construction.

In real life, the link speed between router and satellite will never be anything close to 1,200Mbps.  My older RBR50 systems tout 1,733Mbps for the backhaul rate, but the actual rate between router and a satellite less than 25 ft. away is about 780Mbps. (less than half).  (The older Orbi product has a telnet command that displays the Link Rate.  Newer Orbi models removed that option.)


Because the same WiFi channel is being used to carry Speed Test packets from router to satellite and then from satellite to the test device, there will be some effect on the results.  Measuring the results when connected to the router against when connected to the satellite would be a good place to start.


Peformance of WiFi devices depends on their capabilities and the same distance/building factors that affect all WiFi.  A newer WiFi device with WiFi6 capability should perform better than an older WiFi5 device.  (Just slightly.)


I don't know that there is much a person can do to change the situation.  One experiment might be to purchase an Ethernet cable long enough to string through the house to connect router and satellite. (Temporarily, of course)  100ft cables are available on Amazon for $20US..  With the satellite 'wired' to the router, the Speed Test should be almost identical when connected to either Orbi unit.

Message 2 of 3

Re: RBK353 poor satellite performance and drop outs

Thank you for the reply.  Great explanation.  Being new to fibre, yes you're right my RBR350 is connected to an ONT box.  I also forgot that it's not a modem too, as I'd not had all too long.  Great explanation overall.


I've completed various tests with the router and satellites by both Wifi and ethernet cable.  All give varying results, but consistently the same results which is a good start.


I've actually taken 1 of the 2 satellites out of the setup, to see if that would help and reduce the interference.  It has a little.

Before I did this though, I also experimented with reducing the transmit power (sadly the GUI only allows 100%, 50% or 25%).


Overall I'm still puzzled by the slow speeds.  The walls are not thick (they build new houses in the UK very thin plasterboard walls), and in some areas I'm only getting 10-15% of the router internet speed.  (1gb vs 100mb).  

I've factory reset again, and tried some re-positioning to see it helps.


Whether I have 1 satellite or 2, it seems that the link rate to the RBR is maxxed at about 600-800mbs to the RBS.  The wifi speed tops 300mbs, and the best ethernet speed from a satellite is c. 500mbs.


Thanks for your help

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