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RBR850 Satellite Issues

Jules0205
Aspirant

RBR850 Satellite Issues

Hi, I am struggling with my Netgear RBR850. I would be very grateful if anyone was able to help.

My ideal set up is as follows:

-Router (and broadband modem connected via ethernet) in my sitting room on the ground floor

-Satellite 1 in a neighbouring room on the same floor - almost with direct line of sight with the router but not quite - connected wirelessly to Router

-Satellite 2 in the basement (one floor below) connected via ethernet to Satellite 1 (wireless signal in the basement isn't fantastic and this is intended to deliver wifi to the basement). So this would be mixing wired backhaul between Satellite 2 and 1 but using wireless backhaul between Satellite 1 and the Router.

 

However, Satellite 2 is connecting wirelessly to the Router (through the basement and thick concrete, i.e. with a fairly weak and intermittent signal) and Satellite 1 is then connecting via ethernet to Satellite 2 in the basement. So Satellite 1 is ignoring the router that it can almost see (there is no door or walls between the sitting room with the router and where Satellite 1 is) and instead choosing to use ethernet to connect to Satellite 2 in the basement (which in turn then connects back up to the Router on the ground floor). This sort of makes sense to me as Satellite 1 would choose wired over wireless. However, what makes no sense to me is why it is connecting this way around as surely the wireless signal between Satellite 1 and the router must be much much stronger than the wireless signal between Satellite 2 and the router. After all, it is on the same floor and almost with direct line of sight. 

 

If I set up the satellites sequentially and turn them on one by one and I can achieve the ideal set up above. However, over time, could be hours or days, it reverts back to the current set up despite not losing power or rebooting. 

 

I hope this makes sense and I've uploaded a screenshot below. Coat Cupboard is Satellite 1 and TV Room is Satellite 2. 

 

Any help would be gratefully received! Thank you

 

 

 

Message 1 of 11

Accepted Solutions
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

A satellite will prefer a 'wired' connection every time over a WiFi connection. The satellite has no concept of anything 'beyond' that first link.

 

I would disconnect the Ethernet cable connecting the two satellites.

 

p.s. If this was an older building with wooden floors and open basement, then drilling between basement and ground floor is almost trivial.

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Message 2 of 11

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CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

A satellite will prefer a 'wired' connection every time over a WiFi connection. The satellite has no concept of anything 'beyond' that first link.

 

I would disconnect the Ethernet cable connecting the two satellites.

 

p.s. If this was an older building with wooden floors and open basement, then drilling between basement and ground floor is almost trivial.

Message 2 of 11
Jules0205
Aspirant

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Thank you very much, have tried that and perversely it seems better!

I also had my eye on the new Orbi 970. Would that be an appreciable upgrade?

Thinking:
-10gbps in from modem (have 3gbps fibre but my current set up maxes out at 2.5gbps
-Better range/more powerful WiFi from ground floor to basement
-better connection from router to satellite 1 (that powers 5-6 devices via Ethernet)
-better WiFi on the 1st floor and 2nd floor (which has no satellites)

Or is my current set up already close in terms of quality/speed?

Thank you very much
Message 3 of 11
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

More powerful?  Doubt it.  Radio transmission power signals are strictly limited in every country.  That concrete basement just kills WiFi signals.

 

Seriously?  A human person would be able to detect the difference between a 2.5Gbit and 3.0Gbit internet speed?

 

The major difference between the 850 and the 970 products are:

  • Support for the 6GHz frequency band. (Known as WiFi6E)  This frequency band is almost totally 'empty' because there are so few products that support it and so few home WiFi routers that support it.  A WiFi6E  connection would be blazing fast because (a) the total lack of interference, and (b) the 6GHz band supports wider WiFi channels for faster communication.  Provided that the WiFi6E device is close enough to the router/satellites to connect at 6G, it would be 'cool'.  (Remember, 5G WiFi is affected by distance and building materials more than 2.4G.  And 6G signals are affected more than 5G.  It's physics.)
  • Support for WiFi7.  This new standard is available on a few devices, with more expected as the year goes along.
    https://www.theverge.com/2024/1/14/24038284/wi-fi-certified-7-products-list-wi-fi-alliance 

With my zero devices which support WiFi6E or WiFi7, the choice for me is easy.

Message 4 of 11
Jules0205
Aspirant

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Thank you very much! Entirely fair comments. Maybe I was getting greedy! I’m getting 2.5gbps into my Orbi and I’m getting around 300-40mbps over WiFi with my phone/laptop etc. in the same room as the router (and modem). I was speculating the 970 might get me “closer to” what’s coming into the Orbi (ie the 2.5gbps currently or the 3gbps if I had a >3gbps Ethernet in on the orbi). Sounds like that’s not necessarily the case. My simple logic was the orbi is nearly 4 years old so perhaps the very latest WiFi for a 2023 gen MacBook Pro and iPhone might make a difference in terms of WiFi speed.

Thank you again for your time
Message 5 of 11
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Well, it's your lucky day.  2023 MacBook Pro:

CrimpOn_0-1710803901121.png

If connected over WiFi6E, the Macbook Pro would probably get higher speed from the 970 product than from the 850 product.

 

As to whether you will be astounded, "OMG.  How fast this beast is now!!!"  I have no idea.

Message 6 of 11
Jules0205
Aspirant

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Haha. Thank you
Message 7 of 11
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

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 8 of 11
Jules0205
Aspirant

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Thank you, have just upgraded to the 970 and it’s very impressive. Are there any guides or apps around how to tune WiFi and choose the right channel? Thank you
Message 9 of 11
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

The Orbi 'app' will help select the best 2.4G WiFi channel (where most of the interference problems are).  I have mixed feelings about picking the 2.4G channel because my impression is that every WiFi system near to you is constantly scanning the WiFi space and adjusting their channel selection.  If you pick Channel 6 because absolutely no other system is using it, tomorrow you may find that a dozen nearby WiFi systems are blasting away on Channel 6.

 

For 5G, the 970 product uses the same bands as all other mesh routers.  Orbi routers combine the frequencies from 5.170GHz to 5.250GHz to produce one 80Mhz wide transmission channel for maximum data capacity. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels#5_GHz_(802.11a/h/n/ac/ax) 

 

What the user can affect is which of the channels is used for management traffic (beacon frames, association frames, probes, etc.)

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11_frame_types#Types_and_subtypes   Management frames are sent using only one channel at the lowest speed possible (so that every device can send/receive them).  If a user scanned the nearby systems and found that most systems were using the same channel, then picking a different channel might improve performance a tiny bit. No idea if it would even be detectable.

 

Message 10 of 11
Jules0205
Aspirant

Re: RBR850 Satellite Issues

Thank you very much

Message 11 of 11
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