Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
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RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Chris_Z
Tutor

RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

TLDR

Devices do not stay connected to the closest/best node causing a noticable wifi performance drop. Over time, devices appear to migrate to the weakest node signal rather than the strongest. Inverted logic in the firmware?

 

MY SETUP

  • RBRE963B (RBRE960 router w/ 2 satellites).
  • Firmware Version v6.0.3.68_3.1.9
  • 3000sq ft home with 3 floors.
  • Main Floor - Router
  • Upstairs - Satellite
  • Basement - Satellite
  • Satellites are ~25 to ~30 feet away from router and separated by walls & a floor.
  • Upstairs & Basement devices are within ~6 to ~10 feet of their respective satellites.

 

DETAILS

I've been seeing some strange behavior with my newly purchased RBRE963B (mesh router w/ 2 satellites). The wifi (both throughput & latency) starts out amazingly good for all my devices. But, within the first hour, a device or two will experience a noticable drop in throughput and increased ping. Within the next several hours, more devices start to experience the same thing.

 

After inspecting the Network Map, I found that the devices experiencing the problems (Upstairs & Basement devices) were not connected to the closest node. Disconnecting & reconnecting the device to the wifi usually put it back on the closest node and the performance was again amazing. However, within an hour or so the device would again be experiencing the same issue and I could see that it was no longer connected to the closest node.

 

From threads here, it looks like others have had similar problems. One suggestion was to lower the transmit power. I lowered the power to 50%; a few devices started out not connecting to the closest node, and the same situation was still occurring for those that did. I then lowered the power to 25% -- this is where things got really interesting:

 

All devices in the Basement were now connecting to the Upstairs satellite. Main Floor devices were connecting to the Basement/Upstairs satellites and Upstairs devices were connecting to the Main Floor/Basement. The devices were being connected the node with the weakest signal, and the network was unusable by nearly all devices like this.

 

I have PCs, Alexas, a Ring Doorbell, and iPads. This issue occurs with all of them. This looks to be the exact opposite of what should be happening. Could there be inverted logic in the firmware?

 

Message 1 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

30 feet or more is recommended in between RBR and RBS📡 to begin with depending upon building materials when wirelessly connected.
https://kb.netgear.com/31029/Where-should-I-place-my-Orbi-satellite 📡

Message 2 of 27
McLong
Apprentice

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Yeah I've noticed the same behavior on the RBR850 series. Good to know Netgear hasn't fixed this on the 960 series either.
Message 3 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Lets not presume this is a FW issue just yet. Placement and distances between RBR and RBS is important. Also that devices pick and choose where they connect too. No Orbi. 

 

Both my 8 and 9 series work well and devices connect to RBS at there locations. 

Message 4 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@FURRYe38 wrote:

Also that devices pick and choose where they connect too. No Orbi. 


I appreciate the responses. Is which node a device connects to entirely up to the device? Does Orbi not have any influence there? I find it strange that after rebooting the Orbis (or disconnecting/reconnecting the device), the devices connect where you'd expect; but, that over time they appear to migrate from the strong signal of the closest satellite to the weaker signal of the router.

 

UPSTAIRS OFFICE @ 100% PWR (5GHz)
-39dBm Upstairs Satellite
-53dBm Main Floor Router (PC & Alexa migrate here over time)
-70dBm Basement Satellite

 

BASEMENT BEDROOM @ 100% PWR (5GHz)
-42dBm Basement Satellite
-56dBm Main Floor Router (PC & Alexa migrate here over time)
-63dBm Upstairs Satellite

 

A a specific example, the devices (PC & Alexa) in an upstairs office won't stay connected to the upstairs satellite in spite of the stronger signal -- and a similar situation occurs in a basement bedroom.

 

Message 5 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Here is an even more extreme example. After changing the power to 50% (for both the 2.4 & 5 bands), all devices were initially connected to the best/closest node. Sampling the signal strength in this bedroom gives me the following:

 

UPSTAIRS BEDROOM @ 50% PWR
-28dBm Upstairs Satellite
-52dBm Main Floor Router
-70dBm Basement Satellite

 

Within 45 minutes the Alexa, PC, iPad and phone had moved from the -28dBm upstairs satellite to the -52dBm main floor router. The phone was specifically interesting in that it had switched from its 6GHz connection to the satellite (only 2 feet away) to a 5GHz with the main floor router. All of the devices in the bedroom are within 2 to 4 feet of the satellite and have unobstructed line-of-sight to it.

 

I want to stress that the performance drop is also significant in real-world terms. The only reason I started digging in to what was happening is because using the device(s) went from an amazing super-snappy & fast experience, back to being no better than my previous single-router connection. Testing then showed that when connected to the best satellite, pings are a consisent & stable ~5 to ~8ms and xfer rates are ~750Mb/s; however, after the switch to the main floor router occurs, pings swing regularly from ~4 to ~150ms with the average being somewhere between 18 & 30ms and the xfer speed is at best ~250Mb/s but often dips to ~120Mb/s or lower.

 

To throw in a little positivity, when these things are working as expected, it's absolutely incredible! The 5GHz backhaul is amazing! Unfortunately, when devices don't stay connected to their respective satelites, I can't take advantage of it.

 

Message 6 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

You may need to move the RBS farther away from the RBR.

Try moving the devies around or farther away from the RBR.

Try turning down the power on the RBR to 25%.

 

 

 

Message 7 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@FURRYe38 wrote:

You may need to move the RBS farther away from the RBR.

Try moving the devies around or farther away from the RBR.

Try turning down the power on the RBR to 25%.


I have now moved all 3 a few times: router & both satellites. I've moved them beyond 35ft and in various locations -- the behavior, after a few hours, is the same. The only notable difference is that moving them from their ideal locations lowers the backhaul speed because of no longer being able to avoid metal return air vents and piping.

 

The RBR & RBSes are not close and they are separated by a floor and walls. The downstairs RBS has always been 30ft+ away. We're using physical distance as a rough approximation for signal strength to avoid excessive overlap? The dBm values I posted should give a much more accurate picture and show that the RBR and RBSes have significantly different signal strengths and aren't excessively overlapping.

 

I am a little confused, though. If the devices choose the node they connect to, only the signal strength of the nodes relative to the device should be important -- the strength of the nodes relative to each other shouldn't matter (at least for the device being able to pick the strongest one).

Message 8 of 27
TC_in_Montana
Virtuoso

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

@Chris_Z 

 

An additional thought (other than @FURRYe38 's thoughts) - is that you may have way more coverage than what is needed and it may be confusing the devices.   If you have the router and two satellites, this supposedly provides coverage for 9,000 square feet (each device provides 3,000 sqft of coverage).   Since each of your connected devices appears to be getting a good enough signal to connect to either of the satellites or the router, they could be bouncing around, causing some of the connection issues.   There is such a thing as too much coverage.

 

I am not sure if you are using the LAN ports on your satellites or just using WiFi connectivity for your other floors, but IF you are using only WiFi connectivity, you may want to drop one of the satellites completely and see if your connectivity improves overall.   It may require you to reposition the satellite once you drop down to one, but it may not as well.  If you are using the LAN ports, then this may be a no-go, but I would think that dropping the power on the devices would resolve that issue.

 

I have about 3,800 sqft across two floors, and while I currently have the router and two satellites in play, I found no real difference in my connectivity when using only 1 satellite over using 2 for my layout.   The main reason I am using the third is to provide wired connectivity in one of my rooms for a couple of machines with crappy WiFi cards built in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message 9 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Heya, thanks for the input, @TC_in_Montana! Unfortunately (fortunately?) I am using the LAN ports for a couple devices on each of the 3. This is actually how I know the wireless backhaul is amazing and the reason I am willing to put some time into troubleshooting this instead of immediately returning them. I am working around metal venting and other signal destroying obstacles in order to get wifi to some devices of the upstairs & basement, which is what makes the 2-satellite setup ideal.

 

What is interesting about this situation is that all wireless devices start out connected to the closest node after rebooting the network. And, for the first few hours everything works incredibly well. After about a day, not a single wireless device is left connected to the satellites and they are all on the main router. It makes sense that some devices might bounce around if they have a comparable signal to both a satellite & the router, but all wireless devices?

 

Since the devices are the ones that choose the node they connect to, it appears that the satellites might be experiencing some sort of problem, possibly due to some sort of misconfiguration. Backing that theory up is the solution one person found:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-WiFi-6-AX-and-WiFi-6E-AXE/Netgear-Orbi-RBK853-2-Satellites-Dev...

 

Their situation sounds very similar to what I'm experiencing. Removing, resetting, & re-adding the satellite(s) appeared to work for them. I'm planning on trying the same to see if it resolves my issue.

 

Message 10 of 27
TC_in_Montana
Virtuoso

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@Chris_Z wrote:

Heya, thanks for the input, @TC_in_Montana! Unfortunately (fortunately?) I am using the LAN ports for a couple devices on each of the 3. This is actually how I know the wireless backhaul is amazing and the reason I am willing to put some time into troubleshooting this instead of immediately returning them. I am working around metal venting and other signal destroying obstacles in order to get wifi to some devices of the upstairs & basement, which is what makes the 2-satellite setup ideal.

 

 

Their situation sounds very similar to what I'm experiencing. Removing, resetting, & re-adding the satellite(s) appeared to work for them. I'm planning on trying the same to see if it resolves my issue.

 


@Chris_Z   Thanks for reading my suggestion.   Unfortunately I don't think it is the approach you need since you want to use the LAN ports in you various locations.

 

I am definitely hoping that removing, resetting, and re-adding the satellite(s) works for you. 

 

Personally, I think the RBKE963 is pretty darned good, although nothing is perfect and sometimes things just don't work.   

Fingers crossed for you.   Please be sure to come back and fill us in on the outcome.

 

 

Message 11 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@TC_in_Montana wrote:

Personally, I think the RBKE963 is pretty darned good, although nothing is perfect and sometimes things just don't work.   

Fingers crossed for you.   Please be sure to come back and fill us in on the outcome.


After a reboot and before things start going south, it is really good. Unfortunately, it doesn't last more than a few hours to a day. I've also run into another issue: after a day or two of the satellites being 'up', they stop accepting connections.

 

I first noticed this with an iPad. Originally, the iPad can roam all 3 floors and swap between the various Orbis. After a day or so, I noticed the iPad could not connect to the wifi unless it was on the main floor (connected to the Orbi router). The iPad would then lose wifi after going downstairs and failing to connect to the satellite. The same situation also occurred on the upstairs satellite. I unplugged/replugged in the downstairs satellite which then allowed the iPad and other devices (such as a PC) to connect to it again. I then repeated the same with the upstairs satellite which then allowed devices to start connecting to the upstairs satellite. (The situation then re-occurred a day or two later.)

 

I don't know if this is a different issue than my original, related, or all part of a bigger problem. And, in other bad news, resetting & resyncing the satellites did not appear to solve either issue for me.

Message 12 of 27
rphelliwell
Aspirant

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

I have what may be a related issue.  My Wi-Fi enabled oven keeps getting disconnected from the network.  This never happened with my Nighthawk router.  The fix is always to reboot my router (RBRE960).  I'm wondering if some router table is filling up due to a FW bug.

Message 13 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Is this the only device seeing this issue?

Does setting an IP address reservation on the router for this device help any?

How many devices do you have connacted to the system?

Message 14 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Just wanted to give an update. I have upgraded to FW 6.0.3.85_3.1.15, but the problems remain:

 

  • Most wireless devices get kicked from the satellites to the main router after a few hours of a router reboot.
  • Roaming devices like iPads & phones stop being able to connect to the wifi network after ~24 / 48 hours of a router reboot.
  • PS5 can't keep connected to the wifi after ~24 / 48 hours of a router reboot.
  • Rebooting the router fixes all the problems, but only for awhile.
  • I have to reboot the router every day or every other day in order to get the iPads back on the network.

 

My log is filled with repeated spurts of DHCP renews only seconds apart. This appears to be happening for all IP addresses issued, but here I've snipped the lines of just one IP address (the address of my upstairs Orbi satellite). Note, the router has only been 'up' for 3 minutes at this point, and it's already re-issued the 192.168.1.2 address 6 times:

 

[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:25:20
[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:25:10
[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:25:06
[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:25:02
[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:24:57
[DHCP IP: (192.168.1.2)] to MAC address C8:9E:43:D7:D1:DD, Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:24:12
[Time synchronized with NTP server] Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:23:05
[Initialized, firmware version: V6.0.3.85_3.1.15] Wednesday, Mar 16,2022 17:22:59


@rphelliwell wrote:

I have what may be a related issue.  My Wi-Fi enabled oven keeps getting disconnected from the network.  This never happened with my Nighthawk router.  The fix is always to reboot my router (RBRE960).  I'm wondering if some router table is filling up due to a FW bug.


@rphelliwell did you get your problem fixed? I am not sure exactly what the issue is, but it seems clear to me it's a FW bug when rebooting the router is the only thing that fixes the situation. A NETGEAR engineer really needs to take a look at this.

Message 15 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

ARe you using 1 or 2 RBS now? Try using 1.

Set the transmit power on the RBR to 25%

Message 16 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@FURRYe38 wrote:

ARe you using 1 or 2 RBS now? Try using 1.

Set the transmit power on the RBR to 25%


Situation still occurs. Unfortunately, running with only 1 RBS isn't a test I can do for long periods of time due to devices needing that RBS for internet access; however, I lowered the xmit power on both 2.4 & 5GHz bands and ran with only 1 RBS for a day and saw that devices were still moving from the RBS to the RBR and the DHCP log spam still was still occurring.

Message 17 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Id either return the system and get another or make contact with NG support. Possible problem at the RBS that needs to be reviewed. 

Message 18 of 27
rphelliwell
Aspirant

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

Sorry for the (long) delayed response.  I've been very busy.

I'm still experiencing issues with devices not connecting to my Router via Wi-Fi.  I see frequent DHCP renewals, which is probably normal.  Eventually SOME of my devices fail to be connected to either the main router or one of the satellites.  A Router reboot seems to solve the problem except that my GE Profile Wi-Fi enabled oven has to be disconnected and reconnected, which is a big pain.  I suspect a FW bug where some table may be filling up, but that's just a guess.  I have an RBRE960 router and 2 RBSE960 satellites. My current FW versions are all V6.0.3.85 and no new versions show as available.

Message 19 of 27
arlogo
Aspirant

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

I just returned my system after wasting hours and having computer experts repeatedly help me waste my time. I just set up my old orbi with just the one satellite and my security system is working fine. I had purchased the new system thinking it would give my system a further range. The two satellites just kept stoped working and or gave a poor back haul inidcation which in turn would shut down the security system. The old one works 10xs better than this new one that runs 1400.  . If you check Cnet this system is not even listed in their top ten. After watching paid professinals try to fix this problem I assumed I had a lemon. 

Message 20 of 27
arlogo
Aspirant

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

exactly 

Message 21 of 27
arlogo
Aspirant

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

I think I lost 10 lbs running the satellites and devices all over the house the the property. I can pick up a neighbors orbi signal and she is a quarter of a mile down hill from me. I couldn't pick up the wifi on my phone at 50 ft. I am not sure what is wrong . I hired people and my security system just dropped and shut down about every 2 hours or so. I got sick of chasing and reconnecting cameras etrc. My old orbi is way better and only has one sattelite. I hope net gear knows that this is happening because it takes alot of people's time to trouble shoot all these issues over and over. 

Message 22 of 27
Chris_Z
Tutor

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.


@arlogo wrote:

I just returned my system after wasting hours and having computer experts repeatedly help me waste my time.


I probably should have done this. I have to reboot the system every morning in order to keep roaming wireless devices connected to the network.

 

My thinking was that there was no possible way Netgear would not fix this in a future FW update -- I apparently was wrong. I also responded to a Netgear survey solicitation to give feedback -- I was not selected.  The system I purchased was ~$1,600 and is useless as a mesh network (nearly all devices end up connected to the main router and not the satellites).

 

960 buyers beware.

Message 23 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

 

Id either return the system and get another or make contact with NG support. Possible problem at the RBS that needs to be reviewed. 

Message 24 of 27
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: RBRE960 Devices do not stay connected to closest/best satellite.

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 25 of 27
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