Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

RBRE960 terrible product

RBRE960 terrible product

Recently upgraged from RBR50 to RBRE960.  Product should not have been released without proper testing.  I have spent many hours with tech support trying to get the 6E to work.  The case goes to the "black hole" of engineering where nothing comes out, even after promises of an advisory email.  Guest network will not work either.  Apparently it randomly blocks connection to exchanges servers and will allow upon reboot.  It is similar to the internet (using their blackhawk CM1150V).  I have a dual network with ORBI and blackhawk for domestic use and Comcast with Watchguard for business.  Both use the comcast feed for their modems.  The comcast side is rock solid (until their service goes down) and gives a good base line to see how bad the RBRE960 actually doesn't work.  I am amazed at how unashamed the company is having an awful tech support department.  When intitially setting up, I was trying to open up port 25.  Many, many hours later, I finally reached a tech that proved it was Comcast blocking the port.  Kudos to his investigative skills, but it is hard to imagine this is the first time this issue came up.  Once proved, it took a few seconds to pull up Comcast's policies on port blocking for non-business services. 


Spending $1600 for a mesh network and then many hours trying to make it work seems outrageous.  I would not recommend this company to anyone.  If fact, I am instructing my company's technical department not to specify any Netgear products based on my experience.  I don't want to squander thousand of dollars to personnel to be Netgear's Beta sites. 

Message 1 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

Only adds to it but the forum for the RBRE960 might give you better assistance as they'll be used to that device/setup/firmware. 



Current setup: CM2000-> RBE973S-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/100mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.
Message 2 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

Hello @Badexperience


Thank you for sharing your experience. NETGEAR continually evaluates opportunities to improve and takes meaningful actions to ensure our customer's overall experience is exceptional.  


I'll be sharing your feedback with our internal teams to determine what can be done to enable our 1st level tech support teams to better assess the root cause of an issue such as this.


Now that you've been able to unblock the appropriate port on the Comcast device, are you having any other issues with the Orbi Mesh System? 


We're eager to help.


Kind Regards,


Message 3 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

Please read all the comments, no just the issue with port 25. The absolute lack of ownership by engineering is shocking as well as your company’s policy that requires the customer to call every six days . If no call is received by NG then the case is closed. That is awesome for the stats NG can publish and raises received for closing cases, but has zero regard for the customer. How is a system like that allowed to be in place?
Message 4 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

As is often the case, this post manages to combine a number of issues.


Port 25. I view this as a shared failure. Port 25 is "special", and not in a good way. See, for example:


Thus, the original poster (OP) could have realized that hosting an SMTP server is not something a typical residential customer does and that many ISP's block port 25.  While the vast majority of Port Forwarding questions that reach Netgear support are likely to be in regard to (a) Double-NAT, (b) internet gaming, or (c) media servers, it would seem reasonable to expect the Tech Support "script" (what else do we call it?) to recognize that port 25 is "a problem".  Once the caller mentions port 25, Netgear support should immediately ask, "Does your ISP block port 25?"  (would be even better if the support notes identified which ISPs are known to block port 25 and which do not).


Orbi 960.

This is the first I have heard about:

  • Guest network not working on the 960E.  In what way?  Other posts about the 960 product have not mentioned guest WiFi "not working".
  • The 960E blocking Exchange servers.  Which servers? Office 365? 

These issues appear to have been neglected in the discussion and deserve follow-up.


Netgear Support. This is not the first post to claim that Netgear support has "closed" a ticket when in fact it is far from resolved. And, it is not the first post to claim that a return call was promised that never happened. (Not having a product that qualifies for Netgear support, I have no personal  experience to draw on.)  Perhaps a private discussion regarding ticket numbers, or are there such things? (i.e. "how did this issue get 'resolved'?)


I confess to being confused by the description of the installation.  It appears to indicate that there is one Comcast connection into a Netgear CM11150v modem which is providing internet to two separate systems:

  • Orbi RBE960 and
  • Watchguard (whatever?) plus....?

This is real puzzle because the CM11150v User Manual appears to go "round and round" about what the ethernet ports 2-4 are used for. i.e. the User Manual says "look at the User Manual" (which is exactly the same thing).  Thus, I am confused.

It appears that this has nothing to do with the underlying issues (Port 25, issues with the 960E product, Netgear support),.....or,does it?

I love my Orbi.
Message 5 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

I just received an apologetic email from engineering after I have already received a return for refund authorization. For those that are still stuck with this modem, to be very clear, the guest network will not give access to the internet but the non-guest network will. For those confused about the setup, each network, business and domestic has it own Comcast (ISP) feed going to its own modem (2). They are completely separate systems with their own modems, routers, switches, and range of addresses. This is not common but it allows a good base line for troubleshooting and is necessary for security reasons.

What I am most troubled by is the response, or lack thereof, from the tech support department. BTW the extra support plan was paid when purchase was made, so much for their priority handling. As someone else said, it seems profit over decent service is the prime motivation. I just don’t have the time to help them beta their product.
Message 6 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

Further, the 6E does not and has not worked. After several hours, one tech was able to get the network to show on the available networks but it showed as having no signal strength and was not reachable. That was the closest to resolution after many hours. At times the modem needs to be rebooted to get internet connectivity where the RBR50 worked great. Cameras on the network created by the RBRE960 drop and never did on the RBR50 it replaced. Another concern is there is no way, according to tech support, to import or convert a config file from a RBR50 to a RBRE960. If you have a smart home with programming to devices with reserved addresses, this is absurd for a high end router.
Message 7 of 8

Re: RBRE960 terrible product

Seems that this unit maybe faulty to begin with and would need to be replaced. Glad your getting a refund. Not all units are bad. Mines not. Works well. 


Its never been supported to use one back up config file from one product line to a different product line. Never has been nor will be. No router manufacturer supports this. Theres too many differences between that prevent cross use of backup config files from being used on other product lines. 


Be sure to find someting that is appropriate and works best for a Business class environment. NG has a Orbi Pro product line that is more in tune and designed for Business Class environments. Be sure to review your Business networking needs prior to making a purchase. 


Good Luck. 

My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CAX80 Modem Mode  | Wifi Router RBKE963 and RBE973 | Switches NG GS105/8, GS308v3, GS110MX and XS505M | Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX30/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: MK63, MK93S, R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, RAXE500, RAX120v2, RAX50v2, XR450/500/700/1000,

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