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Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

JOATAMON
Guide

Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

Don't laugh. Hear me out. I just replaced a 10 year old Airport Extreme with a Netgear Obi RBK50 (with the latest firmware update), and I love it. I gave the Orbi the same SSID and password as the router it replaced, and all my network worked beautifully, with two exceptions. I have a Withings (now Nokia) bathroom scale and thermometer. Neither of these will connect. They're both 2.4GHz devices. The router does, of course, support 2.4GHz, and the app says 2.4GHz is active. Nokia says that I'd get the error I'm seeing if the devices tried to connect to a 5GHz network. My Airport Extreme also supported both 2.4 and 5GHz, so I don't know why the problem showed up now.

 

Anyhow, since I have no need for a guest network, it occurred to me that, as a workaround, I could configure a 2.4GHz only guest network and then connect the Nokia devices to it and hope for the best (Nokia has been no help). However, I can't figure out a way, either via the app or the advanced settings of the web interface, to manage the individual radios for the guest network. Either both are on, or both are off. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 11

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st_shaw
Master

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

 

You can tell what band your iPhone is connected to by looking at the Attached Devices list in the Orbi web interface.

 

One other thing to try is to manually set your Orbi 2.4 GHz channel to 1, 6, or 11.  There's a small chance that Orbi is using a channel the Nokia devices don't support.

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Message 6 of 11

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st_shaw
Master

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

 

No. You can create separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz using the approach in this thread.

 

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/How-to-set-a-separate-SSID-for-the-5-GHz-network-on-your-Orbi/...

 

Message 2 of 11
JOATAMON
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?


@st_shaw wrote:

 

No. You can create separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz using the approach in this thread.

 

Thank you. I looked through the thread, and a separate 2.4GHz SSID would be worth a try, but I'd prefer to change only the 2.4GHz SSID of my guest network and not the main network. It wasn't clear from the thread how to do that. I'll keep looking.

 

My main network is working great with all my other devices, so I don't want to mess around with it if I can avoid it. I've also learned from bitter experience over the years that "non-standard" hacks often disappear with the next firmware update. I'd not worry about screwing up my guest network, which I don't intend to use, but I'd prefer to only change my main network settings via the supported GUI.

 

As my router is less than a week old, I tried contacting Netgear support about my problem, but whenever I clicked the button to report a problem all I got was a blank page.

Message 3 of 11
st_shaw
Master

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

You cannot create a 2.4 GHz only guest network, but you can create separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz using the hack in that thread.

 

 

Some devices don't work properly with dual-band systems that have one SSID for 2.4 and 5 GHz.

 

The following might allow you to setup your devices:

 

Setup may fail if setup relies on a phone or tablet, and the phone or tablet connects to 5 GHz but the device connects to 2.4 GHz.  Temporarily make it so the phone/tablet used for setup cannot connect to 5 Ghz.  Turn off all the satelltes, so you have just the router. Reduce 5 GHz transmit power to 25%. Move far enough away from the router that your device and phone/tablet both connect to Orbi on 2.4.  Setup your device.  Restore Orbi to normal.

 

Message 4 of 11
JOATAMON
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?


@st_shaw wrote:

Some devices don't work properly with dual-band systems that have one SSID for 2.4 and 5 GHz.

 

My previous router, an Airport Extreme, was dual-band with one SSID, and all my devices worked fine. I do NOT think that the problem is with my Orbi, because the rest of my multi-vendor network is working fine. I'm having problems with two devices from Nokia (formerly Withings), so I feel fairly sure that this is a Nokia problem. I'm hoping to find a workaround.

 

Setup may fail if setup relies on a phone or tablet, and the phone or tablet connects to 5 GHz but the device connects to 2.4 GHz.

 

I thought about that. The thing that bothers me is that my devices were already set up. I gave my new router the same SSID and pasphrase as my old router, and all my other devices worked immediately. I only tried to reconfigure these devices because I couldn't think of anything else to try.

 

Temporarily make it so the phone/tablet used for setup cannot connect to 5 Ghz.  Turn off all the satelltes, so you have just the router. Reduce 5 GHz transmit power to 25%. Move far enough away from the router that your device and phone/tablet both connect to Orbi on 2.4.  Setup your device.  Restore Orbi to normal.

 

I don't think that this would be all that practical for me. It sounds rather hit or miss. I'm not sure how I'd even know that my iPhone (which I use to configure the devices) was connected to 2.4GHz. Maybe a more practical solution would be to temporarialy change the SSID of my 5GHz network. This would force my devices to connect at 2.4GHz. I could then do the configuration, then change the SSID of the 5GHz network back. Of course, once I changed the SSID back, I might be back to my original problem..Smiley Sad

 


 

Message 5 of 11
st_shaw
Master

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

 

You can tell what band your iPhone is connected to by looking at the Attached Devices list in the Orbi web interface.

 

One other thing to try is to manually set your Orbi 2.4 GHz channel to 1, 6, or 11.  There's a small chance that Orbi is using a channel the Nokia devices don't support.

Message 6 of 11
JOATAMON
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?


@st_shaw wrote:

 One other thing to try is to manually set your Orbi 2.4 GHz channel to 1, 6, or 11.  There's a small chance that Orbi is using a channel the Nokia devices don't support.

 

NAILED IT! My 2.4GHz network was on channel 13. Thanks. I'd never have thought of looking at that.


 

Message 7 of 11
st_shaw
Master

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

Awesome!  Some devices don't support channels above 11.

Message 8 of 11
JOATAMON
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?


@st_shaw wrote:

Awesome!  Some devices don't support channels above 11.


Yes, you're right. Like in "Spinal Tap", it goes to 11. Thanks again for the help. 🙂

Message 9 of 11
twokatmew
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?

I have the Withings scale (WBS01) that I was forced to retire when I installed the Orbi RBR50 and RBS50 satellite. My issue was that for the first time in the life of the scale, I couldn't change its WiFi credentials (due to an error generated by the pairing wizard). As a test, I created a guest network with the old credentials, and the scale connected even though I used the same SSID for both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, so I didn't have your issue.

 

In the many years I've owned the scale, I upgraded my network hardware and changed my WiFi credentials and then connected the scale to my computer by USB cable to change its WiFi info using Nokia's pairing wizard. This time unfortunately I kept getting a "Device Busy" error that instructed me to unplug and plug in the USB cable. Doing so did not resolve the issue. I tried three different computers and four different USB cables with the same result. Nokia support just kept telling me to try another computer and cable. I'm an IT pro, so I had easy access to multiple computers and USB cables, but I finally just ordered a new scale. The Body Cardio syncs quickly and reliably, and it was a snap to configure and connect to WiFi via BLE on my Android phone. I didn't realize just how sluggish my old scale was until I upgraded to the new one!

 

Nokia support did ultimately escalate my ticket and finally decided that my scale was defective and had no fix. They did offer me a 25% discount on a new scale ... after I'd already given up and bought a new one at full price. Nokia said they'd refund the 25%, and I'm currently waiting to see it come through on my credit card.

Message 10 of 11
JOATAMON
Guide

Re: Can I create a 2.4GHz only guest network?


@twokatmew wrote:

I have the Withings scale (WBS01) that I was forced to retire when I installed the Orbi RBR50 and RBS50 satellite. My issue was that for the first time in the life of the scale, I couldn't change its WiFi credentials (due to an error generated by the pairing wizard). As a test, I created a guest network with the old credentials, and the scale connected even though I used the same SSID for both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, so I didn't have your issue.

 

My issue is resolved. The problem was that the Withings (Nokia) scale only supports 2.5GHz channels 1-11, but my Orbi had defaulted to channel 13 for 2.4GHz. Once I manually set the 2.4GHz channel to a number between 1 and 11, everything worked fine.

Message 11 of 11
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