×

Introducing the Orbi 970 Series Mesh System with WiFi 7(BE) technology. For more information visit the NETGEAR Press Room.

Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
Reply

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

mrudm
Tutor

Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I'm considering buying a 2 unit Orbi (router + 1 satellite). I have an existing home ethernet network, so I would connect the satellite to the router via 1 GB ethernet, giving a faster more reliable connection to the satellite.

 

Would this setup work?

 

Does the satellite have 4 ethernet ports on the back of it, just like the router? Can the satellite also function as an ethernet switch?

Message 1 of 25
Random12
Apprentice

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Unfortunately, the backhaul is only via wireless. This means the Satellite will always just use wireless to talk to the Router, it can't connect via wired (a lot of people want this, hopefully Netgear adds it in a FW update!). 

 

The Satellite does have 4 ports on the back and can switch traffic.

 

 

Message 2 of 25
mrudm
Tutor

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

It is really unfortunate that the satellite can only connect via wireless and that it cannot use my existing gigabit ethernet cabling.

 

This forces me to use another solution. Hopefully Netgear is listening and makes wired satellite support a priority, considering that a lot of other users have requested this. If they add this feature in the next month. then I may consider switching back to Orbi, but this is really a show stopper for me and is forcing me to use another solution that does support this feature.

Message 3 of 25
Hydro130
Luminary

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I hear you, but please understand that the whole main selling point of the Orbi system is to provide an effective wireless backhaul solution for folks who don't have the ability (or interest) to string ethernet all over their house.

 

If you have exisitng ethernet access points around yor house, you'd be better off using a (cheaper!) wired router/AP combo instead of the Orbi.  

 

The notion of connecting Orbi router & sat via ethernet defeats the whole point of what the Orbi system is designed expressly to do (wireless backhaul).

 

TL;DR = if you have ethernet available now around your house that you can use, the Orbi system isn't the right solution for you.

Message 4 of 25
mrudm
Tutor

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Actually I am currently using a wired router/AP (access point) combo solution. My main reason for switching to a mesh network is to avoid having to manually switch between WiFi networks as wireless devices (phones, laptops, tablets) are moved from one end of the house to the other. All the WiFi access point solutions I'm aware of necessitates using a different Wifi network from the router.

 

Other mesh network solutions that support backhaul's using both wired and unwired satellites will automatically select between wired or ethernet, depending on which gives the faster connection. In my case, the satellite location would be separated from the router by 8 walls and 60 feet and the signal would be very weak, in which case a wired satellite would give a much faster connection.

 

Message 5 of 25
Random12
Apprentice

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Netgear would maybe do it, there have been requests for wired backhaul support before. Look at the second post here:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Wired-Connection-to-Satellite/td-p/1130282

 

A moderator says the feature is under consideration by Netgear.

Message 6 of 25
netwrks
Master

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet


@mrudm wrote:

Actually I am currently using a wired router/AP (access point) combo solution. My main reason for switching to a mesh network is to avoid having to manually switch between WiFi networks as wireless devices (phones, laptops, tablets) are moved from one end of the house to the other. All the WiFi access point solutions I'm aware of necessitates using a different Wifi network from the router.

 

Other mesh network solutions that support backhaul's using both wired and unwired satellites will automatically select between wired or ethernet, depending on which gives the faster connection. In my case, the satellite location would be separated from the router by 8 walls and 60 feet and the signal would be very weak, in which case a wired satellite would give a much faster connection.

 


If you are looking for an AP solution that you will be able to roam with, you need to look ouside home consumer devices, Ubiquity UNIFI products come to mind. I use two of their UAP-AC PRO's and all my devices roam seamlessly. iDevices, Androids laptops..

Message 7 of 25
Superpop
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I would like to see this as well.  I have ethernet in my house but like the technology of the Orbi for wireless.   

Message 8 of 25
mrudm
Tutor

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I looked at the Ubiguity UNIFI products, and decided they are quite pricy and required quite a bit of configuration work to get them to work properly. Instead I have decided to purchase the Linksys Velop solution, which from its first release supports wired ethernet satellites (it automatically switches from wireless to wired backhaul if ethernet is connected), and it automatically sets up seamless roaming from router to satellite. There are other features that I still like in the Orbi, but I could not longer wait for the wired backhaul feature to be implemented, since there is no committment yet from Netgear to support this.

Message 9 of 25
st_shaw
Master

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Two Unifi AP-AC-LR access points can be had for under $200 total, and can be setup using the free Unifi controller software.  So, it's definitely not a pricey solution.  The roaming works seamlessly and requires no setup to achieve.  You are correct that more configuration is involved, but it's basically just selecting the best channels and tweaking power levels, if required.

Message 10 of 25
lkaincld
Initiate

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I concur with mrudm.  I just purchased the Orbi Router / Satellite two pack assuming that i could connect the satellite via hardwire which is quite a distance away.  The satellite is supposed to give me better wireless speed upstairs where i already am prewired to my router location.  Through the wireless connection from router to satellite, and then hard wired to my bluray player, playback is slow and choppy.

 

I have spent the last 4 hours trying every configuration (including trying to get my Airport Extreme as an access point) to no avail.  

 

Looks like Orbi is headed back to BestBuy first thing in the morning.

 

Great concept and reviews but doesn't work the way i need it to.

Message 11 of 25
JMU1998
Luminary

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

The request is pending for wired backhaul at the Netgear idea exchange open for voting :

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Idea-Exchange-For-Home/Netgear-Orbi-Wired-Sattelite/idi-p/1145210#M...

Message 12 of 25
dawiz22
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@st_shaw

 

Setting up roaming that actually works well with AP-AC-LR access points (or AP AC Pros in my case) is notoriously difficult to achieve (and hardly feasible for a regular home user). The problem being that TX power and AP placement have to be very carefully tailored to how the home is constructed. Reinforced concrete ceilings, for example, require a large number of APs that run at minimum TX power in order for roaming to work. Otherwise, the devices will get stuck on lower throughput 2.4ghz connections as the 5ghz signal won't penetrate the ceiling.

 

And it's also device-dependent: while the newer mesh (or mesh-like) systems handle the handoffs router-side, for the AC Pros, the phone has to take over that part (2.4ghz / 5ghz handover is rudimentary at best in the AC Pro), making the phone's device-specific reception and network switching an important part in the setup. If individual family members have different phones, finding a setup / config that works equally well with all of them is almost impossible to achieve. 

 

So while the AC Pro range may work well in office settings, it's probably not the best solution for covering homes. 

Message 13 of 25
st_shaw
Master

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@dawiz22 I have a Ubiquiti system with one AP-AC-PRO and one AP-AC-LR. In my case, I had no difficulty obtaining a setup that works well.  The home inlcudes varying construction, some of which blocks WiFi, including plaster and cinderblock. All I did was lower the 2.4G power on one AP for the sake of my neighbors. My devices will switch bands and APs readily when moving around the property. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds or so.

 

I also have Orbi at another site. I like both systems and both work well when roaming. The range of Orbi outside the home is remarkable.

 

You raise valid points about the complexities of optimizing a multi-AP system for roaming.  However, Orbi would be more difficult to optimize for roaming than Ubiquiti for several reasons: 1) You cannot adjust the router and sat power separately, 2) The choices of power settings are limited, 3) You must use the same channel for the router and all sats, 4) Orbi provides very limited information on the connection details of individual devices (no indication of signal stength or PHY link speed.)

 

The Ubquiti system includes a very functional and informative iOS app, which is helpful in optimizing the network. The Netgear/Orbi apps have almost no useful functionality.

Message 14 of 25
dawiz22
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@st_shaw I just never quite managed to get decent roaming set up in my home. I can cover the ground floor and the basement without any problems and I even have an Unifi Outdoor AP out in the garage for the garden. However, I still haven't found a way to cover the 1st floor. I simply don't have a good position for an AP there as I don't want a WiFi AP in the bedroom and the kids' rooms. Another issue I've been facing with the AC Pros is how to mount them. I can't mount them on the ceiling as I don't have cable channels and Ethernet wiring there (reinforced concrete floors / ceilings) and the AC Pros really only perform well when mounted on the ceiling.

I now have a Unifi Amplifi HD system deployed which covers the entire house without too many issues (except that the main router's power cable is way too short). Great app with lots of functionality. The downside is that due to the reinforced concrete floor, the Amplifi only gets a 2.4ghz signal to the basement. Amplifi will receive Ethernet backhaul capability with the next firmware update, which is awesome. But there's no way to reduce the TX power so far. I'll try the Orbi as well on the weekend, in the hopes that its proprietary tech allows a signal to get down in the basement. I'd like to be able to reduce the TX power as 100mw is total overkill for covering individual floors
Message 15 of 25
st_shaw
Master

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

 

@dawiz22 Sounds like a challenging setup.  My Ubiquiti setup is in a single-level home. I'm currently using my APs resting horizontally on top of furniture, and they work fine like that so far. For best coverage, you're going to want your radios on the top floor, but it sounds like you have some challenges there. 

 

I think you'll have good luck with Orbi.  My Orbi is in a 3,000SF home with a walk-out basement and two above-ground floors.  I initially had the Orbi router on the second floor and the satellite on the first floor.  Coverage was fine everywhere, including the basement.  I also measured 10 Mbps throughput with my MacBook outside, 500 feet away from the house.  Pretty incredible.  I just upgraded my DSL and had to move the Router to the basement.  The satellite is still on the first floor.  The satellite can synch OK through the floor and the coverage still seems good. I haven't retested the maximum outside range yet though.

Message 16 of 25
JMU1998
Luminary

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Now even Amplifi are going to offer wired backhaul why does Netgear always have to play catchup after taking the lead? Competition always see to fly past Netgear even if Netgear starts ahead, just poor feature set and slow Firmware release plagues Netgear everytime they put out something promising, Orbi still has a lot of potential but features Must improve wired backhaul is one of them now every competitor is offering it!

Message 17 of 25
dawiz22
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

well, we didn't anticipate the necessity for Wifi everywhere when our house was constructed. We have cat 6 ethernet wiring in every room, but we didn't put it in the ceilings (hallways etc.) where it would have been most useful. Unfortunately, in brick and concrete houses, it's almost impossible to retrofit ethernet cabling at new locations. I've just ordered a Ubiquiti Key controller, so I'll give this another go on the weekend before trying Orbi.

Message 18 of 25
dawiz22
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@JMU1998 I wouldn't necessarily call Unifi ahead with the Amplifi. It has some advantages (much better app) but the mesh points don't have ethernet ports, so in order to make use of the ethernet backhaul functionality (that is yet to be released), you need to buy additional routers. Also, I find the Amplifi mesh points extremely ugly - that's just my personal opinion, however. IMO they look like mini cell-towers (which they basically are, of course 🙂 The routers are pretty, though, and Unifi has big plans with them in terms of turning them into IoT hubs. We'll see where that's going. 

 

As for ethernet backhaul: I believe that's pretty useless unless you can also adjust the TX power. So in that respect, it's a half-baked solution at best if Amplifi can't deliver the latter as well. Orbi already has that - so if the ethernet backhaul would be added, it'd be the perfect product. 

Message 19 of 25
dawiz22
Star

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@st_shaw spent the entire afternoon setting up the Unifi cloud key and the network. Well, it was truly worth it: I now have full WiFi coverage in and around the house, using 4 AC Pro APs. Took me a long time to find the optimal channel and TX power combo but now it works and I'm happy. Especially since I was able to reduce RF exposure around the kids to an absolute minimum - except for the outdoor AP in the garage, everything runs at 10dbm and below.
Message 20 of 25
st_shaw
Master

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

@dawiz22 That's awesome!  Good for you. I really like my Ubiquiti WAP system.  I hope you like yours.

 

I also have an EdgeRouter, but that thing can be insanely complex to get setup. I'm not sure I would recommend that to anyone but a Linux guru.

Message 21 of 25
althea
Guide

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

I have separate "house" that requires an Ethernet connection to the network.
Can a second Orbi router be set up in AP/bridge mode and connected to the network via Ethernet? Will this work as an access point?
Message 22 of 25
rhester72
Virtuoso

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet


@althea wrote:
I have separate "house" that requires an Ethernet connection to the network.
Can a second Orbi router be set up in AP/bridge mode and connected to the network via Ethernet? Will this work as an access point?

No, it will appear and behave as a separate network, even if you use the same SSID.

 

Rodney

Message 23 of 25
althea
Guide

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Ok. I guess I'll have to move on to a different product.
Thank you very much for your help!
Message 24 of 25
althea
Guide

Re: Connect Satellite via Ethernet

Will it still act as a separate network I use a different access point (like maybe the Netgear WAC730) over Ethernet to the separate house?
Thanks again!
Message 25 of 25
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
  • 24 replies
  • 19305 views
  • 24 kudos
  • 11 in conversation
Announcements

Orbi WiFi 7