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

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Optimize Orbi Mesh System

jjodod1
Aspirant

Optimize Orbi Mesh System

Spoiler
I have an Orbi RBR-40 with 2 satellites. My home is about 4,000 sq.ft. With 3 floors (Basement, 1st and 2nd. I just switched ISPs to Verizon (from Xfinity). My connection speeds are 300/300 Mbps. The RBR-40 is acting as the modem and is in the garage. Satellite 1 is on the 1st floor about 20 feet away through 2 walls. The 2nd satellite is in the basement about 30 feet away.

Although the connection speed is very fast, the wireless speed is much less - maybe 50-60 Mbps, devices on the 2.4 band even slower. I researched this support forum and elsewhere for settings to optimize my configuration without success. I'm wondering if I need new or additional hardware to get the most out my new FIOS set up.

Any thoughts?
Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 6
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Optimize Orbi Mesh System


@jjodod1 wrote:
Spoiler
I have an Orbi RBR-40 with 2 satellites. My home is about 4,000 sq.ft. With 3 floors (Basement, 1st and 2nd. I just switched ISPs to Verizon (from Xfinity). My connection speeds are 300/300 Mbps. The RBR-40 is acting as the modem and is in the garage. Satellite 1 is on the 1st floor about 20 feet away through 2 walls. The 2nd satellite is in the basement about 30 feet away.

Although the connection speed is very fast, the wireless speed is much less - maybe 50-60 Mbps, devices on the 2.4 band even slower. I researched this support forum and elsewhere for settings to optimize my configuration without success. I'm wondering if I need new or additional hardware to get the most out my new FIOS set up.

First a little terminology: Orbi RBR40 is not a modem.  It is a router.  There is a good chance that this setup actually has two routers (FIOS and Orbi).  This will work just fine for many users, but there are specific situations where having two routers interferes with applications.

https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT 

 

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to figure out where WiFi coverage is needed and place WiFi access points to give the best coverage to areas with greatest need.  If the basement is where most of the WiFi devices are, then having two access points in the basement might be a good idea.  My experience indicates that this is seldom the case.

 

Depending on the actual dimensions of each floor, one access point close to the center of each floor might be a better solution.  In addition, connecting the satellites to the router with ethernet cable will result in higher speeds.

 

The "good news" is that Orbi satellites are portable.  It is a simple matter to pick up that basement satellite and move it to other locations and see what happens.

 

What I did was install a (free) Heat Map app on an Android tablet, make drawings of each floor, and then walk around measuring the WiFi signal at various locations.  This revealed, for example, a brick chimney inside the walls that was totally blocking WiFi in a part of the house where my laptop sat.  Moved the desk to the other side of the room, and suddenly the laptop ran a lot faster.

 

Of course, a bigger, better WiFi system will produce more coverage and greater speed. It will also cost quite a bit.

Message 2 of 6
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Optimize Orbi Mesh System

Message 3 of 6
jjodod1
Aspirant

Re: Optimize Orbi Mesh System

There is no other modem. The Orbi is directly connected (Ethernet) to Fios. Verizon does rent and sell a modem, but both Verizon and Netgear support say the RBR40 can also be used as a modem.

Message 4 of 6
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Optimize Orbi Mesh System


@jjodod1 wrote:

There is no other modem. The Orbi is directly connected (Ethernet) to Fios. Verizon does rent and sell a modem, but both Verizon and Netgear support say the RBR40 can also be used as a modem.


If someone at Netgear Support says the RBR40 is a modem, there is no polite say to say, they are full of s**t.

Notice on page 1 of the RBR40 Product Data Sheet, "comes with Orbi WiFi router and satellite". (no mention of "modem.")  On page 4, "What do I need for Orbi to work? Connect to existing modem or gateway."

https://www.netgear.com/images/datasheet/orbi/RBK40.pdf 

The FIOS box is a combination modem/router/WiFi device.

 

I mentioned the terminology issue because (a) referring to devices incorrectly can confuse people trying to answer the question, and (b) to point out the potential problems of having two routers.

 

None of this has anything to do with the central issues:

  • What is the optimal way to arrange three Orbi units in a 4,000 sq. ft. building with three occupied floors?
  • Will this Orbi configuration be sufficient, or would it be worth investing in a more expensive system?

Sorry for the rant.  It's late.

Message 5 of 6
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Optimize Orbi Mesh System

FYI, IF Orbi products begin with a Rbk then this will always be a ROUTER product only. No modem. NG has Orbi systems with built in modems, that are Cbr models. Also anything C, CM, D or DM are NGs Cable or Dsl modem product lines only. Any RBK system requires an ISP interface device such has a modem, ONT or Switch iwth a RJ45 ethernet port to get it's ISP services from. 


@jjodod1 wrote:

There is no other modem. The Orbi is directly connected (Ethernet) to Fios. Verizon does rent and sell a modem, but both Verizon and Netgear support say the RBR40 can also be used as a modem.


 

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