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Orbi stability and Sonos tips required


Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

Hi all,

I am in a ground floor flat which is an old building and quite spread out.  There have been dead spots in the past with wireless and I have used home plugs as a solution but have been more and more unhappy with this, especially in getting reliable streaming from my Sonos speakers.  I went with the Netgear Orbi because I wanted a system which I could plug Ethernet into on the satellites.  I initially went with the RBK53 which includes the RBR50 and 2 RBS50 devices.

When the system is working it is top notch.  I was getting consistent throughput at the other end of the flat from the wireless and I could stream through the Sonos via line-in on one of the speakers.  However, I found the connection from the router to the satellites to be unstable and would have disconnects, and if the system fell over or I restarted, it would be 50/50 as to whether I could get it all back up and running.

In the newest firmware that Netgear put out for this there was a feature where the satellites would show as disconnected and this was a help in trying to work out what was going on.  I believed that the distance between the RBR50 and the first RBS50 was causing a problem as I know there is a dead spot in-between the 2 units.  I therefore got an RBW30 from eBay and used that in the hallway to hopefully bridge the gap.  I found it not to help the situation though really and so guess it was a wasted purchase in a way.

Some issues I found that really helped me with the stability of the units was in turning the wireless on the Sonos units off.  This made the connection more stable on the Orbi satellites, but also, I was occasionally seeing issues where the satellites would connect to the network using the Sonos mesh wireless because that was connected via Ethernet and that was giving me very poor performance.

I have seen other people with similar issues regarding the Orbi satellites, and I guess my questions are am I going to have to put up with a system where if it restarts it’s going to take me a few attempts to get the connection up and running, or is there anything else I can look at?  One annoying thing is if the connectivity fails on the satellites, it still puts out a wireless signal, which effectively downs the devices that are using it.  It would be good if the signal shuts off when the connection dies, so I can at least troubleshoot it from a point that isn't near the RBR50 but gets fair wireless coverage from there.

Also, is there a way to identify the topology in use?  I don't believe at the current time my RBW30 is doing anything useful, but I want to identify if the other satellites are connecting via that due to the dead spot.


Model: RBK53| Orbi Router + 2 Satellites Orbi WiFi System
Message 1 of 6

Re: Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

Just wondering if you have these issues when the router and satellite are close together.  That’s the first thing I did was experiment with the distance between the router and satellite.  I don’t care how powerful and directional the Orbi is.  If the router and satellite cannot maintain a quality signal at speeds, your going to get erratic results.  I have mine separated by two floors, pretty open floor plan, rock solid.

Message 2 of 6

Re: Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

I have the following and have run several stress tests, streaming as much as I can to saturate the network.


8 Sonos units (3 PlayOne for Alexa)

3 Apple TVs,

1 Apple TV 4K

5 Webcams,

Lorex Security Cameras,

4 iPads,

3 iPhones,

ISY Home automation,

Insteon Home Automation (own mesh network),

Dish TV,



2 Logitech Harmony

1 MacPro

1 MacMini

1 Windows 10 Laptop

3 Amazon Echo Dots

12TB Synology NAS

Kodi Streaming

Digital Picture Frame

Epson 845 AIO Printer

Xbox 360


on the Network now, not an issue except for iPhone 6 getting stuck on 2.4Ghz occasionally.

Message 3 of 6

Re: Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

@adhodgson With Sonos you have two options: WiFi or Sonosnet.  I use Sonosnet with my Orbi.  I have 9 sonos devices and it works perfectly. You need to consider the following points.


1) WiFi--If you setup Sonos for WiFi, each Sonos device will connect to Orbi. If you want to use WiFi, you must never plug any Sonos device into any Ethernet connection, or the entire Sonos system will switch to Sonosnet.


2) Sonosnet--You should plug one, and only one, Sonos device into a wired Ethernet connection.  This will cause the Sonos to create a private mesh network on 2.4 GHz.  You must manually set the channels used by Sonos and by Orbi such that they do not overlap.  That usually means you must set Sonos to use channel 1 and set Orbi to use channel 11, or vice versa. This is the most robust solution, as Sonos creates a true mesh network. However, you must have a sufficient number of Sonos devices, and they must be placed such that they can connect to each other and form the mesh.


If you place Orbi and Sonos devices too close to each other, Sonos will stop working. Keep them separated by at least ~1-2m.


What are the dimensions of your flat and what are the walls made of?


Message 4 of 6

Re: Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

Thanks for the refresher.  This got me to reviewing my Sonos setup.  Everything is setup for SonosNet, but I can see the IPs that Orbi gave out as the router.  It should be that way, correct?

Message 5 of 6

Re: Orbi stability and Sonos tips required

Yes, each Sonos device will have an IP handed-out by your router.  Sonos bridges its private mesh network with your LAN.  That's why you can plug a device into the Ethernet port on any Sonos device and access your LAN from that device.  I have a printer, a weather station, and a thermostat controller plugged into a Sonos bridge.  (This bridging is also why you should not plug in more than one Sonos device.  You can potentially create a network loop and crash your entire LAN by doing that.)

Message 6 of 6
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