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RBK50 or MK63

alanbc
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RBK50 or MK63

I have an Orbi RBK50 and satellite setup that's worked pretty well for a year or so, although I've never been completely happy with the admin UI and particularly annoyed that the UI doesn't always show all the connected devices (apparently a common and never corrected problem).

 

It's pretty much successfully managed a dozen Wifi cameras and two dozen "smart house" IoT devices and a couple of Android tablets with few issues.

 

Today though, the unit refused to allow an admin login!  Nothing changed, worked fine yesterday, today, nada.  Even a reset attempt didn't actually reset it.

 

So down to the local electronics store and picked up an MK63 system for a really good price.

 

Returning home, I gave the Orbi one last chance and what do you know, it worked!  Just leaving it alone for 4 hours "fixed" it.

 

Now I'm stumped.  Do I open the MK63 and go to a fair bit of trouble configuring it (there's a LONG list of DHCP reservations)?  Or do I return it for a full refund?

 

I'm happy to keep it .. the price was right .. but I hate to "downgrade" in terms of quality, if you know what I mean, and the Orbi _seems_ like a higher quality unit.

 

Any thoughts appreciated.

 

 

 

So now I'm stumped

Message 1 of 8

Accepted Solutions

Re: RBK50 or MK63

You could start by working out why the Orbi fell over. Begin by telling people what modem/gateway/ONT sits between the router and the Internet.

 

If you can work out solve the original problem, and if you can fix it, you can decide whether to return the MK63 system.

 

Otherwise it is your call.

 

View solution in original post

Message 2 of 8

All Replies

Re: RBK50 or MK63

You could start by working out why the Orbi fell over. Begin by telling people what modem/gateway/ONT sits between the router and the Internet.

 

If you can work out solve the original problem, and if you can fix it, you can decide whether to return the MK63 system.

 

Otherwise it is your call.

 

Message 2 of 8
alanbc
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Re: RBK50 or MK63

Michael, thank you for the reply.

 

I didn't add the hardware between the Orbi and the internet because it wasn't relevant.  The problem occurred with that hardware removed, with no cable in the WAN connector.

 

The issue was that I could not log in to the admin web console!  From the WIRED machine I routinely log in from once every week or two.

 

Power cycling (with a long delay) several times didn't fix it.

 

And the unit wouldn't reset either.  Pin in the hole "press", pin in the hole and hold, pin in the hole and power on, pin in the hole and hold hold hold hold .. no reset.  The unit continued to not allow an admin login.  But WiFi worked after all reset attempts, as did routing and DHCP.  Most everything worked in fact, except the admin login.

 

However, the point is now moot.  I've returned the MK63; I realized it was a great price on something that wasn't what I wanted.  Instead, I'll look to spend a bit more and buy a 6E device, although almost certainly not one from Netgear.

 

Thanks again.

Message 3 of 8
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBK50 or MK63

Agree completely that the Orbi router can be managed without an internet connection (and also that that many people are finding they now have devices which support WiFi6 - and sometimes 6E.  Although, none of those existing cameras and IoT devices do.)

 

In case this question appears again, it would be useful to know:

  • Which firmware release is on this Orbi system? (People are reluctant to investigate problems with older firmware.)
  • Is the access by IP address of the router or using the goofy URL (http://orbilogin.net or similar)?
  • Which web browser is used to access the router?

Thanks

Message 4 of 8
alanbc
Star

Re: RBK50 or MK63

You're right, nothing I have will make use of WiFi 6.  WiFi 6 was chosen as a base just because WiFi 6 devices all claim to support more IoT things than older routers, and I have a lot of WiFi connected things.  And almost all of them just randomly drop connections to the Orbi.  Power cycle the device and it reconnects.  Out of 50 or so devices, I have to power cycle about one a day.  It's EXTREMELY frustrating.

 

And it's not like I'm bombarded with WiFi signals.  I live in the forest, far from my neighbours.  My tablet finds two other networks .. if it finds them at all .. both with 1 bar at best.

 

Nor is it just the cameras or just the IoT devices.  I put my tablet down, come back an hour later and it PROBABLY still has a connection .. but may not.

 

So WiFi 6 is the base for a new purchase, and 6E is a possibility, just because it's newer hardware for not much more money.

 

Firmware is 2.7.4.24, and the router claims this is the newest firmware.

 

Admin access is by IP address.

 

Browser is Chrome on the tablet, Chrome and Edge on the desktop.  

 

For both machines and all three browsers, yesterday morning, an attempt to connect to 192.168.2.1 (the Orbi) returned a "Connection Refused" message.  Repeated retries gave the same answer.  After reboots and reset attempts, still all I got was "Connection Refused".  Let it sit for two hours, one more try, "Connection Refused".  Clear cache etc., "Connection Refused."

 

So screw it, off to buy another router.  Came home four hours later (I did say I lived in the forest .. civilization is a long ways away), sat down at the desktop, clicked "Reload" .. again .. on the Chrome page, and it WORKED!  I got an ID and password prompt, just as expected.

 

And it's still working now.

 

But I'm kinda done with these units.  I'm too old to put up with unreliable connections AND a UI that may or may not tell me every device that's connected AND firmware that won't allow different names for the 2.4 and 5.0 networks AND a UI that won't sort! by IP address AND firmware that has locked me out once and may very well do so again AND ...

 

As much as I like the hardware design of the Orbi units .. they look VERY nice indeed .. I don't trust them.  Like I say, I'm an old man.  I don't have so many days left that I can afford to waste any screwing around with sketchy network devices.

 

 

Message 5 of 8

Re: RBK50 or MK63


@alanbc wrote:

 

I didn't add the hardware between the Orbi and the internet because it wasn't relevant. 

 


Sigh. I have lost count of how many times people have claimed that, only to be proved wrong.

 

Troubleshooting is a process of working through the obvious things that crop up most often. I started with the first. The nest is , as @CrimpOn has suggested. the firmware.

 

Netgear's header tries to guide people through the process by suggesting useful details:

 

 


Subject (Include model number and brief summary)
Model (Recommended - Helps the community give the best answers)
Body (Include additional detail including model version, firmware, OS and environment where relevant.)

They are there for a good reason.

 

 

Message 6 of 8

Re: RBK50 or MK63


@alanbc wrote:

Firmware is 2.7.4.24, and the router claims this is the newest firmware.

 

 


Another unwise assumption made all too often.

 

That is an unreliable test if you used the Nighthawk app or a web browser and the graphical user interface (GUI).

 

They can miss updates, especially when you are a long way behind the latest.

 

The best way to check is to look at the GUI or the Router Information page in the Nighthawk App and check the firmware version reported there. Then visit the support pages for your device and to look at the library of available updates. There may be a newer version there.

 

Support | NETGEAR

Feed in your model number and look for firmware for your device.

RBR50 / RBS50 Firmware Version 2.7.5.4 - NETGEAR Support

 

 

 

Message 7 of 8
alanbc
Star

Re: RBK50 or MK63

Well, as all troubleshooting attempts were attempted with the WAN connected and also disconnected (exactly the same attempts) and since all attempts resulted in precisely the same thing (no change, i.e., no access to the web page or SSH command line), I feel pretty safe in saying that the hardware on the WAN side was not relevant.

 

Again though, my original post was not a troubleshooting request for the Orbi, it was a question about the relative quality of the Orbi and Nethawk, and the differences between them.

 

These questions are now moot.  The Nethawk has been returned, my old Asus installed in place of the Orbi and several new Mesh devices are on the way for examination (the local computer guys being very accommodating), a new Asus pair and a TPLink pair.

 

Thanks to all for their help.

Message 8 of 8
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