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Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
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Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

Sparty93
Aspirant

Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

I wanted to give a bit of insight into my WiFi Upgrade over the past couple of weeks. I moved to a new house (live in Melbourne Australia) a few months back. It is a double fronted older victorian with a large extension off the back.  The house is quite long 200+ feet front to back. My cable modem comes into the back of the house where there is built in ethernet (this does not go the the older front of the house). Connection is 125 Mb Down / 2.5Mb up. I want to get full ehternet like speed in the front of the house where my iMac workstation will be. 

 

When I moved in, I setup my old system which has been rock solid and worked ok in the new house as well.  I have an AirPort Extreme and use powerline networking to link to two Airport Express in the middle and front of the house.  Powerline can only get about 35Mb, so the front 2/3s of the house had stable but middling performance.  The issue is I want my new iMac in the front of the house which is my workstation, connected not only to the Internet but my Drobo and other stuff in the back of the house. BTW, the Apple networking gear is rock solid - a shame they appear to have gotton out of the business.

 

So after much research, it came done to a Velop 3 node or an Orbi 5bk50 (2 node - Australia does not sell any three node). The deciding factor was that the Orbi could only do star (Or so I thought) and no ehternet backhaul. Went with the Velop. Setup the Velop and performance at first seemed ok, nearly double the Apple \ powerline setup so around 70Mb in the middle of the house. Ah, then the frustration set in. Sometimes 20Mb, sometimes 70Mb, sometimes nothing. Started to move the nodes around, but you are flying beyond completely blind. The darn thing tells you absolutely nothing. You can't see what nodes clients are connecting to, can't see what nodes are connecting to each other. You can't control or see ANYTHING! I simply could not troubleshoot or optimize in any way.  Just blind luck - was the mesh network not getting a solid link, were the clients connecting to 2.4Ghz? 5Ghz? Even if I could figure out what was going on, no way to fix it. Sure, if I were just surfing the web, there was no dead zones and decent coverage, but this was certainly worse than my Apple setup and did not come close to my ultimate goal of giving me Ethernet like speeds in the front of the house. 

 

Frustrated, I started looking at Orbi again (and Ubiquity). Two big hurdles, star topology, no ethernet backhaul.  No matter how good it might be, I was pretty confident it was not going to get rock solid ethernet like speeds in the front of the house with two nodes. Then I say the 2.0.0.74 firmware update had brought DaisyChain! This might possibly work. I bought two RBK50s (unfortunately, AU does not sell an independent RBS50 or a three node kit 😞 Hooked it all up, simple. Went to the front of the house and - 35Mb - darn. But wait, the Orbi actually lets you see what the heck is going on. Sure enough, I was connecting to the 2.4ghz band. Played around for a while and realized the issue was the 2.4Ghz stickiness.

 

That is good info which now I can try to address. I assumed the Orbi backhaul 5Ghz connection could not make the jump from the middle of my house SBS50 (which is actually closer to the back) to the front another daisychained SBS50. This meant my two SBS50s were fairly close, about 30 feet and two walls. I moved it all the way to the front of the house (100 feet and 4 walls). OMG, when I stood in the room with the daisychained SBS50 nearly 200+ feet and 6 walls from the RBR50, I was getting my full 125Mb - zero degredation.  Woohoo. The sepration of the SBS units by min 50 feet also helped with switching between nodes.

 

But in the next few hours, I realized the darn 2.4Ghz connection would pick up too often given how far apart the SBS units were and the iPhone would try to hold the connection. Hmm - Lower the 2.4Ghz power. I set the 2.4Ghz power down to 25%. Now, the iPhone will switch within 30seconds of getting near another node to 5Ghz. It is lioke magic. I am getting 125Mb in the whole house rock solid, all the time.  One room in the middle of the two SBS50s sometimes will use 2.4Ghz and get about 45Mb on my iPhone, but all the Mac and windows laptops pull in the 5Ghz and get 125Mb. Best of all, I am getting nearly 350Mb in the front room on the LAN. Latency is 8ms in the front room over the daisychain.  I literally don't think I now need any ethernet backhaul.  

 

My point is the Orbi is incredibly powerful, and gave me the information to get the best setup for my house.  The Velop might have been able to do this (I doubt it now because I don't think the backhaul on the mesh is nearly as capable and is not dedicated, but even if it could I would have never been able to have the information to get it done). You do need to think about and tweak for your phsical layout - but this is a massive benefit if you are trying to extract near ethernet speeds overa big distance.  If I just brought home the Orbi, plugged it in and tested, It would have been ok, but not near the full crazy potential this thing has.  

 

One comment for NetGear - Please make the RBS50 available standalone in AU! I see in the next few weeks the RBS40 will be made avaiable, why not the RBS50? I had to in the end buy two RBK50s and will now try to sell the RBR50 on ebay. 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 9
Sparty93
Aspirant

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

Just to clarify as I have not seen many posts on this and no real data yet.  From what I can see, DaisyChain has very, very little degradation on the speeds of the backhaul. I did not do extensive detailed testing, but my setup is RBR50 --> (65 feet, 1 door) RBS50 --> (100+ feet a few walls) --> RBS50. My internet ping times are all sub 8ms when attached to and node. My Internet speed when connected at 5Ghz to any node is the full cable modem wired potential of 125Mb down / 2.5Mb up.  No drops, rock solid for about a week.  I have about 20 devices connected at any given time (about 7 or 8 wired and the rest Wifi). 

 

If anyone wants more info or would like me to check something especially regarding the DaisyChain setup, let me know. Cheers

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 2 of 9
truefan34
Tutor

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

that's great news, glad you found a solution.

 

Can the power be lowered even more for the 2.4 ghz?

Message 3 of 9
JMU1998
Luminary

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

Wish we had the option to disable 2.4GHz completely 

Message 4 of 9
Sparty93
Aspirant

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

Can't go lower than 25%, so essentailly that means you can't turn off 2.4Ghz. I know that there are command lines to setup seperate 2.4 and 5 Ghz SSIDs. This could be a solution for some instances. In my case, the 2.4Ghz at 25% seems to achieve the outcome I am after, which is switch to 5Ghz relatively fast, but make sure in a few odd spots in the house, just seamlessly continue coverage at 2.4Ghz. Between messing with location and transmit power, I have a good outcome for my layout. In other cases, I could see where you could get stuck. If my house was actually 30 - 40 feet shorter, it might have been tricky (a bit too small for 3 nodes and a bit to big to have stong 5Ghz coverage everywhere). I might have had to have tried the split SSIDs then.  Seems if you think about what you are trying to achieve, there is enough flexibility there to make it work how you want. 

 

If they add ethernet backhaul and the ability to have seperate SSIDs in the interface, they will be there.  The underlying power of the radios and backhaul in particular is impressive. 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 5 of 9

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

i can tell you now separate ssid's aint going to happen , ethernet backhaul is just a matter of time

 

Message 6 of 9
Sparty93
Aspirant

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

That's fine, I don't need or really want seperate SSIDs, but I really think NetGear can have their cake and eat it too. They can easily hide the complexity and make the system operate like the other mesh networks like Google, Velop, Ero, etc. The mobile app is the best example, it is just like the Velop - simple and straight forward way to get a blanket of decent WiFi covereage in minutes. But they can then unlock the power of the system in advanced settings via web interface - they are clearly already doing this compared to all the other mesh systems on the market. Not sure why seperate SSIDs is sacred compared to adjusting radio power, controlling topology, setting up ethernet backhauls, etc. It's not a technical reason, so in the end it is just a marketing decision. Anyway, the point is moot as the radios and 5Ghz backhaul at the core is impressive, DaisyChain is implemented, decent control (i.e. transmit power) and information is implemented, ethernet backhaul is coming, and seperate SSIDs is a few command lines away. Great system for many situations. 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 7 of 9
ztevie
Guide

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

Glad to hear a success story among all the problem threads here!
Be sure to update this thread in a while, regarding stability of your system...
Would be really interesting to hear Netgear explain why 2.4 GHz band can not be disabled?
Message 8 of 9
Sparty93
Aspirant

Re: Wow - Orbi is unbelievable! with some tweaks

I’ll post back in 2 or 3 weeks. Cheers
Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 9 of 9
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