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Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

hi guys

 

i have started this post to clear up some misconceptions about the orbi system and where its aimed and what it can do

 

first what it can do

 

provide overall better wifi coverage by having the router and satellite located in different parts of the house and connected together by a dedicated 1733M 5 gig backbone

 

provide a single wireless transmission that covers both the 2.4 gig and 5 gig spectrum with a max sync rate of

 

2.4 gig - 400M

 

5 gig - 867M

 

provide parental control features via netgear's online  parental control system

 

provide vpn via openvpn

 

provide Ddns service

 

provide IPv6

 

provide traffic monitoring

 

provide basic firewall functionality

 

currently what it cant do

 

provide 3 gig wifi , its max connection rate is 867M

 

provide guess wifi access , this doesnt seem to be a consideration warrented to be implemented in the orbi

 

provide a mesh type topology network , at this stage the orbi is a star topology . Mesh topology is planned for future fw releases but TBA

 

provide an ethernet connection for its backhaul , again this is slated for future fw release but also TBA

 

provide comprehensive routing and firewall features , the orbi does have limited functionality but not to the extent as a top of the line stand alone router have

 

provide a wall mount , the design of the orbi is to be free standing and part of the furniture the best you can hope for is to build a shelf for it to stand on

 

provide soho / commercial grade access point control , where the orbi router is placed in AP mode its is just that a pure wireless access point , all router functionality will then be handled by an upstream router or gateway

 

provide the ability to have separate ssid names for the 2 bands as this would remove the functionality of its band steering and ap steering

 

 

---------------------------------

 

As far as i can tell the orbi system is aimed squarely at those that just want great wireless coverage and that it does quite well , it is lacking in features when compared to main line routers but that's because its aimed at those that dont  really care , i see this as the plug and play set who prefer to set and forget and have no great intrest in administration or control but as stated at the start just want better wifi and thats what the orbi system does and does it better than even the latest and greatest stand alone wireless router will do including the latest 2156M wave 2 routers

 

The orbi system is great at what it does and thats provide great wifi coverage everywhere in a normal house , i suggest anyone consider buying the orbi system ensure they have a good read of what it can and cant do as well as read reviews and blogs and make sure the capabilities of the orbi system match your expectations as its certainly not worth buying something and then expecting major changes to suit your needs

 

just my 2 cents but if it help someone make the right decision about weather to purchase the orbi system or not im glad i can help

 

pete

Message 1 of 33

Accepted Solutions

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

oh and i forgot

 

no usb functionality at this stage ether 

 

there is a long list of things that ether will be added or may be added but no real ETA on when or if they will be implemented , only time will tell 

 

pete

View solution in original post

Message 3 of 33

All Replies
DarrenM
Sr. NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Hello peteytesting 

 

Thanks for posting your thoughts on Orbi.

 

DarrenM

Message 2 of 33

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

oh and i forgot

 

no usb functionality at this stage ether 

 

there is a long list of things that ether will be added or may be added but no real ETA on when or if they will be implemented , only time will tell 

 

pete

Message 3 of 33
powrby4d
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

I have a question that might relate to the mesh topic. When I put the Orbi router into AP mode then what is the role of the satellite? Do I get extended coverage with both the router and satellites acting as switch and access points? Or does changing the router to AP mode somehow disable the functionality of the satellite? Everything is working fine when the router is in AP mode I just don't know if it is now just using the router instead of the satellite or whether it is now using both as APs since I don't need the routing functionality on the Orbi, what I really purchased it for was wifi performance and coverage.

Message 4 of 33

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise


@powrby4d wrote:

I have a question that might relate to the mesh topic. When I put the Orbi router into AP mode then what is the role of the satellite? Do I get extended coverage with both the router and satellites acting as switch and access points? Or does changing the router to AP mode somehow disable the functionality of the satellite? Everything is working fine when the router is in AP mode I just don't know if it is now just using the router instead of the satellite or whether it is now using both as APs since I don't need the routing functionality on the Orbi, what I really purchased it for was wifi performance and coverage.

 

 


hi

 

the sat operates the same wether the orbi router is in router mode or ap mode as atm it is just connecting back to the router via its 5 gig backhaul , it would be just the same if you could have ethernet connected the sat would work the same

 

so yes they still both work and both work as switches , all that happens is the routing functionality in the orbi router is bypassed and what ever you have the orbi router connected to the controls everything router and dhcp wise

 

pete

 

Message 5 of 33
powrby4d
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Thanks Pete for the reply. So when in AP mode does the router act as a second AP in tandem with the satellite to increase total WiFi coverage or does AP mode basically mean that it is acting as a switch for wired clients as well as a wireless bridge in the 1.7MHz band and only the satellite is providing wifi to connected devices?

Basically what I want to know is whether there is a wifi coverage advantage to running the router in AP mode or is that just a way of turning it into a switch for wired connections plus the satellites.  I'll be honest I put mine in AP mode and after a while had a lot of flaky behavior so I switched it back to router mode which seems more stable but when I turned off DHCP on the Orbi to get the addresses assigned by the uplinked router for a flat address space ( important for DIRECTV)  I could not get any connections to the Orbi and had to do a factory reset to get things running again temporarily  with segmented subnets.

 

Somjust trying to sort out if AP mode has a coverage advantage for connected devices or is basically "switch" mode since sooner or later I need a flat address space by either AP mode (not lucky so far) or disabling DHCP in router mode (also not lucky so far).  Thanks for the advice.

Message 6 of 33

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

hi powrby4d

 

yes when in ap mode all it does is bypass all router functionality , the router and sat wifi work exactly the same as do the ethernet ports

 

the wifi will work the same in ether router mode or ap mode for both the router and sat and ethernet ports

 

you cant just turn of the dhcp in the orbi as you still have a dual nat situation and is why your devices will be playing up

 

so its ether bridge the upstream modem or router and let the orbi do the routing and wifi etc

 

or

 

leave the upstream router working as it is and set the orbi system in AP mode

 

the performance of the wifi should not change in ether mode , just make sure the upstream router has its wifi disabled if you are using the orbi in the same space

 

hope that helps

 

pete

Message 7 of 33
itGeeks
Apprentice

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Just to add and clear up what Pete said, As he said the WiFi part of Orbi works the same regardless of 'mode' and normaly when you put a router into AP/Bridge mode it automaticly disables the DHCP/Firewall and routing in faver of allowing your primary router handle those functions, In most cases you "never" want to have 2 or more DHCP servers on the same LAN and in most standard cases is there is no need for it. I don't own Orbi yet but I will shortly for testing and to compair to Luma that I am currently testing to see what one is going to land a new home at my daughters new house so I can confirm for you that setting Orbi in AP/Bridge mode will automaticly disable DHCP but it should, Just check this to make sure DHCP is disabled..

 

Hope this helps....

Message 8 of 33
itGeeks
Apprentice

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

I am sorry I am a tad bit confused on what your asking and your setup so I have some questions below-

 

1. What do you mean by "you need a flat address space"?

2. By the sound of your trouble it almost sounds to mean the you ISP in this case DIRECTV has only provided a modem and not a modem/router combo, Could you please provide the make and model of the ISP supplied equipment?

 

3. How is the main Orbi connected to your network?

Message 9 of 33
powrby4d
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

No, sorry, to be unclear just was trying to be brief. DirecTV when streaming will check to see if all the devices doing streaming are on the same subnet as the receiver. If not then they assume you are not at your home network and are streaming outside your home and they will refuse to stream the content. This may be changing as they have more competition in the streaming market now, but in general their unrestricted streaming infrastructure is designed for in home use and after much frustration trying to deal with mysterious messages from Directv stating that the "device must be on the same network as the receiver"  when everything in fact was on the same network, I figured out that all wired and wireless devices must be on the same subnet as well as conform to some kind of bizarre and misguided latency algorithm that they use that can yield differing results between wired and wireless devices. My receivers are wired and of course most of the streaming devices are wireless. Not to mention that I want to look at one router client list to view all the devices on the network , bandwidth consumption, firewall rules, etc except for the those bridged in with VPN (different topic).  In my case I have a multi-WAN router with cable, DSL, and 3G backup that I use for ISP service from three different providers. This router provides DNS and DHCP services for the entire network, including multiple uplinked switches at the access layer. It does not do any WiFi.  I have multiple wired access points for this network that I am attempting to replace with a consiolidated Orbi system to take advantage of the wireless backhaul and more aesthetic appearance of the satellites so that I have more flexibility for AP placement.  So I need everything on the network to delegate or inherit DNS and DHCP from the main router. My question was whether putting the Orbi router into AP mode actually gave it AP functionality as would be the case with most home wifi enabled routers but now I understand that the "system" is in AP mode not the router, which in AP mode is acting as a switch for wired connections and the satellite. I can also see that support for wired badkhaul will be really useful for Orbi since mine had trouble syncing with the satellite at about 30 feet line of sight so that will be a big improvement for the future to expand coverage with satellites beyond the range of the wireless backhaul. Sorry for the long expalnation and thanks everyone for the help and interest.

Message 10 of 33
sinyc
Aspirant

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

1) Stupid question. Will the Orbi Router work just by itself without any satellites? I have a fairly small place (1600sq ft) 

 

2) If i have and Orbi and 2 satellites for my office will it work if the internet incoming cable hence the router is in the middle of the office? Netgear website suggest the satellite should be in the center of the building 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 11 of 33
cue003
Apprentice

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

@sinyc
1) yes the router will work by itself. If you aren't going to grow later it might be better both performance and cost wise to use a different solution for a single powerful router solution

2) having the router in the middle and satellites in various directions communicating back to the centralized router is the best and preferred solution since Orbi is a star topology vs the completion which utilizes mesh topologies. Netgear suggestion On their website is primarily for a router and 1 satellite configuration.
Message 12 of 33
sjoberge
Aspirant

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Thank you, Petey, for this very helpful post!  Rumor has it that a firmware update has added a guest network option.  However, I've also heard that the guest network functionality is locked to full access - thereby nullifying any benefit to having a guest network.  Is this true, in your experience?

 

Also, are there any other updates to what Orbi can/can't do since your post?

 

Thank you, once again!

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 13 of 33
AvalonNYC
Aspirant

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Pete - 

I don't understand. On ‎2016-09-26 11:35 PM you said: " Orbi can't "provide soho / commercial grade access point control , where the orbi router is placed in AP mode its is just that a pure wireless access point , all router functionality will then be handled by an upstream router or gateway"

 

But hear you say it can be configured as an Access Point.

 

So, we can or cannot leave our current router doing routing, DHCP, port forwarding, firewalling, etc, and just have the Orbi system function as WI-FI access points?

 

Thanks!

Message 14 of 33

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

the orbi can work in 1 of 2 ways

 

router mode

 

where the orbi controls all connected clients and its router does all the work eg provides dhcp and firewalling etc etc

 

access point mode

 

where the router functions of the orbi are bypassed and the router becomes a wireless access point the sat connects to the orbi router as normal

 

in this mode the functions such as DHCP, port forwarding, firewalling, etc are handled by an upstream router

 

see

 

https://kb.netgear.com/31218/How-do-I-configure-my-Orbi-router-to-act-as-an-access-point?cid=wmt_net...

 

--------------

 

the issue is you can not have the sats connected by ethernet and used as wireless access points , the sats must still connect by its 5 gig 1733M backhaul but they still do act as access points connected to the orbo router in AP mode

Message 15 of 33
pminc
Aspirant

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Hi all, this thread is very informative, thank you. I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post my question, but it seems to be a related subject:

 

Context: My team works in a shared space with a single modem and router with slow speeds and spotty connectivity depending on where you're located in the building. I'd like to purchase the Orbi setup to enable my team to access higher speed connections without loss of coverage. However the other tenants in my space have no need for this enhanced connection, and thus will not chip in for the system. Therefore I'd like to setup a private Orbi network for my team to provide them with the maximum bandwidth, and keep the other building tenants on their old router. Is this possible?

 

My understanding of this thread is that it is possible, by connecting the modem to the Orbi router, then hard-wiring the old router to the Orbi router. I would use the Orbi router in the Router Mode because the old router is unreliable. But then I'd setup a new network SSID and PW for the Orbi network and leave the old router network the same as before for the other tenants.

 

Would this work? And is it the best setup for the context outlined above?

 

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Message 16 of 33
st_shaw
Master

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Should work. Might cause issues for people on old router, due to double NAT. If so, you could set old router to AP mode or just move all to Orbi. 

Message 17 of 33
goswh
Tutor

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Item #2 on the can't do list is now incorrect. Guest Wireless Access is now possible.

 

Just bought the 3 pack (router and two satellites) from Costco online for 499.00 to replace the 6 Luma devices I have (rather, had) setup.

 

I'm running my Orbi's in AP mode with a Netgear FVS336Gv3 as my firewall/DHCP server, etc., so far, so good.

 

Setup the units and ran through the update. Current version as of 2017-03-24 is 1.8.0.6 and Guest Wireless Access is there. See screenshot at the end of this post.

 

Release notes for the Router/Satellites is here: https://kb.netgear.com/000037844/RBR50-RBS50-Firmware-Version-1-8-0-6 

 

Reading through other forum posts seems to indicate that Guest Wireless Access has been in the Orbi since Firmware 1.4.0.16. The Release Notes site page (https://kb.netgear.com/31580/RBR50-RBS50-Firmware-Version-1-4-0-16) was updated on 2016-12-02, so it's been out for 4 months now. The orginal poster may want to update his original list. 

 

I read through a few previous release notes and read this nugget for the 1.5.0.12 release: 

 

  • Allows users to enable or disable the “Allow guests to see each other and access my local network”  feature in AP mode.

This is also shown in the screenshot below. 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.57.21 PM.png

 

 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 18 of 33

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

unfortunatly you can edit posts here after a day or so , so unless the mods can do something i cant change it

 

thats client isolation enable / disable and should be part of any ap mode

 

 

Message 19 of 33
NETthisGEAR
Apprentice

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

@sinyc 1)Yeah, the Orbi will certainly work by itself. Every device alone will give you 2000-2500sqft(obstruction depending). Obviously a satellite will not work without the base station.

 

I think I would rather get a Nighthawk R9000 for more functionality in the 1600sqft, if money wasn't a thing(obviously it is overkill in so many ways). Otherwise I'd get the Nighthawk R7000., but the Orbi is certainly easy to use.

 

2)You will want to place the router in the middle and the satellites strategically for the best performance.

Message 20 of 33
Jryan619
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

 New user here, I just bought the two pack RBR50 and RBS50. I just had a question, why would you buy the Orbi and than not use it as a router? I thought the "magic" of this thing was all of the bands and how the router controls and disperses them. Also could you not just as easily leave the Orbi as the router and make your old router an access point? 

Message 21 of 33
st_shaw
Master

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise


@Jryan619 wrote:

 New user here, I just bought the two pack RBR50 and RBS50. I just had a question, why would you buy the Orbi and than not use it as a router? I thought the "magic" of this thing was all of the bands and how the router controls and disperses them. Also could you not just as easily leave the Orbi as the router and make your old router an access point? 


You are right that the magic of Orbi is in the wireless radios, and how Orbi uses them to cover a large area with WiFi.  These are not router functions though.

 

Your concept of what a router does versus an access point is off.  Google "access point versus router" and read up on it. There is some basic info at this link: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/107106

Message 22 of 33
Jryan619
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

I will read up. The reason I wanted to know is because I have a TM-AC1900, which is actually a ASUS-AC1900 router but has been branded by t-mobile and also has their own firmware modification that puts priority on a wifi call. The reason I bought the Orbi is because we have almost 25 items and now we are streaming 4k and UHD. I was just thinking it might not hurt if I add that in the chain. My real concern is that since t-mobile made a change to firmware they have not had updates to it in over a year, while ASUS has had a bunch of security and functionality updated. The ASUS firmware is no longer recognized now that t-mobile messed with it.
Message 23 of 33
st_shaw
Master

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

@Jryan619 Sounds good.  Most "wireless routers" are actually a combination of a wireless access point, router, DHCP server, DNS server, and firewall.  Running Orbi in access point mode will let another device handle everything but the first function.

 

If you have an existing router with special features, then you should keep the router and run Orbi in access point mode.  That's how I use my Orbi. You get full access to the discriminating features of Orbi (WiFi coverage) in access point mode.

 

You should turn off WiFi on your existing router though, if it has WiFi.

Message 24 of 33
Jryan619
Guide

Re: Before you buy the orbi system - what you need to know performance and feature wise

Understood. Only problem is that the t-mobile branded version has not had any software or firmware updates in over a year, and the exact same ASUS model has had several including critical security updates. Wouldn't I be just as good buying another satellite? I have full coverage now, and part of the reason for Orbi was to reduce clutter. It's not about the money it's about making my life easier. My new Set top box for Spectrum Cable is about the thickness of a deck of cards, and as wide as three packs. It has Velcro to stick to back of TV, but best of all it has a built in 3.1 doc cable modem. To me that is worth gold, getting two items off the shelf into one high performance gadget you don't see.
Message 25 of 33
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