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Apprentice

How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring a l

How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring the phenominal number of users in this forum having issues. Those issues are real and sooner or later everyone is going to have them based on their needs (as it seems like with many users running fine for 6 months or so). ORBI is is a premium system and unless you have a box full of $$ sitting somewhere to buy gadgets, you bought ORBI for multi-streaming-devices (10+) and corner to corner stable WIFI. Both of which had failed by Netgear firmware. Don't take me wrong, ORBI hardware is still top notch and just need a good dedicated serious team of software devs and QA to do the right thing. I am a solutions architect myself and knows that the best solution is the one that fits your client needs and that may not always be the latest and greatest.

 

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-mesh-router,review-5191.html

Model: RBK44| Orbi AC2200 WiFi System, RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 10
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Luminary
Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

I'd like to tackle the subject line. I believe I know why they are getting rave reviews. There are three reasons;

 

(1) They pay for the profession ones and work like crazy to SEO optimize them. The most recent example is this absurd review by SF girl, what basically says "they're pretty". The product bugs are unlikely to be noticed under short reviewer tests (See my post about how to reliably reproduce the backhaul issue). And, you can kind of sweep the more minor stuff under the rug  (e.g. the lack of ability to separate 2.4 and 5Ghz SSIDs, the fact that their new "wired backhaul" feature just doens't work).

 

Also, with most reviewer forums, they moderate the posts. In the case of the SF girl review I mentioned earlier, negative posts about the Orbi where removed. Notice what happened when that wasn't the case on the Netgear Forum

 

(2) Most end users don't remember to change their reviews on whatever site they bought it on once it stops working. As you mentioned, most people will realize that their network problems are caused by their Orbi in about 6 months. They tend to review products within 2-10 days. They don't go back later.

 

That said, an astonishing 20%+ of users did provide 1 star reviews for the RBK53 system on Amazon. However, due to Amazon's ranking system, it still retains a 4 star rating.

 

(3) Intentisional confusion added by Netgear (and all too often, Netgear fanboys) whenever problems are posted in some public forum. When Orbi problems are pointed out, they are often brought up by users with varying degrees of comfortibility with networking and wifi specifically. This leaves the situation wide open for people to post illogical responses to the problems or claim that the problem (as the poster described it) doesn't exist (the famed "works for me!" post). This adds doubt to the issues when they are brought up. Stopping them from gaining traction.

 

 

Anyway, my 2c.

Model: RBK53| Orbi Router + 2 Satellites Orbi WiFi System
Message 2 of 10
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Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

Hi,

 

I won't - and can't argue against your points, but you will have to take into account, that most often, the vendors' forums, like this one are populated by two kind of people. Geeks/Nerds, who want to stay on top on any beta firmware any vendor might be offering and then the people, who are having issues with their product.

 

Luckily,  I am able to count myself to the first category. I am running a RBK40 myself and I am "managing" two other Orbi systems (RBK40/RBK53), where none of those three shows any issue or is acting weird. I have been following these discussions since Jan. and all of "my" systems simply work - and they operate all on the latest FW 2.1.2.18.

 

I really do think, that there is something broken in the Orbi firmware, but for some reason over here in Europe, things don't seem to be nearly as bad as in the US.

 

Just my 2c, as well.

Model: RBK40| Orbi AC2200 WiFi System
Message 3 of 10
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Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

Every mesh wifi product sold on Amazon has pretty much the same percentage of people that love it (80 to 90 percent) and people that hate it and will never buy another product from that company again (10 to 20 percent). As stated by others, this forum attracts mostly the people having a problem while the silent majority are blissfully unaware of this discussion.

 

If the problem was just down to a flaky backhaul implementation we would be able to describe a usage scenario that would always work but there are people that cant maintain a connection with their ISP, cant maintain a reliable device connection to an Orbi. It frustrates me that we cant figure out why some people with large complex and diverse Orbi deployments have a problem-free experience and others want to tar and feather the Orbi product people. 

 

Message 4 of 10
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Guru

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-MR-2-1-issues-update-3-9-18/m-p/1522633#M25238


My Setup (Cable 900Mbps/50Mbps)>CAX80>XR450 v2.3.2.106(Router Mode)>RBK853 v3.2.11.2(AP Mode)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, RBK853, R7800, R7960P,
EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 5 of 10
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Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

Visiting new reviews, registering just to post negative review really borders on obsession.

 

I'm also in EU and Orbi is working fine. There is a "minor" issue on satellite that has suspiciously high session count (~3000). I reported this even though it doesnt seem to be causing any trouble, but could perhaps point them to bugs causing serious problems to others.

 

Message 6 of 10
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Luminary
Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

@budy 

The fact that the system does not have issues that you've detected is a good. However, one thing I really want to push against is the "works for me" response. It's muddies the waters as I pointed out in (3) and I've produced a way to know, within a few hours, if your system is impacted by the backhaul issues o.... That changes the scene from "I don't notice any issues" to "I know there are no issues".

 

It's possible, though extremely unlikely, that the Orbi's sold in the UK somehow have different behavior. I corresponded with a user from Germany that was having the same issue.

 

@Roamabout

 

I actually wrote up the steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues at your request. I would appreciate it if you ran through the steps. I believe, if you were able to see the issue yourself, you would change your opinion.  Right now, there is a bit of tone that "welp, every system has people that like it, and people that don't" - which really blurs things. It tries to make it seem that the Orbi's issues are on-par with other systems.

 

While it is true that every wifi system has champions and detractors, what is happening here - and not occuring with any other product I've observed - is that there are significant issues with stability (disconnects and the backhaul), and feature reliability (forced upgrades with poorly tested firmware). That's not a theme you see anywhere else. I don't frequently reference Reddit, but they have a long history of pointing this out, about only this product (1, 2, 3)

 

The tar and feature folks on this forum largely complain of a single theme: Intermitted disconnects - you aren't seeing a smattering of issues. If you were seeing irate uses with issues all over the map (e.g. somebody can't get a the device configured, or general wifi confusion), then you'd have a strong case that this is just consumer confusion. That's not what you're seeing.

Model: RBK53| Orbi Router + 2 Satellites Orbi WiFi System
Message 7 of 10
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Guide

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

Probably because there are lots of people out there like me who have never had a problem with the Orbi. I have updated every time a new firmware version has been released. Never experienced any problems at all. I typically have severeal iPhones, iPads, Android phones (on Android 8.1), LG Smart TV's, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV sticks, a printer, 2 LG BluRay players, MacBook Pro's, and an Asus Windows laptop. Never have any of the devices had a problem connecting to the internet. Never has my system experienced any re-boots. My Orbi has been completely reliable and fast as hell since I got it.

BTW, no one paid me for this post.

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 8 of 10
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Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring


@t_kwrote:

@budy 

The fact that the system does not have issues that you've detected is a good. However, one thing I really want to push against is the "works for me" response. It's muddies the waters as I pointed out in (3) and I've produced a way to know, within a few hours, if your system is impacted by the backhaul issues o.... That changes the scene from "I don't notice any issues" to "I know there are no issues".

 

It's possible, though extremely unlikely, that the Orbi's sold in the UK somehow have different behavior. I corresponded with a user from Germany that was having the same issue.

 

@Roamabout

 

I actually wrote up the steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues at your request. I would appreciate it if you ran through the steps. I believe, if you were able to see the issue yourself, you would change your opinion.  Right now, there is a bit of tone that "welp, every system has people that like it, and people that don't" - which really blurs things. It tries to make it seem that the Orbi's issues are on-par with other systems.

 

While it is true that every wifi system has champions and detractors, what is happening here - and not occuring with any other product I've observed - is that there are significant issues with stability (disconnects and the backhaul), and feature reliability (forced upgrades with poorly tested firmware). That's not a theme you see anywhere else. I don't frequently reference Reddit, but they have a long history of pointing this out, about only this product (1, 2, 3)

 

The tar and feature folks on this forum largely complain of a single theme: Intermitted disconnects - you aren't seeing a smattering of issues. If you were seeing irate uses with issues all over the map (e.g. somebody can't get a the device configured, or general wifi confusion), then you'd have a strong case that this is just consumer confusion. That's not what you're seeing.


I do appreciate you putting together the test scenario and I have squirreled a copy of that away. Currently I lack the resources to fully re-create it.

 

If there is a way to provoke the failures with what I have I would be happy to poke at it. The core of my network is a 24 port switch into which is connected a Windows 10 file/media server with a lot (3TB) of movies and music on it as well as data files. The FIOS router and the Orbi router are plugged into that switch with the Orbi in AP mode. The Orbi router is in the middle of the house on the first floor, the sats are at either end of the house on the second floor, about 60 feet apart, and using the 5ghz backhaul to the Orbi router.

 

I have a first world problem in that all of my Win 10 devices are wifi only. There are around 36 additional devices all connected to the Orbi's with wifi (both 2.4 and 5ghz) and a very small number of devices connected to the Orbi sats with ethernet (a printer, a camera). To test with I have half a dozen Win 10 tablets/laptops and a dozen or so Android tablets and phones.

 

I spend most of the time connected to the Orbi router with wifi using either my Surface tablet or an android tablet. If there is something going on between the sats and the Orbi router I am unlikely to see it unless it shows up as one of the cameras not being reachable or the printer hard wired to the Sat is not responding. The wifi stuff connected to one of the sats gets used a lot for streaming Internet music (an Echo Show) and I would have noticed if that was dropping bits.

 

My point about the reviews of other mesh products is that I see several people saying they have had it with the Orbi and are switching to product X while 10-20 percent of product X customers are saying it sucks and they hate the vendor. The reasons may vary in their severity (slow and limited functionality is less fatal than disconnects) although the Orbi and the Velop were curiously similar. I recall that the Google wifi had the least significant reliability issues but people thought the range and speed were lacking which is why I eventually selected the Orbi and two sats for my large space.

 

One thing that should encourage everyone is that Netgear has not removed any of the threads here where people are registering their dissatisfaction. It is all here for the world to see as well as the status updates.

Message 9 of 10
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Luminary

Re: How come ORBI still getting raving reviews? is Netgear paying them for good reviews and ignoring

On the other hand, I am all on for keeping up the pressure on Netgear. They really need to step up on these issues. Even if  my system doesen't experience any issue with ethernet backhaul, I have taken a look at the "receipe" to force this ethernet backhaul issue, but my setup is centralized around a 24-port Zyxel switch in the basement, with a couple of small Cisco 5-Port switches scattered around my house. On my satellite I only  use the ethernet port for the backhaul, while I am using one additinal ethernet port on my router (in AP mode) to connect a RPi3 running Kodi.

 

I do also have a VMWare server down in the basement, which runs 9 guests in bridge mode, but I can't just get myself to rip everything apart to meet the test's requirements. However, if it would a reproducible issue, I'd immediately suspect the bridge in the Orbis to be the root cause, but I couldn't see any erratic behaviour on any of those as of yet.

 

Nevertheless… Netgear needs to properly analyze these issues and solve them.

Model: RBK40| Orbi AC2200 WiFi System
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