Reply
Highlighted
Apprentice

How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

 

Update to the latest firmware

This has been working well with older firmware, but it's prudent to keep it up to date.

 

  1. Visit http://192.168.1.1/adv_index.htm
  2. Click Administration > Firmware Update, then click Update All.

Orbi firmware 2.0.0.74 is the latest version at the time of this writing (October 16, 2017).

 

Step 1: Sign in to your Orbi using telnet

 

  1. Enable Telnet on http://192.168.1.1/debug.htm
  2. Enter the following command in Terminal on your Mac (or the command line on your Windows PC):
    telnet 192.168.1.1
  3. Sign in to the admin account using your Orbi administrative password.

 

Step 2: Check your SSIDs using telnet

 

After you've signed in to your Orbi using telnet, enter the following two commands and press Return after each one:

  1. config get wl_ssid
    config get wla_ssid

The output will be the same until you change wla_ssid in the next section. If they're already different, you can stop here. You already have separate SSIDs for your 2.4 GHz (wl_ssid) and 5 GHz (wla_ssid) networks.

 

Step 3: Set a separate SSID for your 5 GHz network

 

While you're still signed in to your Orbi using telnet:

 

  1. Enter the following commands and press Return after each one. (Replace "NAME OF YOUR 5GHZ NETWORK" with the actual name you want to use for the SSID of your 5 GHz network. Don't omit the quotes.)
    config set wla_ssid="NAME YOUR 5GHZ NETWORK"
    config commit
  2. To confirm that the SSID of your 5 GHz network (wla_ssid) has been set correctly, and that it's different than the SSID of your 2.4 GHz network (wl_ssid), enter the following commands and press Return after each one: 
    config get wl_ssid
    config get wla_ssid

    The output should now be different. You now have separate SSIDs for your 2.4 GHz (wl_ssid) and 5 GHz (wla_ssid) networks.

  3. Enter the following command and press Return:
    reboot

 

Step 4: Disable telnet

 

After your Orbi has restarted, disable telnet on http://192.168.1.1/debug.htm

_____

 

The above procedure works great for me and many others. It has been working across multiple firmware updates with no problems. My only hope is that this post gets Netgear to consider adding a simple way to change the SSID for the 5 GHz network to the GUI. This is way too complicated for folks who are non-technical, and mucking around with the Orbi using telnet can really break things if someone doesn't know what they are doing. Shame on Netgear for not making this a simple, editable text field in the Wireless Network configuration.

 

Message 1 of 739
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

By implementing this backdoor technique, will the router show a GUI version of separated SSID networks?

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 2 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

@DG1980,

 

The Advanced GUI reflects the different SSIDs because it's just pulling them from the same values that are set using telnet (wl_ssid and wla_ssid).
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.57.15 AM.png

 

The Basic GUI only has a field for the one SSID, so there isn't a place to show both SSIDs. It appears to be displaying the value of wl_ssid (the 2.4 GHz network)

 

Message 3 of 739
Aspirant

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

I see.

 

In the event something goes wrong or, if I want to revert back to original settings, what is the procedure for that?

Message 4 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

@DG1980,

 

There isn't really a lot that can go wrong. The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks require separate SSIDs in order to function. Netgear just doesn't provide a way to change them separately in the GUI.

 

To use the same SSID for both networks (the default), set the SSID in the GUI. You'll be back exactly where you started.

Message 5 of 739
Highlighted

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

this is why telnet should have been disabled as to prevent users changing what is a main part and main issue of the orbi workings , you completly mis understand how the orbi works and thus basically kill its main process to get separate ssid.s

Message 6 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

@peteytesting,

 

I'll say this much more nicely than you did.

 

I don't misunderstand how the Orbi is supposed to work. It's designed so that devices switch seamlessly between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. The problem is that, in practice, the Orbi constantly dropped connections as I moved around my home. I was ready to return the whole thing.

 

The only thing that got me to keep it was enabling a separate 5 GHz network and only connecting to that. This has been a rock solid solution to my problem. Not a single dropped connection for months ever since I made the change.

 

Everyone's situation is different, but in my home, this has made the Orbi go from erractic and a piece of garbage to the most reliable connection I've ever had. Everyone's experience may be different depending on many factors such as the layout of their home and the devices they are connecting. (I have a couple devices that only work on 2.4 GHz, for example, and those still connect to the 2.4 GHz network.)

 

Oh, and telnet is disabled by default. That's why the first step is enabling it, and the last step is disabling it again.

 

Have a great rest of your week.

Message 7 of 739
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

I couldn't have phrased it better myself.

 

Thanks for your help.

Message 8 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

It's my pleasure. I wished it was this easy to find this information when I needed. I thought I'd pay it forward.

 

Cheers!

Message 9 of 739
Highlighted

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

i will ask for it to be removed in the next release as its a fool errand to do as above , this thread should also be removed as its just not helpful to the noob user who does this then complains it doesnt work right

Message 10 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

This thread sounds to me like its configuring the Orbi to workaround deficiencies in the client? Whilst I accpet its great to do so and if the user cannot swap out the client settings/firmware then it is their only recourse but yes this is definitely something you dont want a noob to do!

 

Or maybe (more) likely its a router/satellite positioning issue. If the 5G is not penetrating as far as the 2.4 you could have a lot of roaming as you move around the house and the client is switching back and forth between bands/devices and dropping intermittently briefly. It is wifi, it is never going to be perfect! There could be other (better) ways to fix the issue

 

I know as I speak from experience as I always used to use separate SSID until my last Netgear Beta test (not Orbi - I just went out and bought an Orbi becasue I was so pleased with modern wifi devices compared to previously)  where I ended up doing a lot of work and understanding the issues involved....I now only use a single SSID around my house as it just plain works and I can use ios wifi calling everywhere with no dropouts (not possible with multiple SSID). Never will I go back to multiple SSIDs!!! I did see some of these dropout issues I mentioned above and they were down to signal and positioning of the router or extender or whatever.

Message 11 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

I just want to calrify that I DO NOT work for Netgear. I was lucky enough to receive a Netgear wifi product for Beta testing free of charge. Prior to the beta test I was working on I always used separate SSID for 2.4 and 5 and always had dropout problems with wifi calling on iOS etc. I had numerous problems previously but the device I was testing actually opened my eyes to modern wifi devices...What I was using was NOT that old but I took the plunge and bought an Orbi WITH MY OWN MONEY and I dont regret it one bit. Test a device for free and go out and spend £300 on an Orbi as a result. I was not in profit but I was certainly happy! Single SSID in my opinion is the way to go....let the AP and clients work out what to use. My home wifi network is the most solid it has ever been. I have removed powerline devices and put stuff back on the wifi....Well done Netgear! 

Message 12 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

That's fantastic, @martinhj! I'm really glad that a single SSID works well for you. It's great that you have that option. I'm glad I also had the option to get things working well for me (despite having to work much harder to make it happen). Smiley Happy

 

Choice is a good thing. 👍

Message 13 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

 It is indeed.....my point, perhaps not clear was that I wouldnt like a noob to go down this route and do al lthis simply becasue they had poorly sited units or another issue that doing this masks their real issue and they live with a substandard wifi product by configuration not design thats all.

 

 

In my situation I bought the Orbi on the back of the single SSID roaming and coverage it gave. My house is not huge but it is trcky with lot sof strange brick walls. 

 

Previously u ised multiple SSID and repeaters etc and only when i went to the single SSID solution (prior to Orbi - which gave me the perfect excuse to get one) could I get perfect wifi calling over iOS around my home. I rely on wifi calling having poor mobile/cell reception. Previously I had separate SSID but under those circumstances the phone wil lcling on to its wifi for dear life until it cant any more then switch to the next one in its list.....with single SSID it will start the roaming onto another AP with same name as soon as the signal drops to -70dbM and make the decision on what to do...so location can be key...I actually had issues with a repeater which meant my calls sometimes dropped in this situation because I suspect that the phone was in a zone were it was roaming backwards and forwards between the two because it could never quite decide. moving the repeater solved the issue. In all cases the repeater location was reported as ideal.

 

This is just one example of issues solved by Orbi in my case. Netgear spent a lot of time making this work and it works for a lot of people but obviously not all.....then in my opinion I would say its down to either your clients or your location of the Orbi's themselves.

 

Of course we all get to a point where life really must go on and we cant be bothered to mess around with something that is meant to make life easier, not more difficult :-)

 

I'm glad it works and you have a solution.....if ever you get bored, or even after a few firmware updates it could be worth trying again!

 

Out of  personal interest what sort of devices did you have that were dropping all the time?

 

 

 

 

Message 14 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

Just run-of-the-mill Macs, iPads, and iPhones. Mostly noticed the problem on the Macs where it's easier to diagnose. For some reason, the Orbi would let them connect at 2.4 GHz even though (as evidenced by many, many months of 5 GHz-only use) they are 5 GHz capable.

 

I'm tempted to give the single SSID another go at some point, but I'm not sure my wife will let me. We both work from home, but she has more critical meetings on a daily basis. The terrible performance of the Orbi when using a single SSID was affecting her work.

 

If it's any consolation, I think the fact that this requires telnet (which isn't even included in the latest version of macOS [High Sierra]) will probably keep most folks from attempting it. It's kind of self-selecting in that way. If you know enough to install and use telnet, you are probably fine to try using separate SSIDs. Like I said earlier, worst case, you just use the standard GUI to set a single SSID, and you're back exactly where you started from. Smiley Happy

 

There's a pretty good article over at Network Computing that explains why band steering isn't a magic solution for all people in all cirumcstances:

 

4 Wi-Fi Band Steering Myths

 

Band steering is not part of any standard, so every vendor implements it differently. Band steering assumes coverage is roughly equal, but coverage is quite different on both bands in my environment. In such a situation, it's best to avoid using band steering. Perhaps most relevant in my situation, the steering threshold for the Orbi does not seem to be optimized for my environment. I don't know of a way to configure it. And frankly, I am getting along very well with my "100% 5 GHz" band steering for months now. Smiley Wink

Message 15 of 739
Highlighted
Aspirant

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

Thanks for the help!! Can it be that the telnet command is no longer available under Mac OS High Sierra?

 

Message 16 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

Interesting article cheers!

 

Yes I would say that my 2.4 and 5 probably both overlap so would explain my lack of issues.....and they overlap with the Orbi whereas they didnt with my old AP and extender......so probably comes back to Orbi works for me and maybe you need an extra satellite....but that costs and makes it rather expensive so your solution would also be my solution Smiley Happy.

 

wrt to 5G devices coinnecting to 2.4G I have also noticed that sometimes but then it happens on an old laptop so the speed limitation of 2.4 over 5 is not of any concern so I never worry. but yes I have seen it happen too.

 

 

 

 

Message 17 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

@Bobacker,

 

It's true. Apple removed telnet from High Sierra.

 

If you have Homebrew installed, you can run this command to install telnet:

 

brew install telnet

I use Homebrew for other purposes, so I already had it installed. To install Homebrew, run this command (copied directly from the Homebrew website):

 

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

 

Message 18 of 739
Highlighted
Tutor

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

Tried this today on the RBK40 with most recent FW v2.0.0.56. All applied ok in Telnet and new SSIDs assinged ... reboot and still remains under one SSID. I know this has been tested successfully on the RBK50 but would've thought the RBK40 would also allow this chage.

 

Anyone else had any luck?

Message 19 of 739
Highlighted
Luminary

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

1. You have to look on the advanged page to see two SSIDs
2. The latest is v2.0.0.74

Message 20 of 739
Highlighted
Tutor

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi


@OrbiPhilip wrote:

1. You have to look on the advanged page to see two SSIDs
2. The latest is v2.0.0.74


Thanks for the reply....

 

Yes I can see the 2 SSIDs (Although it hasnt picked up the SSID name change for the 5ghz channel in that UI) but this is the RBK40 and not the slightly more powerful RBk50. The most updated RBK40 firmware is V2.0.0.56, unless v2.0.0.74 is available as a BETA for this router but doesnt seem to be.

Message 21 of 739
Highlighted
Luminary

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi


@shifty89 wrote:

this is the RBK40 and not the slightly more powerful RBk50. The most updated RBK40 firmware is V2.0.0.56, unless v2.0.0.74 is available as a BETA for this router but doesnt seem to be.

My apologies, I did not notice that detai. The OP mentione 2.0.0.74, so I am unsure of if that is a requirement for this mod.

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 22 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

I have been using separate SSIDs since version 1.x, so that isn’t likely to be the culprit.

However, I have zero experience with the RBK40. Sorry I can’t help more with that.
Message 23 of 739
Highlighted
Tutor

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi


@khad wrote:
I have been using separate SSIDs since version 1.x, so that isn’t likely to be the culprit.

However, I have zero experience with the RBK40. Sorry I can’t help more with that.

 

No problem and thanks for the reply, thank you also for providing us a solution to dual SSID Smiley Happy.

 

For any one interested i just managed to get this to work on the RBK40 Smiley Happy.

 

Essentially before running the steps to rename and assign the SSIDs in the OP run this:

 

Telnet to the RBK40 and run the below:

 

1)config set wl_ssid="$id_set"

2)config set wla_ssid="$id_set"

3)config commit

4)reboot

 

From that point I applied the config and rebooted. Logged into the UI and noticed the 2.4ghz channel had changed (back to a default name) and the 5ghz had maintained my original SSID (Check the Advanced WIFI settings dashboard). Great all the devices were now on the 5ghz band. I wanted to change the 2.4ghz band from the default name, back into telnet and renamed that using the steps above in the OP:

 

  • 1) Login to http://192.168.1.1
  • 2) Go to http://192.168.1.1/debug.html and check "Enable Telnet"
  • 3) Use a Telnet client to connect to 192.168.1.1. On macOs you can open a terminal and write "telnet 192.168.1.1"
  • 4) Once telnet'd on the Orbi router, run the following commands:
  • 5) config set wl_ssid="Your 2.4Ghz SSID Name"
  • 6) config commit
  • 7) reboot

 

Hopefully it helps anyone else facing the same issue with the RBK40 Latest FW 2.0.0.56

Message 24 of 739
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: How to set a separate SSID for the 5 GHz network on your Orbi

That’s great! I’m glad that did the trick for you. I am scratching my head a bit as to what exactly is different in your steps. It appears that you are using the exact same commands.

If I am reading your steps correctly, it looks like you set both SSIDs the first time, rebooted the router, and then set the 2.4 GHz SSID again.

Whatever the magic incantation, I’m just glad it works. Smiley Happy

It does work doesn’t it? Keep us posted on how it was before with a single SSID and whether or not separate ones actually improve anything for you.
Message 25 of 739
Top Contributors
Announcements