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Jamesom
Guide

Orbi AP Confusion

Hey guys, 

 

Networking amateur here, hoping someone can help clear some things up for me. I recently purchased an Orbi RBK50 for a new house after recommendations from a friend. I was experiencing pretty frequent network switches to cellular when walking around and this new place has fiber so the speeds are great and I figured I just needed better wireless coverage. I have a Nighthawk R7800 that I like and was under the impression that this Orbi would just extend the range of my existing 2.4/5ghz networks with the Orbi mesh network.

 

During setup it started to dawn on me that this was not the generally intended use but then I found the AP mode and thought I'd give that a go. So I set it up in AP mode but the default Orbi SSID was still listed as an availble WiFi network which led me to believe that the AP setting did not take as I expected it to just assimilate my pre-existing custom 2.4 and 5ghz networks. 

 

Now I've changed it so that Orbi SSID/password matches my pre-existing SSID so it's not longer separately visible, is that enough? How do I know if everything is working correctly? 

 

I don't want to have interfering network signals or something like that, is it enough to just match SSID's and our mobile devices should switch to the best access point as seamlessly as possible (given the coverage of course?)

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 16
randomousity
Luminary

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

If you want to use the Orbi for better wifi coverage, but want to keep the Nighthawk as your router, you did right to put the Orbi in AP mode. But you also need to go into the Nighthawk and disable the wifi on it. You can have both the Orbi and Nighthawk broadcasting the same SSID, but I don't think you'll get the same handoff between one of the Orbis as the Nighthawk as you do between the Orbi router and an Orbi Satellite.

My Setup | Internet via TC8715D Cable modem, Bridge Mode, 200↓ 10↑ | Wifi Router Orbi RBK50 AC3000, Router Mode, Wireless Backhaul
Message 2 of 16
Jamesom
Guide

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Hmm interesting, thanks for the reply, so if I disabled the WiFi on the Nighthawk then I am letting the router do it's thing for the direct wired connections and the Orbi's are exclusively handling all Wifi connections.

My initial thought of having the Nighthawk WiFi and Orbi WiFi working in harmony isn't possible then? The Nighthawk can't function as another element of WiFi coverage that is part of the larger mesh network along with the Orbi? It's one or the other?
Message 3 of 16
randomousity
Luminary

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Sort of. You can also plug devices into the Orbi router and satellite, but their IP addresses will still be assigned by the Nighthawk, and the Nighthawk will still be the one making the routing decisions. All the wifi will be handled by the Orbi, but both the Nighthawk and Orbi can handle wired connections. Generally, you only want one router on your network (putting the Orbi in AP mode means it won't count as a router for these puposes). You'l get one IP address from your ISP, and then your Nighthawk will give all your devices something in, say, the 192.168.1.x address space, using network address translation (NAT) when it communicates with the internet. But if the Orbi is in router mode, it will will also get an IP address from the Nighthawk, and will have to use a different IP address space, say, 192.168.2.x for devices connected to it. You won't be able to use 192.168.1.x on both the Nighthawk and Orbi. And the Orbi will also have to do NAT to commuicate with what it thinks is the internet, but which is actually only your Nighthawk's network. Double-NAT can cause problems, and is something you should avoid.

 

And no, the Nighthawk can't function as part of the mesh. Right now, generally, you can only use routers and satellites sold as part of a mesh system (Orbi, Velop, Google Wifi, etc.) in a mesh system. None of them are compatible with each other, and you can't even just add another Netgear router to the Orbi to expand it, can't add another Linksys router to a Velop system, etc. Maybe someday there will be more compatibility, but not yet.

 

If you use the Orbi and Nighthawk with the Orbi in AP mode, and both with the same SSID and password, you will basically have two different networks with the same name and on the same IP network. But, at a functional level, it won't really be any better than giving them different SSIDs and passwords, other than saving you from having to configure your devices twice. You'll also probably have some problems with some functions. If you use file sharing, devices connected to the Orbi and Nighthawk will be on different networks (despite the SSIDs being the same), and won't be able to see each other. If you use access control lists, any devices that move around will have to be added to both. Same with any reserved IP addresses. And, any changes you make will also require logging into the Orbi to change there, and then logging into the Nighthawk to make the same changes again there. If you use the Nighthawk as the router, and the Orbi as the APs, then you'll basically only have to log onto the Orbi to change wireless settings (SSID, password, which channels you use), and all other things will be done from the Nighthawk (ACLs, reserved IPs, blocked sites and services, scheduling, etc.).

My Setup | Internet via TC8715D Cable modem, Bridge Mode, 200↓ 10↑ | Wifi Router Orbi RBK50 AC3000, Router Mode, Wireless Backhaul
Message 4 of 16
ekhalil
Master

Re: Orbi AP Confusion


@randomousity wrote:

.......... Maybe someday there will be more compatibility, but not yet.

.........


Beside what @randomousity mentioned, you can theoritically have Orbi and your R7800 router use the same SSID but with different channels (to avoid radio interference). The only thing that is not guaranteed to work is roaming. Orbi supports 802.11k, v and r. Only if the R7800 router and your devices support these standards you will be able to roam without issues between the coverage areas of the 2 base stations. I could not find information about R7800 roaming specs.

Most probably you will not see issues with idle roaming (when the devie roams between base stations in idle mode), but you might see drops if you roam while using apps like Skype.

My Setup Internet Fiber ONT 250↓/250↑ISP Telenor | Wifi Router Orbi RBK50 AC3000, Router Mode, Wired Backhaul / Orbi RBK852 AX6000, Router Mode, Wireless Backhaul | Switches Netgear GS208Time Zone CET (Sweden)

Message 5 of 16
Jamesom
Guide

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

I really appreciate the thorough responses, thanks guys. I disabled the WiFi radios on my Nighthawk and I think I've got it all squared away now. Thanks for helping me make sense of all this.

Message 6 of 16
nicksowerby
Aspirant

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

As a matter of interest only. I am using a 2.4wireless on my modem to connect to a specific connection that requires more effort to connect to if orbi disconnects as my modem a telstra gateway is always rock solid. I use channel 1.

On my orbi i use 2.4 on channel 11.

I have never had any issues doing this,  I am aware of the general concensus on this forum not to do this but it works for me.

Just my 2 cents worth

Message 7 of 16
ekhalil
Master

Re: Orbi AP Confusion


@nicksowerby wrote:

As a matter of interest only. I am using a 2.4wireless on my modem to connect to a specific connection that requires more effort to connect to if orbi disconnects as my modem a telstra gateway is always rock solid. I use channel 1.

On my orbi i use 2.4 on channel 11.

I have never had any issues doing this,  I am aware of the general concensus on this forum not to do this but it works for me.

Just my 2 cents worth


When your devices start to sometimes get IP addresses from Orbi and other times from your ISP router and both routers have difference Gateways, so packets sent to the internet from a device will -sometimes- get replies to another address, you will start to see issues.

If all your devices are wireless then -mostly and if you don't have many restarts in the routers- you should not see issues, since wired devices will get IP addresses "randomly" either from Orbi or the ISP Router.

In summary, having more than one router -without proper configuration or unless you're lucky- will just give you headaches. Smiley Happy

My Setup Internet Fiber ONT 250↓/250↑ISP Telenor | Wifi Router Orbi RBK50 AC3000, Router Mode, Wired Backhaul / Orbi RBK852 AX6000, Router Mode, Wireless Backhaul | Switches Netgear GS208Time Zone CET (Sweden)

Message 8 of 16
nicksowerby
Aspirant

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Nick sowerby

Hi i get what you are saying.

However my orbi is in ap mode and gets its ip from my modem from a dmz in the modem so themodem sets it 2.4 from within its system and the orbi sets its wifi seperately so, forgive me if i am wrong there is no chance of the ip for the orbi being thesame as the modem in respect to its wifi.

To put into perspective my requirement is to connect to an external envoy solar panel reporter that sits behind my fuse box outside the house. To access this envoy if it doesnt auto connect i have to go outside open the fuse box pull open the electrical panel to get to the envoy so the less time i have to do this the better.

 

Cheers nick 

 

 

The ip connection to the connection has always been different to and ip wireless connection from the modem.

Perhaps i am luckly but so far no issues.

 

Cheers

Message 9 of 16
ekhalil
Master

Re: Orbi AP Confusion


@nicksowerby wrote:

 

............

However my orbi is in ap mode and gets its ip from my modem from a dmz in the modem so themodem sets it 2.4 from within its system and ..........


That is completely correct setup if the Orbi is in AP mode and the ISP router is your main router. 

Having Orbi and the ISP wifi router to use the same SSID with different radio channels should be ok, but you should not expect roaming to always work correctly when devices move between the Orbi coverage range and the ISP router's range.

My Setup Internet Fiber ONT 250↓/250↑ISP Telenor | Wifi Router Orbi RBK50 AC3000, Router Mode, Wired Backhaul / Orbi RBK852 AX6000, Router Mode, Wireless Backhaul | Switches Netgear GS208Time Zone CET (Sweden)

Message 10 of 16
BBB73
Apprentice

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Hi Nick, when Orbi is in AP mode, it is not needed and perhaps even undesired to set the Orbi in DMZ-mode.


@nicksowerby wrote:

Nick sowerby

Hi i get what you are saying.

However my orbi is in ap mode and gets its ip from my modem from a dmz in the modem so themodem sets it 2.4 from within its system and the orbi sets its wifi seperately so, forgive me if i am wrong there is no chance of the ip for the orbi being thesame as the modem in respect to its wifi.

To put into perspective my requirement is to connect to an external envoy solar panel reporter that sits behind my fuse box outside the house. To access this envoy if it doesnt auto connect i have to go outside open the fuse box pull open the electrical panel to get to the envoy so the less time i have to do this the better.

 

Cheers nick 

 

 

The ip connection to the connection has always been different to and ip wireless connection from the modem.

Perhaps i am luckly but so far no issues.

 

Cheers


 

Message 11 of 16
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

If your using the Orbi in AP mode connect to the ISP modem/router, it should NOT being the modems DMZ. The DMZ is only needed for if the Orbi router was working in router mode. In AP mode in the modems DMZ, you'r wireless connected devices are not being protected by the modems firewall. The DMZ is ok to use if the Orbi is in router mode, and it's firewall is being used in this mode. Orbi in AP mode disable the firewall since it's not needed in this mode. 


@nicksowerby wrote:

Nick sowerby

Hi i get what you are saying.

However my orbi is in ap mode and gets its ip from my modem from a dmz in the modem so themodem sets it 2.4 from within its system and the orbi sets its wifi seperately so, forgive me if i am wrong there is no chance of the ip for the orbi being thesame as the modem in respect to its wifi.

To put into perspective my requirement is to connect to an external envoy solar panel reporter that sits behind my fuse box outside the house. To access this envoy if it doesnt auto connect i have to go outside open the fuse box pull open the electrical panel to get to the envoy so the less time i have to do this the better.

 

Cheers nick 

 

 

The ip connection to the connection has always been different to and ip wireless connection from the modem.

Perhaps i am luckly but so far no issues.

 

Cheers


 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.17.12
RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW) Circle Enabled
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 12 of 16
nicksowerby
Aspirant

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Ok,

 

So remove dmz is the correct way to go when orbi is in ap mode

 

Thanks for that

 

Cheers

Message 13 of 16
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Yes, you want to use the modem routers firewall to protect whats connected on the LAN side. If you had the Orbi in router mode, then the DMZ could be used since the firewall on the Orbi in router mode would be enabled and active. 

 

Enjoy. 


@nicksowerby wrote:

Ok,

 

So remove dmz is the correct way to go when orbi is in ap mode

 

Thanks for that

 

Cheers


 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.17.12
RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW) Circle Enabled
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 14 of 16
nicksowerby
Aspirant

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Hi,

So my portforwarding on my modem for checking my cameras away from home will still work if i remove the dmzfrom my modem?

 

 

Cheers

Message 15 of 16
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Orbi AP Confusion

Should...As long as there configured correctly. 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.17.12
RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW) Circle Enabled
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 16 of 16
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