Orbi Ethernet Backhaul with Managed Switches.
I decided to write an updated version of the Orbi (and Orbi Pro) STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) instructions. This is for users who have managed switches and trying to use Orbi Ethernet Backhaul. Those with unmanaged switches should not have any problems with Ethernet Backhaul.
- Orbi uses Classic STP. Do not try to use Rapid STP. Hopefully Netgear will change this in a future update.
- Orbi uses the default STP Priority (AKA: ID) of 32768. Orbi does not allow any modifications of STP settings. Again, hopefully they will change this in the future, at minimum they should Allow Orbi STP to be disabled for those with managed switches.
- Your L2 managed switch should have STP Enabled. Again, use Classic STP should you have a choice between STP and RSTP. Orbi is STP only.
- All switches in you LAN “MUST HAVE” an STP Priority of 32768. Do not change your STP priority or Orbi Ethernet backhaul will not work properly. AKA: It may work, then break and cause other undesired problems.
- Using an ID higher priority than Orbi will cause your switch to STP Block/discard the Orbi Satellite ports, forcing the Satellites into WIFI Backhaul mode.
- Using a lower priority STP ID will allow Orbi to take STP Root Bridge role and most likely create loops and crash your LAN. Plus, any network nerd who cares about security, stability and visibility DOES NOT want Orbi becoming a root bridge of the LAN.
- Using 32768 allows each switch (both Orbi and your switch) to become their individual “root bridge” for STP and prevents Orbi and your switches going to WAR and arguing “who has control”.
- Your Main Orbi Router (using AP or Router mode) must have STP enabled on its switch port with NO MODIFICATIONS. STP, Auto-Edge, Default Cost, etc, etc…no changes…..
- ALL ORBI SATELITES USING ETHERNET BACKHAUL MUST HAVE STP ENABLED….BUT….
- Edge Mode must be forced “ON”. AKA: Port Fast mode ON. I know some network nerds are thinking…”Why would I force an STP BPDU device to use PortFast mode?”….Simple answer…Orbi is using Classic STP and Auto-Edge (AKA: Learning Mode) will take too long and your Orbi Satellites will give up and switch to WIFI Backhaul. After that…you are screwed and must reboot your satellites…or wait 15-20 minutes for Orbi Satellite to “hopefully” try again. Classic STP is SLOW and your Orbi Satellites will need to wait 20-60 seconds for STP to decide if the connection should be allowed…which is why Rapid STP was created YEARS AGO…..Why Netgear is using Classic…I don’t know.
- DO NOT DISABLE STP!!! Doing this will cause a network loop and most likely crash your network. Even though you are forcing the Satellite ports to use PortFast Mode (AKA: Edge Mode Enabled…Not Auto). STP will still serve its basic function and protect against network loops. If you disable STP on the Satellite ports….No protection and Orbi will create a loop.
That’s is. Using this config should allow your Satellites to use Ethernet Backhaul with minimal problems via manages switches. Orbi does take a few minutes to determine what path to use. So don’t expect instant results. Give Orbi 5-10 minutes and check the Satellite connection status.
If Your Orbi is rebooted it “should” go back ed wired mode after a few minutes.
But, without a proper STP configuration as described above….NO CHANCE….Or very unstable results.
Shame on Netgear for not allow STP Enable/Disable. Especially for Orbi Pro.