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Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...

Zhies
Follower

Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...

I tried to edit this post, but the cursor keeps pushing me back to the top of the article. Issues with the product and Netgear's community website.... I'm even having issues inserting tags into this discussion, because I have to insert and CLICK each one... it doesn't take all of the tags as CSV.....

 

I installed my Orbi RBK50 AC3000 mesh system about a month ago after moving to a new place. I gave it a basic install at first and immediatley ran into issues. Supposedly the model I built can cover up to 7,500 square feet, but my townhome of only 1,500 square feet has signal gaps in the living room, even though there is an access point sitting 30 feet away.

 

Then I saw some malicious activity probing (port scans) against my home network in the Orbi router logs. I was really frustrated that Orbi didn't have an IP blacklisting feature. So I could see I was getting attacked, but was left helpless without a basic IP blacklist.

 

So then I bought a decent Cisco firewall (5506 series) to block that nasty traffic. I knew that Cisco supported VLANs, and supposedly Orbi did as well. To much of my disappointment, Orbi doesn't truly support VLAN features. It supports a very basic VLAN 10 routing from all wireless devices to the Internet. Then I thought, "well from my CCNA exam training isn't that the management VLAN that is supposed to be restricted to management devices?" After some research using my trusty Google I discovered this was a bandaid feature that Netgear installed to be compatible with certain Internet providers that use this bad practice. Unfortunately, the VLAN 10 could not be changed to another number so I would have to use my management VLAN across all wireless devices.

 

Then I tried to enforce other VLAN networks. Unfortunately, all other VLAN numbers would be limited to wired networks only, which would require me to plug all devices via hardwire into one of my Orbi satellites or the main router. That seemed quite inconvenient. So I set up VLAN routing on my new spiffy Cisco 5506 ASA, but I would greatly disappointed to find out that even with all of those crafty VLAN interfaces configured, none of the traffic was being tagged with VLAN headers since Orbi merely "routes" the VLAN traffic and doesn't do any of the tagging.

 

So the solution? Buy three Layer-3 switches that supports VLAN tagging and plug it next to each of my 3 Orbi access points, and then hardwire all of my devices into each switch and then have them communicate over the WiFi backhaul that Orbi creates for me.

 

So overall I started with a budget of around $500, and I ended up spending nearly $2,000 to come up with a network with basic security permissions to compensate for all of the features that this Orbi mesh network doesn't have.

 

So to be express my massive disappointment, I hope that the Netgear Devs read this article and take it to heart. I was really hoping for an "out of the box" solution for my home network. Also, since I have a business that operates from home, I really wish that Netgear would have communicated better on their website the limitations of the Orbi system so that I could have made better financial decisions prior to purchasing the mesh and trying to overcompensate for all of the weaknesses.

 

I even considered creating a Linux VLAN compatible switch either on the Orbi system itself after I figured out how to Telnet into it or via a USB on the Orbi main system to hopefully incorporate some VLAN capabilities.

 

Long story short, I have all my Orbi Access Points running in AP mode and my Cisco firewall is now doing all of the heavy lifting for the network, which Orbi couldn't do.

 

Now I figured out why my AP downstairs doesn't work. It has the same MAC address as the main hub and they keep creating conflicts on the network. Now when I have an hour or two to revert the Orbi main host back from AP mode to router mode and hopefully change the MAC address I can fix this mess.

 

After nearly 10 hours of work from my senior network engineer friend and I, we've given up for now.

 

Ugh.......

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 5
cue003
Apprentice

Re: Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...

Would the Orbi business solution have worked better for you? Just curious if you looked into that solution before buying the “regular” Orbi?

Message 2 of 5
Raka1212
Guide

Re: Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...

I have new system delivered today and I am on the fence. There should not be a such issues for such a pricey system. I am not sure if I should take a plunge or wait. It seems netgear needs to do better job at firware and do it fast before frustrated user tuned out.

Message 3 of 5
st_shaw
Master

Re: Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...


@Raka1212 wrote:

I have new system delivered today and I am on the fence. There should not be a such issues for such a pricey system. I am not sure if I should take a plunge or wait. It seems netgear needs to do better job at firware and do it fast before frustrated user tuned out.


I'm sorry, but if you read the OP's post, most of the "issues" are because the OP wants Orbi to support features Orbi does not support, and which are not supported by any of Netgear's home product line, or by most other home solutions, e.g. VLAN segregation.

 

If the OP had taken a few minutes to read the Orbi user manual online before purchasing Orbi, he could have avoided buying something that doesn't do what he wants it to do.

 

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/Orbi_UM_EN.pdf

Message 4 of 5
Raka1212
Guide

Re: Orbi Mesh Network - So Many Issues...

I am talking about features here. I haven't even unpacked my box yet. I am trying to gage the system as a new user prospective. If i  see too many complaints from too many users than I am not going to take a plung in such a pricey system. I can wait until system matures.

Message 5 of 5
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