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Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues

captain_phaser
Apprentice

Orbi RBK50 Issues

I just upgraded from a 75/10 Mbps service to 500/50 Mbps service and decided that the Orbi looked like the wifi system to complement my new speeds. I bought the RBK50 2 pack last week and have been quite impressed while using it so far, but I have a couple of issues that could be looked into.

 

Current Setup:

- ISP 500/50 Mbps Service

- 3000~ sq ft property (Basement + 2 floors)

- Firmware Version V1.11.0.20

- Router plugged directly into Arris SB8200 modem with CAT 6 cable in basement

- Router is in "Router" mode. No other AP's, repeaters/extenders, or routers in house

- Satellite on 2nd floor against windowsill facing backyard and patio (Tested other locations, this worked the best) 

- Channels for 2.4/5GHz bands set to least congested channels w/ WPA2-PSK [AES] Enabled

- WMM Enabled on both bands

- 20/40 MHz Coexistence tested enabled and disabled (Better Enabled)

- MU-MIMO + Beamforming tested enabled and disabled (Better Enabled)

- Internet QoS disabled with all testing done with 1 device utilizing network

- Mobile Devices Used: 4 LG V20's (Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 w/ 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band 2x2 MU-MIMO)

- Desktop Wireless Device: Asus PCE-AC88 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac PCIe wireless adapter

- No "Smart Devices" in house; Only Phones + PC connected to network

- Hardline gives full ISP speeds

- Power cycled modem + router + satellite multiple times

- Guest Network Enabled + Secured (Tested Disabled)

 

For the most part, the range on the Orbi system is outstanding, but I have a few significant issues that I'm looking to resolve.

 

  1. 2.4GHz Performance

 

Thus far, my mobile devices are capable of achieving a max speed of about 130Mbps while my desktop achieves a speed of around 230Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. This is with testing directly next to the router and satellite, and increasing distance farther away. As I'm not used to over 75Mbps, I was wondering if this is the expected speeds with the Orbi. I know the speed of 400Mbps is the absolute best case on the 2.4GHz band, but I was thinking I'd see higher speeds with 2x2 and 4x4 devices. 

 

In addition, I have tested both bands separately by disabling the other band's radio and have found that the 5GHz band always delivers a superior connection (quality and speed) on every floor of my house. It even performs better outside on the patio and into the yard. This is great for me as 5GHz is faster, but seems odd since it should have less penetration than the 2.4GHz band. I drop from about 250-300Mbps on our phones in the house to around 50Mbps on the patio with 5GHz. I was hoping that this would be where the 2.4 band would shine and deliver slightly higher speeds outside (satellite is on 2nd floor windowsill facing backyard + patio), but this was not the case with the 2.4 delivering about 15-20Mbps outside.

 

  1. Separate SSID's for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

 

When it comes to the bandsteering feature of the Orbi, my experience thus far has not been good. I've only had it work about 50% of the time. Testing proximity to the router and satellite gave the same results. My phones and even the desktop would be "stuck" on the 2.4GHz band and therefore limited to its 130-230Mbps speeds when the 5GHz band is already enabled and has a strong signal. As noted above, the 2.4GHz band strangely never outperformed the 5GHz band on my property, so I simply disabled the band entirely. It doesn't make sense to have more wireless channels be broadcast when it consistently provides an inferior experience.

 

I've read that the latest beta firmware removes the option to disable the 2.4GHz band. If this happens I will return the Orbi system. I realize having one SSID is for the transition between the router and satellites, but for people in my situation, it's nice to have the ability (that is currently already available) to disable it if it's causing an issue. I truly hope that this option remains in future firmware updates.

 

  1. 5GHz Performance on Mobile Devices

 

I've tested all 4 LG V20's in my home, and regardless of proximity, they can't ever seem to break around 300Mbps in speed tests (despite saying 866Mbps link speed when in close proximity). I tested my phone at a local university which has gigabit wifi speeds, and got about 950/950 so I think that eliminates the phones as a bottleneck. I have gotten a couple fluke tests over 400Mbps, but they dropped back to around 300 right after the test.

 

  1. Wired Backhaul 

 

While the great thing about the Orbi is the very strong wireless backhaul, I feel that it would be greatly enhanced with wired backhaul. I know many others support this as well so I'm merely providing my vote here.

 

  1. Automatic Firmware Updates

 

From time to time, new updates cause issues with existing device capabilities. I attempted a firmware downgrade after reading about some issues with the latest firmware, but was shocked to see the router and Satellite proceed to automatically revert back to the previous firmware. I feel that auto-updates should be enabled by default, but the option to disable them should be given in the advanced settings.

 

Bottom Line:

  • 2.4GHz Performance inferior to 5GHz in all locations
  • Band Steering functionality is not reliable and should have an option to be disabled
  • Separate SSID's with Band Steering disabled with poor 2.4 vs 5GHz performance
  • Retain the option to disable either the 2.4 or 5GHz radio 
  • Mobile Devices seem unable to reach over 300Mbps speeds on 5GHz regardless of location

 

As a side note, with the 2.4GHz band disabled, the guest network will display that there is no password on the web configuration page for that network when there actually is a password on the guest network.

 

I welcome any and all tips and/or settings that could be changed as I would love to keep using the Orbi, but am interesting in resolving the above issues. Thanks.

 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 6
Doug-48051
Luminary

Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues

Great write-up.

 NetGear is looking at wired backhaul it is a hot topic in the community.  Rolling back firmware will just cause the orbi to auto update again.

 

Welcome to the community

 

 

Doug-48051
Orbi Wifi 6 and SAT
OS: Win10 | 36 connected devices | Router and Sat. about 50 ft a part. (two walls)
Message 2 of 6
captain_phaser
Apprentice

Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues

With firmware V1.12.0.18 released here's an update to my current setup:

 

  1. 2.4 GHz Performance 

I have noticed that my 2.4GHz speeds appear to have gone up slightly in areas on my property that were getting very poor speeds, but the overall issue of never being able to get over 230Mbps on my desktop (wireless) and 130Mbps on any of the phones remains. I am really curious as to what conditions are required to get the max 2.4GHz speeds. I have done speed tests as well as local file transfers in my testing.

 

    2. Separate SSID's / Disabling Bands

 

The strange removal of the option to disable either 2.4GHz or 5GHz band has become quite bothersome. I previously had the 2.4GHz band disabled due to its inferior performance (even at long range), but now I am forced to keep it on. I understand the "Bandsteering" feature is integral to the marketing of the Orbi, but it does not seem to work very well with my setup. I am having issues with my devices being "stuck" on the 2.4GHz band when they should be on the 5GHz band. This even occurs in the same room as the router or satellite. There was a suggestion to lower the 2.4GHz power output, but apparently that option was removed as well. The simple solution is to keep both bands on in the default settings, but allow for us to configure them in the advanced settings. 

 

   3. 5GHz Performance on Mobile Devices

 

I have since had the opportunity to test my wifi speeds on some of my guest's phones and am still hitting an apparent cap in mobile speed tests. I performed speed tests and local file transfers and fail to achieve more than around 300Mbps consistently. I've had a few fluke speedtests of around 380-400, but they can never be followed up with the same speed. This testing is all done with only the device being tested utilizing the network, and at various distances from the router or satellite. The phones being tested all have the capability for gigabit wifi, so I remain at a loss as to why the Orbi is failing to deliver maximum speeds.

 

I truly hope that the following options return in the next firmware update:

  • Enable/Disable 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands
  • Adjust power output of each band
  • Turn off automatic firmware updates

I would again appreciate any tips on improving my current Orbi setup.

Message 3 of 6
BStinger
Tutor

Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues


@captain_phaser wrote:

With firmware V1.12.0.18 released here's an update to my current setup:

 

  1. 2.4 GHz Performance 

I have noticed that my 2.4GHz speeds appear to have gone up slightly in areas on my property that were getting very poor speeds, but the overall issue of never being able to get over 230Mbps on my desktop (wireless) and 130Mbps on any of the phones remains. I am really curious as to what conditions are required to get the max 2.4GHz speeds. I have done speed tests as well as local file transfers in my testing.

 

    2. Separate SSID's / Disabling Bands

 

The strange removal of the option to disable either 2.4GHz or 5GHz band has become quite bothersome. I previously had the 2.4GHz band disabled due to its inferior performance (even at long range), but now I am forced to keep it on. I understand the "Bandsteering" feature is integral to the marketing of the Orbi, but it does not seem to work very well with my setup. I am having issues with my devices being "stuck" on the 2.4GHz band when they should be on the 5GHz band. This even occurs in the same room as the router or satellite. There was a suggestion to lower the 2.4GHz power output, but apparently that option was removed as well. The simple solution is to keep both bands on in the default settings, but allow for us to configure them in the advanced settings. 

 

   3. 5GHz Performance on Mobile Devices

 

I have since had the opportunity to test my wifi speeds on some of my guest's phones and am still hitting an apparent cap in mobile speed tests. I performed speed tests and local file transfers and fail to achieve more than around 300Mbps consistently. I've had a few fluke speedtests of around 380-400, but they can never be followed up with the same speed. This testing is all done with only the device being tested utilizing the network, and at various distances from the router or satellite. The phones being tested all have the capability for gigabit wifi, so I remain at a loss as to why the Orbi is failing to deliver maximum speeds.

 

I truly hope that the following options return in the next firmware update:

  • Enable/Disable 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands
  • Adjust power output of each band
  • Turn off automatic firmware updates

I would again appreciate any tips on improving my current Orbi setup.


Nice post!

 

Netgear why is there no response in the forums to almost anything?

 

The Orbi system has the possibility of being a really good WiFi system for larger homes but it seems like Netgear is wasting resources on 'removing' functionality instead of fixing reported issues.

 

I cannot understand why you would remove the ability to to off automatic updates, turning off the 2.4GHz radio etc.

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 4 of 6
khad
Apprentice

Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues


@captain_phaser wrote:

I understand the "Bandsteering" feature is integral to the marketing of the Orbi, but it does not seem to work very well with my setup. I am having issues with my devices being "stuck" on the 2.4GHz band when they should be on the 5GHz band. This even occurs in the same room as the router or satellite. There was a suggestion to lower the 2.4GHz power output, but apparently that option was removed as well. The simple solution is to keep both bands on in the default settings, but allow for us to configure them in the advanced settings. 

I couldn't have said it better myself. They don't make it easy, but there is a way to set a separate SSID for your 5 GHz network:

 

 

Message 5 of 6
stewiejam
Aspirant

Re: Orbi RBK50 Issues

I have to add I've had these problems from day 1 and tried everything such as throttling back the 2.4 by reducing power to 50% for that band but still all devices end up connected at 2.4.  All updates have not changed this.  Restarting the Orbi's fixes the issues for a few hours at best.  

Further in Australia after 3 months from purchase, they want about $130 for a support call before they even speak to you with no guarantee of outcome or resolution.

Frustratingly I feel this is almost the worst experience I have had ever in lack of suppport from a vendor, and really now not sure the product meets the specs under which it is sold.

If someone from Netgear is reading, there are many asking help for this issue.  Please address.  Feels like this could be areally good product and while range is very good, not supporting 5GHz these days where customers pay this much to get that performance is not good.

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 6 of 6
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