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Aspirant

Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

What kind of firmware does the Orbi router use. Is it DD-WRT, or is it proprietary? If proprietary what are the configuration options for the user?

Message 1 of 22
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NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

It's proprietary.

 

All our routers come with proprietary firmware, but you can install DD-WRT firmware on a number of our routers. There is a list of supported devices on DD-WRT's website. Orbi is not on this list.

 

Orbi is designed to provide Whole Home Wi-Fi. This is an exciting new product that we've put a huge amount of work into to get it right. As I've read a beta tester mention publicly well over 80% of our beta testers found this worked for them out of the box and that was back on beta firmware on which you'd expect there to be problems.

 

If you want the features of DD-WRT and don't already have a router that could run that you could e.g. get a R7000 and put DD-WRT on that. Connect the Orbi router to the R7000 and put the Orbi router in AP (Access Point) mode to avoid double NAT. Use the DD-WRT router for the router side of things and Orbi to provide whole home Wi-Fi.

 

When the Orbi router is in AP mode you can still connect the satellite to it.

Message 2 of 22
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Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Just purchased Orbi. Excited!

 

After my first few hours of powering on I notice a couple firmware problems.

 

1. Cannot change IP address or DNS setting in AP mode. Must change back to Router mode.

 

2. I setup Orbi in AP mode, assigned static IP, gateway and DNS. After logging back in using AP mode, I do not have DNS. Hence Orbi cannot connect to internet and download firmware.

 

Please fix,

 

Thank You

Message 3 of 22
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Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

I come from a ASUS setup with Merlin software. This is my first Netgear product in a long time.

 

I would like to ask Netgear if I am asking too much in year 2016 for some "basic" advanced features. And not a DD-WRT response. I have always found DD-WRT software very cool, but far too buggy and unstable?

 

1. Stop locking out functions when running in AP mode. 

A. Ability to change IP, DNS, Gateway setting using AP mode.

B. Ability to set an IPv6 address, DNS and gateway using AP mode. Some ISPs are IPv6 only, and some of the more advanced users are trying to run IPv6 households.

C. Ability to change "device" name, host name using AP mode.

D. Syslog server ability. Many homes have QNAP or Synology devices. I have all devices setup to send thier logs to my Synology Syslog server.

E. SNMP would be a very nice feature. I use Spiceworks software which has some really great device monitoring ability. It can also help troubleshoot problems. 

F. Abilty to disable ALL LEDS Lights. Stealth Mode. My Orbi router is next to my TV and it has some Magenta light glowing on and off. Maybe because it cannot connect to internet due to AP mode locking out IP, DNS, settings....

 

I know some of these functions Netgear will view as "too much" for average customers. But some of these settings are features ALL Netgear competitors offer. And in 2016, going into 2017, some of these "advanced" features normally found on higher end devices, are now "normal" features for a very "home" technical world.

 

I can tell you I am missing my ASUS 3200 right, and still wishin my return policy. God save us, if ASUS announces a Orbi alternative product....I may run back to ASUS....

 

 

Message 4 of 22
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Hello Flash008

 

These are great Ideas I would suggest posting with over in our Idea exchange board so the community can up vote them.

 

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Idea-Exchange-For-Home/idb-p/idea-exchange-for-home

 

DarrenM

Message 5 of 22
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Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

hi flash

 

i think you are confused about what AP mode actually is

 

when any router is placed in access point mode its router functionality is bypassed and thus all control is passed forward to whatever router or gateway its connected to , merlin himself has even said so in the smallnetbuilder forums

 

i will address some of your other points

 

D. Syslog server ability.

 

would be nice but its not what the orbi is designed around , its designed for the plug and play set who wouldnt care less about syslog

 

E. SNMP would be a very nice feature.

 

see above

 

F. Abilty to disable ALL LEDS Lights.

 

you do understand that if the orbi has the magenta light glowing you have an issue and no its not because its in ap mode see my commment above

 

so have you still got the 3200? or what have you got the orbi connected to for routing and internet connection seeing as you have the orbi in AP mode ?

 

 

Message 6 of 22
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Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

First, I appreciate your response.

 

I believe you are not understanding my concerns and requests, or I did not do a good job of explaining.

 

Please allow me to respond with what I hope is better explanation. Sorry for the "novel".

 

I still have my ASUS 3200s. I have now removed both 3200s in favor of the Netgear Orbi during my trial period. I have a 45 day return policy with Best Buy. This is day 3.


1. I am not, nor have I, used any consumer grade router as a firewall/router. I use SMB/Enterprise class firewalls. I am currently using Sophos UTM and XG.

A. Consumer grade firewalls are static port blocking firewalls with minimal IDS ability.
B. They do not offer IPS and/or application deep packet inspection ability. In today's world of hacking, exploits, DoS attacks, malware, spyware, phishing, etc....I do not put my trust in a $200 router.
C. Do you really thing I am going to put Baby Wifi Camera in very private room of my home and let a $200 Orbi Router protect them from a hack or attack?


2. I am more than aware that using Orbi WAP mode means my Sophos is handling all router based functions, but using WAP mode should not disable functions that are still useful in the WAP mode.
A. Ability to change the Orbi's IP address, or set DNS servers or gateway settings for BOTH IPv4 and IPv6.
B. Ability to capture the Orbi's NVRAM log to a remote syslog server. As we all know the Orbi will have limited NVRAM capacity and will begin removing older log entries when capacity is full. What if I want to keep my logs for future troubleshooting or security ability.
C.  What about a guest network so friends can access my internet connection without having local subnet access to my internal network devices.
D. Having access to some details of how the Orbi is working. Connection speeds, and other "details" of how the Orbi is behaving. Yes, I have a Magenta light glowing on the router unit, but my satellite unit has no lights. What is the problem, how would I know? I can only see connection details in router mode. Maybe my link speed it too low between Router/Satellite. Maybe their is something in the logs that could tell me...But I cannot access any of this using WAP mode.

 

These are just some of my reasons. I do not feel they are unrealistic as Netgear competitors are already allowing advanced and more detailed access to their products.

 

There should be a "simple" mode for non-technical users. Then there should be "advanced" mode which gives technical users insight and absolute tweaking and tuning, and information, about the Orbi.

 

I am a 20 year I.T. Corp engineer. I respect that 90 percent of users are "non-technical" and would not understand how to use more advanced ability. But Netgear is taking the position that...."You will use our products exactly as we tell you, we assume all of our customers are non-technical idiots, and anyone who wishes to have a little more control or visibility of our Netgear products....Sorry, not going to happen". Which then drives us back to ASUS, Cisco/D-Link, DD-WRT, Merlin, etc, etc....

 

I only ask..."Please give your hobby'ist, your pro-consumers, your evangelist, user more access, more control...I know what I am doing. I know I did not what WPS (I know how to securely pair my clients to my WIFI). I know how to setup my IPs, DNS, Gateway. I know how to setup a guest network. I know how to read my link speed, noise and RSSI levels. I know how to setup my syslog server on my QNAP or Synology. I know how to read a log file and understand info and error messages.

 

I know netgear could easily expose these features...

 

Final word to Netgear. We are not living in the 1990s or early 2000s...We live in 2016-2017 with a far more technically educated and capable world....

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 7 of 22
Highlighted

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

to be honest with you its clear you have more specific needs of your router than what the orbi is ever going to give you and your expectations will never be fully met by the orbi system alone , it will however work fine as ap/sat if you allow your gateway to do everything else , orbi isnt designed for the likes of your or me or enthusiased or geeks , its aimed at the set and forget market , adding more complexity will only exassibate many unresolved issues and add to the list , some of the stuff may become available in the future but lets wait and get the basics working first

Message 8 of 22
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Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Thank You,

 

I felt this may be the response from Netgear. In my heart I knew when I purchased the Orbi I would have the typical Netgear experience of a very limited software design.

 

However, I do disagree that my needs are too much on the “geek” side. Netgear competition does not agree. ASUS, Dlink/Cisco and others seem to agree with users such as myself. They do not require me to sacrifice “everything” to gain “one thing”.

 

I feel if Netgear will not allow similar competing product features offered by ASUS, DLink/Cisco, etc. Then the only option would be to return the Orbi, wait for ASUS to deliver to market a Orbi alternative. I am sure they will use the same software base they use on existing products.

 

If ASUS does this, I think I can safely say that I will have an Orbi-Like-device in my home, without sacrificing the features I have had with Netgear competition.

 

What Netgear did with Orbi is wonderful and I am happy to see the Orbi. But I think we all know Orbi will not be the only product with a well-engineered Mesh setup with 802.11ac backhaul.

 

It saddens me that Netgear still feels they must strip their products of very desired features found on the completion, knowing the Orbi is only doing something that ASUS and others most likely have in their product roadmaps and their engineers are working on it currently.

 

  1. WPS should not be forced! It is very insecure. Countless documents from credited security firms supporting this comment can be found with a simple Google search.

 

  1. Guest Network is found on all network Router/WAP devices today. LOL. Even cheap ISP cable/DSL modem/WAPs offer guest network setup.

 

  1. Ability to see devices link speeds of connected devices. Very common today.

 

  1. Ability to change and set IPs, DNS, etc are found on every cheap and premium router/WAP sold on market today.

 

You can clearly see my point. 90 percent of every feature I listed in my post can be found on 90 percent of all competing products today. So how can Netgear say these features are for “Geeks’ only…???

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 9 of 22
Highlighted

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

please dont mis quote me , i didnt say those features where for geeks only but they are advanced features that the orbi team felt not needed in a set and forget type device such as the orbi adding more complexity will also complicate the build and design , i know thats not what you wanted to hear and as i said i think the orbi will never give you what you want esp in the next 3 days and its prob best you return it

 

i can however tell you at this time asus have no plans for such a device or aimed at this market in th near future

 

if you want something with capabilities look at the ubiquiti amplifi

Message 10 of 22
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Aspirant

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Can you use a VPN service such as PIA or Express VPN with Orbi?

Message 11 of 22
Highlighted
Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Simple answer = No!

 
Orbi is nothing more than a very high quality Accesspoint with basic router functions.
 
If you are looking for anything beyond that, you need to look elsewhere such as ASUS/Merlin, DDWRT, Tomato, etc.
 
Netgear is trying to turn themselves into the “Apple" of the WIFI world. Good looking, and high quality, products that heavily lack features found on all competing products.
 
ASUS would surely be the “Android” of the WIFI world. Suggest you go with ASUS.
 
Returned my Orbi last week. Went with my original setup of ASUS RT-3200s. They work great, they are hardwired via ethernet, and have every possible feature you could ask for. I am sure ASUS will soon release a MESH WIFI product.
Message 12 of 22
Highlighted
Virtuoso

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50


@Flash008 wrote:

Just purchased Orbi. Excited!

 

After my first few hours of powering on I notice a couple firmware problems.

 

1. Cannot change IP address or DNS setting in AP mode. Must change back to Router mode.

 

2. I setup Orbi in AP mode, assigned static IP, gateway and DNS. After logging back in using AP mode, I do not have DNS. Hence Orbi cannot connect to internet and download firmware.

 

Please fix,

 

Thank You


Just ran across this older-ish thread, but @Flash008 in particular, forgive me if I have trouble considering you an 'advanced' user.  Without ever touching the UI, I've permanently set both my Orbi devices in AP mode for IPv4 and IPv6 static addressing, upstream gateways and DNS through the magic of static DHCP and RA.  Smiley Tongue

 

The Orbi is the best whole-home wifi system there is, hands down, and I've *literally* owned, tried, and tested *EVERY* available mesh solution (including Ubiquiti).  The backhaul is _fast_ and reliable, the coverage and signal strength is ridiculously good, and most importantly to me, there is virtually zero bufferbloat - this is a HUGE factor in wifi and something *very* challenging to get right.

 

I'm sorry you weren't satisfied with Orbi, and I do hope Asus makes a competitive product, because the market could surely use it (competition ALWAYS breeds better products and pricing).  That having been said, I probably have one of the most complex home networking setups around, rivaling many on smallnetbuilder, and I couldn't possibly be happier with my wifi saturation and speed via Orbi.

 

Standard disclaimer: No, I'm not a Netgear shill or employee.  What I am is their perfect customer - someone who's been eternally frustrated with wireless for years and after going through many Asus and Linksys products, OnHub, eero, Ubiquiti and now Netgear.  I've finally found a solution that satisfies my needs, without having to run CAT-6 through multiple floors of my house.  No, I haven't used Luma, because it's a joke, and I won't be testing Plume for the same reason.  I've no interest in Google Wifi, because the hockey-puck design is clean and unobtrusive and thus has insufficient antennas for decent coverage.  Yes, Orbi is _big_ and noticable - and like OnHub, stuffed to the gills with antennas, yet nowhere near as fabulously fugly as Ubiquiti.  I'll take it.

 

Rodney

Message 13 of 22
Highlighted
Virtuoso

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

It was entertaining wandering around the router via telnet (see debug.htm - don't leave it enabled, it's passwordless root!).  The Orbi is definitely running OpenWRT under the hood, but unfortunately I saw no means of log forwarding (something I'd like to do as well, though it's not exactly critical functionality, and hardly a consideration for the general use case).

 

It does have a cute custom OpenWRT login banner.  *laughs*

 

Rodney

Message 14 of 22
Highlighted
Star

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Nice, it has debug.htm :-)

Message 15 of 22
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

I don't disagree. Am currently running Open-Mesh behind a Sophos UTM firewall. Flawless. However I was intrigued by the Orbi reviews despite no Ethernet backhaul. Had to test for myself.

Unfortunately my experience was unsatisfactory. While I understand this is a consumer product, the main unit and Satellite simply wouldn't connect when Orbi was configured in AP Mode. Period. Regardless of firmware version or distance between units. Whereas if setup in router mode which I didn't want, they would connect find (blue LED).

That aside, the throughout of the Orbi only outperformed my Open-Mesh if I was literally standing right next to Orbi. Otherwise OM seemed too simple and painless to be true - now i appreciate just how reliable it is. Even turned down the radio to 19 mW or less and the Mesh coverage and handoff are spectacular.

Lastly I will say that Netgear senior support spent quite a bit of time working to understand these issues which I hope will lead to product advancements. Needless to say Ethernet backhaul is a necessity for the next generation. Not interested in Eero, Luma or Google Wifi.
Message 16 of 22
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Apprentice

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Well I am able to run the Orbi router and Satellite in AP only mode with zero issues (aka flawless) tested with both Ubiquiti and Mikrotik routers. Setup was dead simple, and I  had zero issues. I am able to get ~300Mbps (on 300/20 cable) in an area of the house that is pretty much dead when using a normal big wireless router,  No real complaints to be honest, and I think the wireless backhaul is just fine (great in fact) , and it definitely serves a needed niche. Some of us live in large apartments or other situations where running Cat6 for wired APs is not gonna happen. So yeah if you can run wire, sure go get some real APs, if not the Orbi is pretty much the best game in town imo.

Message 17 of 22
Highlighted
Apprentice

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Any idea how the main unit and satellite communicate with one another when in AP Mode? Couldn't help but wonder whether my Sophos UTM was being paranoid and filtering out their communication behind my firewall. Considering when in router mode they were able to sync.

I disabled my web filtering, intrusion protect and advanced threat protection and yet they were still unable to sync. Though my DHCP server issues both units valid IP addresses and I was able to access the internet thru the main unit without issue.
Message 18 of 22
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Luminary

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Netgear is not doing anything complicated (or new). They most likely have multiple "bridges". They act like a private vlan of which interfaces (5Ghz, 2Ghz, Ethernet, etc) and other bridges can be connected to. Any interface which is associated with "Bridge1" would act like a single network allowing all devices within Bridge1 to communicate. But I can create a second "bridge2" and associate the third 5Ghz radio on both router and satellites, and allowing those interfaces to communicate within their own private network. "Bridge2" can have its own ip subnet which is how Netgear is "most likely' handling the 5Ghz backhaul communication using its WIFI password (AP client mode). However, they can also link both Bridge1 and Bridge2 together allowing IP passthrough (which is how your DHCP server can assign both router and satelites, while still isolating the 5Ghz backhaul from the end-user access (hiding it).

 

As for AP Mode. All satellites are coming back to the router for any type of access. It would be VERY simple for Netgear to allow the creation of a vLAN that could be assigned to the guest network. Then link the vLAN to a existing or new "bridge3"...

 

This is how ALL WIFI OEMs do it. Cisco, WRT, Tomato, and all others...

 

Just to be clear, the Netgear user interface only allows you configure access to devices on Bridge1....

 

 

Message 19 of 22
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Apprentice

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Yeah, but the important part seems to be the Orbi not allowing any other traffic but the backhaul on the backhaul channel and radio. That, at least to me, seems to be why the Orbi gets better speeds than other solutions (at least the ones not using a wired backhaul). So in that respect, they are doing something new, and it seems to be working out pretty well compared to all the other mesh and range extender solutions. So no in that regard it is not really  how ALL WIFI OEMs do it.

 

I do wish they would let us know the vlan id they assign things like the guest network though, because there is really no easy way when the router and satellite are in AP mode to assign the devices on the guest netowrk to their own vlan and segregate them from the rest of the network

Message 20 of 22
Highlighted

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

How do you join the beta?

 

Message 21 of 22
Highlighted
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Orbi Router Firmware RBR50

Hello toddcarothers

 

Send me a Pm with your name, email, and phone number and our support team will contact you with the beta firmware. Also can you tell me what devices you are seeing disconnects on? This beta is only for RBK50 units.

 

DarrenM

Message 22 of 22
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