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Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Dr. Cal,

 

What versions of OS X and iOS are you running on the Apple products that drop the wifi signal?

 

js

Message 76 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

MachineLearner,

Macbook Pro runs the latest version of OS X El Capitan (updated a week agao).

 

Message 77 of 147
MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Dr. Cal,

 

We are running latest version of OS X Sierra (10.12.5) on our Macs, and aren't having any problems with the Orbi.  I have read that OS X 10.10. x versions have had lots of wifi issues with non-Apple routers.  Not sure about El Capitan, which I believe is 10.11.x.  We had an Airport Extreme router until 2 weeks ago, which of course worked well with all versions of OS X, and we've been on OS X 10.12.5 since before we got the Orbi.  I also installed the Orbi with all default settings, and applied the latest Orbi firmware update right away.   We have had terrific performance from the Orbi so far.

 

js 

Message 78 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Thanks MachineLearner.  I'll try to get X Sierra and see what happens.

I was able to make MBP work for 30 min last night before the WiFi connection dropped again. I just followed recommendations from this thread, e.g. set 2.4GH to channel 11, reduce power to 50%, 5.0GH to 48, 100%, DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4, MU-MIMO disabled, etc. 

Message 79 of 147
ikjadoon
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Out of curiosity, when this happens to your Apple devices, does it also happen to other non-Apple dvices?

 

I mean, is this same as the general Orbi WiFi flakiness / disconnections? Or this issue on this thread is specific to only Apple devices?

 

We've got iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows all dropping: the WiFi just drops dead every few hours. It comes back within a minute, but it's frustrating. And we're on V1.10.1.2, which seems quite newer than what this thread's OP started with. MIMO and beamforming were disabled by default; I enabled it back because Netgear writes this and that sounds like fixing the exact problem we're having. If this doesn't fix it, I'll reset it back. Hoping/praying this new beta update actually fixes this. 

 

Enable Implicit BEAMFORMING - Boosts WiFi speed, reliability, & range for all mobile devices

Message 80 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Yes it is all devices not just Apple devices. The actual connection is dropping on all of them, some devices just take longer to reconnect which makes it noticeable.
Message 81 of 147
wchp
Luminary

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

While we wait for Netgear to sort this out I have put my backup router into service.

Below is the signal graph for the Orbi RBR/S50 (L8-Holyoke) and the R6900 (TwoAchers) behind it.

 

Orbi vs R6900p.jpg

 

 

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 82 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

I was told today by Tech Support that the new beta FW discussed in this forum is only for RBR50, not for my RBR40 running FW V1.10.1.2.  They also told me my case had been escalated to next level, they would get back to me within 24-48 hours.

Message 83 of 147
ikjadoon
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Message 84 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

MachineLearner,

A quick note. After reading your message, I updated OS from El Capitan to Sierra, my MBP (2013) seems to work fine now. It has been a few hours without dropping WiFi connection...never happened before. Thanks!  As mentioned earlier, I did make changes with the router setting as well, mainly setting 2.4 GH to channel 6 or 11, reducing output to 50%, 5.0 GH to channel 48, 100%... 

 

Message 85 of 147
MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

It may be helpful to Netgear and users of these forums to report specific devices and software/ firmare versions that are having problems, and non-default Orbi router settings, to aid in troubleshooting.  I'm pretty new here, but it appears from the specifics some have reported that Apple and Nest products are frequently noted, and miscellaneous other IoT devices also seem to be disproportionately affected.   There is a ton of info on discussion forums for these products about wifi problems they are having with routers of various kinds, and in some cases solution are noted.  In the case of Apple OS X, the latest OS update seems to have helped many (I'm at OS X Sierra 10.12.5 not having any problems at all).  OS X 10.10.x was notorious for behaving badly with non-Apple wifi, for example, and I'm not sure 10.11.x was much better in that regard.   Now that Apple seems to be heading for the exits with their router business (too bad, they were good routers, and of course they worked well with Apple devices), many Airport Extreme users are moving to other routers, and these issues seem to be getting more attention.  

Message 86 of 147
MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

DrCal,

 

Glad to hear it!   Hope it continues to work for you.

 

js

Message 87 of 147
ikjadoon
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Well, the issue persists even after enabling Implicit Beamforming/MU-MIMO. 

 

Netgear needs to change their poor writing there: it's confusing if an option that "increases speed, reliability, and range" is disabled by default, especially when that option purports to fix the very issue affecting hundreds (or ostensibly thousands) of your users. 

 

If this next FW update doesn't fix all the disconnection issues, I'm returning this Orbi and making sure to alert various review sites of this prevalent problem. No point in giving something a glowing review and not mentioning that a large number of users are having difficulties. 

 

No point in being held hostage by Netgear's firmware developers who, like almost all software developers have very little incentive to fix something in a consumer device, after the device had been sold. If initial reviews had mentioned this issue, I'm sure Netgear would've developed a fix faster.

Message 88 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

@ikjadoon I completely agree. Complaints of these exact issues go back over 9 months! We really are held hostage due to Netgear's pathetic 90 day support period where you get to go back and forth being told to change channels, factory reset, and other things they know don't help.

I seriously question those early reviews and all the review sites which tend to favor the highest bidder. I don't feel like Netgear cares about us and they are only focusing on their next big release and more new sales. They are burning a lot of customers on the way who will never fall for their products again.
Message 89 of 147
Bing-Stroller
Luminary

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

 I found this post which relates to the introduction of wired backhaul, but it highlights what the focus was.

 

"Let me acknowledge that our customer base has been clamoring for this feature for a while, and we are trying to be responsive to their needs.  To provide context on why it's taking a while to get it out, during the first quarter, the Orbi Engineering team was focused on bringing out the two new products (RBK30 & RBK40) to market.  Now that it's accomplished, we're actively working on bringing this feature and a couple of other interesting, market-requested features to you.  

 Orbi Product Team"

 

Message 90 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

ikjadoon,

Agreed. I for one bought Orbi after reading rave reviews from BestBuy and other sites, only to find out the system has problematic WiFi connection especially with many Apple devices. We can't blame Apple since other brand routers seem to work just fine. I didn't return my purchase right away because I did see the potential, e.g. devices connected to Orbi satellites do show more stable and faster internet than before, wireless coverage is good (for iDevices as well except intermittent access to internet). Netgear apparently knows the problem, but why it took so long to develop a fix? Following is the message I got this morning from their level 2 support. 

 

"Please be informed that our engineers are still working on this case.
By the way, is it possible to update your computer to Sierra? Because we have similar cases wherein it worked after the upgrade.

Regards,

Expert ID: 8316
NETGEAR L2 Support Expert"

Message 91 of 147
DrCal
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Clarification. By " devices connected to Orbi satellites do show more stable and faster internet than before..." I meant devices hard wired to Orbi satellites...

Message 92 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Lol Bing, that message from Netgear was like a big slap in the face to everyone having issues.

DrCal, my experience with support is very similar. Back and forth often with multiple days of delay just to tell me to reset the router or turn off beamforming and it is just a never ending cycle. Fun fact: Level 2 support is in the Phillipines and is run by a 3rd party called Concentrix... It's not even Netgear.
Message 93 of 147
Bing-Stroller
Luminary

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

That comment was from 26 Apr

 

- at least it was a honest statement Smiley Happy

Message 94 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

I would request that you all take a look at the backhaul signal coming from your router. I certainly don't see how it would be possible to have a stable connection when this is going on. Please post your findings if you can, I'd really like Netgear to explain why this is happening or if is a hardware issue.  


Screenshot_2017-06-04-19-24-44-1.png

Message 95 of 147
ikjadoon
Star

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

The Satellite went from spotty to essentially dead today. I checked out WiFi Analyzer and you were spot-on, mate; this MAC address lined up with the Orbi and it's a high-band 5GHz network. The backhaul is useless; it's barely holding a connection for 30 seconds. This product is essential DOA: had it for a week, the next 50% of the product has essentially died. Can others check WiFi Analyzer and their backhauls? If not, I'm chalking up this problem to hardware and that's a bit scary to know, looking at this thread's size. I tried the Satellite closer; I switched the Router / Satellite positions; I changed their orientation and connected devices, I reset the FW, I generated a new password, etc.

 

This was in the 45 minutes with Netgear's support trying to get the Satellite to sync; they gave up and it never synced. They said they'd only replace the Satellite (but why not the router?) I told him about the crazy drops every few seconds and he said there was no way to diagnosis any backhaul issues.  He admitted they should have a way, but they don't. They gave a time estimate of one to two weeks to send/replace the Satellite (on my own dime), unless I wanted to pay extra. With Best Buy's short return period, I said that's not acceptable for a product that they can't even properly diagnose. Then they waived the advanced replacement fee, but still would only take back and send me a new Satellite. If they can't diagnose it...then how are they sure it's not the router, too? Why not take back both and test them? How many days will I be waiting if I have to return this thing piecemeal? The mate had no reply. 

 

Returning this to Best Buy tomorrow; not waiting for Netgear to run out my return period when they can't diagnose the one unique feature this router actually has. If/when the new firmware lands and there's a legion of current owners who can say the Orbi's been fixed, I'll reconsider it. Until then, I'm not giving Netgear the benefit of the doubt. Thank you to everyone who confirmed this very widespread issue. Hopefully the new FW will fix Sonos, the Apple issues, the Nest camera issues, and this quite broken backhaul (and I'm praying it's not hardware):

 

543

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Message 96 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Thanks for posting ikjadoon. I would not be surprised if this affects every single Orbi router. I feel like this has to be a hardware issue, it's been going on since the Orbi was released. I hope others continue to post their results so this terrible issue can gain more attention.

All Netgear engineers are trying to do with their firmware releases is force more devices to connect to the router instead of the satellite and cover up the problem. I have had a support ticket for months and they first made me return the satellite which made absolutely no sense like you said. Their support is outsourced and when the technician hears the word satellite and disconnection they just assume that is the problem and they don't fully understand the product. I received a RMA router replacement yesterday and it was brand new in box and had these backhaul drops instantly before I even connected it to my modem. If I were you I would definitely return it while you can. I bought mine from Best Buy in January so I am stuck at the mercy of Netgear. I'm trying to get a refund due to their warranty on this defective product they can't repair.

Message 97 of 147
MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Another data point:  we have a house full of Apple products and we're not having any problems.  I found this forum not because I had a problem, but because I did a "vanilla" setup with all default settings and had a few questions about potential setting tweaks (like IPv6 settings).  Now I am very curious about what is going on.   At least one person has been helped by upgrading Mac OS X to latest version (some previous versions have not played well with many non-Apple routers). And a quick look at the Nest customer forums and other IoT device forums will show you that many people are having problems with those devices with a broad range of routers, and there are some recommended solutions posted on the Nest forums (I only know, because I look at the product community forums before I buy).   But clearly there is much more going on.  

 

First, a few quick facts:  (1) Netgear did over $1.2B in revenue last year;  (2) they have over 50% of the high-end consumer router market (no I don't have a precise definition for that, it is from an investor presentation); (3) some of us are not having any problems, and, in fact, have terrific performance from Orbi.  I suspect most Orbi users are very happy, which is why they are sellng so well.   Based on my limited experience over about 2 weeks, I think the rave reviews that got us to buy Orbi were basically legit.  I saw a recent post on the forum that said there are over 700 posts about Orbi connection problems -- that is a very small drop in a very large bucket.   Either there are hardware quality issues that have affected a small % of their routers, or there is something about the environment or router config that's not working for people who are having problems.  Our experience may be more typical of the "no problem" customer in that while we have a lot of connected devices of various types, we don't have anything very complicated going on with wifi.  The tricky devices are all connected to the router via Cat6 cable (via one of several switches on an ethernet backbone).  We use wifi primarily for laptops, cell phones, and iPads, all of which have their current OS version.  The Sonos units, Apple TV, AVR, Blu-ray player, etc, are all connected via Cat 6.  And our wifi devices all have the latest version of the relevant OS (this makes a difference with many products).  We have the Orbi connected directly to a current model (Arris SB 6190) cable modem via Cat 6 cable (not connected to another router / cable modem combo provided by the cable company).  I suspect it is complexity in some environments that is causing the problems, and it may help some people to fall back to their previous router, review the settings, and figure out what is different.   Having an Orbi router connected to another router provided by the cable co makes things more complicated. 

 

For us, Orbi replaced an Apple Airport extreme router plus a 2nd AE router connected as an access point, via Cat 5 ethernet cable  (in "roaming mode" as Apple recommends).  This was a great product combo, but never provided solid wifi to a remote 2nd floor office.  I was planning on trying another WAP on second floor, but decided to try Orbi to replace both AE units.  Though the Orbi lacks the ethernet backhaul option we had with Apple AE  (rumored firmware upgrade), we still get much better wifi coverage on the second floor.  The Orbi has been as stable as the Apple units (very stable), with much better wifi performance in remote areas of our house (covering about 3,000 sf with near our 150mbps service level, and getting about half that in basement where we have no Orbi).   Believe me, I'm not gloating, just pointing out that there may be something specific about your setup that is making things complicated, and I hope you can find it.

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 98 of 147
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

Thanks machinelearner. Would you mind checking your backhaul signal and posting the results? It would be very helpful to see how it looks for a user who is not having these issues.

If there's one thing I have learned in all of this, it's to check product forums first before buying any tech product.
Message 99 of 147
MachineLearner
Apprentice

Re: Orbi drops wifi for iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and Macbook Pro intermittently

 
Message 100 of 147
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