Reply

Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

t_k
Luminary
Luminary

Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

My post about what you can expect with your Orbi system has received a good amount of activity. Mostly from users experiencing the same issues as I did and a few from users who felt compelled to post a vairant of "works for me!". 

 

Anyway, the Orbi backhaul issues are what make the system unusable and they are the most difficult to track down. Knowing this, Netgear is silent on the issue and just tries to turn up the volume on the parts of their product that do well (e.g. speed, design). Clearly, they are trying to drown out the noise from their user base that is wasting hundreds of hours trying make their wifi stable.

 

Below are steps to reproduce the backhaul issues at home. For folks who are working with Netgear support and getting stonewalled, you can use this to show the issue. I did and it worked to get a refund. For folks who aren't sure if you are also experiencing the issue, this will allow you the opportunity to conduct a specific test to see.  Since I don't believe the issue to be hardware, I'm confident everyone will see the same reults. Though, running the test is a PITA.

 


To be clear, this is not the only way to reproduce the backhaul issues. It's just the most reliable way I've come up with. The backhaul issues generally show themselves within a few minutes to a few hours - never more than 3 hours in my 2 satellite setup.

 

Prerequisits

  • An Orbi setup. Any number of satellites, 1 or greater
  • One system capable of running VMs on a bridged network per Orbi device (I used Docker, but any VM software will do)
  • One mobile device, capable of running ping (e.g. an smart phone or laptop)

 

Test Steps

  1. Connect each system capable of running VMs onto a corresponding Orbi, ideally via Ethernet so there is no chance of roaming. As a reminder, this is a WDS/backhaul issue, so the radios from the Orbi devices to various stations aren't involved in the issue.
  2. For each system capable of running a VM, spin up a few VM's with bridging configured on the interface connected to the Orbi (so fake MAC addresses generated and published through the backhaul). For reference, I generally created 3 on each.
  3. Install iPerf3 on a single VM on each system attached to the various Orbi's. Start an iPerf3 instance in server mode for each other Orbi device. So, if you have one router and two sattelites (three devices), you would start two iPerf3 server instances per system.
  4.  Run a continious iPerf3 test at some low bandwidth (say 20Mbps) from each system in step one to all the others.
  5. Now, periodically try to ping all the VMs while moving between Orbi's with the mobile device.

 

What you can expect

After some amount of time between just a minute and a few hours, you will no longer be able to ping some of your VMs. The behavior will change as you move between access points. Sometimes, the behavior will change just by waiting for 15-20 minutes.

 

This is the painfully difficult test I've ran tons of times with the same results.

 

While the test does sound complicated, it's actually using far less devices and activity than what you'll find in the real world. I suspect most Orbi Users have 15-30 real devices connected, and downloading can happen at an excess of 200Mbps - far more than this tests.

 

Last, I should state two things:

 

1.  I shared this test - though not written out exactly this way - with Netgear 6 months ago. I'm certain they never ran it. 

2. This stame test with a different wifi/WDS system, Ubiquity Unifi's, did not have any issues after 10+ hours.

Model: RBK53| Orbi Router + 2 Satellites Orbi WiFi System
Message 1 of 8

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

I have this issue with 2 satellites. If I add my second Orbi (all hard wired backhaul) it boots up to pink ring then eventually goes blue but that moment kills internet through the entire house.....

I have ~30 devices connected from smart home to mobiles and TVs. This is so disappointing
Model: RBK22| Orbi AC2200 Tri-band WiFi System
Message 2 of 8
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

How do you have the satellites and devices connected?

Is there a network switch in between the router and satellites? If so, whats the Mfr and model# of this switch? Managed or non managed switch?

 

Is Daisy Chain enabled or disabled when trying to add the 2nd satellite?


@MillerHouseTX wrote:
I have this issue with 2 satellites. If I add my second Orbi (all hard wired backhaul) it boots up to pink ring then eventually goes blue but that moment kills internet through the entire house.....

I have ~30 devices connected from smart home to mobiles and TVs. This is so disappointing

 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW)/RBK853 AP Mode v3.2.18.1
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 3 of 8

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

Thanks for reaching out.   

 

My setup is:

 

Wired backhaul

27 devices connected in total

No switches in between 

Did have Apple AirportExtreme in access point mode as another access point but removed when issues started...  still removed 

Daisy chain is enabled (believe this was default.

 

Today I am going to delete and "re-pair" the access point which is causing me trouble.  My network is fine with 1 backhauled access point but when i add the second it kills the entire network...

 

feels like an IP conflict type network haulting event but everything is DHCP and in some early troubleshooting even dedicated an IP to the satellites, but DHCP is coming from the Orbi-router for all devices... 

 

Any suggestions?

 

 

Message 4 of 8
JMU1998
Luminary

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

Is netgear releasing a Beta Firmware to test a fix for this issue? 

Message 5 of 8
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

Disable Daisy Chain before trying to set up wired back haul. 

Ensure you have good working LAN cables between the router and satellite. 

 

Should be able to factory reset the satellite, re-add it via wireless first. Get the top LED BLUE. Then connect the ethernet cable and give 5 minutes. Wait for top led to turn BLUE. 

 

I would disconnect ALL other LAN devices from the router and satllites while you re-add the satellite. 

You might try a factory reset on the entre system. Leaving wireless and LAN devices disconnected. Just set up the router from scratch, re-add wireless sat, then connect the ethernet cable to the satellite. If you can get the wired back haul working, then reconnect all other devices. 

 

You might set up IP address reservations right after you get the wired back haul working on one satellite. 


@MillerHouseTX wrote:

Thanks for reaching out.   

 

My setup is:

 

Wired backhaul

27 devices connected in total

No switches in between 

Did have Apple AirportExtreme in access point mode as another access point but removed when issues started...  still removed 

Daisy chain is enabled (believe this was default.

 

Today I am going to delete and "re-pair" the access point which is causing me trouble.  My network is fine with 1 backhauled access point but when i add the second it kills the entire network...

 

feels like an IP conflict type network haulting event but everything is DHCP and in some early troubleshooting even dedicated an IP to the satellites, but DHCP is coming from the Orbi-router for all devices... 

 

Any suggestions?

 

 


 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW)/RBK853 AP Mode v3.2.18.1
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 6 of 8

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

Thanks!

Daisy chain is disabled and I didn’t factory reset but I removed it from the router and re-paired it before reading your post and that seemed to have worked.

Although I had the LAN cable plugged in since the first step it did pair wirelessly (per control panel) then a few minutes it went wired and retained the reserved IP I had set

All working well now and even plugged back my Apple airport and it’s working. Something was wrong with that satellite and I still think it feels like an ip conflict.

All working now.

Ps the network map in the orbi update is pretty cool. And for my airport (Apple access point) shows as wired on router so I can tell what is connected to that AccessPoint.

Pps.... my issues all started after a brownout so I’ve now added power conditioners and UPS.

Will keep y’all posted if something changes

Thanks for your help!
Message 7 of 8
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Steps to reproduce the Orbi backhaul issues

Glad it's working better.

Enjoy. Smiley Wink


@MillerHouseTX wrote:
Thanks!

Daisy chain is disabled and I didn’t factory reset but I removed it from the router and re-paired it before reading your post and that seemed to have worked.

Although I had the LAN cable plugged in since the first step it did pair wirelessly (per control panel) then a few minutes it went wired and retained the reserved IP I had set

All working well now and even plugged back my Apple airport and it’s working. Something was wrong with that satellite and I still think it feels like an ip conflict.

All working now.

Ps the network map in the orbi update is pretty cool. And for my airport (Apple access point) shows as wired on router so I can tell what is connected to that AccessPoint.

Pps.... my issues all started after a brownout so I’ve now added power conditioners and UPS.

Will keep y’all posted if something changes

Thanks for your help!

 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200 v2.02.03(LAG Disabled)>RBK50 v2.7.2.104(WW)/RBK853 AP Mode v3.2.18.1
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 8 of 8
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
  • 7 replies
  • 3010 views
  • 9 kudos
  • 4 in conversation
Announcements