Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience


Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

First, i am an IT professional and software/hardware engineer.  I have a large ranch with a FIOS cable modem and a low end wifi router connected to it.  I bought orbi because i wanted to get better coverage.  I did alot of reading and did see the negative comments usually with tech there are always negative comment as the positive experiences usually dont bother commenting.  All of the competing systems have similar negative comments and i like netgear and the direction they are heading it so i took a chance...I bouht the RB50 with one satellite.


First the good...


Amazingly easy set up

Crazy range.  Even with just the router (no satellite) i was able to cover my whole house.


Now the bad...Netgear please pay attention...


1-I literally swapped the old router out and the new router in.  Same devices, same connections etc.  I researched the support site and netgear recommended that with the FIOS router i should configure as a access point.  This is what i did.  System rebooted every 15 mins to several hrs.


2-Did more research and netgear recommends to manuall install the latested firmware so i put 16 on it.  Still no change.


3-called customer support.  Reasonable process...spoke to a human in a reasonable amount of time.  They asked why i had it configure as a access point. I had to show them on thier own web site where they posted the recomendation.  They said dont do that!  Access point is not needed.  Netgear...dont post recommendations if your support people dont agree to educate the support peope!.  We reconfigured as a router.  When i told him i was at .16 firmware he said...oh...thats not so good...go back to an earlier version....Netgear...dont post and recommend firmware updates if your own support people are not on board. Did all that and still rebooting.


4-We escalated to level 2...i gave them all the info they needed to escalate.  Was told 24hr.  After 48 i contacted them ...was told to wait some more.  Eventually got a call.  Was asked all the same question that i gave them in the previous call...each time they asked me something i simply said it should be in the record and sure enough when they looked it was there (like the model number of my fios router).  Why ask for info and log it if your people dont read it.  Level two asked for logs and config files...all of which i got them and told me engineering will have to research this and they have absolutely no time frame when they will get back to me!


So basically this device is useless.  I have my old router back in and it is working flawlessly.  I even created a new SSID on the ORBI and put 3 devices on it and it still reboot.  They wont replace the unit.


Bottom line is that in reality the support has been reasonable with some annoyances and there is room for improvement but for a consumer product, not bad. The really sad thing is that ORBI is a router that doesnt route. It crashes in an environment that has been working fine for years on an cheap old router.   They seem to think it is firmware related but have no idea ... how is this possible?  I tend to agree that it is proibibly a firmware issue as there are so many folks having issues but even when i just have the router on a simple 3 device network with 8% cpu usage on the router, it still crazy.  Such a bad and sad experience with this product...not what i expected from netgear.  I will wait another day or so and then return this as i have payed 100s of dollars for a electronic paper weight.  I really want it to work but spending way to much of my free diagnostic services on this.

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

Thanks for the detailed description! Very informative and I am going through something similar with them. I have case number and all but they tell me "Their engineers are working on this issue and they will get back to me" - My main issue is that firmware is bad...really really bad. It broke wifi for my router/satellite and they refuse to replace/warranty the device until the engineers fix the issue. I had to downgrad back to .74 firmware - Right now it's stable...ish but basically the router works hardwired and no SSID broadcasting since wifi is not working...


Just a joke for support IMO.

Message 2 of 8
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

We currently have a beta firmware that has fixes for issues in you can find it here



Message 3 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience



I downloaded the firmware as you stated for the RBR50/RBS50 -


The Beta firmware 2.1.2 files can be obtained from here:




Upgraded the satellite first and then router. Everything seemed to work fine but when I turned off the satellite to move it to another location (because I upgraded firmware via hardwired to the router) it never made the connection back to the router via wifi.


So, I thought maybe I should move it closer - Tried that no dice (mind you never had issues where it was located before) - Tried the satellite 10ft-30ft away but still in view of the dice. 


Just pulses white then solid magenta. Tried multiple syncs - Not no connection. I am able to connect it hardwired to the router and can login to admin panel but it will not connect via wifi.



Message 4 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience



After upgrading the router - I logged back into the router and found the device was not broadcasting the SSID


This also happened when I tried to downgrade from the beta to all showed the same error -


Refer to this link -


I had to reset both router/satellite and revert back to just to have the router broadcast wifi and satellite to connect. After that I went ahead and upgraded to for KRACK fix.


I will not be using the beta file and I will not be upgrading pass

Message 5 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

Also - I went ahead and disabled Auto Firmware update for the router and satellite.


Warning - IF you don't know how to Telnet don't. I don't suggest people do this if they are not sure what they are doing and I don't know if this breaks warranty or anything if anything happens in nvram or what. 


Which I followed the steps below for both the router and satellite. All credit goes to the poster of this solution. 


Butch1326 -


To stop the Orbi from installing the updated firmware automatically follow the steps below.  


Perform these step after you downgraded the firmware to a prior release.


1) Launch your favorite web browser and go to <Router IP Address>/debug.htm


2) Login <username> <password> when prompted


3) Check Enable Telnet


4) Start a Telnet session.  I use Putty.  Enter the <Router IP Address> Telnet is using port 23


5) You can skip this step if you like.  I am calling it out for illustration purposes only...  

Type nvram show | grep auto_* <ENTER>

You will see a list similar to this:

root@RBR50:/# nvram show | grep auto_
root@RBR50:/# root@RBR50:/#


The 3 configurations highlighted above you will want to update the value from =1 to =0




6) To update run the following commands:

nvram set orbi_auto_upgrade=0  <ENTER> (no spaces after set)

nvram set auto_check_for_upgrade=0 <ENTER> (no spaces after set)

nvram set auto_update=0 <ENTER> (no spaces after set)


7) Type the following commands to confirm the 3 configurations are set to =0

nvram show | grep orbi_auto_upgrade <ENTER>

nvram show | grep auto_check_for_upgrade <ENTER>

nvram show | grep auto_update <ENTER>


8) After you confirmed the 3 configuration values are set to =0 then type nvram commit<ENTER> (this step will save the changes)


9) Type exit to terminate the telnet session


10) Go back to the <Router IP Address>/debug.htm web page and uncheck Enable Telnet


Please note within a day or so the Orbi will know there is an updated firmware release available but it will not automatically install it.  If you do go back into a Telnet session after the Orbi knows there is an updated firmware release the configuration orbi_auto_upgrade will have a value greater than 1.  That is okay.  Do not change the value back to =0

Message 6 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

As the OP...just wanted to update this.  After messing with this for hours...eliminating all google home, chromecast and pixel divices (just in case ) and setting up a new network with JUST one Orbi Router, connected to my verizon cable router and a laptop connected to wifi ...the Orbi still was rebooting it lead me to conclude that either there is a major issue with orbi and verizon OR the orbi i have is defective.  If the Orbi cannot do something so simple as that there has to be something wrong with it.  Waiting for "Engineering" to ask all the same question ...again...that were already asked in the other support calls and waiting for them to authorize a replacement is NOT something i am prepared to do after spending so much money and getting nothing but headaches.  My retailer was gratious enought to refund my purchase so i will not be able to test this new firmware.  


Just as an FYI...i put my old router back in 15 devices connected and we have been working flawlessly for a week.  I could not in a million years have predicted how badly this went.  I still beleive that the Orbi archiecture and direction is the best and hope that in a years time when i move to our new home it will be ready.  I could not justify the time or beta test services given that I had to spend 300 dollars for the privelege.


Message 7 of 8

Re: Very Sad Orbi RB50 experience

I updated to the beta firmware and it's not any better for me either. I have 2 Orbi+Satelite systems that I'm going to figure out how to return at this point.

Model: RBR50| Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi (Router Only)
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