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Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

nanohead
Guide

Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

I've been trying to diagnose these problems that many people are having and  have been experimenting with a variety of things.  Needless to say, there are clear Firmware bugs, without a doubt.  The system has been highly inconsistent since it auto updated.  The Backhaul being in a constant "poor" state is a firmware problem.  The satellite dropping offline and coming back online is most likely a firmware problem. 

 

I've spent hours doing wifi scans with multiple tools on multiple Wifi adapters.  Using a Thinkpad with current Intel wifi adapter drivers, as well as a Pixel XL.   I also had both the Orbi router web interface opened, as well as the Satellite web interface opened.

 

Here's what I've learned so far.  First of all, nearly every single suggestion I've tried hasn't worked.  The whole daisy chain thing does nothing.... at all.  Removing the satellite, resetting, and rejoining the Orbi router does nothing.  Factory reset does nothing.  Every other suggestion does nothing.  

 

Other things I've learned:

  • The Orbi Router uses a group of MAC addresses.  Each one is incremented by one digit on the end of the address (AA, AB, AC, AD, etc).  
  • 5 GHZ channel 157 is used for something, most likely Backhaul, but its unclear to me.  On mine, it bounces up and down, goes offline, and comes back online randomly.  I haven't tried to correlate the cycling with the fairly useless lights on top of the satellite, but it seems to follow the pattern.   The cycling is since the firmware update.
  • Signal strength on Channel 157 bounces from -38 to -95 in a repeating pattern.
  • After scanning Wifi in my area (in the mountains in Vermont, very few houses around, no other wifi networks found, other than my neighbors Synology box) , there is no wifi channel congestion.  With that one exception, EVERY single wifi connection is from the Orbi
  • Backhaul switches back and forth between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz randomly, at least according to the mostly useless Satellite status page.  Even though Netgear advertises Backhaul as dedicated 5Ghz, which may be true, and it may think its on channel 157, but the Satellite status screen is murky at best
  • The Satellite may in fact use 2.4Ghz for backhaul also.  Its massively confusing from the status page.
  • The Satellite uses different MAC addresses than the router.  What appears to be the 5Ghz radio on the Satellite goes up and down, every few seconds.

What I tried:

  • The Daisy Chain setting.  Tried it on and off.  Made zero difference.
  • Moving the router and satellite to other locations.  Made zero difference
  • Resetting, etc.  Made zero difference.

Now....  the wierdest thing ever.   

  • I randomly decided to experiment with channel assignment.  Presumably, wifi channel assignments in the GUI have zero to do with the Backhaul, but at this point, I'm not sure that is the case anymore.
  • I first started with 2.4Ghz.   I changed the this to Channel 11, mostly because I felt like it.  Lo and behold!  Backhaul status immediately changed to Good!  (not making this up)
  • I then tried changing the 5Ghz channel to 44, which caused the Backhaul status to change to Poor!  (huh?)
  • I then switched it back to channel 48, and it now gets even wierder...  The Satellite DISAPPEARED....      It then (I guess??) rebooted and reconnected, but now, its stuck on Poor again!

I'm going to do more testing, but I believe that the .210 firmware has serious issues.  It simply does not work correctly.  Even the el cheapo TP Link router at one of my kids houses works more consistently.   Its very flaky to say the least and a major disappointment.   I have Ubiquiti at our main family house and have not experienced anything like this.   I understand that Netgear is mostly consumer oriented, and therefore somewhat shoddier than Ubiquiti, which is enterprise oriented.  But I now have the distinct feeling that the Netgear engineers aren't focusing on consistency as much as they should with this fairly expensive product

 

 

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 7
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

What is the Mfr and model# of the ISP modem the NG router is connected too?
Did you use the Auto Update when the FW was updated and continue? 


What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
What is the distance between the router and satellite(s)? 30 feet is recommended in between them to begin with depending upon building materials.

What channels are you using? Auto? Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.
Any Wifi Neighbors near by? If so, how many?

Yes all 1## channels on 5Ghz is the wirelss back haul and is not usable or configurable. This is intended by NG. 

 

Try disabling the following and see:
MIMO, Daisy Chain, Fast Roaming, IPv6 and Set 20/40Mhz Coexistence to 40Mhz only. Save settings and reboot the router and satellite(s).

If you updated to recent FW v.210, try enabling Daisy Chain. Some have mentioned that this seems to be working in reverse order, enabling means disabled actually.
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-and-connection-problems-Skybell/m-p/1649275...

 

Try a Manual FW load:
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1647303/highligh...

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CAX80 v2.1.2.1(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.18.223/SRK30 V3.2.33.106)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200CM2000, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450(v2.3.2.120) and WNHDE111
Message 2 of 7
nanohead
Guide

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

Furry,

With respect, not sure if your'e an autoresponder bot, or a netgear employee.  These suggestions you post on every discussion aren't helpful. The modem has zero to do with wifi problems on the backhaul connection.

 

If you read my post, I tried the daisy chain thing, other channels, etc.  I posted specifically what I did and what happened.  I have decades of experience in the networking industry and am trying to triage a reliability situation and share information.  The Orbi system, in mine and many other posters cases, has had major reliability problems specifically around the backhaul, which is why many of us bought the damn thing in the first place.   

 

I could have pulled cat 6e and wired most of the house, put in ubiquiti access points (which I know work perfectly well as I own them), but I instead went with Netgear Orbi, which I've had fairly good luck with (own a Nighthawk also).   But the Orbi has problems, period.  Its not up for debate.  Its not like there's 2 people with these wireless issues since the .210 update.   Its ton of people, both here and in other forums.  Blaming the cable modem, the house size, bigfoot or alien abductions will not help resolve the problem.

Message 3 of 7
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

Please try the manual FW download and update. If not, then you'll need to contact NG support on the phone for there help. Maybe you can give them more information then your giving here. Were only trying to help you out. The more information you can give us the better. 

 

There are many users that are having better operation with manually updating FW:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1647303/highligh...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/RBK40-Download-Speed-Slows-Down-After-5-Days/m-p/1643475/highl...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-MR-2-1-Update-3-23-18/m-p/1548414/highlight/true#M27868
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/speed-slows-down-Orbi/m-p/1551822/highlight/true#M28289
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Is-2-1-3-4-in-auto-update/m-p/1553979/highlight/true#M28616
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-Satellite-RBS50-Not-Connecting-via-Ethernet/m-p/1556692/h...
Roomba: https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-amp-the-new-Roomba-i7-connectivity/m-p/1655054/highlight/...

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1649157/highligh...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1648321/highligh...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1649172/highligh...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1649389/highligh...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Your-experience-with-Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Your-experience-with-Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18...

 

Good Luck

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CAX80 v2.1.2.1(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.18.223/SRK30 V3.2.33.106)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200CM2000, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450(v2.3.2.120) and WNHDE111
Message 4 of 7
ekhalil
Master

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests


@nanohead wrote:
......

I'm going to do more testing, but I believe that the .210 firmware has serious issues.  It simply does not work correctly.  ...

 

 


What wired devices do you have connected to Orbi?

I noticed that connecting mesh audio speakers (e.g Sonos) to Orbi causes many strange issues including Backhaul issues.

 

My Setup Internet Fiber ONT 250↓/250↑ISP Telenor | Wifi Router Orbi RBK852 AX6000, AP Mode, Wired Backhaul / Orbi RBR50 + 4x RBS50, Router Mode, Wireless Ba ckhaul | Switches Netgear GS208Time Zone CET (Sweden)

Message 5 of 7
AlexisG
Aspirant

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

Since my Orbi system (wired backhaul) auto updated to 210, I’ve had the following new issues:

- Amazon Echo losing its connection
- Nintendo Switch losing its connection
- WeMo devices getting mistakenly coalesced into a single device to HomeKit, presumably via WeMo Bridge connected to the Orbi satellite.
- occasional dropped WiFi connection to the Apple TV

Basically, everything is now unreliable. Of course the irony is that this kind of nonsense is what I thought I was paying to avoid by buying an Orbi. Sigh
Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 6 of 7
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Wireless and backhaul problems with firmware 210, technical observations and tests

What is the Mfr and model# of the ISP modem the NG router is connected too?

What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
What is the distance between the router and satellite(s)? 30 feet is recommended in between them to begin with depending upon building materials.

 

Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.


Try disabling the following and see:
MIMO, Daisy Chain, Fast Roaming, IPv6 and Set 20/40Mhz Coexistence to 40Mhz only. Save settings and reboot the router and satellite(s).

 

If you updated to recent FW v.210, try enabling Daisy Chain. Some have mentioned that this seems to be working in reverse order, enabling means disabled actually.
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-and-connection-problems-Skybell/m-p/1649275...

 

Advanced Wireless Settings both 2.4GHz and 5GHz changed CTS/RTS Threshold to 2307.
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-RBR40-RBS40-V2-1-4-16-mesh-network-drops-connection-to/m-...
Change the CTR/RTS threshold values for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (2341 and 2345 respectively), changed preamble modes to long preamble, and Set 20/40Mhz Coexistence to 40Mhz only.

 

Try a Manual FW load:
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Firmware-2-2-1-210-released-as-of-10-3-18/m-p/1647303/highligh...


@AlexisG wrote:
Since my Orbi system (wired backhaul) auto updated to 210, I’ve had the following new issues:

- Amazon Echo losing its connection
- Nintendo Switch losing its connection
- WeMo devices getting mistakenly coalesced into a single device to HomeKit, presumably via WeMo Bridge connected to the Orbi satellite.
- occasional dropped WiFi connection to the Apple TV

Basically, everything is now unreliable. Of course the irony is that this kind of nonsense is what I thought I was paying to avoid by buying an Orbi. Sigh

 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CAX80 v2.1.2.1(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.18.223/SRK30 V3.2.33.106)
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CM1200CM2000, Orbi CBK40, RBK50, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450(v2.3.2.120) and WNHDE111
Message 7 of 7
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