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Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

Re: WiFi Channel locked to "Auto" and clashes


WiFi Channel locked to "Auto" and clashes

My brand new EX6200 has had the latest firmware applied and is generally functioning fine in all respects. Except...

I've noticed that it is using Wifi channel 2, which directly clashes with the router it is extending, so of course I'd like to change that.

But the Wireless settings screen has the channel selection as Auto and this setting is greyed out - I cannot change it. I see that other people are able to edit this, which is as it should be. But why can't I?

I've searched online, in the manual and here, but I seem to be unique with this problem.

If I can't change it, this unit is useless to me, the channel 2 clash makes using the signal an unreliable and sometimes painful experience (for example, it sometimes pauses for ages on "obtaining IP address" when my clients try to connect.
Message 1 of 3

Re: WiFi Channel locked to "Auto" and clashes

What we have here is a failure to understand the technology, how it works, and how best to deploy it.

First - if you set the extender up as an repeater (the link to the router is wireless) - it HAS to extend the channel of the original router - it has to receive the signal and retransmit it.
Second - the IEEE standards make provision for networks on the same channel to co-exist - so it's unlikely that that is your problem - what is considerably more likely to cause you grief is your choice of channel (on the original router) - channel 2 interferes with channel 1 (as well as 3, 4 & 5), and vice versa - so if you're in an area with WiFi networks on those channels, you will have issues, and because those networks are not on the same channel, the WiFi network will see them as interference rather than as another network that it can co-exist with.

The only usable (non-interfering) channels in the 2.4 GHz band are 1, 6 & 11 - pick th eleast used one in your area.

I'm not sure if the EX6200 supports "fastlane", if it does, you may be able to use the 5GHz band to link the extender to the main router, that is, assuming your main router supports the 5GHz band, and some of the Netgear extenders allow you to configure them as an access point which would require you to link it to the main router with an ethernet cable - either of those options will allow you to choose the channel the extender transmits on.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 2 of 3

Re: WiFi Channel locked to "Auto" and clashes

Thank you for your comments, apart from the presumption you lead off with. I've been deploying wifi networks successfully since 11a; this is not a new area to me, though this is the first time we've tried to use Netgear equipment of any kind.

1. Nowhere in the documentation - or anywhere else I can find - does it state that the EX6200 is compelled to use the same transmitting channel as the receiving channel. If that is indeed the case, it should be spelled out, since it does lead to increased use of that channel and possible consequences, which we certainly seem to be experiencing.

2. There are no networks within range (i.e. detectable by any means) that use channel 2 or indeed any of channels 1...6 - other than the AP which is being extended. Therefore the problems are more likely to be with the EX6200 and its forced channel clash than anything else I can surmise.

3. The fact that these problems occur even when the unit is close to the AP being extended as well as far from it, suggests an issue with the extender itself rather than with network or environmental conditions (the environment is pretty benign, as evidenced by the lack of other networks to get in the way).

4. Sadly, although the EX6200 supports Fastlane, we don't have 5GHz available as yet so that's not an option. Nor does this model support AP mode. So we're basically unable to get reliable extension with this unit unless I first upgrade something else to work around its strange and undocumented design limitation.

Again, thanks for your comment - it is far more comprehensive and informative than the half-baked response I eventually got from Netgear support after jumping through ridiculous registration hoops (ever tried to register for a religiously-rigid "requires a serial number"-based support process when the unit in question does not have a visible serial number? It's guaranteed to maximise customer frustration and discontent, quite apart from the original technical issue).
Message 3 of 3
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