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Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

TSTIT
Aspirant

Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Hi,

 

I've been struggling with this issue for several months and I've tried everything I can.  I work for a large tech company and very network savvy and I've done everything I can to solve this on my own, without replacing the router.  I'm pretty sure it's not a "bad" router/bad hardware. I've found some random comments sprinkled online about similar sounding issues on R6900 and R7000 routers, the posts seemed like they could have been the same issue but they lacked detail.  I also have a co-worker with a R7000 and he had the same issue, he replaced the router thinking it was bad hardware.

 

I'm really hoping someone from Netgear will read this and reach out. To me, this looks like a firmware bug.

 

Issue Summary:

Using any Intel AX200/AX201 based wifi device on my home network (R6900P router) on 5Ghz randomly causes ALL clients connected on 5Ghz to stop communicating.  The clients don't get disconnected, they are still connected to the router but they can no longer communicate to anything. To get each client working again, you have to disconnect/reconnect each client to the Wi-Fi network.  This only happens connected on 5Ghz, not 2.4Ghz. 

 

The key is I can only repro with a Windows device that has a Intel AX200 or AX201 chipset.  Because of my job and that I'm stuck at home right now, I have many devices with me, and only the Intel AX201 and AX200 ones have issues. The Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Marvell ones always work fine (they are all AC or NC based).

 

The easiest way for me to repro this is download something like an ISO file from the Internet, or copy large files to/from a NAS connected to Ethernet on the router (so eliminating the ISP/cable modem from the issue). I'll get great speed for a while, and then it will suddenly stop copying and eventually show an error. If I don't do the easy repro, it will just happen at random times.

 

Router config:

Guest SSID is on, WPA2 with AES
5Ghz and 2.4Ghz are on WPA2 with AES
2.4Ghz auto channel
5Ghz, tried all the channels, same results

 

Things I've tried, that made no difference:

Factory reset on router
Smart Connect on or off (I had it On previously, so the issue was more random because I wasn't always on 5Ghz).  
Changing 5Ghz channels
Changing the Mode/speed/channel width settings
Short/Long Preamble
Guest wifi turned off
4 different wifi driver versions from Intel (on client devices)

 

The only thing that seems to solve it was to change the Intel driver settings on each client to force the network adapter into N mode, that seems to stop the issue (but then I have slower Wi-Fi speed on every client). Forcing clients to AC using the same setting did not solve it.

 

Has anyone else seen this exact issue or does anyone from Netgear have a way to solve this?


Thanks!

Model: R6900P|Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 1 of 16
Lurksalot
Apprentice

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I don't see this in list of things you've tried, but have you tried updating Intel AX200/AX201 drivers?

 

Read through the Notes.

 

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/29520/Windows-10-Wi-Fi-Drivers-for-Intel-Wireless-Adapters

 

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 2 of 16
TSTIT
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Yes, I mentioned that in my post under things I tried:  "4 different wifi driver versions from Intel (on client devices)"

 

So I've already tried the driver you are referring to, and several previous ones back to Aug 2019. 

Message 3 of 16
TSTIT
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I've tried changing other settings on the router, and nothing is changing the behavior so this appears to be firmware/hardware bug to me.  I'm hoping someone else can repro the same or knows if Netgear is working on a solution?

Message 4 of 16
TSTIT
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I tried the new R6900P beta firmware, no change it still reproes the same.  

Message 5 of 16
scottdaniel25
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Hiya,

 

Just wanted to pipe in here because I'm having a similar issue although I've been blaming it on the Intel WiFi 6 AX201 card. Mainly because all my other devices seem to be fine using either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz, but I've only run into connectivity issues with my new laptop that has the Intel card. 

 

What happens for me is that it just continously reconnects, it will transfer data for a few seconds, lose connection, reconnects, and repeat. Very weird. I just updated the Intel drivers and the router firmware too. For me, I'm fine with just sticking to the slow 2.4Ghz because stability is more important that speed for me. Hope you figure it out!

 

p.s. I have a dual-boot on my laptop and the connectivity issues were happening both on windows and linux.

Model: R7000|AC1900 Smart WIFI Router
Message 6 of 16
GergMeister
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I'm having the exact same problem. As soon as I disconnect the computer with the intel adapter from the 5G all other clients can communicate again. This is maddening, please tell me you found a solution?

Model: R6900P|Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 7 of 16
leglerreddin
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I have had the same issue with my router and it was the driver for the Intel AX200/201 that was causing the disconnect, update all of the adapters to the 21.120.2.1 driver version from 9/6/2020. This cleared up the exact same problem to me, hopefully thart helps.

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 8 of 16
spacetimecontin
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I installed the 21.120.2.1 drivers from 9/6/20, but still having the same issue.  Pretty remarkable.  I've never seen something like this happen before.  Netgear support is generally pretty good, hoping they resolve the issue soon.

Model: R6900P|Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 9 of 16
kf81
Tutor

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I'm having the exact same issue as described on my R7000P. Has anyone found a fix? I was able to get it to work properly when forcing the ax200 to use N like the original poster. I was also able to get it to work using AC by setting channel width to 20mhz on the 5ghz band, but then it only runs at 72mbps.
Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 10 of 16
kf81
Tutor

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Disabling mimo on the router cleared up the issue.
Message 11 of 16
capnron5177
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Thanks for the suggestion to disable the MU-MIMO, that fixed the issue for me while able to keep my PC's bandwidth at 5G. 

 

Even with the latest Intel AX200 driver installed just now (22.0.0.6, 9/17/2020), the issue still persists when the set to dual band or only at 5GHz a.

So, for my experience, it's either set my PC's Wifi to 2.4GHz or disable MU-MIMO. 

 

What would I miss without MIMO? I do have other PCs and devices, I have yet to experience lag even with the household streaming all at the same time.

Model: R6900P|Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 12 of 16
kf81
Tutor

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Message 13 of 16
avtella
Prodigy

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

You can disable MU-MIMO if it's causing issues, with minimal performance real world effect, SmallNetbuilder has more in depth tests. It works best on Qualcomm based routers in my experience where there is a consistent noticable gain, on Broadcom based ones however not so much and in some instances on BCM chipsets it can actually make performance worse from what I saw in tests. Some Broadcom WiFi clients like the Galaxy S6/S7 would even drop to like single antenna mode with MU. Intel and Qualcomm devices do it well, but even then its most effective when devices are a decent distance apart.

Message 14 of 16
avtella
Prodigy

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

I wouldn't be surprised if it's more of the router side issue, I have MU capable Intel AX200/9260/8265AC WiFi chipsets in my 5 home laptps and have not had any issues with my old R7800 or even the current RAX120 both which are Qualcomm based. I usually reccomend it MU off on BCM AC routers regardless of brand, newer AX BCM models seem fine. Also make sure you have the latest WiFi drivers from Intel's site, just in case.

Message 15 of 16
bluesxman
Aspirant

Re: Intel AX200/AX201 devices cause ALL 5ghz clients to stop communicating on R6900P

Yes, I'm having the exact same issue with my R7000P and AX201.  I've tried various drivers on the PC and various firmware on the router with no success.  My workaround has been to switch the PC to 2.4 GHz....

 

Message 16 of 16
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