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Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

ArunGupta
Apprentice

RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

When I run the Orbi app, under WiFi analytics, it shows that channel 40 is most congested channel with poor/average performance. It also shows that Current Channel is 40. On some digging, I suspect that it is the satellites which are using channel 40 for backhaul. The MAC address of devices which are connected to channel 40 closely match those of the satellites. Since the backhaul network is invisible, how can I change it's channel?

Message 1 of 7
plemans
Guru

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

You can't change the backhaul channels. And it usually is the higher 4ghz channels for backhaul with the lower used for the fronthaul

Current setup: CM2000-> RBKE963B-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/50mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.
Message 2 of 7
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

 


@plemans wrote:

You can't change the backhaul channels. And it usually is the higher 4ghz channels for backhaul with the lower used for the fronthaul


User Manual page 148:

https://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBKE963/RBRE960_RBSE960_UM_EN.pdf 



Backhaul Channel:

NA and PR - 157

WW and JP - 108

CrimpOn_0-1667077339874.png

 

 

I love my Orbi.
Message 3 of 7
plemans
Guru

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

@CrimpOn thanks for that! typed 4ghz and not 5 on accident. whoops. 🙂 

Current setup: CM2000-> RBKE963B-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/50mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.
Message 4 of 7
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?


@ArunGupta wrote:

The MAC address of devices which are connected to channel 40 closely match those of the satellites.


This is correct.  Each Orbi unit (router and every satellite) communicates with user devices (Fronthaul) on the same channel (40 in your case).  WiFi Analyzer programs, such as WiFi Info View for Windows and many Android apps, will show each of the Orbi units on the 2.4G and 5G channels.

 

In my case, with one router and three satellites, using both primary and guest WiFi, that means that eight access points show up on the same 2.4G channel (4 primary + 4 guest), eight access points show up on the 5Ghz fronthaul channel, and four access points show up on the 5Ghz backhaul channel.

I love my Orbi.
Message 5 of 7
ArunGupta
Apprentice

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?

I changed the channel to 36 right after when I configured the router so why it is showing as communicating on channel 40?

 

 

ArunGupta_0-1667091001772.png

 

Message 6 of 7
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: RBKE963 How to change the satellite backhaul channel?


@ArunGupta wrote:

I changed the channel to 36 right after when I configured the router so why it is showing as communicating on channel 40?

 

 

ArunGupta_0-1667091001772.png

 


This is a very good question. I fear the answer is more complicated than one might expect, and depends on what program is reporting that the channel is 40 rather than 36.

 

 In North America and Puerto Rico, there are four 20MHz channels in the 5G spectrum that are free for unlicensed use:

36,40,44, & 48.  This covers the frequency spectrum from 5,150GHz to 5,250GHz.and results in a total channel width of 80MHz.

See this reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels 

The Orbi will attempt to use this full 80Mhz bandwidth for the fronthaul connections. (and similarly for the backhaul connection)

 

WiFi has a LOT going on in terms of radio use.  The actual data transmission uses as large a spectrum as it can, which depends on how much interference there is.  Management frames, however, are sent at the lowest possible 20MHz bandwidth so that they can be detected and received by the least capable 5G WiFi device.  Here's a discussion on this topic:

https://superuser.com/questions/432498/what-speed-are-wi-fi-management-and-control-frames-sent-at 

 

What I have observed using WiFi Info View (free software for Windows) and similar WiFi Analyzer apps for Android is that no matter which channel I set the router to, the program tells me that the Orbi is using frequecies from 5,150 to 5,250GHz.  It reports the channel number that I have set for the management frames, but always says the Orbi is using a full 80MHz bandwidth with a maximum data rate of 867MB/s.

 

If the Orbi was actually using only channel 36, or using only channel 48, then the channel width would be 20MHz and the maximum bandwidth would be a little over 200MB/s.

 

This leads to a rather obvious question: "What is the actual point of Netgear allowing customers to designate the 5Ghz channel?"  My guess (and only a guess) is that the goal is to allow my Orbi to do "Management Business" on a different channel than nearby WiFi systems and thus have less interference with that portion of the WiFi activity.

 

If someone can find a Netgear document explaining what setting a 5GHz channel actually means, I'd love to see it.

I love my Orbi.
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