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Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

xrabbi
Aspirant

Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

Can your hardwire an RBR50 router (WAN port connected to cable modem in basement) to another RBR50 router upstairs and have the second router serve as the "primary" router in an RBK50 router+satellite set?  

 

It is not a question of another satellite, I want the main router upstairs rather than in basement mechanical room.  Of course I can always just run the line from the cable modem directly to the WAN port of the upstairs router -- but then my 2-3 other hardwired connections from around the house that run down to the basement would have nowhere to plug into and I don't want to use wifi for these.

 

I used to do this with a FIOS Gateway combined cable modem/router in the basement (DHCP disabled) and then connected LAN-to-LAN to the RBR50 upstairs.  But since I switched to cable company ISP and have a separate cable modem, I can't get two RBR50s to function in the same way.  The only thing I can successfuly do is make the upstairs router work in AP Mode by connecting LAN from basement router to WAN on upstairs router.  But I can't seem to do the reverse (bridge router in basement and "primary" router upstairs), whether using AP Mode or just disabling DHCP server on basement router.  Or even disabling DHCP mode on upstairs router -- it seems that two Orbis in "router" mode don't co-exist nicely on same network . . .  

 

Any thoughts/guidance appreciated!

 

 

Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 6
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

The most obvious solution is to have 2-4 ethernet cables from the basement to the upstairs.

  • One cable to connect the modem to the upstairs router, and either
  • One cable to connect a switch in the basement to the second floor, or
  • 3 cables to connect those devices in the basement to the second floor.
  • The material cost is minimal, but installing ethernet cables may be prohibitively expensive.

A lot depends on whether WiFi service to the basement is required (or even 'desirable').

 

If WiFi is not required in the basement, the the router->AP solution will work.

  • Modem is connected to router 1 WAN port in basement
  • 2-3 devices are connected to LAN ports in basement (either directly or using an inexpensive switch)
  • LAN port on basement router is connected to WAN port on upstairs router (using the single ethernet cable)
  • Upstairs router is put into Access Point (AP) mode so that downstairs router assigns IP's to both downstairs devices and upstairs devices and all devices are in the same IP subnet.
  • WiFi on downstairs router has power level reduced to minimum possible and 2.4G WiFi on different channel than upstairs AP router. (Note: I believe this totally eliminates any barrier between primary and guest WiFi on the upstairs Orbi, because the basement router is unaware of any distinction in packets that pass through it.)
  • Material cost is one inexpensive switch. No installation cost.

One user has overcome the "only one ethernet cable" problem by using two managed switches and VLANs to use the single cable to carry both the WAN and LAN connection.

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Disabling-automatic-subnet-reconfig/m-p/2031354#M110164  

  • There are two VLANs.
    #1 carries only modem to WAN packets
    #2 carries only LAN to device packets
  • On the two managed switches
    Port 1 is connected downstairs to the modem, upstairs to the router WAN port
    and is defined to carry both VLAN#1 and VLAN#2
    Ports 2-8 are designated to carry only VLAN#2
    One of the upstairs ports is connected to a router LAN port.
    The remainder of the upstairs and downstairs ports are connected to user devices
  • This solution would allow an Orbi satellite to be installed in the basement to provide totally seamless WiFi to the entire house.
    (Even if the basement Orbi has the identical WiFi SSID/password, the two WiFi systems will remain separate in the sense that devices will not roam seamlessly.)
  • Material cost for the Netgear GS108Ev3 switches used by this user is about $200. Installation cost zero.
    There are less expensive managed switches. The TP-Link TL-SG108E is selling for about $30 on Amazon.
    That would reduce the material cost to under $100.

 

I love my Orbi.
Message 2 of 6
xrabbi
Aspirant

Re: Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

Thanks -- but can the upstairs router in AP mode also link/send signal to a satellite elsewhere in the house? 

Message 3 of 6
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite


@xrabbi wrote:

Thanks -- but can the upstairs router in AP mode also link/send signal to a satellite elsewhere in the house? 


Absolutely.  A common reason to use AP mode is when the ISP device must remain in router mode and the customer wants to avoid a "Double NAT".  Putting their WiFi system into AP mode results in having "one router".  People do it all the time.

I love my Orbi.
Message 4 of 6
xrabbi
Aspirant

Re: Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

Thanks, will try and report back.  But confirming that no way to have the Orbi router in the basement be set to passive/bridge mode and have the one upstairs do all the work -- is that right? 

Message 5 of 6
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Two RBR50 routers, + one satellite

That is correct.  Orbi's have only two modes: router and access point.  Bridge mode in the basement leaves all those basement devices without a connection to upstairs.

I love my Orbi.
Message 6 of 6
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