Mesh Mashup Redux - NETGEAR's Orbi Checks In

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pete y testing

Very Senior Member
I configured it in AP mode and left my ubiquity edge lite router in place for routing.

this is the way i have mine atm till netgear release some sort of new fw and see if it adds enough features and flexibility to make it worth it , needless to say in ether mode the orbi achieves its claim of whole house wifi , so worse case it just stays in AP mode on the orbi router and the sat connected

for now im using an asus rt-ac88u with the wifi turned off connected to the orbi in ap mode , best of both world as not even the 88u wifi can compare coverage wise to the orbi
 

beq

Regular Contributor
thats cause its not a hop as you would know it in mesh type systems
Thanks, do you just mean Orbi doesn't incur the same single-hop bandwidth penalty/overhead as mesh nodes or Wi-Fi extenders that share the same channel for client and backhaul? Or is Orbi doing something even more unique?


Here's the problem. I couldn't tell which channel my devices were connecting to. The only devices that could actually tell me were my laptops and I honestly didn't check. The orbi itself should be able to tell me this but it doesn't. I couldn't disable either of he two radios to see if maybe 2.4ghz or 5ghz had gone bad in some way. Due to its simplicity my actual trouble shooting was very limited.
I saw your post in the other thread. I didn't use a PC when I visited my sister's house, and also wished I could tell which connection my (non-jailbroken) iOS test client was on. But I forgot to consult a phone app like Network Analyzer which provides the BSSID (MAC) of the AP radio being connected to -- I assume each Orbi unit have a unique MAC address for each of the 2.4 and 5 GHz radios?

Elsewhere, I also noticed that her Roku's list the Wi-Fi channel they're on (1, 36, etc), though I'd still need to verify on the Orbi admin panel whether that device is linked to the base or satellite. But otherwise, I too would appreciate more stats from the Orbi (client channel, link rate, etc).
 
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pete y testing

Very Senior Member
Or is Orbi doing something even more unique?

that , its unique in the way it works and does not have issues multi hop mesh does

I too would appreciate more stats from the Orbi (client channel, link rate, etc).

the orbi runs like this

both 5 gig and 2.4 gig have the same ssid name

2.4 gig can be set from ch 1 to 11 for client connections

5 gig can be set to ch 36 to 48 for client connections

the higher 5 gig channels are used specifically for the dedicated 5 gig 1733M backhaul , this is not usable for client devices

the orbi uses band steering and ap steering to connect clients to ether 2.4 gig or 5 gig depending on many factors including distance , client max speed and congestion

pete
 

beq

Regular Contributor
Oh I didn't realize the Orbi 5GHz for client is only low band, and 5GHz backhaul is only high band?

To confirm, each Orbi unit has 3 independent Wi-Fi radios correct? 2x2 2.4GHz for client, 2x2 5GHz for client, and 4x4 5GHz for backhaul?

(Whereas Eero has two radios: a 2x2 5GHz-low-band radio and a 2x2 dual-band 2.4 / 5 GHz-high-band radio; and Eero flexibly shares either or both radios between client and backhaul as its complex algorithm dictates.)

It's great that Orbi has band steering and even AP steering (perhaps with k/r/v seamless roaming?). But I assume the client device will still see the unique BSSID (MAC address) of the particular Orbi radio that it's currently connected to -- so if the client switches between 2.4 and 5 band on the same Orbi, or switches between base and satellite, the client will register a BSSID change?
 
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pete y testing

Very Senior Member
To confirm, each Orbi unit has 3 independent Wi-Fi radios correct? 2x2 2.4GHz for client, 2x2 5GHz for client, and 4x4 5GHz for backhaul?

correct

and Eero flexibly shares either or both radios between client and backhaul as its complex algorithm dictates.)


and losses in that algorithm

again see

http://www.snbforums.com/threads/mesh-mashup-redux-netgears-orbi-checks-in.35147/

It's great that Orbi has band steering and even AP steering (perhaps with k/r/v seamless roaming?).

none of them actually have seamless roaming , eg all the mesh and orbi move from one transmission to the other

But I assume the client device will still see the unique BSSID (MAC address) of the particular Orbi radio that it's currently connected to -- so if the client switches between 2.4 and 5 band on the same Orbi, or switches between base and satellite, the client will register a BSSID change?

correct , if you look at inssider you actuall will see 2 x 2.4 gig transmissions and 2 x 5 gig transmissions and the clients move between them
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
To confirm, each Orbi unit has 3 independent Wi-Fi radios correct? 2x2 2.4GHz for client, 2x2 5GHz for client, and 4x4 5GHz for backhaul?
I covered this in the Orbi Mesh Mashup article and included a block diagram.
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
and perhaps we should open an orbi thread in the netgear forum with that said for further discussion about the orbi feature set and capability :)
 

tangfj

New Around Here
Question for the experts here...

I currently have an eero setup in my house. All eeros are hardwired. I'm wondering if there would be any benefit to me using the Orbi vs hardwired eero setup? From what I understand, hardwired eeros will incur no signal loss because there will be no wireless hops between devices.

That being said, since I have the ability to hardwire all my eeros (3 of them), wouldn't that be a better approach than the orbi which is not capable of being hardwired for the backhaul connection?

Thanks!
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
That being said, since I have the ability to hardwire all my eeros (3 of them), wouldn't that be a better approach than the orbi which is not capable of being hardwired for the backhaul connection?
Gigabit backhaul will always beat wireless for bandwidth and stability. and it doesn't degrade with distance!

All these muti-unit "mesh" systems are primarily targeted at people who can't or don't want to run Ethernet to AP locations.
 

tangfj

New Around Here
Gigabit backhaul will always beat wireless for bandwidth and stability. and it doesn't degrade with distance!

All these muti-unit "mesh" systems are primarily targeted at people who can't or don't want to run Ethernet to AP locations.

Good point! I primarily bought in to eero for the ease of setup and maintenance... I've had varying levels of success with an airport extreme + express combo but too often I'd have to reset the router or express to get it working... also because of the setup I'd always have problems printing to my wireless printer depending on which AP I was connected to and I'd also have similar issues with Sonos.... I don't really have these issues with the eero. Anyway, long story short, I guess I'll be sticking it out with the eero!
 

beq

Regular Contributor
I covered this in the Orbi Mesh Mashup article and included a block diagram.
Oh definitely Tim, that's where I got my info. I guess I misread Pete's reply and thought he was implying something else, and wanted to make sure I was still on the same page.

I double checked the Orbi, sure enough the 5GHz client radio is low band only (Ch 36-48). I guess when DFS channels are not supported, it makes sense to segment the two 5 radios between low and high band, to avoid possible interference when using 80MHz-wide channels. Do all non-DFS tri-band (dual 5-radios) AP's work like this? Also, I wonder if the Orbi's 5-high-band backhaul radio is using higher transmit power, or same level as the 5-low-band client radio?

It's disappointing though to read here that the Orbi doesn't support any of the 802.11k/r/v seamless roaming specs?


P.S. How are the further "mesh" reviews coming? :D This site is so informative!
 

beq

Regular Contributor
All these muti-unit "mesh" systems are primarily targeted at people who can't or don't want to run Ethernet to AP locations.
When using Ethernet backhaul, I wonder if there are any consumer-priced multi-AP systems that support all of 802.11k/r/v seamless roaming? IIRC not even Ubiquiti's latest Unifi AP-AC line supports them...
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
beq: All routers with two 5 GHz radios split them between lo and hi band, Each has filtering to lessen the chances of overloading the other.

Remember supporting 802.11k/v/r is not a guarantee of "seamless roaming". If a client device doesn't also support it, the AP can only do so much to make the client move.

I will be doing a full review of Orbi and eventually, Amplifi, despite Ubiquiti's hissy fit at not coming in first in the mash-up.

Although they are not strictly "mesh" systems, we'll also be reviewing the Edimax RE11 extender kit just announced and Amped Wireless' Ally.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Although they are not strictly "mesh" systems, we'll also be reviewing the Edimax RE11 extender kit just announced and Amped Wireless' Ally.

FWIW - common SSID's and the basic understanding of Extended Service Sets... how many SSID's are too many?

I think one - no matter whether it's mesh or wired AP's...

And "mesh" is a dubious claim - many are not, just bridged wifi... but that's ok, if it provides a better user experience, so be it...
 

DanH

Regular Contributor
beq: All routers with two 5 GHz radios split them between lo and hi band, Each has filtering to lessen the chances of overloading the other.

Remember supporting 802.11k/v/r is not a guarantee of "seamless roaming". If a client device doesn't also support it, the AP can only do so much to make the client move.

I will be doing a full review of Orbi and eventually, Amplifi, despite Ubiquiti's hissy fit at not coming in first in the mash-up.

Although they are not strictly "mesh" systems, we'll also be reviewing the Edimax RE11 extender kit just announced and Amped Wireless' Ally.


Just ordered the Orbi today, hope I didn't jump the gun.....
 

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