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Mesh Mashup Redux - NETGEAR's Orbi Checks In

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Pericynthion

    Pericynthion Senior Member

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    Tim - with that being said, how are these (and presumably the new Velop) facilitating the seamless roaming approach - are they just running all the nodes at the same 2.4/5Ghz channel, and automatically tuning the power to avoid interference?
     
  2. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    At this point, no product is doing automatic power adjustment to avoid co-channel interference and avoid BSSID overlap. Some solutions implement one or more of 802.11v/k/r. But these all require support on client side and really only help speed roaming. They don't initiate the roaming process itself. That's largely up to the AP.

    The general method of "encouraging" roaming is for the AP to monitor client RSSI and issue deauthentication frames, when it falls below a certain level. The levels used and whether they are static or dynamic are part of each vendor's "secret sauce".

    Well-behaved clients will take the hint and look for a better BSSID to connect to. Not-so-enlightened devices will stubbornly reconnect to the same AP. APs generally try a few deauths and then stop so that the client doesn't become totally disconnected.
     
    Hydro likes this.
  3. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    That's a broken client if it goes into mad-robotic-kitten mode and wants to rejoin without a service rescan - a DEAUTH is pretty explicit to be honest...

    There are still some older clients that are persistent, but things are looking better - Android has improved here..
     
    Hydro likes this.
  4. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    That hasn't been my experience with the Orbi. My Apple devices do switch between Orbi units when I expect them to. And they do it pretty quickly. Posted about this already here, but I'm happy with how this works.
     
    whsbuss likes this.
  5. darkarn

    darkarn Regular Contributor

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    Seeing how my current setup is similar to what some posts here mentioned AND I cannot do Ethernet drops (family disapproved), it looks like I will be taking up the Orbi too.

    I just hope those Netgear issues I read about won't happen again to the Orbi
     
  6. GromitD90

    GromitD90 Occasional Visitor

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    Sorry if tis is old information but the following links to apple support articles on how ios devices support 802.11k/r/v an how the devices roam may be of interest.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202628

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203068
     
    SamS likes this.
  7. jramskov

    jramskov Occasional Visitor

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    Quick question: Are people still happy with the Netgear Orbi? Is it stable? I'm considering buying a set...
     
  8. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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  9. jramskov

    jramskov Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the reply. Having several iOS devices in the house, including the wifes phone, the issue with Apple devices is quite worrying. I do also know that all the complaints should be taken with a grain of salt. People generally only post on forums if they have issues, rarely do they post on a support forum to say "Yes, yes, yes, I absolutely love my device" :)
     
  10. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Occasional Visitor

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    jramskov is right; few people report the good stuff. But, we're at 700+ messages on Netgear's forums over the past 4 months. I don't think it's as isolated as Netgear might imagine. A new FW is coming out, but apparently 5 firmwares have been released in 2 months and still the issue persists.

    I just put up a thread on SNB's Netgear AC section. I just bought my Orbi last week and we lose WiFi (SSID just straight up disappears) every few hours. Range without reliability...isn't quite range.

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/n...-for-4-months-now-new-fw-update-coming.39492/

    No reviews have mentioned this issue, sadly, but it happens 2-3 times a day. I wonder if most reviewers just chalked it up to random interference.

    EDIT: 7 out of top 8 threads (in terms of replies) on Netgear's Orbi forums are about this issue.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  11. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    Haven't experienced any disconnects or reboots or anything other than stability with the Orbi we have here. Working full time all the time, providing great wireless. So it isn't everyone that's experiencing problems. Most recently, I noticed that the firmware version had changed...apparently the Orbi had upgraded to the latest without my having to do anything. And has continued to work well since then. I like that, as long as it is transparent to me *smile*.
     
  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I have been using Orbi as my house router since the review. It gets light use with iPad, Samsung tablet, phones. Our Roku is Ethernet connected, so don't stream much.

    Have not suffered any disconnects.

    Apple devices can be a challenge. They prefer 2.4 GHz and tend to stay stuck to the first AP they connect to.
     
  13. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Occasional Visitor

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    That's good to hear from you all; it seems to be either hardware or corner cases that Netgear didn't get time to figure out (somewhat like their USB ports). If the next FW doesn't come in the next few days, I'll do a return/exchange at Best Buy so that we can at least be sure it's not hardware.

    Yes, it can't be affecting everyone or else reviews would've mentioned it. Thank you for the update.

    The auto-update feature is nice, agreed. I'm glad they've implemented it.

    Apple devices: there's an overlapping macOS issue with similar symptoms and they seem to be fixed with a macOS update, but for most of us, the whole WiFi network dies, necessarily disconnecting all Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS clients.
     
  14. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Not necessarily. In my case, I don't spend days using a product. If problems don't crop up during the few hours I spend testing a product, I can't report them.
     
    ikjadoon likes this.
  15. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Depends on the device - but typically dual-band iOS devices trigger HO within two RSSI ranges

    -75dB - idle state
    -65dB - traffic state
    So if the mesh nodes are too close together, esp. in 2.4GHz, the devices could camp on 2.4GHz if coverage is "good enough"

    Location is everything in WiFi - the disparity in BW that can be offered across 5GHz (11ac) vs. 2.4GHz (11n) makes the problem more apparent.

    Vendors are juicing up power in both bands - esp. with residential gateways offered direct from the ISP's... and it's causing some problems.

    That being said - from my experience with Apple devices and common SSID, they're biased towards 5GHz in general, but there's lots of cases where 5GHz isn't the best option, and they're pretty smart to jump down... it's not the best solution for speed, but it is a good compromise for connectivity...
     
  16. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    Maybe MacBooks don't switch between router and satellite, and vice versa? All my Apple mobile devices (iPad 3, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6S) switch easily from the router to the satellite as they get closer to one or the other, and stay on 5GHz. Just tested all of them to make sure. But don't have any Apple computers, just the mobile clients.
     
  17. DanH

    DanH Regular Contributor

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    Orbi has been running fine for me for a long time. Running as APs or as router/satellite no issues at all.
    Bought them in October.
     
    RogerSC likes this.
  18. Hydro

    Hydro Occasional Visitor

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    I've had my Orbi since Nov, and have been very pleased with it overall... But... These last few f/w versions are indeed causing some disconnect issues for me that weren't previously there...

    I confess that only notice the disconnect issue when I try to use wifi-calling -- that worked fine up till these last 2-3 f/w releases, and it's been terrible since, so I can't use it now. My cell coverage at home is pretty spotty, so I look forward to Netgear getting all of this back on the rails.

    I'm confident it's possible, since I didn't have this issue on earlier f/w versions.

    Fingers crossed a fix is coming soon!
     
    ikjadoon likes this.
  19. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    Wow, looks like I'm the designated "works for me" guy on this one...My wife and I are on Verizon wifi calling 100% of the time here at home. Don't have enough cellular coverage here to make a call. And, guess what, wifi calling is working just fine for both of us with the iPhone, no problems.

    Sorry...
     
    ikjadoon likes this.
  20. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Occasional Visitor

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    Oh, OK, right. From what I can tell, it's been reported for months very sporadically. This last firmware update (v1.10.1.2; released about two weeks ago), though, has neutered the 5GHz backhaul for those affected. Shucks, I think I jumped on the bandwagon at a bad time. :(

    For those affected: if your devices are close enough to the router, you won't notice problems. But any wired satellite clients or WiFi devices too far from the router: it's spotty at best. :( Here, I isolated the only 5GHz highband network in our house with a MAC address that just about matches the Orbi MAC address. This is a 1 minute spread of only the 5GHz backhaul. The drops existed through a firmware reset, new backhaul password, switched router & satellite positions, much shorter distance, etc.. In the end, it totally died: the satellite stopped syncing. I called Netgear and...shockingly...he said that even on L2 support, they had no idea how to diagnose backhaul issues (he was knowledgeable enough about its existence, though).

    [​IMG]

    From the reports: most common on this latest firmware (but some reports date back to November 2016), replacements change nothing, and even disconnecting the modem does nothing: still the 5GHz backhaul craps out on affected users.

    With not everyone reporting it, I hope it's just a nasty corner case. I've returned the Orbi just in case the resolution takes a while (Best Buy only has a 15-day return period, sadly). There's a beta FW being tested, but it's only been fixed for some users. Maybe a number of overlapping bugs in the 5GHz backhaul.

    It's getting understandably tense over at Netgear's forums (and all these posts are just from this last week). I'm hoping they fix it soon so I can buy it again, but I don't want to risk it too early. Good vibes; sorry for the long post; thought I'd drop in with an update.

    EDIT: broken links earlier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
    Hydro likes this.