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New XR500 Owner - Underwhelmed, Help Please

Discussion in 'NETGEAR AC Wireless' started by Mark Schlosser, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    Hi Folks,

    This seems like the best place to ask. I upgraded from an R7000 (original AC1900 version) Nighthawk to the XR500. I wanted the R7800 hardware based on glowing reviews here and everywhere else, but that model isn't sold in Canada anymore and by the time I got it out of the USA, pricing was similar to the XR500. I wanted to upgrade to 4X4 MIMO and after 7 or 8 years or however long it's been, I thought it would be good to update the hardware.

    Anyway, I am seeing 100-200Mbps faster speeds on speedtest.net 0-1 floors away from the router, and very slightly increased speeds (30 Mbps faster) on the third/upstairs floor of my house. Router is in the basement. I expected a bit better range, but whatever. I have 660Mbps service from the ISP and I can get 100% of that on a wired connection. From about 15 feet away I can get almost the max speed on Wireless.

    My question however is to do with Ping. With the entire marketing proposition of this router being to "crush the lag" I was surprised to see that my ping is double everywhere. I used to get 6ms on Speedtest.net 100% of the time, and now it's either 10ms or 11ms. I tried multiple devices and multiple servers and at different times of day. Is there something I need to do in the router settings to fix this? At the very least I would expect the same ping as my R7000, not almost double. None of the games I play are on the QoS list so I don't have any of that enabled, to my knowledge anyway, but my best guess right now is that I have something set incorrectly in the router OS (right now it's 100% default except for SSIDs/Passwords). Is there something I can enable/disable to get my ping back to normal?

    Thanks!
     
  2. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    What Firmware is currently loaded?
    What is the Mfr and model# of the ISP modem the NG router is connected too?

    What wired PC configuration are you using? Try a different wired PC to compare test results.
    What browser are you using for speed testing?

    Use Ookla's installable speed test app instead of using the browser.
     
  3. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    What Control Channel are you using? What channel width?

    Are you using different SSID's than your old router used? Did you test for this?

    Did you try resetting the network settings on your client devices?

    Does rebooting the router and your client devices do anything?

    Did you flash the latest firmware and then do a factory reset on the router?

    Maybe one (or all) of the suggestions above may help.
     
  4. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    Hi guys - thank you for the replies.

    The problem is also with wireless connected devices. No matter what, my ping was always 6ms before on wired or wireless when doing speed tests.

    I am using the latest firmware to my knowledge - I allowed it to update during the setup process. I can confirm the version but I'm not at home right now. I also checked for firmware updates last night and it said it was already running the latest.

    The ISP is Shaw Communications and the modem is the XB6. That side of things was unchanged, and I did not have ping issues with my R7000. I have been extremely happy with that modem as it gives me a solid 660 Mbps at all times of the day even though the connection is rated at 600 Mbps and has had zero downtime.

    It is normally wired to my primary PC simply with a Cat6 network cable, exact same setup as with my R7000. It's more the wireless devices I am concerned about as due to a basement renovation, I am currently using my primary desktop PC with a wireless adapter (Asus USB-AC56). My ping was 6ms before on this setup as well in the same location with the same adapter and the R7000.

    The browsers I was using are 64bit Chrome and Firefox Quantum, again, before I did not have any ping issues running speedtest in either of those two browsers. I was using the Ookla browser version, but again this was not an issue before, so I don't see why it would be an issue for the XR500. I can try the PC app though. I also tested with my iPad Pro 2018 11" and Google Pixel 3XL, both of which report a ping of 10-11ms instead of 6ms like they did before on the same tests.

    Don't know the channel and width - I will check when I am home.

    I am using the same SSIDs as my old router as to not cause issues with all the other things I have connected (smart home devices, multiple mobile devices, security cams, etc.)

    Rebooting the router and/or modem does not change anything. My actual speeds seem to be just fine, it's just that my ping has doubled.

    I am using the latest firmware to my knowledge, but I have not done a factory reset as it is brand new. A firmware check reports no new firmware.


    I came across one other suggestion in the Net Duma support forums to assign the MAC address of my old router to the new router, and that helped another individual with a similar issue - do you think that could help? https://forum.netduma.com/topic/25471-high-ping-when-connected-to-xr500/

    Thanks again.
     
  5. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    Browser can effect some speed test performances. Using the app is best for more accurate results.
    Also 6-11ms is not bad either.

    What mode is your modem working in? I believe the XB6 is a modem/router combo unit. If so,
    This would be a double NAT condition which isn't recommended. https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT
    Couple of options,
    1. Configure the modem for transparent bridge mode. Then use the NG router in router mode. You'll need to contact the ISP for help and information in regards to the modem being bridged correctly.
    2. If you can't bridge the modem, disable ALL wifi radios on the modem, configure the modems DMZ/ExposedHost or IP Pass-Through for the IP address the NG router gets from the modem.

    What channels are you using? Auto? Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.
    Any Wifi Neighbors near by? If so, how many?
    Try enabling Beamforming and MIMO(MIMO may or maynot be needed) and WMM. Set 20/40Mhz Coexistence to 40Mhz only. Under Advanced Tab/Advanced Settings/Wireless Settings

    Can give that a try to see if MAC assignment helps any. Doubtful.
     
  6. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    The ISP modem is in bridge mode - first thing I did when I got it. I can log into it and double check that it didn't get kicked out of bridge, but I don't think it should have. It isn't broadcasting it's SSID's so I am 99% sure its still in bridge.

    I'm sure I have been using Auto channels but I can try manually select one. Do the "6 additional DFS channels" help me out here? I guess my old R7000 was in Auto mode and had no issues, I would not expect the XR500 to be worse in that regard.

    Everything is on the 5Ghz band except for my security cameras which are on 2.4. Every device I have used for speed testing is 5Ghz AC.

    I will double check that MIMO / Beamforming are on by default - I assumed they would be but I will certainly verify that.

    What does setting coexistence to 40Mhz only do? Happy to try it.

    I was optimistic about the MAC trick based on that support thread I linked too, but I wont hold my breath.

    I realize 11ms is still a pretty good ping, and I would have been happy if it stayed the same at 6ms (I am not expecting it to get better), but upgrading the router should not double my ping IMHO. Hopefully it's just something silly that will be fixed with troubleshooting.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
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    You may also want to power down your entire network, including the modem for at least 20 minutes (an hour is better).

    Then, plug in the modem and wait for 5 minutes for it to fully boot up.

    Plug in the router and wait for 5 minutes for it to fully boot up.

    Turn on your wired client devices.

    Turn on your wireless client devices.

    Don't underestimate the suggestions I made in my previous post too. :)
     
  8. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    Thank you - when I get home tonight I will try go down the list of suggestions and report back.
     
    e38BimmerFN and L&LD like this.
  9. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    Alright I was able to try most of the things:

    - I left everything unplugged for about 8 hours (modem and router) before starting it up again --> No change

    - Turns out I already had the MAC address of my old router being used for this one, as I entered it as a troubleshooting step during my setup process (Netgear prompted me to do this). Should I change it back?

    - Confirmed that MIMO and Beamforming are on

    - Disabled QoS --> Mobile device ping is now 8ms, but my main PC is still 11ms, wireless speed (Ookla on a mobile device) one floor away from router improved

    - Downloaded Ookla desktop app for my primary PC that is currently on a wireless adapter (Asus USB-AC56) --> No difference in reported speed or ping (11ms) compared to the browser/website version of Ookla

    - Moved my USB WiFi adapter from a USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 port --> No change

    - Confirmed I am on the latest router firmware

    I forgot to check my 5Ghz channels, I will do that. Should it not be automatically picking the best one though?

    I also forgot to set 40Mhz coexistence - what will that do for me?

    Thanks!
     
  10. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    What are your wired speeds and ping results.

    I would do a factory reset and setup from scratch. This time don't change the MAC. Just use auto default. Speedtest with a wired PC first and no other devices connected to the router, wired and wireless. Just the one wired PC. While the router is being factory reset, power off the ISP modem for 30 seconds then back on.
     
  11. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    I should be able to do wired testing tonight or tomorrow - my basement flooded and my PC is currently only connected via wireless while the renovations are completed (PC is normally in said basement). I need to wait for the contractors to be out, but the work is nearly done. I am fairly confident I will have zero issues with my wired connection (R7000 was perfect in this regard), but we will see. I guess I was just really surprised to see my ping almost double on a router specifically designed to reduce ping haha - though I realize this is mostly done in games via the geo filter. On the R7000 I get the full 660 Mbps down / 25Mbps up and a ping of 2ms via wired connection. That is the benchmark.

    I will try a full factory reset - nothing to lose. I did have some issues getting the router to detect my internet in the first place, hence why the router setup program was walking me through troubleshooting steps and one of those was to manually enter the MAC address from the previous router. Once I finally got it going though it has been rock solid - the Internet LED on the router would go white for a bit, but then revert to flashing red/orange even though the modem was fully powered up (fresh start up) and good to go and even after it had already reported that it could detect the internet (via the white light). On my 4th or 5th try I finally got it to detect the internet connection and I could complete the setup. It was a PITA and I hope I don't have to go through all that again. I might have not powered on something in the correct order, but I was following the quick start guide.

    Will the factory reset keep the current firmware?

    What will setting the 40Mhz coexistence do?
     
  12. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    Another test to try is to configure the ISP modem back to router mode, then input the IP address the XR router gets from the modem into the modems DMZ and see if this changes anything. Can also try AP mode on the XR router to see if pings are still the same as a quick test. I would also try speed testing and pings with your PC directly connected to the modem to check that as well.
     
  13. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    Here is my post-weekend update:

    I have tried most of the suggestions here and I did get my ping down to 7-8 which is good enough (after, ironically, disabling QoS my actual QoS became much better), however I started having too many other issues both with range and connection reliability. I had no issues at all on a wired connection, it performed as expected and identical to my R7000 - max speeds, good ping, etc. With wireless though it started to get really annoying:

    My Nvidia Shield won't stay connected to it and I have literally not had a WiFi problem with it in the last 4 years since I got it in 2015. It kept telling me there was no WiFi connection (despite showing strong reception next to the SSID), and re-connecting to to the router (tried both 2.4 and 5 Ghz) did not work as it would report the connection "saved, but no internet". Rebooting the Shield solved the issue but only temporarily. That was very annoying.

    The second major issue I was having was that our master bedroom had a hard cutoff right in the middle of our bed - it was kind of funny actually. On my side of the bed I got 250 Mbps 2 floors away from the router. If I rolled over, or if I moved to my GF's side of the bed, it would drop the connection completely and the devices would switch over to the cellular networks. There was literally a point where moving 1 inch was the difference between a 250 Mbps and no connection at all. It did not make any sense to me, but I tried with multiple devices and both 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands. The device itself would report a medium-strong connection to the WiFi based on how many bars of 'service' it had, but the devices would not connect for more than a second or two without dropping the signal, or saying "connected, no internet".

    I double checked I had all the antenna on correctly (they are numbered) and everything was fine.

    I switched back to my R7000 and all my problems went away. My pings are back down, and I now have strong 5Ghz WiFi in the deepest darkest corners of my house with zero signal drops. My Shield has steady WiFi again.

    I really, really, wanted this router to be better but I ended up returning it. I don't know if I just got a lemon or what but I was expecting at least equal range to the R7000, not worse. The R7000 had better 5Ghz range than the X500 did even on 2.4Ghz, which should have been much better. I did notice the beam forming and MIMO kicking in on the X500 though when doing speed tests close to the router - I could almost get my full 660Mbps over WiFi up to 1 floor away from the router which I have never been able to do before (R7000 tops out around 450 Mbps under similar conditions). At the end of the day though it couldn't cover my whole house in WiFi (it's a tiny 1100 sq ft town home, wooden frame) so I couldn't justify keeping it.

    Anyways, I really appreciate your time and all you help, I did try almost every suggestion here but at the end of the day the unreliable signal/connection issues and range issues became a much bigger problem than me splitting hairs over the ping.

    Are there any other routers out there I should look at that do 4X4 MIMO and would have better range than the R7000? That's what I thought I would be getting with the R7800/XR500 and all the glowing reviews.

    Would something with active antennas make a big difference? I don't know much about that, but it sounds like it would help out the range.

    I know I could have added the mesh extender to the X500 but it's expensive and if a lowly R7000 can cover my whole house in WiFi, I would expect the X500 to be able to without a $200 extender.
     
  14. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    What happens if you downgrade the FW to the 1st shipping version of FW on the XR500 factory reset and setup from scratch?

    How are the antennas positioned? vertical or at an angle?
    What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
    Single or multi story home?

    Is Smart Connect, Beamforming and MIMO enabled? Try these disabled to see if anything changes?

    Seems like our GF put a hard cutoff in the bedroom. Hehe, just kidding. Interesting that this happens right in the bed. How lucky.

     
  15. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    I didn't try a FW downgrade, I guess I could have done that. I'd be surprised if it would make a difference but I can't say for sure. I did, however, do a full factory reset and set up the router up again from scratch and it made no difference.

    House is tiny 1,100 SQ ft wooden town-home (3 levels though - router in the basement). R7000 has no problem sending 5Ghz WiFi from the basement to the 3rd floor, XR500 could get WiFi upstairs but not to our master bedroom - half way across the bed was the cut-off haha. R7000 did not have the cut-off problem with the router in the exact same spot. R7000 had better range with 5Ghz than the XR500 did with 2.4Ghz which should not be the case either. Again, the devices I was using to test did report a fairly strong signal, but they couldn't stay connected to the XR500 past the "hard" cut off point in the bedroom despite still showing strong signal.

    Antenna were positioned how the manual told me to for best reception, with the middle ones vertical and the side ones slightly angled out. I did try different antenna orientation but it made no noticeable difference. I double checked that the right antenna were in the right spots (they are numbered for installation).

    Smart connect, MIMO and Beam Forming were all selected (they appeared to be on by default). I didn't disable them as that was the whole reason I bought the router - if disabling them made an improvement, I would have just stuck with my R7000 that has beam forming but no MIMO.

    Anyways I already returned the router because of the all the issues I started having, and switching back to my R7000 solved all my issues. I thought I could get stronger WiFi in my house with the XR500 but that was only the case if I was no more than 1 floor away from the router, the R7000 has much better overall range which was really surprising to me.

    Should I try something with active antennas? That sounds like it would improve range. I think the X10 has active antennas but it's very expensive! MIMO made a very noticeable speed difference for me, but without the same range as the R7000 it's useless to me.
     
  16. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    Ok. Just FYI, even tough the R7000 is working for you in the basement, it's not recommended to have a wifi router in the basement. the main or ground level floor is recommended for best wifi coverage and range. This may have been a factor. I would try to get any wifi router you have out of the basement and on the 1st level if at all possible.

    For multi story homes, all antennas should be angled out instead of vertical. Vertical is mainly for single level homes.

    Good Luck.
     
  17. Mark Schlosser

    Mark Schlosser New Around Here

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    I agree 100% and I would move it to the main floor if I could. Unfortunately there is no way to get a CAT6 cable down from the main floor to my computer room in the basement, so if I want my main PC hardwired, I have to also have the router in the basement. I don't doubt that it could have been a factor, but if the R7000 had better 5Ghz range than the R7800/XR500 did even with 2.4Ghz, either something was wrong with my XR500 or the R7000 just has amazing range haha. Range and signal strength are my #1 priorities, but I thought I could have that and still get 4X4 MIMO but it seems that I can't. Maybe I'll try something with active antennas next.

    Anyways thanks again for all your help - maybe I'll try the XR500 again after we move as I'll probably be looking for a mesh system at that point.
     
  18. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    Sounds good. If you move and get into a new place, make sure you get the router on the main 1st floor.

    Good Luck.