Reliability Tests?

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mossywell

New Around Here
Hi, I'm looking into replacing my Netgear Orbi RBR50 RBS50. The main reason is that it is horribly unreliable and after much time-wasting I have concluded it's because Netgear are just simply not very good at writing firmwares. I have reached the point where I am flogging a dead horse and need to look elsewhere. The main requirements are:

1. Mesh. Wireless or wired backhaul (but if the latter, it'll be using Powerline so not ideal).
2. Reliability. Specifically, when I switch it on, it must maintain a solid Wifi connection and a good uptime. (The orbi rarely gets beyond about 8 hours before it crashes and reboots.)
3. Good tech support from the manufacturer. (Tried netgear: 1 month for free only and even during that free period, the only answer I got back was "we don't know, sorry".) I need a company that support me for the duration.
4. Activity monitoring / filtering for kids.
5. Perpetual license (basically ruling out Meraki's annual license fee which would otherwise be ideal).

Not requirements:
1. Speed
2. Snazzy features

I had a look at reviews and the problem with all of them is that they all go doey-eye with pointless features or getting that extra byte per second. None seem interested in long term reliability. (Presumably because they don't do long term reliability tests.)

If anyone knows of reviews of long term reliability from people that have actually tested it (not just "my mate reckons Wifi Widget are pretty solid") I'd appreciate it if you could post it here.
Also, companies to avoid re support.

TIA

PS. I appreciate I'm asking a lot here but, hey, it's worth a try, right? ;-)
 

leerees

Regular Contributor
I am currently looking into a replacement for my current Asus mesh setup. Orbi SRK60B03 is one of the solutions I'm looking into.

The Asus routers all seem to share the same issue which is dropping connections, crashing and then rebooting.

I've had no luck with Asus support. Telephone support tell you to email support. When you email them they tell you to flash the firmware. After that they say contact the person who sold you the router.

My requirements are:
Mesh
Stable WiFi connection and uptime
Speed
 

growly

New Around Here
Funny. I have the Netgear Orbi mesh (RBR50, RBS50) and I've been having a lot of problems lately. It all worked perfectly for 8 months, then one of the satellites started rebooting and failing to sync. Support said I should request a new one so I did. Now one month out of warranty, the main router, the RBR50, has twice in four weeks corrupted its own firmware and forced me to TFTP a new one on. Dumpster fire.

Add to that the useless support they provide and the garbage app, and I'm done with this piece of crap.

Sadly, I don't know what else to go for either. Ubiquiti is promising but expensive and sold out. Cheaper roll-your-own solutions are guaranteed to consume more of my time than they're worth. There don't seem to be many mesh users on the OpenWRT forums, for example. It's 2021 and I just want the WiFi to not suck.
 

leerees

Regular Contributor
Funny. I have the Netgear Orbi mesh (RBR50, RBS50) and I've been having a lot of problems lately. It all worked perfectly for 8 months, then one of the satellites started rebooting and failing to sync. Support said I should request a new one so I did. Now one month out of warranty, the main router, the RBR50, has twice in four weeks corrupted its own firmware and forced me to TFTP a new one on. Dumpster fire.

Add to that the useless support they provide and the garbage app, and I'm done with this piece of crap.

Sadly, I don't know what else to go for either. Ubiquiti is promising but expensive and sold out. Cheaper roll-your-own solutions are guaranteed to consume more of my time than they're worth. There don't seem to be many mesh users on the OpenWRT forums, for example. It's 2021 and I just want the WiFi to not suck.
I'm beginning to realise the same thing, these consumer routers are just not up to the job. They are certainly nowhere near as reliable as mainstream UK ISP routers, which are all extensively tested and backed by ongoing support.

Asus and the like don't really have anybody to answer to, but the router manufacturers in partnership with ISP's are motivated to fix things fast or they will loose the contract.

The solution it would seem is to wait until the ISP's offer their own mesh solutions. I believe BT already does.

Sorry to highjack this with UK specific issues, but I would argue that demand for mesh in the UK is at a critical high. Everybody here wants and expects stable wifi throughout their home and ISP's are all vying to convince consumers that their solution delivers on this promise.
 
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mossywell

New Around Here
I agree with both of you: the Orbi (RBR50) is feature-laiden unstable junk. Your point about "wants and expects stable wifi" is well made: the "stable" is the key - prior to lockdown I hadn't realised how bad it was. But now that I rely on it for work, the regular reboots during video calls are embarrassing. I lay much of the blame with the media, though. They are played like puppets by the marketeers as they go all gushy and starry eyed over features they didn't know they needed because they don't need them, and then they publish graphs showing one router shifting data at 1 byte per second faster than its competitor and slap on "Editor's Choice" for credibility. Me? I'd sacrifice a significant chunk of speed for stability.

I would say, however, that some consumer devices can be stable with the right firmware, power, cooling etc, but I am struggling to find a consumer manufacturer whose devices I can, in general, rely on. As for support: well, the likes of Netgear and Asus simply don't support.

As for using the ISP's own kit - I used to have BT's Home Hub (3 and 4). Plenty of spontaneous reboots with both and the range was poor.

(Finally, FWIW, the most stable router I have is: Netgear WNDR3700 v1 running DD WRT from 2017. Uptime runs into weeks. But, it's ancient and it's not mesh. :-( )
 
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