Netgear Orbi Issue

swall101

Well-known Member
Hi All

So I've had a Netgear Orbi RBK50 and 2 satellites for about 3 years now, always worked perfectly. They are connected to my Sky Q home hub (wireless turned off) and provide wifi for my house. I have had it set to AP mode to avoid double NAT (understand this is preferred set up especially with gaming on xbox series x?).

A couple of weeks ago I started getting issue whereby internet pages wouldn't load, unable to connect to server or would take forever. Did the obligatory reboot but made no difference. Finally by chance I stumbled upon this solution whereby I switch to router mode and once connected switch back to AP mode and all works as expected. That is until exactly 24 hours later when problem would happen again, only way to fix was repeat the above. This has been the pattern of events every day since until today. It didn't happen today (usually about 6pm exactly 24 hours after previous switching as above). Great I'm thinking must of been ISP, so I logged into orbi admin area and discovered I hadn't switched back to AP mode, so only happens in this mode.

Any ideas? I did a bit of googling and have seen similar issues being reported, one of the suggestions being the traffic meter, eg. switch it off. I did this a few days ago (need to be in router mode to do this) but it made no difference. I'm pretty handy when it comes to tech but am no router/network expert and am stumped. Always worked fine so wondering if it is the orbi on the way out, but throwing it out there to the experts before investing in new set up.... thanks in advance.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Things like the traffic meter probably only work when it's routing as these things tend to rely on a routing engine and if you are running in AP mode, then by definition the Orbi routing engine isn't running or is bypassed.

When you experience a problem, you could try testing using something directly attached to your ISP router - ideally cabled, but using ISP router's Wi-Fi might be OK too (if you turn it back on to test, give it a different SSID and passphrase from Orbi and that will stop any clients automatically "roaming" to your router's Wi-Fi) - and see if you get the same issue there. That will give you some indication if there's an issue with either your Internet Server and/or ISP router or not. If that's all OK, then it's more likely your Orbi or your Wi-Fi signalling conditions are culpable. If your Orbi offers cabled connection (of a client) , that would be a worthwhile test and help assess if it's a Wi-Fi signalling issue.

I would avoid flipping your Orbi into router mode and back again. That will make a mess of your IP addressing, especially if so doing turns on Orbi's DHCP Server - however briefly, which could manifest as the very symptoms you are describing for up to 24 hours. Thusly it may well be that 12-24 hours you're seeing issue with something you did "yesterday" which is compounding the issues investigating this. At this point I'd leave it all alone (in AP mode) for a day or two and let those consequences shake out.

Generally, with IT issues, randomly "clicking and ticking" and rebooting things is best avoided (sometimes it actually makes things worse) and some methodical investigation and diagnosis gets you to a good outcome faster. I rather ike the immortal words of Gene Kranz (Flight Director of the Apollo 13 mission) when he said "...let's solve the problem and let's not make it any worse by guessing."
 
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swall101

Well-known Member
Hi thanks for the detailed reply. I have Sky Q, Xbox, Apple TV and processor hard wired into the Orbi and I think these all seem to be OK when the issue occurs but I will double check.

So far I'm still in router mode and no issue, so am sure it is only when in AP mode. As I say the issue is not present at all for 23hrs 59 mins until clock ticks round to 24 hours after the previous switch between AP/Router mode then happens, do the switch and gone again rinse repeat, literally 5 mins of effort/downtime. Didn't realise that switching could be adding to problem and only reason to put into AP mode was what I was reading about double NAT and Xbox.

I don't see any issues emerging using everything else in Router mode eg. 3x iPad, 2x iPhone, 1x MacBook Pro, 6 HomePods which all work fine when in router mode (appreciate this might not be right config leaving in Router mode) and I haven't really got into online gaming yet, just single player locally which has also been fine. So if I just left like this I'm guessing no biggie? Save mucking about.

I will give the connecting to Sky Wifi a go when Orbi issue happens to see if it is the ISP/Sky router but am guessing it probably won't be as all ok when Orbi in router mode. Is there some sort of handshake between Orbi and Sky router every 24 hours that could be issue?

I hope I am describing everything ok and not confusing the hell out of everyone:D
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
Running you Orbi in router mode means you have split your network into two separate LAN's - one downstream of the first (or "king" or "primary" or whatever they call it) node and one upstream of it between Orbi node 1 and your Sky router. That isn't necessarily a problem, but it means devices on one network might struggle to talk to devices on the other.

Dual NAT again isn't necessarily a problem, but some apps don't like it. Also, apps that need to discover your "external" public Internet IP address struggle being behind multiple NAT's.

For simple SOHO LAN's I generally advocate keeping it simple with one router and "just" using any Wi-Fi solution and a Wi-Fi solution. Though if what you have is working for you there's no compelling reason to change it unless so going would "fix" the problem you are having.

Your Orbi and Sky boxes don't in any way "talk" to each other - there's no handshake or "heatbeat" process going on. LAN's are "peer" level infrastructures and nothing is "in charge" of it. Devices connected to LAN's are either service providers, service users or both. So, to use some examples, something may be providing a network storage service, something may be providing a DHCP Service, something may be providing a routing service, etc. etc.

I'm not sure why anything would care about the time - routers, switches, AP's certainly don't (a lot of them don't even have a clock.) For something crapping out every 24 hours would tend to suggest either some DHCP issue (SOHO DHCP Lease length often defaults to 24 hours,) some other "bonus" function your equipment is implementing that isn't working properly, maybe something up with the ISP link or it could be something on your LAN like an App or some malware that's waking up and killing it.

If you tell us the IP addresses of your routers and a device attached (ideally cabled) to each of them, that will allow us to determine whether you have a one network or two which will thence inform whether your Orbi is routing or not.
 
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