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Question Netgear X4S R7800 Set up

markb1980

Well-known Member
I have just had the above router arrive and wondering if any must do’s and dont’s on these. It will be used for multiple WiFi devices but also hardwired for Xbox one x and Netflix 4K streaming in the living room. It will also need to stream Netflix via WiFi for the upstairs and other smart TV’s including Sky Q. I have read conflicting reports about the QOS setting in these. Some say leave it off others say it works well? Also some of the firmware updates have caused problems so again some advise to roll it back? Any tips would be great.
 

psychopomp1

Member
I would leave QoS switched off first, to see how you get on. Also choose a channel manually (instead of 'auto' setting) on each of the wifi bands. Obviously ensure the router is using the latest Netgear firmware. That's about it really :)
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
I would leave QoS switched off first, to see how you get on. Also choose a channel manually (instead of 'auto' setting) on each of the wifi bands. Obviously ensure the router is using the latest Netgear firmware. That's about it really :)
Thank you. Sadly I had issues setting up last night and I cannot get it to work or even finish the auto set up correctly. It’s showing an old firmware .36 I think and says no firmware available. All the lights are white, in the genie which is the only thing I can get into it says internet connection good yet I have no internet to any devices whether wired or WiFi. on initial set up it says there was a conflict of ip address and changed the ip of the router to 10. Something. Then it asked my loads of questions about if I wanted it as an access point or a router as it found I had another modem/router? The router supplied by my ISP just worked this however doesn’t I spent hours rebooting and resetting but still no internet I have no idea where to go from here?
 

psychopomp1

Member
1) Download the latest Netgear firmware from here and save on your pc:
http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R7800/R7800-V1.0.2.62.zip

2) Do a hard reset by holding the reset button on the back of the router for 10 seconds or so whilst the router is still on.

3) After the router has rebooted, do NOT select any setup wizard or auto detect options. Instead select 'manual configuration' option. Once in the firmware settings, go to 'admin' and choose firmware update option. Choose firmware you downloaded in step 1 and update.

4) After the firmware has updated, you need to do another hard router reset to clear the router's NVRAM. Follow step 2 again.

5) Follow step 3) again but when in the firmware settings, select 'internet setup'. At this stage you may need to get in touch with your ISP for PPPoE login details (if they use them for FTTP) and once you have them, select 'yes' where the router asks 'does your router require a login?' Enter them as PPPoE credentials (username & password) and that should do the trick.

6) Configure the wifi settings as necessary but leave other settings alone.

Good luck!
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
1) Download the latest Netgear firmware from here and save on your pc:
http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R7800/R7800-V1.0.2.62.zip

2) Do a hard reset by holding the reset button on the back of the router for 10 seconds or so whilst the router is still on.

3) After the router has rebooted, do NOT select any setup wizard or auto detect options. Instead select 'manual configuration' option. Once in the firmware settings, go to 'admin' and choose firmware update option. Choose firmware you downloaded in step 1 and update.

4) After the firmware has updated, you need to do another hard router reset to clear the router's NVRAM. Follow step 2 again.

5) Follow step 3) again but when in the firmware settings, select 'internet setup'. At this stage you may need to get in touch with your ISP for PPPoE login details (if they use them for FTTP) and once you have them, select 'yes' where the router asks 'does your router require a login?' Enter them as PPPoE credentials (username & password) and that should do the trick.

6) Configure the wifi settings as necessary but leave other settings alone.

Good luck!
Thank you for the instructions. Just a couple of questions, does the ip conflict cause any issues when the router sets itself to 10.0.0.1? Do I need it in AP mode or Router? I have an ONT where the fibre wire comes into so is this why it thinks I have another router/modem? Also doing the manual internet set up doesn’t require a login my ISP says as long as it supports PPPoE protocol but they don’t use logins and can enter anything I like but recommend not to leave blank? So if they don’t need login details what do I need to enter? Also do I just leave all the boxes ticked saying get ip etc dynamically? Sorry for all the questions.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
First of all, does your FTTP connection have a separate ONT & router like mine on Openreach FTTP does?




If it doesn't - some FTTP operators such as Gigaclear & Hyperoptic use a combined ONT/router - then you MUST continue to use your existing ONT/router and connect the R7800 to one of its LAN ports and use it in access point mode. When the Netgear asks 'does your internet connection require a login?' you select no.

Wrt IP address, the R7800 uses 192.168.1.1 as its default (definitely not 10.x.x.x) as do pretty much all Netgears. However your existing ONT/router may also use 192.168.1.1, in which case change the ip address of the Netgear to 192.168.2.1 or something similar.
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
Yes the standard set up is a ZTE ONT in a cupboard and then a separate ZTE H298N Router. On the ONT it has a thin wire that goes into the unit, a phone line, a power source with battery back up and then a Ethernet cable from LAN1 to the WAN port on the H298N Router. I thought it would be just a case of removing the existing router and plugging in the Netgear. As soon as I plug back in my old router all connects and works as it should so I am baffled. The only thing I am wondering is if the ONT is a Modem and Router but not sure how I would find this out? And if it was then surely I would never have had the separate router? The Netgear set itself to 10.x.x.x itself after telling me there was a conflict.

This is an extract from my ISP website-

Yes, you can use your own router if it supports Point-to-Point over Ethernet (PPPoE) protocol, but you will need to configure the router and you may need to seek advice from your router manufacturer on how to do this.

When setting up your own router you may be asked for a "PPPoE username" and "PPPoE password". The seethelight network does not use these parameters so you can enter anything you like in these fields however it is recommended that they are not left blank.

Another parameter you may be required to enter on the router is "MTU". seethelight recommend this be set to 1492 or 1500 bytes.

Please be aware, the router we issue to you when you sign up with us is fully supported by our technical team, and we are able to troubleshoot any issues you may experience with your router. If you do decide to use your own router we cannot always guarantee our remote diagnostics will be conclusive. Therefore, you should retain the router we provide when you sign-up to us, as you may need to re-install it for us to perform any required diagnostics.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Thanks, its clearer. The FTTP ONT is just a dumb light>data converter so shouldn't be doing any sort of routing. Therefore the Netgear R7800 should be a straight swap with your existing router. Out of interest what's the make/model of your ONT and can you post a pic of it?

Can you try first to configure the R7800 without being connected to the ONT. Do a hard reset (to get rid of changed IP addresses etc), then configure it manually, using PPPoE and type any any gobbledeegook in the PPPoE credentials sections. Once configured switch off the R7800, and then for good measure switch off the ONT as well, wait for 5 mins, switch on ONT and wait until you get a PON (or similar description) light on the ONT. Then connect the R7800 to the same port on the ONT as your old router and fire it up.
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
Thank you so much finally have it working by setting up manually PPPoE entering admin admin, I also managed to change the router ip back to its default from 10.x.x.x I guess it was right to leave as get everything dynamically? I have 2 different passwords set up for the 2.4ghz and 5ghz was this the right thing to do? I changed the channel from auto to 6 on 2.4ghz also? Left QOS off for now and I did turn NAT type to open as I game a fair bit. Was there anything else I should do to get the best out of it? Thank you for all your help.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Glad to hear you finally got it working :)

Wrt naming wifi networks, I usually prefer something like AnyName_2G & AnyName_5G for the 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks respectively on a dual-band router and use the same WPA2 password for both but of course YMMV.

Yes, channel 6 is a good 2.4ghz channel to use in a non-congested environment, ditto for channel 44 on the 5ghz band. You'll also find the R7800 supports DFS channels on the 5ghz band such as channel 120. These are high powered (1000mW) perfectly legal channels in blighty but with the downside that the router is designed to automatically kick you off these channels if it detects any radar channel conflict - hence the name Dynamic Frequency Selection. Also some clients don't support DFS channels though most/many do.
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
Glad to hear you finally got it working :)

Wrt naming wifi networks, I usually prefer something like AnyName_2G & AnyName_5G for the 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks respectively on a dual-band router and use the same WPA2 password for both but of course YMMV.

Yes, channel 6 is a good 2.4ghz channel to use in a non-congested environment, ditto for channel 44 on the 5ghz band. You'll also find the R7800 supports DFS channels on the 5ghz band such as channel 120. These are high powered (1000mW) perfectly legal channels in blighty but with the downside that the router is designed to automatically kick you off these channels if it detects any radar channel conflict - hence the name Dynamic Frequency Selection. Also some clients don't support DFS channels though most/many do.
Thank you again for your help. One last thing i did the firmware upgrade to the latest after I had got my connection working as i did it via internet download instead of file seems it was connected now, but do I still need to reset the router again now it has the latest firmware on?
 

psychopomp1

Member
If the router is working fine, then leave things as they are. However if it starts misbehaving then do a factory reset and reconfigure from scratch.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
...I have 2 different passwords set up for the 2.4ghz and 5ghz was this the right thing to do?
There's no real "right" or "wrong" way to do this - it's a value judgement. Think of it like having two AP's in one box, each serving a different waveband. Thence it's pretty much like any multi-AP infrastructure:

If you make the SSID names and passphrases the same, then clients may automatically choose (and switch between) wavebands just like "roaming" between physical AP's. If/when to initiate a roaming assessment is decision made by the client device not "the system" and some clients will doggedly hand on to a working link, even if it gets really crappy. Some clients allow a degree of control so that you can tell them to "prefer" a particular waveband. Some offer no control and you are in the gift of their designers decisions about if/when to roam. And of course, some client devices are only single band anyway (usually 2.4GHz) though these are getting rarer. Some AP's include mechanisms to try and "encourage" clients to a particular waveband (usually 5GHz) as it affords faster speeds and sometimes they try to load balance client between the two. Usually, this is only at first admission rather than "mid-session" but you never know - none of this is mandated in standards.

If you make the SSID's/passphrase differ, clients will never roam between wavebands and you will always have to explicitly choose which one you connect to (and if/when to change.)

There are advantages and disadvantage to both approaches, you might care to try it each way for a few weeks and see which you prefer.

...and I did turn NAT type to open as I game a fair bit.
It's interesting they are using that terminology in the router admin - it used to be meaningless and you'd never find such settings in a "proper" enterprise class firewall. "Closed/moderate/open" NAT was an indication of the effect of the NAT settings, rather than the settings themselves (IIRC MS invented it for their XBoxes.) Maybe vendors are giving you a "one click" to make the changes. There's a few different variations of NAT and extra complexities such as port triggering and uPNP which can all effect the online gaming experience, hence the gaming devices included a process to assess this effect and report back as closed/moderate/open.
 
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markb1980

Well-known Member
There's no real "right" or "wrong" way to do this - it's a value judgement. Think of it like having two AP's in one box, each serving a different waveband. Thence it's pretty much like any multi-AP infrastructure:

If you make the SSID names and passphrases the same, then clients may automatically choose (and switch between) wavebands just like "roaming" between physical AP's. If/when to initiate a roaming assessment is decision made by the client device not "the system" and some clients will doggedly hand on to a working link, even if it gets really crappy. Some clients allow a degree of control so that you can tell them to "prefer" a particular waveband. Some offer no control and you are in the gift of their designers decisions about if/when to roam. And of course, some client devices are only single band anyway (usually 2.4GHz) though these are getting rarer. Some AP's include mechanisms to try and "encourage" clients to a particular waveband (usually 5GHz) as it affords faster speeds and sometimes they try to load balance client between the two. Usually, this is only at first admission rather than "mid-session" but you never know - none of this is mandated in standards.

If you make the SSID's/passphrase differ, clients will never roam between wavebands and you will always have to explicitly choose which one you connect to (and if/when to change.)

There are advantages and disadvantage to both approaches, you might care to try it each way for a few weeks and see which you prefer.



It's interesting they are using that terminology in the router admin - it used to be meaningless and you'd never find such settings in a "proper" enterprise class firewall. "Closed/moderate/open" NAT was an indication of the effect of the NAT settings, rather than the settings themselves (IIRC MS invented it for their XBoxes.) Maybe vendors are giving you a "one click" to make the changes. There's a few different variations of NAT and extra complexities such as port triggering and uPNP which can all effect the online gaming experience, hence the gaming devices included a process to assess this effect and report back as closed/moderate/open.
I think I just like to have control over what devices are on what channel. There are other options which I have not played with yet like Smart Connect where by I think that gives two 5g channels and one 2g channel and it just shows as one SSID when searching, the router will then decide where it goes. I have uPNP switched on as I think this allows ports to be opened when needed for gaming? There are so many settings!
 

psychopomp1

Member
I think I just like to have control over what devices are on what channel. There are other options which I have not played with yet like Smart Connect where by I think that gives two 5g channels and one 2g channel and it just shows as one SSID when searching, the router will then decide where it goes. I have uPNP switched on as I think this allows ports to be opened when needed for gaming? There are so many settings!
IMHO a wise choice giving each wifi network/radio a unique name as you then have 100% control over which clients connect to which network. Btw the R7800 is dual band, not tri-band so will have a single 2.4ghz radio and a single 5ghz radio. I would leave 'Smart Connect' off, otherwise it means you setup a single SSID for the 2 radios and let the router dictate (using its Smart Connect algorithms) which clients go on which band. My router (Linksys EA9500) has a similar feature called Band Steering and when I switched it on, i found it didn't work too well, ie most clients ended up on the slower 2.4ghz band despite all of them supporting 802.11ac wifi standard.
 

markb1980

Well-known Member
IMHO a wise choice giving each wifi network/radio a unique name as you then have 100% control over which clients connect to which network. Btw the R7800 is dual band, not tri-band so will have a single 2.4ghz radio and a single 5ghz radio. I would leave 'Smart Connect' off, otherwise it means you setup a single SSID for the 2 radios and let the router dictate (using its Smart Connect algorithms) which clients go on which band. My router (Linksys EA9500) has a similar feature called Band Steering and when I switched it on, i found it didn't work too well, ie most clients ended up on the slower 2.4ghz band despite all of them supporting 802.11ac wifi standard.
Thank you. Yes I did read that Smart Connect was not entirely accurate with how it worked and caused a few problems. One thing I have noticed is with the 5ghz WiFi if I stand next to the router and do a speed test, one time it will be 50Mbps download speed then run it again in the same place 30 secs later it will be 20Mbps download speed. My internet package is 60Mbps download and 12Mbps upload. Upload always seems to be around 12Mbps but download fluctuates a lot. What should I expect to get on WiFi if my package is 60Mbps? If I run the speed test on the nighthawk app which I have been informed only measures what’s coming from the ONT to the router it is pretty much bang on 60Mbps where as using the Speedtest.net app it shows the fluctuation coming from the router to the devices?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If it's anything like the enterprise kit I installed a few years ago that had "band steering," it basically worked thus: When a client first tries to connect on the 2.4GHz band, the AP ignores it in the hope it will give up and try "somewhere else" ie the 5GHz band (or another AP) if it tries again, it ignores it, but on the third attempt it lets in in anyway. Newer kit has a kind of "hint" mechanism whereby AP's can tell a client "you might be better off talking to X." In extremis, some kit will let you ban designated clients from given AP's, bands, SSID's etc but that's a pretty brutal approach and not very helpful to your average SOHO deployment.

Internet speed tests are not a very useful too for assessing local links (be they wired or Wi-Fi) as your Internet speed test is testing the entire pathway between the source and sink device which effectively tests the slowest "hop" in that path. Usually this is your ISP link, thusly it isn't "stressing" the local links to their maximum capacity.

If you have a couple of devices available locally, you could run up you own speed test server on a PC at home, then test against it instead of the Internet based test site, thusy taking the ISP link (and everything beyond) out of the equation. NetIO and iPerf (both free) are our favourite tools for so doing in these parts. Ideally you run up the "server" programme on a wired PC.

I am fond of saying, such speed tests don't actually test the "speed" of anything, what they do is send a measured amount of data, time how long it takes and compute a statistical average. As such, they don't take any account of other traffic on the network (amongst many other factors that could affect the results.) Thusly you want to run them a few times and look for average. Even then it's something of a "wet finger" metric. For example, if testing (say) 100mbps ethernet, we don't expect (say) NetIO to come up with the same number every time, and because of things like protocol overheads and so forth we don't expect to get 100mbps - we tend to be looking for order of magnitude indications and trend. For example if we tested a gigabit ethernet link and got "only" 89mbps performance, we'd suspect the link hasn't actually come up at gigabit and investigate. We wouldn't worry that our gigabit link "only" tested at (say) 872mbps - that's fine, for a quick and dirty test, it's in the right ball park.

Wi-Fi is fundamentally an "only-one-thing-at-a-time-can-transmit" technology - the more "things" there are (including any neighbours) the more data they want to transmit, the more competition there is for "air time." Thusly, you could run three speed tests in a row, and if your neighbours or one of the kids kicks off a download at the same time, it could hit your test results. Not to mention all the interference sources. It's fickle.

Wi-Fi, I'm afraid, is "just like that" - the transmission medium, ie the radio waves, don't "belong" to anyone and everyone is entitled to use them. Essentially, we all have to "play nice together." (There are mechanisms built into the standards to enforce this.) I live in flats, all the neighbours have Wi-Fi too and finding a radio channel all to myself is impossible.

So, particularly for Wi-Fi, run the tests quite a few times and at different times of day and look for trend rather than absolute numbers or occasional aborations. If at all possible, use the likes of NetIO or iPerf for testing your local links and leave the Internet speed test for testing your Internet service.
 
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markb1980

Well-known Member
Thank you for a very informative post.
 

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