Netgear R6100 budget AC1200 Router is a great AC Extender Solution and Bridge - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-04-2013, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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For those that dont know me I am a Netgear AV Consultant who Netgear employs to monitor the user forums like AVS and provide assistance and feedback. Two weeks ago I was at Netgear getting a product update on the various products that have been recently released as well as some upcoming products. This was a time for me to provide feedback as well as get information. I came there with a personal agenda. I have a second home where I have a home theater setup. The network access to this HT was handled by powerline devices which have worked flawlessly for years. But when I arrived there last month I noticed that my powerline performance had dropped significantly. I checked all the hardware and found it was fine. The issue was due to noise in the power system which I could not easily fix. So what was I to do because running a wire there was no small feat?

There aren't many high speed options today to get network to an area if you don't have a cat 5 cable or can't get powerline to work. What I wanted was a 802.11 AC wireless bridge but couldnt think of a product Netgear (or anyone else) made that would do this. So when I was meeting with the Product Manager I brought this up. What surprised me was the answer in that it was obvious to him but not to me. The recently introduced R6100 AC1200 router while designed to hit the entry level price point at $99 was also designed to be used in this capacity. In fact most of the money invested in the R6100 is geared to the AC side of the product . And there was great attention paid to the flexibility and configurability of this device which is generally not available in entry level devices.

So what does all this mean to the average user who needs to get a high speed wireless connection. Well the R6100 has the capability to deliver near gigabit wireless speed if it is mated with a comparable router. In my case I have a Netgear R6300 AC1750 router (Netgear has a family of AC routers now including the R6100, R6200, R6250 and R6300). Using this router normally and then using a R6100 setup as a bridge located where my theater equipment is I can now get near gigabit wireless speeds. The way this works is that the R6100 is receiving the AC wireless signal from my R6300 in AC mode and then providing me high speed connectivity out of it's 4 ethernet ports where I connect my devices which include a HTPC, Apple TV, Roku and Xbox via ethernet cables. This insures me I have adequate bandwidth to do HD streaming as well as multi task with the other devices as needed.

This can be confusing for the newbie or non techie user. But the flexible usage of these router products from Netgear is huge. I knew the higher end products could be configured in this manner but I didnt know the budget units could be as well. This was a great move on Netgear's part as it brings the performance of AC technology to non AC devices. And does it without breaking the bank.

Getting high speed network access to an unwired part of the house is a common issue members at AVS have. This solution is one that those in need should take a look at. Yes it requires the investment of an AC router up front but if you are planning an upgrade or have already taken the plunge this is a great low cost solution. In fact if you have this issue buying 2 R6100 routers costs the same as 1 R6300. While the performance of a 6100 is not that of a 6300 if this type of network expansion is important and you are on a budget the trade offs are worth it in my opinion.

To me this is the first real application that leverages the real power of AC. And does it where there were no other options before it so IMHO it really is a problem solver.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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post #2 of 29 Old 08-04-2013, 02:55 PM
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Inexpensive and functional. Nice.

A review at http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32167-netgear-r6100-wifi-router-ac1200-dual-band-reviewed.
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post #3 of 29 Old 08-04-2013, 04:40 PM
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I'm a huge fan of Netgear, having 6 of their gigabit switches in my home.
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post #4 of 29 Old 08-05-2013, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratmanX View Post

Inexpensive and functional. Nice.

A review at http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32167-netgear-r6100-wifi-router-ac1200-dual-band-reviewed.
As per the review, the device is held back by its Fast Ethernet wired ports. This defeats the OP's goal of achieving a "near gigabit" wireless link between two wired networks.

Or am I missing something?
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post #5 of 29 Old 08-05-2013, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by unmesh View Post

As per the review, the device is held back by its Fast Ethernet wired ports. This defeats the OP's goal of achieving a "near gigabit" wireless link between two wired networks.

Or am I missing something?

Yes what you are missing is that in a wireless environment standard N signals are not fast enough to get consistent HD performance. This is particularly true when the band is shared by another device. 100 base T wired ethernet is fast enough to deliver Bluray rips as an example. Couple that with a wide wireless pipe and you have a very workable solution for HD wireless streaming. The 100mbs ethernet isnt going to be an issue for AV.

If you want a gig ethernet ports then you can get a R6200/R6250/R6300 and do the same thing. But not for $99. This is a very affordable and workable solution I presented for AV applications.

The Small Net Builder review is only looking at the R6100 as a standalone router. And as such if you are buying a new router sure Id want gigabyte ports. But that wasnt what I was suggesting for its application here at AVS. And once more its $99.

Bob Silver
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post #6 of 29 Old 08-05-2013, 04:46 PM
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Good points about being able to meet HD AV requirements with this gear.

As someone who runs wired gigabit at home but has a need to extend the network to a remote part of the house, I was commenting on the part about "near gigabit wireless speeds" bridging in the OP.
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post #7 of 29 Old 11-02-2013, 10:08 AM
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Will this solution also work as a range extender?  Meaning, I am not looking for a bridge, I want to extend my wireless AC range from my R6300.  (There literally seems to only be on AC range extender on the market, but I would much prefer a Netgear solution!) Also, if your idea isn't good as a wireless extender, any idea when Netgear might release something?  Thanks!

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post #8 of 29 Old 11-02-2013, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

Will this solution also work as a range extender?  Meaning, I am not looking for a bridge, I want to extend my wireless AC range from my R6300.  (There literally seems to only be on AC range extender on the market, but I would much prefer a Netgear solution!) Also, if your idea isn't good as a wireless extender, any idea when Netgear might release something?  Thanks!


Yes you can absolutely use the R6100 as an AC repeater. See page 86 of the manual http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R6100/R6100_UM_11Jul13.pdf. There it describes the setup in repeater mode.

Enjoy.

Bob Silver
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post #9 of 29 Old 11-02-2013, 02:24 PM
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Thanks Bob, I've been scratching my head for months trying to find a solution!  Going online to order one now. :)

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post #10 of 29 Old 11-09-2013, 10:25 AM
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Damn - now I am frustrated and not happy.  I wish you had told me the only way to do this is to turn off your security.  Who runs their networks without security?  This is only good for public access spots and I'm not even sure that's correct.  I've now wasted a lot of money (I actually bought the 6300v2) and time.

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post #11 of 29 Old 11-09-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

Damn - now I am frustrated and not happy.  I wish you had told me the only way to do this is to turn off your security.  Who runs their networks without security?  This is only good for public access spots and I'm not even sure that's correct.  I've now wasted a lot of money (I actually bought the 6300v2) and time.

What do mean you have to turn off security? When using bridges, access points and repeaters all carry with it the security if you set it up. In fact the WPS button makes this an easy approach.

Need more info to help you.

Bob
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post #12 of 29 Old 11-09-2013, 12:35 PM
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Read through the bottom of page 87 where it says:

 

 To set up the base station:
1. Set up both units with the same wireless settings.
• The SSID and mode must be the same.
The wireless security option has to be set to None.
 

On the repeater it says set to None or WEP (not sure why its different), but regardless, the base unit is unprotected.

 

(As nowhere after that does it say you can turn security back on.)

 

If this is correct, could you please post a notice at the top of your article so other people don't go through this.  I am still in the process of re-setting everything having now wasted most of my Saturday.  :(

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post #13 of 29 Old 11-09-2013, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

Read through the bottom of page 87 where it says:

 To set up the base station:

1. Set up both units with the same wireless settings.

• The SSID and mode must be the same.

The wireless security option has to be set to None.

 
On the repeater it says set to None or WEP (not sure why its different), but regardless, the base unit is unprotected.

(As nowhere after that does it say you can turn security back on.)

If this is correct, could you please post a notice at the top of your article so other people don't go through this.  I am still in the process of re-setting everything having now wasted most of my Saturday.  frown.gif

I have forwarded this post to the product manager. I'll let you know what his reply is.

Bob
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post #14 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 09:38 AM
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Bob, I want to give an update on my problem to use Netgear 7000. I got call from the Netgear team that you forwarded and he tried to help me but did not work.

Fortunately, I found cause from forums that I have to release ip address from old router and then immediately disconnect old router and connect new router. That fixed me the problem.

it is not problem with Verizon fios etc. Now I am using just 7000 router.

Appreciate all your efforts in helping me.
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post #15 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

I have forwarded this post to the product manager. I'll let you know what his reply is.

Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

Read through the bottom of page 87 where it says:

 To set up the base station:

1. Set up both units with the same wireless settings.

• The SSID and mode must be the same.

The wireless security option has to be set to None.

 
On the repeater it says set to None or WEP (not sure why its different), but regardless, the base unit is unprotected.



(As nowhere after that does it say you can turn security back on.)

If this is correct, could you please post a notice at the top of your article so other people don't go through this.  I am still in the process of re-setting everything having now wasted most of my Saturday.  frown.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

I have forwarded this post to the product manager. I'll let you know what his reply is.

Bob

Feedback from the product manager is that security is et using the WPS. That is the button for wireless protected setup on the front of the routers. Having never set up one of these in repeater mode I am not sure of the process. My guess is to first set the router up as a repeater with the ssid. Then use the WPS setting which should copy the security settings from the main router. This is the way other repaeters work so I am assuming this is the same. But net is it should carry security. It is the set up which is confusing.

Bob Silver
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post #16 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 12:07 PM
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First off, I appreciate you checking on this and getting back to me so quickly.  I've got a little bit of time still before I have to return the product with Amazon, so would like to find a way to make this work.

 

Still, I'm completely confused now about the setup process and could use some brainstorming help.

 

To start, I have never used the WPS button.  I actually didn't even know what it was!  Now that I do, its still a little confusing.  

 

If I hit the WPS button on my base router, does that wipe-out the other passwords I've already set up from other devices?

 

In fact, if I can do this with security turned on, it shouldn't matter if its WPS or just using a manual security process.  WPS, as I understand it, is just an automated way to accomplish the security.

 

I also came up with this info:

 

Disadvantages of WPS

  • Unless all the Wi-Fi devices on the network are WPS-compatible, you will not be able to take advantage of the ease of securing the network.
  • If your wireless device does not support WPS, it can be hard to join a network that was set up with WPS because the wireless network name and security key are random sequences of letters and numbers.
  • This technology is fairly new, so not all wireless equipment supports WPS.
  • Ad-Hoc mode does not support WPS. Ad-hoc mode is used when wireless devices communicate directly to each other without an access point.

I'm not sure all my phones and other devices are WPS-compatible....in fact, I'm going to guess my wi-fi webcam isn't.

 

Anyway, those are all theoretical questions, I can always just try it....

 

So you are saying I should turn off wireless on my base router and then set up the repeater and then hit WPS (on both devices).  Hmmmmm, this may be beyond me!

 

Thanks,

Dakin

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post #17 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

I'm not sure all my phones and other devices are WPS-compatible....in fact, I'm going to guess my wi-fi webcam isn't.
Clients that will use the WiFi signal, such as your phones/notebooks and probably your web-cam do NOT use WPS to connect to the wireless signal or set security. Even if WPS is present, you do not have to use it.

WPS is technology built into routers/repeaters to make setting up a router plus a repeater EASIER. It's a button push on the router and then you push a button on the repeater unit. The two units then communicate and are set up for transmitting your wireless signal automatically. Of course both units must have the WPS feature for it to work.

WPS has a history of being prone to hacking. I do not know if the latest routers are any more secure. Maybe Bob can shed some light on this.
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post #18 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 02:17 PM
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Damn, I must be over my head.  StratmanX, are you saying I can just use the WPS buttons without doing anything else to set up these two units?  I have two netgear 6300's (one is V2).  I wish that were so.

 

Bob, I don't think your product manager has this right.  You can't even turn on the repeater function without turning off the wi-fi security.  Please look at the attached picture and tell me what you think.  This dialogue pops up the second you try to enable the repeater.

 

Also, even when I did turn off the security, I couldn't click on both bands....its an either/or choice between 5ghz and 2.4ghz.

 

Finally, even when I did turn off the security and then enabled the 5ghz, the manual says try plugging in the repeater router using my ethernet cable.  To what?!  My computer?  So unplug the main router while I am doing that?  Or can I plug the repeater router into the main router.

 

Dang.....this is not for the feint of heart!

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post #19 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 02:18 PM
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Sorry, here is the picture I mentioned:

 

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post #20 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

Damn, I must be over my head.  StratmanX, are you saying I can just use the WPS buttons without doing anything else to set up these two units?  I have two netgear 6300's (one is V2).  I wish that were so.

Bob, I don't think your product manager has this right.  You can't even turn on the repeater function without turning off the wi-fi security.  Please look at the attached picture and tell me what you think.  This dialogue pops up the second you try to enable the repeater.

Also, even when I did turn off the security, I couldn't click on both bands....its an either/or choice between 5ghz and 2.4ghz.

Finally, even when I did turn off the security and then enabled the 5ghz, the manual says try plugging in the repeater router using my ethernet cable.  To what?!  My computer?  So unplug the main router while I am doing that?  Or can I plug the repeater router into the main router.

Dang.....this is not for the feint of heart!

Well we are in uncharted territory for me here so we will need to try this together. I have never set up a router as a repeater. I have only used dedicated repeaters

Set up the main router with your desired SSID and security.

Then I would select the repeater function and the repeater router and leave security off. Turn both repeater bands on.

Place the 2 routers near one another. Press the wps button on the main router. Wait 30 seconds then press the wps on the repeater router. Then wait. This can take about 5 minutes. When all the lights stop blinking on the wps function it is done.

Then check to see what wifi signals you see. You should only see the one ssid. Take the repeater to another room and check your wifi signal. Ideally use a wifi scan software on a laptop or Android device if you have it. Nothing for IOS. This will show you the ssid and the various wifi signals. If it is working you will see 2 signals from the 1 SSID.

No this isnt for the faint of heart. You are in the land of extreme users now.

Bob
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post #21 of 29 Old 11-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post


Well we are in uncharted territory for me here so we will need to try this together. I have never set up a router as a repeater. I have only used dedicated repeaters

Set up the main router with your desired SSID and security.

Then I would select the repeater function and the repeater router and leave security off. Turn both repeater bands on.
 

 

I must be missing something, but I've tried this 10 ways now and you simply cannot have security on the base router and have wireless repeating enabled.  Not sure if you caught the picture from my prior post but here it is again (just the message).  It's very clear:  "The wireless security options ..... are not available if you enable the wireless repeating option."  <----I should also note, this is the message I get when I try and set up the base router, not the receiver router.  I could understand if this just showed up on the receiver router because, as suggested, it inherits its security.  But that's not the case.  This is showing up on the base router configuration.

 

And.....if I turn off security on it and then enable with wireless repeating function, I cannot then turn wi-fi security back on without it forcing me to turn off the wireless repeating function.

 

As far as I can tell, they are mutually exclusive and that's a deal killer, since I obviously can't leave my network open.

 

The fact that even with security disabled, I can't enable both bands for wireless repeating makes it all the more confounding.

 

That said, Bob, is this what you are suggesting seems to be 

 

(a) Set up my base with security and leave it exactly as is (despite the fact that the manual has a whole section on the changes that you need to do to the base), then

(b) Set up my repeater unit without security and turn on wireless repeater allowed and see if it will let me turn on both bands even as a receiver, and then 

(c) Use the WPS to try and connect the two

 

A couple questions there before I try this:  will WPS automatically be able to figure out the MAC address of the other unit?  In the menu's, that's required in the manual set-up, meaning in the base unit I have to type in the MAC for the repeater and vice-versa. 

 

Ok, so to do this, how do I actually access my receiver router and set this up.  Do I just unplug my base router on my computer and plug in my receiver router?  I guess that makes sense.

 

Anyway, I'm not even sure I will try this.  I seems like no one has actually done this and I've already spent a ton of time on it.  I guess I also just don't believe it will work, but I guess I can give it one last go, just for grins and giggles.....mind you I stopped giggling about 7 hours ago into this project.

 

 

 

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post #22 of 29 Old 11-12-2013, 05:29 PM
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THIS SOLUTION DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT SECURITY!

 

Bob, please talk again with the product manager.  Either he was thinking about the use of a second netgear router as a bridge (and not a repeater), or he was just out to lunch!

 

StratmanX, WPS does not apply to either using this as a bridge or as a repeater.

 

Here is how I figured it out - I decided to RTFM!

 

To start, I decided to check the manual for the 6300 since I thought it might be different than the 6100.  In fact, its almost exactly the same: http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R6300/R6300_UM_1Jun12.pdf

 

And the thing that jumped out at me is that they use the specific example of using two 6300s to set up a wireless repeater.  For this process they never once mention the possibility of connecting these devices using the WPS button  (When conversely, in situations where WPS applies, that's the first thing they suggest.  These are two WPS enabled devices after all!)   

 

Anyway, for the 6300 page 85-86 also repeats the concept that security must be turned off, as I have been saying all along.

 

Then I had the genius stroke of checking the instruction for setting the second router up as a bridge only.  Again, no reference to WPS, AND NOTABLY, no reference to turning off security.  That means the instructions for the bridge and the repeater differ in that the repeater clearly has you turn off security.....which of course makes sense on one level since the bridge isn't using wi-fi except to connect to the base.

 

So gentleman, I think we have the answer -- this product will not work as a repeater without turning off the security and that makes this a non-solution.  

 

Again, to save other people the hundred + dollars plus MANY MANY hours of frustration (with the kicker being a product manager who doesn't know his own product -- been there before), I would request you put this information at the top of your post.

 

Thanks....time to now return my router!!

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post #23 of 29 Old 11-12-2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakinbear View Post

StratmanX, WPS does not apply to either using this as a bridge or as a repeater.
Thanks for the info. I wasn't saying it did but was responding in general to your post about WPS and clients. smile.gif

I understand the frustration tech can bring. Just built a new computer and the cable management for one cable in particular complicated by the top mounted radiator/fans was a pisser. Best of luck with your network.
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post #24 of 29 Old 04-25-2014, 08:38 PM
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Bob, I have this router and it has recently given some trouble. None of my computers, laptop and desktop, are unable to connect to it. My smartphones are able to connect at times, but are dropped every few minutes and also lose connection when I round a corner of the next room. The router has been superb in its performance until now. I've reset the router more times than I can count, but I have yet to restore it to factory settings. What should be my next recourse? I await your answer, thanks.

I think I have a rash...
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post #25 of 29 Old 04-25-2014, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Bob, I have this router and it has recently given some trouble. None of my computers, laptop and desktop, are unable to connect to it. My smartphones are able to connect at times, but are dropped every few minutes and also lose connection when I round a corner of the next room. The router has been superb in its performance until now. I've reset the router more times than I can count, but I have yet to restore it to factory settings. What should be my next recourse? I await your answer, thanks.

Well if it had been working fine and now you are having these issues it sounds to me that the router has failed. You can try a factory reset but based on your description I would contact Netgear and get an RMA to get it swapped out with another unit. Try the factory reset first as you have nothing to lose. If that doesnt fix it get it replaced.

Bob Silver
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post #26 of 29 Old 04-25-2014, 09:59 PM
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Awww, crap, not good news, thanks, Bob, I'll try to do the factory reset in the morning. It's been over a year since I've had the router, Netgear will still swap it out with a new one? Do you have a link on the website where I can do that?

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post #27 of 29 Old 04-26-2014, 03:34 PM
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Well, Bob, after I got home from work after posting this, I tested the router again and it seems to be working properly now, as if nothing happened. One more thing, this is supposed to be a dual router so what I see on my desktop and on my phone are 2 connections: NETGEAR92 and NETGEAR-guest. My wife was connecting to the router with her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and saw that there was a 3rd connection, NETGEAR92-5G. She said she connected with the same password we have with NETGEAR92. I thought we only had 2 connections? Funny thing is, I can't see the 3rd connection with my phone or my desktop. Last night was the first time my wife had seen that connection. What's up with that? eek.gif

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post #28 of 29 Old 04-27-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humanoid View Post

Well, Bob, after I got home from work after posting this, I tested the router again and it seems to be working properly now, as if nothing happened. One more thing, this is supposed to be a dual router so what I see on my desktop and on my phone are 2 connections: NETGEAR92 and NETGEAR-guest. My wife was connecting to the router with her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and saw that there was a 3rd connection, NETGEAR92-5G. She said she connected with the same password we have with NETGEAR92. I thought we only had 2 connections? Funny thing is, I can't see the 3rd connection with my phone or my desktop. Last night was the first time my wife had seen that connection. What's up with that? eek.gif

Well glad things are working. You may have had an issue with interference that caused the issues. Particularly so based on your question about the other "Network". The 6100 is a dual band router. This means that one band is 2.4ghz and the other is 5.0ghz. The 2.4 is the older more crowded band. Since by your comment this is what you have been using it is quite possible something was causing your issue. The 5ghz band is much less crowded. It is also where all the newer technology is focused. The higher AC speed takes place there. Not is the 2.4ghz space.

The reason you dont see it is your devices are only 2.4ghz enabled. Your wifes where she sees it has a dual band capability. For best performance use the 5ghz where you can. But know the range is less. The higher the frequency the less distance can be covered with the same output.

Lastly the "Guest Network" uses your same 2.4ghz space but is isolated from seeing your total network. Still uses the same bandwidth as all other 2.4ghz space.

Bob Silver
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post #29 of 29 Old 04-27-2014, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, Bob, much appreciated!

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