Separate SSIDs on Netgear Orbi

From Bonus Bits
Jump to: navigation, search

Purpose

This article gives the steps to split the SSID for 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz on a Netgear Orbi. I found a lot of IOT devices are not good at negotiating for the 2.4 Ghz band and thus can't connect because both bandwidths are using the same SSID. I'm sure eventually the IOT devices and wireless access points will work it all out. Of course, by then there will be a new faster wireless version and we'll replace the wireless access point by then. So, this is a workaround.

Gnome-sticky-notes-applet After the change the GUI will not allow control of the separate wireless configurations. It will take the password set for both and use that for both. If you want to do configurations separately you'll need to do it from the CLI/Telnet. At the end I have other commands such as disabling SSID broadcasting.

Gnome-sticky-notes-applet After all this work it really wouldn't save the split SSID half the time after reboot. I bailed on using the Orbi for my 2.4Ghz IOT devices and just bought a $20 2.4Ghz only router/wifi.

Tested Devices

  • NETGEAR Orbi Desktop AC3000 Router
    • Model: RBR50
  • Firmware Version: v2.5.1.8


Prerequisites

  • telnet client


Enable Telnet on the Orbi Router

  1. Browse to the debug web console page
    http://192.168.1.1/debug.htm
  2. Select Enable Telnet

Telnet to Orbi Router

  1. Connect to the router via a telnet client
    telnet 192.168.1.1
    
  2. Login
    1. It's the same credentials that we use to access the web console

Example

====================LOGIN=========================
 Please enter account and password!!
==================================================
RBR50 login: admin
Password:


BusyBox v1.24.1 (2019-06-28 21:18:41 CST) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

     MM           NM                    MMMMMMM          M       M
   $MMMMM        MMMMM                MMMMMMMMMMM      MMM     MMM
  MMMMMMMM     MM MMMMM.              MMMMM:MMMMMM:   MMMM   MMMMM
MMMM= MMMMMM  MMM   MMMM       MMMMM   MMMM  MMMMMM   MMMM  MMMMM'
MMMM=  MMMMM MMMM    MM       MMMMM    MMMM    MMMM   MMMMNMMMMM
MMMM=   MMMM  MMMMM          MMMMM     MMMM    MMMM   MMMMMMMM
MMMM=   MMMM   MMMMMM       MMMMM      MMMM    MMMM   MMMMMMMMM
MMMM=   MMMM     MMMMM,    NMMMMMMMM   MMMM    MMMM   MMMMMMMMMMM
MMMM=   MMMM      MMMMMM   MMMMMMMM    MMMM    MMMM   MMMM  MMMMMM
MMMM=   MMMM   MM    MMMM    MMMM      MMMM    MMMM   MMMM    MMMM
MMMM$ ,MMMMM  MMMMM  MMMM    MMM       MMMM   MMMMM   MMMM    MMMM
  MMMMMMM:      MMMMMMM     M         MMMMMMMMMMMM  MMMMMMM MMMMMMM
    MMMMMM       MMMMN     M           MMMMMMMMM      MMMM    MMMM
     MMMM          M                    MMMMMMM        M       M
       M
 ---------------------------------------------------------------
   For those about to rock... (Chaos Calmer, r6043)
 ---------------------------------------------------------------
root@RBR50:/#


List SSIDs

  1. 2.4 Ghz
    config get wl_ssid
    
    i.e. ORBI24
  2. 5.0 Ghz
    config get wla_ssid
    
    i.e. ORBI24

Set a Different SSID for 2.4 Ghz

  1. config set wl_ssid="<enter a name>"
    

Example

You could change both names

  1. config set wl_ssid="BBORBI24"
    
    config set wla_ssid="BBORBI50"
    


Other Commands

  1. Show all configuration values
    config show | sort
    
  2. Disable SSID Broadcasting
    2.4
    config set endis_ssid_broadcast=0
    
    5.0
    config set wla_endis_ssid_broadcast=0
    
  3. Set/Change Wireless Password
    2.4
    config set wl_wpa2_psk="<enter password>"
    
    5.0
    config set wla_wpa2_psk="<enter password>"
    
  4. Disable the entire Radio
    2.4
    config set wl_radio=0
    
    5.0
    config set wla_radio=0/syntaxhighlight>
    # Set Guest SSID
    #: <syntaxhighlight lang="bash" enclose="div">config set wla1_ssid="<ssid>"
    
    ap_mode=1
  5. Set to AP Mode (Access Point - Wireless only, no internet, no routing etc.)
    config set ap_mode=1
    


Commit, Save & Reboot

After finishing our configurations Commit, Save and Reboot

  1. config commit
    
    config save
    
    reboot
    


My Example

I have so many devices that devices were randomly dropping on the Orbi. Plus several 2.4 Ghz only devices (IOT) had a hard time connecting to a blended SSID (2.4/5.0). So, I bought a new Netgear Nighthawk AX12. It has wifi6, claims can hand hundreds of IOT devices and a 5Gb uplink I use to my core switches. Since I could separate the 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz Networks to different SSIDs, that issue was resolved. Although, I assumed since this Netgear Nighthawk AX12 would handle all the connections/chatter, but it did not. It has the same issues with dropping devices on both 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz channels. Such as, my iPhone 11 Pro stop working due to a lack of internet access. I would take off wifi and put back on and it would work fine. Almost like it had an IP conflict or Arp table issue. SO, I decided to use the Orbi sitting in a box in the garage as my 2.4Ghz only IOT solution. First I had factory reset the Orbi devices. So I did the initial setup. Plugged a LAN port into the network. I set the LAN IP to let's say 192.168.1.2 (SM: 255.255.255.0, GW: 192.168.1.1, DNS: 192.168.1.1) and let's say the NightHawk was 192.168.1.1. I switched it to AP Mode. Which disabled a ton of stuff including DHCP. Then I manually configured the unit with these commands:

http://192.168.1.2/debug.htm (Enable Telnet)
telnet 192.168.1.2

config set wla_ssid=“ORBI50”
config set wla_wpa2_psk="k9rhJjfwpXCfTG6zx49FKyLhYGqUV6Pc" #Just in case and not what I really entered, just an example
config set wla_endis_ssid_broadcast=0
config set wla_radio=0

config set wlg1_endis_guestNet=0
config set wla1_endis_guestNet=0

config commit
config save
reboot