Want to put up a thread with what, for now, looks like a solution to having dropouts when streaming from Roon on a Netgear Orbi system.
Over the last few months I have had this issue where the streaming would suddenly stop and when I look at my Uniti devices it would appear that the entire wired network on the Orbi have dropped out. I confirmed it by wiring in my computer to the Orbi and it lost network at the same time.
This only ever happened when streaming from Roon. And sometimes things went fine for a while but then it would happen again. And it has been getting steadily worse (perhaps with Roon releases?).
Well, in the dark recesses of the Roon forum I found the suggestion that adding a network switch between your Orbi and Roon Core would solve a number of networking woes on an Orbi.
So I did just that. Roon core attached to a switch with one Unit attached to the same switch and the switch connected to the Orbi satellite. The two other Uniti’s are connected to another Orbi Satellite.
And so far not a single dropout yet. It could still happen in the coming days and if it does I will update here BUT I had such frequent drops since the last Roon update that it appears to have worked.
So I thought I would put it here for posterity as a solution. It was hard enough for me to track it down.
Yes any other network traffic worked flawlessly. When I streamed natively or when I worked on my computer. The issue is specifically related to Roon. The issue seems to have to do with how the Orbi handles multicast multimedia traffic.
Initially I had no issues at all with Roon. Worked fine and suddenly just started. And the day of the last update on the Roon core things went crazy. At one point I had three dropouts in one song.
So this was a rescue mission as I had tried everything else, like moving the Satellite closer, checked the admin logs etc. And not a single dropout since so it may just have been that Roon changed the way it casts the data in a way that conflicts with something in Orbi.
I have no explanation for you. It was a case of desperation and throwing a few Euro’s at a switch to try out the solution I found online. The alternative was replacing the mesh wifi or stopping with Roon.
If I continuously have no more dropouts then there is a reason for but my forte is programming and not hardware and networking so I was willing to try this blindly.
That is no joke. The dark magic of wifi systems. It drops the network completely and not a single entry in the admin log of the Orbi. Plus it was not reproducible in any way. Just happened. And Netgear has the most awful customer service. You get three months when you buy the device and then you have to pay per year to have customer service.
Does your network password have any characters other than numbers or letters? I had problems with unexplained drop outs with a Google mesh system and getting rid of the @ in my password seems to have solved it.
To keep this going heading towards a possible solution. You know, for posterity and all.
I got the advice from Roon support to attach my Roon Core to the Orbi router and NOT one of the satellites. I really though that the huge backhaul channel would be able to cope but apparently attaching to a satellite falls within Roon’s recommendation not to attach the Core wirelessly.
For what it is worth, since I moved the Core, I have yet to have a dropout. But time will tell if this is really fixed now.
That’s pretty poor performance. For what it’s worth I run my Roon Core on a laptop and I’m often too lazy to bother plugging in a network cable. It still works fine over WiFi, at least to a single endpoint.