Netgear R6850 Signal dropping and 5Ghz radio doesn't work

Hello, new to OpenWrt here. I just installed OpenWrt on my new Netgear R6850 a couple weeks ago, the latest snapshot. I'm not really sure how to diagnose any issues, but I did see another thread posted by someone with the same router an a similar issue here (Netgear R6850 5GHz radio not possible to get up. "Wireless is not associated") where the 5GHz radio doesn't come up. Mine seems to come on, but I can't see the SSID on any of my devices, and no errors in the system log.

Another problem is that the Wifi drops out periodically and the network speed is often really low (like < 5 Mbps). But the signal strength is quite good however.

The guy in the other post seemed to have success installing a different version. Do you think I should try that, or are there other things I should try first?

The software version is SNAPSHOT r14711-ba9b6702aa .

Thanks in advance!

I'm new to this forum, and somewhat familiar with OpenWRT. I tried the suggestion from the other link you provided, on r6850. That bricked it. I had to recover using the nmrpflash method which worked. So, at least 19.07.5 for r6350 is not compatible with r6850 for whatsoever reasons.

I didn't try the snapshot. I recently got the r6850, running as an AP. I wanted to get OpenWRT on it for configuring VLANs and multiple SSIDs.

Just installed and did a quick wireless test of development Snapshot build r15475-c625c821d1 dated Mon Jan 11 20:43:44 2021 on a Netgear R6850,
The 5 GHz WiFi appears to work fine.
Nitpicking: Signal strength appears a tad lower than those of D-Link DIR-878 though.

Late reply since I did not have a spare R6850 lying around when this topic came out. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the replies.

Thanks r1m2 for trying that, glad you were able to recover it.

Yes I think the signal strength was actually the issue. I had the router placed in my laundry room, which I assumed would be OK since my old one (a much cheaper one) had no problems there. After moving it out of that room, I've been able to access the 5G network.

However I've still been having the signal drop out from time to time, and once had to reboot it. Not super happy with the performance of it :neutral_face:

Try the current snapshot, perhaps the performance has improved since then.

Regarding the 5 GHz WiFi, you're basically out of luck since 5 GHz WiFi was never intended for range. Even if you had a $300.00 router, it really wouldn't improve much. :frowning:
If you really need 5 GHz, you can purchase an access point and wire/place it at the location you want it.

Thanks @warlock, @catLord

So for my netgear r6850 it seems to not want to let me flash it with OpenWRT. As stated before I tried release for r6350 and it got bricked. I recovered using nmrpflash.

After seeing encouraging info from @warlock, I tried latest snapshot specifically meant for r6850 and again it got bricked. So, once again I was able to recover using nmrpflash.

Both times I had tried the simple GUI firmware upload method.

I am thinking of trying tftp method the next chance I get.

However, per the tech data page for r6850, GUI flash should work. I am wondering what's going wrong for me. Is there any way I can find out in the least invasive way possible? Please advise.

(PS: Just FYI update, I've figured out a way to use VLANs on the stock for this and my other recent netgear "router" investments. So, now my endeavour to get OpenWRT on this is less for the purpose of setting up VLANs and more to prepare for the eventuality of Netgear stopping their firmware support for this device. However, I must admit, given the build quality of this r6850, I am not hopeful it will outlast Netgear's firmware support EoL.

Honestly, recently I've been slowly moving my WAPs to OpenWRT and buying specific replacement/upgrade devices that has release support for OpenWRT. This r6850 now being the ugly duckling in my WAP ecosystem is also bit bothersome for my OCD.)

That it should.
With that said, I myself ran into an issue with one/some of the January? snapshot releases. Not sure what exactly happened but was not even able to run opkg update; which meant no LuCi.
Eventually had some time, so updated to the recent SNAPSHOT r16118-eb030a9a82 via CLI using PuTTy, since I had no LuCi installed in the R6850.

I was not impressed with the nmrpflash procedure.
So no more R6850 routers for me.
In the future, I intend to use the D-Link MediaTeks (DIR-878, DIR-882, DIR2640...) more, due to simpler recovery process than the Netgear.

Additional note,
I was not successful trying to use Netgear's TFTP method to reinstall OEM firmware.
Maybe due to OpenWrt already installed in the router, TFTP software or some other reason?