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Wednesday, November 04, 2020

HOW TO: Use Xfinity xFi Gateway with Orbi Mesh Router and Satellites in AP (Access Point) Mode

Xfinity xFi Features with Orbi

I've had the Orbi mesh WiFi system for a long time, and up until now, the only way to use it on an Xfinity network, as far I knew, was to put the Xfinity Gateway into Bridge Mode. By doing that, you loose many of the neat Xfinity network management and virus protection features. 

But now I've found a way to Put the Netgear Orbi into AP (Access Point) mode. 

Note: You loose some Orbi features by doing this. 

From a web browser, you go to and then go to ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Router/AP Mode, and SELECT the AP Mode radio button.

After that, Reboot the Gateway, then, from a computer connected the the Xfinity Gateway, via a hardwired cable, Go to in a browser, Login to the Xfinity Admin page, and DISABLE Bridge Mode.

Then, reboot all your Orbi's

After a while everything will come back. If your speed does not improve, reboot the Gateway.


First test on was 100 Mbps, and that still wasn't right, so I rebooted the Gateway, and when it came back up, I was at 270 Mbps down, 37 Mbps up. 

That was better. 

Now I had the Orbi's using AP (Access Point) mode. The Xfinity iPhone App worked too. I also had my laptop computer directly connected to the Xfinity Gateway.

I also found which showed me:

Gateway Test:

Plan Speed: 1,000 Mbps

Speed to Gateway 1,074,3 Mbps

Upload Speed 41.5 Mbps

Latency 9 ms

Test Speed to this device:

Download speed: 477.1 Mbps

Upload Speed: 37.9 Mbps

Latency: 11 ms

Protocol: IPv6

Host: Boston, MA

Speed Test Lookup Device

My MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) Expected WiFi Speed is 150-500 Mbps.

I'm going to be getting a new MacBook Air, depending on what is released on November 10th. I think that will help. ;-)

Internet Cable:

I looked up speed ratings on Internet cables and found how the categories of cables are rated:

CategoryMax speed transmissionMax bandwidth
Cat 5100 Mbps100 MHz
Cat 5e1,000 Mbps100 MHz
Cat 61,000 Mbps250 MHz
Cat 6a10,000 Mbps500 MHz

I had a Cat 5 cable, so I switched to a "Cat 7", which is listed at 10,000 Mbps, and is shielded. I think Cat 6, rated at 1,000 Mbps would be enough.

Here's the speed test, with the "Cat 7" cable:

Download speed: 280 Mbps

Upload Speed: 36 Mbps

Latency: 9 ms Test Speed to this device:

Download speed: 752.2 Mbps

Speed test from Xfinity iPhone App:

Speed test to iPhone 11 Pro Max: 

Download Speed 177.9 Mbps

At what speed and bandwidth can my Orbi system transmit data?

The Orbi WiFi System’s Tri-band WiFi technology includes a dedicated 5 GHz (866 Mbps) band for communication between an Orbi router and satellite. The remaining WiFi bands are used to connect devices to your Orbi system.

The performance you experience depends on the devices, WiFi interference, and the construction materials in your home. In most circumstances, you can expect the following speeds:

  • Up to 400 Mbps for older devices that support 2.4 GHz and 256 QAM
  • Up to 866 Mbps for newer devices that support 5 GHz and 802.11 ac


I think I'm on the right track, and am glad to have the Xfinity network management featured available. 


I presented at a conference and got good upload and download speeds, 429/33.

Update 11/7/20:

Now getting download speeds of 270/450/510/540/260

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