Question about managing of Ethernet ports

I'm getting my internet upgraded to 400MB from 100MB from my ISP. I am also finally getting an Orbi Mesh WiFi System - AC2200 - 3 pack (RBK23). The issue is that the Orbi network has 2 Ethernet ports on each point. I want to plug in a PS4 & Roku to the base. The first satellite I want to plug in an Nvidia Shield. That leaves 3 ports, and only 1 in my house as the 3rd satellite is going in my garage.

I have a Phillips Hue hub, and Hubitat to plug in and want to make sure that it's OK to plug the Hubitat into the 2nd satellite and the Phillips Hue hub into the 3rd satellite in the garage. Or would it be better to get an ethernet box and plug that into the remaining plug on the second satellite (or the base station maybe) and plug both hubs into that?

Trying to see what would give me the least "issues" with connectivity or performance or whatever. Thanks in advance.

Get a switch. They can often be had (5 port 100/1000) from for 8 to 12 bucks when on sale, are energy efficient and stable. Examples that aren't on sale:

TP-Link 5 Port
Netgear 5 Port
Trendnet 5 Port

You can shop around and see if you can find one on sale, put a watch on camelcamelcamel, etc.

Anyway... you want to locate your Hubitat hub as centrally as possible in the house. Otherwise, you can have Z-Wave/Zigbee mesh issues. The switch will allow you to do that.


As codahq said, a switch is probably your best option. Aside from the location consideration, there might be a reliability issue, too. It sounds to me like you plan to have the satellites connect wirelessly to the base station. Correct? While, theoretically, your Hubitat and Hue hubs will work fine plugged into the satellites, I've had issues with my Orbi satellite occasionally dropping in and out before. Even after hard-wiring it, I still feel like it occasionally drops out. To be fair, I'm using an older (I think the first) version of the Orbis, and I feel like firmware updates have helped with the reliability, but I would personally always want important equipment like HA hubs hard-wired in.


I’ll second that. I have 2 Hubitats, SmartThings, and a Hue bridge on a TP-Link 5 port unmanaged switch connected to a Velop MX5 In the center of my house and everything works beautifully. I would try to keep things connected to the wired Orbi if possible.


My only addition to above is A suggestion to buy a switch bigger than you think you need.

If you think you need a 4 port, buy an 8

I bought a netgear 16 port a few months ago and I got it on amazon for like $80 CDN.


My internet comes in at one end of my house and that is where the Orbi base station will be located. The 1st satellite would be the most centrally located and where I would be putting the switch. Not the base station. Is that the best solution? Or would it be best to put the switch on the base station, even though it is not centrally located?

I see a 4-port one and then an 8-port one for $2 more. I'll get the 8. Thanks.

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I have my Hue hub and Lutron hub on my Orbi satellite. It has been running for over a year. The only issue is the base station and HE is on a UPS while the satellite and Hue hub is not. Things have always returned to normal after the power is restored.
Funny, I have recently been thinking it's time to put the satellite and Hue hub on a UPS.

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Yup do it. I have five ups in my house. Two of them are dedicated to my backbone.

I have the same Orbi setup. I put a switch off one port and connected all my smart home hubs that require Ethernet to the switch. I stream my two Roku boxes and my Xbox over the Wi-Fi mesh. No problems with watching Netflix, Hulu, or Pluto TV.

I personally would run an ethernet cable to the center of the house, or try it connected to the node in the center. That was my situation and I ran into problems initially with reaching devices, so I relocated mine by running a new Cat 6 cable through the crawl space into a hallway closet in the center of the house. I had to add an outlet as well, so I realize that is not for everyone.

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Just a fair warning on the Orbi's. I love their coverage, but I have IoT devices that absolutely hate dual-band converged SSIDs. My tv, ring doorbell, and a few other devices have a ton of issues when trying to connect to my Orbi.

Looking online and in their forums this is very common for Orbi users, and apparently for other mesh networks as well. I've had to route to hacky ways to seperate out the 2.4G and 5G SSIDs.

Just a heads up, make sure you test all of that well before your return policy expiration kicks in.

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Good call out. I've seen this before as well. Instead of the device realizing there is a 2.4 GHz band they just insist on failing on the 5 GHz repeatedly.

Thanks for all the tips everyone. My switch just arrived here today and tomorrow the router should be delivered so I'll be setting it all up.

I have found for most of my 2.4Ghz devices, they only have an issue connecting the 1st time so I turn off the 5Ghz band when connecting the 1st time then turn the 5Ghz band back on. I did this for all of my Tasmota and Wyze devices without a problem.

Interesting. Have you seen if they survive power cycles and recover? Also the same if your reboot the router? That's my main concern with that approach. Specially the amount I travel.

I am not familiar with the orbi but my netgear R8500 is a tri-band (2.4 plus dual 5g) and default setup was the same ssid for all. I have split the ssid for all three for better control.

Alex is one of the worst ones - keeps jumping back to 5g if you have the same ssid.

My Tasmota have issues with the 2.4g if the QoS is enabled on the router.

I've not had a problem with my Orbi and devices. Your mileage may vary.