A future AX and a temp AC network?

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JT Strickland

Senior Member
My two RT-AX86U's arrive by the weekend, and I was wondering how far I can get setting up the AX Aimesh router and Node, leaving my current AC router and node intact with the internet and local network. Could I connect to the internet though my existing network to install my scripts and configure my new routers? Or should I just forget it and pull their plugs and start from scratch? I was thinking it might be smoother if it isn't too difficult, and might be nice to be able to look at something on the old ones during the setup.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Your call. Might be best to bite the bullet and power down the old system. AS fast as the AX86U boots you can have Merlin on it in 10 minutes. Do a basic config, add the AiMesh node and play with the other stuff as time permits.
I strongly recommend you start with Dual Band SmartConnect, WPA2/WPA3, 2.4 GHZ @ 20 MHZ on CH 1, 6 or 11, 5 GHz @ 80 MHZ on CH 36. Avoid the 160 GHZ to start. When you do decide to do 160 MHZ use CH 36 or 40. That way you will use the UNI-1 and UNI-2 bands and if hit by radar the router should stick with the UNI-1 channels. Other DFS channels may cause issues with some clients. Believe me, I have tried them.
 

Tech9

Senior Member
I strongly recommend you start with Dual Band SmartConnect

With 100Mbps ISP you perhaps never notice devices not switching to faster 5GHz and sticking to stronger 2.4GHz instead. Is this why you strongly recommend Dual Band SmartConnect all the time? In your case it gives you some connection, up to 100Mbps. Folks with faster ISP definitely have to keep SmartConnect off because it's not smart at all. It just offers 2 options to the clients and they choose where to connect. Many dual band clients see stronger 2.4GHz signal and stick to it forever, even 3m away from the router. Apple clients tend to hold the band/AP until they can't communicate with it anymore. If you had the chance to test this SmartConnect with faster than 100Mbps ISP you'll probably never recommend to anyone using it. I'm not trying to offend you. Your testing environment is limiting the test results.

I have a 100/100 FIOS
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
With 100Mbps ISP you perhaps never notice devices not switching to faster 5GHz and sticking to stronger 2.4GHz instead. Is this why you strongly recommend Dual Band SmartConnect all the time? In your case it gives you some connection, up to 100Mbps. Folks with faster ISP definitely have to keep SmartConnect off because it's not smart at all. It just offers 2 options to the clients and they choose where to connect. Many dual band clients see stronger 2.4GHz signal and stick to it forever, even 3m away from the router. Apple clients tend to hold the band/AP until they can't communicate with it anymore. If you had the chance to test this SmartConnect with faster than 100Mbps ISP you'll probably never recommend to anyone using it. I'm not trying to offend you. Your testing environment is limiting the test results.
No, I have noticed that when the router boots with DFS channels or 160GHZ enabled clients that are supposed to connect to the separate 5 GHz band have to wait for the radar check to complete. With both the 2.4 and 5 GHZ SSID the same all the clients can connect to the 2.4 GHz band. In time those that support 5 GHZ will switch. Also, when RADAR bumps the 5 GHZ the clients will switch to 2.4 GHz and keep working. This is for folks to avoid thinking the router does not work. Yes, there may be some that, for some reason or another, want to use separate SSID's. That's ok for you but for those who do not play with router settings daily as we do the conservative settings are a place to start and see that things work.

It is good to help folks. I espouse what works at a basic level. And don't assume I have no experience beyond my 100/100 at home as you would be wrong. Quality of operation is far better than high bandwidth.
 

Tech9

Senior Member
DFS channels

I live in close proximity to international airport common flightpath and for consistent testing results I never use DFS channels. My advice to folks in similar locations is to stay off DFS channels completely. I have an AC86U router on my test bench, the same model you had not long ago. Based on your strong and consistent recommendations I tested the implementation of SmartConnect and the results are mediocre at best. Some clients switch, some never do. If you only need your devices to connect somehow - turn SmartConnect on. If you want more control over your own devices - keep SmartConnect off. As I remember correctly SmartConnect off is the default setting after firmware reset.

Yes, there may be some that, for some reason or another, want to use separate SSID's.

Majority of folks on this forum are after performance and fine tuning. You'll be surprised how many use separate SSIDs.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
My two RT-AX86U's arrive by the weekend, and I was wondering how far I can get setting up the AX Aimesh router and Node, leaving my current AC router and node intact with the internet and local network. Could I connect to the internet though my existing network to install my scripts and configure my new routers? Or should I just forget it and pull their plugs and start from scratch? I was thinking it might be smoother if it isn't too difficult, and might be nice to be able to look at something on the old ones during the setup.
start from scratch is my vote...the old ones are best reset before being added as nodes on the mesh IIRC...and don't forget CAT6 for backhaul between the AX units.
have you given any further thought to adding unbound to your mix of add-on scripts?
 

JT Strickland

Senior Member
start from scratch is my vote...the old ones are best reset before being added as nodes on the mesh IIRC...and don't forget CAT6 for backhaul between the AX units.
have you given any further thought to adding unbound to your mix of add-on scripts?
Yes, I plan to add it when I get everything settled in. I will only have the two AX86U's on my network for now, one router and one node, don't need any more. I may try to sell my other routers, but I doubt they would bring much and may be more valuable as backups.

BTW, I have been using two SSIDs to control which clients connect to what for about as long as I have been using Aimesh.

I figured it would be best to take the old ones out first, but I thought it might work. However, it's not worth the risk. I don't want any new problems with these.
thanks,
jts
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
You can double NAT your new routers behind the current routers then do your setup with a PC connected to the new router preferably with an Ethernet cable. If you are going to use the same SSIDs on the new routers as on the old routers turn the WiFi off on the new routers until you put them in production mode.
 

JT Strickland

Senior Member
You can double NAT your new routers behind the current routers then do your setup with a PC connected to the new router preferably with an Ethernet cable. If you are going to use the same SSIDs on the new routers as on the old routers turn the WiFi off on the new routers until you put them in production mode.
I would do that, if for no other reason, to learn how to do it, but I don't know how to set up a double NAT. Heck, I don't know how to do a single one. I can do the PC and ethernet connection no problem.
I will be using new SSIDs with 8 character names and 16 character passwords, as per L&LD's notes. I don't really see why I need 16 characters, though, but I will try it.
thanks,
jts
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
I would do that, if for no other reason, to learn how to do it, but I don't know how to set up a double NAT. Heck, I don't know how to do a single one. I can do the PC and ethernet connection no problem.
I will be using new SSIDs with 8 character names and 16 character passwords, as per L&LD's notes. I don't really see why I need 16 characters, though, but I will try it.
thanks,
jts
 

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JT Strickland

Senior Member
Thanks a bunch, that looks like something I might can do. I'm going to try.
thanks again,
jts
 

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