AC-86U and 66U-B1 - extending AiMesh options

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Locoblade

Occasional Visitor
I've currently got an RT-AC86U as my primary router with a 66U-B1 in AiMesh configuration. We're in the process of moving to a larger house with an outbuilding that will need WiFi coverage for my wife's work (single user generally and not high speed/bandwidth requirements) and would like some advice on the best way to tackle it.

I can get ethernet to the outbuilding for the backhaul connection so the main question I'd like to resolve is do I retain the 66-B1 for house duties and get something similar (or cheaper if there is such a thing - is there an AiMesh repeater?) in the outbuilding, or do I shift the existing 66-B1 to the outbuilding and replace it in the house with something newer/more powerful with AX wifi? For example could I connect a single ZenWifi AX to my existing AiMesh alongside the 86U with a mind to eventually replacing the 86U with another ZenWifi AX to give AX coverage across the entire house, or do AC and AX AiMesh routers not play together?

As an aside I run the existing setup with Smart Connect turned on but I've since read on here that the 66U-B1 doesn't support Smart Connect, is that still the case? I do have the odd issue with connectivity but to be honest I switched Smart Connect on trying to resolve connection dropout issues and it seems a lot better with it on.

Thanks
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've currently got an RT-AC86U as my primary router with a 66U-B1 in AiMesh configuration. We're in the process of moving to a larger house with an outbuilding that will need WiFi coverage for my wife's work (single user generally and not high speed/bandwidth requirements) and would like some advice on the best way to tackle it.

I can get ethernet to the outbuilding for the backhaul connection so the main question I'd like to resolve is do I retain the 66-B1 for house duties and get something similar (or cheaper if there is such a thing - is there an AiMesh repeater?) in the outbuilding, or do I shift the existing 66-B1 to the outbuilding and replace it in the house with something newer/more powerful with AX wifi? For example could I connect a single ZenWifi AX to my existing AiMesh alongside the 86U with a mind to eventually replacing the 86U with another ZenWifi AX to give AX coverage across the entire house, or do AC and AX AiMesh routers not play together?

As an aside I run the existing setup with Smart Connect turned on but I've since read on here that the 66U-B1 doesn't support Smart Connect, is that still the case? I do have the odd issue with connectivity but to be honest I switched Smart Connect on trying to resolve connection dropout issues and it seems a lot better with it on.

Thanks
One proposal...

Get another AC86U and add it as a wireless node in the outbuilding until you get the wired backhaul installed. Then swap it with the existing AC66U to serve as a wireless node in the new, larger house. Relax and plan for a future tri-band WiFi 6e network with a dedicated wireless backhaul in the house.

Alternatively, consider a WiFi 6 AX model now as a new router/root node in the house.

Given no Smart Connect support on the AC66U, I would disable SC and set fixed, non-DFS, least-congested channels that yield the best 2.4/5.0 wireless backhaul RSSI, Tx, and Rx values in the router/root node Wireless Log. These entries will have MACs of the wireless node.

Also know that an AiMesh 2.0 beta is adding functionality like proper guest WLANs across all nodes, and release of node WiFi for client use when the node is wired.

OE
 
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Locoblade

Occasional Visitor
Thanks, I don't think I need to worry about wireless backhaul at all though because as mentioned I can get ethernet to the outbuilding no problem, and I can also get ethernet around the house to link the two nodes in the house?

You mention AIMesh 2 and having proper guest mode across all nodes, thats something I'd like as it's a pain that guests can only get access when near the primary node, but I don't see the 66u-B1 mentioned there so is it not likely to be supported?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks, I don't think I need to worry about wireless backhaul at all though because as mentioned I can get ethernet to the outbuilding no problem, and I can also get ethernet around the house to link the two nodes in the house?

You mention AIMesh 2 and having proper guest mode across all nodes, thats something I'd like as it's a pain that guests can only get access when near the primary node, but I don't see the 66u-B1 mentioned there so is it not likely to be supported?
Wired is best!

The AC66U B1 uses the AC68 firmware, so you're golden.

OE
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
F.Y.I. I have an AC86U running Asus 386_40451 firmware and for the past several days I have had my AC66U_b1 set up as an AiMesh node. I expected issues as the AC86U is running firmware with AiMesh 2.0 and the AC66U_B1 is running firmware with AiMesh 1.0. But, I had no issues with the devices connected over WIFI. Both were rock solid! So, I would expect when Asus releases the 386. code base for the AC66U_b1 (or AC68U) the mesh system will be better yet and you will get guest WIFI on the nodes. Yes, I run Dual Band SmartConnect on the AC86U.
 

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