adding RT-AX3000 to RT-AC68Us mesh

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sze

New Around Here
I have been using two RT-AC68U routers with aimesh (wired connected) for some time. Main router is sitting in basement (where the cable drop/cable modem locate) and the other one is in main floor. Our second floor wireless coverage is spotty. So I decided to buy another router to extend the range and put it on 2nd floor (I have ethernet outlet there as well). I just put in an order for RT-AX3000.

1) Since this AX3000 is new, I assume it will have better wifi coverage and I am thinking about putting it in upstair instead (which is where we spent most of our time). But will it be a waste if AX3000 won't be our main router and keep the existing basement one (AC68U) being the main router? Or I can somehow have new AX3000 as main router even it's upstair?
2) Would AX and AC routers work together under aimesh?
3) What's the advantage of using aimesh v.s. making the other two regular AP nodes?
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
Ya you could have it as main router even its upstairs if you connect the modem to it. I guess the rule of thumb is to setup the more powerful as main router cause it can handle more devices as a dhcp server. But I've not found that to be reality. You could probably do whatever you want with no real drawback.

If you going to do a mesh system then I would put the ax as the main router since its wifi 6 especially if you have wifi 6 devices. But I don't see any harm in putting it in the bedroom. try it out. Ax and AC routers do work as mesh mode, but I found the mesh system in general to not be too stable even with a wired backhaul but everyones experience varies. You could always just do an ap to the ethernet. But One advantage with mesh is roaming assistance under the same ssid for whole network.
 

master_o_trunks

New Around Here
Your AX3000 should have more features available over your AC68U. For example, I upgrade my main to AC3100 because it offered OpenVPN feature which the AC68U does not. Now I have kept the AC68U as an AiMesh node. Do keep in mind, that once it becomes an AiMesh node you can no longer access it to do any changes on it, the main router would take care of setting channels and and everything else you have set. Unless, you set the AC68U as AP mode, then you would have to make all changes separate all the time, you would essentially be administrating two wireless routers. Again, the AiMesh satisfaction does vary, I am happy with how it works for me.

By leaving your AX3100 as main, you would take advantage of the 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi router that provides 160MHz bandwidth and 1024-QAM. Per Asus: RT-AX3000 is 2.5X faster than 802.11ac 2x2 dual-band routers. So leaving you AC68U as a node, it would default up to whatever is capable of and it would leave you with more features available and processing/ram power by keeping the AX3000 as your main. And it would also welcome any new devices that enter your network in the future that will be capable of Wi-Fi 6.
 

sze

New Around Here
Ya you could have it as main router even its upstairs if you connect the modem to it.
True, I forgot I can also move the modem to upstair along with the new router.

Regarding wired backhaul, is there any special settings I need to do to configure it that way? Or it's automatic once it's connected via wired?
 

sze

New Around Here
Your AX3000 should have more features available over your AC68U. For example, I upgrade my main to AC3100 because it offered OpenVPN feature which the AC68U does not.
Good point. I will try it out as main router then. Is there any performance differences aimesh v.s. ap mode for the AC68U?
 

master_o_trunks

New Around Here
Good point. I will try it out as main router then. Is there any performance differences aimesh v.s. ap mode for the AC68U?
Probably Wi-Fi roaming could be better, giving that your devices are capable of doing it smoothly. AiMesh 2.0 is in Beta and is also more than likely that your AX3000 will have future updates going forward and in AiMesh 2.0 you would be able to admin the nodes if necessary. It also seems like the guest wi-fi will now be available with A 2.0 on the nodes. AiMesh allows for your nodes to be in sync with the main and it will try to roam your devices better and all settings are always kept and node on the main. In AP mode you will need to sync changes from the main to the node manually, when it comes to channels, SSID passwords or names, and any other setting that the device behind the node may required. If AiMesh is not playing well with you and your devices, then setting it into AP Mode will help eliminate some of those issues.

For backhaul, if you connect an ethernet cable to the WAN port of the node, the main will know to do the backhaul via ethernet. There is a setting under Network Map -> AiMesh Node Button -> Right hand menu -> Select your Node ; and Connection Priority you can set to Ethernet.
 
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OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have been using two RT-AC68U routers with aimesh (wired connected) for some time. Main router is sitting in basement (where the cable drop/cable modem locate) and the other one is in main floor. Our second floor wireless coverage is spotty. So I decided to buy another router to extend the range and put it on 2nd floor (I have ethernet outlet there as well). I just put in an order for RT-AX3000.

1) Since this AX3000 is new, I assume it will have better wifi coverage and I am thinking about putting it in upstair instead (which is where we spent most of our time). But will it be a waste if AX3000 won't be our main router and keep the existing basement one (AC68U) being the main router? Or I can somehow have new AX3000 as main router even it's upstair?
2) Would AX and AC routers work together under aimesh?
3) What's the advantage of using aimesh v.s. making the other two regular AP nodes?
Use the highest spec router as your router/root node. Ignoring RAM and CPU, one could argue that the AC68Us are stronger with 3x3 antennas/streams on both bands. The new AX3000 is only 2x2 on both bands but this won't impact backhaul strength if you use wired backhauls. Feel free to try it both ways.

Your AC68Us do not support Smart Connect node band steering so use different SSIDs for each band.

AX will only work on the AX3000, if you enable it. It will not broadcast from the AC nodes. Given it's not a full WiFi 6 implementation (6e) and on only one node and with likely little client support, I consider it more of a complication than a feature.

AiMesh is suppose to be a better mesh system solution than a bunch of tuned APs. In my limited experience, this has been true. Feel free to try it both ways.

AiMesh 2.0 RC2-8 in beta here allows setting Ethernet Backhaul Mode Only to release all WiFi for client use only.

Beta - ASUSWRT 386 RC2 public beta with full functions AiMesh 2.0 | Page 10 | SmallNetBuilder Forums (snbforums.com)

If you install it manually, reset it and then configure from scratch and do same later once it is formally released.

OE
 
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cooloutac

Very Senior Member
True, I forgot I can also move the modem to upstair along with the new router.

Regarding wired backhaul, is there any special settings I need to do to configure it that way? Or it's automatic once it's connected via wired?
you just first configure the messh node wirelessly. then after its all setup you plug in the wire from the main routers ethernet to the mesh node's wan port and it will automatically switch to wired backhaul. You can then also go in the mesh settings on the webui and select prefer wired backhaul.
 
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cooloutac

Very Senior Member
Good point. I will try it out as main router then. Is there any performance differences aimesh v.s. ap mode for the AC68U?
the ac68u also has openvpn options. but it will only do around 30 MBps, where the ax3000 will do 50MBs.
 
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