Advice needed for best setup for RT-AC68U, VLAN for IoT and TP-Link M4

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mikereg

New Around Here
Hi,
Recently I moved and needed to setup my home network again in my new place.
I own a Asus RT-AC68U (merlin 386.3_2) and recently got 3 TP-link Deco M4.
What is the best way to setup my Asus with the 3 AImesh devices?

Also: Recently I had a few times that my Hue lights suddenly turned off and turned back on or dimmed at random times / days.
I didn't see any pattern between the days and times but it creeped me out. Changed my hue credentials, checked who had acces to my iOS Home-app etc.
That's when it got me thinking and looking for another solution and found out that VLAN should be a good option.
What's the best way to setup all my IoT (from Ring door bell, hue lights, ikea hub up to my smartTV and soundbar), but in a way that I'm able to use Airplay / Spotify Connect without any problems.

I hope someone can help me setting this up.

Thanks alot!
 

pogchamp

Occasional Visitor
If the Deco M4 really is AiMesh compatible, I would set it as one of the mesh nodes, not the main router.
The reason being, an AC-router is slightly dated by now.
For example, I used to use AC-66U as main router and the old RT-N16 (later TP-link Archer C7) as a glorified ethernet switch & to serve the guest network only on a different subnet & with a separate firewall applied.
Now I use AX-55U as the main router and old AC-66U is now the switch / guest network router.

The setup is up to you in the end.... if you prefer to use the Merlin Asus as the main router, nothing is stopping you from doing that.

Not sure why you are looking into VLAN to solve your Hue light issues. You need to run a packet analyzer software and find out where the problem is for those lights' IP addresses. IGMP snooping might be disabled, UPNP might be disabled or not working properly, same thing with NAT, there is no clear answer on this until you look closer into what is causing the disconnect with those units.

Isolating one unit at a time will help you diagnose.
 

RangerZ

Regular Contributor
Recently I moved and needed to setup my home network again in my new place.
I own a Asus RT-AC68U (merlin 386.3_2) and recently got 3 TP-link Deco M4.
What is the best way to setup my Asus with the 3 AImesh devices?
If you had this setup in the old place, it should substantially be plug and play in the new place. You may need to change some WAN connection parameters.
setup my Asus with the 3 AImesh devices?
You are mixing Manufactureres\Brands. AIMesh is an ASUS product, not a TP-Link product. I think they use "One Mesh" for thier "DIY" mesh components (Routers and Wireless Extenders). You do not have AIMesh capable nodes.

A quick look at the manual seems to not show any ability to use your Deco in any mode other than the designed (factory) Mesh (not One Mesh). I am not sure you can do much with these other than hang them off the back of your ASUS unit, effectively as their own network in double nat mode. You would be able to access the internet, but probably not devices connected to the ASUS.

As far as your IOT stuff, generally not in my wheel house, but until you figure out your primary network, and can clearly identify how or what will talk to exactly what device, I do not think anyone can help you.

If "recently" has a current return window, use it. By another ASUS RT68u. If you don't always run the latest and greatest HW, skip AX for now.

If you need mesh, stick with a single brand for all your devices, and ideally stick with the same model of HW to minimize issues (others will disagree, but thats fine). Mesh gets you seamless roaming, and central management. Using discrete AP's. repeaters and wireless bridges may offer you the same functionality, though require more maintenance. It however is more forgiving and you can often cross the brand threshold for most functionality.

Do not confuse whole home mesh systems with discrete AP's. repeaters and wireless bridges. They are generally, like the Deco, are intended to be easy to use and self contained. they may not offer the flexibility you may want.

The ASUS AImesh environment is probably the most flexible HW structure compared to TP-Link and Netgear (probably others) in the consumer space.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
What is the best way to setup my Asus with the 3 AImesh devices?

Use your Asus router as router, if you like Asuswrt-Merlin better. Switch Deco M4 in Access Point mode.

Now I use AX-55U as the main router and old AC-66U is now the switch / guest network router.

This RT-AC66U may not isolate the guests the way you'd expect. How is it connected to your RT-AX55U?
 

pogchamp

Occasional Visitor
Use your Asus router as router, if you like Asuswrt-Merlin better. Switch Deco M4 in Access Point mode.



This RT-AC66U may not isolate the guests the way you'd expect. How is it connected to your RT-AX55U?
the AC66U is on a separate subnet and has isolation mode active under professional settings, i can then apply subnet specific firewall rules
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
the AC66U is on a separate subnet and has isolation mode active under professional settings

If it's in double NAT to AX55, separate subnet does little. Isolation only restricts it's own wireless clients from talking to each other.
 

pogchamp

Occasional Visitor
No double NAT in my configuration, but isolation from other wireless clients is all I need in my guest network, as I don't want the guest devices to be able to communicate directly with the rest of my devices on the network. Without this service, things like AirDrop won't work to devices on the local network, thus achieving my goal perfectly.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I don't want the guest devices to be able to communicate directly with the rest of my devices on the network.

What is preventing communication to wired devices and the ones connected to your AX55U router?
 

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