AiMesh Extender hardware options

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

webreaper

Occasional Visitor
Hi there, looking for a bit of advice. I have an RT-AC68U running Asus-Merlin, and it's been rock solid for several years. This week I set up an IP cam in the garden (for nature-watching...) but the signal doesn't quite exend the 20m to the end of the garden, because we live in a stone cottage and the AC68U is in one of the back rooms - so the signal runs out after going through 2 stone walls and about 10m of garden. The idea is to put an extender in the window at the front of the house to give coverage of the whole garden.

I tried a TP-Link extender but had all sorts of problems with it re-writing MAC addresses for the device (which meant that the IP address of the camera kept flipping about) and was just generally annoying. So now I'm thinking a better idea is to use AIMesh which I believe should be seamless and simple to configure, and just give me wider coverage with no weird MAC behaviour etc. But I'm looking for suggestions of what hardware to buy. It seems like there's a toss-up betwee:

1. Getting a new AC86U router, setting that up as my main router, and relegating the AC68U to be an AIMesh extender. Seems a lot of faff and overkill from a configuration perspective though (unless it's possible to export/import my settings from the AC68U and transfer over seamlessly). Cost, about £150.

2. Getting an Asus RP-AX56 extender - this seems like the ideal solution but currently Amazon have it for £146 and limited/no stock, which I think is because the UK version hasn't been officially released yet. I don't really want to have to wait for that, so it may get ruled out.

3. Getting an Asus RP-AC55 repeater, which I understand has AiMesh capabilities. It's much better from a price perspective (under £50 for one with an EU plug, or £90 for a UK one) but from what I've read of reviews etc, it is apparently pretty painful to set up and a bit unreliable with connection drops etc. Anyone tried one?

4. Getting a second, maybe used, RT-AC68U router and using that as an extender. Basically the same as #1 above, but without being an upgrade. I can get a used one for £115, but it feels like if I'm doing that, I might as well just go the whole hog and get the AC86U - but will I notice or care about the differences?

5. Same as 4, but getting an RT-AX55 as the Mesh extender (it's a bit cheaper).

6. Something else cheaper and simpler that I've not thought of, which I'm hoping you can suggest.

Thoughts and ideas?

Thanks!
Mark
 
Last edited:

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Generally extenders or repeaters are not recommended. A second AC68U or for a bit less an AC66U_B1, which has the same hardware as the AC68U and a bit faster. I have an AC66U_B1 main router with two AC68U AiMesh nodes that are working very well in a small office. For a bit of future proofing an AX68U would be a good option but a bit more than an AC86U. You might have to take what you can get, however.
Best of luck with your bird cam. I have a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting 25 feet from my patio door.
 

webreaper

Occasional Visitor
Thanks, Found a 'like new' used AC86U on Amazon. for £40 cheaper than normal, so went for that. I'll probably use it as an AIMesh node off the bat, and then when I'm feeling brave and don't mind the tedium I'll copy across the settings to turn it into my main router. It'll be interesting to see if there's a noticeable performance improvement over the AC68U...
 

brobin

Occasional Visitor
Your solution of using a second AiMesh router over the AiMesh extender is the best path. I had some dropout problems with the extenders that were eliminated when I replaced them with another router.
 

Brad H

New Around Here
Agree with Brobin. I have a AC5300 meshed with two RT-AC68 & trying to save money, a RP-AC55. The trouble with the AC55 is at least right now, it will not carry the guest network and you can't bind devices to it. So, yes, it works but several useful features are missing. Who knows...those features may get added in to the next firmware since they are new to aimesh. I hope so. Just appearance wise, I like the RP-AC55 for nodes. They are small & plug directly into the wall so easier to place out of the way.
 

webreaper

Occasional Visitor
Thanks all. The new AC86U arrived at the weekend, and set it up to replace my AC68U as my main router. Surprisingly quick - only took about 15 minutes to get everything copied over. Setting up the AC68U as an AiMesh Node was a bit of a faff - had to factory reset it 3 times before it was successfully discovered (and the confusion between reset and WPS button to factory reset in the Asus docs didn't help either...).

All up and running now with the AiMesh node providing great coverage across the garden and the front of the house, and it All Just Works. :)
 

Polar

Regular Contributor
I have an AC86u & an RP-AC55. The AC86u registers the RP-AC55 as an AIMesh Node & the AC55 can connect clients to the LAN (NAS etc) but does will allow internet access. Both units have the latest updated firmware.

Does anyone have any tips for getting this RP-AC55 to relay the internet?

PS I have an AC68u but keep it as a backup router in case the 86 fails. I only have one wifi dead spot -- which, unfortunately, happens to be where I sit with my laptop most of the time...
 

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top