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przemekwawa

Regular Contributor
I am rebuilding wifi setup, so currently I have rt-ax86U as router, and can use my old router as AP (rt-ac68u).
Unfortunately alone rt-ax86u is not enough - it does not cover whole house and I am limited with moving it to more central place. I have long good quality ethernet cable between floors, so I can use it.
Previously had rt-ac68u as router and some very old asus as AP, connected with this cable - used roaming assistant on both devices, and 2 wifi names (2,4 and 5)

So I have few questions for my new setup, maybe someone could share his experience:
-Should I use AImesh with cable between them as backhaul? Or better old fashioned manual Roaming assistant (also with ethernet cable)?
Which one is better and why should I use it? I didnt use previously AiMesh and I am not sure if it makes anything more usefull than roaming assistant and classic AP mode. Maybe even it is not possible now to manually configure it as AP with roaming assistant, as it bekomes AiMesh node?
-rt-ax86u have possibility to use Smart Connect (one wifi name, but automatically choose 2.4/5ghz) - is it worth to use? Does it make sense if rt-ac68 has not such possibility?
-or just maybe 4 different wifi names? 2,4 and 5ghz on first floor and same on second?
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
I think having separate SSIDs for all the APs is just making your life unnecessarily difficult. I've had trouble naming 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz with the same SSID, but you should be able to give all the 2.4 GHz APs the same SSID and likewise for the 5 GHz APs (just make sure to use non-overlapping channels for each). The devices will do the "roaming assist" on their own. My understanding of the underlying functionality of AiMesh is limited, but I believe it is essentially doing the same thing and giving a central place from which to manage the APs.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
My understanding or perception of AiMesh is similar to @sbsnb 's: it's air traffic control for YOUR wifi zone, but it also telling your neighbours "this is what frequency I'm claiming in my zone/bubble - please find/use a different one of your own" - this is important in people-dense living situations. I'm in suburbia and can see 6-8 other wLANs around me most days, and some of us do bump up against each other on occasion; managing a bunch of different bands/AP's with different channels would be...frustrating at times, I'm sure. So yes, use AiMesh for your machines with the wired connection between them (I believe it needs to meet Cat5e spec at minimum, so if it has been in place a while, you may want to check/replace it, and upgrade to Cat6 for future-proofness, if you're in an area that has 1Gbps internet available)

Turn Smart connect off and have a 2.4SSID and another for 5GHz; this way you can "load balance" between the bands manually - put the older devices on the 2.4 (b/g/n) and the newer ones on the 5 (n/ac) and wire up everything that doesn't move.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
I'm in suburbia and can see 6-8 other wLANs around me most days
This is what my WiFi analyzer looks like from inside my house.

Untitled.png


Believe it or not, I still have excellent 2.4 GHz connectivity and service ... up to 200 feet or more from my house.
 

przemekwawa

Regular Contributor
Believe it or not, I still have excellent 2.4 GHz connectivity and service ... up to 200 feet or more from my house.
In place where I plan to put it, there is more silence in the air:) But it looks promising. I even read now, that WPS can be safely disabled, and is only needed at beginning.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
This is what my WiFi analyzer looks like from inside my house.

<snip>

Believe it or not, I still have excellent 2.4 GHz connectivity and service ... up to 200 feet or more from my house.
Yes, according to that app, you're a good 30+ dB stronger than the next closest router using that channel...that's why. I'd be curious to see what WiFi Analyzer in the router's firmware says it has to contend with. (or is that chart from the router's analysis?)
5GHz band has much more "airspace" to stake its claim in; all you need to do there is find yours and claim it.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
Yes, according to that app, you're a good 30+ dB stronger than the next closest router using that channel...that's why. I'd be curious to see what WiFi Analyzer in the router's firmware says it has to contend with. (or is that chart from the router's analysis?)
5GHz band has much more "airspace" to stake its claim in; all you need to do there is find yours and claim it.
The signal to noise isn't so good when I cross the street with my phone, but I still do 2.4 GHz no problem even across the street and up two houses. It's about 200 feet in a direct line from the router.

5 GHz is "wide open" because it sucks for range. If I'm in the far backyard working and my phone was connected to 5 GHz I'll miss all my calls and texts because it doesn't reach that far and my cell signal sucks. The 2.4 GHz still works just fine out there.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
5GHz is wide open because there are many more channels than 2.4GHz band. for the highest speed wifi, you need to have a number of 5GHz access points for the same coverage as 2.4GHz. This is how/why AiMesh came to be
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
5GHz is wide open because there are many more channels than 2.4GHz band. for the highest speed wifi, you need to have a number of 5GHz access points for the same coverage as 2.4GHz. This is how/why AiMesh came to be
5 GHz is faster, but I've found it only matters for transferring large files between LAN clients, like from a PC to an NAS or something similar. A TV, a phone, or a tablet using the Internet see no perceptible performance difference between the two bands. Browsing the Internet or watching Netflix at 700 Mbps doesn't look any different than doing the same at 160 Mbps. Almost always the remote host is much slower than your Internet connection or LAN speed, but even if they weren't it would mean the difference between a 5,000 kb page loading in 0.06 seconds or 0.26 seconds. I wouldn't know what to do with that 200 milliseconds.

The speed is a non-issue except for desktops and maybe laptops that can't be wired for whatever reason and need to move a large amount of data around the LAN on a regular basis. For me, using 5 GHz for anything other than that special use case is all downside. There's no perceptible difference in anything I do with those devices, but my range is crippled.

I'd rather going the opposite direction. Where's our 900 MHz WiFi? :)
 
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superjet

Regular Contributor
On a rural property with 4 AI mesh nodes total switching from old fashioned to aimesh has been a huge time saver. As AI mesh interface becomes more functional (like the recent upgrade to allow remote nodes to use USB apps) i have seen no reason to go back so far. Managing shady IOT devices from a single pane is one of the bigger plusses.

4 of the same model nodes though and no other visible networks makes everything a lot easier
 

przemekwawa

Regular Contributor
Ok, all of you convinced me.
Do I lose something using such new device like AX86U with AC68U as node? Should I/have to disable wifi6 on AX?
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
Ok, all of you convinced me.
Do I lose something using such new device like AX86U with AC68U as node? Should I/have to disable wifi6 on AX?
no, wifi6 stuff will also do non-wifi6 stuff - it's called backwards compatibility. having your older AC68 able to mesh with the latest machines is a very nice extra: to use it until it doesn't work anymore is an environmental bonus - less waste...if you don't look at power consumption ;-D
 

przemekwawa

Regular Contributor
no, wifi6 stuff will also do non-wifi6 stuff - it's called backwards compatibility. having your older AC68 able to mesh with the latest machines is a very nice extra: to use it until it doesn't work anymore is an environmental bonus - less waste...if you don't look at power consumption ;-D
I didnt look at power consumption at all:) But even if it takes more than new devices, i don't like to waste them, I am using it long time and still it was always really good device. Especially as this is newer version with 1ghz cpu, not old 800mhz. It is true, having new possibilities in old device is always great.
 

pirx73

Senior Member
I have AiMesh with ethernet backhaul between them. Main router - AX68U is on first floor connected to GPON ONT, while good 'ol AC68U is on the second floor. Besides using ethernet backhaul, i have also desktop connected to it via Ethernet. Works like charm.
 

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