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AiMesh Wifi Speed Drops after Roaming from Hub to Node and Back to Hub (GT-AXE16000 + RT-AC68U)

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gmctavish

New Around Here
I’ve got a strange but persistent/repeatable issue in my AiMesh setup.

Setup:
  • GT-AXE16000 primary hub, hard-wired through 10G port to 10G broadband (firmware: 3.0.0.4.388_23012), and a 1G port to the nodes
  • Two RT-AC68U nodes, hard-wired through 1G connections (3.0.0.4.386_51665)

Repeatable issue:
  • Client connects to the GT-AXE16000 over 5Ghz wifi6 and I get ~800Mb/s as expected.
  • If I roam onto one of the RT-AC68U nodes, speed drops to ~150Mb/s as expected.
  • If I then roam back to the GT-AXE1600 node, speed drops to ~50Mb/s and won’t go back to ~800Mb/s unless I manually disconnect and reconnect the client.
Notes:
  • I can confirm through the ASUS Router app that the client has actually roamed to each of the nodes above, so the issue isn’t that I walk back close to the primary hub and I’m still actually connected to the slower (and further away) node.
  • I can also confirm that I’m not switching bands, that I’m staying on 5Ghz throughout.
  • The wired connection speeds between clients and internet, and between nodes and hubs all seem to be stable and consistently fast (>8,000Mb/s )
  • The issue does not appear to be client-specific. I’ve tested with two phones, and two different laptops.

Any suggestions on tests I can run or potential solutions?

Thanks in advance!

Gavin
 
Welcome to the forums @gmctavish.

How big is the area you're covering with these three routers? How close are they to each other? What materials is the building made of (walls/floors)?

The speeds you're seeing as normal for the RT-AC68Us aren't normal.

I would suggest you power down the nodes and see if your current main router's location can service the areas you want. If you do need more coverage, and the router is currently near/at the center of the areas covered, then I wouldn't be adding AC class routers from a decade ago to a new AX class router.

You can also see if different Control Channels or new SSIDs may help too.




You may want to remove the current nodes, reboot the system, fully reset the nodes, then re-associate them and see if the situation improves.

If you do add current, AX class, nodes, I would suggest you locate them as far as possible from each other for the most stable and reliable coverage possible.

An electrical reset may help too (do the following on all routers simultaneously). Leave the power button 'on' on the router. Unplug the power cable from the router, and from the AC wall plug. Wait a few minutes before powering on the main router first, then the nodes, after the main router has fully booted up (around 10-15 minutes).

The following links may be of help too.

Control Channel Setup 2021

Reset Mini Guide + Control Channel Setup Details

Control Channel Setup (more)

Update/Reset Mini Guide

How to Connect an AiMesh Node

AiMesh Ideal Placement
 
Hi there, and thank you for the quick reply!

I'm still working through some of your suggestions, but I wanted to start with answering some of the questions and also sharing some more data.

First, your questions:
How big is the area you're covering with these three routers?
- 3000 sq ft relatively new build home, three stories

How close are they to each other?
- Hub is located center of the top floor
- node 1 is located on the basement (two floors three walls away)
- node 2 is located in an attached garage which is cinder blocks, insulation, and steel door. Garage had no signal before and the node is there to essentially service the nest doorbell (outside) and the car (when parked).

What materials is the building made of (walls/floors)?
Hardwood floors, standard new build (cheap) drywall. A decent amount of ductwork from HVAC also surrounds node 1.

I thought I had discovered the souce of the issue, as it appeared the slowdown happened when a client connected to 5ghz-2. To test that hypothesis I disabled 5ghz-2. Issue persisted.

I am attaching screenshots from two speed tests done minutes apart from one another, both showing strong connection to the hub. My phone is literally in the EXACT same position for both tests and the only difference is that I have manually turned my wifi on/of between tests.

I'll follow the remainder of your suggestions tomorrow and report back. Thank you in advance for the testing ideas.
 

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Thanks for the additional information.

As you may know, there is no 5GHz-2 on an RT-AC68U - that is why I suggested getting AX class routers for use as nodes, to match your main router which is a decade newer tech.

How well does your network cover the areas you're interested in when you power off AiMesh node 1 (RT-AC68U in the basement)?

With only 3,000SqFt (really only 1,000 SqFt on three floors), you have too much WiFi in your home.
 
Good old AC68U, but you're mixing a bit too much! You spend quite a bit of cash on a powerful router, with a premium for marketing. But you kept nodes that are very very old.
I did not catch what other clients are you using, it's an AX or AC laptop you're using. Screenshots are from a Samsung Note 20, and that's an AX client.
It will negociate AX speeds with AXE16000. Than it will move to AC when roaming to AC68U (and ~150Mb/s on AC is quite low - it's been a long while since I retired my AC68U, but I remember doing much better than that with an AC laptop).
You do have to consider it's really nasty for the client to roam and have to negotiate different modulation & all, that roam back and redo everything perfectly.

If it's not a huge problem for you - I mean if you can live with ~50Mb/s - just accept it.
It ultimate speed is everything you're looking for, you have to consider moving away from AC68U to some AX routers.

Plus, as L&LD is saying, for that surface I believe you may have one node that you don't actually need. It's not like the entire house must have the ultimate speed otherwise everything will crash ;)
 
Just another AiMess situation. Highest class Asus router with oldest possible AiMesh supported nodes. People have to start throwing away old routers and not add them to the new ones for no reason and just because Asus marketing claims AiMesh compatibility between everything with AiMesh code on it.
 
@gmctavish, if that basement node isn't needed for good coverage, don't forget you can use it to take some wired capable devices off the 'air' by using it in Media Bridge mode.

Ignore people that don't use Asus equipment in their homes like the user above. Their negativity isn't helpful. Nor are they offering any solution. They just like to whine about Asus.
 
Ignore people that don't use Asus equipment in their homes like the user above. Their negativity isn't helpful. Nor are they offering any solution. They just like to whine about Asus.
Your post was fine until this comment. Why do you insist on continuing this passive-aggressive battle? You've been doing so well lately in resisting this behavior.
@Tech9 Don't even THINK of responding. You are on thin enough ice already.
 
Setup:
  • GT-AXE16000 primary hub, hard-wired through 10G port to 10G broadband (firmware: 3.0.0.4.388_23012), and a 1G port to the nodes
  • Two RT-AC68U nodes, hard-wired through 1G connections (3.0.0.4.386_51665)

Repeatable issue:
  • Client connects to the GT-AXE16000 over 5Ghz wifi6 and I get ~800Mb/s as expected.
  • If I roam onto one of the RT-AC68U nodes, speed drops to ~150Mb/s as expected.
  • If I then roam back to the GT-AXE1600 node, speed drops to ~50Mb/s and won’t go back to ~800Mb/s unless I manually disconnect and reconnect the client.

that makes sense - the client is going to stay in the state that it knows about - it wants to stay connected in any case.

Handover/handoff in WiFi isn't very sophisticated - and the client is in charge of negotiating the connection properties...
 
@thiggins I just join the forums. Trying to find out how to fix my issue. So far I have been in 8 or 9 treads. In 4 or 5 of them Tech9 has replied. He is very rude and downs Asus products in every one.
Not really sure why you'd join a forum if you dislike Asus.
 
As you may know, there is no 5GHz-2 on an RT-AC68U - that is why I suggested getting AX class routers for use as nodes, to match your main router which is a decade newer tech.

Should also point out that the AX based platforms run a much newer code baseline than the venerable Rt-AC68U...
 
Alright, I'm into experiment mode...
Based on the feedback here, I have ditched AC units, and am going to try two different AX setups. Setup one...

AiMesh in AP mode
GT-AXE16000 as Hub on 3rd floor
XT8 as node in basement
XT8 as node in garage

I hard reset all three devices, and started from scratch,all with fresh stock firmware. Wired back hall using the Multi-Gig ports.

The only settings I touched was
I turned on smart connect for the 5G band, and left it off for the 2.4 band (and 6g at the hub).
I set the backhaul as wired as opposed to auto

The issue still seems to persist...
Speed on third floor 800mb/s+
Walk downstairs Speed on main floor - 300mb/s+
Walk back up to third floor, 12mb/s or lower
(and I again confirm that I am in fact connected to the third floor hub, that it has switched me back from the basement node)

I will keep tinkering....

I also have a RT-AX86U on its way to experiment with.
 
Alright, I'm into experiment mode...
Based on the feedback here, I have ditched AC units, and am going to try two different AX setups. Setup one...

AiMesh in AP mode
GT-AXE16000 as Hub on 3rd floor
XT8 as node in basement
XT8 as node in garage

I hard reset all three devices, and started from scratch,all with fresh stock firmware. Wired back hall using the Multi-Gig ports.

The only settings I touched was
I turned on smart connect for the 5G band, and left it off for the 2.4 band (and 6g at the hub).
I set the backhaul as wired as opposed to auto

The issue still seems to persist...
Speed on third floor 800mb/s+
Walk downstairs Speed on main floor - 300mb/s+
Walk back up to third floor, 12mb/s or lower
(and I again confirm that I am in fact connected to the third floor hub, that it has switched me back from the basement node)

I will keep tinkering....

I also have a RT-AX86U on its way to experiment with.
What are you using to test the internet? I see you keep talking about Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t normally go above 1gb for internet. is you device a Wi-Fi 6E? The gt-axe16000 has a wi-if 6e band.
 
Hi,

At this point I'm being quite basic in my testing, and the speeds are below 1G for the most part.
Wired at my desktop, I'm getting
8160Mbps down
7018Mbps up

Sitting next to my GT-AXE16000 on my note 5G
824Mbps down
829Mbps up

Wall down to the basement, walk back up to my GT-AXE16000 (and confirm I've roamed down to the basement, and then back to Hub, using the asus router app)
86Mbps down
48Mbps up

My testing is just going to OOKLA speedtest... Since I have 10G up / 10G down internet, and I'm running either 10G or 2.5G wired backhaul, my wifi will be the bottleneck.

Green in the attached image is 10G connections.
 

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Hi,

At this point I'm being quite basic in my testing, and the speeds are below 1G for the most part.
Wired at my desktop, I'm getting
8160Mbps down
7018Mbps up

Sitting next to my GT-AXE16000 on my note 5G
824Mbps down
829Mbps up

Wall down to the basement, walk back up to my GT-AXE16000 (and confirm I've roamed down to the basement, and then back to Hub, using the asus router app)
86Mbps down
48Mbps up

My testing is just going to OOKLA speedtest... Since I have 10G up / 10G down internet, and I'm running either 10G or 2.5G wired backhaul, my wifi will be the bottleneck.

Green in the attached image is 10G connections.
Not sure which note you have. But it looks like your only on the Wi-Fi 6. Do you have the 6ghz Wi-Fi set up? If you do connect to that one. It should show 6e on your phone and no just 6. This was actually my issue. iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t support wifi 6e. My wife’s Samsung s22 ultra does. Once she was on that, it went to 1800mbps. I only have 2gb down and up.
 
I am indeed only on the 5ghz band with a wifi 6 (ax) connection. My problem isn't that it caps at 1G, my problem is that when I roam from Hub to Node and back to Hub, the speed changes DRAMATICALLY until I turn off the WiFi on my phone and turn it back on.
1. 900mb/s test one upstairs by hub
2. Walk downstairs (phone automatically connects to node in basement)
3. Walk back upstairs, sit in the same place as test #1 (confirm phone has roamed back to the hub upstairs)
4. Repeat test #1.... Now I get 50mb/s

I'm not complaining about the top speed... I just want the bottom speed to stop happening whenever a device roams between nodes on the mesh.
 
At this point, this sounds like an issue with the phone.

Can you confirm if you use a laptop that speeds stay at expected levels, or not?
 
That's not a factor; the device is reportedly roaming already, just not successfully negotiating the return connection.
 

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