ASUS AiMesh setup success! RT-AX88U & 8 RT-AX92U AiMesh nodes with 120 IoT devices in house

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EricAllen

New Around Here
I want to thank posters here on SNB for their information. I have a big house in Los Angeles -- with a 1000Mbps AT&T fiber connection -- where I've built upon an Asus AX88U as main router and have added on more AX92U nodes as I attempted to cover all parts of my property, indoors and out. I have 120 internet connected devices in the home, including computers (I'm a video editor), more than 40 SONOS devices, 9 Ring cameras and doorbells, all streaming TVs, Alexa, Lutron RadioRA2 and other smarthome systems. I currently have the AX88U and EIGHT AX92U nodes, all ethernet hardwired back to the router. I now have the entire property covered and have maxed out the number of ports on the main router. I regularly update the firmware with Asus' stock updates and have been disappointed by the overall performances and how frequently the entire system drops client connections, yet I've spent so much money adding buying and adding onto the equipment that it isn't practical to toss it out and try something else. (I have another WiFi network set up for my on-property Airbnb -- purposely segregated from my main system -- but it's been more reliable .... on old Apple Airport equipment.). But I digress. A few days ago -- on some Asus update, my entire system dropped most of its nodes. I had to factory reset the AX88U and then bring the AX92U nodes within a few feet -- one by one -- and factory resetting them to get them to set back up as Aimesh nodes. It is time consuming and takes the better part of a day to do this. Once reconfigured, and then bringing each node back to its original place and plugging into the ethernet cable, the router WOULD NOT SEE the newly paired nodes. No amount of rebooting would fix this. Some would show up as wireless nodes, even though they are wired. Some would show up using another node as backhaul connection to get to router. Some of the most important ones -- hard-wired 100 feet away at the front street gate (to provide wired ethernet for Ring doorbell) would not show up at all, even though they were repaired as Aimesh nodes. I was beside myself, and came across your forum, where I learned about the Merlin firmware. MERLIN MADE THINGS WORK BETTER THAN BEORE! The system is now set back up as intended, with a GREAT signal on the ethernet backhauls from each node, each forcing the backhaul to be full-time hard wired (versus wireless) to the main router. The advanced settings in Merlin make the connections between units far clearer than the Asus stock firmware. (As an aside, I find the Ring doorbells do NOT connect any faster or more reliably with a hardwired ethernet connection versus just Wifi.)

I'm attaching a screengrab of my setup. I'm using the most recent Merlin beta firmware specified for the AX-88U unit. Have not done anything to nodes in terms of firmware once they're reset.

I am NOT a networking wiz, just a tech geek who became a video production company owner and editor, so a lot of the networking settings are over my head. Now that I have things running smoothly again, my wifi is clocking 300-600 mbps down / 200-600 up throughout the house. I opted for smart connect setup to allow the network to assign 2.4/5 speed. I have NOT turned on the Wifi6, as I'm not sure what settings to try and I don't want to screw up what's already working after days of setup and resetup. This has wasted a lot of time to get things working correctly and a factory reset forces bringing each node back to the media room to be close to router for setup. I don't want to have to do that again.

Any suggestions on best practice settings from here would be appreciated. I have NOT turned on any AiProtection or firewall settings, again not sure what to do without slowing down my connections. I'm in Hollywood Hills, so there are not other neighbors close enough to pick up my signal and use it. Have tried some VPN tinkering, but it seems to slow things down to a point where the safety isn't worth the slowness. Now that I'm set up, I'm touching NOTHING for a while just to see how it goes and hopefully no dropouts. Our power has been going out in the last few days with winter storms, so the whole house goes on and off as the power cuts and then whole-house generator starts up. Here's my picture. Again, thank you for being such a great resource! You never know who you might help by posting things.
 

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OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I want to thank posters here on SNB for their information. I have a big house in Los Angeles -- with a 1000Mbps AT&T fiber connection -- where I've built upon an Asus AX88U as main router and have added on more AX92U nodes as I attempted to cover all parts of my property, indoors and out. I have 120 internet connected devices in the home, including computers (I'm a video editor), more than 40 SONOS devices, 9 Ring cameras and doorbells, all streaming TVs, Alexa, Lutron RadioRA2 and other smarthome systems. I currently have the AX88U and EIGHT AX92U nodes, all ethernet hardwired back to the router. I now have the entire property covered and have maxed out the number of ports on the main router. I regularly update the firmware with Asus' stock updates and have been disappointed by the overall performances and how frequently the entire system drops client connections, yet I've spent so much money adding buying and adding onto the equipment that it isn't practical to toss it out and try something else. (I have another WiFi network set up for my on-property Airbnb -- purposely segregated from my main system -- but it's been more reliable .... on old Apple Airport equipment.). But I digress. A few days ago -- on some Asus update, my entire system dropped most of its nodes. I had to factory reset the AX88U and then bring the AX92U nodes within a few feet -- one by one -- and factory resetting them to get them to set back up as Aimesh nodes. It is time consuming and takes the better part of a day to do this. Once reconfigured, and then bringing each node back to its original place and plugging into the ethernet cable, the router WOULD NOT SEE the newly paired nodes. No amount of rebooting would fix this. Some would show up as wireless nodes, even though they are wired. Some would show up using another node as backhaul connection to get to router. Some of the most important ones -- hard-wired 100 feet away at the front street gate (to provide wired ethernet for Ring doorbell) would not show up at all, even though they were repaired as Aimesh nodes. I was beside myself, and came across your forum, where I learned about the Merlin firmware. MERLIN MADE THINGS WORK BETTER THAN BEORE! The system is now set back up as intended, with a GREAT signal on the ethernet backhauls from each node, each forcing the backhaul to be full-time hard wired (versus wireless) to the main router. The advanced settings in Merlin make the connections between units far clearer than the Asus stock firmware. (As an aside, I find the Ring doorbells do NOT connect any faster or more reliably with a hardwired ethernet connection versus just Wifi.)

I'm attaching a screengrab of my setup. I'm using the most recent Merlin beta firmware specified for the AX-88U unit. Have not done anything to nodes in terms of firmware once they're reset.

I am NOT a networking wiz, just a tech geek who became a video production company owner and editor, so a lot of the networking settings are over my head. Now that I have things running smoothly again, my wifi is clocking 300-600 mbps down / 200-600 up throughout the house. I opted for smart connect setup to allow the network to assign 2.4/5 speed. I have NOT turned on the Wifi6, as I'm not sure what settings to try and I don't want to screw up what's already working after days of setup and resetup. This has wasted a lot of time to get things working correctly and a factory reset forces bringing each node back to the media room to be close to router for setup. I don't want to have to do that again.

Any suggestions on best practice settings from here would be appreciated. I have NOT turned on any AiProtection or firewall settings, again not sure what to do without slowing down my connections. I'm in Hollywood Hills, so there are not other neighbors close enough to pick up my signal and use it. Have tried some VPN tinkering, but it seems to slow things down to a point where the safety isn't worth the slowness. Now that I'm set up, I'm touching NOTHING for a while just to see how it goes and hopefully no dropouts. Our power has been going out in the last few days with winter storms, so the whole house goes on and off as the power cuts and then whole-house generator starts up. Here's my picture. Again, thank you for being such a great resource! You never know who you might help by posting things.

You win! :)

A few points...

o The AiMesh code in Asuswrt-Merlin is the same closed AiMesh code in stock Asuswrt. Your success with Merlin may have more to do with the Asus beta code, being tested here.

o If you are using wired backhauls, you may be able to add nodes to the AiMesh without having to move them close. I can add my node wirelessly 77' away.

o Leaving WiFi 6 OFF may be a good idea.

o If the whole house generator is not fast enough, I'd put a UPS on the main router.

o Your router firewalls should be enabled by default... you want this to protect you from the bad guys.

OE
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
wow that ax88u is a beast. Did you say you have the firewall turned off? jeez don't know if I could live with that. You are probably right to not turn on ai protection since it can cause problems, but I'd be curious to see how the ax88u handles it.
 

Yota

Regular Contributor
Incredible!:eek:


Do not use smart connect, it may cause IoT devices to go offline frequently, because many IoT devices only support 2.4GHz.
 

FTC

Senior Member
Whao!, and I was proud of my router (ax88)+node (ax56) aimesh installation with 30+ clients! so you prove that I have a lot of growth margin :)

I am not sure if your picture is right, but i seems you are still running 386.1 alpha code. Note that we are already on beta3. If you happen to upgrade just make sure you have informed the MTU field in the ax88s WAN page.
 

leerees

Regular Contributor
I don't understand why you have the AX88U. The AX92u's don't need a router. Just connect the first AX92u to your WAN (modem). Try getting rid of the AX88u and see if that fixes your IoT's disconnecting.

Make sure the firmware is updated on all of your AX92u's. I'm not sure how it works with Merlin but with the stock firmware it's an easy one click operation.

We are building a new network (apartment block of airbnb's) which will consist of 16 apartments. We already have 3 AX92u's and so far we've not had any complaints from the guests. We plan to add additional AX92u's, all connected via wireless backhaul. All 16 properties will be served by a 1gbps internet connection. I'd be interested to know if you started out with a wireless backhaul for your 8 nodes and if you ran into any problems.

We use wifi5. The reason we didn't use wifi6 is two-fold

1) We can't run ethernet cables between all properties.
2) Wifi5 acts as a speed limiter ensuring one client can't hog the full 1gbps and cause bufferbloat.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
We are building a new network (apartment block of airbnb's) which will consist of 16 apartments. We already have 3 AX92u's and so far we've not had any complaints from the guests. We plan to add additional AX92u's, all connected via wireless backhaul.

How do you anticipate the 15 to 16 wireless backhauls will route for your given physical layout? In particular, can you restrict/limit daisy-chaining?

OE
 

EricAllen

New Around Here
You win! :)

A few points...

o The AiMesh code in Asuswrt-Merlin is the same closed AiMesh code in stock Asuswrt. Your success with Merlin may have more to do with the Asus beta code, being tested here.

o If you are using wired backhauls, you may be able to add nodes to the AiMesh without having to move them close. I can add my node wirelessly 77' away.

o Leaving WiFi 6 OFF may be a good idea.

o If the whole house generator is not fast enough, I'd put a UPS on the main router.

o Your router firewalls should be enabled by default... you want this to protect you from the bad guys.

OE

Thank you, sir! I've followed all your suggestions. Much appreciated!

In the "rewiring" of the entire house -- basically unplugging everything that went through old switches and then into the 88U, I left off the switch and it turns out the whole house runs faster. Looks like there were lots of old unknown things that were wired years ago (like a kitchen computer) that are now running faster as a wireless connection. So to leave all that wiring out altogether, the whole house is faster. So fast I haven't found anything I'm missing. Some good old wiring spring cleaning all around. (similar to dropping old phone system and speaker wiring -- it's all wireless now). Thank you!

The SLOWEST system in the house seems to be Sonos, which is clunkier and clunkier these days, despite their software upgrades and the retirement of older sonos devices. Disappointing.
 

EricAllen

New Around Here
Incredible!:eek:


Do not use smart connect, it may cause IoT devices to go offline frequently, because many IoT devices only support 2.4GHz.

I've tried both and have seen those Iot things drop. May switch back to separate SSIDs for those speeds, but taking baby steps and pausing between each change to ensure it all works. Thanks!
 

EricAllen

New Around Here
Whao!, and I was proud of my router (ax88)+node (ax56) aimesh installation with 30+ clients! so you prove that I have a lot of growth margin :)

I am not sure if your picture is right, but i seems you are still running 386.1 alpha code. Note that we are already on beta3. If you happen to upgrade just make sure you have informed the MTU field in the ax88s WAN page.
I will check on that. Thanks for pointing out.
 

EricAllen

New Around Here
I don't understand why you have the AX88U. The AX92u's don't need a router. Just connect the first AX92u to your WAN (modem). Try getting rid of the AX88u and see if that fixes your IoT's disconnecting.

Make sure the firmware is updated on all of your AX92u's. I'm not sure how it works with Merlin but with the stock firmware it's an easy one click operation.

We are building a new network (apartment block of airbnb's) which will consist of 16 apartments. We already have 3 AX92u's and so far we've not had any complaints from the guests. We plan to add additional AX92u's, all connected via wireless backhaul. All 16 properties will be served by a 1gbps internet connection. I'd be interested to know if you started out with a wireless backhaul for your 8 nodes and if you ran into any problems.

We use wifi5. The reason we didn't use wifi6 is two-fold

1) We can't run ethernet cables between all properties.
2) Wifi5 acts as a speed limiter ensuring one client can't hog the full 1gbps and cause bufferbloat.

Thanks! The 88u was my first purcahse, then added the less expensive ax92s as AI Mesh nodes.
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
I don't understand why you have the AX88U. The AX92u's don't need a router. Just connect the first AX92u to your WAN (modem). Try getting rid of the AX88u and see if that fixes your IoT's disconnecting.

Make sure the firmware is updated on all of your AX92u's. I'm not sure how it works with Merlin but with the stock firmware it's an easy one click operation.

We are building a new network (apartment block of airbnb's) which will consist of 16 apartments. We already have 3 AX92u's and so far we've not had any complaints from the guests. We plan to add additional AX92u's, all connected via wireless backhaul. All 16 properties will be served by a 1gbps internet connection. I'd be interested to know if you started out with a wireless backhaul for your 8 nodes and if you ran into any problems.

We use wifi5. The reason we didn't use wifi6 is two-fold

1) We can't run ethernet cables between all properties.
2) Wifi5 acts as a speed limiter ensuring one client can't hog the full 1gbps and cause bufferbloat.

The ax88u is much better for 2.4ghz. Plus better to not use switches and just go into the router if possible. Other then Disabling smart connect and ax no idea what could help with iot devices disconnecting. Could be the power outages maybe use ups boxes. I don't find aimesh too stable in general.

Just looked at specs also has double the ram which probably helps the DHCP manage all those devices.
 
Last edited:

leerees

Regular Contributor
How do you anticipate the 15 to 16 wireless backhauls will route for your given physical layout? In particular, can you restrict/limit daisy-chaining?

OE

You can't control how the nodes connect, but I was under the assumption that the mesh manages this automatically to limit the effects of daisy chains.

Our apartments are located across 4 floors. The apartment with the internet connection is positioned in the middle of what will be the entire network.

In reality, most clients will only need a guaranteed throughput of 30mb/s, which is a 4K youtube video stream. Netflix UHD is currently only 16mb/s in the UK. The main factors to be considered for us is making sure the network is setup to handle a mixture of different client standards as well as potential bandwidth hogs such as torrentors, cloud uploaders and game downloaders, plus the obligatory speed tests most guests like to perform during their stay once they realise we have fast internet. ;-)

My friend already has a network of AX92u's (he has 11 nodes) and he is seeing a very respectable 250mb/s, it's less than the ops reports but I'm guessing it's due to wifi interference. If a client on our network can get at least 100mb/s with low pings, I am more than satisfied.
 

leerees

Regular Contributor
The ax88u is much better for 2.4ghz. Plus better to not use switches and just go into the router if possible. Other then Disabling smart connect and ax no idea what could help with iot devices disconnecting. Could be the power outages maybe use ups boxes. I don't find aimesh too stable in general.

Just looked at specs also has double the ram which probably helps the DHCP manage all those devices.

The newer 2.4ghz clients get around 80mbps on the AX92u. I noticed that the AX88u offers ax over 2.4ghz. What speeds are you seeing on the AX88u?

The reason I chose the AX92u is because I wanted to build a mesh that offered a 5ghz signal throughout. For us, the AX92u appears to be better value for money.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

Calkulin

Regular Contributor
I will say I have almost 50 IoT devices and had issues with some disconnecting after some time with roaming assistant turned on, once turned off, I haven't had issues ever again.

The reason I chose the AX92u is because I wanted to build a mesh that offered a 5ghz signal throughout. For us, the AX92u appears to be better value for money.


With the exception that based on specs, AX on the AX92U is only available on 5GHz-2, so it's a weird device that is mainly a AC router with only 1 of 2 5GHz chipsets supporting AX and if you use AiMesh, that gets used for the backhaul and then the router becomes AC only. I think using 58Us might of been a better buy being that fully supports AX on 2.4GHz and 5GHz even though the CPU is better on the AX92U
 

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