ASUS GT-AX11000 High ping

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AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Hi everyone,

I just recently bought an Asus GT-AX11000 and have set it up the basic way. I have a 2 story home that is blanketed by it's 5Ghz indoors and is able to maintain my 450Mbit speeds throughout the home. On the ground floor, near the patio door, I have a second router which is an AC router from my ISP and it's a Zyxel EMG2926. I use that one for getting a strong signal to the patio when I am outside with guests and it's on a different SSID. I have been using my iPhone 11 Pro as a tester (it's a solid Wifi 6 client albeit 2x2), and have noticed that the ping I am getting from the Asus router isn't great (10 to 14 ms depending on the site I am using for testing). I originally wanted to be hitting pings closer to the 4-5 ms range after having looked at reviews of the AX-86U which seems to excel in that area. Hopefully getting similar results with an AX11000 is realistic...
What can I do to improve my ping? Would appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Andrew
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Do you get the same ping to the same sites when connected to the Zyxel? Is the Zyxel on a different Control Channel? Are the two AP's interfering by having overlapping Channels used?

What ping did you have with your previous router? Have you tried 1.0.0.1 as a test site? Why do you think that 6 to 9 ms lower ping makes a difference to an iPhone?
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Thanks for your quick reply on this. I'll answer you in point form so that it's easier to follow:
  1. Zyxel ping: higher by 2ms on average compared to the Asus (12 to 18ms)
  2. Here is the list per modem:
    1. Zyxel 2.4 Ghz (used for fridge and oven wi-fi which is low priority): 1
    2. Zyxel 5Ghz (only used when we are out on the patio entertaining guests): 36
    3. Asus 2.4 Ghz (not really used): 7 (Auto mode with extension channel on Auto)
    4. Asus 5 Ghz first radio (weaker one - used for work computers): 36 (Auto mode with extension channel on Auto, include DFS channels NOT checked, Wi-Fi agile multiband disabled)
    5. Asus 5 Ghz second radio (stronger one used for all our 5Ghz personal devices at home): 157 (Auto mode with extension channel on Auto, include DFS channels NOT checked, Wi-Fi agile multiband disabled)
  3. I'm not sure about interference except maybe on the first radio
  4. Previous Zyxel router had 12 to 18ms ping
  5. With the testing, my goal isn't necessarily to reduce the ping for my iPhone to have better performance. I am only using my iPhone as a testing device because it's portable and Wi-Fi6. My testing method for Wi-Fi is as follows:
    1. Using iPhone as a testing device
    2. I use Ookla's speedtest app
  6. 1.0.0.1 test site: No I haven't tried that. Do you want me to test something with this site?
I'm mainly trying to ensure that my network is set up correctly so that I can have maximum performance. And if this setup isn't good enough, I want to figure out whether I need to buy a different router to get better performance. I had toyed with the idea of getting either an Asus XT8, a Netgear Orbi x6000, or two Asus AX86U.
But first and foremost, I want to ensure I've set up the AX11000 the best way possible.

Thanks,

Andrew
 
Last edited:

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

Wondering if anyone can help me with this? Is there a way to tweak my AX11000 for better performance in my situation, or should I return it and be considering a different setup?
For more context, I have included below a diagram of my home and where the routers are located (in purple).

Thanks,

Andrew

Home plans_2020_Networking - Text.png
 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Don't use an app for speed tests. Those are there to collect data about you, not for you. ;)

Use the devices you would normally use (and need) the fastest possible performance, to do your testing on. Those should be a laptop or desktop device(s) that are plugged in, in Performance mode, and connecting to the Wi-Fi band that offers the highest performance which to me is the best balance of strong signal, highest throughput, and lowest latency (and not just one of those). How I 'test' for that may be found (somewhere!) in the link below.


From just looking at your layout though, I would be tempted to turn off the Zyxel radios completely. The Asus' radios are much more powerful, and the AC class router is just interfering with them. ;)

Change the 2.4GHz band to Channel 1, 6, or 11. Channel 7 is not only causing interference for your neighbors, but they're also interfering with you.

Use a variety of speed test sites. fast.com, speedtest.net, dslreports.com/speedtest, for example. Don't get hung up with the speed tests. Test each Control Channel available to you for all your bands (again, for the 2.4GHz band; only the 1, 6, or 11). Simply use/browse the internet as part of your testing and keep good notes. The settings you will apply are the best balance and tradeoffs for you (there will never be a perfect channel to choose), that is why the notes are important. The fastest download and/or the lowest latency on test sites means nothing if your day-to-day use feels sluggish.

Before beginning the testing, check to see which DNS server is fastest for you. By far, for almost all my customers, the primary DNS settings of 1.0.0.1 and the secondary 1.1.1.1 (or reverse them as required in your situation) in the WAN DNS section will enhance the responsiveness of the network.

I notice that you considered the RT-AX86U too. With RMerlin firmware (even 'only' the current Beta 2), 2x RT-AX86U in a wired backhaul setup will be an improvement for any location in the home. Turn the Zyxel into Bridge mode if 2x RT-AX86U's are an option (and consider using the 2.5GbE ports on them for the wired backhaul over quality Cat5e cable or better (working great here with a 100' Cat5e cable with no issues).

To re-cap:

For testing/optimizing purposes:
  • Turn off the Zyxel radios.
    • If possible, put the Zyxel in Bridge mode (always highly recommended for lowest latency possible).
    • If Bridge mode is possible, consider bringing the Asus downstairs instead.
  • Change the WAN DNS servers to 1.0.0.1 for Primary and 1.1.1.1 for Secondary.
    • Test that this is an improvement in the responsiveness of the network (browsing the net, etc.).
    • Reverse the primary and secondary as a further test. Note that these are Cloudflare servers.
    • If those DNS servers aren't improving your network experience, try using Quad9 servers instead, 9.9.9.9 and 149.112.112.112.
    • Or try using DNS servers of your own choosing such as services from Adguard, CleanBrowsing, Canadian Shield, or Google (ugh!).
    • Make sure to test both DNS servers in the Primary position (there can be a difference in latency, depending on your location and use density there).
  • Test Asus for best 2.4GHz Control Channel (1, 6, or 11).
  • Test Asus for best 5GHz Control Channel on the lower band (consider using 'just' 20MHz or 40MHz width there - it may help to extend the signal enough, for the garden/patio).
  • Test Asus for best 5GHz Control Channel on the higher band.
  • For both 5GHz bands, test each Control Channel available.
  • Keep good notes.
  • Choose the option with the least tradeoffs for you.
Don't forget about other suggestions in the link above too.

Hope you find this helpful! :)
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Thank you for the awesome answer!

Much of it is beyond my understanding, but I understood quite a bit too and after perusing your great linked articles, I have some questions…

  1. Factory reset:
    1. One of your articles mentions needing to do this
    2. I never did this when I got the router last week, I just installed everything as prompted by navigating to router.asus.com and following the instructions that came with the router
    3. Could this be hindering performance and should I be doing this? I don’t want to do it unless necessary because with the amount of devices connected and NAS etc it’ll be a lot of rework
  2. DNS server:
    1. I don’t see where this is in the settings (provided a screenshot but I’m a bit confused)
    2. I don’t understand how to use this to run tests.
    3. Will this also be used in normal use once testing is done?
  3. Location of Asus router:
    1. In you other articles, you mention that for ideal signal a router should be at least 10 feet off the ground, so why are you recommending to switch the Zyxel and Asus locations?
    2. I also like that in its current location, the Asus router is right next to my ISP’s modem. Not sure if that makes a difference or not with bridge mode
  4. Zyxel bridge mode:
    1. Does this mean all its wi-fi would be turned off and it would just be acting as a switch? Is there a specific bridge mode or should I just find a way to turn off the Wi-Fi radios?
    2. I have also attached an image of the Zyxel’s wireless dashboard FYI. Hopefully it's capable of going into bridge mode
  5. Band testing:
    1. I used wifi analyzer and found a lot of interference in channel 36 and it recommended channel 52 so I switched the 5ghz 1 to that channel
    2. Do I test upper and lower bands for each of the 5ghz signals? Or just the weaker one?
    3. The weaker band (5ghz 1) is the band I am using for work computers. Is this the one you suggest using when on the patio and narrowing the channel width to 20 or 40?
    4. Should I use wifi analyzer to test the bands? Or test every one? There are so many bands! I don’t want to spend weeks testing…
  6. Additional settings:
    1. I have provided screenshots of the wireless settings, is there anything else you recommend I change in there before starting the testing?
  7. Additional info: in the next few months I plan to add a 10gbe switch for my internal network that’s all on cat6. I also have a NAS that can take advantage of that and that I use mostly for media streaming and backups
  8. Question about alternatives to the AX11000:
    1. I have a feeling you’re leaning toward the 2 AX86 with merlin beta rather than XT8 or Orbi. The Ax88 is just 20$ more than the 86, but not sure what combination would be best for my setup to futureproof it for Wi-Fi6 devices while maintaining performance on Wifi 5. I liked the results in testing of the AX11000 because it had good results on wifi5 clients too, but maybe it’s not a differentiating factor
    2. You mentioned that 2 AX86 would be stronger than the one AX11000. If so I have some questions:
    3. Would it not be sufficient to have one AX86 by the modem where the AX11000 currently is and the other where the Zyxel currently is?
    4. I like the idea of wired 2.5 backhaul. Would that mean I’d have one SSID for the 5Ghz via AiMesh or would it be two different SSIDs?
    5. AX86 is not triband. One reason I got triband is to have a dedicated 5ghz band for work computers so that if two people are running heavy MS teams calls with multiple users on video and screen sharing, while a third person is gaming or watching Netflix on the second more powerful 5ghz band for recreation, there would be no impact on one network or the other. Would I lose that advantage by going with 2 AX86?
    6. My network is heavily loaded: 2.4 ghz with several iot devices, wired with apple TV and NAS constantly used, 5ghz for work or heavy streaming. Would the two AX86 handle all that traffic as good or better than the AX11000?

      5g_1.PNG
      5g_2.PNG
      24g.PNG
      dns.PNG
      zyxel_allbands.PNG
Sorry for all the questions, but I’m a bit of a newbie and setting up this network isn’t cheap so I want to make sure I make the right decisions. I really appreciate your help and I am trying to learn!

Thanks,



Andrew
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Okay! I've made a few assumptions, as you have too. :)

Before I do that again, how is your network infrastructure, (actually) connected, internally and out to the internet (a diagram would be helpful here)?

1. A full reset solves many issues, known and unknown ones too. I don't put a router into service without doing so. After flashing to the firmware, I want to use.

2. Go to the WAN DNS settings page to change the DNS Servers from Auto to the ones suggested.

3. I am not saying to switch the Zyxel. I am saying don't use it. And I assumed (incorrectly, oops) that the Zyxel was the ISP's modem/router combo. If the Asus doesn't give enough signal out to the garden/patio area from its upstairs location, that is why I suggested considering moving it downstairs. And even there, it can still be 10' above ground level.

4. Turn it off, it is not worth having in your environment with the Asus there.

5. First thing you should have read on those links: forget about using an 'analyzer'. Unless you have a 30K piece of kit that will do it properly. Even in my post above, I tell you specifically how to test (each channel).

6. This is how I recommend setting up a new router:

New M&M 2020

7. If you really need two routers (upstairs and downstairs), then an RT-AX86U is what I would recommend. Because of the 2.5GbE Port, it has (which the 'AX11000 does too and the 'AX88U doesn't). You'll have to get creative to integrate a 10GbE switch in your network for full performance (be prepared for incompatibilities too, if it doesn't support the 2.5GbE and 5GbE standards) with a single 2.5GbE port on today's routers.

8. 2x RT-AX86U's are more useful and cost-effective than a single GT-AX11000 (or another combo) is. My first thought would be to return it, buy two RT-AX86U's and sell the Zyxel too and you'll be further ahead than where you are now. With RMerlin 386.1 Beta 2 firmware and AiMesh 2.0 that it offers, the main Wireless and first Guest networks would be extended to all routers by default.

I have no use for a limited tri-radio, two and a half-band router. Including the exorbitantly priced GT-AX11000. When true, tri-radio, (full) tri-band routers become available with Wi-Fi 6E next summer, I may change my mind. But there is no home network I have worked on that needs more than one or two RT-AX86U's to cover up to 6,000 SqFt, or larger. And that was with 600Mbps up/down speeds too and similar usage as you state also. To have your bandwidth shared and used efficiently, with multiple users and different uses, CakeQoS or FlexQoS (on RMerlin firmware only) will do that nicely.

With the GT-AX11000 and the RT-AX86U having the same RAM, Quad-core processors, and other similarities except for a red paint job on the GT model, they will easily handle the same workloads (a pair of RT-AX86U's even more so). What the Tri-radio router offers is more wireless clients to be able to connect. There is a (roughly) 32 client limit per radio on these consumer routers. I'd rather buy another router than pay the premium for a 'crippled' solution that is offered on any tri-radio router today.


I would suggest you review the posts I've made above to make sure you've absorbed all of this. There is a lot here to digest.

And you're welcome too!
 

lindros2

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

Wondering if anyone can help me with this? Is there a way to tweak my AX11000 for better performance in my situation, or should I return it and be considering a different setup?
For more context, I have included below a diagram of my home and where the routers are located (in purple).

Thanks,

Andrew
first, what did you use for CAD/house layout? Looks great.
Second, I’ve had an issue with my AX11000 (I think hardware rev A) where my ping and noise/RSSI suck compared to older AC68U (I have three - one in use, one hot standby for power outages, and one warm standby when my main AC5300 stops accepting 5Ghz-high connections).

WITH THAT SAID, I get ping to internet tests between 2-3ms and up to 650mbps bidirectional when plugged into into or using the AX11000 as an extender. Real life? Downloaded 55GB madden in 4 minutes yesterday from PC plugged into AX. At that time, ping went through the roof on other machines plugged in.

So it could br some level of incompatibility between AX and Zyxel. Have you tried an older cheaper ASUS?
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Ok thank you L&LD!
Yes, you’re right, I skimmed through certain things I shouldn’t have.
Alright so, following your instructions I’ve drawn up a network diagram and additionally taken a picture of where my Asus is, as well as provided a graph of my ping’s behavior… Is this helpful in any way? Could my modem be generating a ping that’s too high to begin with?
Just so that I don’t waste your time, my first goal is to see whether the AX11000 can reach the patio from the second floor where the modem is, so that will be my way of justifying whether I want to go into extensive testing or just buy a different system (possibly dual AX86) and put the effort there.

Either way, I’ll wait for you to take a look at that before taking action… In the meantime, I have some extra questions…

  • I will stop using the Zyxel’s wi-fi. Can I turn off the Wi-Fi signal on the Zyxel and just keep it functioning as a switch? It has a physical button on it to achieve that and as you saw on my network diagram, I need to have some wired devices connected
  • Can I use DFS? I am wondering if that would help. I’m not near an airport, weather station or government organization
  • I am confused, but it seems that the “Weaker” ghz radio (5ghz #1) is the one with the 160mhz option. Is this normal?
  • Which of the two 5ghz radios should I put on 40 mhz for range?
  • Which of the wan settings do I choose? (static, PPPoE, PPTP or L2TP). I am guessing it’s static, in which case what other settings would I enter here (screenshot attached)? Is this only going to be used for testing or also for regular use?
  • I did read the parts about not using an analyzer, but I thought it could help me identify which channels to test first (in the 5ghz) because there are so many, and each time I have to spend at least 12 hours on each channel… I want to sort this out before Christmas break is over so that I have time to work on the network while it’s not needed for work..
  • I’m seriously considering the dual AX86. It’s a big investment but it could be worth it.
  • Number of clients: so if each radio is limited to 32 clients before experiencing lag, would I be better futureproofed by getting a Ubiquiti Wi-Fi 6 setup or going with an AX92 dual system? (although I’ve heard bad reviews about the latter)
Lindros:
  • Thanks, it’s called Roomsketcher, get the free version and try it out (https://www.roomsketcher.com/) and the desktop version is better
  • I don’t have another Asus, but I’ll try turning off the radios. Just waiting for L&LD to get back to me

Thanks! Oh and Merry Christmas to you both!

ANdrew

network diagram.png
Photo 2020-12-23, 6 22 08 PM.jpg
Asus Dashboard.PNG
wan settings_2.PNG
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Interesting news... So I'm in Canada. The AX86U is on sale going for $280 plus taxes each. Which would make it $80 more than the AX11000 before taxes... Sale is on until the 31st
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The AX11000 is $80 less?

Where do you see that sale for the RT-AX86U?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Now I got it! :)

You're comparing 2x RT-AX86U's to a single GT-AX11000? I would pay the equivalent of a third RT-AX86U to drop the non-RMerlin supported GT model...

Assuming you're connecting them via a wired (via the 1GbE or 2.5GbE Ports on each) AiMesh setup.

And:

If you need not only Wi-Fi but also extra Ports at the remote location.

If you want stock firmware further perfected by RMerlin as long as it is a supported router.

If you want to maximize the Wi-Fi coverage of the ISP connection you're paying for throughout the home (my setup).

I'm sure there are more reasons, but the above is enough for me to go out of my way to avoid the GT router and its 'fake' tri-band tri-radio design. A true tri-band, tri-radio design is coming with Wi-Fi 6E routers. Where each radio is truly unique.

The time to buy that 'true' tri-band router will be when RMerlin support is available and stable/proven for those models.

The actual 6E model I'll be waiting for while I'm enjoying my 2x RT-AX86U's in wired (2.5GbE backhaul) AiMesh mode is the one that will have enough antennae (external and internal) that will allow all the radios to be simultaneously used.

I will suggest that in most home environments, 2x RT-AX86U's in a wired backhaul configuration will be almost double the performance of a single GT-AX11000. Hope my opinion/experience is clear? :)
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Thanks L&LD! I thought your setup was an AX88U. Either way, I'll test the GT-AX11000 with the Zyxel wifi radios turned off. So, I have 3 questions then: Should I consider a Ubiquiti wifi 6 system? Do you think my ping is high because of an ISP related issue that has nothing to do with my router(s) based on the network ping graph I provided? In several reviews I have seen, one of the few criticisms of the AX86 is it's lack of range. Is that a stock software issue that is resolved by using the RMerlin firmware?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I did have an RT-AX88U! It is now not part of my arsenal. The Ubiquiti systems I have no experience with, but from what I read here, I don't want to either.

I don't see a lack of range on the RT-AX86U's I have. With a single router, I can blanket the areas I'm interested in/around my home. With two, I effectively have my ISP's 1Gbps up/down bandwidth with any client that supports its extra features (i.e. Intel AX200 or AX201 onboard). I've never run stock software on the two I have or the ones I've installed for customers. RMerlin 386.1 Beta 2 needs some polishing, and I also am not one to be nosing around the logs to look for issues, but for keeping a fast and stable network, it just works.
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Ohh nice, so if I do go the way of the AX86U, you have the same setup so maybe I can bother you again;) For now I think I'll try to test to see if my high ping is coming from my network or the ISP by connecting directly to the modem. If so, I'll do the router reset and setup the way you suggested to see if i can get it to blanket the home including the patio. If it doesn't, I'm hoping getting 2 AX86Us will do the trick, with my fingers crossed that the one band will handle all the clients as well or better. Especially important, is that running 2 computers on heavy Teams video/screen-sharing calls with more than 10 video feeds does not get slowed down by someone streaming Netflix or gaming (all devices connecting to the 5ghz radio)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Sure! :D

With FlexQoS and CakeQoS both available on the RMerlin supported RT-AX86U's, and with your 450Mbps ISP speeds, I'm sure you'll find a solution that works. If they're even needed, for your requirements and use.
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Well, as long as I'm not losing the ability to handle many clients that the GT has, then I'm all for it.
So I have some news... Direct connection to the router yields a 9ms ping. So there's just 2ms difference between direct to the modem and router's wireless performance. I'm guessing the GT has no issues related to ping then and maybe I should call my ISP to diagnose why the modem has a relatively high ping?
Also, I am about to do a full reset of the GT to test its range... Hopefully it makes a difference. On another note, why do you say to name the SSIDs really simply? So far, I've always used underscores to differentiate bands, but I'm not certain I understand what removing the underscore would do for router performance. Thanks again for all this help and for your patience!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Some have found that special characters, too short names, and other otherwise 'normal', practices would make the Wi-Fi clients flakey. Just easier to use best practices and not worry about that being an issue to have to hunt down and solve. :)
 

AndrewJacob

Regular Contributor
Sounds good thanks! And happy new year by the way!
I received both AX86's.. Now I'll have to test them compared to the AX11000. I'll probably need to create a new post.
I will have to test:
1- AX11000 on its own
2- Two AX86U in Ai Mesh over wired backhaul
3- AX11000 and AX86U
4 - Considering whether I should test the AX86U without Merlin or not even bother
What I will need to test is:
1- Wireless performance
2- Wired performance
3- Performance under load (many clients all being used at the same time)

This is going to be a lot of work...I almost went the Ubiquiti way because of test #3, but the lack of adequate switches from Ubiquiti stopped that train of thought:(
 

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