Asus N66U AI Mesh

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robbo56

Occasional Visitor
I currently use N66U Dark Night running Merlin 380.59 as my main and only router.

Soon I will replace this with Asus AX88U on which I will install latest Merlin 386.x.x - can I still make use my old N66U in any way as meshAI node? - If so is there any thing to watch out for, I will put latest supported Merlin 380.70 on it first.

and if the N66u cannot be utilised as a Mesh Node can anyone suggest a sensible alternative that is not too expensive?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The RT-N66U doesn't support AiMesh, but you could still configure it as an access point.

380.70 is years old and unsupported. I suggest you either install the latest stock firmware or John's fork.
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
Even using the N66 as an AP isn't going to give you optimal WiFi performance as the N66 has N only radios and even N only devices benefit by connecting to AC WiFi radios and currently most WiFi devices being sold today are at least AC capable.

The best thing you can do is update the firmware on the N66 then put it on the shelf as an emergency spare. While I run John's fork on an old N66 I'm not sure it is worth the bother for just a spare router. Just install the last version of Merlin's firmware for the N66 and call it a day.
 

robbo56

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for your answers so far - looks like it will be going in the cupboard. I don't know much about John's fork - is that trying to add some newer features beyond 380.70 ? and would it be better to install that or the latest official firmware. May not matter as I won't be using it soon.

Finally can you suggest a new Asus device that can act as a AIMesh node talking to new AX88U on wired connection.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
John's firmware is very close to the firmware you're currently using in terms of UI and features but has updated packages and security fixes. The current Asus/Merlin firmware have a revamped UI.

If you don't intend on actively using it I would just install the latest stock firmware.
 

robbo56

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for explaining that - finally any suggestion on a lower cost Asus device to act as the Mesh Node?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
RT-AC66U_B1 is a solid device and one of the cheapest that supports AiMesh.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for explaining that - finally any suggestion on a lower cost Asus device to act as the Mesh Node?

RT-AC66U_B1, -AC68U (no Smart Connect support for same SSIDS)
RT-AC86U
RT-AX86U

OE
 

robbo56

Occasional Visitor
Any tips for settting these 2 up - Here is my thoughts

Flash the AX88U with latest Merlin, then get it working as my main router.
Next flash the AC-66U in isolation from the network with latest Merlin - and then I assume it needs to be told it will act as a Mesh Node. From there I imagine I will need to connect it to AX88U - WAN port on AC-66U ? and then go into AX88config and detect it etc. Is there a guide for this anywhere?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Any tips for settting these 2 up - Here is my thoughts

Flash the AX88U with latest Merlin, then get it working as my main router.
Next flash the AC-66U in isolation from the network with latest Merlin - and then I assume it needs to be told it will act as a Mesh Node. From there I imagine I will need to connect it to AX88U - WAN port on AC-66U ? and then go into AX88config and detect it etc. Is there a guide for this anywhere?

My install notes offer lots of clues, but no AX bits yet.

OE
 

robbo56

Occasional Visitor
Can any one confirm that although RT-AC66U is listed in Merlin as no longer supported, the RT-AC66U B1 is , even though it is not mentioned in the supported list. Just want to make sure the B1 is a good choice for my MeshNode alongside Main Router AX88U, with a view to ongoing Merlin updates so that both can have the same Merlin version going forwards
 

Ameenhuus

Occasional Visitor
I don't now were you live but there is a cashback this week.
RT-AC86u -55€
 

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