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ASUS RT86U in wireless repeater mode-some questions

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by jsmiddleton4, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    It works. I'm not complaining. Just trying to figure out some odds and ends.

    Main router is Netgear R7800 with Voxel's firmware. Needed to either do some tight squeezing and difficult access and drop a hardwire or try wireless connections to get from the router on one side of our house to the very other side and a home office.

    Could have tried a dedicated wireless repeater but then that's all you have, a wireless repeater. If main router goes down, I'd rather have a backup router at the ready. IF it worked as a wireless repeater effectively.

    Not many options. Maybe some of the older Netgear's as well as these Asus' routers.

    Tried both Wired wireless AP and wireless repeater mode. Yes a little faster wired as one would expect. Not remarkable faster than using the 5ghz channel and wireless repeater mode. Was simpler in some regards to setup wired AP mode. Using the same SSID's seemed to work better wired than wireless repeater. Which makes sense.

    The OEM FW is a little faster as wireless repeater than RMerlin's tweaked FW. Not sure why but it is. Xfinity's speed test maxed around 400 with Rmerlins for clients attached wired to the ASUS. With ASUS OEM same clients, MACBOOK, hitting 540-557 on Xfinity's speed test.

    If easier to drop a cable I would of course. That's always less complicated.

    Client list in the ASUS. It gets a little goofy for lack of a better word. Works but those clients are really attached to the Asus. They are attached wired or wirelessly (devices on the side of the house near the Netgear router like home theater stuff, to the Netgear. Yet the Asus lists them as clients attached to the Asus.

    Is that normal?

    IF I attached wireless clients to the ASUS, I've used the 2.4 channel, even though those clients are getting IP/DNS from the Netgear they show up in the ASUS but nowhere in the Netgear. Even though the Netgear DHCP server is dishing out the needing information. Would think the Netgear would have the information. The Asus is simply adding a connectivity channel. Its not doing any heavy lifting. That seems odd but is that normal too?

    WDS mode in the Asus is IF its the main router yes? Don't want to do WDS as the bandwidth sacrifices but IF I did, I can't do WDS with the ASUS as the AP right? I'd have to swap them around and let the ASUS be the router and let it find the Netgear as the AP?

    Some of the options for the wireless radios..... Is it worth starting out with the Asus as a router so can chance some of those options, like Fairness, or if you go into Wireless Repeater mode do those not matter anyway? You can't set them once in repeater mode. At least I didn't find a way.

    Clients attached wired to the Asus, the ASUS then communicating with the Netgear work very well. Pleasantly surprised.

    Clients attached wirelessly to the Asus, the ASUS then communication with the Netgear not so well. Given the 5ghz channel is talking to the Netgear one would think clients talking to the same 5ghz channel would have issues. The 2ghz channel? Seemed to stall periodically. I don't need the wireless features for my application off the ASUS beyond communicating with the Netgear. All the clients in the home office talking to, or through, the ASUS can be wired. Wireless clients hanging off the ASUS is that normal, or expected, to potentially have some issues?

    I still might end up with a dedicated by design wireless repeater. Can hang a switch off the one LAN port most of them have. Anyone gone down this same road before and ended up not using the ASUS routers than can do this repeater stuff and going with a dedicated plug in repeater?
     
  2. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    The 86U is probably as good a repeater as any repeater.

    I used an N66U in repeater mode with a 68U. Then upgraded to a 2xRT-AC68U AiMesh. Then a 2xRT-AC86U Aimesh for a bit more range... it's a more polished system, imo.

    Have you tried the 86U in media bridge mode? This will dedicate its WiFi to the wireless backhaul to the router and only support wired clients. So, no wireless clients connecting to the 86u and no wireless clients sharing its WiFi. Just have to see if it works with the router.

    OE
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  3. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    Have you tried the 86U in media bridge mode?

    Looked at it. It works wirelessly? It looked like it needed to be hardwired like a wired AP. I'll look again.
     
  4. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    No, I have not tried it since it is not about extending WiFi coverage. It is about bridging your wired media devices over a dedicated wireless backhaul to the site router... a media bridge. The intent is to maximize the wireless backhaul performance to support time-sensitive and bandwidth hungry media traffic.

    I mention it because it may suit your need better than repeater mode.

    OE
     
  5. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    Thanks. Set it up as media bridge last night. Given I can use all wired clients, even though things like a wireless printer COULD use the wireless of course, it did make sense to try it. I like it.

    It is, understandably, a little faster. I have gigablast with Xfinity. Wired AP of course fastest for throughput. Then the media bridge mode. The wireless repeater isn't slow but of the three speed test for attached clients wired they stay around 350-380. Wired AP mid 500's to low 600's. Media bridge mode high 400's. I didn't test wireless clients hanging on the Asus for any mode.

    I can stream 4K video even with wireless repeater mode.

    The Asus client list stays the same, it shows every device attached to the Netgear router as a "client". Devices running through the Asus did have some DHCP changes even though I had them reserved based on MAC in the Netgear.

    I'm sitting in media bridge mode now. Probably leave it that way. The only thing I bring into the office that is limited to only wireless is my iPHONE. It works fine. Not having wireless clients access the Asus also limits security issues.

    Would it be best to have 2 86u's instead of one and the Netgear R7800?

    Thinking probably. At least maybe easier to setup.

    Works well enough as is I'd not bother with the hassle of climbing through the attic and dropping wires.
     
  6. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    8:45 am from MACBOOK in my office through the ASUS in Media Bridge mode.
     

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  7. Grisu

    Grisu Part of the Furniture

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    If you are happy right now never touch a running system!
    You can upgrade in 2 years when wifi-6 is finalized and routers get cheaper.
     
    a5m and jsmiddleton4 like this.
  8. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    I want to say 'AiMesh, yes' but:
    o I have not tested 86U AiMesh wireless backhaul with your ISP speeds;
    o You'd have to spend $ to verify;
    o AiMesh firmware has disappointed (but is generally working... Asuswrt-Merlin now supports it).

    That said, I'd try it. But if what you have works well enough, you can hold and plan a future upgrade... AX routers/devices will be more established then.

    OE
     
  9. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    you can hold and plan a future upgrade...

    More likely than less is I'll have to do something else that is close enough to dropping a network cable that adding the cable drop would be a no brainer. Then I'd hard wire to a switch in my office from the router.

    If I could unload the Netgear I would probably get another 86U today primarily just to play around with it.
     
  10. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    So to some of my questions.....

    What’s the deal with the client listing in the ASUS?

    Worth starting out with ASUS in router mode so I can adjust/tweak the advanced wireless settings?
     
  11. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Very Senior Member

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    Playing tonight and while I know they aren't the same with the Netgear extenders they talk about combining both radios for faster throughput for streaming. Some fancy marketing name I'm blanking on at the moment. What I decided to do, what isn't the same, is turn on Smart Connection in my router, Netgear R7800, and then the same idea in the Asus for smart wireless management for the dual bands. I'm using RMerlin's current beta on the ASUS 86U and Netgear's stock FW on the R7800.

    Upped my speeds both down load and upload. Still using media mode too.
     

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