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Hey all, wanted to get your thoughts on these two routers.

First off a little bit about my needs, I have a 1000 down/30 up connection from my ISP (currently being heavily underutilized because of the very very old wireless router that I had laying around). My house is an older (~1960s) 2-storey detached home with an office in the attic (where the modem is). Running ethernet cable for a wired backhaul to a lower level would be prohibitively expensive. So I'm looking for a wireless backhaul mesh wifi solution that will give me good coverage. My budget is ~USD400.

I was browsing Newegg and spotted that they had an openbox ET8s on for $100 off so I quickly placed an order on what appears to be the last one....

They also have the XT8 on for $50 off so it's only a ~$30 difference...

1) Is the ET8 a good buy at this price?

2) I saw on this comparison by Dong Knows Tech, he says that:
if you place the hardware of the ET8 too far away from each other or behind a wall, it’ll automatically use the 5GHz or even the 2.4GHz band for the backhaul, resulting in slow speeds.
This will be my situation (i.e. through a wall or two), so is this still an issue? Since the ET8 would be dropping to the 2x2 5GHz channel, would the XT8 be a better option for me since it would still use the 4x4 channel for the backhaul?

3) General thoughts or suggestions?

4) Any alternate recommendations? I saw that the Asus' parental controls and other features are not subscription based, which I liked when
compared to some other brands.

Note, while reading some other threads on SNB I stumbled onto MoCA adapters. There seems to be coax available in each room in this house, however only the one in the attic seems to be hooked up to anything. I'd have to do quite a bit of tracing and rewiring to make it work, so I was hoping to find a simple wireless backhaul solution that would suit my needs before having to go down this route. But if there's a cheaper alternative that I could have similar performance with when using a MoCA, then that's an option for me as well.

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FWIW, I have a pair of XT8s that I acquired about a month ago and am using in a situation roughly similar to yours. They are wirelessly connecting the LAN in my upstairs office to the wired living-room gear (which includes my FiOS router), and incidentally providing service to assorted wireless clients. Their 5GHZ backhaul radios don't seem to be having any trouble punching through my extremely solid wood flooring --- mine is a WWI-era house, so probably worse than yours for WiFi penetration --- even with a geometry that requires the signal to traverse that floor at a very shallow angle.

Whether the ET8 would be better is something I can't say for sure. The fact that its backhaul radio is 6GHZ not 5GHZ is scary if you have any concern at all about signal penetration, because that higher band is a lot worse at punching through obstacles. The wildcard in this though is 6GHZ may be less subject to interference. One thing I've been learning about the hard way is that if you live within say 50 miles of an airport or weather radar, you want to avoid the 5GHZ 'DFS' channels, because radar service has priority on those bands and wifi gear is legally required to drop off the channel if it sees anything resembling a radar pulse. This is problematic because, for example, you can't use 160MHZ channel bandwidth without overlapping the DFS band. IIUC, there is no such issue on the 6GHZ frequencies.

Another thing I've been learning the hard way is that ASUS has been having some severe software quality issues. As you can read over on SNB's ASUS forums, the last stable firmware release for the XT8s was 42095 from six-plus months ago. (I was on the verge of returning the XT8s before I learned that here; the current firmware is horribly unstable.) Maybe everything is peachy for the ET8s, or maybe you can't even get a non-broken firmware release for them ... I dunno, I've not paid attention to those.

So, no answers here, but some things to think about. Based on my experience, the XT8s *will* work for you, if you roll them back to 42095; but you might not be able to get max performance from them depending on where you live. The ET8s might be better for you, or they might not work acceptably at all, depending on how solid your floors are.
If I were choosing between the 2 I would have went with the ET8s for the AXE over the older version as well. However I'm running true AP HW using a Zyxel NWA210AX @ $180/ea because i don't need the router function and they have a 2.5GE port on them for bandwidth.

The capture you posted though shows it will downshift from 6G to 5G or 2.4G as needed to provide backhaul to the original node.

Running "software" on a router for "protection" is just a bad idea in general if you're if you're looking for performance. I tried this out years ago with an Asus and it killed the speeds considerably. I've gone a bit more robust by building my own router from scratch using a PC w/ Linux and adding components to that instead of relying on OEM solutions.

I wouldn't put much faith into the moxa option either as they tend to be slow as molasses. The problem with most solutions other than Ethernet is they halve the bandwidth for each leg of the connection back to the source. It really doesn't cost that much to run an Ethernet line to different locations and once you do it it's a one time cost. If you do a CAT 6 /6A cable you should be fine for quite awhile into the future.
Wi-Fi 6E is a somewhat dead end branch of evolution. There are still few clients operating in the 6 GHz band, and soon, probably in 1-2 years, it will be possible to buy Wi-Fi 7 routers.
An intermediate option is four-band routers or Mesh systems with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, for example Netgear RBKE963, ASUS GT-AXE16000, Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Pro, but this is still very expensive...
If you use the third AX band (5GHz-2 or 6GHz) only as a transit between the router and a node in a private house, then I would still recommend using 5GHz-2 (i.e. XT8) - it has a longer range . But I would highly recommend spending the money and connecting the router and the node with a cable - avoid many possible problems!!!

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