Asus Zenwifi XT8 lag spikes

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json

New Around Here
Hello, I'm hoping someone could help figure out a solution to my very frustrating lag spikes on my XT8 mesh system. I've combed these forums for a couple of months and tried several things found here and elsewhere, as well as just experimenting.

TL;DR: I have lag spikes on my XT8 setup that make online gaming with my kids very frustrating. I've tried a lot of things, but would be grateful for any suggestions you can give.


Problem: Lag spikes every few minutes. In most cases, these are undetectable because they don't interfere with normal usage. They are very noticeable and unbearable when I am playing Fortnite with my children. Me on an Xbox One, them on two Nintendo Switch Lites in the same room as me. All are wireless (I know, wired is better...).Normal latency is around 40-50ms. My latency will spike to 300ms or higher, sometimes to 1000ms. These spikes almost always happen at the same moment on all 3 consoles.

I do not experience these spikes when I drag a long Cat5e cable across the house to the Xbox. The Switches cannot be wired without extra dongles. Even if I ran Cat5 to the Xbox, the Switch Lites cannot be reasonably wired, so I'm trying to solve this wirelessly. I have also run this same test by playing fortnite on a computer with wired vs wireless. I experience the lag spikes on wireless, but not wired.

Previously, I had the first Generation Orbi RBK53 kit. I do not remember any lag spikes like this, but I also did not play any online fast twitch games that would have made the problem obvious. It had fantastic bandwidth and coverage all over my house, but I ditched it after Netgear pushing out bad firmware a few times over the years and random device disconnects. After that, I had the Nest Wifi Router + 3 nodes. I returned it within 90 days, one of the reasons was because over those 90 days the bandwidth deteriorated to way less than the Orbi, the nodes showed "weak" connection even when mere feet away in direct line of sight, and I also started to play Fortnite with the kids and noticed lag spikes (though I did not measure them to the degree I'm troubleshooting with XT8). With the limited ability to troubleshoot these devices, I decided to go with my old trusty friend, Asus. I only mention my previous mesh networks as a consideration for environmental interference.

Setup: I started off with the XT8 router wired to my Arris modem (cable internet, 1g down, 50m up). House is a one story, about 2300 square feet. It's close enough to square shape, with the modem/router in my home office, roughly northwest corner of the house. This is the reason I've gone with mesh rather than I single good router. The garage with a few smart devices is in the direct opposite, southeast corner. The guest bedroom, which we use regularly, is at the front of the house with walls and a refrigerator dampening wifi.

The router is on the top shelf of a bookshelf with nothing else around it. The XT8 node is in the kitchen, about 40-50 feet away, 4.5 feet off the ground, with direct line of sight. The living room area is between the router and the node. This is where the Xbox and Switches are usually played.

I've tried troubleshooting so many things that my setup has changed in the past couple of months. I chased Bufferbloat as the issue for a while, so I have ended up with Modem > EdgeRouter 4 > TP-Link Smart Switch > XT8 Router. I also have a lot of clients, around 50.

I've been running a lot of PingPlotter tests where I can. I notice not a perfect overlap, but certainly an overlap, when running PingPlotter simultaneously on my Macbook in the office, a few feet from the XT8 Router, compared to a PC in a bedroom, connected to the XT8 node. I also hooked up an old RT-AC68U I have connected to it. I experienced some ping spikes, but less frequently and less severe than the XT8.

I've been running mostly on the 9/22 firmware. I am currently running the latest beta firmware (10/22?) with no improvement. The RT-AC68U I still have around for testing is in Merlin 384.19 (god I was disappointed when I bought the XT8 and realized Merlin isn't possible).

I've tried just about every solution to anything wireless related on these forums. At this point, I've lost track of what didn't help at all, or what has *seemed* to help a tiny bit, until it fell apart. I'd be grateful for any suggestions and can try them.

Example of latency today, tests run concurrently (didn't notice until after this that I accidentally ran the interval at 2.5 seconds on the windows machine). 10.0.0.1 is my EdgeRouter, so it goes client > [XT8 Node] XT8 Router > TP-Link Switch > EdgeRouter(10.0.0.1)

You'll see some of the overlapping ping spike events on both the Router and Node (I understand that some of the individual latency spikes could be for things like the client scanning for other wireless networks). There is a marked difference when connecting one of the PCs to the RT-AC68U.

Windows PC > XT8 Node 5GHz (through 3 walls/closets)
Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 15.42.28 PM.png


Macbook > XT8 Router (10 feet away, LOS)
Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 15.42.39 PM.png


Windows PC > XT8 Node 5GHz (walls, closets)
Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 16.03.06 PM.png


Macbook > RT-AC68U 5GHz (10 feet away LOS)
Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 16.03.17 PM.png



Thanks again for any help, sorry for such a long first post.
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
I'm having same issues with my XT8 setup, router connected to ISP fiber modem through LAN, node connected wirelessly. Can't play Xbox, which is connected to the node wirelessly. Instant lags ruin the game. No such lag spikes on my AmplifyHD mesh setup with same nodes location and wireless backhaul.

Did you try XT8 with cable connection as backhaul? The only idea I have which may eliminate the lag spikes.
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
hmmm.......I am very "un" happy to report one of my kids is complaining non stop of this problem!!
Actually I was not believing him (because the other, older son says he has no issues, but he seldom plays multi player online games)............until I read this thread.

With the old netgear router things were ok

I actually have more, serious issues...........which I am going to start a new thread here...
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
hmmm.......I am very "un" happy to report one of my kids is complaining non stop of this problem!!
Actually I was not believing him (because the other, older son says he has no issues, but he seldom plays multi player online games)............until I read this thread.

With the old netgear router things were ok

I actually have more, serious issues...........which I am going to start a new thread here...

Hello, is your backhaul wireless or wired? If former did you try wired backhaul to see if lag spikes continue?
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
Backhaul is wireless...using 5 GHz 2 band. It's solid green.

Have you tried wired backhaul?

I don't have ethernet wiring capabilities here in this house. However just for testing, I could lay a long wire on the floor.
 

PatriotOzz

New Around Here
I've got the same issue. Moreover, I am getting it even on my mobile phone. Internet just disappears for 1-2 minutes. I set the ethernet over the powerline, will see if it makes any difference. I satisfied with the coverage and signal, but those lags make the whole family crazy. It will be sad to send it back because of that.
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
I am troubleshooting this mesh system right now.........there are so many settings to change........and seems to me some of them do help.
For example, when I disabled " Enable WMM No-Acknowledgement " ....that made one of the cellphones (which was having trouble) finally connect to the router node.
Still, there is one more, older tablet which is still unable to connect...testing further.
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
Backhaul is wireless...using 5 GHz 2 band. It's solid green.

Have you tried wired backhaul?

I don't have ethernet wiring capabilities here in this house. However just for testing, I could lay a long wire on the floor.

I've ordered LAN (Cat6) from Amazon which I will put through the house just to test it. I live near the airport so 160Hz backhaul will not work for me. Specially because it's impossible to disable using DFS channels for backhaul 5Hz 2. So it looks like will have to use cable anyways. Though I will also test it on my AmplifyHD and if it performs similarly Asus ZenWiFi AX will go back to Amazon as I don't see a reason to pay for it with similar performance with AmplifyHD.
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
ok let see what happens.

FWIIW...I also live near an airport (2 miles away from IAD) and I sometimes do see RADAR event in the logs....although it is rare.
So far, I have not noticed any 5Ghz-2 backhaul going down problems....although I have read about that problem here.

I wonder if that is more of a problem in England....like that guy has posted/reviewed in detail.
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
If cable is used for backhaul we can choose 5Hz not to use DFS channels which I assume eliminates possibility of radar interference. Though it's not possible to disable for 5Hz 2. I'm not sure if this is the reason for lag spikes so I've decided to test with cable backhaul to be sure.
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
for lag spikes.......here is what I am doing.....as a test.....today:

I factory reset the system and did NOT introduce the mesh node. Only one XT8 is running today the other XT8 is powered down. Everything in our house is connected to that one XT8.
I wanna let it run for a day like this and ask the kids if they see lag.

I did notice earlier that adding the mesh node prevents an old tablet from connecting to the main XT8. If I walk up to the mesh node, it connects to that one just fine. And after doing a factory reset and running only one node, that same tablet connects to the main XT8 just fine. That means it is not a hardware problem.
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
I've just tested single router. Hard reset, setup as single one. I even separated bands and hide 5Hz 2 to avoid interference with radar as apparently 5Hz 2 can not be disabled. I managed to connect my Xbox wirelessly to the router (5Hz 1) but still had same lag spikes. Same spikes were also when router was in Tri-Band in auto connect mode, Xbox connected to 5Hz 2. So it seems to me wireless backhaul is not the reason for lag spikes.
 
Last edited:

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
I've just tested single router. Hard reset, setup as single one. I even separated bands and hide 5Hz 2 to avoid interference with radar as apparently 5Hz 2 can not be disabled. I managed to connect my Xbox wirelessly to the router (5Hz 1) but still had same lag spikes. Same spikes were also when router was in Tri-Band in auto connect mode, Xbox connected to 5Hz 2. So it seems to me wireless backhaul is not the reason for lag spikes.

Hmmmm...in my admin gui, there's an option to turn off 5 GHz-2. In fact each of the three bands has that option, doesn't yours? It's under the "professional" tab
 

PatriotOzz

New Around Here
What I've found so far is that I am getting lag when the device is switching to another node. For some gadgets, that are closer to the main node it happens quite often because my apartment is not that big and I have only 10-11 meters between Wi-Fi nodes. My Ethernet connection over powerline is not the best and I think that prevents devices from switching to the slave node. At least I couldn't get any lags when playing PS4.
I couldn't find any solution to bind a device to a certain node so far.
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
ok here is an update on my side:
One kid who plays mostly Roblox games still says that he experiences lags....freezes where all other players freeze for a few seconds and only he can move around. I had him enable stats in the game, it shows everything is ok, other than the ping which is around 30 ms.

So just for testing, I removed the single XT8 from the network and put back the old router, a Netgear X6 R8000. Been running for a couple of days and my kid says everything is fine. I went and looked at Roblox stats yesterday night, while he was playing something....it was showing ping hovering around 100 ms.

So I really do not know what is happening. Just for testing I am going to put back the single XT8 (swap the R8000) and see if the lags come back.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
If there is a Wi-Fi connection anywhere in the chain from gaming device to the internet, you can get lag spikes due to many reasons that have to do with WiFi overhead on both AP and client side.

Definitely don't try to use DFS channels and don't let the router auto-select channels. Try disabling AX on the AP. On clients, if you have roaming settings, make sure you don't have them set to aggressive roaming (or something similar).
 

rajdude

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for your tips Tim. I have tried all those things....nothing helps.
Interestingly, while gaming through the Netgear R8000, kids do not complain :) I have asked them.........and that is why I am going back and forth between the routers to make sure it is Asus's problem.

BTW, the OP has not posted again in this thread till date.... making me wonder what happened.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Interestingly, while gaming through the Netgear R8000, kids do not complain :) I have asked them
Well a key difference is the R8000 is AC, which also means N on 2.4 GHz.
Are you sure you've disabled all AX features on both bands?
 

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