AX86u additional AiMesh node - what to buy?


New Around Here
Dear all,

Hope you can help me.
I will soon move to a two-story apartment and I already purchased an AX86u which will be used as a primary router (Merlin already loaded).
I placed the router on the ground floor, run a signal quality test in all areas and found that I have two rooms on the second floor with a weaker signal. For that reason, I started thinking of adding an additional AiMesh node as a repeater on the second floor (over WiFi, it's a must).
I was thinking of getting an AX68u or potentially even an AC86u.
Which model would you suggest buying?

Probably getting another AX86u would be ideal but I would like to save some $$$ and get something a bit cheaper.



Part of the Furniture
An AC86U would work (I tested AiMesh with one) but it might be better to stick with AX technology for the long run.


Senior Member
There have been issues reported when combining AC and AX technology together, so I'd go for an RT-AX68U if I were you. Don't wait too long though, prices are still rising due to shortage in microchips, so it might be useful to compare prices thoroughly before purchasing.

digits n bits

Senior Member
I just got a RT-AX68U on sale at officedepot for $179. I have it meshed with an RT-AX86U right now and it works pretty well. You might want to take a look at the RP-AX56 Aimesh range extender. It’s an AX1800 plug In extender that costs $99. Dongknowstech reviewed it and he liked it.


New Around Here
Thank you all for your replies.
Point taken - I will not mix AC and AX and go with AX68u.

@digits n bits - I forgot to mention that I was already looking at buying the RP-AX56 extender but it's still not available in my country. In any case, the expected cost for it is ~$120 and I could get a proper router (AX68u) for $40-$50 more. I am not an expert on networking but I believe that AX68 should outperform this extender in terms of speed and signal quality.
At least I hope it will :)

digits n bits

Senior Member
The AX68U would be a better choice in your case. The AX68U has pretty good range and speed but not quite up to an AX86U but for a mesh node it would be fine. Let us know how it works out.


Regular Contributor
Is there any opportunity to put your single AX86u on the 2nd floor? If the limiting factor is where your cable modem is at, maybe it can be placed on the 2nd floor so it's close to your router, assuming RG6 coax is present upstairs. I would think that a 2nd floor Wi-Fi access point placement would penetrate to the first floor a little better than vice versa. If you can avoid multiple APs, you eliminate AP roaming issues completely. Not to mention the simpler the system, the less you might have to fiddle around with it.

I have 2200sqft SF home and I come VERY close to being able to use a single RT-AX86u that is placed in an upstairs bedroom in one corner of the home. 2.4Ghz has no problem covering my space, including the garage and most of the back yard. 5Ghz not so much - that's why I got a 2nd unit.

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