Beamforming / Mu-MIMO / Airtime Fairness

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Pergola Fabio

Senior Member
Guys, for a long time i had a RT-AC86u , i remember i aways disabled those 3 options in the wifi professional settings , i believed i caused wireless disconnects

now i am expanding , purchased a RT-AC88U for main roater and 2 x RT-AC86U to setup aimesh to make wifi better

Do i still need to disable those options? i bought mainly the other asus products fir aimesh, especiallo for roaming
i have now setup on manual channels (far away), but seems my androids phones dont roam to the strongest wifi, i always need to disable/enable wifi

any advice is welcome

thnx
 

MvW

Senior Member
I assume you mean beamforming?

In short:

Disabling Airtime Fairness, Beamforming and MU-MIMO resolves the majority of these problems

Sources: (and there are much more if you bothered to use the search prior to posting)

About beamforming, I don't want to use it:

As for MU-MIMO, I don't want to use it:

As for Airtime fairness, I don't want to use it:

Every single option causes compatibility issues, disconnects or degraded performance in one or another way, so if it was up to me, they would all be disabled by default, on both bands:

5 Ghz band:
Screenshot_2021-04-02 ASUS Wireless Router RT-AC86U - Professional 2_4 Ghz band.png

2.4 Ghz band:
Screenshot_2021-04-02 ASUS Wireless Router RT-AC86U - Professional 5Ghz.png
 
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MvW

Senior Member
Ok, thnx so I leave them disabled... But maybe those options were needed for aimesh?

No, they're not. As you can see in my signature I'm using AiMesh without any issues, and without any of them enabled.
 

Pergola Fabio

Senior Member
Ok,i am now reading about aimesh, seems i need to factory default the routers again...

So those 3 settings i need to disable on main node, and they will be configured on the other nodes automaticly? Or do i need to change it afterwards?

Also , is the WPS pairing still needed? Do i need to move it again within 3 meters? Quite stupid, or can it be now over cable? If i connect to the wan ports of the 2 nodes?
 
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MvW

Senior Member
Ok,i am now reading about aimesh, seems i need to factory default the routers again...

So those 3 settings i need to disable on main node, and they will be configured on the other nodes automaticly? Or do i need to change it afterwards?

Also , is the WPS pairing still needed? Do i need to move it again within 3 meters? Quite stupid, or can it be now over cable? If i connect to the wan ports of the 2 nodes?

Your AiMesh nodes will need to be factory reset and WPS is on by default. You should disable it after they have been added for security reasons. They have to be within close range while paring. The settings are configured on the main router, it will configure the nodes for you. Besides access for a firmware upgrade most 'regular' users will not have to access their nodes again.

Here's a link to an excellent (updated) guide by @L&LD which describes the whole process from A through Z:
 

Pergola Fabio

Senior Member
perfect thnx, but i have read somewhere in a topic from 2018 , cant find it currently, that it wasnt needed anymore to pair with 1-3 meters, that it would now be possible with lan cable
from main router to WAN ports of the subnodes
 

MvW

Senior Member
I pair my node within a few meters wirelessly from main router. Haven't tried it with a LAN cable yet, so can't confirm nor deny.
 

MvW

Senior Member
ok, we will see

is aimesh so much better then setting different channels for each AP ?

I'm not so much into the technical details and differences (not enough knowledge), but what I can say for sure is that AiMesh configures all it's nodes to use exact same channels to make sure that roaming between nodes is as quickly and as painless as possible.
 

MvW

Senior Member
Ah ,i always thought setting up each AP on a different channel was better , like 1, 6 , 11 , so they don't interfear

No, that's just to minimize interference with the radio signal coming from your neighbours. By using the same channels in AiMesh, your neighbours' non-AIMesh ready router, sees a strong network with multiple AP's, the same SSID on the same channel and as it has never been configured properly whill most likely auto select a different channel to minimize interference. 1,6 and 11 are recommend channels on the 2,4 Ghz bands, as they have no overlap and therefore none to minimal impact on adjacent channels (depending on bandwidth).

2410i3E1F4CCB87ADEF1E.png
 

Pergola Fabio

Senior Member
Ah ok, so what's best practice for a non mesh setup with no neighbors? For 2.4 and 5, setting up same channel then for both bands, on all AP?
 

MvW

Senior Member
Ah ok, so what's best practice for a non mesh setup with no neighbors? For 2.4 and 5, setting up same channel then for both bands, on all AP?

I'll leave that for someone else to answer, my knowledge is too limited to give you a proper advice on that matter.
 

MvW

Senior Member
I thought only Universal Beamforming was known to be problematic?

People seem to be of different opinions on that matter. When a device supports Explicit Beamforming it could offer some benefit, but apparently even Asus Support isn't convinced, as I've seen Asus Support Staff advising to disable Explicit Beamforming (on this forum). As for 802.11ac (implicit) Beamforming on the 5Ghz band, the general consensus seems to be that you're better off disabling it. Users report slowdowns on specific devices, while others perform slightly better. As I personally see no benefit, I've lost confidence in massive performance improvements caused by beamforming, in whatever form it comes. So, I disabled them. As always, YMMV.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
purchased a RT-AC88U for main roater and 2 x RT-AC86U to setup aimesh to make wifi better

I see two potential drawbacks with this setup - your main router is older and slower than your nodes; too many APs may not make your Wi-Fi better.
 

shabbs

Senior Member
Ah ok, so what's best practice for a non mesh setup with no neighbors? For 2.4 and 5, setting up same channel then for both bands, on all AP?
Well, I'll tell you what I have setup in my non-AiMesh setup (3 APs and a Router spread over three stories and a garage). It works for my setup and the devices I have on my network. I have over 100 devices in total on my home network with the majority of them in the 2.4GHz range - a lot of IOT/Nest/TP-Link stuff - so there's a lot of congestion in that area. I push about 3TB of data/month all told. All my APs are hardwired.

I too have disabled all the beam forming/MIMO/Fairness stuff as noted at the start of the post. I've setup all my wireless networks with different SSIDs and connected devices to specific ones for stability reasons. For the 2.4GHz networks - I use the 1/6/11 control channel separation across the APs with 20/40Mhz channel bandwidth. For the 5GHz networks I've got 20/40/80Mhz channel bandwidth with Auto Control channel selection. So far this has been working very well with all devices playing nicely. All of my Nest cameras are on-line 24x7 now, no disconnects.

I did give AiMesh a try and everything worked fine apart from my Nest Cameras/Devices. They would be constantly disconnecting and going off-line. It was terrible and I was not able to ever get it to work and be stable even with binding to replicate the discreet SSID memberships I had before.

So, that config works for me and my network topography with mix of 2.4/5 GHz devices and usage. YMMV.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Ah ,i always thought setting up each AP on a different channel was better , like 1, 6 , 11 , so they don't interfear
Multiple APs that are using Ethernet for backhaul should be set to use different channels, using 1,6,11 in 2.4 GHz with 20 MHz channel bandwidth.
Same goes for 5 GHz, but you can use any of the available channels; channels are properly spaced with no overlap.

The main reason for this is to maximize bandwidth. Each channel provides additional bandwidth. If all APs are set to the same channel, then everyone contends for the same airtime. In this case multiple APs would extend range, but not expand network bandwidth capacity.

Keep in mind, however, you are just setting the 5 GHz control channel, which is where management occurs (beacons, association and probe requests and responses, etc.) Data will use four channels if you have 80 MHz bandwidth set. So for two APs, I'd set one AP to a low-band channel (36-48) and the other to high band (149-161).

Mesh systems have different requirements. The same radios are used for front-haul (client connection) and backhaul (node-to-node connection). Any backhaul connection must have APs set to the same channel. So dual-band mesh systems usually have at least all 5 GHz channels (the preferred backhaul due to its higher bandwidth) set the same. 2.4 GHz channels may or may not be set the same. For example Google Wi-Fi sets each node's 2.4 GHz radio to a different channel (1,6,11) and all 5 GHz radios to the same channel (149).

Tri-radio mesh systems typically dedicate the second high-band 5 GHz radio to backhaul. So they can use different channels for both 2.4 and 5 GHz per node. But the 5 GHz fronthaul radio is limited to low-band (36-48).
 

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