Extend or replace network router?

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DKJasper

New Around Here
Hello

I have an Asus RT‑AC68U router - and it works fine ..... but the range does not cover my whole house.
I have about 40+ things connecting to wifi 2,4 GHz - the 5 GHz is turned off to not make interference.


so what to do ..... :)

Perhaps I can upgrade my existing router and/or buy an extender.
I wrote to a shop and they recommended an AP for me but in a different brand than Asus (TP-Link EAP225), I would assume it was better to stick to just one brand?

If I should add another AP (or similar) I can connect the two using cable - but the new will probably go on my attic in the other end of the house.
I have attached a blueprint / floor plan of my house.

So do you have any recommendations for me ?
  1. Buy new Router
  2. Buy new Router and use the old as extender
  3. Buy an extender
  4. Something I haven't thought about...
 

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Zipu

New Around Here
4. Buy an another ac68u

You can setup a mesh network, which is so much better than an extender
 

DKJasper

New Around Here
4. Buy an another ac68u

You can setup a mesh network, which is so much better than an extender
Yes this was kinda my intention ... but does it make a good choice to go with a new of the same "old" router - just to be a AP - or would something else and cheaper be smarter... or a brand new asus router and my existing as the extender ?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Why do you have the 5GHz band turned off? Do your devices support 5GHz? What are your ISP speeds (up/down)? What is your budget? What are the units in your attached drawing?

There is no interference from the 5GHz network to the 2.4GHz network, or vice-versa. :)

An RT-AX86U is the router, to buy today. But that will depend on your answers to the above questions.

An RT-AC86U (if you can find one at a fair price; it should be much cheaper than the RT-AX86U above) would also make a big upgrade to your network.

An RT-AX58U is also a possibility for your home. Depending on how you may want to use the network over the next few years, of course.

(The above are listed in order from 'best' to 'good').

The above routers are the only ones to consider today, everything else is a 'sideways' move.

While you can use the older RT-AC68U in AiMesh mode, I would recommend you don't with any current Asus router. Using it in Media Bridge mode would be ideal for the fastest network possible in your environment.
 

Zipu

New Around Here
Yes this was kinda my intention ... but does it make a good choice to go with a new of the same "old" router - just to be a AP - or would something else and cheaper be smarter... or a brand new asus router and my existing as the extender ?
You could get a newer asus router, get the best one your budget allows.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hello

I have an Asus RT‑AC68U router - and it works fine ..... but the range does not cover my whole house.
I have about 40+ things connecting to wifi 2,4 GHz - the 5 GHz is turned off to not make interference.


so what to do ..... :)

Perhaps I can upgrade my existing router and/or buy an extender.
I wrote to a shop and they recommended an AP for me but in a different brand than Asus (TP-Link EAP225), I would assume it was better to stick to just one brand?

If I should add another AP (or similar) I can connect the two using cable - but the new will probably go on my attic in the other end of the house.
I have attached a blueprint / floor plan of my house.

So do you have any recommendations for me ?
  1. Buy new Router
  2. Buy new Router and use the old as extender
  3. Buy an extender
  4. Something I haven't thought about...

5 GHz will not interfere with 2.4 GHz WiFi. I'd leave it ON and use it.

An AP must be wired. If wireless, you could move it where it works best and not have to go to the attic to manage it.

If you like your Asus router, you could buy a new and better one and use the old one as a wireless AiMesh remote node. Or, buy two identical new ones and pass the old one on to someone.

Consider the RT-AC86U WiFi 5 or RT-AX86U WiFi 6.

My install notes can help with a basic configuration (AC dual-band only so far).

OE
 

noah way

Regular Contributor
4. Buy an another ac68u

You can setup a mesh network, which is so much better than an extender
Agreed on the 2nd 68U.

Enable the 5ghz band, it’s far faster that 2.4. Most mobile devices use it automatically.

As for mesh vs repeater, you have to try both and see what works best. I found the repeater setup to be more stable than a mesh. For speed there is no difference between the two. The biggest factor is what band they reliably connect at.

Extending the network also gives you some redundancy if one of the devices fails.
 

DKJasper

New Around Here
I have looked at the two top suggested routers: RT-AC86U and RT-AX86U

And are leaning towards this solution:

The price is double for the AX - so I wanna go with the AC86U at app. 134 EUR on sale.
Use my old AC68U as an extender / AP (from the attic) and connect the two with a lan cable - I guess that is where its either in mesh or media bridge mode ... (correct?)


Q&A
Why do you have the 5GHz band turned off? - I had some devices that couldn't decide which band to use and switched with a small lag (Phone or laptop)
Do your devices support 5GHz? - a few of them do many probably not (old ipads, door sensors,) - don't know about my cameras (eufy 2c pro + doorbell)
What are your ISP speeds (up/down)? - 200 Mbit / 200 Mbit fiber.
What is your budget? about 100-150 EUR
What are the units in your attached drawing? - My current router on the right (level from ground = 2m) - and to the left where Im planning the new device on the attic
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have looked at the two top suggested routers: RT-AC86U and RT-AX86U

And are leaning towards this solution:

The price is double for the AX - so I wanna go with the AC86U at app. 134 EUR on sale.
Use my old AC68U as an extender / AP (from the attic) and connect the two with a lan cable - I guess that is where its either in mesh or media bridge mode ... (correct?)


Q&A
Why do you have the 5GHz band turned off? - I had some devices that couldn't decide which band to use and switched with a small lag (Phone or laptop)
Do your devices support 5GHz? - a few of them do many probably not (old ipads, door sensors,) - don't know about my cameras (eufy 2c pro + doorbell)
What are your ISP speeds (up/down)? - 200 Mbit / 200 Mbit fiber.
What is your budget? about 100-150 EUR
What are the units in your attached drawing? - My current router on the right (level from ground = 2m) - and to the left where Im planning the new device on the attic

Your options for using the old AC68U is to wire it as an AP, or wire/wireless it as an AiMesh remote node. Wireless Media Bridge is not an option because Media Bridge uses all of its WiFi for the backhaul and only connects wired LAN clients... streaming media clients that want a big steady pipe... I doubt you will have any of those in the attic... plus you want to extend WiFi coverage.

The AC86U has about 20% more effective WiFi coverage than the AC68U, attic not considered. Using a wired backhaul will help maximize their coverage because the AC68U will then not be the lowest common denominator limiting backhaul distance.

The AC68U does not support Smart Connect node band steering, so you should disable that on the new AC86U and set different SSIDs per band. This will also help your finicky wireless clients stay on one 5.0 SSID/band.

I would try wireless AiMesh first with Smart Connect disabled and different SSIDs per band. See how that performs with your clients BEFORE placing the AC68U in the attic. Then you'll know the difference in case wiring the AC68U in the attic is a downgrade.

If the attic gets hot, consider the AC68U operating temperature spec.

OE
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
Why do you have the 5GHz band turned off? - I had some devices that couldn't decide which band to use and switched with a small lag (Phone or laptop)
Assign the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands different names (SSIDs), and don't teach the balky devices the new name or password.

The tradeoffs are that 5GHz offers higher speeds but 2.4GHz has longer range. Use each one where its ability is most important.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
At double the price, the RT-AC86U is looking exceptionally good right now, even if the RT-AX86U is unmistakably superior. :)

Use the new RT-AC86U as your main router. In a wired backhaul setup, AiMesh v2.0 is highly recommended. Today, Asus stock firmware has a 'final', release, firmware with AiMesh v2.0.

I would suggest RMerlin 386.1 Beta 3 instead which is based on newer code. With either firmware you decide on, the following suggestions will give you a stable and reliable, AiMesh network.

New M&M 2020

With the main router set up and the network stable, follow the link below to get your RT-AC68U ready to join the network as an AiMesh v2.0 node.

Flash the same firmware (either Asus or RMerlin, but for the specific model you're flashing, of course) to the router and follow the steps below to prepare it.


When it has been fully reset, have it in the same room as the main router and from the main router's GUI, add it as an AiMesh node.

After it has been added, wait for at least 15 minutes before you unplug it and locate it where you want. Plugin the LAN cable from one of the main routers' LAN ports to the node's WAN port and power it on. After your AiMesh network has been running for at least 15 minutes in its new location, I would reboot the main router.

Wait for at least 15 minutes after the main router has rebooted.

Now, from the main router, go to the AiMesh tab (on the left-hand side of the GUI), click on the 'System Settings' tab, beside the 'Topology' tab. Turn on Ethernet Backhaul Mode.


What you should have right now is a network that is fast, stable, and reliable. With the main and first Guest Networks (on each band) propagated automatically to the AiMesh node you've set up.

With different SSID's for each band, you have full control of how the client devices will behave too. Only associate each client with the band you want it to have.

Your Fibre 200Mbps symmetrical up/down rates will be available at full speed (almost) everywhere in the home. And with the lowest latency possible too. :)
 

DKJasper

New Around Here
At double the price, the RT-AC86U is looking exceptionally good right now, even if the RT-AX86U is unmistakably superior. :)

Use the new RT-AC86U as your main router. In a wired backhaul setup, AiMesh v2.0 is highly recommended. Today, Asus stock firmware has a 'final', release, firmware with AiMesh v2.0.

I would suggest RMerlin 386.1 Beta 3 instead which is based on newer code. With either firmware you decide on, the following suggestions will give you a stable and reliable, AiMesh network.

New M&M 2020

With the main router set up and the network stable, follow the link below to get your RT-AC68U ready to join the network as an AiMesh v2.0 node.

Flash the same firmware (either Asus or RMerlin, but for the specific model you're flashing, of course) to the router and follow the steps below to prepare it.


When it has been fully reset, have it in the same room as the main router and from the main router's GUI, add it as an AiMesh node.

After it has been added, wait for at least 15 minutes before you unplug it and locate it where you want. Plugin the LAN cable from one of the main routers' LAN ports to the node's WAN port and power it on. After your AiMesh network has been running for at least 15 minutes in its new location, I would reboot the main router.

Wait for at least 15 minutes after the main router has rebooted.

Now, from the main router, go to the AiMesh tab (on the left-hand side of the GUI), click on the 'System Settings' tab, beside the 'Topology' tab. Turn on Ethernet Backhaul Mode.


What you should have right now is a network that is fast, stable, and reliable. With the main and first Guest Networks (on each band) propagated automatically to the AiMesh node you've set up.

With different SSID's for each band, you have full control of how the client devices will behave too. Only associate each client with the band you want it to have.

Your Fibre 200Mbps symmetrical up/down rates will be available at full speed (almost) everywhere in the home. And with the lowest latency possible too. :)


Thanks.

I have done this now (except for different name for 2,4 & 5 Ghz)
- same firmware on both (asus)
- turned off smart connect
- setup and reboot
- turned on backhaul

- - and it seems to work good .


- any last tweaks I need to consider ?


Thanks !
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks.

I have done this now (except for different name for 2,4 & 5 Ghz)
- same firmware on both (asus)
- turned off smart connect
- setup and reboot
- turned on backhaul

- - and it seems to work good .


- any last tweaks I need to consider ?


Thanks !

When some clients refuse to connect to the preferred WLAN/band, try setting different SSIDs per band and only connect them to the preferred SSID/WLAN/band. This will remove the uncertainty and improve client connection stability, and allow you to segment client traffic to separate WLANs/bands.

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@DKJasper, update the firmware to Beta 4 (or later, depending on when you see this) for even better performance. :)
 

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