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Help: What is the best asus router below $250 that has great antennas and would only serve as an AI Mesh node

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jomsjoms

Occasional Visitor
I currently have an Asus GT-AX6000 (but ill eventually get an Asus GTX-AX16000). Anyway, for simplicity's sake, let's say I have the AX6000 connected wirelessly to an Asus XT8 but the problem is, the signal isn't that good due to 2 to 3 concrete walls between them. (I will have them wired in a year or so) but until then, I would like to change the XT8 to another Asus router which has much better antennas.

In this regard, what would you recommend that will serve as a very good AI Mesh node that has great antennas strength/range and can pierce through walls better than others? Budget is around $250 and i'd only be using it as an AI Mesh node so all the bells and whistles are not as important. What really matters is signal strength and coverage.

Thanks.
 
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Great antennae are negated by 2 to 3 concrete walls.

Not recommended today, but the RT-AC3100 had absolutely the best range of any Asus router I have ever had or tested. But I don't have concrete walls and neither do my customers.
 
Thanks for recommendation but it appears that the RT-AC3100 isn't available anymore here in the Philippines.

I'm currently looking at the Asus RT-AX1800HP as it has long antennas. Im not sure though how well it performs in terms of antenna strength. Have you had any experience with the Asus RT-AX1800HP ?

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I'm also looking at the Asus TUF AX5400 which has 6 antennas and within the budget. Any idea if this has better range than the AX1800HP ?


1701990044495.png
 
The size of the plastic doesn't indicate the size of the antennae.

If these are 2 or 3 dBm antennae (as they should be for a router), they will not fare well.

If any of the routers are 4x4:4 setups, then they may have slightly better reach (most likely, the same reach, but higher throughput at that same distance).

This is not the solution you will find usable.

Time to look into wiring these up.
 
The size of the plastic doesn't indicate the size of the antennae.

If these are 2 or 3 dBm antennae (as they should be for a router), they will not fare well.

If any of the routers are 4x4:4 setups, then they may have slightly better reach (most likely, the same reach, but higher throughput at that same distance).

This is not the solution you will find usable.

Time to look into wiring these up.
yes i will be wiring it up in the future but there are still plans for some renovation and stuff which will happen so during the meantime, id like to get a better wifi router that can help with range. Any recommendations? Thanks
 
Ive been reading around and it seems that it might be best to get either another GT-AX6000 as node or perhaps the AX86U. (Im leaning more towards the AX6000). It appears that the AX6000 wireless range is much better than the TUF AX5400.
 
I would test both the GT-AX6000 and the RT-AX88U Pro in your environment. The latter has the potential for (much) longer support than the former, today.
 
I would test both the GT-AX6000 and the RT-AX88U Pro in your environment. The latter has the potential for (much) longer support than the former, today.

Thanks, ill check out AX88U and if its available here in the Philippines.
 
By the way, im just wondering, will using the GT-AX6000 or RT-AX88U Pro as node be better than using the Zenwifi XT8/XT9/XT12 ? What is the advantage/disadvantage of the former against the latter and vice versa? Thanks.
 
Given the 2 to 3 concrete walls, the XT12 may give you the most usable signal to the clients as it has three radios with a 4x4:4 RF design (at least for one of the 5GHz bands), and 10 antennae total.


The XT8 and XT9 are much lower spec'd 6 antennae designs with a single 5GHz band that will sharply decrease the available throughput (half of the maximum possible with the second node added, an additional half of that total with a third node added (assuming full utilization of the first node, of course).

Of course, the CPU and RAM is superior in the XT12 (double the RAM for both of the other models, and while the XT8 doesn't specify any CPU specs, both the lower models have a 36W total PS. While the much more powerful XT12 is rated for 45W (25% more).

The specs don't mean much on their own though. I've never used (and never will) any ZenWiFi products (the bands and the radios don't match, making this a great marketing push, rather than great hardware).

But again, in your situation, at least theoretically, the XT12 has the greatest chance of punching through those walls. But you would need at least two, and it sounds like three is better if you really want even signal strength and coverage over the entire area(s) you want lit up with WiFi.

You will not be able to do this on a $250 budget. That is a given.

Move up the schedule to wire up the rooms you want the best coverage in. Much less cost overall, much less need for an expensive/gimmicky tri-radio router (for wireless backhaul). And it will give you superior results immediately (with your current setup).

Btw, what are your ISP speeds, up/down?
 
Yes, at those ISP speeds (and the obvious 'want' to fully utilize them), you need the best consumer hardware available today. But even that hardware is limited by concrete.

Buy the cable. Lay it out (on the floor), connect the two routers LAN (main router) to WAN (node), and see what you're missing.
 
The XT8 and XT9 are much lower spec'd 6 antennae designs with a single 5GHz band that will sharply decrease the available throughput (half of the maximum possible with the second node added, an additional half of that total with a third node added (assuming full utilization of the first node, of course).
WTF? A single 5GHz band? Really? As opposed to what, multiple 5GHz bands? Hahaha

You're really hatin' on them XT8s & 9s. I can't say how they'd work as discussed in this thread, but know how extremely well they work for me. The (my) GT-AX6000 radio ain't got nothing on the XT8's 5-2 in the channels they have in common. The GT will tune lower in the band but the XT will go higher, here where I live, for an inter-unit 160MHz DFS-free time of it, if so desired. Though that's possibly moot in the Philippines, and especially through concrete which may well have some internal steel content.

Personally, I'd make use of my 5/8" x 12" long rotary hammer bit in a conduit-free area (after ruling out presence of a pass-through conduit already available - who cares if the ethernet cable shares it with mains wiring). Short of that or passing a wire out one window and back in another, I guess maybe some kind of directional wireless link kit used as if it were an ethernet connection between the routers might work, too, but must certainly cost at least several hundred bucks.

@jomsjoms - exactly how is your current setup working for you?
 

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