I need a plan

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Michael Clifford

Occasional Visitor
I’ve lurked on this site for many years and, even after due diligence, have some questions. Please excuse the extensive elaboration.

I’ve just upgraded to a RT-AX86U, which replaced an AC68U. The former is still running stock firmware (3.0.0.4.386_41535)in the wireless router operational mode); the latter is running Merlin 384.5, now in AP mode.

This is a 3 story house. The equipment room is on the North end of the 3rd floor. Living quarters are on the South end on the second and first floors and diagonally opposite. There are steel beams and concrete in abundance. However, two new Cat 6 back haul lines were just installed to those living areas.

Currently, there’s on the main router a SID (M1) for the 2.4 radio and M2 for the 5 Ghz frequency. There are temporarily different SIDs for the AP, which is now on the first floor.

Now for my questions.

Should everything be migrated to a mesh system? (we don’t roam much).

What would be the plan and migration path, and which software?

What would be the arrangement with the SIDs? Currently there are four.

Will migrating to mesh wipe out DHCP reservations and port forwarding? I had a devil of a time moving these over to the AX86U.

Last, what do you think is the future of Guest networks using the mesh software?

I need a plan. Any help is appreciated.



Thanks in advance.

mjclifford
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I’ve lurked on this site for many years and, even after due diligence, have some questions. Please excuse the extensive elaboration.

I’ve just upgraded to a RT-AX86U, which replaced an AC68U. The former is still running stock firmware (3.0.0.4.386_41535)in the wireless router operational mode); the latter is running Merlin 384.5, now in AP mode.

This is a 3 story house. The equipment room is on the North end of the 3rd floor. Living quarters are on the South end on the second and first floors and diagonally opposite. There are steel beams and concrete in abundance. However, two new Cat 6 back haul lines were just installed to those living areas.

Currently, there’s on the main router a SID (M1) for the 2.4 radio and M2 for the 5 Ghz frequency. There are temporarily different SIDs for the AP, which is now on the first floor.

Now for my questions.

Should everything be migrated to a mesh system? (we don’t roam much).

What would be the plan and migration path, and which software?

What would be the arrangement with the SIDs? Currently there are four.

Will migrating to mesh wipe out DHCP reservations and port forwarding? I had a devil of a time moving these over to the AX86U.

Last, what do you think is the future of Guest networks using the mesh software?

I need a plan. Any help is appreciated.



Thanks in advance.

mjclifford

Should everything be migrated to a mesh system? (we don’t roam much).

Only if you want to try it. I would.

What would be the plan and migration path, and which software?

Install current firmware, reset it, configure the router from scratch, and add the AiMesh node using Ethernet Backhaul Mode to free up the WiFi for client use.

What would be the arrangement with the SIDs? Currently there are four.

Use different SSIDs per band. The AC68U does not support Smart Connect band steering. You'll have two SSIDs across all nodes.

Will migrating to mesh wipe out DHCP reservations and port forwarding? I had a devil of a time moving these over to the AX86U.

Yes, the reset will. I'd keep it simple.

Last, what do you think is the future of Guest networks using the mesh software?

Guest1 WLANs sync to and broadcast from all nodes and issue *.*.101.* IPs or something like that.

There is no mesh software... the same router firmware is used whether you use AiMesh or not.

OE
 
Last edited:

PDinDetroit

Regular Contributor
I have a longer house on a corner lot, so I run more routers to cover off "perceived" signal issues.

I have an AX88U at point of presence in the basement that runs as an AiMesh Router with Diversion and Skynet. I have an AX88U AiMesh Node in the Living Room on 1st floor at one end of the house and an AC86U Mesh Node in the 2nd floor office at the other end. All are running Merlin 386.1_2 using Ethernet backhaul. I have main 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless LANs and Guest 1 for IoT 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless LANs (192.168.101.0/24 and 192.168.102.0/24). The Guest 1 Networks are across AiMesh Router and all AiMesh Nodes.

It just works well for our needs. Devices have 1 wireless LAN connection and move to an AiMesh node or router as needed.
 

Michael Clifford

Occasional Visitor
What would be the arrangement with the SIDs? Currently there are four.

Use different SSIDs per band. The AC68U does not support Smart Connect band steering. You'll have two SSIDs across all nodes.


OE

So let me get this straight. Here's a table of the existing temporary SIDs

Freq Router Name
2.4 AX86U M1
5 AX86U M2
2.4 AC68U M1AP
5 A68U M2AP

You're saying boil this down to M1 and M2 for both routers?

Regards,

mjclifford
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
So let me get this straight. Here's a table of the existing temporary SIDs

Freq Router Name
2.4 AX86U M1
5 AX86U M2
2.4 AC68U M1AP
5 A68U M2AP

You're saying boil this down to M1 and M2 for both routers?
Correct. This Is The Way.
AiMesh makes router and node cooperate to automagically provide one coherent wifi bubble.
As soon as the AC68 is differentiated by the software as a node to follow the AX86, you no longer have 2 routers with different SSIDs, but a router and its node operating harmoniously.
that should save you some iptables headaches
(now try putting every device that is capable on the 5GHz...)
 

GHammer

Senior Member
If you are running Merlin firmware currently, install YazDHCP and your static DHCP assignments will be downloadable and restorable to any router running Merlin and YazDHCP.

An excellent addition to my router. Static assignments were the thing that made me hesitate to factory reset a router.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
So let me get this straight. Here's a table of the existing temporary SIDs

Freq Router Name
2.4 AX86U M1
5 AX86U M2
2.4 AC68U M1AP
5 A68U M2AP

You're saying boil this down to M1 and M2 for both routers?

Regards,

mjclifford

AiMesh is allegedly a mesh system, not discrete APs wired together and separately configured.

So yes, your ssid24 and ssid50 will broadcast from all radios/nodes (APs) in the AiMesh system.

If all of your routers/nodes supported Smart Connect band steering, you could also try using just one ssid. I try this often but always seem to prefer using different SSIDs per band with my clients... it's a scrunch more predictable/reliable.

And you don't have to boil anything... configure the AiMesh router like you always do and it will automatically configure every AiMesh remote node you add to it. (AiMesh will use the same channels across all nodes.)

OE
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
AiMesh is allegedly a mesh system, not discrete APs wired together and separately configured.

So yes, your ssid24 and ssid50 will broadcast from all radios/nodes (APs) in the AiMesh system.

If all of your routers/nodes supported Smart Connect band steering, you could also try using just one ssid. I try this often but always seem to prefer using different SSIDs per band with my clients... it's a scrunch more predictable/reliable.

And you don't have to boil anything... configure the AiMesh router like you always do and it will automatically configure every AiMesh remote node you add to it. (AiMesh will use the same channels across all nodes.)

OE
I've also found it better/easier to have an SSID for the 2.4 and a different one for the 5GHz bands.

And to the OP - it's not a matter of devices roaming in my opinion, it's a matter of claiming your slice of the aether, especially in populated neighbourhoods; if you can stake a claim to yours then everyone around you knows what to avoid. that's easier (kinder?) with one contiguous piece of air than 2 separate pieces, I believe. you may even find incrementally improved battery life in your devices.
 

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