Is a dedicated wireless backhaul better for a wireless bridge?

andy o

Occasional Visitor
I understand why it's better for "mesh" systems, which have repeaters, but my use case is to connect an AC86U as a media bridge (stock Asus firmware) to a R7800 as the main router. This AC68U will go behind the TV where I'll run Ethernet to several devices from it. Right now I have it connected as-is, as a media bridge directly to my main WiFi, but I'm getting disconnections every day or two which require a reboot on the R7800 (apparently disabling/enabling WiFi on the AC86U or even rebooting it doesn't work). I also have a Netgear R6250 which I was also getting disconnected when used as a bridge and I thought it was its fault, but apparently the R7800 has trouble keeping the wireless connected with both these routers as media bridges.

So I got me thinking I could connect one of them directly to the router via ethernet as a separate wireless backhaul and connect the media bridge to that. I'm gonna try it anyway, but it left me wondering if it would have been better to do it this way in the first place, speed-wise, the same way the main router in an Orbi system has a dedicated backhaul?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Dedicated backhaul usually provides higher bandwidth since your network STAs don't connect to it. But the backhaul still has to contend for airtime with surrounding networks using the same channel(s).
 

JHZR2

Occasional Visitor
I asked a similar question sometime back. I made a mesh system of an AX-58U and an AX-56U. My concern was if a WiFi backhaul would perform, and how important 160Mhz was relative to the backhaul.

what I found in the end was that the wireless backhaul wasn’t very reliable, but I was able to make it all very stable and work great through the deployment of a TP-link 1000AV powerline adapter.

Without the world backhaul, the routers would sometimes work, but sometimes lose the mesh. The connection would dynamically change between 2.4 and 5 GHz, and sometimes be lost. With the powerline adapters the connection is reliable (With the latest AV rated ones, I had borrowed some old slow ones to try before that and they weren’t worth the hassle).

I put up some graphics from tests I ran while getting it all to work here:

 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
@andy o Going back and re-reading your question, I'm confused. A simple diagram of your proposed connections would help.
 

andy o

Occasional Visitor
@andy o Going back and re-reading your question, I'm confused. A simple diagram of your proposed connections would help.
I think you got it correctly, it's a pretty simple setup. I have the R7800 as my main router, and from that I connect a bridge (either the AC68U or R6250) through the 5GHz band, which is shared with all my other STAs as you stated. From the bridge, I run ethernet to my PS3, Apple TV 4K and a Raspberry Pi. My question was if connecting the AC68U as an AP via ethernet to the R7800, and connect the R6250 as a bridge to the AC68U, would give me better speeds, and you're right that in that case it wouldn't share WiFi with my STAs. But since I live by myself I don't think it would make much of a difference most of the time.

My main reason for trying this is that the wireless between the R7800 and the bridge is what's getting disconnected every day or two. Have you heard any such problems with the R7800 btw? From searching I didn't find too much but I found issues with Netgear routers in general https://community.netgear.com/t5/Ni...es-not-reconnect-firmware-glitch/td-p/1083906. I have all the latest firmware installed in the 3 routers.

My router and bridge is all in the same living room a few meters away, the reason I didn't just run Ethernet is that there's a doorway in the way and I'm too lazy to properly wire the thing around it, and since I already got all these routers I thought I'd give a wifi bridge a try, but it's getting to be more complicated than expected and less reliable. I think I'm going to get a cheap switch, run ethernet, and be done with it. Thanks for the help.
 
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andy o

Occasional Visitor
Powerline
Thanks for the suggestion but I think Powerline would be overcomplicating things in my case. Also it seems from seeing reviews that even though you may get close to gigabit link speeds, real speeds are about 200 Mb/s in the better scenarios. My internet tops out at about 480 Mb/s, plus I transfer files and stream within the LAN, so I can always take advantage of higher speeds (up to what my hard drives can transfer). With the wireless bridge currently I'm getting a bit more than 500 Mb/s IIRC, which is acceptable, but like I said above, just getting off my butt and actually using a wired connection might solve all my problems, plus get me higher speed on my LAN.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Thanks for clarifying. In general, the R7800 is a solid four-stream AC router.

I use it as a reference router when developing new test methods or when something in a test starts acting wonky.

Before you change the current configuration, I'd try changing bands or channels to see if that helps. Remember that it's not just traffic from your own network that competes for airtime, but traffic from all neighboring networks on the same channel(s).

If you want a reliable, high-bandwidth connection, run Ethernet.
 

andy o

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the suggestion, I already ordered a switch cause I need more reliability anyway cause I'm running a VPN off the RPi.
 

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