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Is the ASUS AX6600 XT8 the right choice for me?

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I want to thank @Tech9 who raised a great question in another thread. I wanted to start over in this forum as maybe I have made a mistake purchasing the ASUS AX6600.... but i can return.

I'm looking to upgrade from Orbi RBR50 and was originally trying to upgrade in order to separate my ever growing list of IoT devices. Any suggestions to get best bang for buck on reliable setup and adequate performance? I'm looking for something that covers 8000 sq feet, 3 floors. Kids are upstairs and each have gaming systems (XBOX, XBOX, PLAYSTATION 5) and they. have a shared movie room. So third floor is pretty much gaming and streaming... not a lot of homework (lol).

The main and lower floors are used for office, multiple streaming TVs and did I mention the large and growing 2.4 GHz IoT devices?

Right now I have the AX setup in AI MESH and have performed config changes below. I'm not able to generate enough traffic on WAN interface to get above 1GB even though I'm currently subscribed to 2.5 Gbps from ATT with BGW320-500. In addition kids are complaining that they are seeing glitches/choppy while gaming. Especially when hitting ball in MLB show.

I like the ASUS Gui.. and AiMesh was easy but if I can get better performance with Router/Bridge combo that will work as well. Open to anything that works!

Config changes from default:

  1. Go to the “WAN” tab and assign DNS server -> manually add cloud flare and
  2. Go to the “Wireless” tab and set following for 2.4 GHz:
    1. SSID -> XXXXXXX
    2. Wireless Mode -> Disable 802.11b
    3. Channel bandwidth -> 20 MHz
    4. Control Channel -> 06
  3. Go to the “Wireless” tab and set following for 5 GHz-1:
    1. SSID -> XXXXXXX_5G
    2. Wireless Mode -> N/AC/AX mixed
    3. Channel bandwidth -> 80 MHz
  4. Go to the “Wireless” tab and set following for 5 GHz-2:
    1. SSID -> XXXXXXX_5G-2
    2. Channel bandwidth -> 160 MHz
    3. Control Channel -> 149 and verify boxes are NOT checked for auto select DFS/U-NII-4
  5. Go to the “LAN” and Host Name -> ZenWiFi_XT8-MASTER
  6. Go to the “Wireless” -> “Professional” tab and disable Universal Beamforming on ALL Bands
  7. Go to the “AiMesh” -> “Management” click on all Nodes separately and set Backhaul Connection Priority -> 5GHz-2 WiFi First
  8. Go to the “AiMesh” -> “Management” click on all Nodes separately and set Preferred WiFi Uplink AP -> ZenWifi AX MASTER


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I'll leave this thread to other folks. I know no good consumer solution for wireless "mesh" in a house like this and with 2.5Gbps ISP line.
You didn't say which F/W release you are running; that is (sadly) a critical element with these things, because each release ASUS has come out with has a distinct set of bugs. So you might try some other releases. The config changes you mention seem reasonable.

There's a bigger problem though: covering 8000 sq ft over 3 floors with a single access point seems hopelessly optimistic. It is likely that you are getting very poor signal for devices far from the AP, and that drags down performance for all your devices, as the ones on the edge hog airtime with often-failing retransmits. You probably need more APs. I'd suggest getting a wifi scanner app and checking what the signal strength is throughout the house. (I like NetSpot Pro for making coverage maps, though others might have better suggestions.)

If you do get more APs, ASUS would love to sell you more XT8s and have you run them in a "mesh", but frankly I counsel against that. I dearly regret having been led down that path. Buying router-grade hardware and using it as a simple AP is not cost effective, plus AIMesh is just too darn buggy. I think you have a big enough problem to justify buying SMB-grade gear. I've had good luck with Zyxel APs, while others around here recommend Ubiquiti or Omada. Evan McCann has a lot of good reviews of gear in this performance class.
that is (sadly) a critical element with these things

I was hoping you see this thread and provide your opinion. @dingos have 3x XT8 units in wireless AiMesh.

I also believe consumer gear is not the right choice for this property and future expansion plans, but I don't know what's the budget.

The other thread is here:

Ah, I'd not seen that other thread. 3x XT8 have way better chance of covering that much area than one ... but they may yet not be enough, depending on factors like the interior-wall materials and just where you placed the APs. I still recommend doing a site survey with something that can measure the wifi signal level in the corners of each room. I'm also wondering if the setup is wired or wireless backhaul. Wireless backhaul is easy but it absolutely does not lead to peak performance.

My suspicion that this task is a bit beyond the capabilities of XT8s remains unchanged.
@Tech9 thanks for adding @tgl - Yes, I'm running 3 XT8s in AiMesh. I'm going to look at NetSpot Pro to walk the house and gauge. I'm also using the 5 GHz-2 dedicated to backhaul and have configured both nodes as follows:
  1. Go to the “AiMesh” -> “Management” click on all Nodes separately and set Backhaul Connection Priority -> 5GHz-2 WiFi First
  2. Go to the “AiMesh” -> “Management” click on all Nodes separately and set Preferred WiFi Uplink AP -> ZenWifi AX MASTER
The Master is the Router that is attached to the AT&T Internet device. It's in a closet in the center of the house. The closet is directly across from staircase that leads to third floor and other than closet door I have under 35 feet right to the upstairs node. I've located the 3 node directly below the Master in the center of the basement.

For what it's worth the GUI shows I have GREAT! connections to both nodes.

I didn't build the house... and their is some type of wired cabling in the closet. I plan to investigate what type of CAT it is and where the Z ends come out tomorrow to provide an alternative to WiFi backhaul. I'm not sold on these XT8s and can send them back thanks to Amazon Prime. So if anything comes to mind on what I should check out... feels like I should move away from AiMesh and back to a more traditional AP/Node configuration anyways.


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Give XT8 another chance, but forget about 2.5Gbps ISP line. If XT8 works in acceptable for you way and better than your previous Orbi set - downgrade your ISP line to Gigabit and save your money. Your Internet user experience won't change. Your downloads and speed tests only will be up to Gigabit. It's more than enough for family use. If you really want 2.5Gbps capable and reliable "set and forget" LAN and up to about 1.7Gbps* on Wi-Fi with multiple clients support capacity - the cost of this project will be in thousands. You have to set realistic expectations.

* - only if 160MHz is usable in your area, with 160MHz wide channel support client and relatively close to an Access Point.
@Tech9 The good news as I explained above is that the Master and Nodes are in the middle of house and 160 MHz is functioning for the dedicated backhaul with no issues. I have config parameters in earlier thread. All seems well with the coverage areas (again I got lucky) to where the most activity in the house is fine.

The only issues is the choppy/lag complaints from kids while playing on gaming systems. I personally see a little chop when for instance a ball is hit in the MLB show. What's strange is it doesn't appear to be bandwidth related... the only thing I can think of is latency but can't seem to nail it down.

Per another excellent recommendation I can back off on the 2.5 Gbps and back down to 1 G. I really only did to get the free router upgrade that AT&T provides and their tech did an amazing job of removing the copper connections that were installed (i was an early adopter of ATT fiber in area in 2017) and now it's all fiber. But I can definitely downgrade after a month. I truly don't need or require 1G.

Any ideas on latency? Other than maybe the processing power in the XT8's might just be a pinch to small? or maybe it's not even latency.. just a DOY novice reading a lot of threads.
Any ideas on latency?
One of the issues with wireless backhaul is that it's only as good as your backhaul channel is interference-free. Have you checked whether any of your neighbors are using the same channel? (Again, wifi scanner app is invaluable.)
The only issues is the choppy/lag complaints from kids while playing on gaming systems.

I'm not a gamer and can't comment on games performance. What I know is games depend on how fast the server they connect to is. You have no control over remote server latency no matter what equipment you have. The whole Gaming thing around home routers is mostly marketing. Asus knows consumer users know little about how things work and name different settings with fancy names. Gear Accelerator is enabling QoS. Open NAT is port forwarding.

Have you checked whether any of your neighbors are using the same channel?

On a 3-band router there is no much of a choice.
@tgl I purchased the scan software and have started scanning. Here is the initial scan of what the environment looks like. @Tech9 My one son on his XBOX plays a lot of Rainbow 6 and they have built a latency chart into the game. My son claims it used to around 9-10 with Orbi RBR50 and now it's 20-80 and varies quite frequently. Again the throughput is consistently over 150Mbps... peaks at 350Mbps so don't believe that is the issue.

BTW I'm a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder... so please don't hold that against me.


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My son claims it used to around 9-10 with Orbi RBR50 and now it's 20-80 and varies quite frequently.

I had one Netgear RBR50 set before. It was a beast for range and the "mesh" was better than what I've seen from AiMesh. Not sure if Broadcom XT8 is exactly an upgrade coming from Qualcomm RBR50. I never test with any games though and I don't know what to expect.
@tgl Here is the main floor with Netspot coverage.... I wanted to check before doing upstairs on what I should be looking for? I've tried to upload the PDF for the survey but it's too large.


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Hmm, so, a few reactions:

* I'm from Pittsburgh, but we can agree to disagree on sports matters.

* Doesn't look like you have too much of a problem with wifi-using neighbors -- pretty strong signal from your one Netgear-using neighbor, but you can be happy that there's only one. I take it from your coverage map that those "offong" SSIDs are actually your own equipment. I question the safety of allowing them to be completely open, but that's not relevant to your performance issues. I do suggest backing them down to 20MHz channels, though. Anything that wants more bandwidth than that has no business being 2.4GHz-only.

* The coverage map shows that your three ASUS APs are quite close together. I wonder if spreading them out more would improve matters. There's not many hard-and-fast answers in this area, but if there are any other plausible places to put them, please experiment.
@tgl why did it have to be Pittsburgh? oh well :)

I was taking yesterday and today to clean the wireless. The hidden SSID was actually my old ORBI RBR50s that i forgot to power down when putting the Asus XT8s in. The "offongs" where IoT plugs that I was configuring for HomeKit but got distracted with XT8s so i just unplugged for now. I do plan to move the IoT devices to CLEBROWNS which will be 2.4 Ghz and per suggestion will look at 20 MHz and put all my home devices and streaming on CLEBROWNS_5G once i get things tuned.

I tried spreading the XT8 out but was forced to take the backhaul CLEBROWNS_5G-2 from 160 MHz to 80 MHz to get a good signal. But I saw no performance improvement and actually lost dBm from the XBOX and Playstations. upstairs.

I also went against @Tech9 advice and bought a RP-AX58. It was easy to add to mesh but I put it right under Playstation and the playstation still chose the XT8 path. I forced the Playstation to use the AX58 and it wouldn't even play games because of weak signal. So... I don't consider a waste of time but more a learning lesson...

I'm out with kids activities this afternoon but plan to investigate hardwire options tonight along with been really excited about the AXE-7800 as potential replacement for the XT8s. If nothing else it will give me more processing power and will determine if I keep the XT8s or swap for the AXE-7800.


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along with been really excited about the AXE-7800 as potential replacement for the XT8s

You're going down the trial and error path with another weak hardware unpopular model with one 2x2 6E band and even lower range and wall penetration when used as backhaul. Looks like you have a lot of free time for experiments and hardware exchanges. I'm going to sit back and watch the show.
Any suggestion on the “right” setup other than wired connections? And yes… recently retired so I do have a little time on my hands but would like to put this little project behind me and get outside :).

What should I be looking for in system where 2.4G has good coverage for IoT and 5GHz has ample bandwidth and low latency (and goes through walls) for streaming and gaming systems? I’m researching cabling but there was little complaints on the ORBI RBR 50 game playing side. I guess I could always put them back in for 5G and just go cheap for a separate 2.4G IoT system?

Again - open to any guidance as my trial and error path has probably been explored thousands of times :).
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Consumer "mesh" systems are dead end project. Once you jump over 3x wireless units problems start to appear. This is perhaps the reason most are sold in up to 3-pack sets. More than that - use at your own risk. You have 4x devices already in wireless AiMesh and the performance is going only down. At one point you'll reach something I call "classic AiMess situation" and you'll come back with more questions. This time past your hardware return windows.
I’m seeing that now. But - what is the alternative?

I thought the AXE-7800 would be better for my situation if cabling isn’t option:

The one 2x2 6E band would be good for my case because right above each other less than 35 feet; but would give more on the 5 GHz where the Streaming and gaming counsels play. Plus more cpu….

I can try those, keep the XT8s…. Or what is the alternative?
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Since in your case I can't recommend any consumer solution, I see two options:

1) use what's available on the shelves and accept the inconveniences it comes with
2) call a professional for assessment and ask for a quote based on your requirements

Your 8000sqft house, perhaps the property around, plans for growing IoTs and wireless clients, gaming low latency requirements... it's a challenge. With some luck you may find something working acceptably well, but there are other options. MoCA adapters are popular in North America for a reason, for example. Someone who knows has to come to your place, take a look what you already have and suggest available options. This is the only way to solve the issue for good and fully enjoy your free time after. I've done a project with external cable runs around a big brick and concrete house, another hint. I've seen shooting Wi-Fi with directional APs from outside a house. Nothing is impossible. It all depends what's the budget and how bad you want it.

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