[Maylyn - Networking] ASUS ZenWiFi XT8

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

slud

New Around Here
What? I thought only channels and power were regulated and not channel width.

From Dongknows review:

High-speed backhaul band, no 160MHz channel support for clients
Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 WiFi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 WiFi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for WiFi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, WiFi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while WiFi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.
 

sanke1

Senior Member
From Dongknows review:

High-speed backhaul band, no 160MHz channel support for clients
Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 WiFi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 WiFi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for WiFi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, WiFi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while WiFi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.
So not country restricted as I thought. Here it may be power and transmission issue to not include 160 Mhz for front-haul........ Or pure planned obsolescence strategy.
 

Sonystyle44

Occasional Visitor
From Dongknows review:

High-speed backhaul band, no 160MHz channel support for clients
Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 WiFi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 WiFi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for WiFi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, WiFi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while WiFi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.

I understand this limitation now. My XT8 mesh 5G-1 channel will go up to 80 Mhz 1201 Mbps max. Glad to know its working perfectly.

Only my AX-11000 can do 4804 Mbps @ 160 Mhz on the 5G-1 band.
 

Robertus

Occasional Visitor
Sorry to be clear - what I want is 160mhz for the backhaul, which sounds like it should be available in the UK.
 

frankhere

Occasional Visitor
FYI.... AMAZON shows
ASUS ZenWiFi AX available on 1-23-2020


UPDATE - Jan 30th edit)
Amazon - in stock Feb 6th 2020
Took delivery on the AX8 on Thursday (Feb 7) and have been running on the unit for 3 days:
1. Easy-pezzy setup
2. Great performance ( I have ~ 15 node network)
3. Great speed ; I use 1 XPS 13 Dell notebook with Killer wifi AX1650w card and it responds quite nicely in the mesh network.
4. I also have 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz devices and all work fine.

So far the Zenwifi meets the expectation i.e. ease of use, speed, etc.
 

HDGuy

Occasional Visitor
It's available on Amazon in the US and some other etailers.

No multi-gig wireless lan is lamentable but I suppose I can upgrade again when I get to that point.

My main question is:

I assume since it uses the standard Asus firmware that I can set this up in a wireless media-bridge config? Will it use the AX band as the dedicated backhaul for it?

I ask because I live in a former school (brick) which can't be wired and I use a mish-mash of routers set up in a wireless bridge config. I have no use for a mesh setup because my apartment is too small. But I would like faster speeds into my bedroom.

Using mainly to feed a NAS in my closet for a couple of 4k TVs in my apartment.

I use a Mikrotik wireless wire to send a signal across my livingroom (I get a full 1GB out of it) and a AC86U as my main router to a Linksys 3200AC in my bedroom as a wireless bridge. Yes I know it's a weird setup but it's what I have and it mostly works. The Linksys is crap or I'd use it as my main router. The AC86U is much more reliable.
 

doeboy

Regular Contributor
From Dongknows review:

High-speed backhaul band, no 160MHz channel support for clients
Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 WiFi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 WiFi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for WiFi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, WiFi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while WiFi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.


What sucks is that if you use a wired backhaul like I do you still do not get the 5GHz-2 band back to use for clients. It remains reserved for backhaul in case your wired backhaul fails. I think they could program it to give you your 2nd 5GHz network back and have a fail over if your ethernet backhaul fails. That is the way the new Alien routers from Amplifi does it.
 

GBear

New Around Here
What sucks is that if you use a wired backhaul like I do you still do not get the 5GHz-2 band back to use for clients. It remains reserved for backhaul in case your wired backhaul fails. I think they could program it to give you your 2nd 5GHz network back and have a fail over if your ethernet backhaul fails. That is the way the new Alien routers from Amplifi does it.
doeboy, I just had a comment exchange with Dong about this and learned what most here probably know already: With AIMesh enabled on any tri-band ASUS router, SmartConnect only then works for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz-1 bands. If you use wired backhaul, you can set up 5GHz-2 for use by clients as a separate network that is not part of the SmartConnect group.

I, too, wish it were implemented differently; perhaps more knowledgeable people here know why it was done this way (easier to be consistent in AIMesh systems with mixed dual- and tri-band routers?). If there's not a good reason, maybe ASUS will fix it.
 

doeboy

Regular Contributor
doeboy, I just had a comment exchange with Dong about this and learned what most here probably know already: With AIMesh enabled on any tri-band ASUS router, SmartConnect only then works for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz-1 bands. If you use wired backhaul, you can set up 5GHz-2 for use by clients as a separate network that is not part of the SmartConnect group.

I, too, wish it were implemented differently; perhaps more knowledgeable people here know why it was done this way (easier to be consistent in AIMesh systems with mixed dual- and tri-band routers?). If there's not a good reason, maybe ASUS will fix it.

Yeah I saw the 5GHz-2 channel as well, but its not a seamless as AiMesh to do it this way. Right now I changed the node (AC-5300) into AP mode instead of AiMesh, made both SSID's the same and can use all 3 bands on both my AX11000 and AC5300. It works, but AiMesh should really allow you to use the 2nd 5GHz band by default and do an automatic fail over to it if the ethernet backhaul drops. Don't think it would be hard to bandsteer them when it has to fail over to a wireless backhaul when the ethernet drops. Just my opinion though.
 

Fwiler

Occasional Visitor
From Dongknows review:

High-speed backhaul band, no 160MHz channel support for clients
Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 WiFi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 WiFi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for WiFi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, WiFi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while WiFi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.

If you read the entire article, he said he contacted Asus and they confirmed in a firmware update that 160MHz would be available to clients.
 

HDGuy

Occasional Visitor
If you read the entire article, he said he contacted Asus and they confirmed in a firmware update that 160MHz would be available to clients.
That's great.

I currently have a AC86U running the Merlin firmware. Somehow I feel like this will be sort of a downgrade. I really wish the XT8 supported >1GB wireless mesh/bridging. I'm kind of bummed there are no >1GB LAN ports on it. My NAS is limited to 1GB right now, but I'm sure that will change in time. The XT8 seems like it's obsolete already.

That said it is still the most affordable wifi6 mesh setup right now with the most options so I'm still tempted to pick up a pair. Could someone please confirm the wireless bridging feature (I've seen the option in the firmware) can actually handle the higher speeds and how it's setup? (dedicated backhaul) I tried contacting Asus directly and nobody I spoke to knew anything about it.

$450 is kind of expensive for me to buy something just to test.
 

frankhere

Occasional Visitor
Simple question:

Looking at my ZenWifi Router I see " Signature Version" under firmware version shown below.
This is new to me ( as a past Netgear router user).
Can some one explain what this is and how it may differ from a general Firmware version update?

Thanks!


( edited: removed pic to save space )
 
Last edited:

frankhere

Occasional Visitor
If you read the entire article, he said he contacted Asus and they confirmed in a firmware update that 160MHz would be available to clients.
Per your quote, here is Dong's verbiage:
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The signature version is the actual signature version of AiProtect that the router is currently using. I've learned to ignore the 'date' part because it never seems to advance to 'today's date' when an update happens.

The firmware version is the x.x.x.x.386.x that is the more important version here. :)

I'm curious to know what the v386.x version will bring to the RT-AX88U and any other supported routers?
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
I'm curious to know what the v386.x version will bring to the RT-AX88U and any other supported routers?

Not every new features of 386 are available yet to the XT8, as these features aren't finalized yet, so what the XT8 got right now is just a "preview" of what 386 will offer to various devices later on.
 

HDGuy

Occasional Visitor
Been out for a while now, any long term impressions? Interested in picking up a pair but it looks like the firmware is still a work in progress?
 

BatJoe

Regular Contributor
Been out for a while now, any long term impressions? Interested in picking up a pair but it looks like the firmware is still a work in progress?

Its their best out of the box Mesh they have made. However, I had issues. I don't like the limited 160mhz support. The 2.5g port on the extra node would drop out. ASUS is aware of it. I tested a beta firmware, didn't fix the problem.

I ended up going back to my Orbi. It actually had more range and more consistent performance. AX routers and devices need to mature.
 

slud

New Around Here
I've had the mesh in place for a few days with wireless backhaul. Initial impressions:
  • The setup was brief and simple
  • The speeds from main & node are excellent
  • The range is very good but not groundbreaking
  • Some small niggles which were easily rectified (PC connected to 2.5g port on node kept dropping connection, connected to Lan1 there were no dropouts)
  • The Asus router software and app is comprehensive
  • USB port on node cannot be used, only on main
I think as it stands, it's very good and will hopefully improve a little in terms of features & reliability with future firmware updates.
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top