Multiple Tri-Band Routers Setup Question

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New Around Here
I'm a big fan of Asus and own a lot of their routers. Here's my current setup
  1. GT-AX11000 router (tri-band). 5Ghz-2 is hidden used as backhaul
  2. RT-AC88AC AiMesh node wired connected
  3. RT-AC88AC AiMesh node wired connected
  4. RT-AC5300 AiMesh node wirelessly connected on the 5Ghz-2 band
  5. RT-AC68U AiMesh noed wirelessly connected
I have between 40-50 devices connected at any given time and each AiMesh node has a bunch of devices connected on LAN (XBox, TVs, Roku boxes, desktop computer etc.). The RT-AC5300 has most of the wireless devices connected to it given its location (family room). In my household we have 5 devices that support AX (three iPhone 11 and 2 Surface Laptop 3s). I would say that before AiMesh (and before I had the GT-AX1100 as it hadn't been released), I had my smaller nodes as wireless bridges for my streaming devices to work best, however the myriad of 2.4 Ghz IoT devices in my house would often lose connection, so AiMesh has really been a saver for me.

I ordered a second GT-AX11000 (mainly to get one node use 5GHz-2 band, not a good reason why, but maybe I retire the old RT-AC68U if the AiMesh network gets too congested) and I wonder how I should set it up. It's backordered on NewEgg, looks to be hard to find. For example, I'm thinking of two options:
  1. Have it as a wired node replacing one of the RT-AC88AC. This way I would have two wireless AX bands for this as a node
  2. Have it be wirelessly connected and replace the RT-AC5300 in the family room where most devices are connected. It will use the second 5Ghz AX band for backhaul and make only one AX band available for devices. Then the existing AC-5300 replaces one RT-AC88AC and is wired and both its 5Ghz AC bands are enabled.


New Around Here
Which is why I'm considering retiring some of them (at least the RT-AC68U). So, if I get the second the GT-AX11000, any thoughts if I should hook it up wired or wirelessly?


New Around Here
Will do. So you'd rather have the second GT-AX11000 wired to enable its two bands, and keep the RT-AC5300 in place which will continue to have more wireless devices connected to it (assuming that the large range of the GT-AX11000 won't draw more devices to it). BTW, I assume that I can't use the 2.5G port to connect the two, right?

Regarding the planning the WiFi coverage, how do I do that effectively? Not sure what tools to use to measure and "map" the terrain. I couldn't find an iPhone or a Windows 10 app that do just it, so if you can recommend one, I'd welcome it.


Part of the Furniture
4000 SqFt on a single floor? Even that would be too much RF fighting over itself. :)

How big is the back yard? What devices and activities on those devices do you normally use out there?


New Around Here
I understand that I may be overprovisioned here, the main question I had was if I had 2 GT-AX11000 and 1 RT-AC5300 and only one of them can be wired and the other wireless then which one should I use. I'm happy to retire everything else and sell them :). I am using the Helge Keck analyzing tool and it's very revealing. Basically it show that my nodes are between -65dBm and -78dBm away from the router on the 5GHz bands and -50dBm and -60dBm on the 2.4 GHz band


Part of the Furniture
I don't think anyone can tell you one will be better than the other. You will need to test in your actual network/WiFi environment with your particular usage and client devices. :)

Instead of setting them up in wireless AiMesh, I would be using the 'extra' RT-AC68U in bridge mode and move as many wireless devices as possible off the air. :)

I would also be trying very hard to make the main router as central as possible first too. And then using a single additional wired AiMesh node, if needed.

The Helge Keck analyzing tool is great. Don't use it. :)

Put the routers where they perform best. The analyzer won't tell you where that is. :)

Time to sweat a little and be physical. Don't be rushed to finish testing and finding the 'best' overall options. This needs some time to bake before you can enjoy it. :)

What does a scale drawing look like for your home/garden? How many floors are we talking about? What are the main areas you need connectivity?

'Overprovisioned' here is an understatement. I would start from square one, take it slow, and do it right. :)

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