Need help determining the best thing to buy to boost wireless coverage in my basement

  • 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.

Taji34

New Around Here
I am living in a rented 2 story house (main level and basement), so I am a bit limited in what I can do home networking wise. I currently have an Asus RT-AC86U (running Asuswrt-Merlin firmware) on the main floor where my centurylink fiber comes into the house. The coverage is fairly good, but in the basement in the opposite corner of the house the coverage will cut out. I'm looking to buy something to boost the wireless coverage in the basement and I was wondering what my best option would be.

There are 2 ethernet plugs in the basement which get internet by being plugged into my router on the main floor (it seems weird to me, but I think it is due to house being 2 rentable units at one point). I currently have my desktop in the basement plugged into one of these plugs, so I do have the ability to connect whatever I get to the LAN network.

What would you all recommend?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
For the best match, an additional RT-AC86U with identical RMerlin firmware in wired AiMesh mode would be ideal.

If the budget can't reach for another RT-AC86U, an RT-AC68U (or the updated RT-AC66U_B1) would also be very good.

Buy the router you want. Flash the RMerlin firmware on it. Reset it to factory defaults. Do not go into the settings anymore.

Plug in the new router's WAN port into one of the Ethernet LAN ports downstairs.

From your main (current) router, from the main page (Network Map), 'point' to the new router to add it as an AiMesh node (Click AiMesh node and then click Search).

Be patient while it configures itself, reboots, and leave it some time to stabilize too and you should be good to go.

Note that currently, Guest WiFi networks won't be available on the AiMesh node(s). But this capability is coming soon with Aimesh 2.0 that Asus is currently working on.
 

cristake

Regular Contributor
The ideal combination, sure will be with another router but also will be expensive ...
I recommend to use a Wireless Range Extender with Access Point ( AP ) function as well and both channels.
Plug in main socket and with WPS or web GUI config will be connected on 2,4 / 5 GHz ...
The only downside could be ... if you don't have power socket and wifi signal where you plug in the wifi extender, you couldn't use BUT ...
... it is an option to switch to AP but you need a Ethernet socket on the wall . I use this solution a lot with same SSID, works perfect with very good connection and stable wifi for only 20 USD compare with another Router ... this is cheap and easy to install.
or
Another cheap solution also is to increase the signal power of your router with bigger antennas ...This solution I use now and I cancel the wifi repeater.
I buy another 3 antennas with 9dBi instead of 3 dbi ( stock Asus antennas ) for only 39 USD but the downside is the channel who could boost will be 2,4 GHz ... The 5 Ghz could be still weak in this scenario ...
or
Buy another OLD router ASUS, used from market and try AIRMESH extend feature like L&LD ;)


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077WPB94H/?tag=snbforums-20

Good luck
 

Taji34

New Around Here
For the best match, an additional RT-AC86U with identical RMerlin firmware in wired AiMesh mode would be ideal.

If the budget can't reach for another RT-AC86U, an RT-AC68U (or the updated RT-AC66U_B1) would also be very good.

Buy the router you want. Flash the RMerlin firmware on it. Reset it to factory defaults. Do not go into the settings anymore.

Plug in the new router's WAN port into one of the Ethernet LAN ports downstairs.

From your main (current) router, from the main page (Network Map), 'point' to the new router to add it as an AiMesh node (Click AiMesh node and then click Search).

Be patient while it configures itself, reboots, and leave it some time to stabilize too and you should be good to go.

Note that currently, Guest WiFi networks won't be available on the AiMesh node(s). But this capability is coming soon with Aimesh 2.0 that Asus is currently working on.
I did this and everything seems to be going smoothly! Thanks for the help!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Taji34, thanks for the post. What did you end up doing specifically though? :)
 

Taji34

New Around Here
@Taji34, thanks for the post. What did you end up doing specifically though? :)
I got another RT-AC86U, flashed it to the same version of the merlin firmware as the main router and factory reset, then followed your steps to make it a AiMesh node. It all work flawlessly except for one hiccup. After the factory reset, when scanning for nodes to add initially the main router wasn't finding anything. I don't know what was up, but I power cycled the node router and then it showed up. Now I've got great coverage in my basement as well! Once I added the node router I saw the wifi devices in my basement all immediately jump to the node (other than one, which sits almost directly below the main router upstairs, so it still may have had a stronger connection to that one).
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

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