Question about mesh vs access point/router

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Proph

New Around Here
Hello. I had a question about the workings of the mesh architecture and the difference between it and just another access point.

If I'm taking Asus' RT-AX86U as an example and I get two of them and them up to be a mesh network with an ethernet back haul between them, what is the difference between that configuration and just having one router be the main DHCP/gateway and another be a different access point using the same SSID and password for the wifi network?

Thanks for any advice you can give!
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Performance wise - the same. AP Mode allows more control over the AP. You can use different channels to minimize interference. AiMesh gives you Guest Network to the node, but it's buggy. You can't use different channels with AiMesh and you have no access to the node's GUI. Try AiMesh and see if it works for you. If not, Router + AP works always. If you need Guest Network on the AP, enable it and use "set clients isolated" as a workaround. AiMesh is more marketing name and less mesh. You can't have a "mesh" with 2 APs anyway.
 

Proph

New Around Here
Hey Tech9 thanks for the reply. Will a typical implementation with a router in AP mode make good hand-offs/transitions between routers?
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Will a typical implementation with a router in AP mode make good hand-offs/transitions between routers?

You are using the same routers and AP or AiMesh will work with what's supported. According to WinFi Analyzer, newer Asus routers support 802.11k/v. It helps, but roaming mostly depends on clients. Some may stick to one AP and hold until the signal is still useable, some may switch more quickly. You need the two routers at -65/70dBm apart, otherwise the clients may stick to one AP. There is a Roaming Assistant in Wireless/Professional, but I found it not working when testing AiMesh with 2x AC86U routers. Test it and see if it makes any difference with 2x AX86U. If most of your clients stick to one AP, you simply don't need a second AP or AiMesh - your signal is good enough already. Good roaming is achieved with multiple low-power APs, preferably supporting 802.11k/v/r - Omada, UniFi, Cisco etc. With two home routers you have to live with some limitations.
 

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