Recommendation for Wifi 6 router mesh system that can handle 2 Gbps?

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
I'm closing on a house on Friday, and it appears Comcast 2 Gbps service is available at the address (2Gig down and up), so I'll probably be going with that. The house is 3,900sf, so I'm going to need/want a mesh system to get full coverage. I'm looking to move up to Wifi 6 too.

I've been running an AC68U for years, and I love asus routers. I've been running Merlin for a while for some of the extra VPN features, but Asus WRT alone is just a really nice interface as it is. My only other experience with routers is with Netgear on my nighthawk R7000, and I'm loath to go back to a Netgear interface. Also worth noting, the Asus is just a tank... So reliable.

Anyway, I've never really messed around with AiMesh before, but I've heard it's a little finicky. So I'm open to other mesh options, but I'm still a bit hesitant to give up on Asus. I'm just wondering what some of you might suggest as a good solution for my situation.

My basement is unfinished, and I have attic access. I have 1000ft of shielded Cat 6 plenum cable to use as I please, so i can run wired backhauls if need be. I'm figuring I'll probably use 2-3 nodes, which may be overkill but frack it. Don't really have a budget per se, but I'm not gonna drop several grand on all this. I'm also not a networking pro by any means, so anything requiring advanced knowledge of networking wouldn't be a good solution for me.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
With a 2Gbps symmetrical ISP service, I would be putting an RT-AX86U (or two) on each level. :)

Along with enough QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5-Port Unmanaged 2.5GbE Switches to spread that ISP speed as evenly as possible too.

On the main router, you can either have the WAN come in on the 2.5GbE Port or have the LAN be on the 2.5GbE Port (there is only one). Depending on what options the ISP ONT offers, ideally, I would have a LAG connection to the ISP via the WAN and LAN (1Gbps) ports, and then AiMesh wired backhaul to the QNAP switches and the rest of the RT-AX86U's via their 2.5GbE ports back to the main router's 2.5GbE Port.

Add QNAP switches as needed for additional wired (2.5GbE) ports at the remote locations.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Common 2-stream AX client can reach about 800Mbps in close to ideal conditions, so you'll need 3x running simultaneously close to full speed in order to saturate 2Gbps ISP line. No single wired client will go above 940Mbps, so you'll need 2x running at full speed. If you go AiMesh wired and the 2.5Gbps port is used as WAN, your nodes will be limited to 1Gbps. If you want to use TrendMicro AiProtection in Asuswrt, it will drop the total throughput under 1Gbps. This is what home routers hardware can do. You have to decide if you really need that 2Gbps ISP. If you want to take full advantage of it an x86 firewall, PoE switch and multiple PoE Wi-Fi 6 access points is the way to go. It is going to be expensive and it requires networking knowledge to setup.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
With a 2Gbps symmetrical ISP service, I would be putting an RT-AX86U (or two) on each level. :)

Along with enough QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5-Port Unmanaged 2.5GbE Switches to spread that ISP speed as evenly as possible too.

On the main router, you can either have the WAN come in on the 2.5GbE Port or have the LAN be on the 2.5GbE Port (there is only one). Depending on what options the ISP ONT offers, ideally, I would have a LAG connection to the ISP via the WAN and LAN (1Gbps) ports, and then AiMesh wired backhaul to the QNAP switches and the rest of the RT-AX86U's via their 2.5GbE ports back to the main router's 2.5GbE Port.

Add QNAP switches as needed for additional wired (2.5GbE) ports at the remote locations.
I was leaning towards the AX86U's. Seems like a good bang for the buck if not using wireless backhaul.

I'm not sure I'm following the purpose of the qnap switches though. Is that just for wired network expansion? I'm not going to have much much need for expansion beyond the node ports outside of the office and living room entertainment. Eventually when i figure out a permanent location for my surveillance/plex server, I'll need a few wired connections for that and the PoE switch for the ipcams. But at this point, I don't know where I'm going to put that system. Most everything else in the house will be on wifi.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
Common 2-stream AX client can reach about 800Mbps in close to ideal conditions, so you'll need 3x running simultaneously close to full speed in order to saturate 2Gbps ISP line. No single wired client will go above 940Mbps, so you'll need 2x running at full speed. If you go AiMesh wired and the 2.5Gbps port is used as WAN, your nodes will be limited to 1Gbps. If you want to use TrendMicro AiProtection in Asuswrt, it will drop the total throughput under 1Gbps. This is what home routers hardware can do. You have to decide if you really need that 2Gbps ISP. If you want to take full advantage of it an x86 firewall, PoE switch and multiple PoE Wi-Fi 6 access points is the way to go. It is going to be expensive and it requires networking knowledge to setup.
I'm confused. The advertised speeds are well above 940mbps for these devices. The asus rog ax11000 (or whatever the model number is) advertises 11000Mbps. It's supposedly consumer 10 Gbit. I get that it's aggregate for all bands and theoretical, so it's not even close to actual 10 Gbit, but it should still far exceed 1Gbit, no? Even my ac68u can get 700Mbps down wired on my current Comcast 1200Mbps service and that device is like 7 years old...

FWIW, i don't use trendmicro. I don't game either, so i don't use any of the asus gaming features. I have used QoS, but i can certainly live without it. Besides vpn, i don't mess around with too many other settings. I don't have the knowledge to configure a ubiquity or more professional brand AP system. That would be well outside my wheel house.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I'm confused. The advertised speeds are well above 940mbps for these devices.

The switch ports are Gigabit. The maximum throughput per port is 940Mbps.

advertises 11000Mbps

Maximum theoretical throughput in ideal conditions, even @thiggins can't reach that in the lab. The speed to your wireless clients will be limited by their radios. Common clients are 2-stream, link speed up to 1200Mbps (AX) or 867Mbps (AC), throughput up to about 800Mbps (AX) or 500Mbps (AC). You'll be looking for trouble with DFS channels and 160MHz wide channels. What is advertised is far from reality.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
The switch ports are Gigabit. The maximum throughput per port is 940Mbps.
Why would they do that? So they advertise multi-gig or 10gig speeds, but then they bottleneck it with gigabit switch ports? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Every consumer router on the market right now is like this?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Every consumer router on the market right now is like this?

No consumer routers with all 2.5Gbps ports. One for WAN and the rest Gigabit. For VPN - up to about 200Mbps, if you are lucky. You have to invest heavily into business gear if you want to utilize this 2Gbps ISP. Otherwise you'll be paying for something you can't really use. Ubiquiti may not help here, you need high powered x86 firewall with multi-Gb ports to multi-Gb switch and expensive Wi-Fi 6 access points with 2.5Gbps ports. We are talking about thousands. Do you really need that?
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
No consumer routers with all 2.5Gbps ports. One for WAN and the rest Gigabit. For VPN - up to about 200Mbps, if you are lucky. You have to invest heavily into small business gear if you want to utilize this 2Gbps ISP. Otherwise you'll be paying for something you can't really use.
Well shirt. That sucks. I really thought the technology had progressed a lot more over the years, but I guess not.

I guess that leaves me with no other option than going with Verizon Fios 940Mbps. I mean, i could do Xfinity 1200Mbps, but the abysmal 35Mbps upload is completely not worth it. My wife works 100% from home. And I work about 50% from home. Plus we have the surveillance server and Plex server, which are configured for remote access. So upload speeds are very important. Fios upload speeds are something like 600Mbps, so that's a no brainer. I've never had FiOS before though, so I'm going to have to look into how this whole gateway thing works to see if i need to use Verizon equipment or if i can supply my own.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
If you drop your speed requirements, you can use 2x-3x Asus home routers in wired AiMesh. You can save some money in monthly fees as well. 940/600 ISP is more than what average family needs. My firewall stats show in last 2 weeks no traffic exceeded 150Mbps speeds. I have a family of 4 and we all work/learn from home, watch HD content and browse the Web with no limitations. My home ISP is 500/20 cable and I never needed to upgrade it. I don't even need to upgrade my Wi-Fi 5 system to Wi-Fi 6 because of clients speed limitations. My NAS has Gigabit connection, transfers files with >100MB/sec. Never needed to upgrade the NAS connection either.
 
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Big Ry

Regular Contributor
If you drop your speed requirements, you can use 2x-3x RT-AX86U home routers in wired AIMesh. You can save some money in monthly fees as well. 940/600 ISP is more than what average family needs. My firewall stats show in last 2 weeks no traffic exceeded 150Mbps speeds. I have a family of 4 and we all work/learn from home, watch HD content and browse the Web with no limitations. My home ISP is 500/20 cable and I never needed to upgrade it.
It really would be a matter of how much i want to limit my surveillance and Plex server remote streaming capabilities. I have six 1080p60 ipcams that can run 3 simultaneous streams each and two 4k30 ipcams that can run 2 simultaneous streams each. I typically record both in h264 for universal compatibility, but they're still data heavy. The recordings sit on Samsung evo ssds for 24hrs before getting written to WD purple spinning disks. Streaming these cams live feeds remotely at full quality has never been possible for me in the past on my Comcast service; I've only ever been able to stream one of the reduced quality streams that i have to keep configured for just that purpose. As for Plex, about the best i can remote stream is 720p or low quality 1080p right now. In nearly all cases, this involves a hardware transcode on my GPU, but that shouldn't be the problem. It's the upload speeds that's killing me. I'd like to be able to stream without transcoding, and most of my library is 4k.

It sounds like i have no choice on switching to 960/600, unless i decide to learn how to be a network engineer. But i don't have time for that ha ha.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I have 6x cameras on my property and for monitoring purposes they all fit in 5Mbps upload. I don’t need full resolution on my phone or laptop. None of them can display 6x HD cameras anyway. The DVR records in full resolution locally. If I need to review something in detail, I can always do it one camera at a time. Compressed 4K video streams are 25-40Mbps. I never had to stream 4K on any of my mobile devices away from home. When I visit friends we talk, we don’t use Internet.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
I have 6x cameras on my property and for monitoring purposes they all fit in 5Mbps upload. I don’t need full resolution on my phone or laptop. None of them can display 6x HD cameras anyway. The DVR records in full resolution locally. If I need to review something in detail, I can always do it one camera at a time. Compressed 4K video streams are 25-40Mbps. I never had to stream 4K on any of my mobile devices away from home. When I visit friends we talk, we don’t use Internet.
Ok well that's you. And I'm not running toy cameras here buddy, plus I've said nothing about video frame rate or bit rate settings which i keep higher than normal for reason. I already have a half-assed configuration like you describe just so i can get some kind of remote access going on my mobile devices, but it doesn't cut it in my opinion. And I'm still tipping the scales with the Comcast upload speeds, hence my comment about why It'll be necessary to use FiOS for my future plans.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
And I'm not running toy cameras here buddy,

It's not about the cameras quality, but about bandwidth waste. This is not necessary and it doesn't work this way in real life applications. What you are going to view 4K camera stream on when you are not home? Even if you use a big screen UHD TV, the moment you switch to multi-camera view 4K stream each is not needed anymore. The device you view the cameras on just can't display the pixels. Most DVRs have Main stream (high definition, recorded quality) and Extra stream (low resolution for monitoring). You see all your cameras in 5-10Mbps total bandwidth, click one camera and switch to Main stream for more picture details. I run a warehouse with 18x 4K cameras inside. If I follow your requirements, I would need an ISP with 10Gbps upload there. I would also need a 10Gbps internal network. A good example of bandwidth waste is watching 4K YouTube on a phone/tablet. The device still uses a lot of data, but can't display the image. People do it all the time.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
But what you're assuming is that every scenario is cookie cutter. You keep referencing devices being unable to display the pixels, but you don't even know what devices I have. I think you're just assuming I'm walking around with my phone looking at my cameras. While that is one use case, it's hardly the only. I connect remotely from other PCs off site with high resolution monitors. For Plex, I like to be able to stream to other 4k TVs not on my network. That all requires high data usage. There's no way around it. Either you compromise on quality, as I have been for years. Or I just get better upload speeds that can handle it. Verizon FiOS should be plenty. The main reason I really wanted the 2 Gbps speeds was really just for when I'm doing large transfers or syncing big files to my cloud storage. When that's going on in the background while my wife and I are working at home and my wife is streaming a 4k movie, things do get a little squirrelly. It's not *that* big of deal if I don't have speeds that fast, and I'm sure most of my current issues come from the uplink bottleneck anyway.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Ignoring the side-tracked posts past post 2 above. :D

With multiple RT-AX86U's and the possibility of connecting to the ISP's ONT with 2x 1GbE Ports, along with the number of QNAP switches needed, all of the potential is used of both the ISP and the devices, depending on their capabilities, of course.

Let's spell this out for @Big Ry. :)

We start with a LAG connection to the ONT from the Main Router. This is 2 Ethernet Cat5e cables or better connected to the ONT and the RT-AX86U's WAN and one additional LAN Ports (2x 1GbE = 2Gbps ISP service). This will provide all connected devices access to the 2Gbps ISP speeds (in aggregate, if not individually, depending on the client device's capabilities and the connection(s) it uses to connect to the main router or AiMesh nodes).

From the Main Router, using the 2.5GbE Port on the RT-AX86U, connect a single QNAP QSW-1105-5T. Now, from this QNAP switch, connect up to 4 more RT-AX86U's via their 2.5GbE Ports. This will provide wired 2.5GbE backhaul Aimesh and full 2Gbps ISP speeds to capable clients connected to those nodes.

In addition to the wireless nodes we have attached now, we can also connect wired clients too via the 1GbE Ports of each Router/AiMesh node we have. This is perfect (and more than enough) for TVs, streaming boxes, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, etc. Not only is this enough for this class of devices, (many only have 100Mbps wired connections still), but these 1GbE Ports are more likely to be compatible with those devices too. With a 5 router setup as described so far, there are now 3 LAN ports on the main router available and 16 ports on the remaining 4 AiMesh nodes for 19 (directly) wired devices. Of course, you're not limited to this (you can always put a switch on those ports too, as needed.

If we have wired devices that are 2.5GbE Port enabled, then we need to add another QNAP QSW-1105-5T and connect it between the Main Router and the AiMesh node. Then we'll have 3 more 2.5GbE Ports to use at that location.

If we need those 2.5GbE wired connections at the Main Router's location, and we're using 4 AiMesh nodes as in this example (and therefore using all the 5 ports available on the QNAP switch), then an additional QNAP QSW-1105-5T will need to be between the QNAP QSW-1105-5T connected to the Main Router and one of the runs to an AiMesh node. Of course, at this point, it may be more economical to consider an 8 port or 10 port 2.5GbE switch instead of 2x QNAP QSW-1105-5T's.

The main requirements for 2.5GbE connections to wired client devices will be to 1) NAS, 2) Desktop PCs.

While the above doesn't have AXE (Wi-Fi 6E) capabilities today, it is still capable of fully utilizing the ISP speeds on offer and actually having a chance of delivering them.

When/if an RMerlin supported AXE Asus router appears, each unit can be upgraded one by one (selling the RT-AX86U's - keep the boxes! - after the AXE router proves itself after testing in your environment).

Past the first, 'required', QNAP QSW-1105-5T needed to connect the Main Router to the AiMesh nodes, each additional QNAP QSW-1105-5T can also be bought as needed at any time in the future.

As can each AiMesh node be added too, as needed, of course.

All you need to do today is make sure you fully wire the new home. So that your options are open for whatever the future brings. :)

Sorry I wasn't able to respond fully in my original post (above). I hope this makes your real options clearer. :)
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
With a 2Gbps symmetrical ISP service, I would be putting an RT-AX86U (or two) on each level. :)

Along with enough QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5-Port Unmanaged 2.5GbE Switches to spread that ISP speed as evenly as possible too.

On the main router, you can either have the WAN come in on the 2.5GbE Port or have the LAN be on the 2.5GbE Port (there is only one). Depending on what options the ISP ONT offers, ideally, I would have a LAG connection to the ISP via the WAN and LAN (1Gbps) ports, and then AiMesh wired backhaul to the QNAP switches and the rest of the RT-AX86U's via their 2.5GbE ports back to the main router's 2.5GbE Port.

Add QNAP switches as needed for additional wired (2.5GbE) ports at the remote locations.
Apparently people are having issues with the QNAP switches, where they fall over somehow. It doesn't seem to be affecting everyone, but enough units to be a potential issue.
Might be better to go with Trendnet or even TP-Link. The price difference is $10-15.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Maybe, but I've had no issues with mine.

If there are issues, that's what returns are for. :)
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I connect remotely from other PCs off site with high resolution monitors.

You still can't view 6x 1920x1080 and 2x 2160x3840 pixels in the same time. You have to look at the cameras one by one in HD. Instead of streaming main stream all the time, you can switch to it when you need it. My business place cameras are monitored on 2x 24" PC monitors, the image for each camera is envelope size. 18x cameras fit in under 100Mbps internal network traffic from the NVR to the control PC. I haven't measure it, but it's low. You're choking your system with unnecessary high bandwidth requirements. If you want it this way, prepare for higher cost ISP service and expensive network equipment. Most home routers hardware is good for Gigabit and only with hardware acceleration enabled. Any firmware option incompatible with hardware acceleration drops the router performance to ~350Mbps, even on flagship Asus GT-AX11000. We are talking about >$500 firewalls, >$500 multi-port multi-gig switches, >$500 each WI-Fi 6 business APs. With so much in/out traffic you may want something doing IPS/IDS and in your case it's x86 Intel i7 class. Tiny ARM home router CPUs can't do it.

For Plex, I like to be able to stream to other 4k TVs not on my network.

Common compressed 4K video stream - 25-40Mbps.
 

Big Ry

Regular Contributor
Ignoring the side-tracked posts past post 2 above. :D

With multiple RT-AX86U's and the possibility of connecting to the ISP's ONT with 2x 1GbE Ports, along with the number of QNAP switches needed, all of the potential is used of both the ISP and the devices, depending on their capabilities, of course.

Let's spell this out for @Big Ry. :)

We start with a LAG connection to the ONT from the Main Router. This is 2 Ethernet Cat5e cables or better connected to the ONT and the RT-AX86U's WAN and one additional LAN Ports (2x 1GbE = 2Gbps ISP service). This will provide all connected devices access to the 2Gbps ISP speeds (in aggregate, if not individually, depending on the client device's capabilities and the connection(s) it uses to connect to the main router or AiMesh nodes).

From the Main Router, using the 2.5GbE Port on the RT-AX86U, connect a single QNAP QSW-1105-5T. Now, from this QNAP switch, connect up to 4 more RT-AX86U's via their 2.5GbE Ports. This will provide wired 2.5GbE backhaul Aimesh and full 2Gbps ISP speeds to capable clients connected to those nodes.

In addition to the wireless nodes we have attached now, we can also connect wired clients too via the 1GbE Ports of each Router/AiMesh node we have. This is perfect (and more than enough) for TVs, streaming boxes, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, etc. Not only is this enough for this class of devices, (many only have 100Mbps wired connections still), but these 1GbE Ports are more likely to be compatible with those devices too. With a 5 router setup as described so far, there are now 3 LAN ports on the main router available and 16 ports on the remaining 4 AiMesh nodes for 19 (directly) wired devices. Of course, you're not limited to this (you can always put a switch on those ports too, as needed.

If we have wired devices that are 2.5GbE Port enabled, then we need to add another QNAP QSW-1105-5T and connect it between the Main Router and the AiMesh node. Then we'll have 3 more 2.5GbE Ports to use at that location.

If we need those 2.5GbE wired connections at the Main Router's location, and we're using 4 AiMesh nodes as in this example (and therefore using all the 5 ports available on the QNAP switch), then an additional QNAP QSW-1105-5T will need to be between the QNAP QSW-1105-5T connected to the Main Router and one of the runs to an AiMesh node. Of course, at this point, it may be more economical to consider an 8 port or 10 port 2.5GbE switch instead of 2x QNAP QSW-1105-5T's.

The main requirements for 2.5GbE connections to wired client devices will be to 1) NAS, 2) Desktop PCs.

While the above doesn't have AXE (Wi-Fi 6E) capabilities today, it is still capable of fully utilizing the ISP speeds on offer and actually having a chance of delivering them.

When/if an RMerlin supported AXE Asus router appears, each unit can be upgraded one by one (selling the RT-AX86U's - keep the boxes! - after the AXE router proves itself after testing in your environment).

Past the first, 'required', QNAP QSW-1105-5T needed to connect the Main Router to the AiMesh nodes, each additional QNAP QSW-1105-5T can also be bought as needed at any time in the future.

As can each AiMesh node be added too, as needed, of course.

All you need to do today is make sure you fully wire the new home. So that your options are open for whatever the future brings. :)

Sorry I wasn't able to respond fully in my original post (above). I hope this makes your real options clearer. :)
No that helps. Thanks for clarifying.

So based on this, I'm assuming daisy chaining is not possible with these routers? Or is it just that daisy chaining isn't practiced by network professionals because of the risks associated with a single point of failure? Either way, I can't see myself needing any more than 2 of those Qnap switches given the configuration you describe - 1 for the nodes, and 1 for the surveillance/Plex server, poe switch, and my work laptop (work laptop doesn't have multi-gig card, it will just be in the same location as the server).

I'll have all the time in the world to run wires. We have no plans to finish the basement any time soon, and the attic cannot be used as livable space. My only challenge might be keeping the runs as short as possible. I could see easily getting over 100m with runs up into the attic. Though is that rule 100m from the main unit or 100m from the nearest node/switch?
 

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