Repeater/AiMesh suggestions for RT-AC86U

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jsteinm1

Occasional Visitor
I just picked up an RT-AC86U for my main router to replace my RT-AC87U (driving factor was better VPN performance). Like a dunce, I planned to make my 87U the repeater but didn't realize it doesn't have repeater mode so here I am. I am doing video streaming for all of our TVs (Netflix/Plex server mainly) and the furthest TV struggles sometimes with buffering in Plex so I think a repeater would help. I have no ethernet ran though my house and would like to avoid it. I'd also like to have a single SSID that our devices can hop around easily as we move though the house/outside. If there is any way to use my 87U that'd be best (seems like it would be ethernet backhaul and seperate SSIDs in AP mode, both which I'd like to avoid) or what would be the most cost effective repeater? I considered picking up a second 86U, but wasn't sure if a cheaper RT-AC68U would serve me just as well since that wouldn't need the higher powered CPU for VPN encryption. I've also looked at the Lyra pucks (but can't find where to buy them?) and Blue Cave which seem interesting, but maybe gimmicky.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I just picked up an RT-AC86U for my main router to replace my RT-AC87U (driving factor was better VPN performance). Like a dunce, I planned to make my 87U the repeater but didn't realize it doesn't have repeater mode so here I am. I am doing video streaming for all of our TVs (Netflix/Plex server mainly) and the furthest TV struggles sometimes with buffering in Plex so I think a repeater would help. I have no ethernet ran though my house and would like to avoid it. I'd also like to have a single SSID that our devices can hop around easily as we move though the house/outside. If there is any way to use my 87U that'd be best (seems like it would be ethernet backhaul and seperate SSIDs in AP mode, both which I'd like to avoid) or what would be the most cost effective repeater? I considered picking up a second 86U, but wasn't sure if a cheaper RT-AC68U would serve me just as well since that wouldn't need the higher powered CPU for VPN encryption. I've also looked at the Lyra pucks (but can't find where to buy them?) and Blue Cave which seem interesting, but maybe gimmicky.
AC1900/AC68/AC66 B1 do not support Smart Connect band steering, which you probably want for same SSID use.

Given Asus and wireless, I'd skip a repeater and more toward Asus AiMesh.

I'd skip the niche products like Blue Cave and Lyra since they tend to over promise, under perform, and get less love.

Consider a second AC86U... matching hardware, backup router, and will run AiMesh 2.0 now.

OE
 

jsteinm1

Occasional Visitor
Perfect just what I needed to know. I figured there would be some drawback to using a cheaper 68U but wasn't finding any other than slightly slower speeds. I'll plan to snag another 86U when I find one on sale.

FYI- for anyone else on the hunt for these, I bought an "Acceptable" Amazon Warehouse deal for $125 that was pristene. YMMV but I think Amazon Warehouse is good about taking returns if you're not happy with it.
 

ghostivv

Occasional Visitor
Hoping it's ok to ask here.

Currently only have AC86U and looking to add either another one on AiMesh or an access point. It's only to cover 1 bedroom where at the moment the signal is the lowest and we've 5 devices there. I've been offered Asus EA-AC87 AP for almost half the price of either AC66U_B1 or AC68U. It's tempting as don't have very demanding need. Our current connection is only upto max of 65Mbps. Other options open for consideration:
1) Another AC86U : currently on sale or AC68U
3) some Mesh product
4) Other AP but doubt will find any cheaper than offered on EA-AC87

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hoping it's ok to ask here.

Currently only have AC86U and looking to add either another one on AiMesh or an access point. It's only to cover 1 bedroom where at the moment the signal is the lowest and we've 5 devices there. I've been offered Asus EA-AC87 AP for almost half the price of either AC66U_B1 or AC68U. It's tempting as don't have very demanding need. Our current connection is only upto max of 65Mbps. Other options open for consideration:
1) Another AC86U : currently on sale or AC68U
3) some Mesh product
4) Other AP but doubt will find any cheaper than offered on EA-AC87

Thoughts?

Thanks.
The Asus EA-AC87 AP has not had a firmware update since 2015/10/14.

It appears to support Media Bridge Mode (wireless backhaul and wired clients only); and AP Mode (wired backhaul and wired/wireless clients). It does not support 2.4 wireless clients.

You will need a wired backhaul and no 2.4 wireless clients to make it useful. If someone gave it to me, I'd mess with it, but it's not how I like to maintain my network.

If 'some mesh product' is one of your options, since you already have a strong AiMesh router, adding a second AiMesh router as a remote node is your least expensive path to an arguably better mesh product... and a good solution, especially if you require a wireless backhaul.

The RT-AC86U is your best AC AiMesh router to pair with the existing AC86U. AC1900/AC68/AC66 B1 are less expensive options that do not support Smart Connect node band steering, so you would use different SSIDs for each band.

AiMesh is flexible. You could upgrade to a more expensive WiFi 6 AX router and make the existing AC86U the remote node. But, WiFi 6e is starting to arrive, so I would wait for those routers to mature and upgrade later to tri-band for the dedicated wireless backhaul (not shared).

Fortunately, the time is right to get the mature AC86U on sale. If you want the best first experience with a wireless AiMesh and ready backup hardware for your all-important home network router, I'd splurge for a second AC86U.

The current AiMesh 2.0 beta RC2-8 firmware is running well on the AC86U. If you try it, you will still have to install the released firmware later. My install notes can help. Be sure to understand the factory default reset.

OE
 

Smokey613

Senior Member
Even before adding the PFsense unit into the mix, my 2 RT-AC86U routers in an AiMesh setup worked great. I tried a 1900P at first for the node and while it worked well enough, my dual RT-AC86U worked even better. The only reason I added the PFsense into the mix was so I could run a real IPS ( Suricata ) system on my network, then I decided to go further and use the PFsense for all my routing/network needs. Now the Asus units just handle the wireless duties.
 

killeriq

Regular Contributor
Hello Guys,

I have Asus RT-AX88U and would like to extend Wifi range (is weak in basement).

First i was thinking about "Xiaomi Mi Wifi Repeater Pro" aorund 10e , but then i found the AiMesh option of Asus, but i somehow long in their product line which device to get

From Mesh Devices: https://store.asus.com/us/category/meshWiFi?sort=uitox_price&asc=1&page=1

1 .This one? https://store.asus.com/us/item/202002AM070000007/A50228-ASUS-RP-AC55-Dual-Band-AC1200-WiFi-Extender-/-Access-Point-/-Media-Bridge

2. Or could i some older versions like RP-n12 / 14 / 52 etc...

Is it really worthy to invest 50e instead of 10e to have better Wifi for Mobile device? Or are there any other benefits?

Thanks
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hello Guys,

I have Asus RT-AX88U and would like to extend Wifi range (is weak in basement).

First i was thinking about "Xiaomi Mi Wifi Repeater Pro" aorund 10e , but then i found the AiMesh option of Asus, but i somehow long in their product line which device to get

From Mesh Devices: https://store.asus.com/us/category/meshWiFi?sort=uitox_price&asc=1&page=1

1 .This one? https://store.asus.com/us/item/202002AM070000007/A50228-ASUS-RP-AC55-Dual-Band-AC1200-WiFi-Extender-/-Access-Point-/-Media-Bridge

2. Or could i some older versions like RP-n12 / 14 / 52 etc...

Is it really worthy to invest 50e instead of 10e to have better Wifi for Mobile device? Or are there any other benefits?

Thanks
Start your own thread.

OE
 

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