Replacing RT-AC68P mesh or not

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loki993

Occasional Visitor
Ive had this AC68P for a few years or so, cant remember exactly. The 5ghz range on it has always been terrible and its always had trouble when a lot of devices connect to it on wifi. I loaded Merlin onto it and its been mostly ok, but still its starting to show its age a little bit I think. Ive moved the router around a bit and now its more or less centrally located in the house, in the living room, because I had some connection issues while the kids were on tablets. I dont always get stable speeds in the back bedroom of the house. Ive tried messing with channels, moving the antennas, etc and nothing really helps too much.

House is 1500 sq feet with a full basement. We have the full compliment of 2 phones connected, 2 tablets for the kids, fire stick on the main TV and one in the bedroom. All on wifi. Work computer in the basement on wifi and main computer wired. Ive never had an issue with wifi speeds in the basement, but where I am Im almost directly under the router. Internet is 500mb.

So 5ghz again never worked great on this, if I try to connect to 5ghz on anything thats not sitting basically right next to the router the connection is poor and I get disconnects.

Do I need wifi 6? I have no wifi 6 devices currently but should I try to hedge for the future because I tend to hold onto things for a while if I get something that works well for me?

Would be really nice if whatever I get the 5ghz actually works on it when I get more than 2 feet from the router or go into another room.

I am strongly considering a mesh setup, with the size of my house and number of devices is that where I should be looking?

Ive seen the AC86U recommended a lot here as a single box solution. Would that work for my purposes with the size of the house and amount of connected devices?


For mesh Im looking at the Orbi. 200 dollar difference for the wifi 6 version than one with out...is it worth it?

The RBK853 is too much money and is way overkill for my purposes anyway.

the 753 fits the bill....499 at costco it has wifi 6

ac3000 for 319, no wifi 6.

Then there is the nighthawk? wifi 6 and cheap? Whats the deal with these?

mk63 is 229 at costco

or the mk86 for 399.


So whats the difference between the Nighthawks and the orbis that make the nighthawks so much cheaper?


Anyone have any recommendation on what would be the best for my situation?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
An RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or an RT-AX86U with RMerlin firmware is highly suggested for your small 1,500 SqFt home. AiMesh isn't a good thing to enable in smaller homes (unless you're able to run a router and a node at opposite ends of the home, with a wired backhaul).

AiMesh Ideal Placement

There is no 'overkill' possible. Any consumer router you buy today (even the top three mentioned above) is not too much for 500Gbps symmetrical ISP connections.

Plan to re-use the RT-AC86P in Media Bridge mode to wire up as many wired capable client devices you have (at a given location).

Media Bridge Mode

AC or AX is not the question to be asking right now. The hardware suggested above should all be a huge upgrade over what you have currently.

Be sure to follow the guides below to get the most out of your new purchase.

Best Practice Update/Setup Router/AiMesh Node(s) 2021


Asus routers are far above any other consumer router. With or without RMerlin support. Simply for the fact that they get firmware upgrades and updates far into the future. Not to mention even with stock firmware, they are already benefitting from RMerlin's work (Asus has incorporated RMerlin's code many times over the years).
 

loki993

Occasional Visitor
An RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or an RT-AX86U with RMerlin firmware is highly suggested for your small 1,500 SqFt home. AiMesh isn't a good thing to enable in smaller homes (unless you're able to run a router and a node at opposite ends of the home, with a wired backhaul).

AiMesh Ideal Placement

There is no 'overkill' possible. Any consumer router you buy today (even the top three mentioned above) is not too much for 500Gbps symmetrical ISP connections.

Plan to re-use the RT-AC86P in Media Bridge mode to wire up as many wired capable client devices you have (at a given location).

Media Bridge Mode

AC or AX is not the question to be asking right now. The hardware suggested above should all be a huge upgrade over what you have currently.

Be sure to follow the guides below to get the most out of your new purchase.

Best Practice Update/Setup Router/AiMesh Node(s) 2021


Asus routers are far above any other consumer router. With or without RMerlin support. Simply for the fact that they get firmware upgrades and updates far into the future. Not to mention even with stock firmware, they are already benefitting from RMerlin's work (Asus has incorporated RMerlin's code many times over the years).

Curious why is the mesh not a good thing to set up in a smaller home? What is the disadvantage of a mesh network that I am not seeing?
I could do a wired backhaul if needed, they can be on opposite ends of the house too if needed.

Also you saying that those routers aren't going to have the same range issues I get with my current one or have the same issue with multiple device connection over wifi to them? or is it that because they are so much faster to begin with the speed loss will be far less noticeable? I guess either way it doesn't matter the outcomes the same.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
1,500 SqFt and multiple routers/AP's/nodes is simply too much Wi-Fi for the space needed to be covered.

With AiMesh, what Channel/Width settings may work for the main router may be interfering on the node(s), depending on what your neighbor's Wi-Fi setups are.

When not using AiMesh, with each AP using a different Channel/Width than the main router, you are quickly taking up all the bandwidth available in your immediate area. It may or may not work for you. It most definitely will be detrimental to your neighbors.

In any event, unless your internal home construction is concrete/brick or other non-Wi-Fi-friendly materials, a single router properly set up should be more than enough. (For reference; a single RT-AC3100 could cover 5,000 SqFt over three floors).

For the 'range' queries, the RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, and the RT-AX86U are at a different level than the 8-year-old design the RT-AC68P is based on. Particularly throughput at the same or greater range.

If you're able to centrally locate any one of those routers in your home, you will be more than impressed with their performance. Note that the order I suggest them is from good to best, with the RT-AX86U being the recommended router, today.
 

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