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Return to forum, question about mesh networks & various Asus routers

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by Terrance Curry, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Terrance Curry

    Terrance Curry New Around Here

    Sep 7, 2015

    I have been away from this forum for a few years since I had decided to
    go back to Asus stock firmware for various ASUS routers namely these which
    I had applied Merlin firmware into
    1) RT-AC68R
    2) RT-AC66R
    3) RT-N66R
    and perhaps
    4) RT-AC88U

    I now have added an RT-AC86U router to my network and have it
    in a meshed network along with the 88U as the main/controller
    and the 68R. (so 68R and 86U are satellites, clients -- kind of like
    using bridge mode before or repeater mode).
    The 66R I had purchased was not compatible with mesh functionality
    supplied by Asus.

    So my question is if I should go back to Merlin firmware within these routers again,
    which routers would support this mesh network thing similar to what Asus
    provides? Does Merlin support this concept that Asus has about mesh network
    linking these or some of these routers seamlessly?

    Thank you.
  2. AndreiV

    AndreiV Very Senior Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Відправився на риболовлю
  3. Terrance Curry

    Terrance Curry New Around Here

    Sep 7, 2015
    Okay, can you indicate which ones? Or indicate which ones that would be
    supported or those that were supported up until now? Which ones would
    be mesh compatible using Merlin firmware. Thank you.

    As far as Asus stock firmware, now, I am using mesh in 3 of the routers:
    68R, 86U and 88U which is the controller.
    the 66R was like the earlier version which is not supported though I think
    another , updated model mesh is supported 66R-something B1?
    I am not going to buy another mesh router unless it is one of the gaming ones
    (AC5300) or the AX88U one.

    I would be helpful to be more specific. I am rejoining this forum after a few
    years absence as I went back to using asus' firmware to get the benefits
    of this mesh system of networked Asus routers. Thank you.
    From that link... I see the 3 models that Asus supports mesh in.
    So does that mean mesh would work in those 3 using Merlin firmware?
    The odd ones out or not supported would be the N66R (I knew that one
    would not be compatible) and the AC66R (older model).
    I do recall older Merlin Firmware or using it in the other 2 models...maybe
    without the mesh ?

    Asuswrt-Merlin officially supports the following router models:

    • RT-AC66U_B1 (same firmware as the RT-AC68U)
    • RT-AC68U (including revisions C1 and E1)
    • RT-AC68P (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
    • RT-AC68UF (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
    • RT-AC87
    • RT-AC3200
    • RT-AC88U
    • RT-AC3100
    • RT-AC5300
    • RT-AC1900 (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
    • RT-AC1900P (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
    • RT-AC86U (starting with version 382.1)
    • RT-AC2900 (same firmware as RT-AC86U)
    • RT-AX88U
    (Note: the U, R and
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Dec 9, 2013
    The RT-N66U and the RT-AC66U are no longer supported by RMerlin's latest firmware.
  5. Terrance Curry

    Terrance Curry New Around Here

    Sep 7, 2015
    Okay I understand about the RT-N66U and base RT-AC66U are no longer supported
    maybe except with legacy firmware (prior to 2018 or 2017).

    Just one question about the later routers such as RT-AC88U, RT-AC68R and RT-AC86U,
    with the firmware that supports the mesh linkage, would one be able to access the USB
    ports for the node or satellite routers in a mesh network? Or just the controller or
    main router's USB ports are accessible, viable?

    I am thinking to return to using Merlin firmware again after a 2 year absence
    as I had been using Asus stock firmware because I believe at that time years ago
    Merlin did not support mesh where as Asus did.
    I have deleted the mesh options (Asus firmware) and have gone back to using
    Repeater Mode for the satellite routers and using distinctive SSIDs for all routers
    involved and as each USB ports can be accessed to connect iTunes server storage
    devices to the node routers....
    but I am having some synchronization problems at times-- mesh seemed
    to work better to keep them linked. So now could be my opportunity to try Merlin
    Firmware again to see if any better benefits.

    Thank you for your patience with me .
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  6. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

    Mar 31, 2014
    USB support is no different than that of stock Asus firmware in this regard.
  7. Terrance Curry

    Terrance Curry New Around Here

    Sep 7, 2015
    Thank you all for your assistance or suggestions for my migration back to using Merlin Firmware in
    3 of the viable ASUS routers (some of the best out I may say): RT-AC88U (controller/main) and
    the RT-AC68R (the highest, best- rated router on Cnet ) & the RT-AC86U (the newest of my routers)
    both as satellite or node routers.

    At first I "struggled" a bit using the Repeater mode, connecting or linking the satellite duo of routers
    to the controller... well I did not struggle connecting them, but one router would temporarily disconnect
    seemingly when there was a load of activity through the other one. It also was becoming too
    confusing which SSID (used unique ones) connected to to resolve issues, though I would not have mind
    this as I did want access to all of the 6 USB ports among the 3 routers. I had plans to connect
    some iTunes ALAC music files & .WAV and .FLAC music files on various USB storage units
    using the network storage features just to confuse me more and give me more of a headache.
    However, I noticed that even when the SSIDs (on the 5GHz band) were synched, the speed seemed
    to be compromised more, slow at times.
    Also I wonder I could have connected the 2.4GHz bands of SSIDs like I did link the 5GHz
    bands using repeater mode like one does with those range extenders that seem to use
    both bands synched?

    So I came to my senses and went back to using AImesh using the Merlin firmware like I had using the stock Asus firmware
    and I have had better results though I do not have individual control over the 2 node routers nor
    access to their USB ports to connect other storage units relating to music files. I will just have to
    use 1 ASUS router for that or I can link the RT-AC66R router in a repeater (or wired) mode to the AC88U
    or I have another Linksys router WRT1900ACS connected on same subnet and using LAN
    cable--to use its USB ports or just use a computer with shared directory within the intranet.

    The AImesh system I guess can link the 5GHz together along with the 2.4GHz shared bands
    to improve the synchronization of the node and controller routers.... I may explore using an ethernet
    cable to connect a node's WAN port to a LAN port on the controller router. AImesh seems
    to balance the links out maybe connecting wirelessly one node to the controller or
    even connecting node to node... it can fluctuate depending on conditions and in rearrangements.
    I had thought to introduce another Asus router maybe the RT-AX88U to use as the main router
    with 3 nodes connected but I do not think I need to spend more money on things when what
    I have triangulating some of the best Asus routers in an AiMesh works fine.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020