ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, wait for Zenwifi XT9, or something else (thick walls)

Net_homeroom

New Around Here
Hi everyone,

I am looking for a new wireless router setup as my current Amplifi HD is slowly dying.

There are a few features of some Asus routers that are intriguing and that I would like to have in my new setup:
- VPN Fusion
- Wireguard
- Wireless backhaul (wired backhaul unfortunately not an option in my current situation)

From what I understand, this would leave me with the following options:
- ZenWiFi XT9 (not released yet)
- GT-AXE11000
- RT-AX88U (tested, signal not strong enough)
- RT-AX86U
- RT-AX86U Pro (not released yet)
- RT-AXE7800 (not released yet)

The difficulty comes in the characteristics of my current home. I live in a medium sized condo with some concrete walls, some brick walls, and some plaster walls. I tried to manage with just the RT-AX88U but it could not punch through the thick walls to get signal to the whole home. I have also tried the ZenWiFi AX Mini and had synchronization problems to the point that Asus support determined them to be duds. Because of this experience, I would like to avoid a mesh network if possible (but not a dealbreaker).

From here I have a few questions for the community that I am hoping to get some help with:
- Is the GT-AXE11000 signal stronger than the RT-AX88U signal and therefore has a better chance of being able to punch through thick walls?
- Are there any alternatives that I am just missing?

I am not opposed to splurging and getting something powerful like the ZenWiFi XT12 if they had the features I am looking for. It is strange to me that those super powerful and very expensive devices are not getting VPN Fusion or Wireguard support, despite their capabilities.
 

RTWZ80

Regular Contributor
Hi everyone,

I am looking for a new wireless router setup as my current Amplifi HD is slowly dying.

There are a few features of some Asus routers that are intriguing and that I would like to have in my new setup:
- VPN Fusion
- Wireguard
- Wireless backhaul (wired backhaul unfortunately not an option in my current situation)

From what I understand, this would leave me with the following options:
- ZenWiFi XT9 (not released yet)
- GT-AXE11000
- RT-AX88U (tested, signal not strong enough)
- RT-AX86U
- RT-AX86U Pro (not released yet)
- RT-AXE7800 (not released yet)

The difficulty comes in the characteristics of my current home. I live in a medium sized condo with some concrete walls, some brick walls, and some plaster walls. I tried to manage with just the RT-AX88U but it could not punch through the thick walls to get signal to the whole home. I have also tried the ZenWiFi AX Mini and had synchronization problems to the point that Asus support determined them to be duds. Because of this experience, I would like to avoid a mesh network if possible (but not a dealbreaker).

From here I have a few questions for the community that I am hoping to get some help with:
- Is the GT-AXE11000 signal stronger than the RT-AX88U signal and therefore has a better chance of being able to punch through thick walls?
- Are there any alternatives that I am just missing?

I am not opposed to splurging and getting something powerful like the ZenWiFi XT12 if they had the features I am looking for. It is strange to me that those super powerful and very expensive devices are not getting VPN Fusion or Wireguard support, despite their capabilities.
In my case, one AXE11000 just about covers 670 sq. ft with concrete and brick walls. I needed another AXE11000 unit plus an RT-AX89X to cover the remaining areas of the compound. All with AiMesh and wired ethernet backhaul. I recently tried out the AXE16000 which comes with RangeBoost Plus and that covered about double the area the AXE11000 could handle. Returned them for other reasons though. The GT-AX6000 also has RangeBoost. Looking at their timeline, I think Asus is slowly rolling out WireGuard support for the older routers before putting them on the newer ones I guess. After the AXE11000 should come the 2022-release routers. Hope this helps.
 

Net_homeroom

New Around Here
In my case, one AXE11000 just about covers 670 sq. ft with concrete and brick walls. I needed another AXE11000 unit plus an RT-AX89X to cover the remaining areas of the compound. All with AiMesh and wired ethernet backhaul. I recently tried out the AXE16000 which comes with RangeBoost Plus and that covered about double the area the AXE11000 could handle. Returned them for other reasons though. The GT-AX6000 also has RangeBoost. Looking at their timeline, I think Asus is slowly rolling out WireGuard support for the older routers before putting them on the newer ones I guess. After the AXE11000 should come the 2022-release routers. Hope this helps.
Thank you very much for the reply. This is definitely helpful.

In my case, my place with concrete/brick walls is about 1200 sq ft so it sounds like the GT-AX6000 might not cut it if its max in that environment is about 700 sq ft. The RangeBoost feature does not seem to be on the tech spec sheets so thanks for mentioning that.

Also glad you mentioned the Wireguard rollout trend. I had thought that the routers listed on Asus’ website were the complete comprehensive list but it sounds like they are adding more so that is encouraging. They just added the ZenWiFi X8 to the list since I last checked a few days ago.

With this information I am thinking I will either try the AXE1600 or the ZenWiFi XT12. I just need to decide if it is worth it to try to make one router work (AXE1600) or if I truly just need a mesh to ensure coverage (XT12). XT12 is supported by Merlin so I could use their VPN Director feature in the meantime and hope Wireguard comes some day. It is a shame that these are both overkill for my connection, but I need the range.
 

Net_homeroom

New Around Here
RMerlin also supports the AXE16000.


Now this is really interesting. Both the AXE16000 and XT12 are supported by Merlin. Both cost about the same.

The AXE16000 would be a great one-router solution if and only if it can reach everywhere in my place with RangeBoost, which no single router has thus far. The AXE16000 is also more future proof and more powerful but more of an eyesore.

The XT12 has a much better chance of getting a reliable signal everywhere and also has RangeBoost on both units. The XT12 is less powerful and less future proof but is by no means a slouch and also looks a bit better.

The AXE16000 has wifi 6e, a 6GHz band, and no UNII-4 5ghz band. The XT12 just has wifi 6, no 6GHz band, but does have a UNII-4 5GHz band.

A pretty even match up between two very different systems.
 

RTWZ80

Regular Contributor
Now this is really interesting. Both the AXE16000 and XT12 are supported by Merlin. Both cost about the same.

The AXE16000 would be a great one-router solution if and only if it can reach everywhere in my place with RangeBoost, which no single router has thus far. The AXE16000 is also more future proof and more powerful but more of an eyesore.

The XT12 has a much better chance of getting a reliable signal everywhere and also has RangeBoost on both units. The XT12 is less powerful and less future proof but is by no means a slouch and also looks a bit better.

The AXE16000 has wifi 6e, a 6GHz band, and no UNII-4 5ghz band. The XT12 just has wifi 6, no 6GHz band, but does have a UNII-4 5GHz band.

A pretty even match up between two very different systems.
For 50 bucks more, you get two XT12 units vs one AXE16000 and double your wifi coverage which is plenty for your place. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. Could always buy it, try it and return it if unsatisfied. That's what I did with the AXE16000s.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
When dealing with coverage issue, the solution is very rarely replacing the router, unless you are going from an entry-level to a high-end router. Adding a second AP, or possibly relocating the main router are the only reliable solutions.
 

RTWZ80

Regular Contributor
The workaround I used on my old ISP-provided router was a pair of TP-Link Powerline Wifi Adapters. Unfortunately, the power sockets at the other end of the house were located in a wall corner and adjacent to one of the bathrooms, which meant crappy wifi signals due to to interference from moisture and plumbing. With the AXE11000s and RT-AX89X, I made sure they were positioned on top of bookshelves and have line of sight where possible.
 

Net_homeroom

New Around Here
For 50 bucks more, you get two XT12 units vs one AXE16000 and double your wifi coverage which is plenty for your place. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. Could always buy it, try it and return it if unsatisfied. That's what I did with the AXE16000s.

Good point, I might give that a try with the XT12. Perhaps the extra power in the AXE16000 is not as important as range in my case.

When dealing with coverage issue, the solution is very rarely replacing the router, unless you are going from an entry-level to a high-end router. Adding a second AP, or possibly relocating the main router are the only reliable solutions.

I agree and thank you for all of your work on Merlin. In my case, my current router setup (Amplifi HD with two APs) has the range I need but the router itself is the reason I am getting a new setup. It has lost its ability to give me the throughput I get from my ISP when it used to just fine. It also sporadically drops connections and goes offline. Just time for something new after five years which, judging from some Reddit posts, seems about the time that these start to die. I want to go top shelf for the next one and keep it for longer and need to make sure the range is good because that is my main issue.
 

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