RT-AC68U + RP-AC55 mesh node: connections though RP-AC55 unstable

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Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
Does anybody here have experience using the RP-AC55 as a mesh node with an RT-AC68U? I have this configuration, both devices with latest firmware (RT-AC68U: 3.0.0.4.385_20633-g593a8ef / RP-AC55: 3.0.0.4.384_81156-gb025564), with wireless backhaul between the router and the node, and the devices that connect to the RP-AC55 don't stay connected to the network. If I reboot the RP-AC55, they'll come back on the air via the extender, but within hours, they are no longer reachable. The "always on" devices that use the extender are a Google Home Mini and a Google Home Max. But I've seen similar problems with iPad and Pixel phone when I'm hanging out at that end of the house. From the GUI or the Asus Router app, the router always seems to see the mesh node fine. And shows its clients. Only those clients can't be reached and can't reach the network.

The extender seemed like such a magical thing when I first installed it--and hadn't yet watched what happened after it got left alone for a while.

Any similar experience or solutions?
 

Domdus

Occasional Visitor
Can confirm the RP-AC55 is a bit flaky. I also use it to extend the wifi of a RT-AC68U - in mesh mode. In my case stability improved with fixed channels & width for both bands, the repeater does not need to adjust the channels always on a change. (causing disconnects)
Also I read somewhere that the RP does not like higher channels on the 5 Ghz band that much, but I did not test it - as I am using lowest channels already. You may want to try keeping your wifi on lower channels (below 52).

And finally (FINALLY!), a new firmware version has been released right on today - after more than a year since the first AIMesh capable version:

Version 3.0.0.4.384.83130
- Improved system stability.

https://www.asus.com/Networking/RP-AC55/HelpDesk_BIOS/
 
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Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the reply. Glad to know it's not just me or something unique to my environment.

I check for updates frequently so eventually I would have found that one. But, oddly enough, the router DID NOT find it this morning. I downloaded and installed it manually. Hopefully, it does what it claims. We'll see. I, too, have been surprised and disappointed that there have been no updates for the RP-AC55 for so long. ASUS has always been a standout on updates for the router and my previous RT-AC66U. Surely, they had to know there were "issues".
 
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Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
Well, with that update, the connection stability of nodes associated with the RP-AC55 is, maybe, better. But it still sucks.
 

Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
So I tried giving up on AiMesh and using this as a repeater. A different set of problems ensued. But stability did not. I've come to the conclusion that the money spent on the RP-AC55 was wasted and have turned it off. Stability for all the fixed devices in that end of the house, even if at reduced performance from marginal coverage, is better than sometimes having coverage for the portable devices when I'm in some locations in that end of the house.

N.b. for anybody considering this device: ignoring for a moment that it isn't a stable solution, also be advised that, as a repeater, it only repeats one SSID for 2.4 and one for 5. So, Guest Network SSIDs cannot repeated in addition to primary SSID. (I don't think I ever thought to check if it was meshing the Guest net. It appears that it would have this limitation even in AP mode, though I did not test this.) My poor solution was to repeat the 2.4 GHz Guest net and the 5 GHz primary net. That would have been an acceptable compromise for my use case. The lack of connection stability was the deal-breaker in both cases.
 
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marimshot

New Around Here
Also with a Merlin RT-AC68U and RP-AC55 in aimesh mode, wireless backhaul. My problem seems to be particular to my Chromebook.

Essentially, if it comes back from sleep or something similar (sometimes roaming), it will connect to the network but not receive an IP address (DHCP Lookup Failed), even from a previous reservation a few hours earlier. Wireless logs on the AC68U haven't given me anything, and it's not Roaming Assistant.

If I powercycle the RP-AC55, my Chromebook will connect to the AC68U, and eventually migrate to the AC55. But it can't just connect to it initially.

I don't seem have this problem with my phone.
 

Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
So many reports of these kinds of problems with the RP-AC55 and so few updates--it does make me wonder why ASUS is not getting with the program here. Do they just not know this is not a stable solution?
 

Ferd R.

New Around Here
Just found this discussion and I want to report that I'm having a similar issue with the ASUS RP-AC55 and RT-AC86U. I bought the RP back in September to use it the AiMesh mode. Set up was a breeze but I noticed that my phone (a OnePlus 3) was unable to obtain an IP address when it tried to connect to my network through the RP. If it connected to the network through the main router (the RT-AC86U) and then I moved towards the RP my phone would switch to the RP without issue. I also found that my Blu-ray player would not connect to my network if the RP was active. I also had problems with FaceTime calls being dropped. So I tried using the repeater in the extender mode (not AiMesh) - same problems. I contacted ASUS and went round and round with them. They event sent me a beta firmware for the RP - same problems. Eventually they gave up trying to help me. Here's and interesting twist: I actually have two main routers in my house: the RT-AC86U and a Hitron Coda-4589 that was provided by my cable company. When I use the RP-AC55 to extend the Coda router it works just fine! So, how is it that the RP works with Hitron's router, but not my ASUS router? Anyway, that's the way I'm using the RP now. Given the crappy support I've gotten from ASUS I won't be buying any more of their products.
 
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Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
I contacted ASUS and went round and round with them. They event sent me a beta firmware for the RP - same problems. Eventually they gave up trying to help me.
Why I haven't wasted my time playing Support Tango with them. Support is only useful if you don't know how to use a company's product, never if that company's product is just broken. Support is never designed to help identify and fix defects, only to identify and fix clueless customers.
 
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marimshot

New Around Here
I was trying to add a new device (smart plug) to an isolated GUEST network, in the same room as my base RT-AC68U, and this also failed while the remote RP-AC55 was on (in AiMesh mode). I had a 2-pack of plugs, and both behaved the same way -- could connect to my GUEST only after turning off the RP-AC55. This unfortunately suggests that it's AiMesh, since I couldn't connect to the primary router this time -- even though the Guest isn't broadcast by the mesh.

Add that to the issue that an existing device can't get an initial lease from the RP-AC55 (but migrations are ok) ...

Put the two together and I might make some noise with ASUS as well. Maybe multiple reports of the same issue(s) in a short time period will push some buttons. @Dick_W, can you confirm as well?
 

Dick_W

Occasional Visitor
I never did test propagation of my guest net in RP-AC55 mesh mode. I was a bit surprised--foolishly, I'd never researched its capability vs this requirement--when I was testing it in extender mode to discover that you could only setup one SSID per frequency band to extend. (I suspect this is all it does in mesh as well but haven't even had the thing powered on in several weeks--causes more problems than it solves--and it's setup for extender now anyway.)

In my use case, I decided that I could make the RP-AC55 extender work with this limitation--if it worked that is--by extending the 2.4 GHz guest network (the only guest net on the RT-AC68U) and the 5GHz primary network. Both my 2.4 and 5 primary networks share the same SSID and the devices I'd need on the primary net in the extended coverage area are all 5GHz capable. This seemed a least bad compromise. If only it worked with any stability. Sad.

I haven't taken the case up with ASUS Support. Life is short. And I know how it would go down.
 

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