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RT-AC68U with a RT-N66R in AP mode with Ethernet back-haul

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by raven70, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. raven70

    raven70 New Around Here

    Feb 8, 2012
    I've googled and read too much on AiMesh, APs, Repeaters, confuses the heck out of me and just need someone that knows what they are talking about to advise me on what will work best. Would AiMesh be a better solution or do I need better equipment?

    Currently have AT&T GB coming into house to my home-office via cable and a dedicated ONT line.
    Wifi on modem is disabled and pass-through to an RT-AC68U. Wired Ethernet throughout home, but significant dead spots with wifi coverage. The other challenge is VERY poor cell service reception so use wifi assist to handle calls.

    I do have same SID on both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz bands. I'll change if needed, but just want decent coverage.

    On one jack I plugged in an RT-N66R and use the ports for several devices but have that router in AP mode. This solution works. . .sort of.

    On the one hand, if I am in the back of my yard, more than 100 yards from the RT-AC68U, I have decent wifi. The RT-N66R is at the back of the house and only going through 1 brick veneer wall. However, if I sit on the sofa in the living room about 10ft from the RT-N66R and 30ft from the RT-AC68U or I am moving around, all bets are off.

    My completely unqualified guess is that my phone and devices are fighting over whether they want to connect 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz as well as if they want to connect to the AP or the base wifi router.

    Will AiMesh fix this? The very old RT-N66R does not support AiMesh so would have to upgrade. Can I keep the other router and add a cheap AiMesh node (not sure what you call it) in place of the RT-N66R?

    Any other suggestions? Most of my house is wired, so wifi usage are smart devices (Ring, garage door, dimmers, etc.), phones, tablets, and Nintendo Switch.
  2. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Part of the Furniture

    Feb 14, 2018
    In the US, the N66 WiFi is a bit weaker than the AC68 WiFi. And the AC68 WiFi is about 20% weaker than the AC86 WiFi.

    The N66 does not support AC, Smart Connect node band steering, nor AiMesh.

    The AC1900/AC68/AC66 B1 do not support Smart Connect, so you should use separate SSIDs for each band (and fixed channels). Connect clients to the preferred SSID/band for manual node band steering.

    Me, I would retire the N66, install a new AC86 as AiMesh router, and add the 68U (or another new 86U) as wired AiMesh node. If you retire/pass on the 68U, you can try Smart Connect with identical SSIDs for each band and see how your clients behave.

    Your area of coverage and type of building materials/obstacles were not considered. But it sounds like a 2-node AiMesh will improve what you've been living with.

    Or, consider dual-band AX equipment/cost for a wired AiMesh, if you can't wait for WiFi 6e.

    Smokey613 and raven70 like this.
  3. raven70

    raven70 New Around Here

    Feb 8, 2012