(RT-AX86U) Many IoT Devices - Would Aimesh Help?

Zesmine

New Around Here
Hi Everyone,

I'm a first timer on this forum hoping to get some feedback on the RT-AX86U router. I have been using the router for the past 6 months now and it had been working fine. However, I realized that my IoT devices starting to drop connection recently, which I can only attributed to my growing number of IoT devices in the home (no other changes made to router). The router is serving approximately 80 devices at this point, most of which are on the 2.4ghz, being smart light bulbs / strips, power sockets, etc.

I was thinking of splitting the load to improve the performance / connectivity by adding a node via the wired aimesh route but have a few concerns. Namely, my home area is quite small ~750ft in total and most devices are in the living / study (~400ft) - which means the new node would be placed ~ 4 metres or 13 ft from each other. Would this be too much wifi in the area? Would it be counter productive? I'm unsure as there is already quite alot of wifi interference from neighbouring signals (roughly 30 SSIDs found on wifi analyzer between 60 - 80dBm).

If the close proximity is not an issue, I was thinking of getting a pair of XD4 (one in the study (4m away from main router) and one in the bedroom (6m away from main router separated by a thick concrete wall fitted with full length of mirrors - this actually reduces the wifi signal quite abit despite being only a few meters away - I get a -33dbm signal in the living room and -60dbm in the bedroom in which the IoT devices are often unable to connect or disconnects). Would I be better off getting lower end Aimesh nodes such as the RT-AX58U, RT-AC86U or Zenwifi CT8 AC3000? Since I'll mainly be using 2.4ghz with wifi6 disabled. My 5.0ghz band works mostly well, except for the google speakers at the end of the house (around 10 meters / 32ft away from the main router).

Much thanks in advance for your kind advice.
 

eibgrad

Part of the Furniture
Given your description and expressed need, if it was me, I'd pickup some inexpensive RT-AC68U's on eBay (aka TM-AC1900, $35-40), install FT (FreshTomato), and daisy-chain them to the primary router, WAN to LAN, by configuring the 5GHz as a wireless client, and broadcasting the 2.4GHz as an AP. The WAN will thus be virtualized over that wireless client, providing it w/ its own separate IP network, firewall, etc., which you can then configure the firewall to prevent access to the upstream private network.

By doing it this way, you avoid the problem common to ASUS router firmware (stock or Merlin), namely, it doesn't support user-defined VLANs, VAPs, bridging, etc. That's a serious limitation for anyone wanting to create isolation between local devices (something you didn't mention but should be a concern). Instead, at best, you're left to always rely on guest networks, which can be problematic (e.g., no support for wired devices). Besides, given the small area we're dealing with here, and the fact most IoT devices are stationary, there's no really benefit to using a mesh network for these purposes.

You could, of course, connect those routers WAN to LAN normally, via wire, if that was practical. I only suggested the wireless client configuration in case it wasn't practical.

Frankly, you could use the exact same solution for just having better guest networks. Doesn't really matter HOW you use it, the idea is to isolate certain devices from others, perhaps even different levels of isolation.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
The router is serving approximately 80 devices at this point
~750ft in total and most devices are in the living / study (~400ft)

You have about 82 wireless transmitters in 750 sq.ft. area, mostly concentrated in 400 sq.ft. and in a very dense condominium Wi-Fi environment. Hmm... I don't think you have an easy solution here. AiMesh in such small area is going to be a mess. Perhaps 1-2 higher end business APs with multi-client support and better Wi-Fi interference management is what you need. You made yourself entirely Internet service dependent, by the way.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi Everyone,

I'm a first timer on this forum hoping to get some feedback on the RT-AX86U router. I have been using the router for the past 6 months now and it had been working fine. However, I realized that my IoT devices starting to drop connection recently, which I can only attributed to my growing number of IoT devices in the home (no other changes made to router). The router is serving approximately 80 devices at this point, most of which are on the 2.4ghz, being smart light bulbs / strips, power sockets, etc.

I was thinking of splitting the load to improve the performance / connectivity by adding a node via the wired aimesh route but have a few concerns. Namely, my home area is quite small ~750ft in total and most devices are in the living / study (~400ft) - which means the new node would be placed ~ 4 metres or 13 ft from each other. Would this be too much wifi in the area? Would it be counter productive? I'm unsure as there is already quite alot of wifi interference from neighbouring signals (roughly 30 SSIDs found on wifi analyzer between 60 - 80dBm).

If the close proximity is not an issue, I was thinking of getting a pair of XD4 (one in the study (4m away from main router) and one in the bedroom (6m away from main router separated by a thick concrete wall fitted with full length of mirrors - this actually reduces the wifi signal quite abit despite being only a few meters away - I get a -33dbm signal in the living room and -60dbm in the bedroom in which the IoT devices are often unable to connect or disconnects). Would I be better off getting lower end Aimesh nodes such as the RT-AX58U, RT-AC86U or Zenwifi CT8 AC3000? Since I'll mainly be using 2.4ghz with wifi6 disabled. My 5.0ghz band works mostly well, except for the google speakers at the end of the house (around 10 meters / 32ft away from the main router).

Much thanks in advance for your kind advice.

Adding more WiFi will not help. Me, I would hold with one AX86U as centrally located as possible (a small location/orientation change can matter), and eliminate all unnecessary IoT/wireless clients and any that are troublesome by poor design.

OE
 

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