RT-AX86U -- RTAC86U mesh good combination?

JohnD5000

Senior Member
I have an RT-AC86U (located at the front of house-can't be moved) which I use as my main router running Merlin. This covers my house well enough. I also have an RT-AC68U which I use as a mesh node (wirelessly connected) which I only turn on when I want to have a connection in my backyard. This works but is a little flakey. Unfortunately, I can not install ethernet wires.

I was thinking of getting an RT-AX86U and using the RT-AC86U as the mesh node. Is this a good combo? Would this give me better range and connection in my backyard than my current combo?

Thanks.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have an RT-AC86U (located at the front of house-can't be moved) which I use as my main router running Merlin. This covers my house well enough. I also have an RT-AC68U which I use as a mesh node (wirelessly connected) which I only turn on when I want to have a connection in my backyard. This works but is a little flakey. Unfortunately, I can not install ethernet wires.

I was thinking of getting an RT-AX86U and using the RT-AC86U as the mesh node. Is this a good combo? Would this give me better range and connection in my backyard than my current combo?

Thanks.

I have what you ask... seems to work just fine. The AC86U offers about 20% better effective WiFi coverage than the AC68U. I say 'effective' because the Tx powers are probably similar but the AC86U seems to connect stronger which could be for any number of reasons I'm not qualified to explain.

I also added a second AC86U in the middle... lots more WiFi around but I turned it OFF... too much for my space (see my install notes).

OE
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
so there is not an issue mixing AX & AC in a wireless mesh network?

It depends. AC86U and AX86U are both HND routers. You may not have good experience with AC68U in the mix.
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
Thanks, so there is not an issue mixing AX & AC in a wireless mesh network?
the only issue is that your devices that connect with 802.11ax (wifi6) to the main router will only benefit from the speeds of ax when in range of it, otherwise they'll drop down to wireless-ac speeds.
I think the best thing to do with multiple APs or in a "mesh" is stay with the fastest wireless protocol of the greatest number of devices on your network unless they've been earmarked for imminent upgrade. I'm certain other commenters will disagree, but I'd argue it's like wired networks that are only as fast as their slowest network interface among connected clients.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
the only issue is

This is not the only issue. Running mixed AiMesh with previous gen routers and current HND models, especially if you prefer Asuswrt-Merlin firmware, may range from frequent node disconnections to completely unable to find the node. Even stock Asuswrt is not entirely stable with mixed wireless AiMesh. One half-solution is running stock Asuswrt on the nodes, at least. Wired backhaul increases chances for success. If Guest Network on the nodes is not required, Router + wired Access Points configuration works always and far more stable. The "roaming" between AP's is the same as in AiMesh.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks, so there is not an issue mixing AX & AC in a wireless mesh network?

Sorry for the late reply, if you don't reply to me, I typically don't search for it.

Generally speaking, it's not any different than when you upgraded to an AC router and kept your old N router as a wired AP or wireless Repeater. Clients should connect with their best mode/bandwidth/authentication supported by the near node/WLAN they are connecting to.

Of course, an AX client can only connect with AC mode to an AC node/WLAN... an AX root node does not make an AC remote node an AX remote node. When you inspect the Wireless Log, you will see a variety of clients connected with a variety of modes, bandwidths, and streams according to what is supported by the hardware/configuration on each end of each client connection.

Whether or not it works like it should according to the AiMesh and 802.11 design intent remains to be proven for any given installation.

OE
 
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