Second Router (as range extender and backup for existing AC88U)

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JDB

Very Senior Member
So with Black Friday just around the corner I pondered getting a second Asus Router if a good deal pops up.

I currently run the RT-AC88U with @RMerlin’s (wonderful) firmware. It has to reside in my office which is on one side of the house meaning 5Ghz coverage is not perfect in the kitchen on the far side of the house (and 2.4Ghz is limited to ~24Mbps, I believe because my broken smart electricity meter is spewing rubbish out on that band and the electric company don’t care enough to come fix it!).
So, with AiMesh having recently been included in AsusWRT I would want to use the router as a range extender in normal operations.
As I work from home and so internet access is more important than in the average family house (unless you have teenagers I guess!) it would also serve as a backup should my 88U suffer a failure.

I don’t have the option to run a cable so it will be using Wi-Fi to ‘mesh’. Shame I don’t already have a tri-band router to make use of a dedicated backhaul channel (but honestly I rarely transfer large files internally so as long as it supports ~100Mbps real world speeds I’m happy).

I have Asterisk running on the 88U (via Entware), along with a few other more minor customisations. I’m not stressing the 88U in terms of CPU or RAM at the mo but any new router would need to have similar abilities (I’m thinking anything I chose from the latest Asus range will be OK, but just in case!).

So questions...

What would you go for? I’m thinking another 88U (easy to restore a backup if it is needed to replace the main router), or the newer 86U (maybe even make it the primary router for better performance of VPN etc? Cheaper!). Technically the 86U appears lower in the pecking order than the 88U, but from what I’ve seen it appears to perform as well or better!? It’s ~£50 cheaper too so am I missing something here?

I know AiMesh is very new but has anyone had any experience of it yet? On paper it looks good at least! https://www.asus.com/aimesh/


Anyone spotted a deal (UK based) already announced for Black Friday?


Any other suggestions/comments!?


Many Thanks in advance!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

maxbraketorque

Very Senior Member
My guess would be that there isn't sufficient performance data available on the 86U for anyone to provide an informed recommendation. I am pretty interested in getting a new router as well. I keep wondering if ASUS is going to release a true successor the the 88U soon.
 

JDB

Very Senior Member
My guess would be that there isn't sufficient performance data available on the 86U for anyone to provide an informed recommendation. I am pretty interested in getting a new router as well. I keep wondering if ASUS is going to release a true successor the the 88U soon.

That is my other thought. Do I hold out for the successor for unknown time!
If it was going to be in the next ~6 months I’d think we’d have seen rumours by now though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

maxbraketorque

Very Senior Member
That is my other thought. Do I hold out for the successor for unknown time!
If it was going to be in the next ~6 months I’d think we’d have seen rumours by now though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I don't have a strong need for a new router, so I'm going to hold out for a while. I think the 86U is a 68U successor. If it was an 88U successor, ASUS would have put four external antennas on it. People equate # of visible antennas with performance, so a 68U successor needs to have three external antennas to be clearly different from an 88U successor. I'm a bit frustrated that ASUS has shown off an 88U-appearing draft 802.11AX router but has not brought an 802.11AC 88U successor to the market yet. But if you need something soon, the 86U looks worth exploring. If it doesn't suit your needs, can sell on ebay or return if its garbage.
 

winb83

Occasional Visitor
So with Black Friday just around the corner I pondered getting a second Asus Router if a good deal pops up.

I currently run the RT-AC88U with @RMerlin’s (wonderful) firmware. It has to reside in my office which is on one side of the house meaning 5Ghz coverage is not perfect in the kitchen on the far side of the house (and 2.4Ghz is limited to ~24Mbps, I believe because my broken smart electricity meter is spewing rubbish out on that band and the electric company don’t care enough to come fix it!).
So, with AiMesh having recently been included in AsusWRT I would want to use the router as a range extender in normal operations.
As I work from home and so internet access is more important than in the average family house (unless you have teenagers I guess!) it would also serve as a backup should my 88U suffer a failure.

I don’t have the option to run a cable so it will be using Wi-Fi to ‘mesh’. Shame I don’t already have a tri-band router to make use of a dedicated backhaul channel (but honestly I rarely transfer large files internally so as long as it supports ~100Mbps real world speeds I’m happy).

I have Asterisk running on the 88U (via Entware), along with a few other more minor customisations. I’m not stressing the 88U in terms of CPU or RAM at the mo but any new router would need to have similar abilities (I’m thinking anything I chose from the latest Asus range will be OK, but just in case!).

So questions...

What would you go for? I’m thinking another 88U (easy to restore a backup if it is needed to replace the main router), or the newer 86U (maybe even make it the primary router for better performance of VPN etc? Cheaper!). Technically the 86U appears lower in the pecking order than the 88U, but from what I’ve seen it appears to perform as well or better!? It’s ~£50 cheaper too so am I missing something here?

I know AiMesh is very new but has anyone had any experience of it yet? On paper it looks good at least! https://www.asus.com/aimesh/


Anyone spotted a deal (UK based) already announced for Black Friday?


Any other suggestions/comments!?


Many Thanks in advance!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have 2 of these with 1 in wireless bridge mode. Doesn't work well. The main router works great but the 2nd bridge mode router constantly loses connection and requires power cycles to reconnect.

I wouldn't recommend it.
 

JDB

Very Senior Member
I have 2 of these with 1 in wireless bridge mode. Doesn't work well. The main router works great but the 2nd bridge mode router constantly loses connection and requires power cycles to reconnect.

I wouldn't recommend it.

Bridge Mode is very different to the new AiMesh though...
 

JDB

Very Senior Member
So there is an 88U Black Friday deal, however the RT-AC5300 was only marginally more (also on a deal), so I've gone with that and will make it my main router with the 88U becoming the range extender. I figure I then have the option to add a second tri-band Asus in the future and take best advantage of the AiMesh abilities.

Just need the 382 branch of @RMerlin firmware to gain support for the RT-AC5300 - hurry up Asus with the GPL!
 

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