Setting up two Asus routers to extend wifi

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Briant73

Regular Contributor
I have both an 86u which i'm currently running as my only router, it works well but I'd like to extend my wireless range, which I have an older 68u sitting on a shelf in case I need a backup router. I have updated both to rmerlin 384.18 but have more than a few questions, I did some searches that seemed to result when Mesh was new and buggy or not even available on rmerlins fw.

1) I am going to use Ethernet between the two routers, should I go with setting up Mesh mode or do I go with setting up the 68u as an AP?
1a) Is there a good guide for mesh and ap setup?

2) The Ethernet back haul currently comes from the 86u to a small gigbabit switch that serves 6 wired devices currently, should I plug the 68u into that switch or the Ethernet into the 68u directly and then the switch into the 68u or it doesn't matter?

3) Should I use same SSIDs or different for devices?
3a) What about channels?

4) Any major gotcha settings to be aware of?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Rooter

New Around Here
3) Any major gotcha settings to be aware of?
It may not still be an issue, but the last time I tried a similar setup it appeared that guest Wi-Fi access restrictions differed between the primary router/AP versus that of the secondary router/AP. If I recall correctly, I configured the secondary device as just an access point as I did not have any sort of mesh mode available at the time. I did try alternate configurations with the secondary device also configured as a router, but I recall complications with IPv6 DHCP assignments, possibly being limited to or available only to devices connected to the primary router.
 

QuikSilver

Very Senior Member
I have both an 86u which i'm currently running as my only router, it works well but I'd like to extend my wireless range, which I have an older 68u sitting on a shelf in case I need a backup router. I have updated both to rmerlin 384.18 but have more than a few questions, I did some searches that seemed to result when Mesh was new and buggy or not even available on rmerlins fw.

1) I can use Ethernet between the two routers, do I go with Mesh mode or setup the 68u as an AP?
1a) Is there a good guide for mesh and ap setup?

2) The the ethernet backhaul currently comes from the 86u to a small gigbabit switch that serves 5 wired devices currently, should I plug the 68u into that switch or the Ethernet into the 68u directly and then the switch into the 68u or it doesn't matter?

3) Should I use same SSIDs or different for devices?

4) Any major gotcha settings to be aware of?

Thanks!
1)I'd use a ethernet cable if you can. Wired over wireless would be more reliable.
2)If you can take out the switch and go directly to the router. The less items you have in your network, the easier to track down where the issue may be.
3)I use the same ssid across 2.4 and 5ghz using the smart connect feature. Your mileage may vary as some recommend to turn that off.
4)None I can think of right now. ;)
 

Briant73

Regular Contributor
1)I'd use a ethernet cable if you can. Wired over wireless would be more reliable.
2)If you can take out the switch and go directly to the router. The less items you have in your network, the easier to track down where the issue may be.
3)I use the same ssid across 2.4 and 5ghz using the smart connect feature. Your mileage may vary as some recommend to turn that off.
4)None I can think of right now. ;)
Thanks, I edited my first post but here are my answers -
1) I meant to say i will be using ethernet.
2) I have to many wired devices at the same area, I can't remove the switch and have more devices than the 68u can handle, so just wondering if I should do devices to switch to 68u or devices and 68u to switch.
3) I am attempting same ssid, what about channels? Do I use smart connect on just the router or both the router and ap?
 

QuikSilver

Very Senior Member
Thanks, I edited my first post but here are my answers -
1) I meant to say i will be using ethernet.
2) I have to many wired devices at the same area, I can't remove the switch and have more devices than the 68u can handle, so just wondering if I should do devices to switch to 68u or devices and 68u to switch.
3) I am attempting same ssid, what about channels? Do I use smart connect on just the router or both the router and ap?
2) Not exactly sure what you're asking here. "wondering if I should do devices to switch to 68u or devices and 68u to switch"
3)Spacing the channels out on the 2.4ghz band is best practice. Use either 1, 6, or 11, Whatever you use on switch use next for AP.
 

JT Strickland

Senior Member
Thanks, I edited my first post but here are my answers -
1) I meant to say i will be using ethernet.
2) I have to many wired devices at the same area, I can't remove the switch and have more devices than the 68u can handle, so just wondering if I should do devices to switch to 68u or devices and 68u to switch.
3) I am attempting same ssid, what about channels? Do I use smart connect on just the router or both the router and ap?
1) I have a similar setup with ethernet backhaul, and debated about the ap and the mesh method also, and wound up going with the mesh. I am no expert, but they both have advantages. I do like the automatic switching from the node to primary router when I walk from my home to small office without any apparent change on my iphone, or without switching networks.

2) I have my ethernet from my primary router to a switch, which branches to the node, a tablo, a two bay nas, and other clients. My thinking was to take any work out of the router that could be handled efficiently elsewhere, but that may not be valid logic. It has worked well so far.

3)I have separate ssid's for the 2.4 and 5 ghz bands so I can choose which I want with clients.

FWIW I set my control channels based on other traffic and smart connect is turned off I believe.
 
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zackattack784

Occasional Visitor
I too went back and forth between mesh and AP (wired). I went the AP route. I used same SSID, smart connect, and DIFFERENT channels for the router and AP. Works great for me.
 

Briant73

Regular Contributor
Wanted to update - I tried ap mode with my 86u as router and 68u as an ap, wifi signals were great all over my house and outside on my deck but I think I had some major issues with interference or something, seemed like devices would lag where before they didn't. Possibly my routers are too close in the house but I turned off the AP and all of the sudden my devices no longer seem to lag like they were before.

My setup was separate ssid for 2.4g and 5g, different control channels for the ap and router, and smart connect off. Any ideas what to check?

Also can someone send me the rmerlin default wireless professional settings for an 86u for 2.4 and 5g? I wanted to compare those to mine.
 

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