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Solved Single Router vs Dual AiMesh Advice for ~250m² / 2690ft²

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SOLVED. I have decided on a single router setup (GT-AX6000) and will expand with an extra AX router using AiMesh & ethernet backhaul when the time comes. Hopefully by then, these models will have dropped in price! Thanks~

Hey everyone. First thread here, please let me know if this is the wrong section.

We're moving homes and have to leave our trusted AC86U behind. I would like to stay with ASUS as I've had a great experience with Merlin + FlexQoS. The other option in this price range is a TP-LINK Deco setup but I can't find any definitive answers regarding the effectiveness of Homeshield QoS. I require QoS as we will be renting out 3 rooms, totalling 5 to 6 people with various use cases, though I expect half or more of them to be gamers. The connection is Australian FTTN with an estimated speed of 100/40 (most likely ~95/38).

Options and pricing below. ASUS routers will be combined with an VDSL Modem in Bridge Mode:
EDIT: I've decided to go with a single modem setup until more users move in. The list has changed. If anyone has experience with TP-LINK Routers & their QoS, please let me know.
  • 1x GT-AX6000 - $420
  • 1x RT-AX86U PRO - $450
  • 1x RT-AXE7800 - $550 (No merlin support.. on sale!)
The house is approximately 250m². The room setups in the home are quite odd due to renovations over the years. For a single router setup, I plan to position it in the central part of the home (kitchen). For an AI Mesh setup, I plan to put the second router in the hallway outside room 2, mounted to the wall or ceiling. See below for a very badly drawn example of the home:

1697067656508.png


White lines equate to glass windows / doors (atleast important ones). I will be getting CAT6 / 6a / 7 cables run through the roof to the locations of the router(s) and into the Master. I believe there is fairly good line of sight from the Kitchen router to the master bedroom, as well as the dining & living.
My biggest worry is the distance and walls between the kitchen router and rooms 1, 2 & 3, and getting decent speeds (at least half of my max sync) and consistent low latency (gaming) on Wi-Fi when there are multiple users.
It will cost too much to run a cable to all the rooms, especially given the uncertainy and use-case of each person.

From the Kitchen Router:
  • Room 1 is ~11m / 36ft and 2 interior (thinner) walls away.
  • Room 2 is ~8m / 26ft and 2 interior (thinner) walls away.
  • Room 3 is ~6m / 20ft and 1 glass window + 1 exterior (thick) wall away.
  • Master is ~5m / 16ft away and will most likely have line of sight or pass through 1 exterior (thick) wall.

What would be your recommendation for this setup? Unfortunately the house isn't accurately drawn or properly scaled / proportioned but I'm fairly confident in my distance conversion...

Thanks everyone! All your advice and assistance is greatly appreciated!
 
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I don't have an opinion about the relative attractiveness of the various router models you mention, but I do feel fairly confident in saying that you won't get gaming-grade wifi performance everywhere with just a single centrally located router. You'll need at least two; maybe even more, although it's advisable not to put in more APs than you absolutely have to.

I'm not really convinced that your proposed AP locations are ideal. I'd suggest that before you spring for getting someone to run cable, you experiment to find out what coverage you're actually getting. Invest in a couple of long patch cables that you can temporarily run to the locations you're thinking about, and then go around and measure actual performance in the different rooms. This will also let you discover whether you can cover the space with just two APs. Once you have an evidence-based plan for how many APs you are going to put where, it'll be time to hire somebody to run out-of-sight cables to those locations.
 
RT-AX89X
RT-AX92U

RT-AX89X - 2019 model router with history of firmware issues
RT-AX92U - 2018 model router, End-of-Life now, no more support

I've had a great experience with Merlin + FlexQoS

May not work properly with newer Asus AX-class Broadcom hardware.

 
I don't have an opinion about the relative attractiveness of the various router models you mention, but I do feel fairly confident in saying that you won't get gaming-grade wifi performance everywhere with just a single centrally located router. You'll need at least two; maybe even more, although it's advisable not to put in more APs than you absolutely have to.

I'm not really convinced that your proposed AP locations are ideal. I'd suggest that before you spring for getting someone to run cable, you experiment to find out what coverage you're actually getting. Invest in a couple of long patch cables that you can temporarily run to the locations you're thinking about, and then go around and measure actual performance in the different rooms. This will also let you discover whether you can cover the space with just two APs. Once you have an evidence-based plan for how many APs you are going to put where, it'll be time to hire somebody to run out-of-sight cables to those locations.
Thanks for the advice! I've already done this once, but with a much weaker TP-Link Archer AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 router. From my testing, these appeared to be the best spots unless I plan to add three nodes but that is out of my budget if I'd like to stick with ASUS. Of course I will confirm everything prior to having cables run - especially since there won't be any users moving in initially other than my wife and I. We currently don't have an internet plan in the location too - I was simply using WiFi scanner and getting the signal strength. I was hoping this would be an accurate indicator but I guess doing proper speed and latency tests will be much more accurate. Primarily, speeds are not the issue, but stable latency is.

EDIT: I have just seen that the RT-AXE7800 is on-sale near me. Do you have any experience with it as a single centrally located router? I've read good reviews and I'm hoping it's true tri-band would help.

RT-AX89X - 2019 model router with history of firmware issues
RT-AX92U - 2018 model router, End-of-Life now, no more support



May not work properly with newer Asus AX-class Broadcom hardware.

That would explain the lower costs as well. Looks like I'll steer away from the RT-AX89X and RT-AX92U. Thanks for this!
I'm worried after reading the thread. It appears, as the title suggests, reboot and filtering issues with HND5.04 models. However, it seems there are people who are having success using it with the RT-AX86U Pro.. EDIT: Identified that HND is tied with the device chipset. Dave has pushed version 1.3.4 which fixes the reboots, but lists "Workaround by only modifying packets with valid upload and download marks.". I will have to ask in the thread to see what this entails.

Finally, I didn't have success with Adaptive QoS on my RT-AC88U in my current (soon to be previous) home with users constantly uploading to social media and a streaming-torrent like video app playing consistently through-out the day. Latency spikes were horrible. Do you know if this has improved, or whether the stronger chipset in the RT-AX86U Pro will handle it better? Heck, I'd even be happy with Device Priority QoS if it worked.

Thank you!
 
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Over time you'll realize most of the available firmware features are good for advertising purposes only. Nothing much changed since your RT-AC88U. You are obviously looking for AIO home routers and you have to live with what they can do. RT-AXE7800 - overpriced weak hardware with mostly unusable slow 6E radio.
 
I require QoS as we will be renting out 3 rooms

QoS is your least issue. Sharing your Internet connection with other people means you take full responsibility for their online activities, including potentially illegal. Authorities may come to you one day and start asking questions you may not be able to answer. I wouldn't do it and it's perhaps against your terms of service.
 
Over time you'll realize most of the available firmware features are good for advertising purposes only. Nothing much changed since your RT-AC88U. You are obviously looking for AIO home routers and you have to live with what they can do. RT-AXE7800 - overpriced weak hardware with mostly unusable slow 6E radio.
Understandable. After more research, I've decided on sticking with a single router setup until more users move in. This way I can still expand with AiMesh and most likely by that time, the AX WiFi 6 devices should be dropping in price.
The single router I've decided to go with is the GT-AX6000 as it's on-sale for a cheaper price than the RT-AX86U Pro and I've heard it's a very similar router but with a better 2.4Ghz band (4x4 vs 3x3).

QoS is your least issue. Sharing your Internet connection with other people means you take full responsibility for their online activities, including potentially illegal. Authorities may come to you one day and start asking questions you may not be able to answer. I wouldn't do it and it's perhaps against your terms of service.
Thanks for this piece of advice. It's something that has been noted to us before as well. Thankfully we are simply subletting and while the internet connection will be under my name, it will be set up through the property management along with the rental contracts, etc. It is very common for rented property (as far as I know) to offer this. However, I will bring this up with them to clarify any possible issues or conflicts and have confirmations legally written and / or binded. Though there is no need to continue this as it would be a separate matter than this thread!

I will mark this as SOLVED for now. Thanks everyone for all the advice!~
 

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