smartconnect RT-AX88U and repeater RT-AC66U works better then expected but how?

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Gravityz

Regular Contributor
i am recently playing around with smart connect and it works better then expected

2.4Ghz and 5Ghz have the same SSID
2.4Ghz on channel 9/up
5 Ghz on auto

i can walk around the whole house doing a transfer test and it switches without interruptions back and forth
on 5Ghz i get around 600Mbps and on 2.4Ghz around 0-180Mbps
when i get to the second floor the transferrate drops to 4Mbps because it is almost out of range.

now the weird stuff.
i have added a RT-AC66U as a repeater to the RT-AX88U. i connected it to the single SSID(router is in SC mode)
both have the same SSID and 2.4GHz are on the same channel (9)
It seems to repeat the 2.4Ghz on channel 9(same as rt-ax88U)but the 5Ghz on 36(RT-AX88U is on 100)

now when i do the test again i get full 2.4Ghz speeds on the second floor and maximum signal strenght.
however the signal stil seems to follow seemless from top floor to groundfloor
it seems to do smart connect between the 2 routers but how can this be?
it is not an AI mesh, the RT-AC66U does not support AImesh and it also does not support Smart connect.
Also it extends the 2.4Ghz seemless but not the 5ghz

i am not complaining because it is working amazingly but as far as i can tell it should not work this way and should disconnect from RT-AC66U and reconnect to the RT-AX88U.
Also when i am at the top floor the connection disappears from the RT-AX88U network map(is it not connected anymore) but it does not appear in the RT-AC66U network map

if anybody can shed some light on this that would be nice.
I think i discovered functionality which most people want with a RT-AC68U aimesh node(which does not work with Smartconnect) but does seem to work with a RT-AC66U

thanks
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
i am recently playing around with smart connect and it works better then expected

2.4Ghz and 5Ghz have the same SSID
2.4Ghz on channel 9/up
5 Ghz on auto

i can walk around the whole house doing a transfer test and it switches without interruptions back and forth
on 5Ghz i get around 600Mbps and on 2.4Ghz around 0-180Mbps
when i get to the second floor the transferrate drops to 4Mbps because it is almost out of range.

now the weird stuff.
i have added a RT-AC66U as a repeater to the RT-AX88U. i connected it to the single SSID(router is in SC mode)
both have the same SSID and 2.4GHz are on the same channel (9)
It seems to repeat the 2.4Ghz but not the 5Ghz

now when i do the test again i get full 2.4Ghz speeds on the second floor and maximum signal strenght.
however the signal stil seems to follow seemless from top floor to groundfloor
it seems to do smart connect between the 2 routers but how can this be?
it is not an AI mesh, the RT-AC66U does not support AImesh and it also does not support Smart connect.

i am not complaining because it is working amazingly but as far as i can tell it should not work this way and should disconnect from RT-AC66U and reconnect to the RT-AX88U.
Also when i am at the top floor the connection disappears from the RT-AX88U network map(is it not connected anymore) but it does not appear in the RT-AC66U network map

if anybody can shed some light on this that would be nice.
I think i discovered functionality which most people want with a RT-AC68U aimesh node(which does not work with Smartconnect) but does seem to work with a RT-AC66U

thanks

The repeater will connect to one band on the router and broadcast its own two bands. Since your repeater does not support Smart Connect node band steering, you should probably use different SSIDs for each band on the repeater.

Given that, you should then probably use the same different SSIDs on the router so that your clients can roam more seamlessly on one SSID, node-to-node.

Smart Connect may work on the router, but it does not work on the repeater nor between the two.

That said, from here it's impossible to know where and how your clients are choosing to connect, so you'll just have to work it out. :)

OE
 
Last edited:

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Sounds like expected behaviour. You don't need Smart Connect for a client to roam between access points, the client can decide to do that itself. The fact that it hopping between the 2.4GHz stations is not surprising as they will have the strongest signals.
 

Gravityz

Regular Contributor
thanks, i am beginning to understand how things are working.
agreed 2 seperate ssid's is what i was using with the old RT-AC66U

however after enabling SC and discovering that it is always pushing the client to the fastest band i like it a lot.
I have Apple equipment and those devices do not have options to connect to a preferred band (5Ghz)
so the situation is that when i turn on the phone it connects to the 2.4Ghz.
Even if i connect it to 5Ghz, walk out the door and come back it switches back to 2.4Ghz(the strongest signal)

so with my current situation it always connects to 5Ghz, if i get out of range it switches to 2.4Ghz and if i get out of range of that one it switches to the 2.4ghz repeater(seamless it seems)
When i go back it does the same and i end up on the 5Ghz again.

so the only downfall at the moment is it does not use the 5.ghz repeater because the 2.4ghz signal is stronger

if Apple only would introduce preferred bandwidth options on their wifi things would be much simpeler and the client itself can decide what the best band or router/repeater is.
 

CaptnDanLKW

Regular Contributor
As someone who likes and uses Smart Connect (ever since ASUS added fixed channels on the AC86U), I understand the need to keep it simple. Coincidentally, when I only had 1 AC86U and a AC68U I had similar experiences and questions. I switched between AP and AI Mesh but was never confident it was doing what I wanted. Granted you have an older AC66U (not B1) so you can't use AI Mesh - but my question was the same. Mixing devices with a some differing 'core' features.

We had to remember two things...
1) That our experience is only as good as the dumbest the STA (client) or transient signal condition. Sometimes a client is stubborn and no matter how much steering, assistance or even roamastd kicking them off, they keep connecting to the same BSSID.
2) If you use multiple SSIDs, when you join, that SSID and passphrase is remembered by your device's manufacturer (Apple, Google, Microsoft) 'account' and shared on other devices. This makes it difficult to keep hosts on the SSID you want (see #1)
3) There is no 'Easy Button' for SC. My environment (placement & distance, client mobility & locations, noise, etc.) means I have to adjust thresholds that work for me. Defaults have never worked good for me.

So all that said, I decided the best thing to do was pick up a 2nd AC86U, enable SC and simplify the configuration.

BTW, you mention 9/up - best practice is to NOT use 40MHz for 2.4, even if you have no neighbors. YMMV. If you ever have a wonky IoT device that stops talking and won't reconnect, this is why.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
thanks, i am beginning to understand how things are working.
agreed 2 seperate ssid's is what i was using with the old RT-AC66U

however after enabling SC and discovering that it is always pushing the client to the fastest band i like it a lot.
I have Apple equipment and those devices do not have options to connect to a preferred band (5Ghz)
so the situation is that when i turn on the phone it connects to the 2.4Ghz.
Even if i connect it to 5Ghz, walk out the door and come back it switches back to 2.4Ghz(the strongest signal)

so with my current situation it always connects to 5Ghz, if i get out of range it switches to 2.4Ghz and if i get out of range of that one it switches to the 2.4ghz repeater(seamless it seems)
When i go back it does the same and i end up on the 5Ghz again.

so the only downfall at the moment is it does not use the 5.ghz repeater because the 2.4ghz signal is stronger

if Apple only would introduce preferred bandwidth options on their wifi things would be much simpeler and the client itself can decide what the best band or router/repeater is.

Now that all sounds more plausible.

I had one AC68U. AiMesh arrived so I added another AC68U. Then I learned a few things. I upgraded family with the AC68Us and installed two AC86Us primarily for the desired 'elegance' of Smart Connect and a scrunch more WiFi reach to make my 77' wireless backhaul to a detached brick garage. I'm still experimenting with and without Smart Connect as AiMesh has evolved, and it generally works, especially now with fixed channels. Currently using SC with AiMesh 2.0 RC2-9 beta.

OE
 

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