Supplement AC5300 with AC68U?

BGood

Occasional Visitor
I'm having Wi-Fi dead spots in my house and I'm wondering if I should pull my old AC68U out and try to set it up as part of a mesh network. My 4.5 year old AC5300 seemed to reach farther several years back, but I never really checked it at the farthest reaches of the house. Now that I have more devices and more house guests, I'd like to beef up my coverage, if possible. I'm wondering if I can add my old AC68U with the mesh feature? I've never looked into mesh networks before but I don't want to put a lot of time into trying this if it's not considered a good solution.

The AC68U hasn't been used in the 4.5 years I have had the AC5300. I believe it had Merlin firmware on it at the time I mothballed it.

Is there a good FAQ for adding the AC68U as a "mesh node" (I think that's the term)? Do I need to factory reset it first? Upgrade Merlin on it? If this will be a time consuming trial-and-error situation, am I better off buying a new mesh router? If I go that route, I want something that provides VPN server plus split-tunnel VPN client capabilities as well as guest networks.

I realize this is a bit of a hand-holding noob post, but I'm trying to search for some quick answers as to which approach to take so I don't spend too much time or too much money. Thanks
 

laracroftonline

Regular Contributor
works fine for me, merlin on the 5300 and one the ac68u the standard firmware.
 

BGood

Occasional Visitor
works fine for me, merlin on the 5300 and one the ac68u the standard firmware.
So I'm trying to do this based on your reply (thanks). I upgraded the ac68u to Merlin 386.7_2. I did the factory reset. Left the power on. Not sure what "standby" refers to. My AC5300 finds the AC68U, but fails to add it as a node:
1659896423228.png


I'm not sure what to try next. The routers are 1m apart.
 

jj22038

Occasional Visitor
Connect an ethernet cable between the nodes and try again. I had trouble with the wifi mesh creation feature (several releases ago) until I did that.

I think you have to connect a LAN port of the router to the WAN port of the node. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

BGood

Occasional Visitor
Connect an ethernet cable between the nodes and try again. I had trouble with the wifi mesh creation feature (several releases ago) until I did that.

I think you have to connect a LAN port of the router to the WAN port of the node. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
Thank you! This worked the first time I tried it. LAN of router to WAN of Mesh Node.
 

laracroftonline

Regular Contributor
Thank you! This worked the first time I tried it. LAN of router to WAN of Mesh Node.
Awesome that it did work.
 

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