The issues with AiMesh

Are you happy with AiMesh?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • No

    Votes: 8 57.1%

  • Total voters
    14

aurizn

Occasional Visitor
I have been using AiMesh on over many AiMesh models for the past year and I would like to share some thoughts on AiMesh. Opinions are my own. Discussion welcomed.

Lack of proper roaming support

AiMesh does not support any of the 802.11 roaming standard. ASUS is relying on their roaming framework which in reality doesn't work well. It takes 500-1000ms to roam to an AiMesh node if you are lucky with some packet drop most of the time. This is certainly not seamless and definitely not able to keep a VOIP call connected. While roaming decision will depend on the client, the addition of 802.11 k/v/r support will make everything much better for supported devices.

Poor Cross Model Compatibility
While being cross model compatible is a huge AiMesh selling point, the compatibility is terrible when different models are involved. While staying with similar chipset vendor is fine (RT-AC68U & RT-AC86U). Mixing chipset will cause random glitches with no network or node not connected. (Blue Cave & RT-AC86U). This is even worst when you attempt to use an AX model with an AC model.

I found that the RT-AC86U + RT-AC86U combo will give the best performance and stability as it is always the first one to receive new firmware.

Too many parameters to control
While this is technically not ASUS fault. Optimally, ASUS should fix everything on a set of best known parameters when AiMesh is enabled rather than leaving it to the users to figure out manually. While power users will be fine, many casual users simply do not have the knowledge to perform this.

Firmware Issues
The way AiMesh is developed today is not really that user friendly. Updating firmware will sometime break AiMesh and users will need to perform a factory reset and start everything from scratch. At some point, people are going to get tired from having to deal with this constantly.

Comparing it to Google WiFi or Eero, although it doesn't offer a similar level of performance like a 4X4 AiMesh router, they are easier to manage and don't really requires the amount of time required to fine tune everything. It just work smoothly out of the box.


While I will give credit to ASUS for developing their own mesh protocol and backport it to their old models rather than relying on vendor's implementation such as Qualcomm SON. But, at this point it is still a mess and far from what the competitors can do (Eero, Google WiFi and etc)
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
For me you missed an important point: Guest WiFi is not supported on Aimesh-nodes.
And SmartConnect may be a good feature, but as long as it hinders to set a fix channel it is often useless.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Will it be a full 802.11 k/v/r implementation or ASUS is still attempting to develop their own roaming mechanism without any PSK caching?
All I can share for now is what's visible in the GPL source code.

Code:
config RTCONFIG_FBT
        bool "FAST BSS Transition (802.11r FBT) support"
        default n

config RTCONFIG_BCN_RPT
        bool "enable 802.11k beacon request/report for roaming"
        default n

config RTCONFIG_BTM_11V
        bool "enable 802.11v BTM request/report for roaming"
        default n
I can't say which platform is getting which of these, or how they are going to be implemented. The two last options seem to be currently enabled on the RT-AC68U, no idea if they are functional yet or not.
 

KeithLa

New Around Here
Hello, I'm curious to know any updates from anyone on this thread? I'm a new Aimesh user with RT-AC66U B1 (main) and Blue Cave (node) experiencing roaming handoff problems, with or without Roaming Assistant enabled, and whether I use common or separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs. Specifically, Verizon WiFi calling and Zoom conferences are interrupted as I walk around, as is live radio streaming using TuneIn. My phone is a brand new 2020 Motorola edge+ flagship.

I'm also noticing my phone sometimes clings to low RSSI Aimesh connections (e.g. -67dbm) even with substantially stronger Aimesh nodes nearby.

Today I tested a TP-Link Deco mesh system in exact place of my Asus devices, and found it roams well as long it has Fast Roaming 802.11r enabled. Without that, I experienced similar audio streaming reconnects as on Aimesh.

This suggests that my Asus Aimesh APs do not support 802.11r or similar roaming assist protocols.

Are my Blue Cave and RT-AC66U B1 poor choices for Aimesh? Are there settings I should try?

I'm partial to Asus firmware, web UI, etc., but not convinced Aimesh is capable enough for my home.
 

tekrich

Regular Contributor
I answered no, after trying it twice.

The issue I had was after moving far away from one node/router, and being close to the next node/router. At this point the device would still be connected to the farthest node, before being dropped and connecting to the closest node. The experience was low bandwidth with high pings, prior to the switch actually happening. And everyone that moved around had the same issue. It just wasn't a smooth transition between nodes.

Now I use the AC88U in AP mode, wired to the AX88U. By the way, AiMesh was with the same hardware set up, wired backhaul.

Router and AP with the same SSIDs and passwords, and Roaming assist set just so devices drop when needed and connect to the nearest node/router. And this, for me, is better with instant transitions.

I might give AiMesh another go if the devices AiMesh is going to be improved, but the manual roaming I have set up works perfectly.
 

KeithLa

New Around Here
Interesting, I've read posts elsewhere (perhaps your own) that AP mode has worked better than Aimesh for some, so may give that a try. What's frustrating as I've been testing several real-time streaming apps (Zoom, CNN, Facebook Messenger video calls, etc.) is that it sometimes hands off fine, other times glitchs slightly but returns, and other times completely drops connections.

I've also today read a few in-depth technical evals of Aimesh that are not very flattering re: its roaming and backhaul behaviors.
 

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