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The issues with AiMesh

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by aurizn, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. aurizn

    aurizn Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    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)
     
  2. Grisu

    Grisu Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,447
    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.
     
  3. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    31,163
    Location:
    Canada
    Expect that one to improve on select models in the coming weeks/months.
     
    Kingp1n and L&LD like this.
  4. aurizn

    aurizn Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    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?
     
    Kingp1n likes this.
  5. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    31,163
    Location:
    Canada
    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.
     
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