Things About to Get Meshy

dbqandersons

New Around Here
Hi Everyone,

My current home network setup is anchored by a five-year-old RT-AC68U (1 GHz CPU) as my main router for the house (placed pretty much right in the middle). Attached to that via cat-6 ethernet back-haul are two Netgear R6120 routers (one at the north and south ends of the house) configured as access points for my IoT devices (as well as supplemental coverage for the main network as needed).

Overall, this has worked pretty well for me over the past few years despite some coverage issues at the edges of the RT-AC68U’s range. To alleviate those issues (and because I like new toys and technology), I’m looking at replacing the Netgears with a couple of ASUS routers and creating a three-way AIMesh to get better whole-house coverage (as well as the garage and patio).

My initial thought is to buy an RT-AC86U to replace my RT-AC68U at the core as the AIMesh router (faster CPU, faster throughput, more power (insert Tim Allen-esque guttural grunts here), etc...). Then, shift my current RT-AC68U to become one of the AIMesh nodes and get a second (albeit quite a bit newer) RT-AC68U for the other AIMesh node. With the cat-6 infrastructure already in place, the AIMesh system will be ethernet-backhaul as well.

Does anyone see any drastic flaws in my plan? I guess the only thing I can think of that concerns me is the age difference between the RT-AC68Us. One might have more CPU power, a better chip set, etc...

Cheers,

Bill Anderson
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
This Is The Way.
Overall, this has worked pretty well for me over the past few years despite some coverage issues at the edges of the RT-AC68U’s range. To alleviate those issues (and because I like new toys and technology), I’m looking at replacing the Netgears with a couple of ASUS routers and creating a three-way AIMesh to get better whole-house coverage (as well as the garage and patio).

My initial thought is to buy an RT-AC86U to replace my RT-AC68U at the core as the AIMesh router (faster CPU, faster throughput, more power (insert Tim Allen-esque guttural grunts here), etc...). Then, shift my current RT-AC68U to become one of the AIMesh nodes and get a second (albeit quite a bit newer) RT-AC68U for the other AIMesh node. With the cat-6 infrastructure already in place, the AIMesh system will be ethernet-backhaul as well.

Does anyone see any drastic flaws in my plan? I guess the only thing I can think of that concerns me is the age difference between the RT-AC68Us. One might have more CPU power, a better chip set, etc...

Cheers,

Bill Anderson


don't worry about older/slower processors of the AC68s, as the AC86 will handle most of the "heavy lifting", and if the radios weren't up to the task, Asus (probably) wouldn't support them for AiMesh.

That said, the AC68s are closer to their MTBF than the AC86, so be prepared to replace one/both of the 68s sooner than later with (another) AC86 and AX86 (or whatever is the newest at the time - new gear - yay!)
 

jsbeddow

Senior Member
I wouldn't worry about the lifespan of any the RT-AC68Us, as they have proven to be nearly bulletproof in that regard. However, I would be more inclined to "pause" on using those as AiMesh nodes; my experiences (and some others on this forum) with using them that way didn't go so well, as they have a tendency to drop out for a few minutes at a time periodically (with no real cause or reason, plenty of RSSI signal strength, etc..) and nothing helpful in the logs. Just my 2 cents...
 

dbqandersons

New Around Here
Thanks for the replies @heysoundude and @jsbeddow.

@jsbeddow, have the drop-out issues you mention happened with wired-backhaul, wifi-backhaul, or both? Since I already have the ethernet infrastructure (cat-6) in place, I was planning on using wired-backhaul for more stable inter-node connectivity within the AiMesh. However, if these issues are popping up with wired-backhaul, I might need to rethink my strategy a little.
 

jsbeddow

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies @heysoundude and @jsbeddow.

@jsbeddow, have the drop-out issues you mention happened with wired-backhaul, wifi-backhaul, or both? Since I already have the ethernet infrastructure (cat-6) in place, I was planning on using wired-backhaul for more stable inter-node connectivity within the AiMesh. However, if these issues are popping up with wired-backhaul, I might need to rethink my strategy a little.
Those problems were under wifi only, I never tested while hard wired.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
Since I already have the ethernet infrastructure (cat-6) in place, I was planning on using wired-backhaul for more stable inter-node connectivity within the AiMesh.
This is The Way ^

I'm beginning to wonder when copper ethernet cabling will be replaced by fibre - which is easy enough to come by lately on Amazon Basics.
(which reminds me of how old I am - I can remember when Fibre Optic cabling was brand spankin' new in the 80s and ultra high-tech stuff for defence/gov't and telco infrastructure...)
Will next year's router models have Fibre in/out/thru ports as well as 2.5Gbps Ethernet? Maybe ISP speeds to end users need to step up first...
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I don't expect Fibre to be on consumer routers in the foreseeable future. Way too brittle to handle consumer ham-fistedness.
 

dbqandersons

New Around Here
I would agree with that. There was some fiber to desktop woorkstations going on at my facility just as I was leaving the Air Force in 1999 and we were pinching/breaking those cables left and right. It wasn't pretty.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
I don't expect Fibre to be on consumer routers in the foreseeable future. Way too brittle to handle consumer ham-fistedness.
I would agree with that. There was some fiber to desktop woorkstations going on at my facility just as I was leaving the Air Force in 1999 and we were pinching/breaking those cables left and right. It wasn't pretty.
Surprised that things havent improved since inception/availabilty became more widespread
 

dbqandersons

New Around Here
To close the loop on this thread, I ended up getting a used AC-68U off of Facebook Marketplace (hardware rev B2 and I'm pretty sure my original one is a B1) and a new AC-86U from Office Depot (I had about $50 in rewards dollars; that plus a price-match to Walmart brought it down to about $100.00) to complete my AIMesh setup. Here's how things ended up.

1634862897257.png


Thanks to everyone who provided advice.

Cheers,
Bill
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Things I want to be added Asuswrt-Merlin 2
M Downgrading to stock - things to consider? Asuswrt-Merlin 13

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top