Time to rebuild the home network?

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giopas

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

I live in a house composed by groundfloor, first floor, mezzanine and basement (overall ~150sq/m) and I currently have the following set up:

Router on the ground floor: RT-AC87U (running Asus Merlin fw)
Wifi AP on the first floor: RT-AC68U (wired, in bridge mode, to extend wireless)
Wifi extender in the basement: RP-AC56 (again wired to extend wireless).

I use the same SSID/password for wifi on the three devices, but I get frequent disconnections and issues which is extremely painful in a work from home mode.

I was thinking to upgrade to wifi 6 and mesh (if it makes sense) and especially I would like a reliable wifi connection at home.

I have been suggested to go for a Unifi system with a Dream Machine and a couple of FlexHD, but it seems relatively expensive and not wifi 6 (which however I could not use now...)

I would happily keep using Asus products, especially as it seems that the RT-AC68U supports mesh, so I would have one item less to purchase.

What is your advice? Thanks!!
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi all,

I live in a house composed by groundfloor, first floor, mezzanine and basement (overall ~150sq/m) and I currently have the following set up:

Router on the ground floor: RT-AC87U (running Asus Merlin fw)
Wifi AP on the first floor: RT-AC68U (wired, in bridge mode, to extend wireless)
Wifi extender in the basement: RP-AC56 (again wired to extend wireless).

I use the same SSID/password for wifi on the three devices, but I get frequent disconnections and issues which is extremely painful in a work from home mode.

I was thinking to upgrade to wifi 6 and mesh (if it makes sense) and especially I would like a reliable wifi connection at home.

I have been suggested to go for a Unifi system with a Dream Machine and a couple of FlexHD, but it seems relatively expensive and not wifi 6 (which however I could not use now...)

I would happily keep using Asus products, especially as it seems that the RT-AC68U supports mesh, so I would have one item less to purchase.

What is your advice? Thanks!!
Probably not a good time to upgrade all to prosumer equipment given pandemic price increases/shortages and WiFi 6e not released/mature. Plus your area is smallish and vertical and could continue to be served by Asus equipment.

Consider a 2-node AC86U/AC68U wired AiMesh with different SSIDs per band and fixed channels. Place the 86U high and central for coverage outside... it has a bit/20% more effective range than the 68U. Later (24-36 months), you can upgrade to a WiFi 6e router and retire the 68U.

OE
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Thank you Ozark!

Would the AC86U serve as a wifi6e mesh node in the future?

Moreover, I guess the AC87U and AC56 are good to be retired, right?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thank you Ozark!

Would the AC86U serve as a wifi6e mesh node in the future?

Moreover, I guess the AC87U and AC56 are good to be retired, right?
1. An AC86U can only serve as a WiFi 5/AC AiMesh node.

2. Those routers do not support AiMesh, but they might still serve as router or AP or switch for someone.

OE
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Clear. Last question: is it reasonable to think that going to a mesh network would solve my reliability problems or, after the upgrade, I may still expect issues? (ok it's maybe a crystal ball question :) )
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Your reliability issues are caused by too many AP's in your small/normal sized home (I believe).

A single RT-AC86U strategically placed (centrally, of course) should provide you with an exceptionally stable and fast network. The WiFi prowess of the newer routers since the RT-AC87U has been greatly improved.

See the M&M Config guide in the link below, but you want at least new (and separate for 2.4GHz and 5GHz) SSID's for this new router, I also suggest RMerlin 384.19_0 firmware and using manual control channels for both bands too.


Be sure to fully reset the router after you flash the firmware suggested above. And then, follow the steps below too (as the newest Asus firmware reserves 1MB of the JFFS partition for internal housekeeping and truncates the JFFS from 48MB to 47MB afterward.


 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Thanks all, I will then go for the rt-ac86u and of course with the asus Merlin fw!
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
A stupid question: what's the exact product name of the RT-AC86U? On Amazon it is not that clear :)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Exactly as you wrote it. :)
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Lol!! I mean, it is ac2900, right?

Edit: what about the ac5300? Would it makes more sense or not?
 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That is one way to categorize it, but I don't see that as the product name. :)

 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Thanks again. And what about the ac5300? Would it makes more sense to take that instead of the ac86u or not?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The RT-AC5300 is old news today. The newer RT-AC86U is superior except when a three radio router is required. (i.e. When you have many, many clients to connect wirelessly).
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes.
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Dear all,

I have received today the RT-AC86U, I have put the Asus Merlin 384.19 on and I am trying to add the RT-AC68U (also running latest Asus Merlin fw) as AiMesh.

To do so, I have wired the AC68U to one LAN port and when, on the AC86U router I look for AiMesh notes, I can see the AC68U but it says that the signal is weak (which is logical as it in on a different floor and I want to indeed increase the wifi coverage). However I cannot add it.

Am I missing something here? Is there specific settings to be done on the AC68U I am missing?

I add basic questions to avoid unnecessary back and forth:

1. to which port should I wire the AC68U: WAN or LAN?
2. which mode should I use on the AC68U?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
  • Put the RT-AC68U that you want to use as an AiMesh node in the same room as your main router.
  • Reset the RT-AC68U to full factory defaults. Do not go into the setup menu at all after it reboots.
  • From your main router, 'point' to the router you want to add as an AiMesh node.
  • Wait for it to configure itself and restart.
  • Once it has been configured, you can put the node where you want.
  • Plug in the Ethernet cable to the WAN port to use wired backhaul.
:)
 

giopas

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

I come back to this 3d as I wanted to reconfigure one of my AiMesh nodes (an Asus rt68u) because, although the node was working, from the router I could see that it was still running the stock Asus firmware, but - after having reset the node - I cannot add it back anymore.

I explain: I have hit reset for 20 seconds the rt68u and placed it literally in front of the AiMesh router (ac86u), the router can find the node but when I try to add it, after 70-80% it says that there is an error. I tried this at least 15 times with no luck.

Should I reset the main router and reconfigure everything from scratch? Any other idea or suggestions?

PS: the other AiNode (same type of device on the contrary works well and it has inherited the same firmware number on the router upgrade screen)
 

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