To AiMesh or not to AiMesh - that is the question

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slvrscoobie

Occasional Visitor
Ive got 3 Asus Merlin routers in my house (2 floors, but plaster walls) - all running the latest firmware. all 3 are ethernet connected, the 2 'Rt-68U' backhaul to my rt-3100 into fios fiber ethernet
I had until last week the 2 AC68U set as AP with the same SSID /password and different channels as the one is far enough away through a couple plaster walls that its not an issue. however, the other router/node/ap is basically directly below the 3100 down stairs and has some significant overlap, but due to locations, is a much better location for signals into the kitchen area, so removing that node to use the 3100 isn't great.
my question then is: is it better in a ethernet backhaul to use AiMesh and make it nicer for clients to roam, or to set them as AP and control the channels specifically to avoid interference. I have a lot of wifi devices, smart plugs, HomePods, ect, and the spend about 1/2 the time down stairs in the living room with the AP as I do in my office upstairs. so speed is a concern downstairs and would rather control the channels if the overlap will cause issues.
 

joegreat

Very Senior Member
To AiMesh or not to AiMesh - that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer (AiMesh),
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (cable connection),
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles (AiMesh),
...and so on... :cool::D
(answer from Hamlet, spoken by Hamlet and written by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE)
 
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dscline

Regular Contributor
My situation is nearly identical, only difference is router models and number of floors. I've never tried AiMesh. I'm not aware that it necessarily improves roaming, though I've read that using the same channel can speed transitions (at the expense of bandwidth, if you have conflicting traffic). Have you experimented with that while still in AP mode?
 

slvrscoobie

Occasional Visitor
My situation is nearly identical, only difference is router models and number of floors. I've never tried AiMesh. I'm not aware that it necessarily improves roaming, though I've read that using the same channel can speed transitions (at the expense of bandwidth, if you have conflicting traffic). Have you experimented with that while still in AP mode?
Ive had this set up as an AP for over a year. It worked pretty well, but when the AI mesh 2.0 rolled out I thought it might be easier to manage as the router would be able to 'aware' of the other nodes and adjust each to maximize. however, its becoming more apparent that AiMesh seems more related to being able to make it a:easy, and b:wireless - if you're doing your own management and wired backhaul, AP mode is probably better.
Heres my Wifiexplorer test of my signals in my living room. If I had more ethernet points Id move the living room AP farther away as its really not helpful. It Was doubling as a wired switch for my TV, ChromeCast, ATV, ect but I added an 8 port switch for that. I'm thinking having 2 signals with such good signal overlapping probably isn't great.
 

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zackattack784

Occasional Visitor
I have an AX88 with an AX58 set up as an AP. When Aimesh 2.0 rolled out I thought it would be worth trying it out. It took me two days to go back to running the AX58 as an AP as I had some weird connection drop outs that never happened when the second router was setup as an AP. I did quite a bit of unscientific roaming tests, and I literally could not tell a difference between AP and Aimesh in that department.
 

PDinDetroit

Regular Contributor
I have a similar situation. Longer house on a corner lot.

The main reason I went with AiMesh was for Guest networks that can span the AiMesh Nodes for IoT devices. I do see, at times, IoT devices that get "locked" to specific AiMesh Router or AiMesh Nodes. If I walk away for awhile, the IoT devices do move "correctly". I do miss the main web interface for the AiMesh Nodes, but managing from the AiMesh Router works for the most part.

One item of note: If the AiMesh Router has Wireless settings that the AiMesh Nodes do not, the "AiMesh system" seems to get a little weird. The IoT and other 2.4 GHz devices had issues connecting, so I reverted the settings and everything went back to being A-OK. I discovered that my closest neighbor had WiFi on the same channels I was using, so I changed to a different channel and now everything on 2.4 GHz is working very well. Good thing I messed it up in the first place!

Some complain about log items appearing after enabling Guest 1 networks (the ones that span AiMesh Router and Nodes). I have my default log level set to "Notice" and I no longer notice them...
 

dscline

Regular Contributor
Yes, everything I've read has lead me to believe the mesh is mostly about making set-up/management easier. So I've personally never tried it, as I'd rather be able to manage them individuallyl.
 

slvrscoobie

Occasional Visitor
well I tried some unscientific tests today, with AiMesh I was getting 300+mbps on the router in the room. turning off AiMesh, and setting separate channels, I was getting 400+mbps.
but turning off the router all together and just using the AC3100 I was getting 450-500+mbps so I think Ill find another location for this node and reinvestigate.
I think the better router is just faster, even at slightly lower SNR- I can still get about 200mbps in the far room downstairs so now I need to figure out where to put the node. I have an AC56u out in my barn, maybe I upgrade that one to the RT1900.
having the one in the bedroom which seems to have little interference is nice on AiMesh as you can do some quick things (system reboots) but in noisy environments its better to have everything partitioned as needed.
 

Preskitt.man

Regular Contributor
Went with AiMesh with a 2 router configuration. Previously had 2nd router set up as AP. The practical difference is very little. Yes, the living room is a little slower than before, but still more than fast enough for what I do - including internet based TV. It is definitely easier to manage. Most of my devices don't roam, so I have bound them to the "appropriate" router. For my roaming devices (phones), I have found that when I am doing phone calls via WiFi, I have a better transition when I am walking from the front of the house to the rear. When in AP mode, call would occasionally drop. Maybe there were some tweaks I could have made (and I tried several) to deal with that, but I am very happy with this arrangement.
 

helloguys

Occasional Visitor
From wireless roaming perspective, the difference between AiMesh and AP is trivial. For me, the driver of using AiMesh is easy of management. I have 3 routers at home, with wireless MAC filter. Without AiMesh, I'd have to replicate the config across routers manually.
 

slvrscoobie

Occasional Visitor
Went with AiMesh with a 2 router configuration. Previously had 2nd router set up as AP. The practical difference is very little. Yes, the living room is a little slower than before, but still more than fast enough for what I do - including internet based TV. It is definitely easier to manage. Most of my devices don't roam, so I have bound them to the "appropriate" router. For my roaming devices (phones), I have found that when I am doing phone calls via WiFi, I have a better transition when I am walking from the front of the house to the rear. When in AP mode, call would occasionally drop. Maybe there were some tweaks I could have made (and I tried several) to deal with that, but I am very happy with this arrangement.
yeah, its just kind of annoying to know I have gigabit service but my AP only allows 300mbps. lol
 

Jazbrokr

Occasional Visitor
I have been battling intermittent freezing issues with my AX11000 and AC86 in AI Mesh mode, Ethernet backhaul, for over six months. Asus even RMA replaced my AX11000. I tried every firmware, every hard reset, every setting trick. Nothing but dozens of wasted hours. Finally after putting in the new Merlin firmware, and having it crash hours later, I decided to make the AC86 an access point. Been stable for 5 or 6 days now and I am seeing a good 20% better speed. So, for me, AI Mesh was a total failure, Not in anyway user error either.
 

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