Trying to buy a router/routers that will solve all my issues

iNcontrL

New Around Here
My Netgear X4S 7800 is on it’s last leg. I’m not sure if it’s just reaching its end of life or I have too many devices connected. I have 1gb down cable coming from an SB8200.

The main part of the house is 1700 sq ft. My router is in the officer, which is the only place I can connect the router. It’s a rental so I can’t rewire the house. My bedroom is across the house and the furthest point from the router. It’s also where I watch movies and play video games.

I need a router that will give me a strong enough signal through a couple of walls from my office to the bedroom.

I’m conflicted between 4 options.

1. ASUS ROG Rapture AX11000
2. ASUS RT-AX86U with an RT-AX86S as a mesh AP.
3. 2x ASUS RT-AX86S
4. 2x ASUS RT-AX86U

At this point I’ve already tried a TP-LINK Archer AXE7800 and TP-LINK Deco AXE5700 which both ended up being returned. So while option 4 is a bit more than I wanted to spend, I’m frustrated enough that if it solves all my problems I’ll throw money at it.

Consistent stable speed is more important than fast speed for me right now. I also have about 36 smart devices connecting to the router.

Which of the 4 should I go with?

Thanks in advanced!
 
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jsz

Senior Member
2x AX86S would be the cheapest route.

Read this thread.



The choice between AX86S and AX86U really depends if you're going to leverage the 2.5G port and RAM/CPU.

Without layered software, they are identical within a 1gbE port limitation. All WIFI processing is done on main radio. The main CPU/RAM isn't touched unless you enable features such as QoS, AI protection, VPN etc..
 
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iNcontrL

New Around Here
Based on my experience with the RT-AX86U you might be able to get away with just one RT-AX86U or RT-AX86S.
I feel like if I’m going with only 1 router I should go for the AX11000 since it has three bands, considering the number of devices I have.

Just wasn’t sure if I should try that, or just get 2 routers and be done with it.
 

iNcontrL

New Around Here
2x AX86S would be the cheapest route.

Read this thread.



The choice between AX86S and AX86U really depends if you're going to leverage the 2.5G port and RAM/CPU.

Without layered software, they are identical within a 1gbE port limitation. All WIFI processing is done on main radio. The main CPU/RAM isn't touched unless you enable features such as QoS, AI protection, VPN etc..
Does an AX86U work well with a AX86S as a mesh node? Say if I wanted to start with one and get a second router down the line if I need to?

Or would it be less problems buying 2 of the same routers from the beginning?
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
The main part of the house is 1700 sq ft. My router is in the officer, which is the only place I can connect the router. It’s a rental so I can’t rewire the house. My bedroom is across the house and the furthest point from the router. It’s also where I watch movies and play video games.

this sounds like an ideal case for an Orbi setup...

two nodes - the primary and one sattelite, should be more than enough to light up any 1700 sq foot single level floorplan...
 

jsz

Senior Member
I feel like if I’m going with only 1 router I should go for the AX11000 since it has three bands, considering the number of devices I have.

Just wasn’t sure if I should try that, or just get 2 routers and be done with it.

36 devices isn't much.

A single GT-AX11000 is going to use both UNII-1 and UNII-3 5G channel blocks + you have to deal with local interference from neighbors.

May work out fine, but you won't beat physics... Having 2 routers in wired backhaul is better than one for ensuring max connection speed, especially if kitchen appliances are blocking signal into further rooms.

Does an AX86U work well with a AX86S as a mesh node? Say if I wanted to start with one and get a second router down the line if I need to?

Or would it be less problems buying 2 of the same routers from the beginning?

As AI node? Won't be "perfect". Speed will bottleneck and some devices will inevitably hop back and forth based on SNR.

Wired backhaul or media bridge is the only real solution for extending range via 2 routers. GT-AX11000 may or may not perform worse than a single AX86U/AX86S due to the design layout vs home. It's hard to tell..

You should buy all options and return the worse combo. Theres no definitive answer with WIFI hardware.

You can even add GT-AX6000 to your list.. its a newer Gen 2 AX BCM platform.
 
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iNcontrL

New Around Here
this sounds like an ideal case for an Orbi setup...

two nodes - the primary and one sattelite, should be more than enough to light up any 1700 sq foot single level floorplan...
I tried the Deco Mesh Setup, but it was significantly throttling my wired computer. I was only getting 200 down while my wireless devices were getting 600 down.

I’m concerned the Orbi would be the same just more expensive. I also wouldn’t mind giving the merlin firmware a test run considering it’s only on ASUS routers.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I tried the Deco Mesh Setup, but it was significantly throttling my wired computer. I was only getting 200 down while my wireless devices were getting 600 down.

I’m concerned the Orbi would be the same just more expensive. I also wouldn’t mind giving the merlin firmware a test run considering it’s only on ASUS routers.

You can drink the Asus kool-aid or think rationally..


Orbi isn't mesh like others... I recommended Orbi as you are already used to the netgear UI...

yes - @RMerlin - this is blowback on my bug report on the 11b options - I agree, not your problem, but I don't need to support AsusWRT
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I’m conflicted between 4 options.

1. ASUS ROG Rapture AX11000
2. ASUS RT-AX86U with an RT-AX86S as a mesh AP.
3. 2x ASUS RT-AX86S
4. 2x ASUS RT-AX86U

How are you conflicted?

I don't see any of these as an option to sort your solution...

Ok - maybe option 1 - that's a lot of money to spend, and because physics, mostly because RF does not obey opinions...

Asus AIMesh - sometimes it works, ask anyone here - but a lot of times it doesn't - ask the folks on Asus support forums.

Like I mentioned - Orbi is a good choice.
 

tgl

Senior Member
Like I mentioned - Orbi is a good choice.

Meh. I've got a set of RBR850/RBS850 sitting on the shelf, because they were too unstable for me. I was really happy when I got them, for about a month. Then Netgear pushed an update that made things noticeably flaky. (There is no option to turn off their automatic firmware updates.) A few months later they pushed an update that bricked the main router. I got it working again by doing a hard reset, but that was the last straw, because the preceding months of poor behavior had already completely soured me on them. I jumped to ASUS XT8s, which sadly haven't been much better on the stability front, but at least when you find a firmware version that works you can sit on it.

I also note that the Orbis don't have nearly as much RF configurability as I find on ASUS, and their configuration choices are dubious at best. As an example, out-of-the-box they'll try to run a 40MHz channel on 2.4GHz, which is both idiotic and very neighbor-unfriendly if you live in a WiFi-dense neighborhood like mine. To add insult to injury, the last I checked it wanted to use channel 3, meaning that that 40MHz channel overlaps all three standard 2.4GHz channels. (Sadly, there I was doing exactly that for about six months, because I didn't know any better. There is an obscurely-labeled checkbox to not use 40MHz, but they don't make it prominent or suggest that you ought to think hard about that.) Also, the third radio (high-5GHz band) is completely dedicated to wireless backhaul, there is no option to use it for clients.

Can't recommend Orbi.
 

iNcontrL

New Around Here
Well, I took a mix of everyone's advice.

I ordered a RT-AX11000, 2 RT-AX86U, and 2 RT-AX86S. I also managed to get lucky and find a 2 pack of Orbi Pro SXK60s on sale for 387.

I'm hoping that the Orbi Pros work well as that's ironically the cheapest option. But I'll be giving them all a shot and choosing whichever setup works best. I'll follow up with my results and which why I end up deciding to keep.
 

jsz

Senior Member
Probably do not need 2x AX11000 and the AX86S is pretty much the AX86U in terms of WIFI performance if your goal was testing "what works".

2x AX11000 CAN do a pretty solid wireless backhaul though if wired backhaul isn't possible.

IF wired backhaul is possible, then all you really need is 2X AX86S. (AX86U if you need 2.5G port and a more functional CPU/RAM for SW) My2c...
 

iNcontrL

New Around Here
Probably do not need 2x AX11000 and the AX86S is pretty much the AX86U in terms of WIFI performance if your goal was testing "what works".

2x AX11000 CAN do a pretty solid wireless backhaul though if wired backhaul isn't possible.

IF wired backhaul is possible, then all you really need is 2X AX86S. (AX86U if you need 2.5G port and a more functional CPU/RAM for SW) My2c...
Can't do a wired backhaul, this is more just making sure my entire place from corner to corner has good stable speeds. I won't be able to run new lines since it's a rental.

I only ordered one AX11000. I'm hoping that AX11000 or the Orbi Pros do the job. So I can return the 2x RT-AX86Us and 2x RT-AX86Ss
 

jsz

Senior Member
Can't do a wired backhaul, this is more just making sure my entire place from corner to corner has good stable speeds. I won't be able to run new lines since it's a rental.

I only ordered one AX11000. I'm hoping that AX11000 or the Orbi Pros do the job. So I can return the 2x RT-AX86Us and 2x RT-AX86Ss


Don't think a single AX11000 will be able to cover everything perfectly. Likely won't be much difference from a single AX86 model.

Can't comment on the Orbi's, but 2x GT-AX11000 with wireless backhaul might be your best bet on ASUS end.

I have a 600mbps connection and using my second router as a mesh node peaks out at 400mbps when not in wired backhaul.

if the goal is to get PC's running full speed across the house, you can use the second router as a media bridge.. Effectively turns the router into a WIFI Card for RJ45 devices. SNR is superior since its an actual router with 1W power output and 4x4 MIMO.

Wireless backhaul on GT-AX11000 effectively does the same as media bridge mode, except allows WIFI devices to connect at full speed in 2 locations. One of the two 5ghz Radios turns into a high powered 4x4 connection bridging to the main box.


So cheapest solution.. would be 2x AX86S.. 1 main router, 1 media bridge..

Most "complete solution" would be 2x GT-AX11000 in dedicated wireless backhaul. Or mix and match any combo.. :)

Reference: https://www.asus.com/me-en/support/FAQ/1039646/
 
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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Why don't you explain to everyone how it is different and why it is better.

Because at the end of the day - Orbi's are bandwidth annihilators... They do satellite nodes on low band 5GHz (and 2.4), and a 5GHz backhaul on the upper channels..

I have to live next door to an Orbi setup - and it's takes the air out of the room. and the 2.4GHz on that setup is 40MHz channels homed on Ch 4 - so there's no room for a clear channel anywhere in 2.4 - primary on 4, secondary on 8...
 
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iNcontrL

New Around Here
Well, I tried every configuration. The Orbi Pro actually worked the best for what I’m looking for.

If I didn’t get it on sale for less than $400 I would have went with 2 AX86Us, but the slight difference in speed wasn’t enough to justify the extra $150.

I’m really surprised that the Orbi Pro is a business class mesh router as it seems to be perfect for the home with no useful enterprise features except the VPN.

Installing it was really simple. It worked right out the gate, where as the Asus routers took a lot of fiddling for some reason. I also tried the Merlin firmware but for my use I didn’t really notice a difference.

Long story short, I ended up returning all the ASUS routers and keeping the Orbi Pro. The insight application is really good too and the Orbi Pro came with a 5 year subscription.

Thank you all for the help and feedback!
 

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