What happens with two different ASUS routers in ai-mesh?

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dvohwinkel

Senior Member
I think my RT-AC86U is toast.. so I need a new router. My house is around 2400sq so I have used ai-mesh with a RT-AC68U as the aimesh node. I wonder what router to get that gives me the best range, speed, and processing power. I have a 1Gbps Fiber connection. My question is what happens if I get like a RT-AX86U and use the RT-AC68U as an ai-mesh node. Does the wireless network slow down to the 68U's speed?
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
I think (I maybe wrong) that if the device is connected to the slower router it will be on the max speed that router offers, if it is on the faster one it will get the full speed of that router. I would also like clarity on this from one of the smart guys.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The issue isn't (just) that the older node will be slower (of course).

The issues I've seen are that incompatibilities between AC class vs. AX class routers make the network, unstable. Particularly units that are many years (re: RF designs) apart.

If you have the older router, it never hurts to perform a full reset to factory defaults and see if it works for your mix of Wi-Fi device clients and local Wi-Fi environment. If it works, carry on.

However, with a 1Gbps ISP connection, and if you have the budget, 2x AX class routers will always be preferred (if AiMesh is really needed).

I would buy two RT-AX86U's if the budget allows and open only one box. Test thoroughly in your home and make sure you also make any changes you can to centralize the single router to the areas covered, optimize the orientation (of the router) and the placement of the antennae too before you simply add the AiMesh node (maybe needlessly - 2400 SqFt is a small area for today's routers).

If you really need an AiMesh node for better/fuller coverage, a wired backhaul will always be preferred. If you don't have that option (wired) and a node is required, be sure you take all steps possible to add that wired connection between the routers for the best possible experience with a 1Gbps connection. Otherwise, adding a node will more than likely be a worse solution (overall) than without it.
 

jpthsd

Regular Contributor
I think my RT-AC86U is toast.. so I need a new router. My house is around 2400sq so I have used ai-mesh with a RT-AC68U as the aimesh node. I wonder what router to get that gives me the best range, speed, and processing power. I have a 1Gbps Fiber connection. My question is what happens if I get like a RT-AX86U and use the RT-AC68U as an ai-mesh node. Does the wireless network slow down to the 68U's speed?
I've been using AX86U router with AC86U as node for 6 months, perfectly fine! Just in the Wireless setting of 2.4Ghz, make sure do not leave it as dual bandwidth 20/40 but select either 20Mhz or 40Mhz and control channel set to either 1, 11 or 6 (this setting will be propagated onto any node's 2.4Ghz). I had AC68U as node before,,,it wasn't that good , that's why I am now using AC86U as node!

Why single bandwidth rather than 20/40, this was what I observed, while AC86U node 2.4Ghz had 20/40 bandwidth (mostly default settings on 2.4Ghz), the AC86U node's 2.4Ghz sometimes (after like a week or two) had denying connections, connected but no Internet for existing 2.4Ghz client, new 2.4Ghz could not connect to the node..etc HOWEVER the 5Ghz interface worked perfectly during the incidents!

I contacted Asus Support since AC86U had previous issue of 2.4Ghz radio dropping/denying connection in old batches such 2017-2019 (thats what I read/researched from all around) and said 2020 batch was fixed! (I do not look into details what Asus fixed in their AC86U prod batch but some said 2020 manufactured date was better and problems seemed to be fixed). Thus, Asus Support confirmed yes your AC86U 2020 batch,, please apply this change onto the AC86U, they told me to switch 2.4Ghz's bandwidth settings to single bandwidth and change the control channel within 1, 11 or 6.

I did apply the new settings for 2.4Ghz wireless, 20Mhz (previous I set to 40Mhz worked ok but read around the 2.4Ghz was designed to work best in 20Mhz bandwidth and compatible most Wifi client) and left my control channel to 1.

After a few days, I haven't had any buffering issue nor 2.4Ghz became inoperational ...select single bandwidth in 2.4Ghz seems to be improved (NOW I think I was having buffering issue, slowness onto the AC86U node while using Merlin firmware ,,,,,it must have been dual bandwidth setting in 2.4Ghz causing the problem!!! well maybe try Merlin fw again later!)

Good luck!
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Another opinion: Your AC68U should work well for an AiMesh node with an AX router. Fixed WIFI channels and bandwidth on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Use just WPA2-Personal as the AC router will only do WPA2. You can use Dual Band Smart Connect on the main router and the node will use the same SSID for both bands. WIFI bandwidth through the node may not be as good as through the router but ir should be good enough.
 

alba666

Regular Contributor
I have 2 floors @ 2500 sq. ft. and bought an AX92 awhile back when the WAN port on my AC88 went flaky. I put the AC88 in as a 2nd floor wireless node with the AX92 vs. just the AX92 by itself.
After making the location of the AX92 more central, I didn’t need the AC88.

Net-Net: Location, location, location.
 

Joseph Gan

Occasional Visitor
I used to have a AC68U as my main router, and later added a Lyra Trio set using AiMesh. However, I found that I was facing a lot of unreliability problems, and later replaced the AC68U with an AX88U.

For a while, I found instability in the wireless network with both the AC68U and the Lyra Trio, so I replaced the other APs with a second AX88U for my master bedroom.

More recently, though, I found that I've been able to add back the Lyra Trio, and now the AC68U, into the AiMesh, and the whole network is still very stable. So I now have 6 WiFi APs scattered throughout my (admittedly) small apartment! The main router carries most of the load, but the other routers extend the range and pick up a few clients here and there as they move into the corners of the home.

I think the AiMesh firmwares have come a long way, and are really now fulfilling their promise of wireless interoperability between different ASUS APs even across generations.
 

Joseph Gan

Occasional Visitor
1629100348787.png

Most of my APs are connected via Ethernet backhaul, but the lone AP that isn't is generally doing well too.
 

jpthsd

Regular Contributor
I used to have a AC68U as my main router, and later added a Lyra Trio set using AiMesh. However, I found that I was facing a lot of unreliability problems, and later replaced the AC68U with an AX88U.

For a while, I found instability in the wireless network with both the AC68U and the Lyra Trio, so I replaced the other APs with a second AX88U for my master bedroom.

More recently, though, I found that I've been able to add back the Lyra Trio, and now the AC68U, into the AiMesh, and the whole network is still very stable. So I now have 6 WiFi APs scattered throughout my (admittedly) small apartment! The main router carries most of the load, but the other routers extend the range and pick up a few clients here and there as they move into the corners of the home.

I think the AiMesh firmwares have come a long way, and are really now fulfilling their promise of wireless interoperability between different ASUS APs even across generations.
what is your 2.4 Ghz wireless' bandwidth settings? I still have my AC68U on the shelf, it is 5 years old LoL ,,maybe I will put one in Living room...but the 2.4Ghz wireless bandwidth is always being the problem ...sometimes do not accept 2.4 wifi client connection (cannot join the SIDD 2.4Ghz ..blah blah blah) or connected 2.4 wifi client not getting Internet at all but 5Ghz works perfectly at anytime!

Asus Tech support suggested to use single bandwidth setting in 2.4Ghz wireless,,,I am seeing some improvements ,do you set dual bandwidth in your 2.4Ghz Wireless or single bandwidth (20/40)
 

Joseph Gan

Occasional Visitor
1629797227799.png

I actually found that turning lots of stuff on has worked for me... that said, with so many APs blanketing my home now, most modern clients are able to connect to 5GHz and mostly older / IoT devices are using the 2.4GHz where they don't need much bandwidth. I've also wired most of my Netflix-consuming devices such as the Apple TVs, Smart TVs, so my priority for the wireless devices is primarily robustness of the connectivity rather than bandwidth.
 

jpthsd

Regular Contributor
I've been using AX86U router with AC86U as node for 6 months, perfectly fine! Just in the Wireless setting of 2.4Ghz, make sure do not leave it as dual bandwidth 20/40 but select either 20Mhz or 40Mhz and control channel set to either 1, 11 or 6 (this setting will be propagated onto any node's 2.4Ghz). I had AC68U as node before,,,it wasn't that good , that's why I am now using AC86U as node!

Why single bandwidth rather than 20/40, this was what I observed, while AC86U node 2.4Ghz had 20/40 bandwidth (mostly default settings on 2.4Ghz), the AC86U node's 2.4Ghz sometimes (after like a week or two) had denying connections, connected but no Internet for existing 2.4Ghz client, new 2.4Ghz could not connect to the node..etc HOWEVER the 5Ghz interface worked perfectly during the incidents!

I contacted Asus Support since AC86U had previous issue of 2.4Ghz radio dropping/denying connection in old batches such 2017-2019 (thats what I read/researched from all around) and said 2020 batch was fixed! (I do not look into details what Asus fixed in their AC86U prod batch but some said 2020 manufactured date was better and problems seemed to be fixed). Thus, Asus Support confirmed yes your AC86U 2020 batch,, please apply this change onto the AC86U, they told me to switch 2.4Ghz's bandwidth settings to single bandwidth and change the control channel within 1, 11 or 6.

I did apply the new settings for 2.4Ghz wireless, 20Mhz (previous I set to 40Mhz worked ok but read around the 2.4Ghz was designed to work best in 20Mhz bandwidth and compatible most Wifi client) and left my control channel to 1.

After a few days, I haven't had any buffering issue nor 2.4Ghz became inoperational ...select single bandwidth in 2.4Ghz seems to be improved (NOW I think I was having buffering issue, slowness onto the AC86U node while using Merlin firmware ,,,,,it must have been dual bandwidth setting in 2.4Ghz causing the problem!!! well maybe try Merlin fw again later!)

Good luck!
For everyone who read my comment in this post, I ditched out the AC86U since the 2.4Ghz kept failing and disconnecting 2.4Ghz and only operated at 5Ghz while remained connected in AiMesh network/router.

The workaround above worked for 2 or 3 week max and the issue started happening again. My AC86U is still under warranty. Maybe I would send in for repair/replacement and re-sale on Ebay.

My AiMesh now is formed by 2 x AX86U for one month and is at its optimal operational state. (I would have saved more $$ if just purchased ZenWifi ET8 - if you want to get , it is available in Amazon as checked yesterday!)

Thank you for your time of reading this!
 

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