What would be considered more optimal - AX88U / AC68U mesh or Deco M9 Plus

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

frankie4fingers

Occasional Visitor
Hi

I have a pair of Deco M9 Plus mesh devices that I have deployed at the moment. I have just purchased and switched over to an AX88U router to replace my old but still fully functional AC68U device.

The Deco's are running in AP mode with the AX88U doing the rest of the heavy lifting in terms DHCP etc but without the radios enabled.

What would the consensus from the more experienced than me be with regards to leaving my setup as it is or removing the Deco's and then using my two Asus devices and running them as a mesh?

Would one be more beneficial than the other or much of a muchness? Any advice would be great.

Cheers
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The RT-AC68U as a node of an RT-AX88U would not be a good match in my opinion.

But it may be an interesting experiment vs. your current setup.
 

frankie4fingers

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the reply. With a wife and two streaming (sometimes screaming) kids I'm not sure I want to embark on experimenting. My days of being able to spend heaps of time on that sort of stuff has since passed me by. I say that as if I start playing around then I won't stop until I get a more than optimal solution and that makes for a less than optimal home life balance. :eek:)
 

jak8

Occasional Visitor
I happen to have an ageing AC68U which has recently developed a habit of dropping a connecction to on pc in particular and caused me to consider the benefits of upgrading to an AX unit and running mesh utilising the AC68U as a secondary node. I note L&LD's response and I am curious why he considers the 68U to be inappropriate. Is the common opinion the the AC68U has reached the end of its useful life?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
It's not (just) the age of the units or the older design or the limited support from here forward that is particularly at fault for my caution when pairing the RT-AC68U's with newer routers.

It is the fact that an AX class router has capabilities in Wi-Fi that the over 8-year-old 'RF design' of the RT-AC68U simply can't be aware of. Hence the potential incompatibility.

Today's routers are not merely replacements for our older workhorses. They are a different breed. They have higher throughput at equal or further distances, they have more range and they have much less latency added to the network too (even if this is only noticeable after replacing an older unit with anything newer).

A new/current router like an RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or an RT-AX86U should be tested on its own when newly deployed. Additional AP's, repeaters, AiMesh, or other crutches for satisfactory wireless coverage may likely not be needed anymore. Only fix what is broken. Do not duplicate workarounds on new equipment that worked on the old stuff.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
I would ditch the AX88U. Reading a review of the M9 Plus it might be a good idea to invest in a third M9 for your home. Or get a couple of AX86U's.
 

jak8

Occasional Visitor
It's not (just) the age of the units or the older design or the limited support from here forward that is particularly at fault for my caution when pairing the RT-AC68U's with newer routers.

It is the fact that an AX class router has capabilities in Wi-Fi that the over 8-year-old 'RF design' of the RT-AC68U simply can't be aware of. Hence the potential incompatibility.

Today's routers are not merely replacements for our older workhorses. They are a different breed. They have higher throughput at equal or further distances, they have more range and they have much less latency added to the network too (even if this is only noticeable after replacing an older unit with anything newer).

A new/current router like an RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or an RT-AX86U should be tested on its own when newly deployed. Additional AP's, repeaters, AiMesh, or other crutches for satisfactory wireless coverage may likely not be needed anymore. Only fix what is broken. Do not duplicate workarounds on new equipment that worked on the old stuff.
Thanks for that advice L&LD which I follow and appreciate. I suppose it begs the question is it in effect time to bin the 8 year old router. I certainly cannot complain about the service it has provided. I was thinking of employing it as a secondary node in a location which is seldom utilised for wifi but I take your point to try without first and determine if there is still a need once a new and more effective router is in place. Could the use of the 68U as a mesh node actually adversely impact on the overall efficacy of a modern router?

On a slightly different but related point is it worth when upgrading the 68U to choose a WiFi 6 unit ie one of the AX series rather than the newer AC units. Given that much of my system is 2+years plus old would I notice a difference having WiFi6
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I would not 'bin' the router. I would use it as a Media Bridge instead.

Media Bridge Mode

Having a (recommended) Wi-Fi 6 router doesn't help just when you have Wi-Fi 6 clients. The newest AX routers make your current network faster, with less latency and this is noticeable wired or wireless.

It isn't the fact that it is Wi-Fi 6. Rather, it is the latest hardware, kernel, firmware, and closed source code that makes them better overall. If/when you do get AX class clients, the results will be even better.

I would not buy anything other than an RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or (best) an RT-AX86U today. If I needed AiMesh (preferably with a wired backhaul connection), I would choose an identical model to pair the main router with. Not only does this give you a hardware backup in case the main router goes down, but it also matches 100% the capabilities of the two. This is not always the case with lower-end models (even if they're also AX class).

I have many older RT-AC68U's being used as AiMesh nodes for RT-AC3100's, RT-AC86U's, and lower models. With AX class routers, the most stable pairing with RT-AX68U's is with them being in Media Bridge mode (where they shine).

In my own use, pairing anything with an RT-AX86U would degrade the overall network performance, even when paired in any combination with an RT-AX88U.

This was tested solely with a wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul connection. Wireless AiMesh is a downgrade from any single router configuration (because each node is simply a repeater and halves the network capacity with each node in use; Wi-Fi is a (time) shared medium, after all).
 

jak8

Occasional Visitor
I would not 'bin' the router. I would use it as a Media Bridge instead.

Media Bridge Mode

Having a (recommended) Wi-Fi 6 router doesn't help just when you have Wi-Fi 6 clients. The newest AX routers make your current network faster, with less latency and this is noticeable wired or wireless.

It isn't the fact that it is Wi-Fi 6. Rather, it is the latest hardware, kernel, firmware, and closed source code that makes them better overall. If/when you do get AX class clients, the results will be even better.

I would not buy anything other than an RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or (best) an RT-AX86U today. If I needed AiMesh (preferably with a wired backhaul connection), I would choose an identical model to pair the main router with. Not only does this give you a hardware backup in case the main router goes down, but it also matches 100% the capabilities of the two. This is not always the case with lower-end models (even if they're also AX class).

I have many older RT-AC68U's being used as AiMesh nodes for RT-AC3100's, RT-AC86U's, and lower models. With AX class routers, the most stable pairing with RT-AX68U's is with them being in Media Bridge mode (where they shine).

In my own use, pairing anything with an RT-AX86U would degrade the overall network performance, even when paired in any combination with an RT-AX88U.

This was tested solely with a wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul connection. Wireless AiMesh is a downgrade from any single router configuration (because each node is simply a repeater and halves the network capacity with each node in use; Wi-Fi is a (time) shared medium, after all).
Interesting. The AX86 and AX88 are both at quite a premium price compared to the AX68. I have noticed the AX92U is available at a lower price. Does the 92 compare at all favourably with the 86. I am thinking of a single unit all a twin setup would be posible but my house is not particularly large so the need for a twin unit is not great
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
A single router is always preferred for smaller spaces.
 

frankie4fingers

Occasional Visitor
I would not 'bin' the router. I would use it as a Media Bridge instead.

Media Bridge Mode

Having a (recommended) Wi-Fi 6 router doesn't help just when you have Wi-Fi 6 clients. The newest AX routers make your current network faster, with less latency and this is noticeable wired or wireless.

It isn't the fact that it is Wi-Fi 6. Rather, it is the latest hardware, kernel, firmware, and closed source code that makes them better overall. If/when you do get AX class clients, the results will be even better.

I would not buy anything other than an RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, or (best) an RT-AX86U today. If I needed AiMesh (preferably with a wired backhaul connection), I would choose an identical model to pair the main router with. Not only does this give you a hardware backup in case the main router goes down, but it also matches 100% the capabilities of the two. This is not always the case with lower-end models (even if they're also AX class).

I have many older RT-AC68U's being used as AiMesh nodes for RT-AC3100's, RT-AC86U's, and lower models. With AX class routers, the most stable pairing with RT-AX68U's is with them being in Media Bridge mode (where they shine).

In my own use, pairing anything with an RT-AX86U would degrade the overall network performance, even when paired in any combination with an RT-AX88U.

This was tested solely with a wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul connection. Wireless AiMesh is a downgrade from any single router configuration (because each node is simply a repeater and halves the network capacity with each node in use; Wi-Fi is a (time) shared medium, after all).
Thanks for the info. I didn't know about Media Bridge mode. I do have some devices upstairs but have them patched downstairs via ethernet with an existing switch already connected. I am not sure that using the old router would benefit me a great deal given I am already cabled up with those devices.

One of the key reasons for the purchase of the AX88 was so I could have the VPN client configured and running for all devices within the house. I don't think the 68U was quite up to that as I also run a VPN server to allow me inbound access.

From what I have read in this thread, it seems that I either leave as is with the Deco's doing their thing and the AX88U being the workhorse for the rest.......or remove the Deco's and just run the 88U on its own doing the lot.

I think that would be a bit of trial and error to see if I get the same coverage with the one device over as it is today.
 

ringlord

New Around Here
It is the fact that an AX class router has capabilities in Wi-Fi that the over 8-year-old 'RF design' of the RT-AC68U simply can't be aware of. Hence the potential incompatibility.

So, in general, is combining an AX router with an AC mesh node possible or not?

I would say in the future people upgrading to AX would want to know whether they can use their AC as a node.
 

frankie4fingers

Occasional Visitor
So, in general, is combining an AX router with an AC mesh node possible or not?

I would say in the future people upgrading to AX would want to know whether they can use their AC as a node.
My take on what I have gleaned from the replies is that they would work together but it's not the best mesh setup you could have.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes, anything is possible.

For specific networks of specific client devices, it may work without issues.

For other situations, there may be consequences, complications, and compromises that may be showstoppers.

When even the top two RMerlin powered Asus AX routers show a negative impact on the network*, mixing AX and AC class routing hardware isn't surprising (to me) that issues can and will arise.


* Any combination except 2x RT-AX86U's in my network showed a sub-par match with an RT-AX86U and any of the following: RT-AX88U, RT-AC86U, RT-AX58U, RT-AC3100. The network as a whole was at its highest capacity with 2x RT-AX86U's (and another reason why I sold the RT-AX58U too).
 
Last edited:

ringlord

New Around Here
That is useful info, RT-AX86U costs around 250€.
If I need to buy 2 of those to replace my current AC Mesh setup (ground floor and first floor), I was not counting on that.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
A single RT-AX86U may be all you need if you can properly position/locate it within the area(s) that need coverage.

Also, non-optimal may be a worthwhile tradeoff for your network use too. :)
 

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