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Which mesh device to purchase for 4500sq ft house?

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t_moore

Occasional Visitor
Greetings,

I just noticed that my Zenwifi CT8 model is EOL with Asus. I thought about replacing it with an XT8 or something, but I don't feel great about the zenwifi series itself. I love the Asus interface (and love if it supported merlin). I don't actually need the Wifi backhaul because the 2 nodes I have now are connected via Gig-Ethernet.

So what should I get to replace this? I just want something that will be somewhat futureproof for a while, not super expensive, and gives me at least the same bandwidth/support that the CT8 did. We still have lots of older devices in the house so Wifi6+ isn't totally necessary, but 5ghz is.

Thanks!
 
RT-AX88U Pro.

There is nothing more bang-for-the-buck than this today.
 
The RT series is superior to the ZenWiFi series for a reason.

Wait for a sale?
 
I just want something that will be somewhat futureproof for a while

I would get an RT-AX86U Pro and continue using the existing ZenWiFi CT8 units as AiMesh nodes or access points. They are safe in this role and RT-AX86U Pro will be supported for 3-4 more years. This is usually the cheapest model based around new BCM4912 hardware. It's popular and Asuswrt-Merlin firmware for it is available.
 
I would get an RT-AX86U Pro and continue using the existing ZenWiFi CT8 units as AiMesh nodes or access points. They are safe in this role and RT-AX86U Pro will be supported for 3-4 more years. This is usually the cheapest model based around new BCM4912 hardware. It's popular and Asuswrt-Merlin firmware for it is available.
Great! Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at this. Good idea about using the ct8's as mesh nodes.
 
If the budget is limited and Asuswrt-Merlin support is not required - I would get one RT-AX3000 V2 for main router. This is the current generation budget devices hardware built around BCM6756. It may also get few years of support. Your requirements are not high, use what you already have and don't overspend for no reason.
 
If the budget is limited and Asuswrt-Merlin support is not required - I would get one RT-AX3000 V2 for main router. This is the current generation budget devices hardware built around BCM6756. It may also get few years of support. Your requirements are not high, use what you already have and don't overspend for no reason.
Thanks I'll look at that too. I'm not limited by budget, but I don't want to spend unnecessarily if I don't need to. I can probably get away with even keeping the ct8 for a long time (since it's actually behind the AT&T router), but my tech itch doesn't like having "older" hardware, and I have an iphone 15 sooo :)
 
You can continue using your ZenWiFi CT8 then and your iPhone 15 won't notice much of a difference after the upgrade anyway. About the itch - try Benadryl. 🤭
 
Replaced two AC86u’s with a single AX86u in 3600 sq ft home and it works great. Of course YMMV based on layout etc.
If you are running wireless in a 3600 sq ft home you are not running 5 Gh with a single unit. There is no way you can have that much coverage using 5GHz. Sounds like marketing crap.
 
Yea. I just looked up the RT-AX88U and apparently because I'm using AT&T and have a garbage Pace router it doesn't work well autonegotiating with 2.5gb ports. Maybe I'll just wait for an issue and then just convert everything over to google fiber which seems to allow 3rd party routers better.
 
Sounds like a good solution for something like Eero's - looking for that sweet velvety mix/mesh of wifi...

Netgear Orbi's are another solution - a base plus a couple of satellites - and like the Orbi's, once set up, they just work...
 
If you are running wireless in a 3600 sq ft home you are not running 5 Gh with a single unit. There is no way you can have that much coverage using 5GHz. Sounds like marketing crap.
I must be hallucinating as my AC3200 and AX1100pro cover my 6000 sq ft home no problem , no mesh no extenders just the single router . Depends on house construction and router placement , or maybe I'm FOS ?
 
RT-AX88U Pro.

There is nothing more bang-for-the-buck than this today.
I recently purchased (3) RT-AX88U Pro units and have them setup with one as the edge router connected to the fiber ONT, and the other two in a wired mesh backhaul using the 2.5Gb WAN ports.

Coverage is fine in my new 3 story, 5600 sq ft house. No issues connecting IOT devices like the alarm panel and garage door opener, and no issues with roaming for phones, iPads, etc.

Only issue I still can’t solve is I only get about 500Mb (download) of my 1.5Gb connection at any one time on any device. Says 160Mhz is enabled and clients have the port speed, but effectively I’m throttled.

Could be my setup but it’s extremely vanilla.
 
I must be hallucinating as my AC3200 and AX1100pro cover my 6000 sq ft home no problem , no mesh no extenders just the single router . Depends on house construction and router placement , or maybe I'm FOS ?
Maybe no walls or rice paper walls. I give up. There is no way you can cover my house, 3288 square feet in any 1 wireless router or AP. Even with 2.4 Ghz there will be so many dead spots that are not usable. Yes, there is coverage for part of my house. But it takes at least 3 5Ghz wireless APs to cover and I still can find some places not well covered. I think 4 would be better.
I ran my house with only 5Ghz a few years ago so no 2.4Ghz as it was turned off.
 
I recently purchased (3) RT-AX88U Pro units and have them setup with one as the edge router connected to the fiber ONT, and the other two in a wired mesh backhaul using the 2.5Gb WAN ports.

Coverage is fine in my new 3 story, 5600 sq ft house. No issues connecting IOT devices like the alarm panel and garage door opener, and no issues with roaming for phones, iPads, etc.

Only issue I still can’t solve is I only get about 500Mb (download) of my 1.5Gb connection at any one time on any device. Says 160Mhz is enabled and clients have the port speed, but effectively I’m throttled.

Could be my setup but it’s extremely vanilla.

What firmware is on each? What features/options and scripts do you have enabled? Were you toggling settings on/off? Did you perform a full reset to factory defaults after flashing the router to the firmware you wanted to use?

What switches are you using? Have you tried new cables? Have you performed an electrical reset of the entire network?
 
What firmware is on each? What features/options and scripts do you have enabled? Were you toggling settings on/off? Did you perform a full reset to factory defaults after flashing the router to the firmware you wanted to use?

What switches are you using? Have you tried new cables? Have you performed an electrical reset of the entire network?
The latest Asus official firmware.

All cabling is Cat 6. One D-Link unmanaged 2.5Gb 5 port switch that connects the router 2.5Gb LAN port and the 2.5Gb WAN port of each of the 2 mesh nodes.

Settings are almost all default except using smart connect and I disabled “OFDMA/802.11ax MU-MIMO” based on feedback I’ve read.
 
What firmware is on each? What features/options and scripts do you have enabled? Were you toggling settings on/off? Did you perform a full reset to factory defaults after flashing the router to the firmware you wanted to use?

What switches are you using? Have you tried new cables? Have you performed an electrical reset of the entire network?
Oh and no QoS or VPN or VLANs or anything beyond basic dual band WiFi.
 

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