Why the lack of love for the ASUS pre-packaged AI Mesh systems?

RobJack

Occasional Visitor
I don't understand it...I have a 3 node XT8 network running on the GNuton fork, and it works flawlessly. Here's my SpeedTest results from my laptop which connects to the sunroom node, which has to travel through stucco (with wire mesh) to get to the primary node. My ISP is 1Gb down, 50Mb up. I'm extremely satisfied.
1663114021663.png
 

tgl

Senior Member
Hmm ... "running GNUton" doesn't sound much like "pre-packaged system" to me. But I'm glad you managed to make it work well for you. It doesn't take much review of the ASUSWRT - Official forum to know that off-the-shelf ASUS firmware gives a lot of people trouble.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
@RobJack

It's not just Asus "mesh" that blows it's all mesh systems as they're issues are consistent across brands. The biggest issue is using wireless backhaul that eats into your primary data speeds. The other issue tends to cheap parts being used and dying sooner than a full fledged AP that's hardwired or even using a wireless backhaul.

Using a different ROM besides the OEM setup makes better use of the HW in most cases as you can see by your own experience. But, taking a real AP out of the box and configuring it with SMB/enterprise level OS on it w/ updates is a completely different animal. My $150 AP on the LAN hits 1.5gbps using a 2.5GE wired backhaul. The uptime on it usually hits 90 days or more until a FW update gets applied manually which requires a reboot. Considering a single client max speed with a 2x2 AX card is 1.7gbps I would say 1.5 is pretty good. The 1.7 number is 2.4 * 0.70 for overhead calculations.

Now, if there were AX/E client options with 3x3 or 4x4 that's a different story which would max out the 2.5GE port on the AP and require a physical bump to 5 or 10GE to max out the performance on the client side.
 

DJones

Senior Member
@RobJack

It's not just Asus "mesh" that blows it's all mesh systems as they're issues are consistent across brands. The biggest issue is using wireless backhaul that eats into your primary data speeds. The other issue tends to cheap parts being used and dying sooner than a full fledged AP that's hardwired or even using a wireless backhaul.

Using a different ROM besides the OEM setup makes better use of the HW in most cases as you can see by your own experience. But, taking a real AP out of the box and configuring it with SMB/enterprise level OS on it w/ updates is a completely different animal. My $150 AP on the LAN hits 1.5gbps using a 2.5GE wired backhaul. The uptime on it usually hits 90 days or more until a FW update gets applied manually which requires a reboot. Considering a single client max speed with a 2x2 AX card is 1.7gbps I would say 1.5 is pretty good. The 1.7 number is 2.4 * 0.70 for overhead calculations.

Now, if there were AX/E client options with 3x3 or 4x4 that's a different story which would max out the 2.5GE port on the AP and require a physical bump to 5 or 10GE to max out the performance on the client side.

Unfortunently with the wireless backhaul it really depends on the amount of radios your router has to not eat into the wireless bandwidth. For example my GT-ax11000 has 3 radios 4x4, hardcoded and cannot be changed using ai mesh I can only use 80 channel width on unii 3 on 5ghz as dedicated wireless backhaul but using wifi repeater operating mode instead of ai mesh with a few tweaks I can set the dedicated wireless backhaul to be 160mhz channel width and my AP to be 80 channel width just swaps which end of the spectrum. Well that doesn’t afford me better wifi speed for ap clients is does allow for better wired lan speeds from the node router because the wireless backhaul is using 160. Any router running 6Ghz should be able to use 160mhz channel width on both ends. Less radios will half your speeds I think so it’s better the router and node share the same amount and types of radios.
 
Last edited:

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Less radios will half your speeds I think.
Well, you need at least a tri-band device to not have impact to the bandwidth to the clients. If you're not using 6ghz then that's the backhaul option for speed.

The biggest hurdle can be the user not having the proper client adapters installed on their machines.
 

DJones

Senior Member
Well, you need at least a tri-band device to not have impact to the bandwidth to the clients. If you're not using 6ghz then that's the backhaul option for speed.

The biggest hurdle can be the user not having the proper client adapters installed on their machines.
Your right. Most mobile phones for example are only 2x2 so to get the most you want the same number of radios/streams that your router has client side to maximize speeds. Most wan speeds for people fall far below what the router can dish out over wifi and anything above 1gbps typically your talking lan/wlan speeds on non commercial routers, but some lucky people have those speeds for wan.

At +1gbps wan speeds the cpu of cheaper routers end up bottlenecking you as well.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
+1gbps wan speeds the cpu of cheaper routers end up bottlenecking you as well.
I had that issue when I went gig+ using an old Asus I had lying around. It topped out at 300. My phone has a link rate of 1.2gbps but the laptop is 2.4gbps. Since you only get 70% of the LR it couldn't push the limits on the phone. Doing lacp though from the modem to my diy setup unlocked an additional 300mbps on the gig plan. Now that ISPs are starting to sometimes offer 2/5gbps plans there's a lack of routers that can meet those speeds. 160mhz though won't hit those speeds either for single clients due to the lack of adapters that offer 3x3 or higher configurations. When WiFi 7 comes along with 320mhz they can.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Yeah, I was lazy - too many IoT devices on the network to reconfigure!

You do demonstrate one aspect of packaged mesh products in general... they can impose a forklift upgrade path of all or nothing. You clearly ditched your Netgear Orbi package for one reason or another. For some users, total cost of ownership over time is a consideration... I want to be able to incrementally deploy/upgrade my network... some packages may not allow this. Most consumers do not want to afford trying multiple mesh products (much less third party firmware that is dependant on one unknown person).

Enjoy your sweetspot while it lasts... you earned it!

OE
 
Last edited:

RobJack

Occasional Visitor
You do demonstrate one aspect of packaged mesh products in general... they can impose a forklift upgrade path of all or nothing. You clearly ditched your Netgear Orbi package for one reason or another. For some users, total cost of ownership over time is a consideration... I want to be able to incrementally deploy/upgrade my network... some packages may not allow this. Most consumers do not want to afford trying multiple mesh products (much less third party firmware that is dependant on one unknown person).

Enjoy your sweetspot while it lasts... you earned it!

OE
Thanks Ozark!
I got frustrated with Netgear's constant firmware upgrades that always seemed to break something. The lack of control over fine tuning network settings played a huge part in the decision to ditch the Orbi as well. I had owned ASUS routers before, so as soon as they released the XT8, I jumped on it. At first, the ASUSWRT updates seemed to be just as problematic as the Netgear updates were. It wasn't until GNUton released his fork version that my system finally seemed to become stable. Since I've been on the fork, I've been very happy with the XT8 package.
 

Viktor Jaep

Very Senior Member
I'm really happy this topic came up... I'm one of the few that is running a 5-node Google WiFi mesh system behind my primary AC86U router which does all the heavy lifting. There are some positives and negatives that seem to come with the territory...

[Internet] <-> [Cable Modem] <-> [AC86U] <-> [Google WiFi Router + 4 Mesh Nodes]

Positives
1.) Since we've standardized on google smarthome devices, it seemed like a good fit to carry them on the Google WiFi system. It's nice to be able to control everything through a single Google Home app.
2.) Google WiFi is very plug and play, set and forget... which is great for some, but quickly become a negative for people like us.
3.) I can use my AC86U router to enforce policies, block countries, inbound and outbound that affect the entire Google local network.
4.) While the entire family can easily use and connect to the Google WiFi network, that allows me to tinker with the AC86U on a deeper level
5.) It's really great that the entire Google WiFi network is forced across my whole-home VPN connection going out through the AC86U.
6.) I can still purpose exclusion devices through the AC86U network should things need to bypass the VPN and get full WAN access/bandwidth... it just makes streaming and gaming so much easier.

Negatives
1.) Google WiFi is so overy simplistic, without a lot of configuration or reporting options, I wish I had more control over the operation of its network. Everything has to be done through the Google Home app, which is extremely limiting at times.
2.) Visibility becomes an issue, since all traffic is now coming from a single IP address on the Google WiFi network side, so it's pretty much impossible to determine which device is generating which traffic when looking at it from the AC86U side.
3.) Nodes still break, and disassociate themselves from the mesh, requiring a reboot every so often. Nothing is perfect it seems
 

Similar threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top