Wired AiMesh vs Access Points

darkgiants

Occasional Visitor
I have three ASUS RT-AC68U's. I initially had one but needed more distributed wireless coverage throughout my home and figured getting two additional ASUS RT-AC68U's can be a convenient option due to AiMesh. Long story short, I noticed for a while that a lot of my wireless clients (iPhones, iPads, Android devices, etc...) do a poor job when roaming from one AiMesh node to the other node. It recently got frustrating when setting up WiFi cameras as they disconnected every 40-50 minutes. All nodes are connected through ethernet. I decided last week to switch the two AiMesh nodes to individual Access Points on separate channels (while using the same SSID as my main router). This solution seems to have solved a lot of my problems with the roaming and disconnects. I therefore have few questions:
  1. Why was this an issue with AiMesh, especially when my setup was all wired and not through WiFi. Is it possible this is a hardware limiation of the ASUS RT-AC68U?
  2. Is there anything I am "giving up" by setting my two ASUS RT-AC68U's as Access Points instead of AiMesh nodes?
  3. The management of my entire system is no longer centralized as it was through AiMesh. Is there settings or configurations to make it easier? The biggest issue is on my main router, all devices that are connected wirelessly on the AP show up as wired device on the main router, even though this is not the case.
  4. Should I swap out the ASUS RT-AC68U's with actual Access Points (Unifi, TP-Link, etc...)? I am not sure I am fully utilizing the power of the ASUS RT-AC68U's as Access Points and would rather get rid of these and get something more efficient and less power hungry. Of course, this may be subjective, but curious if it makes sense. I will keep the main ASUS RT-AC68U as my router as it has never given me any issues.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Clients decide when to roam. Not the router/AP.

Change your clients and you may (no guarantee) see roaming begin to work.

Or just use it how it's set up now. The only drawback is that Guest network 1 isn't propagated to the nodes (along with decentralized management).
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
just how large is this home and how is it laid out/constructed?

Part of me is thinking wireless clients having issues is indicative of too much wifi - OP may have gone overboard with 2 nodes, and/or you're brushing up against your neighbours too closely: If everyone's routers are set to auto in the wifi settings, as one moves, others may "follow." and that means client devices will go hunting.

There are ways to address the "too much wifi" in the settings, but you really need to do a scan and get your neighbours onboard with sharing the airspace amicably...and maybe that means a meeting and helping everybody get configured. (the good news is that the trouble is usually only in the 2.4GHz band - there's much more real estate to be had up in the 5GHz range).

Another option is doing what the Freifunk folks are doing and build a community mesh, but that may cause problems for some people.
 

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