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ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Arctic Ace

New Around Here
Hi, what is your opinion of ZenWiFi AX (XT8)?

I currently have ASUS RT-AC68U but I would like to enhance my wifi coverage with new mesh capable router. I'd preffer to use ASUS because of the asuswrt features. What device would you recommend?

 

goldbondx

Occasional Visitor
I have had the XT8 for over a month now. I previously had the Orbi AC3000 (with Sat). My opinion as a slightly above novice:

The Bad First:
1. I have the feeling this product may have been pushed out before marketing was ready. I ran into a few Help articles from the webUI that are broken. These were typically on features that were advanced where I needed some additional detail.
2. Related to the above, was difficult to find "best practices" for configuration. Asus is much more comprehensive than say Orbi and simple questions like whether I should split wifi bands. Fortunately, I have gotten some help on this forum and a few other spots.
3. I have run into some issues with adding other Asus products to the AIMesh setup. I have the Lyra Trio for a couple of weak spots. And, after about a week or 2, 2 have run into issues that I still cannot explain. Today, I had 1 that issues crazy IP's which knocked all devices off incorrectly. Again, this may be simply as configuration.
4. I have read conflicting reports on privacy associated with QoS and AiProtection which I have turned off based on advice.

The Good:
1. I am really impressed with ease of setup and pairing. Full disclosure, I have a wired back-haul. (not wireless)
2. Equally impressed with the options and capability ranging from USB application, VPN server/client services, DDNS setup, etc..etc. I will get there on many of those features..but baby steps.
3. Speed! I don't care what reviews, stats say, I can tell you that my OnePlus7Pro has seen wifi speeds virtually double in EXACT same configuration/setup that I had with Orbi. I am typically getting about 350mb down or higher. With Orbi, I seemed to have wonky variation with typical around 100-150mb down. Physically connected PC had double down on Comcast as well. My cap is 600mb and I hit it on avg. I saw 300-350 on ORBI. Could I have played with values/messed around to get same on Orbi? I tried..and failed. That's why it is gone.
4. Last comment related to FAQ's. I submitted feedback on missing content via the actual "feedback" form under administration and received a response from Asus within 3 days. They acknowledged work to do on links and content. (which is great to hear) Don't try to snow me with "it's your fault mr. customer because.."

Overall, I am very happy with purchase. I don't regret it all. I would be interested to test Merlin if it is ever available for this product as I do see some benefits in tweaking based on others feedback for other Asus product.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Depends on what you're trying to run on the gateway and how much wifi you want to deliver.

First off is cabling. If you can create even a partial wired backbone, do so. Ethernet first, MoCa over coaxial second. This will provide much more reliable and higher-bandwidth backhaul, and client links as well, regardless of if you go with a whole-house consumer product like ZenWifi, or a wire-first centralized AP system like UniFi or Omada.

Regarding AX, I'd hold off and go AC Wave 2, as there's minimal benefits in the real-world right now, if any, plus all the AX hardware and drivers are pre draft 1, so who knows how compatible and/or patchable they will once draft 1 spec gets adopted and enabled.

On the gateway, again, totally dependent on your needs and taste. If the baked-in features and stability get you by, great. If they fall short, you can always (hopefully) put the system into AP/bridge mode (effectively running as just a wireless AP system at that point), and drop in more solid discrete routing (Ubiquiti, Mikrotik, pfSense) and switching if needed (Cisco SG, HPE, etc.).
 
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