ZenWifi XT8 vs RT-AX86U

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Smedley

Regular Contributor
The ZenWifi XT8 is the newest kid on the block, while the RT-AX86U has the heritage of the ASUS workhorses; AC68U and AC86U.

Which would be the better choice to replace an RT-AC86U operating in a single node (no mesh) configuration? Which would be superior operating simply as an access point (AP)?

Thanks!
 

Gar

Very Senior Member
After having read the recent XT8 posts I don't think I'd get near one right now.
 

JagoUK

Regular Contributor
Have to agree.
Review in my sig.
 

digits n bits

Regular Contributor
With the latest Asus firmware the XT8 performance has improved dramatically.
Stable, fast, no issues with dropping clients wired or wireless. Backhaul is working great on 160 MHz. Clients switch back and forth between nodes like they should.

For the first time since I’ve owned the XT8 (since March) its working as advertised without hassling with it every day. Theres still some very minor things that need to be fixed but it’s a huge difference from before.

That being said if you don’t need to cover 3000 sq ft. or more I’d go with the
RT-AX86U, especially if Merlin decides to support it in the future.
 

Gar

Very Senior Member
Good to hear, thought it might be a design problem.
 

wags1

Occasional Visitor
With the latest Asus firmware the XT8 performance has improved dramatically.
Stable, fast, no issues with dropping clients wired or wireless. Backhaul is working great on 160 MHz. Clients switch back and forth between nodes like they should.

For the first time since I’ve owned the XT8 (since March) its working as advertised without hassling with it every day. Theres still some very minor things that need to be fixed but it’s a huge difference from before.

That being said if you don’t need to cover 3000 sq ft. or more I’d go with the
RT-AX86U, especially if Merlin decides to support it in the future.
I received my XT8 pair on 8/16 and it was definitely buggy. I had to have it on a every other day reboot schedule just to keep it running. Since the FW update it has been rock solid with excellent performance for both my wired and WiFi clients.
 

SEGApostle

New Around Here
With the latest Asus firmware the XT8 performance has improved dramatically.
Stable, fast, no issues with dropping clients wired or wireless. Backhaul is working great on 160 MHz. Clients switch back and forth between nodes like they should.

For the first time since I’ve owned the XT8 (since March) its working as advertised without hassling with it every day. Theres still some very minor things that need to be fixed but it’s a huge difference from before.

That being said if you don’t need to cover 3000 sq ft. or more I’d go with the
RT-AX86U, especially if Merlin decides to support it in the future.
What settings should be changed from default? I keep having issues with speeds on the main node after 12-24 hours of use. Sometimes I can't even connect to one of the nodes every once in a while. Should I separate the 2.4 and 5ghz bands? Any other suggested settings?
 

digits n bits

Regular Contributor
I don’t really change many settings from default. I don’t use smart connect because it isn’t very smart so I use separate 2.4 & 5 ghz bands. I use Open DNS and enable ipv6. If you’re having trouble manually reload the 25790 firmware, do a factory reset and configure your XT8 from scratch From the web GUI not the app.
How big an area are you trying to cover and where are the router and node located, how fast apart are they? Placement is key, moving one or the other a few inches can make a huge difference in performance.
 

RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
Thinking about using an XT8 as an AP for the RT-AX88U. This would be in our living room, so "wife acceptance factor" is a big one. Seems to pass that test *smile*, so hopefully it'll make a good AP. The RT-AX86U would be fine, but it isn't going make it into the living room *smile*. In fact, I don't know of any other routers that Asus makes that would be okay for living room use...
 

jmpr

New Around Here
Thinking about using an XT8 as an AP for the RT-AX88U. This would be in our living room, so "wife acceptance factor" is a big one. Seems to pass that test *smile*, so hopefully it'll make a good AP. The RT-AX86U would be fine, but it isn't going make it into the living room *smile*. In fact, I don't know of any other routers that Asus makes that would be okay for living room use...
This one is "good looking" too, and with AiMesh:


Latest firm from April.
 

RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
Yes, the Blue Cave is a piece of modern art, but I'm looking for a wifi-6 AP to go with the AX88U *smile*. And I most likely won't be using AiMesh, at least not initially. I do have MoCA at my living room TV, so I'll be using that for an AP. I'll try the XT8 in AiMesh mode, though, if I can dedicate one of the 5GHz. radios on it for backhaul...don't know if that can be done with the AX88U as router, though. Depends on how flexible AiMesh configurations are.
 
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RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
Yes, the Blue Cave is a piece of modern art, but I'm looking for a wifi-6 AP to go with the AX88U *smile*. And I most likely won't be using AiMesh, at least not initially. I do have MoCA at my living room TV, so I'll be using that for an AP. I'll try the XT8 in AiMesh mode, though, if I can dedicate one of the 5GHz. radios on it for backhaul...don't know if that can be done with the AX88U as router, though. Depends on how flexible AiMesh configurations are.
Now I've read that if I have the XT8 connected via AiMesh to the AX88U, then only one of the 5GHz. radios on the XT8 can be used. So that won't really help me. Looks like AP mode is it.

Blue Cave reminds me of neo-industrial modern art *smile*.
 

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