[SOLVED] ASUS AiMesh usage question

invento123

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So Im planning on purchasing an ASUS RT-AC86U to replace my ASUS RT-AC66U and then re purposing the 66U with the ASUS AiMesh in a dead spot in my house. I got 2 questions before I do so:

First, I am running, 4 google homes (I know they're "wire taps" and the government is spying on me but idc lol), 2 wifi security cameras, and 10 or so random wifi devices (Phones, tablets, roku, laptops) currently with the 66U. Will transitioning to the 86U and using the 66U as a mesh decrease the number of devices I can connect and possibly the latency and speed between them and the internet?

Second, I have a Night Owl DVR that is ethernet connection only and Im planning on placing the 66U to create the mesh network pretty close to the DVR so while the 66U is being used with AiMesh for range extension, can the rear ethernet ports be used as regular ports as if it was connected directly to my modem? Basically saying, can I connect my Night Owl DVR to one of the ethernet ports and itll act as a wifi bridge to the main router?

Hope that all made sense and thank you in advance for replies!
 
So first do not think mesh is anything all that new. It really is just a slightly new form of wifi repeater. It still suffers from all the issues of any other repeater.

You best option is to use the 66u as a AP. Connect it to the new router with a ethernet cable. Pretty much this is the optimum solution for extending wifi. Although they try to pretend it is some magic mesh businesses have been using wire connected AP almost since wifi was invented. This in effect increases your wifi bandwidth with little downside. Of course if you put in too many AP and the signals overlap too much you get interference.

There is no magic solution to the roaming issues. The end device not the "mesh" controls where connections are made. You will still have some issues with the end devices connecting to the wrong wifi source at times. This is why using different SSID on the 2 units sometimes is a better option that way you can force devices to connect where you the person knows there is better signal. It is all personal preference.

Now if your plan is to use the second router as a wifi repeater rather than connect it to main router via ethernet then you suffer pentalies in radio bandwidth. Instead of a device using 1 chunk of radio bandwidth it uses 2. The mesh system are slightly better than the older repeaters because they use different radios to talk to the main unit and the clients. To do this effectively they need 3 radios to cover the backhaul and the 2 bands to talk to the clients. This is not a real common device many you have to only have 2.4g or 5g on the remote end.

When you use the device as a mesh/repeater placement is critical. It must be placed in a area that gets good reception but can still send the signal to the remote room. This may not be possible if the cause of poor signal is a wall or ceiling.

I would use the unit as a AP if you have ethernet or consider using powerline networks to extend the network and then use the AP. This all can be done with older equipment it does not need the mesh stuff.
 

invento123

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Thank you very much that all makes complete sense! I had the thought that asus had some special hardware and software that made their aimesh work better that a basic wifi repeater!
 
It does work a small bit better because it is using 2 different radios rather than retramitting the repeated signal back into the same band. The so called "roaming" just force the client to disconnect if it thinks it is connect to the wrong ap. It hopes the client will choose the proper AP. You still get some fairly major packet loss even if it does switch over. Nobody REALLY needs roaming anyway, we can hope people are not stupid and think they can watch netflix while they go up and down stairs in their house.
 

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