Mesh WiFi - a coming of age technology?

Just an attempt to bring togethor some of the developments that others are reporting

I have changed this to a Wiki (indicated by image), which will allow you to Edit and add information that will help the user community.
I will continue to review comments, if you don’t update the thread I will try to add it in and build it into some format as time and new info becomes available


I got the ASUS mesh network configured today. Had the two RT-AC86U routers been loaded with production AiMesh firmware this would have been simpler setup.

First I installed the Beta firmware on both routers. That involved downloading it to a folder on my PC and then uploading it to each router. Those installation went smoothly.

I logged into my primary router which already had SSIDs and passwords configured. From there I told it to find a mesh node. It didn’t find the other router but it did tell me that if the other router was just configured with the mesh firmware I should factory reset it. I did that and then the main mesh router was able to find the mesh node.

It took the primary router about 5 minutes to automatically configure the mesh node. At this point the Mesh node was wirelessly connected to the primary router. I carried it to the far end of the house where I had a cat 5 cable coming from the primary router. ASUS even displays a connection diagram which shows the WAN port on the Mesh node connected to a LAN port on the primary.

Next I connected my Fire TV to a LAN port on the Mesh remote. It worked fine. I wirelessly connected my Apple TV to the SSID being broadcast by both the primary router and the Mesh node. It worked fine.

Next I monitored the WiFi bars as I moved between the two routers. Hard to believe but I had full bars everywhere in my home. ASUS had said the signal strength would be better.

Finally, I called my Samsung S7 from my land line. This is where things got messy.

1st call: Great connection but audio in one direction only.
2nd call. Went to voice mail. Noticed I had hollow arc.
3rd call. Connected with audio in both directions. As I walked around the phone switched to my very poor cell signal and the call dropped. The arc was hollow again and I had to turn WiFi off and back on to regain a solid arc.
4th call. Maintained a solid arc as I walked all around the house. This is how I had hoped this would work. It bothers me that the first 3 calls were so problematic but then I’ve experienced these issues from time-to-time over the years I’ve been with RW.

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Good stuff @billg, thanks for sharing
I see in your reference cited above they have the AiMesh for multiple of their devices.

The first routers with firmware updates that add AiMesh support are the ASUS RT-AC68U, RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U, the RT-AC1900, the RT-AC1900P, and the RT-AC3100. For our tri-band RT-AC5300, and ROG Rapture GT-AC5300, we’re in the beta testing stages, and later this year we’ll be rolling out updates for more of our routers.

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I’m wondering if they will have AiMesh for the N66. I’ve got one that works flawlessly that has now been rendered useless to me. :slight_smile:

Or maybe “later this year we’ll be rolling out updates for more of our routers” = Soon™ :thinking:

Have you determined if the code you’re using has WMM APSD enabled by default?
They see this comment for what was found on a different ASUS device

The default wireless setting are below. Once the mesh software has been installed and the access point routers have joined the mesh one can no longer log into the access point routers. When the access point joins the mesh network a process takes place that lasts a few minutes. I think the settings on the main router are transferred to the access point during that process. Also, the beta software I initially installed has now been upgraded to release software hence going forward anyone who has RT-AC68U and perhaps others will have a mesh-capable router the next time they upgrade their firmware. Firmware upgrades on the access point are performed from the main router.

These are the operating modes after performing a firware upgrade on the RT-AC68U:

In case anyone else is experimenting with using the RT-AC68U as a mesh router be aware that the ‘check for updates’ feature doesn’t always find updates.

I recently updated my firmware from the Beta version to the 1st release version. There were a few issues so I told the router to check for updates. It reported back that I had the latest firmware installed. Then I went to the RT-AC68U firmware updates and found two new releases.

There was something strange about installing these updates on both of the mesh routers. After the update it doesn’t tell you to reboot the router. When logged into the primary router there is a Reboot button and a myriad of settings were applied when I rebooted it. Once back into the router I looked for a way to reboot the mesh node to no avail. I went to that router and manually rebooted it. It must have been updating a lot of settings too as it took about 5 minutes to come back on-line.

There were some nice changes between the initial release and this last release.

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I see SmallNetBuilders that they have announced Asus AiMesh Here is a link to the Forum that has a bit of activity

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

The Mesh Networking thread @jben started is locked or I would have put this interesting Amazon Alexa/Mesh Networking Router/stereo speaker there.

Bill thanks adding the new information and mentioning the locked discussion: Mesh WiFi - a coming of age technology?

As this was originally put out right after CES 2018, lets leave this open for discussion and hopefully pull in a few more interested users/contributors.

Just…Why?? For someone who wants an AIO device I guess.

I for one, believe that a router should have one and only one job, to be a router, to power and manage my network at peak performance and efficiently at all times…nothing more, nothing less.

The more add ons and complexity you add into a device, the more likely it is is to perform worse and have issues with performing its core function.

I swear by Asus routers, but I flash Merlin Firmware to mine, I find it much better than stock firmware.

The stock ASUS mesh firmware works great for me. I can roam anywhere in my two story home without dropping a call.


Hi @billg and @jben,

Topics in the General Discussions category will autoclose if they fall silent for 60 days. I can always re-open them on request.

I’ve moved your posts into the topic you referenced.

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Do you know if the Merlin firmware provides a user with the advantages/advancements that Mesh Routing (802.11s) provides?

Merlin does not support Mesh, as far as I know.
I dont want that feature, it is useless to me and my small apartment.
People who need it, are stuck with the stock firmware, i believe.

More info is available on the threads:

I don’t know if I’ve ever had an issue with Android Doze on my phone. Might be what’s happening to my wife’s X4 though - I’ll look into that a little more later. My S10e has passed the Doze check in the diagnostic test, but I did go ahead and uncheck to Optimize the RW app so hopefully that isn’t an issue going forward.

I’m betting that some of these settings might have a chance to get reset during a system update or other serious update to the phone’s software - which might contribute to some issues. I know that my wife’s X4 continually changes the setting to save pictures to the SD card back to her internal memory so her memory gets filled quickly and I have to go and correct it fairly regularly.

As far as the TP-Link Deco S4 system is concerned, I really like it. I had some issues with calls getting dropped as I walked around the house and the phone would need to handoff from one AP to another. However, that might have been some other issues and I’ve been making some minor tweaks with a few things over the past month or so that I’ve owned the S4. I think some of my issues might be that I have 2 of the APs a little close to each other. These 2 are on the same level and the same side of the house and are probably only 35’ apart. I am thinking about moving one of them, but I haven’t decided on the best location to move it to yet. Going from a single “all-in-one” gateway (modem and wireless router) to the Deco S4 has been a huge improvement. WAN speeds are approaching gigabit speeds and I have strong connectivity on both levels of my home and across all 3,200 sqft. I also have good coverage outside of the house. I haven’t taken the time to see just how far signal extends, but it appears that I have some decent range. Is there a better place for me to share some of my experiences with the Deco S4 system? Perhaps a general mesh WiFi discussion already in progress?

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