ASUS AIMESH (AC86U or AC5300)?

Soldato
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Hello,

My internet throughout the house is very good (ASUS RT-AC86U, just ran a speedtest over WiFi as far away from the router as I can be and I get 212.0 Mbps download 34.4 Mbps upload (that's in the house)).

However, I'd like to improve the WiFI in the garden / Man Cave, the Man Cave has CAT6 cabling from the ASUS RT-AC86U router in the house. I'm thinking of getting another ASUS RT-AC86U and setting up AIMESH to (hopefully) have seemliness coverage everywhere.

I can purchase a new ASUS RT-AC86U for ~£150 or a second hand AC 5300 for the same...

Am I best getting a second ASUS RT-AC86U or the AC 5300?

or would you recommend something else completely?
 
Soldato
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I don't know Asus' AIMesh feature, but mesh in general is of benefit where you can't run an ethernet cable. If I understand correctly, you have ethernet down there already? If so then spend considerably less on a straightforward Access Point would be my recommendation.
 
Soldato
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I don't know Asus' AIMesh feature, but mesh in general is of benefit where you can't run an ethernet cable. If I understand correctly, you have ethernet down there already? If so then spend considerably less on a straightforward Access Point would be my recommendation.

Hi, yeah there is a cable running to the Man Cave, my networking knowledge is "iffie" at best so cheers for the response.

To clarify there is one CAT6 cable running into the Man Cave, this currently runs into a very old router set in repeater mode, which gives a poor WiFi signal and slow LAN connection to my main Network. I'm updating to get a 1GB LAN connection and a decent WiFi, my thought was the AIMESH would achieve this and everything would be on the same SSID, can I do this with e Access Point?

Thanks again,
 
Soldato
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If you've already got a router in there can it be set to Access Point mode or similar? At a guess you'd plug the ethernet cable running into the man cave into the WAN connection of the router (check your manual though) and then in AP mode it'd broadcast wifi from the cabled signal instead of repeating the distant Asus WiFi signal and will be much stronger. some routers I know will call their AP mode Wireless Bridge Client mode or similar. If you've got the make and model I don't mind looking up the manual and giving better advice.

You can give the same SSID/password to the router in AP mode and devices will auto connect to it, although seamless transfer between that and your main router over WiFi may be not amazing as devices can tend to cling onto weak signals. Three ways to make this better:

1. Turn the device's wifi off and on again and it'll pick the strongest signal
2. Give the man cave a deliberately different SSID and consciously manually connect to it when in there.
3. Ditch all the things currently doing WiFi and have a setup with multiple APs that seamlessly roam. AIMesh may do this (most mesh would) or same brand APs on the end of ethernet cables in your home and man cave like Ubiquiti would also do this.

While points 1 and 2 may seem a PITA, if your WiFi from your main router can be tuned down a bit with signal strength so it gets no where near the man cave then when you get into the man cave your wireless devices should see only the man cave strong wifi signal.

In short you may not need to buy anything to receive strong wifi in your man cave.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the advice, just to confuse matters I think I've set the 2nd router in AP mode and it does work, but for some reason the PC in the Man Cave can not be seen on my Network, it's only 100mb (I think it's a Netgear WNR2000) so I'm overdue an upgrade, although I'm obviously happy to save cash and buy wisely :)

Just thought AIMESH would be the easiest way, I'm more than happy to be corrected!

I've got a growing amount of Alexa controlled smart home appliances so I'm trying to make the WiFi as robust and future proof as possible.

Cheers,
 
Soldato
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Given you're cabled up in the key places if you want a robust and seamless WiFi experience with lots of devices then I would turn off the Wifi on your main router and install two Ubiquiti UAPs - one as central in your house as you can get it and one in your man cave in place of the router you currently have (plus a cheap switch if you need extra wired ports). I'll caveat it by saying I'd be confident in that being a solution that will work and be robust for your needs at <£200 but I don't know if going down the Asus only route is just as good for potentially a bit less. You'd best wait for someone with some knowledge of Asus AIMESH to come on with some experiences.

i'll also add that if your current setup is giving you sketchy WiFi coverage in your man cave and it is acting in AP mode and you're getting lousy performance then something is wrong or your man cave must be massive. Even if it is limited to 100Mbps ports, you should see all of that in your WiFi because it's getting full speed from your main router to the one in the man cave along the cable. Are you sure your devices aren't clinging on to the main house's WiFi like I mentioned as a drawback in points above when running mixed manufacturer/device WiFi with the same SSID/password?
 
Soldato
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So I've just read the manual for your WNR2000 (http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/WNR2000V1/WNR2000_UM_24FEB09.pdf)

At a quick glance it doesn't support any sort of repeating or AP mode so actually you're using it as a router. This would explain why your man cave PC can't be seen by the rest of your network as it is leasing its IP address from the WNR2000 and not the Asus router. It's double NATd and on a different network effectively that can get out to the internet via two routers but has no route to your house's network. That doesn't explain the poor Wifi performance though. You're also lucky that with probably two DHCP servers on your network that there aren't more problems you're encountering.
 
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Thanks for the info BigT, really appreciate it, Ubiquiti UAPs look very interesting, I'll do some reading and make a decision.
The Man cave is only 6x3m, I'd be happy if I can see the PC on my Network and the shed Alexa is on the same network

In the meantime does anyone have any experience with AIMESH?
 
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