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Asus AiMesh Setup Guide: Getting Your Wi-Fi System Up and Running Optimally

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This post will walk you through the steps of turning two or more routers into a well-performing and seamless Asus AiMesh system. You’ll also find here handy tricks to manage and optimize the setup.

“Well-performing” is the key here since you can add Asus AiMesh members willy-nilly and they’re gonna kinda work. It’s in the nuance.

It’s part of my series on Asus’s AiMesh, which has been a popular way to build a robust home Wi-Fi mesh system in the past few years. That said, make sure you check the related box below if you have any AiMesh-related questions.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on February 11, 2022, by moving it out from the primer post on AiMesh, and last updated it on September 29, 2022, more detailed steps and relevant information.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX86U
AiMesh hardware: The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 and the RT-AX86U make an excellent pair of AiMesh routers.

Getting an AiMesh system of your own: The hardware arrangement

You need at least two routers to create an AiMesh system. No matter what combo you get, which I detailed in this post for a sub-Gigabit network, the setup process is generally the same, and chances are the mesh will work — it’s a matter of degrees.

Generally, here’s the diagram (schema) of hardware arrangement in an AiMesh system:

Internet source -> Primary AiMesh router -> AiMesh satellite nodes.

Specifically, you connect the primary router’s WAN port to your Internet terminal device, generally, that’s a Cable modem or a fiber ONT. After that, add your AiMesh satellite to the router, which is always the case in a wireless setup since the satellite connects to the primary router’s Wi-Fi network.

In a wired backhaul setup — that’s when you use network cables to link them — things need to be a bit more specific.

AiMesh Hardware Connection Diagram Mixed
Here’s an AiMesh network consisting of both wired and wireless satellite nodes.

AiMesh with wired backhaul: How to connect the hardware units

Current AiMesh Wi-Fi hardware

This portion of extra content is part of the original post on the AiMesh feature as a whole. It’s updated each time this website covers an additional Asus router.

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) AiMesh broadcasters

Most of these are legacy broadcasters that might not support the latest version of AiMesh.

Wi-Fi 6/6E (802.11ax) AiMesh broadcasters

These non-complete lists only include the latest broadcasters already covered on this website.

When you choose to use wired backhauling, there are two scenarios in terms of hardware arrangement.

Standard scenario: Primary AiMesh router + AiMesh wired satellite nodes.

This configuration is generally recommended, and it works best.

In this case, the way you link the hardware units together follows the same rules as that of a standard router, specifically:

  • The router unit must be in your local network’s frontmost position, with the rest of the nodes behind it.
  • Use a node’s WAN port to connect it to the existing network, namely a LAN port on the router, a switch, or another node.

In other words, the satellite units have to be at least one level behind the router unit.

So let’s say you have a mesh of one primary router and two nodes. Here’s how you’d use network cables to link them up:

  1. Hook the router’s WAN port to the Internet source (modem/ONT/gateway).
  2. Connect the nodes to the router by:
    • Link each node’s WAN port to a LAN port of the router. OR
    • Connect the first node’s WAN port to the router’s LAN port, then connect the 2nd node’s WAN port to the 1st node’s LAN port. Or
    • Place a switch (or two) in between them. This switch can be between the router and the node(s) or between the nodes themselves. But it also must be behind the router — or on top of the router, depending on your imagination.
  3. Now let the router works as an AiMesh router mode (default).

In a fully wired backhaul setup, you should explicitly use Ethernet Backhaul Mode via the AiMesh section of the router’s web interface — detail steps below.

Multi-Gig Backhaul AiMesh Combo: Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Multi-Gig Backhaul
AiMesh hardware arrangement: Here’s a ZenWiFi ET8 AiMesh set working in the AP mode.

If the Internet source is a gateway, you also can change the AiMesh router and, therefore, the entire system to work in the Access Point mode. That brings us to the second scenario.

AiMesh system in AP mode scenario: An existing (non-AiMesh) router + wired AiMesh nodes

This configuration applies to the situation where you already have an existing router (like an ISP-provided gateway) and want to avoid double-NAT.

In this case, you can arrange the hardware the same as the standard configuration above. Or you can also connect each AiMesh satellite directly to the existing router. In other words, all AiMesh units can be at the same level.

So let’s say you have an existing gateway and three AiMesh nodes. You first set up the AiMesh system the standard way, with double NAT. After that, from within the web interface of the primary unit, change the mesh into the AP mode.

GT AXE16000 AiMesh Router in AP mode
Turning the router unit of an AiMesh system into the AP mode will make the entire system work as in this mode. In this case, you can still manage the nodes via the router unit.

Now you also have the option of connecting all three units’ WAN ports to the existing gateway (or a switch.) It might work better for certain wiring situations where you can’t put the satellite behind the main unit.

This configuration is also an option to build a Multi-Gig wired AiMesh system of mixed Dual-band and Tri-band hardware — more here.

Standard access point scenario: Individual AiMesh router(s) in the AP mode

In a wired home, you also have the option of using each AiMesh node in the Access Point mode — it’s now no longer an AiMesh node but just a regular access point.

Specifically, you use each of the satellites as an individual AP — not to be confused with the AP mode of the entire system as mentioned above.

In this case, you don’t have a true mesh system since you’ll have to manage the node separately using its web interface. Specifically, if you change the Wi-Fi name and password on the router, that won’t be replicated to the satellites automatically.

The signal hand-off is probably not working very well, either, if at all. And keep in mind that the hardware loses all of its features and settings available in the router roles.

But in return, you can rest assured that any hardware combo will work, and you can directly control the AP’s USB port and its Wi-Fi bands. Moreover, you can also use non-AiMesh routers, including those from a different hardware vendor.

Using the satellite units in the AP role, which is wired, is far more reliable than using them as wireless AiMesh nodes in my trial. So, consider this as an alternative when you have issues with a pure AiMesh setup.

With that out of the way, let’s find out how to build an AiMesh system in detail.

Asus AiMesh Setup: The step-by-step guide

Generally, AiMesh comes in different flavors. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you get a ZenWiFi set, chances are the hardware units are pre-synced. Consequently, you only need to set up the router unit the way you do any standard router, and your mesh is ready — you won’t need to add the other units manually.
  • If you get multiple stand-alone routers, or if you use ZenWiFi hardware of different sets, the process is the same.
  • If you use a standalone router as the main unit and a ZenWiFi mesh set (*) as satellite nodes, keep in mind that you should add one satellite unit at a time and make sure the other satellite(s) are turned off during the process.

(*)In a 2-pack or 3-pack, ZenWiFi hardware units are pre-synced and would automatically link to one another when turned on at the same time, which would prevent them from joining a system hosted by a different router, as satellite units.

With that out of the way, below are steps on getting your own AiMesh setup, no matter what hardware combo you use.

As a rule, I’d recommend the web user interface for these steps. While the Asus Router mobile app is helpful, it might create inconsistency in the setup process.

There are three main steps in setting up an AiMesh system. By the way, for this post, I use the GT-AX6000 as the primary router and a few others as satellite nodes. However, if you use any other combo, the process is the same.

A. Set up the main router

This step applies when you set up a home network from scratch. If you’re already using an AiMesh-enabled router, you can jump to step B.

Asus Router Setup Wizard
AiMesh setup: The initial setup wizard will walk you through the process of setting up an Asus router.
Create a new network: Pick this option to set up the device as a standalone router.
Advanced Settings: This option lets you choose different roles, including picking its role as an AiMesh router or satellite node. You can also upload the backup settings of a different router.

Again, you can set up an Asus router the way you do any standard router with a web user interface. Here are the general steps:

  1. Connect the router’s WAN port to the Internet source, be it a modem or a Fiber ONT.
  2. Connect the computer to the router’s LAN port, or its default Wi-Fi open network which is “ASUS_xx”.
  3. On the connected computer, launch a browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Edge) and navigate to the router’s default IP address which is or
  4. Follow the onscreen wizard to set up the router as a standalone router, or you can pick the AiMesh router role — the two are the same.

B. Prepare the satellite node unit(s)

  1. Firmware update: If you use Wi-Fi 5 hardware, such as the Blue Cave, or RT-AC86U, you must update the firmware to the latest version — their initial firmware might not even support AiMesh fully if at all. In this case, you have to set up the hardware as a standalone router and update the firmware via the web user interface. When you’re done, you might want to run through the setup steps above, starting with A.2 but this time put the router in the AiMesh node role.
  2. Reset: If you use Wi-Fi 6 or newer hardware, all you have to do is reset it to the default setting, which is already the case if you get a brand-new unit.
  3. Placement: Plug the node or nodes into power and place them some 10 feet (3m) from the main router (*).

(*) Alternatively, you can connect their WAN port to the router’s LAN port. However, using a wired backhaul might or might work during the setup process. It’s safer to set up the node wirelessly and use the wired backhaul afterward.

Again, as mentioned above, if you use a ZenWiFi pack as nodes, make sure you add one hardware unit at a time, with the other being turned off.

C. Adding a satellite node to the main router to form the mesh

This step is entirely on the router unit’s web interface.

Important note: When applicable, make sure you get the main router out of the Ethernet Backhaul Mode for this step. You can put it back in this mode after you’ve added all nodes.

1. Search for satellite node(s)

On a connected computer, navigate to the main router’s web interface — as shown in step A.3 above.

AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: To start, click on Network Map, then on the AiMesh icon, and then on Search as circled in the screenshot above. The screenshot below will show what happens next.

Click on Network Map on the menu, then on the AiMesh icon. Now click on Search. After a few seconds, the node(s) will appear, as shown in the screenshot below.

(Alternatively, you can use the AiMesh section of the interface, but in my experience, using the network map is much better and more consistent.)

AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: Within a few seconds, you will see all available AiMesh satellite nodes upon clicking on Search. However, you can add only one at a time — now click on the one you want to add.

2. Add a satellite node to the mesh

Click on a node and a pop-up prompt will appear. Click on Apply to confirm. Now, wait about a minute for the adding process to complete. This step’s progress is in the three screenshots below.

Note: During this time, in my experience, you must not navigate to a different part of the web interface. Doing so might cause the setup to fail, and you’ll need to try again from step #2.

AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: Click on a node and then on Apply to confirm adding it to the mesh system. In this example, I picked the RT-AX89X. The following screenshot shows what happens as a result.
AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: Here, the node is now being added. This process generally takes about a minute.
AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: At the end of the process, you’ll see this message if the node has been added successfully. Click on OK to finish. (If the process fails, the message will show you the reason, and you can try again.)

And that’s it! Repeat from step #1 to add more nodes if need be. Otherwise, mission accomplished. All you have to do now is place the satellite(s) around the house strategically for the best coverage.

3. Rearrange the hardware

Once you’ve gotten all satellite nodes added to the main router, it’s time the rearrange the hardware accordingly.


If a wireless setup, make sure the satellites are placed around the main router.

In a wired backhauling setup, connect the hardware to the network accordingly. Generally, you want to use the WAN port of the satellite to hook it to the existing network, either to the router’s LAN port or to a switch that connects to the router. You can also daisy-chain the nodes.

In a mix of wired and wireless backhauling setups, it’s best to have the wireless satellites connected directly to a router or a wired satellite.

After that, you might want to manage them properly, too.

AiMesh setup: Satellite management

Once you’ve gotten your system up and running, AiMesh has a lot of ways for users to manged the satellite nodes.

Below are those you’ll find handy. Let’s start with what folks care about the most: Keeping the devices connected to the closest (strongest) node, or Roaming Assistance.

Understanding roaming assistance

As we move around the house, we generally want our phone (or laptop) to automatically connect to the closest Wi-Fi broadcaster to get the best connection speed, instead of to the one that’s farther away.

Generally, that’s called hand-off or seamless hand-off in a mesh Wi-Fi system. With AiMesh, that’s called roaming assistance.

Before continuing, remember that signal hand-off is complicated and almost always hit or miss, as I detailed in this mesh explainer.

Another thing is most of the time, the default hand-off settings will work out, and most canned systems don’t even allow you to change the settings at all.

So, having the option to manage hand-off can be nice but might bring about adverse results if not done correctly. That said, keep in mind that this part is optional and you should tread lightly in it.

Step to adjust AiMesh’s roaming assistance

Like everything in an AiMesh system, you adjust this setting on the primary router unit. The screenshot below belongs to an RT-AX89X, but the process is the same if you use any router.

Seamless Hand Off
To customize the seamless hand-off, you need to understand dBm.

1. Log in to the primary router’s interface, navigate to the Wireless section (under Advanced Settings), then to the Professional tab.

2. Pick the band you want to customize (2.4GHz or 5GHz)

3. Locate the Roaming assistant setting; you’ll note that there’s a default value already in place, something like -70 dBm.

4. Change the value to a new number that fits your situation — more on this below.

To know what dBm number works best, you first have to understand what dBm means, and I explained separately in this post about received Wi-Fi signal strength.

dBm: Wi-Fi signals’ power and signal strength

However, generally, you should keep the dBm value between -60 (more sensitive, clients favor fast speed and roam faster) and -75 (less sensitive, clients tend to remain to the original broadcaster).

Important note: If you make the roaming too sensitive, a device placed right in the middle of two nodes of the same signal strength (or weakness) might have problems staying connected — it might keep jumping between the two.

5. Click on Apply. Repeat step #2 for other Wi-Fi bands when applicable. Then manually restart all hardware units.

And that’s it. Your system should deliver the best signal hand-off now.

It’s important to note that there’s no precise measurement for Wi-Fi range and signal strength since they vary greatly depending on the environment.

That said, mentioned above are my estimates applicable to my situation. The numbers that work for you depend on your environment and the routers you use. It’s a matter of trial and error.

Also, roaming is tricky since it depends more on the clients than the router. Networking vendors can’t test their products with all existing equipment. As a result, at times, it’s a matter of luck.

One thing that almost always works: You can always turn your device’s Wi-Fi off and then back on to get it connected to the closest broadcaster.

Adding device to the Roaming Blocklist

This is the opposite of the above: In many cases you want a device to remain connected to a specific node.

Asus AiMesh Roaming Block List
Steps to add a device to Asus’s AiMesh Roaming Block list.

An example is when you have a device right in between two equally strong nodes and it keeps jumping back and forth casing necessary disconnection. Or you want to manually keep the load evenly among different nodes.

Here are the steps:

  1. Log into the primary router’s web interface and make sure the device is connected to the node you want. You can check on this via the AiMesh section.
  2. Go to the Wireless section then click on the Roaming Block list tab
  3. Enter the device’s MAC address (or pick it on the list of the connected clients) and click on the Plus sign (+). Repeat to add more devices.
  4. Hit Apply.

And that’s it. The device will now be locked to its current Wi-Fi node. To undo this, just click on the trash icon and apply the changes.

Managing a node’s backhaul and additional settings

Each satellite node uses the Auto setting for the backhaul by default, which should work in almost all situations. But sometimes, you should adjust the settings of this backhaul connection.

Picking the best backhaul

There are a couple of instances where you might want to manually pick the backhaul.

One example is if you use a satellite node with a single Multi-Gig port (LAN or WAN) — such as the ZenWiFi XT8 (or ET8), RT-AX86U, or RT-AX89X — in a wire backhauling setup with another Multi-Gig router, you want to manually pick that port (instead of a Gigabit port) as the backhaul priority.

And generally, you should use wired backhaul for Dual-band (or Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E) hardware. I detailed that in this post on how to pick an AiMesh combo.

Another example is if you use a Wi-Fi 6E satellite node in a wireless configuration, it’s imperative that you pick the best band for the backhauling job. The 5GHz band is generally a safer choice while the 6GHz band is the best if you can put the hardware near the router within a line of sight.

RT AX89X and RT AX86U Multi Gig Backhaul Setting 1
In the AiMesh section of the interface, you can pick a node to view its information and change other settings, including picking the backhaul priority.

In any case, to manage the backhaul, go to the AiMesh section of the primary router’s web interface, pick the node in question and change the setting accordingly. Here you can also manage a few other aspects of the satellite, including its LAN ports, LEDs, and USB ports.

Disabling the use of DFS (when necessary)

When using the 5GHz band as the backhaul and you live in an area with frequent RADAR signals, it’s recommended that you turn off the use of DFS channels for this band

In most cases, turning off DFS means you can no longer use a 160GHz channel which cuts the performance in half, but you’ll get a much more reliable connection.

If your hardware supports UNII-4 like the case of the ZenWiFi Pro X12 or ZenWiFi XT8, you can use the 160MHz for backhauling without having to use DFS.

Asus ZenWiFi XT8 AiMesh 5GHz 2 Band Settings
The settings to turn off the use of DFS channels and a 160MHz channel width. Generally, when you apply the former, the latter is no longer an option unless the hardware supports UNII-4.

To manage the use of DFS channels, to go the Wireless section o the router unit’s web interface, pick the band in question (5GHz or 5GHz-2), and uncheck the box that reads “Auto select channel using DFS channels.” as shown in the screenshot above.

Using the Ethernet Backhaul Mode (when applicable)

If you use a network cable to link the router and the satellites throughout — a pure wired backhauling setup — it’s best to explicitly choose the Ethernet Backhaul Mode.

Don’t use this mode if you mix wired and wireless backhaul. Also, turn this mode off when you want to add more satellites to the system.

Here are the steps:

Asus RT AX89X Explicit Wired Ethernet Backhaul Mode
In a fully wired backhaul setup, it’s best to use the Ethernet Backhaul Mode.
  • Log in to the router’s web interface
  • Go to the AiMesh section, then to Systems Settings
  • Move the slider of Ethernet Backhaul Mode (EBM) to the On position (right).

Depending on the router, you might be asked to set up the Wi-Fi network names (SSIDs) — picking between Smart Connect and separate SSIDs — before you can turn EBM on. In any case, you can always customize the SSIDs afterward. If you have a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 (or Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E) router, it’s a good idea to unhide the 5GHz-2’s SSID and give it a meaningful name, different from the default.

This mode allows for better performance and easier management of the system’s Wi-Fi settings. If you use Tri-band hardware, you’ll also be able to lump all bands into a single SSID known as Smart Connect.

Removing a node

If you want to remove a satellite node from the system, within the web interface, go to the Network Maps then click on the AiMesh button. Here click on the trash bin icon next to its name, as shown in the screenshots below.

That will also reset the node to factory default.

AiMesh Setup Step
AiMesh setup: Here’s a complete mesh system with one main router (GT-AX6000) and four satellite nodes (RT-AX89X, RT-AX82U, RT-AX86U, and another GT-AX6000). Note the trash bin icon by their names to remove them from the mesh.

Firmware update

The last but most important thing is to make sure all hardware units use the latest firmware.

AiMesh Firmware Update
In an AiMesh network, you use the primary router’s web interface to manage the node(s), including firmware updates. You can update the firmware of each hardware unit manually, or you can opt for auto-update.

For that, go to the firmware section of the main router — you can jump directly there by clicking on the router’s firmware version running at the top of the web interface.

Here, you can check for new firmware, update each unit manually, or opt for auto-update — pick a time when nobody is online.

Final thoughts

An AiMesh setup is not the easiest way to build a mesh system, compared to other canned alternatives like Orbi, TP-Link Deco, or Amazon’s eero.

However, if you get it done right, it’ll give you an excellent mesh with little or no privacy risks, and that’s a rare commodity these days.

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44 thoughts on “Asus AiMesh Setup Guide: Getting Your Wi-Fi System Up and Running Optimally”

  1. Hi Dong,

    I have read this section on Aimesh and router setup etc.. I believe very thoroughly πŸ™‚

    Yet, I am facing a strange issue and wonder if you can help ? My ISP router/modem is passing Internet signal into Asus RT-AX89X via 10Gbs port , and RT-AX89X is configured in WAN PPPoe mode and I am getting internet connection to my own Asus RT-AX89X router and I don’t think that I am getting Double Nat issue as my RT-AX89X is getting an IP from my ISP (which is different than IPs on my local network ) I am not sure if that even matters ? From RT-AX89X I am feeding Ethernet cable via 10Gbps port into my Qnap L2 multi-gig switch and that works (almost) well as majority of my wired devices that are connected to this switch via various Ethernet jacks throughout my house are getting the internet. So that’s great, however, some of my NAS devices are not accessible anymore at times ??? And they were before – so what gives, is it because I now have 2 seperate networks ? I got a message that my computer and a device are on the 2 different sub-nets ? Is that normal and is there a way to fix that i.e. how can I have access to all devices on both networks ? I believe that one set is 192.168.2.x and the second is 192.168.50.x – is that a problem ? I would think that this multi-gig switch would manage all that as it is L2 switch or is there anything else that I should be doing with that switch or on my Asus RT-AX89X router ?

    I am really puzzled here πŸ™ My next step is going to be to add 2 ET12 nodes to the Aimesh off of RT-AX89X but I really would like to be able to log in and access all my devices. What gives ?

    And I am hoping that I will be able to use wired backhaul through 2 different Ethernet jacks (on 1 and 2 level of my house) which then will be connecting via Ethernet wires inside the walls back to the switch – would that even work as the Ethernet backhaul? . Sorry, I read everything that you recommended that I read and I am still puzzled πŸ™ So confusing!


    • Clearly, you have a double NAT, Marek. Where it happens, you have to figure that out. Chances are you’re using a MANAGED switch that creates a network of its own. If so, put that switch in the UNMANAGED mode. For more on Double NAT, check out this post. For more on network basics, including what a switch is, check out this post. I think it’s confusing because you want quick answers. Just read those posts carefully and you’ll figure things out. Or you can hire a local professional.

  2. Dong, hello again – I am having some issues with IoE devices. I’m assuming AiMesh can only provide one non-guest SSID on 2.4, do you recommend splitting the 2.4Ghz to a different SSID than 5GHz and then setting everything that can use 5GHz to the 5GHz (and eventually 5 and 6GHz) SSID? In that configuration, do you recommend using Smart-Connect on dual-band 5GHz or Dual/Triple band 5 and 6GHz? I unfortunately believe that I will be needing a 3rd router (2nd node) hooked via TP-Link Powerline units to provide WiFi to my concrete block garage, because by the time my signal goes through the wall of the house and the concrete block it isn’t strong enough. I’m currently using a pair of RT-AX92U routers, so I was thinking of snagging an ASUS 6e router when I find one under $300 (I don’t mind refurb, etc., or maybe on Black Friday), and moving the 6e to my primary.

      • Dong – I will read the Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. Last question, I can wire the satellite node but it will be sitting 5’ from the primary router upstairs. Does a secondary router sitting only 5’ from the primary router impact the speeds of device connectivity downstairs at all or is that self defeating?

  3. @dong

    I have a specific wireless AiMesh satellite node question. My Asus RT-AC88U primary router is wired to my modem upstairs. Downstairs, I would like to setup an Asus RT-AX86U or S router as a wireless extension to create an AiMesh and increase speeds to my devices downstairs. I don’t have my house pre-wired so is an obvious challenge to have to move forward with any wired AiMesh solution. Other than plug-in Xfininty nodes, I’m hoping to buy the Asus 86U/S and set it up wirelessly as a satellite node. Is that possible, acknowledging it is not the ideal setup? Thanks!

    • That might work, Brian, but even then it’s not going to be great since you’re mixed Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. In your case, it’s much better to get a pair of the RT-AX92U or XT8. If not, get an RT-AC86U.

  4. Dong,
    I broke down and bought another AC2900 (RT-AC86U) so now I have two but when I added the second as a node it first connects and shows weak signal and then drops to offline completely even though it is very closed (within 8 ft of my primary mesh router). Why is the signal so weak? Any ideas on how to trouble this? This is the same issue I had with the other node I was trying to add I figured I’d try to buy a better node but it seems I’m having the same issue regardless.

    (2) RT-AC86Us both running firmware

    • Likely because the client is connected to the primary router and not the closest node — you can see that in the AiMesh section. Check out the hand-off part of this post for more. Also, don’t use Smart Connect to make sure the correct band is being used. 2.4GHz is always slow.

      • Smart connect is completly off and it still fails to hold a connection to the primary once it’s added via wifi. Literally holds for seconds once ita added (indicated weal signal sitting 8 ft from the router and then goes compelty offline. Ironically I plugged in a Powerline ethernet adapter and faked like it was wired up for a backhaul and it works flawlessly. So I don’t know why it won’t hold onto the connection wurelessly.

        • Asus has put more effort on Wi-Fi 6 and later hardware, Jon. If you want to use Wi-Fi 5, chances are you’ll be behind. But I know it works — I have a few similar setups — it just takes a bit more work.

          • So are you suggesting that wifi 5 setups just don’t work at all under aimesh when a node is connected via wifi and only connected via ethernet? That shouldn’t/doesn’t make any sense. The AC86U is a more than capable router even with wifi 5. It already is doing a decent job covering 3,500 sq ft i’m just looking for a little more coverage. It’s clearly not the hardware because it functions with an ethernet backhaul and I test it in a repeater mode just to see and it’s completely fine. I wonder if it has something to do with firmware for the AC86Us? The Aimesh 2.0 on the primary picks it up for seconds and then it goes offline when it’s added via wifi. As you noted in plenty of your posts wifi 5 via wifi 6 is no really that giant of a leap and it’s certainly not going to bail anybody out in a backhaul situation.

  5. Dong,
    Thanks for the post. I’m working with ac86u as my primary mesh and I bought a cheap ac1750 to be a node but after I got the firmware updated and got it connected as a node it constantly shows offline even when it’s a few feet away from the ac86u ? Any thoughts. I tried reboots on both devices to no avail.

  6. Hi Dong, I have 2 rt-ax92u aimesh wired. Is it possible to run another cat 6 between them to link aggregation between them?

  7. Thank you Dong as always. Your update of this post couldn’t come at a better time. I installed a new Ring device which unfortunately was further from my RT-AX86U than it wanted to be and Live View wouldn’t work. I thought I could get by with just the one router but I’m off now to buy the GT-AX6000 and the AiMesh will then help a few devices. Thanks!

  8. Hi Dong,

    Do you have any views on the order (sequence) for firmware upgrades, eg Router followed by nodes (or the other way) and any things to consider when daisy chaining nodes (ie order of update).

    I have encountered a bug on the latest stock GT-AX6000 (and Merlin 386.7) which I have reported to ASUS pertaining to daisy chained nodes disappearing after firmware updates to those levels.

    Running solid on Merlin 386.6 at the moment but stuck here for the foreseeable future.

    • If you use Merlin, you’re on your own, Mario. More in this post. πŸ™‚

      Daisy-chaining is never good wireless but with wired, it should work. You might just need to restart the hardware, or reset and re-add the satellite.

  9. I have the BGW210 modem/router for an AT&T Gigabit account. The issue is traditional mesh setup. Most how-to’s detail setting up IP-Passthrough Mode since it doesn’t have Bridge Mode and IP-Passthrough is the accepted method put forth by AT&T.

    {link removed}

    Google Fiber doesn’t seem to have these issues as the signal comes into its Fiber Jack interface and no longer requires a modem which they got rid of in the last year or two. Is this correct and is there a better way to set up at&T Fiber for Mesh or to extend the signal around a large or difficult home?


  10. I have purchased a WiFi 6 router and a set of three aimesh nodes. An IT guy is insisting I MUST assign individual channels to each node. I am not finding that requirement in this system. Unfortunately, the new system did not like my many-year old password. It is taking a while to change the password in all of my connected devices. I am having trouble accessing one smart plug. Instructions say my smart phone and the device must be on the same band, in order to change its settings. My phone is connecting to 5g, whereas the device only runs on 2.4g. I am using smart connect in my sysrem, and am not able to change my phone’s connection. Any thoughts?

  11. Hi,
    I have an ASUS RT-AX86U which perfectly covers my whole house except for one room, the guest bedroom.
    Luckily I have an ethernet socket in this room and I decided to implement what is described in this post by adding an ASUS XD4 AIMesh node.
    And it works perfectly, thank you Dong.
    Just an issue with Guest Network when I disable intranet.
    It works perfectly on AIMesh router but don’t give IP adress on AIMesh node. If I enable intranet, it works fine on both but that’s not the point for a guest network.
    Any idea ?
    Perhaps a bug of firmware ? Both router and node use
    On WEB interface ASUS propose to update AIMesh router with but it’s not available for XD4.
    I always heard that with AIMesh all nodes need to have the same firmware to work properly. What do you think ?

    Many thanks

    • The firmware versions of different hardware units tend to have different build numbers, JM, so that’s normal. It looks like what you experienced might have been a bug. But I’d recommend restarting manually the hardware after you’ve made the changes. That can help sometimes.

      • Hi Dong,
        Thanks for your answer.
        In the meantime new firmware for main router disappeared from ASUS interface, so strange.
        ASUS support is in mute mode.
        Anyway, I forgot to say that there is a Netgear Switch GS108E (manageable Plus Series) between RT-AX86U and XD4.
        Perhaps I need to parameter something on it or just use an unmanageable one.
        Please suggest.

  12. I am trying to set up aimesh and have a AX86U as the main router and today got an AX5400 as the add on. We have set it all up and when I went into the router page I have noticed in the systems status on wifi. the 2.4ghz and 5ghz have the same password now and all the details are identical apart from the titles of 2.4 and 5. The 2.4 is no longer showing when i search with my phone to find it. I’m really struggling my way around this. Is this normal? I have tried googling and am i missing something obvious? Sorry if this is on the wrong page, i have read so much and confusing myself more!

    • Sorry but it’s unclear what you were talking about, KH. I guess you’re using the system as SmartConnect. You can turn that off if you want to use the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz as two different networks (SSIDs).

      • Hello Dong. thanks for your reply,
        I’m sorry for the confusion. I think I have confused myself googling for so long and I am not describing very well.
        Smart connect is off and I have rebooted just in case
        Before I added the AX5400 I had both 2.4 and 5ghz showing in the settings on ASUS router page. Different SSID names and passwords.
        Now when I log in I see them listed separately on the network map page, system status. but the 2.4 has exactly the same details as the 5 with the SSID name and password. When I search WIFI on my iPhone only the 5g and guest channel comes up. By adding the node does this mean its using 2.4 and that’s why i cant see it? It was definitely there earlier and the only difference is we added the AX5400.

        • Then just change the name of the two bands to whatever you like. Your phone won’t tell you which band an SSID is and it seems you have the two bands sharing the same name (SSID). If you don’t want to get confused, just add “2.4Ghz” and “5GHz” to the SSID of the bands accordingly.

          • Thank you. I will change them. They were differently named earlier, I just couldn’t understand why they would change when i didn’t change them. I thought i had done something wrong.

          • Take your time and pay some attention, Karen. Note that the name change will take up to 5 or 10 minutes to apply, especially on the 5GHz band.

  13. Hi,

    I have an RT-AX88U as the primary router and two RP-AX56 units as nodes.

    The Topgraphy Map in the RT-AX88U router MESH interface, shows the RP-AX56 node that is furthest away from the main router, connected in satelite postion one, followed by the RP-AX56 that is just a meter from the RT-AX88U, in satelite postion two.

    I have tried connecting the node that is nearest first and then the node that is further away later, but the visual Topgraphy map continues to show the connections as the furthest away node first and the nearest node in second place.

    Does the Topography Map show the real order of netwrok connection?

    Do you have any comments?

    Many thanks,


    • That map is not always immediately correct, Steve — I’ve experienced that many times even in wired backhaul, but eventually it’d correct itself after some time. Make sure you use the star topology. After that, you can also force a satellite to connect to the router or the other satellite by clicking on it then choosing the preferred Uplink AP, or using the Optimization button.


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