Asus ZenWiFi AX Review: The Best AiMesh System to Date

Asus ZenWiFi AX 1
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 includes two identical routers.

The ZenWiFi AX AX6600 Whole-Home Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (model XT8) is a souped-up version of the CT8. Both are part of the new ZenWiFi family Asus announced earlier this year.

The only differences between the two, albeit big ones, are the fact the XT8 features Wi-Fi 6 and a multi-gig WAN port. Other than that, they share everything else, the appearance, setup process, features, how they work as mesh systems, and even some shortcomings.

READ MORE:  Asus ZenWiFi AC Review: A True, and Improved, AiMesh System

This review focuses on these differences. It’s intended for those who have already read my take on the CT8.

In all, compared to the CT8, the ZenWiFi AX XT8 has more than enough to justify the extra $100 you’d need to spend. Though not a must-have, it’s a reasonably-priced, flexible Wi-Fi 6 AiMesh system with a ton more to offer than its more expensive rivals.

ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8)

8.9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast Wi-Fi performance and large coverage at a comparatively affordable cost
  • Improved and flexible AiMesh
  • Lots network settings and useful features, including free real-time online protection for life
  • Full 4x4 dedicated backhaul band with optional wired backhaul support
  • Multi-gig WAN port with Dual-WAN and WAN link aggregation

Cons

  • No 160MHz 4x4 support for Wi-Fi 6 clients, for now, in a wireless setup
  • No multi-gig LAN port or LAN link aggregation
  • Only four network ports on each hardware units
  • Guest networking, for now, remains at the router unit
  • Not enough instructions on network settings

Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8: Everything the CT8 has and a lot more

As a mesh system, the ZenWiFi AX, like the CT8, includes two identical routers. From the front, you can’t tell hardware the XT8 and the CT8 routers apart. The two look the same, sharing the single-slot-toaster design, and available in white or charcoal colors.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8 and the ZenWiFi AC CT8. Look closely, maybe you can tell them apart.

Familiar design, now with multi-gig WAN support

On the back, though, you’ll note that the XT8’s WAN port is now a multi-gig port that works either at either 1Gbps or 2.5Gbps. Also, the USB 3.2 Gen 1 port is on the right side instead of left.

Like the CT8, the XT8 features Dual-WAN, you can turn its USB port or another LAN port into a second WAN port, in case you want it to host two broadband connections at a time or load balancing or high availability.

By default, there’s no multi-gig LAN port. And that’s disappointing since that means locally, the best wired-to-wireless connection you’d get out of the XT8 is 1Gbps.

But when working as a node, the XT8’s 2.5Gbps WAN port now works as a LAN port. However, generally, in real-world usage, it’s not a good idea to count on the wireless backhaul to reliably deliver the same speed as a wired multi-gig LAN connection.

Also, you’ll need to have a second node unit before you can see the value of this port. With a 2-pack, the speed is limited by the other Gigabit ports anyway.

High-speed backhaul band, presently no 160MHz channel support for clients

Each XT8 hardware unit is an AX6600 tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz broadcasters. The router dedicates one of the 5GHz band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicate backhaul, which works solely to link the two hardware units to form a mesh system.

The 5GHz-2 is the most powerful band, featuring 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 to deliver up to 4800Mbps. It also supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Thanks to this strong backhaul connection, you can place the XT8’s hardware further from each other and still have a fast mesh system.

READ MORE:  Wi-Fi 6 in Layman's Terms: Speed, Range, and More

The other 5GHz band (5GHz-1) uses 2×2 Wi-Fi specification, which generally caps 2400 Mbps for Wi-Fi 6. Unfortunately, however, the XT8’s front-haul doesn’t support 160MHz channels. As a result, in a wireless setup, Wi-Fi 6 clients can connect at 1200 Mbps at most while Wi-Fi 5 devices will get 867 Mbps.

Update: Asus told me on February 11, 2020, that it would might release a new firmware update that opens up the front-haul to support 4×4 160MHz specs, effectively doubling the XT8’s Wi-Fi speed for clients. This doesn’t seem like a sure thing, however.

Many mesh routers don’t support 160MHz channel width for end-users. Examples of these include big-name products like the Ubiquiti Alien and the Netgear Orbi RBK 852.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8 shares the same web interface as that of previous Asus routers. Note its 5GHz-2 band’s default setting for the dedicated backhaul role.

Wired backhaul support

Like all AiMesh routers, the ZenWiFi AX support wired backhaul — you can use a network cable to hook one router to another.

In this case, by default, the 5GHz-2 band is still not available to clients — it remains a hidden dedicated backup backhaul in case the wired connection is lost. So, when you use SmartConnect, this 5GHz-2 band is not part of the main Wi-Fi network. In short, it will not be used at all.

There’s a way to make use of this band, however. You can manually create a new unhidden SSID with it, different from that of the primary Wi-Fi network. This SSID will then be available, throughout the AiMesh system, as separate 5GHz-only full 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi network for clients.

In other words, like all tri-band AiMesh systems, with a wired backhaul, you’ll need to do a bit of tweaking before you can make use of the 5GHz-2 band, which has an SSID of its own.

ZenWiFi AX XT8’s detail photos

Asus ZenWiFi AX 2
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8’s retail box.

Asus ZenWiFi AX 3
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8 includes two identical routers.

Asus ZenWiFi AX Mesh System
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Each router has four Gigabit LAN ports and one 2.5 Gbps WAN port.

Asus ZenWiFi AX Router
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8 router is quite light and compact.

Asus ZenWiFi AX 5
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech But it has enough weight to stay put on a surface.

Asus ZenWiFi AX 4
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The multi-gig WAN port is one of a few things that set the XT8 apart from the CT8. It also means the ZenWiFi AX XT8 can deliver a faster-than-gigabit internet connection.

Asus ZenWiFi AX Top
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech From the top the ZenWiFi AX XT8 routers look like mini single-slot toasters.

ZenWiFi AX XT8’s specifications

Familiar settings, features, and shortcomings

Again, other than the more powerful hardware, the XT8 shares the same set of settings and features as the CT8. It also uses the same web interface and the Asus mobile app. That said, you can find out more in the review of the CT8, including how to set the system up.

To avoid repeating myself, I’ll recap below some significant points.


Asus ZenWiFi AX’s highlights

  • Out of the box, the two XT8 hardware units are pre synced. No matter how you change them individually — like using each as a standalone router for a different home — once restored to default settings, they are ready to work together as a mesh.
  • The XT8 router can work with all other AiMesh-enabled routers, as the router unit or a satellite node.
  • You can restore the XT8 router with the settings of any previous Asus router, making upgrade an easy job. Note, though, that it’s always better to set it up from scratch to avoid potential setting conflicts
  • The XT8 can work as a node for a system hosted by any other AiMesh-ready router. Or it can host one to extend its own network.
  • There are lots of network settings, enough to make almost any advanced user happy and features anyone would appreciate. These include AiProtection (online protection and parental control), Traffic Analyser, Adaptive QoS, VPN (client or server), and an excellent Dynamic DNS.
  • AiMesh now has a new section of its own, within the web interface, which makes managing and adding additional nodes easier. You can also make use of the XT8’s USB port even when it’s working as a node.
  • The USB port can do all that you can think of for a router peripheral port. You can use it to host a printer, a cellular modem, or a storage device to deliver all storage-related features you can imagine — data sharing/syncing/streaming, Time Machine backup, PC-less downloading, and more.

Asus ZenWiFi AX’s shortcomings

And like other Asus routers, the XT8 shares the same shortcomings, too. First and foremost is the fact it can be buggy. Due to the sheer amount of features and settings, it seems Asus has had trouble keeping tabs of them all.

For example, a firmware update can cause issues — you might need to reset the system and set it up or restore settings from a backup file to fix it. Another thing is the Guest networking feature, like the case of other AiMesh routers, is only available at the router unit, and not throughout the system.

You can expect most of the system’s shortcomings to be addressed one way or another via future firmware updates. However, the excessive amount of settings can be overwhelming for home users and might cause the system to remain buggy in some shape or form.

ZenWiFi AX CXT8: Excellent performance

For the official scores, I tested the ZenWiFi AX in a wireless setup. The system doesn’t have the Wi-Fi specs to be the fastest on the market. Instead, it’s one that delivers extensive Wi-Fi coverage and still with excellent real-world throughputs.

READ MORE:  The Right Way To Do an Internet or Wi-Fi Speed Test

I used both 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 and top Wi-Fi 5 clients for the testing. Keep in mind that from the clients’ perspective, the XT8 is a 2×2 system of both standards.

Fast Wi-Fi speeds

As a single router, the XT8 delivered precisely the kind of performance I had expected from it. My Wi-Fi 6 client connected at 1.2Gbps and had a sustained speed of almost 840 Mbps at the close range of fewer than 10 feet (3 m).

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

When I increased the distance to 40 feet (12 m), it now registered higher than 770 Mbps. Wi-Fi 5 clients fared the worst on the chart. However, that’s because the XT8 is the only one, among the existing handful of Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems on the market, that doesn’t feature 3×3 or faster Wi-Fi 5.

That said, its scores of some 660 Mbps and 450 Mbps for close and long-range, respectively, weren’t bad at all.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The XT8 did it best when working as a mesh. The node (satellite) unit delivered the best performance to Wi-Fi 6 clients, averaging 850 Mbps and 792 Mbps for close and long-range, respectively. These were faster than higher-specced systems.

Excellent range, reliable signals

With two units, the XT8 could cover anywhere between 4000 ft² (372 m²) to 5000 ft² of residential space in my testing with fast Wi-Fi speeds.

I tested the system with the node placed some 40 feet away. But in anecdotal tests, I could put it some 70 feet away and still get speed fast enough to deliver my 300 Mbps internet in full.

Your mileage will vary, but it’s safe to say, thanks to the full 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 backhaul, in a wireless setup, the XT8’s range delivers. The system proved to be reliable, too. It passed my 3-day stress test without any disconnection.

Real Wi-Fi 6 speed with wired backhaul

The XT8’s wired backhaul also worked well in my trial — in this case, the distance between the two units doesn’t matter much. I created a separate network with the 5GHz-2 band and was able to get full 2400 Mbps connection speed from it using my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients.

Note, though, that this connection speed was between the clients and the XT8. So, the only time you truly benefit from the multi-gig Wi-Fi speeds is when you have a multi-gig WAN connection, and the clients connect directly to the router. Since the XT8 has no multi-gig LAN port, clients connected to the node won’t get real-world speeds faster than 1Gbps.

Still, it’s nice to have the option to have a 5GHz band working for high-speed clients. That said, even though not necessary, it’s a good idea to use a network cable to connect the two hardware units.

Decent NAS performance

Without a multi-gig LAN port, the ZenWiFi AC XT8 can’t compare to those with one in terms of network-attached storage performance when hosting an external drive. But it was much faster than the CT8 in my testing.

Asus ZenWiFi AX NAS
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

When coupled with the SanDisk Extreme portable SSD, via a Gigabit connection, the router scored some 46 MB/s and almost 65 MB/s for writing and reading, respectively. These were decent enough for a casual NAS solution.



Conclusion

The ZenWiFi AX XT8 AX6600 Whole-Home Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System is one out of more than a dozen Asus AiMesh systems I’ve tested, and it’s one of the best, if not the best.

The system is far from perfect, though. It’s not the fastest, nor does it deliver all features you can get from an Asus router — it has no game-specific features or multi-gig LAN port. And like most Asus routers, it can be buggy, too. You might need to work at it for a bit before it works for you.

In return, it has an excellent combination of everything you’d look for in a mesh Wi-Fi system, which is fast performance and broad coverage.

Most importantly, at less than $450, it’s a steal. Many other 2-pack mesh systems on the market, like the Netgear Orbi RBK852 or the Arris SURFboard mAX Pro, cost hundreds of dollars more, yet have less in features and network customization.

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495 thoughts on “Asus ZenWiFi AX Review: The Best AiMesh System to Date”

  1. I’ve had the XT8 one week and it has locked up on me twice. This is using the latest firmware too that I was released on 2nd July so they can’t say I didn’t keep the device updated. Worst part was after the manual reboot of the router, the node lost its security protection so was literally operating as an open access point. Yes, you can connect to it without a passcode (I tried with a new device that had never connected to the network before). As it stands the XT8’s are buggy and potentially security nightmare. Bear in mind I saw the node lose security last week when I had it auto reboot mid week; this is a real issue that should never, ever happen.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for answering my questiion. I am going to use it as wirless setup. I tried the AX11000 but i didn’t like the range of it because it was not long enough. so what is the best tri band routers to combine wirlessly to give me the best range and speed between the following (zenwifi ax, Ax92u, Arris Max Pro or any other combination in your point of view ?

    Reply
  3. Can You please help me to choose. The long range coverage and high speed system is to buy 2 ax88u routers and connect them together via AImesh is that right? and that would be better than buying the zenwifi?

    Reply
  4. Dong, I’ve got 2 x XT8 and a AX88U router. All are wired. Any idea why the list of wired clients connected to each of the XT8s is more than just the clients actually physically connected to those mesh devices? I’m seeing clients appear on the Asus web interface that are connected to the network ports on the router or other switches I have in my wired network.

    Reply
  5. Hi, I purchased the Asus Zenwifi AX for my new house for the mesh system since its a big multi-story home. I’m getting AT&T Fiber installed soon and understand that I will have to use their gateway. What’s the best way to set up the mesh Router/Node on top of the gateway? The house is prewired for ethernet. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. I’ve read several good reviews for this XT8 Mesh setup – but surprised to read about all the problems.

    As an alternative am I considering the Asus GT-AX11000 router and two ASUS Lyra Trio Mesh nodes – the price is nearley the same. The AiMesh should give me coverage(and ease) and the router a good connection/speed for my NAS.

    Can anyone recommend anything better for the price?
    Thanks….

    Reply
  7. I’ve been a staunch supporter of the ZenWiFi AX from the start, and as a developer, understood some of the challenges that ASUS was going through with the release of this system. However, after two months of trying my best to make it work, I jumped back to Netgear. As bad as NG’s customer service is, I actually think Asus is worse.

    That said, I ended up with Netgear’s AX6000 solution because two nodes (router/satellite) accomplished what the Asus ZenWiFi couldn’t do with four nodes – good coverage and high speed in all locations.

    I miss the configurability and features on the ZenWiFi, but in this work from home time, with four kids pulling at bandwidth, I couldn’t deal with the types of drops I’ve experienced this past two months. So, no parental controls, no free protection through TrendMicro, no elegant router set. Just plain ugly but functional.

    For you guys’ sake, I hope all of this gets resolved. Personally, I just don’t have the time or patience to wait that long.

    Reply
  8. Hello,

    I install the router last week and my WAN internet was also disconnecting … ik works and later disconnect.

    What I found was the following solution.

    GO to the WAN option.

    DHCP query frequency > I changed it in normal mode .
    Default was it Aggressive mode … but after changed it in normal mode. the Internet WAN is stable.

    Reply
  9. Hi Dong,

    Well I am not happy!!!! After a good a start I began to run into trouble with slow internet speed at less then 30% of I should be getting. All was good until I need to update my firmware. Well a very no descript error message keep coming up…” internet cant connect to server, try later after you connect to the internet..??”

    After 12 hours and a few tries I started to get the feeling something was wrong…duh! They said I needed to manually update my firmware. I followed the directions including restoring to factory defaults!!! NOT want I wanted to get into. That is when the problems started.

    After 6 days of only one communication per day (by email) and with no call backs the final determined that I needed to to send in the RT- AX88U for repair!

    Need something that works with good customer service!!

    Carl

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear, Carl. I don’t test customer service. But things have been hard for all companies with folks working from home or laid off, etc.

      Reply
  10. Hi Dong, yes I used the web interface. Kept the default setting for the first two weeks, and then turned off Smart Connect for the last two weeks. No other settings were changed.

    Reply
  11. I bought the XT8 and month ago and have been frustrated ever since! Handoff from one router to the other is inconsistent as you mover around the house.

    Disabled Smart Connect and setup two different SSID’s and now my connection keeps dropping. Very disappointed.

    Do you have any guide with “recommended” settings? Using the latest firmware (3.0.0.4.386_25524)

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear, Al. I’d recommend two things:

      1. Do not use the mobile app. I’ve never used it myself. You can use the web interface on the phone’s mobile browser instead.
      2. Do not change the settings for the hell of it. Set the Wi-Fi network up and then leave as much as the default as possible.

      You can reset your router and try those and see.

      Reply
  12. I tried 2 times to send a failure report and I am not sure it is taking it, Dong. Please let me know how I can post some logs here. My router collapsed again last night, second time since the purchase 2 weeks ago. I wanted to send some logs maybe someone has an idea what is going on.

    Reply
    • Looks like it worked in your previous post. But if there’s more, you can send it to me via a message in the About menu at top of the site, and I’ll update that post for you.

      Reply
  13. Dong, a network collapse occured again with ZenWifi (latest firmware 25524). Same symptoms as before. No internet from any device, Wan seems down, link with node is yellow. Rebooting fixes the issue. I have a hard time thinking why you are not having any of the many issues people have reported here. I have another 1-2 weeks to return the product. But I like the connection outside the totally failed status. These are the logs, if you understand what is going on (interruption occurred around 1.50am, I was using internet, and did not fix itself until my reboot in the morning):

    Jun 24 01:24:52 roamast: determine candidate node (D4:5D:64:A1:CA:10)(rssi: -41dbm) for client (C4:9D:ED:04:56:AE)(rssi: -71dbm) to roam
    (repeated 2 times)
    Jun 24 01:25:03 nat: apply redirect rules
    Jun 24 01:25:09 WAN Connection: Ethernet link down.
    Jun 24 01:26:02 roamast: determine candidate node (D4:5D:64:A1:CA:10)(rssi: -41dbm) for client (C4:9D:ED:04:56:AE)(rssi: -71dbm) to roam
    (repeated 10 times with different rssi)
    Jun 24 01:45:59 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(461): eth5: Deauth_ind C4:9D:ED:04:56:AE, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3)
    Jun 24 02:06:05 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(461): eth5: Deauth_ind 46:32:9F:FD:6E:AC, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3)
    Jun 24 02:06:05 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(461): eth5: Deauth_ind 46:32:9F:FD:6E:AC, status: 0, reason: Class 3 frame received from nonassociated station (7)
    Jun 24 02:29:55 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(461): eth5: Deauth_ind 48:D6:D5:0C:0C:20, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3)
    Jun 24 02:30:24 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(497): eth5: Auth 48:D6:D5:0C:0C:20, status: Successful (0)
    Jun 24 02:30:24 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(526): eth5: Assoc 48:D6:D5:0C:0C:20, status: Successful (0)
    Jun 24 04:29:07 WATCHDOG: (FAUPGRADE)(auto_firmware_check:(6627))retrieve firmware information
    Jun 24 04:29:07 WATCHDOG: (FAUPGRADE)(auto_firmware_check:(6644))no need to upgrade firmware
    Jun 24 04:29:37 WATCHDOG: (FAUPGRADE)(auto_firmware_check:(6627))retrieve firmware information

    Reply
  14. I have had the XT8 for 3 weeks and no matter what i have tried, i have not been able to connect to my work’s server through VPN PPTP (PPTP passthrough is on). If I have both my internet provider’s modem/router in router mode (it’s on different subnet so no clashes there), they both crash completely whereas if i change that to modem mode only then the connection cannot be made… I have spoken to ASUS support (they are very slow to respond) and they have not been able to determine the problem…

    Also, the NAS functionality seems to be slightly unreliable, with file transfers often crashing, the time machine function being slow and i have had to reconnect the drive in the time machine preferences 3-4 times so far as it keeps dropping the connection.

    Other than the above, when my modem/router is also working as a router (double nat) i constantly have reconnections and reboots.

    I really wanted to like this and it is really fast when it works, but i don’t think it is reliable enough.

    Have you had any similar experiences while testing? If i were to simply use it as an access point with my internet providers modem/router (fairly bad modem/router) as the only network router would I be slowing down my network? If so, I will be sending it back and maybe going to Ubiquity path.

    Reply
  15. Hi Dong, I’ve got a couple of questions on this, if you wouldn’t mind. Firstly, I cannot seem to find the two pack for sale anywhere at the moment but I could buy two single devices (for a similar price). I would want to use them as mesh devices (hard wired) to an RT-AX88U router. I presume the only difference I’ll have with buying 2 x single devices is that I would have to manually add each to the mesh network as they won’t be ‘factory linked’ and I also assume they are identical in the two pack? Secondly, I also have an old RT-AC68U router, which I’m currently using as a mesh device linked to the RT-AX88U (but I still get wifi dead spots – hence the want for 2 x XT8s). My question is whether one XT8 will provide a better coverage than the RT-AC68U I currently have in place. Thanks in advance. Great website!

    Reply
  16. HI Dong, as it turns out not so odd. I have had a stable setup for over a month but just today my ethernet ports just quit working. I noticed a speed decrease to my wired devices (1 gig service which usually comes in at ~700Mbps) to around 250 about 3 days ago but now just quit working. I tried reinstalling the latest firmware since a reboot didn’t work. I haven’t reset the modems yet but that’s net. Steve if you are still out there did you resolve things?
    What could cause this problem?
    Carmine

    Reply
    • That’s odd, CJ. Try backing up the settings, resetting the routers, and setting it up again. Also, restart your modem.

      Reply
  17. Thanks for the review. I am currently using my Asus AC88u as my main router with the AX pair in AP Operating mode because it has the AC88u has more ports and is placed near my patch panel to the rest of my home network. What is the most optimal configuration to get better network performance and Wifi throughput. Should I change from an AP Operating mode to recreate a 3 node Aimesh.

    Reply
    • I think you should it the current setup, Jimmy. It allows you to use all bands of the AX. Using the AX in AiMesh with the 88u will turn them into dual-band broadcasters.

      Reply
  18. After a long two months with the ZenWiFi AX, I’ve decided to go back to Netgear. Believe it or not, the system was quite stable in the house, but the drop in throughput from my gigabit connection was way too much. I had Comcast here running tests and while I was getting 950Mbps at the source, the highest I could get on any client was 450 (with just one client on the network).

    There’s so much I’m going to miss from the Asus setup, but speed is necessary. We have three people working from home and three others streaming and gaming. The Zenwifi just wasn’t performing well enough for that type of demand.

    The search continues.

    Reply
  19. Hi Dong,
    AIprotection used to catch malicious websites on my AX58U. There was a frequent attempt from one of the phones to contact a site which was blocked by the router. Now that I have the ZenWiFi, there is no catching of that same website (the offending phone is still around). Thus, I am not sure malicious site protection is working at all. Can you give me a website that is supposed to be malicious and caught by the protetction system?

    The blocked host by AX58U was something like “link.safessldirect.company”.

    Reply
  20. Hello Dong, my Aimesh setup is:

    Main Router GT-AX11000 + 4 units XT8 (total of 5 hardware)

    Questions:

    1) How many more tri-band unit (XT8 or AX92U) can I add ?

    Reply
    • I assumed you have just one question, Cy. The answer is none. Five is the recommended amount. However, I’ve tried more and that worked, but don’t use that as the official recommendation. Generally, if you use them in a wireless setup, three is the recommended number.

      Reply
  21. Dorian,
    I observed similar behaviour with May 5 log entries.
    Since I upgraded to Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.386_25524, router is stable for last 5 days.

    Reply
  22. Dong,

    After testing and using the ZenWifi for about a week now, the router just had a wierd crash. I lost WiFi but also wired connectivity. Led was still white on the router, while the node flashed blue like it was trying to reconnect. Restarting the router fixed the problem, but I wanted to dig a little more on this. I looked at the logs, and there is not much I can find, but I see that at the time of the crash the system log switched from June 16 to May 5, not sure if this is before I restarted or after I restarted the router. I am pasting below the log when the date switches. I can send you the the entire log privately if you want to have a look.

    P.s. WordPress is not letting me post the log, please let me know if I can send privately.

    Reply
  23. Thank you Dong. Appreciate your help. I read the link that you shared. So, the issue with Option A GT-AX11000 main router with two XT8 nodes hard-wired to the router (creating a wired backhaul) – is that I will not get a WPA3 in this mesh setup. So future proofing with latest cutting edge technology is not a possibility correct?

    Reply
  24. I have read the pages you linked to and have succeeded in finding a DMZ setting in the gateway (isp supplied modem router),I do not believe the plusnet 2704n router has bridge mode. I have turned that on and linked it to the mac address of the xt8.
    The ASUS gui ( web configuration page) now shows WAN IP 192.168.1.1 but lan ip is still 192.168.50.1
    and will not allow 192.168.1.25 (gateway dhcp server is configured with end ip address of 24 and start ip address of 192.168.1.1) the gateways address is 192.168.1.254.
    so despite reading over and over i am clearly a bit stupid.
    should I just give up or am i close.?
    To be honest I had hoped it was all going to be a lot easier than this, i have wired security devices on my network and dont want to reset them to a new ip range and also have to buy a switch as i would be one ethernet port short.

    Reply
    • What you see is how it’s supposed to be, P. The LAN IP HAS to be in a different subnet from the WAN’s. That’s the point. Seriously, you need to read and try to understand how things work and NOT just to find proof of how you WANT things to work. The only problem I can see in your situation is, no offense, YOU. Everything works exactly how it’s supposed to do, from how you describe it. Take a break, read stuff again. Don’t assume that you already know. You’re VERY close.

      Reply
  25. Hi Dong. thanks to your review I have purchased a set of these.
    Run into an issue that i do not know how to solve though.
    Both ot the xt8 ‘s have an ip address in the range 192.168.50. xx
    where as the modem has an ip address in this range 192.168.1.xx
    as a consequence of course all wired devices connected to the router (not xt8) are inaccessible .
    I have managed to get into the router setup / wan
    and have turned off auto assign and enetered 192.168.1.25 – normal subnet and the gateway ip address
    i have used the google dns server addresses
    then authentication? left blank

    applying these settings seems to work but can you confirm this is correct please?
    thank you for your time.

    Reply
      • good grief you had answered my first comment before i had chance to type the second. thank you!
        to be clear, when i say modem i am not referring to either of the xt8 units but the broadband modem supplied by my isp.

    • update.. i noticed that the lan address was still 192,168.50.1
      so i reset wan to “auto” and tried changing LAN ip address to 192.168.1.25 but that resulted in a message saying “WAN and LAN should have different IP addresses and subnet.”
      I am clearly out of my depth. help please

      Reply
  26. I’m not finding any MAC address restrictions, etc…
    All the ethernet ports worked before the update and none of them work after it.
    I hate to go back to a previous firmware, because it’s much more stable, but for working from home, I need access to wired ethernet to do imaging and other items from my home office where the node is placed.

    Reply
    • Try backing up your router’s setting, resetting it and see if the ports work, the restoring from the backup. Good luck, Steve. You got a very odd problem there.

      Reply
  27. I upgraded a few days ago and I am getting similar results. I used to have to reboot the node a couple times a day and the router automatically rebooted once a night. I haven’t had a problem since I did the upgrade. It’s been staying connected without issue and I haven’t had to reboot either device. The problem I am having is that the couple devices that I have wired to the Ethernet ports on the node and the router are no longer working. It’s like they completely disabled them. Is there a setting in the new firmware to turn them back on? Is anyone else having this issue?
    Thanks much

    Reply
    • That doesn’t sound right at all, Steve. Make sure you don’t have some software MAC address restriction or something like that.

      Reply
  28. I am running Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.386_25524 for more than 3 days now and Wi-Fi is stable. On previous firmwares routers restarted at least once a day.
    What is your experience?

    Reply
  29. Found another hiccup. When TimeSync failed.. the entire thing basically shut down or just became unstable which happens daily. Since changing FROM pool.ntp.org TO time.nist.gov – I’ve had zero errors and issues. This thing can actually run for multiple days without issues. Hallelujah!!

    Reply
  30. Hi Dong. SteveC here. Somehow I accidentally updated the firmware on only one of my nodes (not router). Is there a way to downgrade just that node? It is on the latest version and the rest of my system is on an older version that has been functioning well. I am hesitant to update the whole system with all of the issues others have had. Or should I just take a chance and update everything? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Just download the previous version and upload it to the unit, Steve. Most of the time the latest firmware works better though, so you can try updating the router, too.

      Reply
  31. Dong, thanks for your detailed guidance on XT8 operation. I had read advice that it was best to place all IOT devices on the Guest network. On the slight chance that they might get hacked, and leave your computers exposed. I now have IOT devices on both 2.4 GHz networks; Guest and primary. I am not able to figure out from the XT8 menus how to tell which 2.4 GHz network a device is connected to. I’ve traded email with ASUS support, but have gotten no answer. A crude approach would be to turn off the Guest 2.4 GHz signal, then see which devices continue to operate. Also, from comments I’ve seen that ZenWiFi does not support Guest network on nodes, I’m questioning the value of shifting IOT devices to Guest.

    Reply
    • Hi Art. I don’t know who started that rumor and why, probably just so that they could call themselves “experts”. It’s just not true. For one, even if your IoT device is hacked, there’s not much it can do — it’s not a true computer — other than acting as a bot that can send a simple command to another device on the Internet. So yes when the bad guy gets a whole of like hundreds of them they can create a botnet to attack an entity outside of your home. Also, the easiest way to “hack” a device of this type is to use its default user name and password (like admin/admin etc.) Most new IoT devices require you to create a new password before it works, so that’s no longer an issue. On top of that, your Asus router has Network protection that would stop bad signals coming out of, say, your oven.

      Using a separate and isolated Wi-Fi network for your IoTs might create other problems like you can’t connect to it. I’d say just forget about using the Guest network for it. There’s no value in it.

      Reply
  32. Thanks Dong, I will leave it as it is now as everything seems very stable.
    Also, something that puzzles me is that the second 5Ghz is not hidden.

    1) Does that mean with this wireless setup there is no Wireless Backhaul ?
    2) Should I hide that second 5Ghz SSID ?
    3) Are there any specific steps I need to do to activate a Backhaul ?

    Thank for your help

    Reply
  33. Dong, you are completely right to suggest the user should not beat the head to get good speed numbers. But understanding the problems in real life use would take weeks, with scenarios of streaming, WhatsApp calls, file transfers, etc. I was hoping to shoot a good solution once and for all, and learn more in the process to prepare myself for future needs. But looks like it is not easy. I don’t even understand how does a client device get the signal to switch bands and which device obeys that “protocol” and which doesn’t. Is there a standard for all this?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • At the early time of dual-band, Smart Connect worked pretty well with Wi-Fi 4, Dorian. My take is there was a built-in threadhold of speed in Mbps where a client should consider switching. As Wi-Fi gets faster, that threshold is easily achieved,and now clients just connect to whichever band with stronger signals, which is almost always the 2.4 GHz. Of course this varies from one client to another, but if you wanna make sure, separate the two bands by not using Smart Connect.

      Reply
  34. Good morning Dong: I’ve just installed GT-AX11000 as the main router. The setup was smooth and given my whole house is networked to Cat6a, about 50% of my devices are hard-wired. So in my about 4000 sft home with router in my basement media closet, I am getting great to good network range even in previously known trouble areas of the house. While I can make do with this router for a while, there is a need for mesh addition.

    Option A: GT-AX11000 main router with two XT8 nodes hard-wired to the router (creating a wired backhaul).
    Option B: GT-AX11000 main router with two RT-AX92U nodes hard-wired to the router (creating a wired backhaul).

    However, there is no Wifi 6 on 92U for 2.4 ghz band. Do you recommend Option A then?

    Also, I did not see the “wired backhaul” option in GT-AX11000 and I am guessing that it will show up once I change it to AiMesh mode along with adding the nodes and removing Smart Connect. Is my understanding correct?

    Reply
  35. Dong, thanks again for your advice. Got the XT8 two days ago, and did two firmware upgrades that day (I was perhaps the first to note that 25524 firmware in th emiddle of the night, and thought it was a virus as it wasn’t posted on the website). Now I am playing around with various configurations, the speeds seem better than AX58U, so returned the little one today.

    I noticed some weird inconsistencies, but so far even having both nodes in the same room does not cause a problem; the switch from one node to the other has worked so far. But the switch from between bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) is a new thing to me and does not seem to flip consistently. Sometimes I think my phone is stuck in 2.4Ghz despite being few feet away from the router and having excellent 5Ghz signal. So, I am now playing around with the Smart Connect rules to see if something can be done. I am also thinking that the issues people describe here (lack of speed, disconnections) could come from improper rules for band switching. Is there a guide or help you can point the community for tweaking the smart connect rules based on custom home configurations (i.e., putting new thresholds based on how the signal is distributed in the various rooms and frontyards)?

    Reply
    • Smart Connect is not all that smart, Dorian. I’ve had lots of convos with Asus and they couldn’t provide any real instruction on how to configure it. I’ve tried myself many times without being able to come to a concert conclusion. It’s a game of trial and error. I think if you’re really bothered by which band to use, just use them as two separate Wi-Fi networks. My take is that, as long as the speed is fast enough for you need, why bother about the actual number?

      Reply
  36. I need to setup a new wireless network in a large house and had a quick question on future proofing. Would it be fair to say this system will work for casual users for the next decade? My other thought is purchasing a budget unit now, like an Eeros, then upgrading in 2-3 years when the technology is more widespread.

    Reply
  37. Thanks for the heads up. Installed it just before sleep. It hasn’t fixed my backhaul drops of the node down to the 2.4GHz band, but so far it’s been way more reliably reconnecting to the dedicated backhaul… unfortunately this means it can drop to the 2.4GHz band again sooner too 😉 since I Haven’t actually timed an average time to backhaul loss I can’t say wether it’s actually improved or not… it feels similar over such a short test time… and I still only get about 3/5 of my download speed even when the dedicated backhaul is up… so it will still go back to the store tomorrow. Such a shame 🙁

    Reply
  38. thanks Steve, i was looking for the actual file, it doesn’t show on the US Asus website. It does update to that new version 25524 if you use the app or web interface but I prefer to upload the file. Told somewhere along the way that you should never use the auto upgrade?? used it anyway and it worked fine after resetting my cable modem.
    thanks

    Reply
  39. go into the administrative settings –> Firmware Update Tab, and at the top of the screen (it may be visible from other screens as well) there is a yellow exclamation point icon. Click that and then the Firmware Update screen will show either a button saying firmware update or a link. I forget which.

    Reply
  40. Mark, I can send you the link to the 25513 beta. I can’t seem to find the latest 25524 firmware on any of the Asus sites.

    Reply
  41. @Mark, the new firmware is 25524, not 25224. I am still using 25224 myself (either what it shipped with or may one update since) because I haven’t been having the reported issues and have been hesitant to update. You may also be running that older firmware.

    If people report good results after a couple of days with 25524, then I’ll try the upgrade.

    Reply
  42. To Dong and All,

    So I’ve been using the ZenWiFi AX system for a bit now. I had reset the system per Dongs suggestion. While I’m not getting the random disconnects now on a couple of devices the system would just go down completely wireless most of the time and sometimes both wired and wifi which is odd. I’ve not used the App at all as suggested by Dong. Also I have not used the App at all for the settings.

    Today while my wife, mother in law and I are working from home and kids watching streaming service the network completely went out for about 20 mins before I finally went up and rebooted the system. I originally updated the firmware when I first hooked up the system at the end of may. After this issue and then coming here I saw some people mentioning about a new frmware version out today v ending 25224 which oddly enough I know have and I guess would explain why the network went down if it took this update which I don’t know how it would have as I didn’t do it and I don’t see any auto update feature. In any case I’m hoping this fixes my issues.

    I do really like this system and if I can get the disconnects to stop it would be great. The speeds I get are great with it and the coverage is amazing in our house.

    Reply
  43. 25509 was a dumpster fire, but the beta 25513 has been stable. So hopefully this new one incorporates the best of 25513 and some other goodies. Still don’t understand who posts new firmware with no notes.

    Reply
  44. I upgraded to the new firmware, and can confirm that there are no release notes as of yet and the update is not posted on the Asus site, it just came available on the router. Hopefully they will post release notes soon.

    Reply
  45. There is new firmware out today (25524) for those of you interested. it may solve some of the issues you are having. Currently no release notes to go along with it so cannot provide much more info than that.

    Reply
  46. Hi Dong!
    Thanks for your recommendation.
    I’ve been using this product for a week.
    This mesh solved all wifi problems in my place.

    Reply
  47. Hello Dong, I have a 7000 square feet house on one single floor but with metal in walls (house built in the early 50’s). Here is my brand new Setup: Asus AX11000 with latest firmware upgrade (3.0.0.4.386_25509) as Main Router with 4 wireless units of XT8 (with latest firmware upgrade also) as Aimesh nodes. Here is my Q: When installing AX, I created 3 différents WIFI names for each of the 3 bands. Obviously this did not establish a Dedicated wireless backhaul. As per ASUS, I should enable SmartConnect on the AX and the 5GHz-2 will establish the hidden SSID Dedicated wireless backhaul. However since reading all the comments here, I am literally afraid to change anything as I only created those 3 SSID at setup with no other changes.
    1) Should I go ahead and enable SmartConnect ?
    2) Is the Dedicated Backhaul essential since I have about 35 clients at all times including 20 of them as Smart cameras and other devices ?
    Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • That’s a huge house, Cyril. You should consider running network cables.

      1. Either way is fine.
      2. Not really unless you want to get the best performance. In most cases, you’re fine having the current setup.

      Reply
  48. yep whaleman – when my tech does not work after messing around with it for a while, it goes back to the vendor. Along with Amplifi Alien, also consider Orbi RBK852 and its little brother RBK752. I’ve used Orbi in the past and they are relatively stable but as Dong confirmed in one of the posts, they tend to have a lag in handing off your client from one node to the other . Other options might be Velop. GT-AX11000 is perhaps a decent choice and adding nodes later once the firmware becomes more stable. If you remember, Dong mentioned that GT-AX11000 also had a glitchy firmware which they eventually fixed and made it ready for prime time. As always Dong knows the Best 🙂

    Reply
  49. Thanks. Yeah seriously considering returning it again, thankfully I bought it from a very considerate store. Seriously considering waiting for the AmpliFi Alien to be released in Europe, even if it offers less for more money it also seems to offer a lot of peace of mind 🙂 And I can buy one first and get a second as a node later in case it won’t reach our concrete basement on its own. One of the reasons I got the ZenWifi to start with.

    Reply
  50. You are missing the big point here – a glitchy router. ASUS return policy is not favorable. 15% restocking with customer paying return shipping. To get to the point that the unit is non functional for a free return, we need tech support which is hard to get a hold of. Then, there is all that wasted time for some of us who are trying to work from home and fixing routers and figuring out network administration is not a full time job for some of us. They do charge premium for these products. So, why not offer products after fully testing them rather than shoving beta prototypes on to the market. I am not writing to seek your opinion on my viewpoint but explaining my stance as to the agony of going through buying these prototypes.

    Reply
  51. Ram it down your throat? Did they tie you down and force you to use it? LOL. You can return it if you don’t like it. I’m not an Asus fanboy so I have no stake in this. No one is forcing you to keep the router if you don’t like it.

    Reply
  52. Thank you. A quick follow up. Suppose I get the AX11000:
    1. Will it have much better long range connectivity than AX58U?
    2. Will Aimesh be impaired when coupling AX11000 with AX58U since the latter does not have a dedicated backhaul band?

    Reply
  53. Dong, thank you for generously replying to people. I spent the an evening and a morning trying to make a decision, and I am still lost, need your help. I am on a relatively small home, planning to move to a larger one in a few months. Got the Asus AX58U last month and rather happy with it so far (although sometimes WiFi signal is lost for a few minutes). In the backyard I don’t get as good WiFi as I wish, so I thought to get another router to AiMesh. Read your other post about combining two AX58U, but I am still confused what is the better way to future proof the decision (looks like the AX58U wasn’t enough). I have no cable connections at home, so need to rely on WiFi backhauls.

    Here is where I am confused. Looks like a pair of XT8 is better than a pair of AX58U, right? What about WPA3, which is one of the reasons I went for AX58U (although I am still stuck on WPA2 as some of my devices can’t connect if I enable WPA3). And what about the 160hz channel in AX58U which from your review the XT8 does not seem to have? And finally, would the XT8 be overall a better router, more long-range and close-range speed, more stable connection, better for Aimesh, than the pair of XT8. The current cost of two AX58U is 180*2=$360, while two XT8 is $450, not a huge difference if the network is more reliable and ready for future devices.

    Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • You’re not confused, Dorian. That’s good news. The bad news is yes if you truly want to be “future-proof” you have to two with two Asus GT-AX11000. I’d recommend getting what serves you NOW, you’ll never be truly future-proof considering we have Wi-Fi 6E on the way. As to which to get, check out this post (and the related ones). It will take some time to read them all, but you’ll have a much better idea.

      Reply
  54. I want to love the ZenWifi AX8, I really do…. and I almost do too. No other wifi 6 mesh system offers nearly the same capability and configurability as it at the same price point and it looks good enough to have visible in the living room and all.

    I just can’t get it to work properly. For some reason it refuses to keep a stable backhaul on the dedicated 5GHz band and regularly reverts to the 2.4GHz band shared with everything else for a backhaul. It’s not the placement, because this happens even when I put the node in the same room as the main unit, about 20cm apart, and it’s unlikely to be the units, since I’ve already replaced them once, assuming a hardware issue…. it doesn’t even seem to the 5GHz band itself, since if I unlock it for other units, they can keep a stable connection to it. I’ve even disconnected as many electronics in the area around the two units that I can still maintain a working household with, but it still refuses to keep the backhaul stable…. At times it can keep up for almost a full day with a “great” signal detected (if I look at the mobile app, it reports about -60dBm at the most remote spot I’d even consider having it at, which beats the computer just 2m from the main unit with its -70ish dBm), so it doesn’t make any sense why it regularly drops down to the 2.4GHz band and claims a “poor” signal (sill about the same actual strength though). For some reason I also only get about 150MBit/s internet on the node, even when using a computer hooked via ethernet to the node that usually easily gets my full 250MBit from the main unit at the same location.

    I can’t even think of more things to try now. I’ve switched units, I’ve switched sets, I’ve disabled wifi 6 and 160MHz and no matter what I do, the node sooner or later starts taunting me with the yellow light and reports that it’s using the 2.4GHz backhaul in the web interface. I’ve performed more factory resets on them that any hardware I’ve ever owned, and I’ve tried three different firmware versions, I even tried to set up the replacement units using only the web interface after readin some of the comments here. ASUS support couldn’t help me besides trying older firmware and eventually suggesting replacing it… but I find it highly unlikely that two sets from completely different batches have the exact same behaviour due to a faulty unit.

    I’d appreciate any suggestions (besides a wired backhaul, it’s just not possible and I got the units in large part because of the really good wireless backhaul speeds reported because of this… but I don’t even get that by the looks of it). I really want to keep them, but the switch to 2.4GHz is not graceful when it happens, so it interrupts music streaming in the house regularly, and should a gaming machine be connected to the node when it happens, I doubt the outcome would be good. I pushed my financials to get it since I want a unit that could keep me over a whole wifi generation instead of buying an wifi 5 unit now and a 6 in a few years… so I’m quite at a loss now.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear your pain. If you have exhausted all options, perhaps consider returning them and trying to get something else – may be same brand different model or some other brand. Dong has covered it all so read through his articles and see what other options you could potentially consider. Hang in there and this will be behind you soon

      Reply
  55. I actually don’t think that the Zenwifi AX can deliver your highest speeds. In my house, at three feet from the router, my max speed has been in the 500s. I could get around 900 with my Orbi. Honestly, I think it’s related to the antenna configuration and the bandwidth on each band. The 5.1 band is supposed to give maximum speed. I understand only getting 250-300 in the back rooms after connecting through a node, but not when I am connected right at the source.

    Dong, what do you mean WPA not being recommended. How do you expect to secure your network from other devices joining? All MAC filtering?

    Reply
    • Your previous post wasn’t removed, Steve. It was just not yet approved, which it has been now. To avoid spams and keep the site clean, all first posts and posts with certain content are withheld for approval.

      Reply
  56. Hello. Very nice review. I originally purchased a pair of XT8s to replace Orbi’s who’s firmware continuously had problems and reboot times of 10-15m per router/node (had 3). The connection between the router and node (2-pack) kept dropping every day or two. I scheduled reboots which reduced the number. Then I saw minimal coverage on some outdoor cameras which are farthest away from router or node so I Purchased a 2nd 2-pack (last one in MD) and setup a 2nd Node (4th unit is still in box). Coverage expanded. I also went to the Xfinity store and replaced the XB6 Gateway with an XB7 Gateway and upped our data bandwidth to 1Gb. I see 200-500mb coverage throughout the house now and on the back patio, garage and driveway. I would expect better consistently (600-800Mb). I just upgraded to v25509. So far no connection drops on XT router/nodes. I am on wireless backhaul at the moment. My house has Cat 5 (18years old) and when I try wired backhaul, speeds drop to 50-80Mb. Not sure why this is the case other than it goes through a Gb switch between node and router. Also, why don’t we have fronthaul 160Mhz yet? Why does WPA3 hiccup had to revert to WPA2+. The units are nice, but these things need addressed.

    Reply
      • Question on: My house has Cat 5 (18years old) and when I try wired backhaul, speeds drop to 50-80Mb. I’ve read the other article. Can’t find direction/instruction regarding the cabling requirements. All I know is when I plug in an ethernet cable on the Node to the 2.5gb port that connects through a gigabit switch which is also connected back to the primary Router, speeds drop to 50-80Mb. When I return to wireless backhaul, speeds go back up to good
        Thoughts?

  57. Yeah exactly. 3 or 4 month without air would be very tough 😉 And a serious note: Thanks to your in-depth and honest review, I knew exactly what I can expect and what kind of product I would buy. Other than the guest network (not) roaming, I got lightning fast and stable WiFi (1 week and counting). And imho the units are aesthetically pleasing (as far as that is possible for a router). So thank you again for the good work!

    Reply
  58. I just got off the phone with the (Dutch) Asus support. Yes, guest network on nodes is enabled in the ZenWifi line, but NO! it is not yet integrated in the Firmware of the Zenwifi AX (3.0.0.4.386_25509 as of today). It is on their roadmap right now, to be released Q2/Q3 2020.

    Reply
    • That’s about right, David. Thanks for sharing. I’d not hold my breath, though. Asus told me about this one a while ago. The deal is Guest network will eventually be supported.

      Reply
  59. Hi Abu S, I have similar experienced as Jacky. No more node disconnected issue since Friday. I didnt play with the setting though just leave it as default for now. I think its fixed. I do scheduled reboot daily and dont feel any problem as well. All devices reconnected including my security camera and robot vacuum. Love it so far!

    Reply
  60. Count me in as another person that is having frequent connection drops for the ethernet wired backhaul node. If anything, it seems to have gotten worse on firmware 3.0.0.4.386_25509. I would not recommend anyone to upgrade to the 25509 version at this time.

    Reply
  61. Rocky, I am not having any critical problems and am loving my XT8 pair. It would be nice if the guest network worked and if I didn’t have to worry, based on all the reports, that if I did try changing a setting or upgrading firmware that I’d unleash a whole set of problems. It sounds like the current beta software will stabilize things somewhat, so I’ll probably upgrade to that when it’s released. Maybe then I’ll start experimenting with some settings, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got.

    Reply
  62. Folks – The writing is on the wall – I am not sure why we are not seeing it – so many issues with the ZEN XT8 that people are having – I request Mr. Dong Ngo to reconsider the review and put it as “Not Recommended” – my two cents.
    $450 for two pieces of hardware that’s barely functional, loaded with glitches and connection drops and I know one guy who restarts the router every night scheduled. Asus rammed this “not ready for prime time, prototype of a router and a almost Orbi lookalike” down our throats and expects us to use. And the worst of all – non-existent tech support. This is what I glean through the 375 comments on this XT8 of a disaster. Anyone disagrees?

    Honestly, the routers that work well on Wifi 6 are not affordable by 99% of the population at this time ($699 for Orbi and no 10G port? – Is Apple advising Netgear on Pricing?), the ones that are affordable -the companies use all of us as lab rats or guinea pigs – (whatever you prefer). Perhaps time to wait for few more months or an year?

    Mr. Dong Ngo- Please shine the light for all of us to see the uninterrupted gigabit path. Please consider to take a moment to write a wonderful article on Wifi 6 Recommended vs Not Recommended products. You are the best – you guide us!

    Reply
  63. I would be interested as well. I’m in week 6 of spinning my wheels with ASUS support and no one I’m speaking to has made any progress or helpful suggestions.

    Reply
  64. Hi. Could someone send me that beta version 25513 or tell me where can I download it from?

    Thank you very much in advance

    Reply
  65. Has anyone ran into the issue of a wifi 5 client, in my case an older toshiba laptop that i changed to a newer wifi 5 card, showing as unidentified network/public. The only fix seems to be to restart the zenwifi ax units then it connects normally? I tried everything on the windows 10 machine to fix this without the reboot, but it needs rebooted at least once a day to get around this issue (i have another wifi 6 card and adapter for m2 to pcie coming to test as well)

    Reply
  66. Hi Abu S, Yes it is stable now.. i tried the same beta version for last 4 days and the Development team nailed the connection issue.

    Reply
  67. Leonard, is the connection still stable? I am having the same issue and tech support has me creating separate SSIDs for each of the bands (that did not help); change WAN to static IP (did not help); and a few other QoS changes and none have helped. If the beta version 25513 is still stable I will ask them for that today.

    Reply
  68. I’m having some problems getting even half of my service, which is gigabit / 40Mbps. I’d like to at least see 600 or so when close to the main router. I’ve never been able to see close to my max.

    Reply
  69. Many thanks Dong — So I decided to pick up the GT-AX11000 (actually found one) and now I’m using it as the main router, with the two AT8s as nodes. So far so good.

    I have a question though about your comment above: Are you saying that the WAN IP Connection Type (http://10.0.8.1/Advanced_WAN_Content.asp) should be “automatic”? When I set up the AX11000, I put that setting to Static IP and entered in the IP Addresses, DNS, etc that my Gateway uses. Similarly, on my Gateway I assigned the AX11000 a static IP. Appreciate your thoughts.

    Side question: Should I enable WIFI Agile Multiband? It’s disabled by default and just wondering if it’s necessary on these routers. I should add that most of my clients at home are on WIFI 5 (not WIFI 6 compatible).

    Cheers,

    Dan

    Reply
    • Sure, Dan. Nice setup!

      1. You should use a static value only when you have static IP from the IPS. In your case, it seems you’re using a double NAT setup, setting the static IP, in this case, doesn’t make any difference. 99% of the time you can just use the Auto setting.
      2. It doesn’t really matter, it has very little effect on anything really. It’s a nifty idea that has little effect in real-life.

      Reply
  70. My maximum throughput is close to what ISP is providing me (500/100 Mbs). Even when I am few meters away from the node. Without any walls or obstacles of course.
    I am on firmware 3.0.0.4.386_25509.
    BTW: I had some node disconnection problems recently. It looks I solved them by adjusting channels for each band.

    Reply
  71. I was wondering what everyone’s maximum and average throughput speeds have been. We’ve been struggling mightily as of recent so I want to make sure it’s the isp and not the router/mesh that is causing the reduced speed.

    Reply
  72. Yeah Leonard, i have received the same beta version 25513 firmware, i have been suffering with this disconnect issue since day 1.. It’s been 2 days using this and i have reset to factory setting and configure from the scratch.. So far no issues.. Day 3 i’m going to configure schedule reboot to see if that gives any negative impact or not.

    Reply
  73. I received a beta version 25513 which supposed to help in node disconnected intermittently. I volunteered to test this beta version and so far after more than 24 hours I believe the dev nailed it. I havent seen any disconnect issue of the node as well as all my devices connected without any issue. Finally. I believe this will help many. I’ll continue to let computer with Intel modem runs a few days connected to the node. usually when this notebook connected to the node it will cause probelms within hours. I have a feeling this new beta version firmware fixed it. let me test it for a few more days.

    Reply
  74. Dong, thank you for all this great information. I purchased the AX-XT8 two pack and a third standalone XT8 to ensure ample coverage throughout our 5 bedroom home. The entire home is wired with cat5e terminating in a central wiring panel that has my tp-link 16 port switch. I’d like to set up a star topology and run wired backhaul from both nodes back to the main router which is in my home office. So the config would basically be… Modem -> Router -> Switch -> Node 1, Node 2. Is this possible? When I have both nodes connected to the switch, they disappear from the Topology on the Asus admin UI (but I still see them as clients). When I disconnect, say, Node 2 from the switch, they immediately show back up with Node 1 as wired backhaul and Node 2 as wireless backhaul. Is this to be expected? Just hoping to get the best possible performance out of this system. Also I don’t think daisy chaining them together is an option due to our wiring layout.

    Reply
    • You don’t need to worry about the topology when you have wired backhaul, Jeff. (More on that here.) What you experienced is strange. Make sure the switch is an unmanaged one. Also, make sure you set up the AiMesh properly. Since you have 3 units, just set them up the way you do any AiMesh router.

      Reply
  75. The 3.0.0.4.386.25509 was made available in the US this morning as well. Haven’t had a chance to test it out yet. Please post any results!

    Reply
  76. Received a firmware update today in Malaysia
    Version 3.0.0.4.386.25509
    2020/06/0472.27 MBytes
    ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 Firmware version 3.0.0.4.386.25509
    – Improved connection stability.
    – Fixed node 2.5G port connection issues.
    – Adaptive QoS supported more apps
    Work-From-Home: WeChat Work®, RescueAssist, Tencent/VooV Meeting® Learn-From-Home: LinkedIn Learning®, Binkist®, Skillshare®, edX®
    Media Streaming: SiriusXM®, Bilibili®
    Indoor training: The Sufferfest®, Bkool Fitness®, TrainerRoad®, Rouvy®

    Please unzip the firmware file first then check the MD5 code.
    MD5: 6cb90af0ea97cfaa9461f0ae8961042f

    Reply
  77. I’m not very techie so I apologize in advance if my lingo is off:

    I’ve also had some connection issues with my XT8s (one router one node). Everything is working great and then suddenly none of my clients are able to connect to the WIFI. The only fix is to reboot the routers. This would happen at least once every day or two. Note that I also set the system to reboot by itself at 3am but I’d still have this issue at least once a day or two days.

    After reading some of the comments below, I did the following and so far I haven’t had any issues (four days now — fingers crossed):

    1. Factory reset
    2. Set up via Web interface (first time I tried this. Before I used the phone app)
    3. Kept all default settings — except I changed the local LAN IP and I still use the 5ghz-2 for some clients.

    I also looked at my Gateway (I have the XT8 router plugged into my Gateway). My Gateway’s WIFI is disabled but has its own local IP network, with only two clients connected to it: A TV box and my XT8 router (my XT8 network uses a slightly different LAN IP address to avoid conflicts). Anyway, I noticed the XT8 was assigned a DHCP address, so I switched it to a Static address.

    So far so good (hope I haven’t jinxed it).

    Would be curious if this works for other people too.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, Dan. And your lingo is perfect. Looks like you have a double NAT, check out this post for more. Make sure you change the WAN IP setting of the router to dynamic before you make any further changes relating to the ISP-provided gateway, though.

      Reply
  78. Hi Dong,

    Thank you so much for this review. Amazing site and plethora of great information. Much appreciated sir.
    I have recently moved to a new house (3000 sqft) from a small apartment. I have a RT-AX88U as the main router. I need to expand my wifi signal to far corners of the house. The whole house is wired with Cat6 cable. I’ve connected router to a 16 port switch so the rest of the house can get wired internet. I was thinking of going with two of AX-92U as wired backhaul nodes as these are $100 cheaper than two pairs of ZenWifi Ax-XT8s. I will pay extral $100 for improved and stable wifi signal.

    What are you thoughts on this as on June 2020? I apologize if you already have answered this question. I read through the comment section but didn’t see anything specific to my question.

    Thank you again for your excellent work.

    Reply
  79. Thank you, that related post and some of your other posts helped very much, I appreciate it. Let me ask in a different way, taking specific model numbers out of the discussion: Do you think the faster wireless speed and other efficiency gains of AX provide a suitable replacement for gigabit wired connections, or would it still be worthwhile to hardwire clients when possible? I’ve read that Wifi 6 handles latency much better, but is it on par with a traditional hardwired connection? Lastly, do you think link aggregation and 2.5Gbps ports will have real value anytime soon, or will we see new standards come up before that happens?

    Reply
    • There’s no wireless connection that can beat a wired connection, Mikey. That’s because a wired connection is stable and reliable, while a wireless one is always fluctuating — more on this here. Eventually, 10Gbps wired network will be the new norm. I’d give it a few years or maybe a decade. That’s mostly because 1Gbps is faster than most of us would need, for now.

      Reply
  80. Stefano – Do you have a modem separate from router? I mean like comcast or verizon modem (or modem router combo) and this zenxt8? If so, try doing this – “forget wifi” on all devices, reset xt8 to factory and dont connect to modem. Power cycle modem first, connect a laptop to that and see if your internet is stable for 10, 15 or 20 mins. If so, connect the router now and try giving a different local IP (google search “private ip range”) and you get a few options – go with one that is not common like 172 etc. Dont connect all wifi devices at once. Start with one at a time every few hours – notice stability and continue to add more. I had the exact same issue – In my case its not zen router but something else – but the culprit was comcast tv box with internet was connected to Modem directly (not through router) had the same IP address as the router and there was a conflict. Result was a nightmare few days trying to figure it out. Also, if you have any landline boxes like Vonage, OOma etc, see if their IP has any conflict with your router. Also, consider trying wireless backhaul for a few days and once you notice its stable, then convert to wired BH. All the best and hang in there. You will be able to pinpoint the issue. My two cents.

    Reply
  81. Hi Stefano. I just wanted to share that I’m having the exact issues as you describe. I’ve been working (unsuccessfully) with ASUS for a month to try to resolve it and have made no progress. I changed the default subnet as well, so I’m wondering if there is some sort of firmware bug that is messing things up? That’s a total guess, but we’ve put in an order for an Orbi from Costco (our local warehouse has one of the AX models now). Please post any solutions you find – I’ll do the same. Good luck!

    Reply
  82. Hi Dong,
    Did exactly what you advised… still problems all over. I’m clueless what to do.

    The main problem is that devices are constantly disconnecting, sometimes refusing to reconnect. These devices are a mix of Windows laptops, Chromebooks, iPhones, Android phones, Google Nest Hub’s… it’s basically everything in my house which is unstable. Very very frustrating after spending a lot of money on a fancy Zenwifi mesh system coming from a rock solid RT-AC68U (router) + RT-AC56U (access point) setup.

    I now have latest firmware, clean setup after factory reset, wired backhaul, everything default but the subnet changed from 192.168.50.x to 192.168.1.x.

    Can you advise on options I could try?

    I’m thinking of taking the (huge) loss on selling the Zenwifi and going back to the old situation or try something else… Orbi? Other Asus non-zenwifi router? I’m very reluctant to what could be a more stable setup.

    Speed is all fine, I don’t care if speed is not best-in-class. I need stability and signal strength.

    Reply
    • Not sure what to tell you Stefano. It’s super-odd considering you have wired backhaul. I’ve used the GT-AX11000 with a mix of a couple of routers, including one XT8 and one CT8 for months now with no issue at all. (At one point, I even tried the XT8 as the main router).

      By the way, since the default IP changed, it seemed you might have had another router *before* the first XT8, if so, that could be part of the issue. Make sure your XT8 connects to the Internet directly (via a modem). If not, check out this post on double NAT vs single NAT.

      Reply
  83. Dong,
    I am considering getting a single XT8, but wondering if I should hold out for the upcoming AX86U or instead go for a pair of AX3000 mesh based on my setup, would appreciate your insight. My network is a little weird, so bear with me:

    I have a just under 2000 square foot house, two stories. The primary router is an older Linksys AC 3×3 running DD-WRT and is centrally located on the first floor where we spend the most time. I get a full signal throughout most of the first and second floors except for the master bedroom where it drops off considerably, like 25% signal strength (likely due to obstructions from walls, stairs, and bedroom furniture) and the family room below the master where I get probably 75% signal (again due to walls). It’s worth noting that I do however have the ability to run Ethernet cable and an AP to the master bedroom, but have not yet done so and not sure I would need to if I had better equipment. In one spare bedroom directly above the primary router I have another Linksys AC 3×3 DD-WRT in wireless bridge mode serving as the “wired” connection to my home office equipment and gaming PC in that room, so essentially the backhaul between the two routers is a 1.3Gbps wireless connection, as I don’t have an easy way to run Ethernet cable to this room, but very stable.

    Finally, my internet connection speed is currently 100Mbps, however our neighborhood is getting fiber in the coming months, so my connection speed will be jumping up to at least 500Mbps, with the option to go 750 or gigabit or even two-gigabit, depending on what I want to pay for.

    Option 1: I am considering going with a single XT8 because I could use the 4×4 band on the XT8 as a backhaul band. I can continue to use the office wireless bridge router and then use the old primary router in bridge mode on the family room entertainment center as a “wired” connection without having to run any cables or lose any bandwidth, and the two bridges would not interfere with any other wireless clients on the other 5Ghz band. My hope is that the XT8 has enough power to punch through obstructions and serve the master bedroom with no issue. This option allows me to use all my existing equipment and not have to buy/run Ethernet cable.

    Option 2: Do the same as above, but get the AX86U instead when it comes out (any idea when this might be or when you’ll review it?). The added benefit there is perhaps more future-proofing, as this one has LAN link aggregation (I could go full two-gigabit end to end from my ISP! I won’t, but I could.) and some other bells and whistles (are gaming features worth it?). The drawback here is combining the bridged connections into the fronthaul band (perhaps negligible performance hit?). By the way, I know it doesn’t have it today, but is the XT8 capable of getting link aggregation with a firmware update?.

    Option 3: I could get a pair of AX3000/AX58U, or combine one of the above options with one of these, and form a mesh. I would put the primary centrally located on the first floor and the secondary in the master bedroom, hardwired backhaul, and still potentially have the old AC bridges in place. My concern with this option is having the router and node end up being too close together, causing the clients to hop back and forth. Moving the nodes further apart would involve putting one in the basement or another location on the first floor, which could create other issues and additional wiring. These are also 2×2, so I’d lose some bandwidth on the wireless bridge backhaul connections (perhaps negligible?).

    What are your thoughts? Single XT8? Wait for AX86U? Some form of mesh? Am I overthinking this?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I have no comment, Mikey, since the RT-AX86U is not out and I have no experience with it. In the meantime, read this post on AiMesh (and related ones) and reviews and I think you can come to your own conclusion.

      Reply
  84. @Dong Ngo

    Hello,
    I have one small question.. I order ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G70) that one is cheaper than 90IG0590-MO3G40) but now I see one strange thing:

    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G70) – has Tri-band (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz / 60 GHz)
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G40) – has Tri-band (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz / 5 GHz)

    The 90IG0590-MO3G70 says on the site that have 60 GHz is that a problem when I place one router ground floor and the second one somewhere on the 3th floor with out a cable?

    And what does the 60 GHz ?

    Regards,
    Michel

    Reply
  85. Thank you, Dong. Very insightful, and it now makes sense!
    I don’t have the chance to physically connect the routers without being through the gateway. It seems like the ZenWiFi would be a good alternative, but I believe that having a wired RT-AX88U connecting by Wi-Fi to the RT-AX3000 would also be a viable option. The house is big, but I believe this could work.

    Reply
  86. Thank you for the reply and for the link, Dong! If I understand your reply correctly, having a wired RT-AX88U being the router, and a wired RT-AX3000 being a satellite, both operating on the same mesh network, is fine? I don’t have the capability to link those two physically together with an ethernet cable, without both being directly connected through the ISP gateway. Is this acceptable?
    The article you linked to says “On the other hand, all dual-band Wi-Fi broadcasters’ 5 GHz band uses the same set of channels. As a result, putting two together is like putting one freeway right on top of another.” + “So having multiple Wi-Fi broadcasters clumped up at a spot is something we want to avoid”. Does this mean that I shouldn’t have the set up with the Asus’ systems done? They’ll be half house apart, so they wouldn’t be clumped.
    I’m sorry for the additional questions, but I want to make sure that I make a sound investment what works without any hiccups. Thank you again for your insights!

    Reply
    • No, you need to link the RT-AX3000 to the RT-AX88U. Like this: Internet source (i.e. ISP gateway or router) -> (WAN) RT-AX88U (LAN preferably, or via Wi-Fi)-> RT-AX3000. Having them both linked to the IPS gateway will NOT make a system. More on that here. And no, when they are put far apart then that’s not clumped.

      Reply
  87. Thanks Dong. But XT8 does not have 160 mhz support and 92u does; 92U has a faster 2.4 ghz (theoretical) speed so in that sense – 92U should be superior to xt8 is what I am guessing. BH Photo is the only one that carries dual zen pack at $450 and 92U is retailing at $380 on amazon. So 92U is $70 cheaper.

    Reply
  88. Hey Dong — You answered some questions under another review but thought I’d ask here since it really has to do with the XT8s.

    Long story short, I have an XT8 router and node. I cannot connect the two with wires because I can’t get wiring to that node’s location at the moment. SO far the network works well, with my power clients (and most used clients) using 5ghz-2 and the more passive (smarthome clients) using 5ghz-1 or 2ghz.

    I feel like I need a third node in the basement. That node could be wired to the router because I happen to have ethernet outlets there.

    So: What Asus router would be a good option to use as the main router (plugged into the modem), which would then feed the two XT8s as nodes (one wired backhaul and one wireless backhaul). I’ve looked at the GT-AX11000 (which you suggested previously), but it’s unavailable everywhere (I’m in Canada). Any other options?

    Much appreciated!

    Dan

    Reply
    • The GT is a great choice for that, Dan, but any AiMesh router will work. You want a tri-band router, there though, so, maybe the RT-AX92U. You can also use it a as node, too, and keep the XT8 as the main router. Or get another XT8 unit.

      Reply
  89. Hi Dong,
    Thanks after reading the post, you stated “…..Lastly, QoS is generally not necessary when you have a high-speed broadband connection that has enough bandwidth for all of your applications at once. But even then, if you know that nobody in your home regularly downloads stuff, like using a BitTorrent client, then it’s still a good idea to turn it on….”

    So the speed is 300mbs. No BitTorent client, just streaming x3 movies, work/school from home as of now and getting into games. Based on that I should consider setting up the QoS, correct?

    Reply
  90. Hi Dong,
    I decided on the AX88U. Using it for a few days now. Please with it and working great. Easy setup even for me. I have a few technical questions and as state previous I am not that technical and now looking at all the capabilities not sure what to enable to keep it simple and also use some of its capabilities. So, should I –
    Enable the smart connect between the 2.4 and 5gzh, which I set up separately?
    Enable the firewall which is set as NO now? The DOS is enabled. Should I just leave it this way?
    Should the QoS be enabled? Should I just leave it this way?

    Gaming will come later.
    Thanks,
    Carl

    Reply
  91. Hi Dong! I only discovered your page 2 days ago, and boy, have I been missing out! I’ve read some 20+ of your reviews in just two days!

    I live on a single floor flat with some 250 m2 (2700 sqft), and a rectangular shape. For the sake of it, let’s say that my ISP router is on the lower left corner of the rectangle, and that I have a repeater in the exact centre of the rectangle (run of the mill TP-LINK). I have our home office on the upper right corner, and the computer sitting there is served by a wired connection (Wi-Fi barely gets there). My ISP speed is 500/100 wired (MEO Portugal), and the fibre cable enters directly into my flat and into the ISP gateway.
    We’re talking about 10 Wi-Fi devices (not simultaneously), 10 wired devices (not simultaneously), 4K Netflix (wired TV), and internet usage going on frequently.
    I’ll be receiving a new DELL XPS 13 9300 with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, and I want to upgrade and future proof the whole house, e.g. replace actual Cat 5e cabling by Cat 6a.

    I also want to turn my ISP gateway into a modem only (poor performance Wi-Fi). I plan to do this by buying a new router capable of Wi-Fi 6, creating a bridge mode, and disabling Wi-Fi connections on the ISP gateway.
    I’ve been looking – as per your reviews – to the TP-LINK Archer AX6000 (wife would most likely hate its design), the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), and the Asus AX6000 (RT-AX88U).

    I was looking at putting together the Archer AX6000 and a TP-LINK AX1500 (RE505X) to serve as a repeater where the actual one sits, and have a mesh system. The issue is that this repeater doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6 on 2.4 GHz.

    I loved your ZenWiFi AX review, but the fact that it doesn’t yet provide 160 MHz bandwidth on the 2.4 GHz and the main 5 GHz channels, is a no-go for me, but you explain that Asus told you they’d be providing firmware update to make this possible?

    I then saw your Asus RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U review, and would like to know if having an RT-AX88U serving as the main router (wired and broadcasting Wi-Fi), and having either the Asus RT-AX3000 or RT-AX58U on a wired connection in my office, would be a good a good setup. I’d want the RT-AX3000 or RT-AX58U wired, and providing Wi-Fi to that side of the house, while creating a seamless mesh network. Can a setup like this coexist? From your article it seems that one can select which is the router and which is the satellite, right? They’d both be wired.

    Looking at these three setups, which one would you go for? Thanks!

    Reply
  92. Thank you Dong for the response. I was also reading your reviews and user comments from you for ax92U, XT8, and AX11000 routers. Going with your advice of matching triband with triband -Not sure which one is the better Combo –
    1. AX11000 with two ax92U nodes (downside is there is no 2.4 ghz WiFi 6 on the nodes & WiFi 6 on 5 ghz-2 is the only WiFi 6 spectrum available and unless we go with wired backhaul, the wireless backhaul on the nodes appears to use same 5ghz-2 wifi 6 band- crazy)- costs $450 + $400
    2. AX11000 with two XT8 nodes (downside is the 2.4 ghz for Wifi6 is capped at 574 mbps -sluggish for $450) – $450 + $450
    3. or to just get RBK852 – $625 if we use netgear 10% coupon for first time users

    My Scenario: 4000 sft home with three floors; entire home networked to cat 6a so possible to go wired or wireless; a lot of laptops (2 out of 3 on wifi 6) and phones (all wifi 6) will have a combination of wifi 6 and wifi 5; Streaming devices, printers, TV and NAS all have wired network interface. Not much of gaming happening here.

    Reply
    • The first two are basically the same, Rocky. Don’t get too hungry up on the WiFi speeds, chance are you’ll get even slower than that. You shouldn’t expect concrete speed numbers from Wi-Fi the way you do wired connections.

      If you just care about coverage and speeds, any of them will work fine, and similaly. An Asus will give you more features.

      Reply
  93. @Dong Ngo
    Do you know the differents between :

    These are the black ones:
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G50) – cheeper price
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G20) – higher price

    These are the white ones:
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G70) – cheeper price
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G40) – higher price
    ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Wireless router (90IG0590-MO3G80) – higher price

    Reply
  94. Just wanted to let everyone know that Amazon now has a 1 pack of the ZenWiFi ax available for $249 for those who need to buy a 3rd node. Unlike some on here, I have had no trouble with mine. I am getting my full 300 Mbps speed everywhere in my house despite old plaster walls. I am using wireless backhaul and have had no disconnect issues. This system has been great for me. Been using it about 6 weeks now. I just ordered a 3rd node to try and cover my outdoor patio. I hope this doesn’t cause problems or cause the system to become unstable. The two piece has been rock solid.

    Reply
  95. Hi Dong, Read your reviews on ASUS line of routers specifically Zen, GT-AX11000 etc. In your comment above, you say that “Using the GT-AX11000 as the main router and the RT-AX92U as node(s) is a great setup, Sandeep. Much better than the XT8.” – why do you say that ? Because just like Sandeep, I am also at a point deciding on Zen setup vs the one mentioned above i.e. GT-AX11000 + RT-AX92U. Is it because the latter has the faster AX 2.5 data rate of 1148 mpbs as opposed to Zen XT8’s 574 mbps and a slightly faster processor? I have the option to have a wired backhaul or wireless since my entire home is networked to Cat6a..

    Reply
  96. I had the same issue and setup from scratch again several times with the latest firmware but the problem never resolved. If I keep the Router and Mesh Node just 3-meter distance and this is not happening but once I move the Mesh Node to upstairs then “Flashing Blue” on Mesh Node starts again. Not sure if hardware issue or firmware issue till date.

    Reply
  97. Thanks Dong! I’m finally getting a the ASUS ZenWifi AX system but wonder, can I extend the system by adding on my old Mac AirPort Extreme (last generation) or Mac Airport express?

    A. Will the system work with the addition?
    B. If it works (technically), how badly would it slow things down?

    Basically, my question is: in my WAY too big house with dead spots everywhere, should I add my old routers on, or get an extra pair of the ZenWi-Fi hubs?

    Reply
    • That depends on how you add it to the system and what your expectations are. However, even if that works, chances are your network will be fragmented. Apple stuff is very thin on customization. I’d go with an extra ZenWiFi set.

      Reply
  98. Nice review. I am in dilemma, I have 2 options:

    A: Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 + ASUS RT-AX3000 in AiMesh (if signal from one router will not be enough)
    B: ZenWiFi AX XT8 take it straight away.

    The price will be roughly the same. What do think guys?

    Reply
    • I’d hesitantly recommend the ZenWiFi XT8. It’s been great for me personally but some folks have had issues with it as you can see in the comments below. If you have wired backhaul, the A option is the way to go.

      Reply
  99. I keep having wifi connection issues with devices on my Zenwifi AX XT8 based mesh system. Zenwifi AX main router (1st floor) + 1 Zenwifi AX node (2nd floor), RT-AC68U as extra node on the attic (3rd floor). RT-AC68U has been boosted however, so the RT has very strong signal, sometimes the RT has stronger signal on 1st floor (from the attic!) than the ZenWifi’s at 1st and 2nd floor.

    Signal strength is not an issue, signal is good, it’s just seems that some devices are not handshaking properly or something.

    First it were some older Windows machines which could not connect at all, after updating wifi drivers they were able to connect, but sometimes connection is dropped. Google Nest hubs often lose the connection and don’t automatically reconnect. Then there’s an iPhone 11 which has frequent connection drops. And a Samsung Galaxy A5 which is more often disconnected than connected.

    In short: I’m getting fed up with it.

    So far I’ve tried:
    * disabling QOS – can’t say this helps
    * locking wifi channels – can’t say this helps
    * router reboots every other day – can’t say this helps
    * 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6 modus : disabled – this seems to be the magic setting… but hey, I didn’t get a wifi6 system to be able to disable Wifi6 🙁

    Any ideas, tips? I’m in Europe so no Amplifi Alien offered here, but grass on the Orbi side is starting to look very green 🙁

    Reply
    • Try this, Stefano:

      Do not use the mobile app. Use the web interface only.

      1. Upgrade everything to the latest firmware.
      2. Reset the whole system (you can remove one node at a time, that will reset them, then reset the router.)
      3. Set them up again.
      4. Keep the default settings (only change your Wi-Fi name’s name and password to your liking).

      That should make sure there is not a weird setting somewhere that causes the issue.

      Reply
  100. Hi Dong, Thanks for the great work.

    I am currently using the Asus RT-AC5300 and Asus RT-AC68U in an AiMesh setup (1Gbps broadband). Wifi performance is ok but not great. Currently, the signal on the 3rd level of my home is very weak and I will like to improve it. Btw, I live in Asia and the homes here use lots of concrete and not wood.

    Option 1: Buy another AC68U to add to the existing AiMesh.
    Option 2: Buy the Asus XT-8

    Which do you think will be a better option from a coverage (and performance) perspective?

    Reply
    • If your walls are concrete (and they are where you are as far as I know), Tony, the best you should do is to run a network cable. If that’s not possible, you need to use tri-band routers and place the node near the main router. How near, that depends, more on that here. So the XT8 is a better choice for sure. You can keep the AC5300 as your main router.

      Reply
  101. Hi Dong, the direct connection worked fine to set up the AC5300 as a 2nd node but when I set it up it decreased my wifi download speed by over 100 Mbps in almost all parts of the house reached by the reached by the Zen units. When I unplugged it that speed was restored.Why would that be?

    Reply
    • The RT-AC53000 is a Wi-Fi 5 router, Carmine. So when you used it, that might have caused the ZenWiFi AX to work in a compatible mode which is slower.

      Reply
  102. My 2nd wired node won’t stop flashing green. Any ideas? And I deal with consistent drops. All day. Everyday. Beyond annoying and my hard wired Apple TV’s drop connection completely. I can’t come up with a solution. I’ve rebooted. Any suggestions? My provider said they will check my lines, but I didn’t have these drops with my LUMA wifi mesh system. But the speeds sucked so I upgraded. I’m getting amazing speeds when they are working. But they won’t stay working 🙁 Main unit hardwired from cable modem. From there I’m running Ethernet to first floor node (like I was with LUMA), but continuously flashing green lights and in and out dropped internet all day long. Please help.

    Reply
    • A couple of things you should try, Steve:

      1. Reset the system (both units)
      2. Set it up again (you just need to do the router) using the web interface. Do not use the mobile app at all.
      3. Do no use QoS. Other than customizing your Wi-Fi network’s name and password. Leave everything else at default. Basically make as few changes as possible.
      4. Schedule a restart a couple of times a week. (It’s in the Administration -> System area).

      Reply
  103. Hi Dong,
    I’ve read lots of reviews and finally got the AX. I haven’t had any of the disconnection issues that others have had and coverage is great, though it may be resulting from initial set up by phone, then changing settings using the web interface on my desktop.

    I live in a 3 bedroom condo where the rooms are next to each other in a line. I’ve set it up where I have the main router in the living room on one side, and the satellite in the middle room, about 4-5m away. I have gigabit internet.

    My main computer is connected via wire to the satellite, and I’m only able to get about 300-400mbps on speedtest and fast.com. Meanwhile I’m about to get around 400mbps max with my iphone X and oneplus 6 right next to the main router. Weirdly, the upload speed is 600-800mbps both with the desktop connected by wire to satellite, and on my phones…

    I’ve read many people able to get 700-800mbps with their phones next to the router and so expect my devices to be able to do the same. I’ve tried messing around with the settings, almost tried all of the channels, but unable to get my devices any faster. Thinking it might be the internet provider, I also tried connecting a computer directly via wire and I’m able to get 900-1000gb as expected.

    Not sure whether there’s something wrong with the routers, or just some of the settings aren’t quite right. Any advice would be great! Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  104. Hello Dong,
    The Zen WiFi XT8 is not available anywhere, I I need the Mesh but am no gamer, could i just get the Asus GT-AX11000 and Asus RT-AX92U AX6100 ( 1 or 2 pack ) and have a mesh setup?
    Both are Tri-band ( I will have a wireless backhaul ) .
    Are they comparable? Do I lose anything? Or would you rather advice to wait for the Zen ( 1-2 weeks not much )

    Also thanks a lot for your quick answers, you are really helpful. Do you have links from where if I buy you get some benefits?

    Regards
    Sandeep

    Reply
  105. Dong,

    Have you enabled IPv6 on your XT8? If show how’s that worked for you? I’m only considering it because I’ve run into issues in the past though not as of yet with this router. What I’ve run into is one device will stop working because another ended up getting it’s IP address. Usually this happens mostly with my wifi printer. I have had it with other devices in most cases it’s easy enough to fix the printer and a couple of wifi bluray players not so much. We have 6 windows laptops, 5 chrome books, 9 amazon kids fire tablets, wifi printer, 4 wifi led lights, Ring System with various things connected and just a bunch of other devices.

    I haven’t a clue if some of the devices would work with it or not, I know our phones will and the windows laptops I’m sure, but the other stuff I haven’t a clue. But I just wonder if they did if it would be something to consider as well as for added security etc.

    Reply
  106. HAHAHA wow so tiny no wonder I missed it… on my laptop very small to see… thanks now I’m got it but for the time setting it doesn’t say or offer a option, is it 24hr or 12hr time?

    Reply
    • We only see what we want to see, Mark. 🙂 I believe, if there’s no AM/PM value then it’s always the 24-hour format. But generally, it won’t take a value out of range, so you can figure that way.

      Reply
  107. Ok thanks, and that brings me to another question. Where do I find the option to schedule restarts for the routers? I’ve been looking in the web interface and I just am not seeing it…

    Reply
  108. I am familiar with networking and such, not my strong point, I’m more of hardware guy but I plan on playing with it more but as 3 of us working from home and then 10 kids E-Leaning throughout the day, it seems like any changes to the router regardless of how minor they seen disconnect the network for a time. So I can’t do it during the day and then at night is streaming time. As with last night I had to wait till after 11pm.

    I appreciate the assistance.

    Reply
    • Set it up using the most default settings as possible, Mark. Don’t use QoS for now. And then leave it alone. Also, you can schedule it to restart by itself a couple of times a week. Oh, one last thing: Use the web interface, not the mobile app.

      Reply
  109. Dong,

    Ok so I reset my routers to default and set it all back up again. What a pain as I had the router/node “in place”.lol
    I will see how the disconnect issues on those devices goes if at all…I am hoping for no more issues on that front.

    Once the reset was done I had attempted to get the external drive to work again. I had enabled sharing and such before but went ahead and did it again. I can now see the drive in windows explorer however I’m getting an error in windows that windows can’t access it. When I tried to figure it out far as I can tell it SMB or Samba or whatever it’s called is no longer supported in windows? So I’m at a loss here and if you have any suggestions here would be great.

    As far as the backhaul channel I got that working now as well. Thanks for the help so far and hoping the only issue left is the external drive.

    Mark

    Reply
    • To access the shared folder, Mark, you need to sign in using the router’s login username and password. Or set up user accounts for the share. Play with it! You’re getting close. Generally, you need to know a bit about data sharing etc via a network. The XT8 worked fine with the latest SMB version in my tests. By the way, if you want something just plug and play, don’t go with an Asus router. Get a Linksys or Netgear instead.

      Reply
  110. Klemen,

    Not that I could find anywhere. Which led me reaching out to Asus about. I had moved my external drive to the main node at my own decision for trouble shooting when I could then see if in the software of the router. Then the next day I think it was Asus person told me to do the same thing and that it can’t be used on the slave node and has to be on the main node.

    Mark

    Reply
  111. Like other people here, I am finding that these devices are unstable. I bought 5 of them to replace my former Lyra mesh. The Lyra wifi mesh was not bad, but the performance was mediocre and sometimes the nodes lost their connection to each other. I planned to upgrade to wifi 6 with the XT8 and also to implement an ethernet backhaul for all nodes (via a 10 gbps switch and MOCA 2.5 adapters for four coax lines through the house).

    While the central XT8 router which sits directly behind the modem (of a 1 gbps internet connection) is stable, the four XT8 access point are not stable at all. Unfortunately, this does not depend on whether they are connected via wifi or ethernet backhaul. The access points lose their connection, at least a few of them (by the way, the nodes concerned are different each time I set up the whole mesh anew). They lose their connection around once a day, and then more frequently, until they drop connection about 5-10 min. after boot-up. The blue light will flash and they will not come up again unless I switch them off and on again. Strange enough, their internal ethernet switch will continue to work, i.e. any hard-wired devices will still see the network and they can be seen, but all wireless connections are dropped. As I said, this also happens with nodes that have ethernet backhaul (currently 3 of 4).

    I have replaced all XT8 access points by my old Lyras. The mesh now consists of the XT8 as central router and the Lyra nodes as access points. The mesh is perfectly stable but a Lyra mesh was not my intention…

    Maybe the XT8 works perfectly as pair of 2. As for me, I am waiting for a new firmware update.

    Reply
  112. Hi Mark,
    is information that external drive have to be connected to the main node somewhere documented? I have exactly the same experience and would like to be sure that this does not work. If that’s the case, I need to adjust wired connection in my house.
    I have good experience with 5-2 for fronthaul. I am seeing higher throughputs on 5-2 vs 5-1. It’s logical, as it used additional channels and theoretical top speed is faster.

    Klemen

    Reply
  113. I think, if I remember well, that to disable QoS you have to do it on the web interface and disable it at the top level. On the Adaptive QoS tab, click on QoS and then click disable and and apply. That’s all I needed to do.

    On a different note, I have added ethernet backhaul using MoCa adapters and it has solidified my network in the areas that I had the most trouble in my house. For a $120, it’s a great solution for those who don’t have ethernet run to their rooms. I’m super excited about that.

    Reply
  114. Progress Report!
    I’ve been running my XT8 system now for about 2 weeks, and when it works, it works great. Great speeds, great coverage, great range. And the web interface and the iPhone app is terrific. It works great right out of the box.
    But, it’s got one big issue that just might make me return it. Every 2 or 3 it just stops working. Completely loses the plot. I’ve got to cycle both nodes and the modem a few times before it all comes back. It usually happens about the same time too, just before midnight. I’ve looked for commonalities, such as the same loads, same users on at that same time and I can’t find it.
    Among the things I’ve tried is to disable QoS, but I can’t. The web interface won’t remember the setting and I simply can’t disable it. Is there a dependency with another setting? Has anyone else run into this problem? As a last resort I’ll return everything to factory settings and create a new setup but I’d like to figure out why I can’t disable this one setting. Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  115. I just purchased XT8. In general is working fine. Coverage is OK, but not stellar. I have 3 storey house with thick walls. That’s why ethernet backhaul is key for me.
    Good feature is that you can switch off 2.4GHz wifi. I am using 5GHz only at the moment to get speedier internet.
    I had two issues.
    1. Ethernet backhaul only works when secondary node is connected to primary in a daisy chain (internet in on WAN port of primary, UTP cable from LAN port on primary to WAN port on secondary). I tried to connect both units directly to ISP modem/router via WAN port , but didn’t work. I sorted out this different way by adding switches.
    2. NAS works only on primary node, which is a problem for me, because of how my UTP cables runs in my house.
    Is there a way to tun NAS on secondary node?
    3. Can 160Mhz channel be used for frontend wifi, as I am using ethernet backhaul? If yes, how?

    Regards,
    Klemen

    Reply
    • I have mostly WiFi 5 clients, with exception of iPhone 11.
      I am thinking maybe simpler/cheaper mesh would be good alternative, as I can utilize Ethernet backhaul. Or two Asus routers which support AImesh.

      Thoughts?

      Reply
    • Bravo on running network cables, Klemen.

      1. That’s to be expected, you can’t just plug hardware unit willy billy and expect them to work the way you want :). You might want to check out this post.
      2. In my testing, NAS worked fine when I connected the portable drive to the node unit.
      3. Yes, just unhide the 5GHz-2 band and give it a meaningful network name and password. More on that here.

      Reply
  116. Dong,

    I got this router about a week ago. For the most part it has been great other than a few annoyances I have which is why I’m writing you here. I’ve been emailing Asus all week and their responses are not much help and every email is a different person and in most cases not reading my emails correctly and just copy and pasting stuff from them knowledge base.

    I’ve read a bunch of the comments on this page but I didn’t really see one that would help me. Is possible I missed it. Anyhow I’m a father of 11, 1 bio and 10 foster adopted kids and I work full time and so I don’t have a lot of time to sit around trouble shooting for hours on end which make things more difficult. I am currently working from home as is my wife and mother in law who lives with us. We all need/use the network during the day so again this tosses a wrench into trouble shooting during the day.

    So hopefully I can get to the bottom of things. I agree with a comment made by someone else that the documentation and instructions for this system are very basic.

    My questions/issues are:

    1) I have an external hard drive I’ve been trying to get going on the network for sharing, storage and backup for my wife, mother in law and kids. For saving of homework, work etc. I originally had it connected to the slave node at my desk area where that node is. I could never get it to be seen. Finally figured out and later got conformation from Asus that it would have to be connected to the main node. Now Asus software sees the drive but I can’t access it from any other computers or laptops on the network.

    2) I am also having some random connection drops from a chrome book and a laptop on the network. As far as I’m aware these are the only 2 with this issue. There was a random sort lives connection issue with one of the kids Amazon Kids Fire Tablets but when it got brought to me it was working and connected. I can’t seem to figure this out. I’ve connected and reconnect the devices and eventually the end up discounting again. I updated the wifi drives on the windows laptop. I’m not as family with chrome books at the moment they are something new to me and now we have a bunch of them because of E-Learning. I have updated the firmware on the XT8 system 1st thing once connected.

    3) I’ve also been trying to figure out how to get the 5-2 backhaul band to be a useable band for a few of our devices but am having no luck figuring that out. Asus apparently has no idea what I’m wanting to do when asking them the same thing and/or asking for more detailed documentation on how to set all the features of the system.

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide and sorry for the novel…

    Mark

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      I assume you know about the basics of a router, especially using the web interface. If not, check out this post first.

      1. You need to enable the data share function. Login to the router’s interface: USB Application -> Server Center -> Network Place (Samba) -> Enable Share. After that, on a Windows computer, you can access the router via \\ShareName (whatever that is) or \\192.168.50.1 (which is the router’s default IP address). (On a Mac, you can check out these tips on how to access a network server). If it asks for credentials, use the same one that you use to log into the router’s interface. Also, it’s a good idea to use USB 3.0 mode and turn on USB drive hibernation. Administration -> System -> USB setting.
      2. Try resetting the system and set it up again, then leave the Wi-Fi settings as default (don’t change anything other than the Wi-Fi name and password.)
      3. You just need to unhide the SSID of this band, give it a meaningful name, and an easy-to-use password. More on that in this post on AiMesh (in the tri-band section.)

      Reply
  117. I’ve had nothing but trouble with this mesh router, and I’m going to give the Orbi AX4200 a try next. With the Asus we are seeing a number of connection drops daily. Some devices are able to reconnect, while others get stuck in some kind of limbo and are unable to reconnect. Nightly scheduled reboots might be helping a bit, but it’s hard to trust that the system is going to be reliable when nightly reboots are a necessity. It also can’t maintain the 160Hz channel width between base station and satellite, so that feature isn’t delivering.

    Asus support hasn’t been responsive or helpful. Every email response asks me if I’ve updated my firmware, and if I could turn off Wifi 6, set all the channel widths to their minimums, and turn off beam forming, which result in a very slow system.

    I’d love for Asus to deliver a firmware update that would resolve this, or find some kind of workaround that doesn’t compromise performance, because when it works it is SO fast. I know the similarly priced Orbi AX4200 will live slightly lower specs, but I can’t get myself to spend $699 for the AX6000 version. Fingers crossed!

    Reply
  118. Returned the set and got a new one. Tried it at the cabin last weekend and it worked perfect. But at my house it was the same problems. Signal dropping and the blinking blue led.
    I gave up. Bought one new and one used ax11000. Been using this for 24 hours now and there has not been a single issue or signal drop.

    Reply
  119. Hi Song, did that updated the driver and the same result. I believe Asus dev is on to something. I think they found the bug and working on it. I hope to see new firmware soon. Thanks Dong. I followed you in FB as well to make it easy.

    Reply
  120. Something that I’ve experienced so far and I saw in other forum with something similar experience. Does any of you using a dual band WiFi card by intel? I notice my notebook kills the 2nd note and required a restart. Somehow it could cause that problem. The model number that I manage to collect around the internet for user may have cause these are ac7265, ac8265 and ac9560. Im using 8265 and notice when I have this notebook boot up, it will cause problem with the node. I’ve been helping an Asus dev last weekend by installing a test firmware only for the node which I believe capture data when I sent the feedback via the system setting. It does shows this is a firmware issue and looks like the AC version of intel card is causing the node disconnected. Funny thing is, my son intel ax200 WiFi card has no issue. Some forum I read where other has issue connecting the node via cable as well. I have an extra killer dual band ac card and installed it in my all in one desktop and have no issue with it as well. So as of now, I’ll make sure my notebook connected to the router and not the node.

    Btw if I’m not wrong, Intel supply modem to iPhones…

    Reply
  121. I specified iPhone in my case as the Android may not be an issue but I have no way to verify. The way it typically works is the mobile apps directly apply the configuration commands stored within the app, so maybe the mobiles are sending incompatible commands. The GUI only sends commands pre-programmed into the router itself. The people who write the command line interface (CLI) for the routers are not the same ones that create the mobile applications so they are likely out of sync with the latest compatible commands. I would highly suggest just deleting the Android application also and do everything strictly from the web interface. For me, there has been zero issues with that method but every time I merely log in with my mobile device everything goes south.

    Reply
  122. Hi Wil, I have an android phone and connects to ZenWifi al least 1 time every day and nothing goes wrong.

    The only thing I can not activate is QoS. If I do, node falls and i have to reset whole system.

    I am in the lastest firmware release

    Reply
  123. Final update – I got everything working, even all QoS features. Been running rock solid for about a day now. As a final test, I tried to use my iPhone (not sure about Android) just to see what would happen. Once again.. the second node dropped and would not stay connected even though I didn’t make a single configuration change. So.. it was another reset and restore. Been good since.

    Lesson learned.. ONLY use the web interface (GUI) and never, ever use the mobile application, not even for the initial setup or to monitor the system after. If you only use the web interface from the second you take it out of the box, you should be good.

    Reply
  124. I gave up. Asus support suggest i try to get the set exchanged. And i did get them exchanged. Set them up with the web interface. Crossing fingers.

    Reply
  125. I think I figured it out…

    I tried everything doing the normal process and reset the system at least 30x then I decided to change how I set it up since that was the constant. Instead of using the phone app, instead I did a full reset and did the configuration via the web page (GUI). All of my configurations are in place – IPv6, Port Forwarding, Custom DNS with Reservations, WPA2/3, DDNS, Enable DoS protection, Reboot Scheduler, Guest networks, Traffic Analyzer, VPN (PPTP, OpenVpen), Remote Management, and a few other minor things. All of these things I did previously except I initially set up the system via the phone app.

    It ran fine for a day without issue. I just didn’t enable anything in the QoS tab (Bandwidth Monitor, QoS, Web History). And now I’m on day 2 without any issues..running nice and strong.

    Just a minute ago I opened my phone app and logged into the system to just verify. Within seconds, the second node dropped and will not stay connected. So it seems (at least for me) the iPhone app killed the second node. During installation I have to accept something then it said it was “configuring”. Luckily, I saved the config so I can re-apply post reset.

    Reply
  126. I’ve tried literally everything… I’m a network and systems engineer so I design and implement data center networks and systems..so this is child’s play to me. Still.. without the ability to peer under the covers, I cannot figure out what is going on. Doesn’t matter what I do.. that second node constantly drops. This thing is going back.

    Reply
  127. Same issues here. Satellite drops out all the time. Blazing speed, but extremely unreliable. Dropped out of 3 meeting today.

    Reply
  128. I put in all my customizations sans QoS and still have the same issues where the secondary node keeps disconnecting. I am not using a wired backhaul so that may be it but overall.. I’m finding this extremely fast, but also extremely unreliable and unstable. I have to reboot the second node at least every hour to keep it online. Is there something I’m missing?

    Reply
    • I’d recommend these Wil.

      1. Upgrade all of them to the latest firmware.
      2. Reset and set up the system from scratch, meaning you just need to set up the router unit.
      3. Do not use QoS.

      Reply
  129. @Wil I kept everything on, including family scheduling, but I had to turn off QoS to get it to stay stable. Everything else is still on and working.

    Reply
  130. Based upon this review… I went right out and bought these routers. Setup was quick and easy and in no time I was ready to go. I placed them in their final homes, and did a few tests which turned out extremely impressive. Then I started customizing them. IP configurations and reservations, QoS, Traffic Manager, Forwarders, Triggers, VPN, DMZ, etc… then all of a sudden.. the second node would NOT stay connected. Now I read the comments and see why.

    So here is my question… Recognizing this is now a user support forum… I bought these because I’ve been a long time ASUS fan due to it’s heavy customization abilities until the Lyra. Regardless… why would I give up my stable (but basic) Orbi for this when the very justification to fork out the $$$ is moot? Any idea when this will be stable?

    Reply
  131. Hi Dong,
    Good review, can you please tell me how many nodes of XT8 can be placed together to one mesh network? I’am asking because we need to cover a very large home – about 30000 sq ft, so the question is – is it possible to bond 6 of XT8 in to one mesh and use ethernet as a backhaul between them?

    Reply
  132. I successfully installed my Asus XT8 last night and it took all of 15 minutes. Rarely do you see something in the tech world so straightforward.
    Money well spent.
    Thank you Dong, for your very informative work. I confirmed with Asus that no User Manual exists, but your articles are all one nees to understand and implement this elegant solution.
    I found one glitch, though. In my house the router is downstairs with the cable modem. The remote node is upstairs in my office where my HP Laser printer was wired to the node. But, it wouldn’t stay on the network – it keep being dropped. I tried adjusting various parameters and gave it a permanent IP, but nothing worked. So I wired it to the router downstairs and it works just fine. It doesn’t get dropped anymore. What could be going on? I’m on the latest firmware and I use wireless backhaul.

    Reply
    • Try reserving the IP address of the printer, Charles. It’s highly likely that happens because it IP changes and giving it a permanent IP manually doesn’t help. About IP reservation, check out this post.

      Reply
  133. Hi Dong,

    1. A theoretical question about AiMesh. If I buy 2 pack (4 routers) of the ZenWiFi AX I can only connect 3 of them via ethernet backbone in my home; does the 4th unit connect via wireless to the AImesh or should I leave it out as a spare ? In summary does AIMesh work with a mixed connection as the one I described. In my home that 4th unit could become a good internet provider to the TV and set top boxes etc.

    2. Would 2 AX89X AiMeshed via ethernet be better than the above scenarios (be it 3 or 4) ?? I am attracted to the AX89X because of the number of ports available.

    Reply
  134. Hi Dong Ngo, I tried your advice and disabled and re-enabled Guest Network. Still no Guest Network broadcast from the satellite node. I bought a new pair of XT8 and tried again with the current firmware 3.0.0.4.386_25224. I am disappointed to report that after testing 2 completely different pairs of XT8 there are no settings I can find (neither can ASUS support) to enable Guest Network broadcast from the satellite node.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear, SB. I’m not sure why. Asus told me that it has enabled that already on the ZenWiFi line. I personally don’t use the Guest network.

      Reply
  135. GREAT REVIEW! Pointed out alot of the features I was interested in, and helped me make the decision in buying the XT8 for my home. BUT…never leaving a good thing alone, I came back and was looking at the different settings, then I noticed in my WAN settings; it would seem WAN Aggregation is not an available option anymore??? I’m not sure if mine ever had it, or if it was removed. But it’s not available to me as of right now. Were you running a different firmware version during review?

    *It came factory with 3.0.0.4.386_24926, and then I updated to the latest version 3.0.0.4.386_25224.

    Reply
    • Interesting. I always use the latest firm date at the time of review, Alvin. You can see the version in the screenshots.

      Reply
  136. Great article Dong. I purchased and installed the Asus WiFi AX and it works great. I replaced a cobbled together system of an AC5300 as the main and AC 66U and AC 1900 as MoCa wired APs. Coverage and speed are fantastic, but am having two issues, one is a bit strange. When the power goes down or I have to reboot my cable modem and the ZenWiFi my Liftmaster garage doors wifi will not reconnect. I tried everything but the only way to get them to reconnect is to change the password. Once I do that they are up and connected. Liftmaster tech support blames the router of course, but I can’t see how that could be. Any ideas? The other is more a tinkering issue. I can’t get my Asus AC 5300 to AiMesh node. I’ve tried to set it up right beside the mad unit and again next to the node. Follow your setup directions but it will not complete. Any Ideas?
    Carmine.

    Reply
    • Try this, Carmine:

      1. Reserve the IP for the garage door. You can click on the device on the network map and choose to bind the IP to its MAC. More on that here.
      2. Update your AC5300 to the latest firmware. Reset your it to default. Connect its WAN port to the main router using a network cable. Now add it as a node. That should work. After that, you can remove the cable and use it as a wireless node.

      Reply
  137. Hi Dong,

    After reading a lot of your reviews and advice I decide my best bang for buck was to install an ethernet cat 6 backbone which has been money very well spent without changing my routers etc. This is already yielding benefits and I should have done this ages ago.

    To upgrade Apple Extreme routers (X 3) I am now leaning more to an AX89X and 1 pack of ZenWifi AX (as opposed to 2 packs) using the ethernet backbone. The purpose of my query is basically that , 2 packs of Zen Wifi or 1 AX89X and 1 Zen Wifi given I now have access to ethernet ?.

    I think either ASUS options are better options than 3 Ubiquiity Aliens (though I believe this will be a safer option in terms of setup) ??

    Reply
  138. It’s in the setup section of the XT8 Quick Start Guide, Don. I didn’t know what it meant so I just ignored it.

    Reply
  139. Thank you so much for the quick reply! What I’m trying to figure out is why Asus calls specifically for an “optical modem” and what exactly is that? I currently use a Motorola surfboard SB6141.

    Reply
    • I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about, Charles. But tech can be unpredictable. Follow the post I sent earlier to see if you get a different result.

      Reply
  140. Hello Dong
    I’m hoping you can answer a stupid question. I purchased the Asus Zenwifi based on the strength of this and other reviews. When I start putting it all together the instructions state that it must be connected to an OPTICAL modem, which I don’t have. My Xfinity service comes into the house via coax. The requirement for an optical modem wasn’t on the box, or the Asus website, or anywhere else, for that matter. Did I buy the wrong variant? Can I get a new modem that provides an optical connection?
    I’m not a newtworking noob, but this really took me by surprise! So, I called Xfinity and they said they were shipping one out, but I have no faith they understood what I needed.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  141. This is extremely helpful! One last question: the nodes and router will have a wired backhaul; is there any benefit in the XT8 for future planning (i.e. eventually replacing the GT), or do you think that by the time that happens, the XT8 would be relatively obsolete anyways?

    Thanks again!

    Mark

    Reply
    • Way to go! If you have wired backhaul, all the more you should get the CT8. In this case, though, there’s no need to reset the GT, just leave it as is, then connect the CT8’s WAN port, one at a time, to the network and start a normal AiMesh setup. You might want to create a separate 5GHz-2 network for high-end clients, and using the other two for mixed clients.

      You won’t need to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 for a long time, Mark. Like years.

      Reply
  142. Hello Dong,

    Thank you for all the of very helpful information in your reviews; I have an GT-AC5300 as my main router, and am looking to create an AiMesh network by adding 2 nodes. I am trying to decide between the ZenWifi AC CT8 and the newer ZenWifi AX. Would the newer XT8 work well with my router? Or should I stick with the CT8? Any suggestions to get things running smoothly?

    Thanks for your insights!

    Sincerely,

    Mark

    Reply
    • For your case, get the CT8, Mark. The XT8 will work but it won’t do anything more other than making you slightly poorer. Btw, you might want to reset the GT and set it up as the main router then add the CT8 one at a time.

      Reply
  143. Dear Dong, good morning.
    I’m choosing between set of 2 of AX92U and set of ZenWiFi XT8 for my two year contract. In my layout they all will be connected by cat.6 wires directly from the modem thorough the appartment fixed wiring.
    Understood that if it’s wireless connection – ZenWiFi xt8 is better, but if it’s wired connected (my case) 2 of ax92u would be more preffered. Am I right? what would you choose?
    thanks.

    Reply
    • In your case, either will work fine, Aleks. Both will give you the option to have a separate 5GHz network for fast clients.

      Reply
  144. Great, thanks for your confirmation as I was inclining to do the same. My house has Cat5 in all rooms so should be a problem to connect the backhaul by cable. One last question – in the future when I’ll get more Wifi6 client devices, would that be an issue that only the single AX88 can service them? Can that potentially create a network bottleneck that will undermine the AiMesh between Wifi6+Wifi5 routers?

    Reply
    • No, but clearly the devices connected to the RT-AC68U will have slower speed than when they connect to the RT-AX88U, Yaron.

      Reply
  145. Hi Dong, excellent review and I really enjoy reading your articles now that I discovered your website. I’m debating between upgrading my RT-AC68U AiMesh router to 1) ZenWifi AX or 2) RT-AX88U+my current RT-AC68U. It looks like the AX88 is much faster than the zenwifi… my house is midsize, 2800sq so I believe both system will work just fine. I’m more trying to understand which configuration will provide me with the better results and functionally. Thanks for your POV and advice!

    Reply
    • Good thing you asked, Mark. All Asus routers have that wording in their interface, but all AX routers, including the RT-AX89X, I’ve tested, with the latest firmware, worked fine with SMBv1 turned off. So that’s not a concern anymore.

      Reply
  146. Dong – Thank you so much for all of the great insight! We purchased the XT8 mesh system for our new home. I am adding the AX11000 this weekend and will make it the main router. We have gig internet with a Motorola MB8600 modem. We do have CAT5 ports in four rooms in the house. Would you recommend that all three of the routers be placed in those rooms and hardwired? Or should the AX11000 be connected to the MB8600 (OnQ panel in utility room) and then the two XT8s be connected through their gig ports?

    Right now I have the room cables connected to the four ports on the MB8600 in the OnQ box, one of the XT8s connected through CAT5 in the office, and the other is in the kitchen not hardwired. It seems to be a little “off”, but maybe I am overthinking it – and of course this is why I ordered the AX11000 to add some umph.

    Just want to make sure we get the best setup possible. Hope you enjoy your coffee or two. 🙂 Thank you again!

    Reply
  147. I had the exact same issue with my zen Wi-Fi. After a lot of testing and enabling and disabling options for me I found that under QoS the first screen that allows you to enable app analysis I had to disable that tab. Also qos is currently disabled on the second tab but web history is still enabled. My next step is to re enable the second tab of qos to see if the units stay online. All this to say that I had the exact same issue and by disabling the app analysis it fixed my issue. No more flashing blue LED which means trying to sync with router and when you look at the AiMesh menue it says it’s offline. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  148. As Leonard said before

    QoS cannot be activated (not even to test it). Once activated, it is like the Covid-19, it corrupts the system and no longer works well, even if you deactivate it.

    Once corrupt. You can only hard-reset everything and reconfigure everything from 0.

    If after configuring everything, you load a previous configuration file that you recorded having previously activated QoS, even if you deactivated it later, the configuration file is corrupted, everything becomes “infected” again.

    Until a firmware comes out that fixes it, QoS does not exist. You can’t even prove.

    Cheers

    Reply
  149. Got a pair of XT8s to compliment my AC5300 and they have been absolute garbage. Won’t stay online. Factory reset everything. Still no dice. Stays online for a minute. And then dies. Have tried different firmware versions. Flashing BLUE lights? meaningless. Found out here that it means it can’t connect to the router? WHY? Complete nonsense. Do not buy this stuff. Complete waste of time and money.

    Reply
  150. @Joe I’m starting to feel the same way. Dong, Asus really needs to get out in front of this, lest they lose a good number of customers. QoS is more important than ever now. That and the other quibbles should have been addressed by now. Heck, even Netgear at least puts out beta firmware.

    Also, I’ve emailed support multiple times and have only received some boiler template email reply that has nothing to do with the ZenWiFi AX. That’s just ridiculous.

    Reply
  151. 4wk ago I started with Google wifi network that worked perfectly on my 950/35 internet. How ever as everyone started WFH, my ISP got unstable on the upload. I had to keep shutting off my 8 cameras around the house that upload all the time. So I thought I’d get a better router that allows me to control things. Orbit AX Mesh worked the best, blazing fast and stable. But no real QoS to keep the cameras in line. Tried Asus AX Mesh. Worked fine for 1 minute after setup. Once I started using the QoS and other features, it was a nightmare. Major lag, 2-6Mbps on my wifi, outages, etc. It’s the worst router I’ve ever used. The UI has all the features I want. But if you use any of them you speed and stability go out the window. Boxing it back up for return. I think I’ll either stick with Google, or switch everything over to Unifi Dream Machine. Note: I had the UDM as the main router and Asus AX Mesh in AP mode and as AP’s they worked fine.

    Reply
  152. I was looking anywhere for a compare between Asus RT-AX88U or RT-AX98X and the ZenWifi AX (XT8) – Where should I spend my $400-$450 on a dedicated router o the Zen Mesh system. I currently have the older RT-AC68U so potentially can use in AiMesh configuration. Thanks for your advice

    Reply
    • Look a bit harder, Yaron. Sometimes, a thorough read helps. 🙂

      1. You’ll see the performance of the RT-AX88U as a mesh node in this review’s performance charts.
      2. All information about AiMesh is in this post.
      3. All Wi-Fi 6 routers’ performances are in this post.

      Reply
  153. Hi Dong,
    I am not that technical and with so much out there I get confused. I currently have the Airport Extreme, it has been great for many years and love it simplicity and with no problems. Got it when it first came out due to the Apple products we have, MAC Pro, iPhone. iPads. Three years ago with got rid of cable and have the Amazon fire stick (2) and (1) for 4K as we upgrade. Kids are beginning to play games on line as the stay at home continues and as we do more via the internet and adding security cameras, etc. We now need to replace the Airport Extreme. We have about a 4000 sqft home. After being so pleased with the Extreme and reading several reviews of the products you shared opinions on I am even more confused then when I started…:)

    I am looking for a very good, STABLE (not always restoring to factory defaults) mesh system that has security, multi-ports that can handle the growing needs over the next 5-7 years. Willing to spend for simplicity but do not need the best, but a good overall performer.

    Thank you for any insight you might be able to share.

    Reply
    • If the single unit of the Airport has worked for your case, Carl, you won’t go wrong with any of these or these. But if you want simplicity, get the Alien. If you want ports, get the Asus RT-AX88U. Both allow you to expand your network via extra units at a later time.

      Reply
  154. Great review! I have the AX XT8 for several weeks now. I have question about the statement in this review that the guest network will broadcast throughout the mesh for both Zenwifi units. My satellite node has never broadcast the guest network. Even on the latest firmware ver 3.0.0.4.386_25224 I cannot detect guest network broadcasting from the satellite node (using Wifi Analyser app). Is anyone able to confirm that guest network is broadcasting from the satellite node? Maybe I have a defective unit? But the regular wifi broadcast is OK from both units.

    Reply
  155. Hi Dong,

    Would like to share with the rest of the folks here what I experienced so far: I’m currently with the latest firmware version 3.0.0.4.386_25224.

    1. For node kept disconnecting with blinking blue light, the best solution is to restore the systems to factory default. I think the firmware is very sensitive. Very stable so far.
    2. Setting up my Lyra as additional node is a bad idea. Perhaps it confused the whole system. when I remove them, my node can only be connected at 2.4Ghz band not matter how I reset the node it will not work. Reset to factory default fixed the problem.
    3. I found out and hope Asus wont remove this feature. If I chose United States in the professional tab, I can see 160Mhz channel bandwidth. YES! And it work even though I’m staying in Malaysia. LoL!
    4. If you can’t add a node, the best is again… u guess it right. Restore factory default.

    Based on what I experienced so far:
    1. Never set the QoS etc etc. I did that and experience node disconnecting. Turning it off wont help. Restore factory default best solution.
    2. If I faced any problem, restore factory default is the best solution. 🙂
    2. So what did I do after restore factory default?
    – Change region to United States and get the 160Mhz setting for 5G-2 band.
    – Turn on AIProtection
    – At professional page, for both 5G band, OFDMA/802.11ax MU-MIMO I set to DL/UL OFDMA +MU-MIMO.
    For 2.4Ghz band I disabled it.

    So question:
    1. Should I enable DL/UL OFDMA +MU-MIMO for the 2.4Ghz band too?

    Reply
  156. Thanks… sorry yes i meant AP Mode. Great news, the other post you pointed me to made me think. Are Powerlines better to a wifi connection between the AX6000 nodes ? I have the Tp Link 2000 Mbps which I have been using for tv stuff effectively. Never thought of using it to connect the mesh that way.

    Reply
  157. Thanks for that, sounds like I will stop waiting for Amplifi to deliver the Alien down under (if ever) ! Should have asked this earlier… I assume the ZenWiFi AX XT8 AX6600 has a BRIDGE MODE ? I am stuck with using my main router with my ISP.

    Reply
  158. Hi Dong, this is SteveC, I am the one that has about 100 devices in a large home and was on an eero set. I purchased the XT8, bagged the eero and never looked back. I must be one of the lucky ones! I have five XT8 units running the latest firmware, have QoS enabled and I have had no problems. So nice to be able to have a Web interface again and be in control of my own settings. Didn’t realize how much I missed it. All of my devices are humming along nicely. Had a drop or two, but nothing compared to the eero. Couldn’t be happier. Keep up the good work and reviews and articles. I am learning a lot.

    Reply
  159. Can anyone locate/confirm a place url to purchase a separate (third) unit to improve my coverage (in a 7000 sq foot house with some stone and metal beams) ?

    Reply
    • You can get another set, John, and use one of the units for another household — like your friend’s — who needs a single router.

      Reply
  160. Hi Dong,

    Can you mesh 4 of these Zen units together (ie 2 X 2 packs) or do you need to buy an AI Mesh compatible router to extend the network ?? I have a 3 story unit and would prefer an AP on each floor as I do now with the Apple Extremes.

    Would an AI Mesh router and 1 X 2 pack be a better outcome ??

    Reply
  161. Hey Martin, good luck. I’m patiently waiting to see if Asus addresses any of this stuff via firmware. I have a few more days before I have to return mine. They are lucky that I don’t have the ability to get the Alien quickly or I would have at least given that a go. My ZenWiFi has been fairly stable, but I do occasionally get a drop which requires a wifi reset (on the device, not the router). My issue is that Asus support is currently on par with Netgear’s which means nonexistent.

    Reply
  162. Thank you for the quick reply. I tried all the suggestions and woke up this morning and on the second ax unit (not the router) it was flashing blue again which means (syncing with the router). At least I now know what it means but unsure why it’s happening daily. Unless the unit is powered off from the back and back on it stays locked in this mode. Any other suggestions? Thank you

    Reply
  163. ZenWiFi AX is definitely not ready for prime time! I returned mine, and have purchased a UDM Pro and a NanoHD as a starting point. Having had Ubiquiti stuff before though, I’m fully aware that it will end up with me investing more and more into their eco system!

    Reply
  164. Thanks for the reply, Dong!

    Between the Zen Wifi and the Alien which would you recommend, given my situation?

    I also know that, if using a wired backhaul, the zenwifi lets you use 5ghz-2 for clients, and that this will be a separate network without band steering, but would the 5ghz-2 network still have router steering? Or would it be a separate network for each unit? I’ve also been trying to find some performance tests of the 5ghz-2 network with both AC and AX clients, I don’t suppose you have that hidden around anywhere?

    Thanks again and hope you are staying safe too!

    Ben

    Reply
    • If you want something that you can set up and forget then go with the Alien. The Asus will need some tweaking. And yes, the 5GHz-2 band will have seamless hand-off. The router scores in the review are those of the 5GHz-2 band, Ben. My way of testing, it’s limited by the router’s Gigabit port.

      Reply
  165. I currently have the zenwifi ax setup where one unit is the router and the other is on my second floor about 25ft total distance. the main router is connected to my modem in the basement. Backhull is via a cat 6 cable. The issue I am encountering is that at least twice a day either the second unit (not the router) starts to flash a blue LED and is no longer accessible which and fixing this issue is only done by going in the basement and powering off the router. When this happens I can no longer access the wireless network. I assume the issue is also on the router as it is also flashing the blue LED. I tried setting up the unit to do a reboot every day at 3am but this doesn’t seem to help. If anyone has any ideas why i have to power off these units and back on twice a day please let me know. nothing done to the units with exception of the standard config which was fairly easy to do. Also in the firewall Dos is off as was suggested to another individual.

    Reply
    • There are some suggestions below, David. But you can try updating the system to the latest firmware. Reset it default and set it up from scratch. And do not use QoS for now.

      Reply
  166. Hey Dong,

    Love your site – it’s been super helpful so far.

    I’m trying to revamp my home wifi and figure I may as well go for Wifi 6. I have gigabit symmetric internet and everyone in the house has a macbook pro (so 3×3 AC) and wifi 6 iphone/ipad. Our house is ~2500 square feet over 3 floors (including basement), and there is an office in the basement.

    I live in Canada and so my options are limited. I can either get the ZenWiFi AX, the alien (found it for retail amazingly), or the tplink archer ax11000. I’m pretty tech savvy but also like the idea of having a system that I can just plug in and forget about, which is why the Alien sounds nice.

    My house is wired with a mix of cat6 and cat5e and so I can use a wired backhaul.

    If I get the Alien, I would start with one and then add another one later on if needed, and would wire the backhaul.

    If I get the ZenWiFi, I would also use the wired backhaul and use 5ghz-2 .

    If I get the archer ax11000, I wouldn’t be able to do a mesh, of course.

    I’d appreciate any guidance from you – thanks so much!

    Ben

    Reply
    • Glad you’re here, Ben. Since you have wired backhaul, other than the TP-Link (it has no mesh capability), you can get any of the ones you mentioned. You can also get a dual-band set like the TP-Link Deco X60. Or a couple of RT-AC86U units. Good luck and stay safe!

      Reply
  167. Dear Dong Ngo, Guest WiFi is important to me as I put all my home automation devices in my 2.4GHz guest network. You mentioned in the Cons that Guest Network is not available at the nod, does that means only the main Mesh XT8 is broadcasting the Guest network it will be like having a normal non-mesh wifi router? Thats no good. Will they fix this is a firmware update? Thank you so much and hope you are doing well and staying safe

    Reply
    • Thanks, Idoblu! Hope you and your fam are staying safe, too. If you use the ZenWiFi hardware, without any other non-ZenWiFi router, then the Guest Network is supported throughout the entire mesh (with firmware newer than the launch version).

      Reply
  168. So, my ZenWifi AX has been stable for 2 days now. The only issue I have is that my Ring Doorbell Pro & my Ring Cam both have poor video quality – presumably due to poor wifi connection.

    Does anyone know anywere that lists the best settings for Asus AX routers? There are shed fulls of settings, and knowing what best to set everything to would be good!

    Maybe would be a good new article for the Blog Dong!

    Reply
  169. It sounds to me like you’ve put the node somewhere right on the edge of being in range. Blinking blue means it has lost its connection to the main router I think.

    Reply
  170. I just bought the system and set it up as per the very sparse instructions. I am using a cable modem for the internet connection. I am replacing an Asus AC68U which has been a rock solid performer for years. I am going to mesh because I need signal in the far corners of my house due to security cameras and finishing the basement.
    Anyway, the system set up as per the instructions and then I wired the router directly to my PC, opened the interface and updated the firmware because it was not the latest iteration.

    The system connected and I unplugged the node which was close to the router during setup, then moved it to the first floor. It connected and all seemed fine until I tried reconnecting the cameras and other devices. Then the main router kept going from a steady white light to blinking blue and losing the connection to the internet. I am not sure why this might happen as it is wired directly to the cable modem. It does not stay on for more than 30 seconds before blinking blue again. To say the connection is unstable is a understatement. Finally after losing my mind for hours, I put the old AC68U back in place and the signal is steady again. I really was hoping after reading all the positive reviews, that Asus would be solid again. Now I am ready to return it and buy an Eero Pro! Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated because Asus has nothing for support on their website, you cant’ get them on the phone and the instruction “manual” is just a quick start guide with no other information available on their website! HELP! 🙂

    Reply
  171. Hi Martin.

    I tried the previous firm before and the same thing happened. With QoS enabled, the node was also unlinked very often

    Reply
  172. Bit of an update. I reset both of mine. This time I left everything as default – didn’t enable ipv6 this time either. I only turned on traffic analyzer, and AI Protection. I left QoS off, and left the 5Ghz-2 alone despite them being wired via ethernet. Previously I was using that for my iPhone and my desktop PC, both of which are AX devices.

    To be honest, there didn’t appear to be any increase in wifi speeds when doing a speedtest between 5Ghz-2 and 5Ghz-1 – the max I seem to be able to hit is 560Mbps.

    Everything has been rock solid for over 24 hours now, and wired throughput on my server is maxing my 910Mbps connection.

    Previously the router would drop couple of times a day – resulting in devices dropping, and when looking at the router it would be flashing green as though it was rebooting – but there would be no signs of a reboot or cause in the log file.

    Just frustrating I can’t use all the features without the router becoming completely unstable.

    Oh.. this is all on 3.0.0.4.386_25217 firmware.

    Reply
  173. I confirm that the system does not give any problem with QoS disabled. The node has remained solid and stable for more than two days without rebooting. All the problems seem to come from a poor implementation of QoS.

    Reply
  174. I confirm that the system does not give any problem with QoS disabled. The node has remained solid and stable for more than two days without rebooting. All the problems seem to come from a poor implementation of QoS.

    Reply
  175. My system was rock steady on the last firmware (v3.0.0.4.386.25217) until I enabled QoS – then I had all sorts of lockups or WiFi instability. Shutting it off also helped me. I also noted I couldn’t log onto the web interface via a wired ethernet Mac when the WiFi was acting up. So far it’s back to running normally.

    Reply
  176. I had the issue that i could not turn off QoS from the web interface. I had success turning off the QoS from the phone app and did not have to resort going through Telnet or SSH.

    Reply
  177. Hi, as Martin suggested a reset on both units magically worked for me too, having had the mysterious yellow light that isn’t in the instructions. Since the factory reset the latest firmware is perfectly fine for me.

    Reply
  178. Yeah, had that same issue a few times when trying to troubleshoot. Try another reset – it did eventually work for me. It needs to end up solid blue. Other option is to reset both and have them in the same room.

    Reply
  179. Since the latest update my node has been going crazy disconnecting periodically. I tried to reset but can’t seem to get that to work. Anyone else having problems? I tried putting a paper clip in the reset and holding for 5 seconds. I had it flash yellow. Now it’s flashing blue not sure how to get it to work or maybe it’s bad or something

    Reply
  180. You can’t disable from the normal place in the interface, but you can disable from the green QoS icon right at the top of the interface. The whole thing is buggy as anything.

    Reply
  181. Was imposible from web interface Dong. I had to use telnet. There has to be something wrong in firmware. I had to unable via telnet commands

    Reply
  182. Hi Dong

    I have had a lot of problems with random disconnects from the node.

    Disconnections with this latest firmware and with the previous ones.

    Now I have tried to disconnect QoS (I could only disconnect it via telnet because it did not allow me to deactivate it from the web interface) and I also deactivated the data analyzer.

    Now everything works perfectly. For if it helps someone.

    Reply
  183. Dong, thanks. I’m debating whether to try wireless backhaul from this ASUS which seems to have very good real world speeds in your review, or to go for it and do wired backhaul to get the ultimate speed and future proof. So you have external cables?
    I’ve looked at a couple of options. Is it best to do external Cat 7 or Cat 8 cables and then drill in to the relevant rooms where your nodes will be? Or would POF (fibre) cables be better to do the wired backhaul?
    Assuming you had a wired backhaul, what would you go for out of the ASUS Zen Wifi above and the Amplifi Alien (I think I will need about 4-5 nodes for our house depending on each one’s range)? And what about wireless backhaul, which one?
    A question from a wise man came my way. Is there a radiation risk with all these Wifi things around the house? It never crossed my mind before!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Wired backhaul is always the way to go if possible, Charles. ALWAYS. CAT5e is fine, too, but a higher CAT doesn’t hurt. The Asus has a lot more features than the Alien, but it’s also more buggy. As for radiation, it’s too late for me, so I’d say no, but I’m no scientist. Seriously, if radiation issues were real, considering the ubiquitousness of Wi-Fi, the world would have had a huge fertility problem in the past decade, among other things. I wouldn’t worry about it.

      Reply
  184. I’m having no end of problems with this mesh setup. First off, I need to disable QoS or I can’t get my full internet speed (900Mbps). Secondly, the wifi will drop and when I look at the router, the LED is flashing green. It comes back on within about 30 seconds. Couldn’t see anything obvious in the logs.

    I had them connected via ethernet backhaul, with the 5Ghz-2 available and with only my PC & iPhone connected to it.

    I’ve tried going back to the early March firmware and still the same issues.

    I’m back on my Amplifi HD setup at the moment, but throughput ain’t great on those so would love to get the Zenwifi AX sorted so that I don’t have to return them.

    Anyone else with issues? Was thinking of maybe going to an RT-AX88U and something else for a mesh point, but this has kind of put me off Asus at the moment.

    Other option was Unifi Dream Machine, but I don’t think that will manage 900Mbps throughput with IDS & DPI.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear, Martin. Thanks for the input. Asus is following these comments so hopefully, they will do something about that soon.

      Reply
  185. Hi Dong,
    If you set up a wired backhaul, what’s the max speed you can get wirelessly from each node in the case of this ASUS, or the Amplifi Alien or Asus Lyra Trio?
    And in the case of a pre-existing old house, can one set up an external set of cables around the property (drilling back in to provide sockets) to link the router end of the house to other rooms? Wondering what’s the best way to achieve Gigabit warp speed.

    Reply
    • The speed with be that of the node itself, Charles. So if the node is a 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 (1300 Mbps) then you can expect that which means about 900 Mbps of sustained real-world rate, assuming you’re using a client of the same or faster tier. And yes, you can and should run cables outside your home like that. I did! 🙂 You might want to use outdoor network cables if you live in an area wit rough weather. Here in CA, I’ve used regular cable for years without any problems. And running cable is the only want to get real Gigabit (or faster) speeds that you can count on. By the way, you might want to check out this post for more info.

      Reply
  186. Great review, Ive just bought a pair of AX8s so looking forward to using them. we’re moving to a 4 story house (including basement which will have wifi devices in) and i know wifi coverage is going to be an issue…

    One question… I wanted to use the AX8s in wifi 6 mode with AiMesh, and connect an older Wifi 5 dual band asus router via wired connection to also use as a node in the AiMesh network… Do you know if this Is this possible considering i want to use the AX8s in WIFI 6 for both backhaul and for clients… or would i have to “downgrade” the backhaul (and therefore client wifi on AX8 as well?) to WIFI 5 in order to get all nodes and router in a synchronised WIFI technology?

    Hope you can help!

    Reply
    • Yes, that will totally work, Ian. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 works interchangeably. You don’t need to downgrade anything. But wired backhaul is always the best. Have fun with your new project! 🙂

      Reply
  187. Dong,

    Nice review, with lots of great information!

    One thing I am interested in, which I don’t see mentioned, is how much throughput this system has, when acting as an OpenVPN host. I’d like to know if logging in remotely to my network via an OpenVPN connection hosted by the ASUS ZenWiFi, what kind of connection speeds I could expect. Obviously there are multiple limiting factors, but assuming my Uplink and Downlink speeds from the router to the internet are not the limiting factor (because of fiber 1Gbit internet), what speed could I reasonably expect?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Brian. Glad you’re here!

      This is a home router so it offers limited control on what you can do with the network ports. That said, I haven’t tested out the VPN function on this particular model. With others, like the GT-AX11000, or the RT-AC86U, the VPN bandwidth is that the Gigabit network port, hence, the speed of your Internet connection at one end of the VPN connection, whichever slower. By the way, I’ve never used more than two VPN clients at a time. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  188. Interesting article. Yes so the ASUS sounds better for multiple clients and across a house as a Mesh with dedicated backhaul. Some of the dual band mesh systems you’ve reviewed seem to have sometimes a higher 5Ghz channel (Wifi 5), but lack the backhaul, and the Triband systems seem to have a great backhaul and a lower Wifi 5 client channel speed.
    Is there anyway to get Wi-Fi 5 clients to get near Gigabit speeds via a Mesh system then? I’m just confused as to why there is a 867 Mbps limit on the ASUS. If the 5Ghz band had for instance a theoretical maximum of 1200Mbps, it would kinda be perfect at that point right?

    Reply
  189. Thanks Dong. I was referring to the Alien with the Mesh point (the 2 pack you reviewed). I notice comparing the specs tables that the 5Ghz speed seems higher on the Amplifi Mesh product. But the speed on your tests shows the Asus outperforming?
    Is there a Wifi 6 Mesh system where the speed for Wifi 5 can reach a full Gigabit? (E.g. if you need at least 3 nodes)

    Reply
    • Got it, Varda. Yes, the Alien kit has no dedicated backhaul. It’s a dual-band kit, whereas the Asus is a tri-band kit. The numbers I got are real-world. But they are all relative and might change depending on your situation. Almost all Wi-Fi 6 system can deliver full Gigabit sustained (real-world) wireless speed WHEN faster clients are available. Currently Wi-Fi 6 caps at 2×2 on the client side so you’re stuck with that speed. For more, check out this post.

      Reply
  190. Hey Dong,
    Can this ASUS Zen AX beat the Amplifi Alien on Wifi 5 performance? Because the specs for the latter show it can hit speeds of 1100Mbps whereas you mention the ASUS goes to 867Mbps?
    And I’m confused because it sounds like the ASUS does better in a “real world” setup with walls, at distance and seems simple.

    Reply
    • On the front haul, Varda, the Asus caps at 867 Mbps. So in terms of speed for a single client, it will not be faster. But when you have many clients, it might be better. Also, the ZenWiFi AX is a mesh system, the Alien is a single router.

      Reply
  191. thanks for the reply Dong. I actually don’t want to use my old ASUS routers, managing two routers is my limit :). also, one of my friends has debs on them.
    Would you recommend if I get the ASUS AX6100 instead? I know they are not truly a WiFi6 system, But with these big external antennas I would assume it will deliver longer and more stable coverage, which is my main reason to upgrade.

    Reply
  192. Hi,

    I had a similar issue with the second node not connecting after a factory reset using the software. What I did was reset them both again using they reset button on the back of both xt8’s. the light should flash yellow to confirm they have reset.

    Then with the ASUS router app I begun set up again. Initially both devices appeared separate, however if you wait they will eventually show as a pair. It’s just a very slow process and you may need to refresh the app a few times.

    Reply
  193. I have to admit that I have not had any problems with connecting to any nodes. My system is on latest firmware and has been so for the past eight days. I did reset my modem on Wednesday as I tried to add in a MoCa network (that was a failure), but the router and mesh nodes never went down. I’m wondering, for those who are having issues, what is different from my setup that allows me to not have the same problems you all exhibit.

    That said, Dong, it would likely be good if you pushed Asus to look into these issues sooner rather than later, as it will impact sales for sure on a product that is that close to being very very good.

    Reply
    • I already contacted them, Robert. But that’s typical Asus. They push out an upgrade firmware with some new features and mess things up. You can go back to the previous version and wait for the fix firmware that fixes the upgrade firmware. 🙂

      Reply
  194. I’ve been running the XT8 mesh set up for about a month and a half with no issues. I’ve done two software updates without issue. Now a few days after the last update not only can i not connect to any of my wireless devices, I can’t even connect to the 2nd XT8 node. I’ve restored the routers back to their default out of the box state and tried to set up via the mobile app as I did when I first purchased the set. The 2nd node never connects no matter how many times I try. All my LAN devices work just fine. Not sure if this is firmware related or the mesh set up just went bad. I was hoping to go back to the previous version of firmware, but that doesn’t seem possible.

    Reply
  195. I’ve been using the ASUS ZenWifi AX for about a week, and am suffering from significant reliability issues. The WiFi keeps disconnecting about 1/3 of the devices on a regular basis, and nothing short of a system reboot will help. The problem was worse with the latest firmware, so I rolled back to the early-March version as suggested here, and that helped somewhat. I find that the default settings work the best, but I’m still suffering about 3-5 of these disconnects per day. I initially thought the disconnects were for devices in the “overlap zone” between the signals of both units, but this is not the case. Memory load on the system is about 50%, and CPU load is negligible. I’ve stepped through disabling every single advanced function, eventually getting to running 2 separate networks (5ghz, 2.4ghz), and using wired backhaul, and nothing seems to fix the issue. All I can surmise is that it has something to do with the “mesh”, as the problem doesn’t seem to happen if only one unit is operating.

    When it works, the system is fantastic – great throughput, excellent coverage, good management tools. However, I can’t seem to keep the system stable, and that is completely unforgivable in such an expensive option. To me, it feels like they rolled out good hardware, with the software/firmware half-baked. If I can’t stabilize in the next few days, it’s being returned and I’ll go with a less performant option such as an Orbi or Google Wifi. 😦

    Reply
  196. Hi Dong, Have an Ax11000 and xt8 nodes. Have been having problems with the nodes going offline overnight and having to manually restart them each morning, but the signal to each is strong (have latest firmware and tried factory resetting everything) Would adjusting any settings help? also, what is the difference between Wi-Fi Agile Multiband and Roaming assistant? Same concept, different implementations? Also, if you have 2nd 5Ghz band as backhaul for AiMesh, would it help to make this exclusively 160 MHz for better performance/reliability? Do you leave your control channel on auto, or do you set specific ones far apart from each other for less interference? Also, what the heck does optimized for xbox do? messing around with airtime fairness and all those other settings is kind of overwhelming, but googling each of these items just seems to lead to dead ends a lot of the time! Anyway, too many questions I know, sorry and thanks

    Reply
    • I think the latest firmware might have been the cause. Downgrade the node to the previous version, unntil there’s a new on. Also, you can try scheduling a dayly auto restart.

      Reply
  197. Dong,
    It is really great to run across your new website today. I have been using you as an example of a significant influencer in my web analytics courses at the university. The example will now have an important update!

    I have read through your reviews and have narrowed down a scenario for our property. I have been looking at mesh systems with 3 nodes to get high speed coverage spaced across the property. The main router is presently in the center of the property. The home is wired with CAT6 in each room, making wired backhaul easy to connect. We currently have a 300 Mbps coaxial service connection with charter. We may upgrade to a 1G connection sometime in the next year or two using the wireless network that we build today. Like most people, the majority of our clients are 5, with no 6 clients yet.

    I like the speed and forward capabilities of the Zen WiFi XT8. If there was a 3 node version this would be ideal. Given the expense I do not want to buy the 4th unit.

    I enjoyed reading your recommendation on the Asus Lyra Trio because it has 3 nodes.

    I also read your review on using the asus rt-ac86u units in a mesh configuration.

    What would be the best price performance given the wired backbone and 3 nodes?

    Congratulations on the new gig, will send all the web traffic possible your way.

    Reply
    • Judging from the amount of views I’ve gotten, it looks like you forgot to mention in your courses how handsome I was… Keep at it though! Thanks, Judd. 🙂

      For your situation, I’d recommend getting an RT-AC86U as the main router and then getting the Lyra Trio (not Lyra) as nodes. The latter will need some work since out of the box, chances are the hardware doesn’t have AiMesh support — you’ll need to set it up independently and update the firmware first. But that’d give you the best performance for the cost.

      Reply
  198. I’m trying to decide between the CT8 and XT8. My ISP only delivers 100MB to my house but my house is 4200 sq ft new construction 2 story with wired cat6 throughout and coverage has been an issue. Would the XT8 provide better coverage and speed in my situation, or should I save the money and get the CT8? Thanks!

    Reply
    • If you have wires throughout, Jim. I’d recommend the Lyra Trio, or a combo of dual-band AiMesh routers. The CT8 or XT8 are tri-band routers. In fact, you should get an RT-AC86U as the main router and a set of Lyra Trio as nodes. Use a network cable to link them together and you’ll have a great network. But you can start out with the Lyra Trio alone.

      Reply
  199. Great review! I’m considering buying the Asus ZenWiFi AX Wi-Fi 6 pair, but can’t find any recommendations on how I should set it up in my environment. I currently have Spectrum 1G service, which comes through a Cable Modem and separate Spectrum Router (Arris RAC2V1A Wave 2 Router) which are both in a bedroom closet wiring box. From there, it attaches to an OpenMesh Switch (OMs8) and through Ethernet Cat5 cables to two OpenMesh A60 access points. If I use the default SSID directly from the Spectrum Router, I can get high download speeds (>700Mbps), but going through the A60’s slows down to around 200Mbps. I diagnosed the speed drop to be the A60’s (its still >700Mbps at the ethernet socket where it plugs in).

    If I get the Asus pair, do I just plug them into the same Ethernet ports as the current A60’s and keep the Spectrum Router (but turn off its SSID) OR do I need to actually replace the Spectrum router with one of the Asus units? The first option is obviously easiest in my set up. If I do need to replace the Spectrum router, should I keep the switch and connect the Cable Modem to the switch and then to the Asus router on the other side, or should I just remove the switch?

    Reply
    • It’s best that you replace the Spectrum router, Ron. If you want to keep it, check out this post. And this post about your speed issues.

      For your situation, since you have wired backhaul, I’d recommend the Lyra Trio. Or any combo of dual-band AiMesh routers.

      Reply
  200. Can I use each XT8 node as a standalone access point? I have wired ports throughout my house and don’t mind managing them separately. In this configuration, does that also mean I could use the 2.5G ports on each node for uplink? Last question – does the current firmware support VLANs and/or multiple SSID’s?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Yes, you can, Brandon. You just have to set each up as a standalone router at the location you want, then log in to the interface and change the operation mode into AP individually (Administration -> Operation Mode). No VLANs or multiple SSIDs, but you have one SSID plus a Guest network for each band which can be configured to work as a regular SSID.

      Reply
  201. Hey Rob,
    That’s great to hear so the Asus ZenWifi is working out for you! So 4 sounds like a decent number. It also seems to be user friendly and easy to set up.
    I think I will go for the ASUS. I just have to wait out the COVID situation as all new Fibre installs have been postponed for us until it’s over.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • I haven’t tested that one, Chris. But if you have wired backhaul, you can use the 5GHz -2 band for clients and that’s for sure is 4×4 160 MHz.

      Reply
  202. Hey James,

    So my house isn’t that big, only 1800 or so square feet. However due to the nature of the location of my internet drop and the walls between all the other rooms, I’ve never been able to cover the entire house well with a single router. That said, I do get signal from one router even in the furthest rooms, it’s just not good enough for my needs.

    I originally bought a single pack of Asus Zenwifi. The main node could reach my bedroom through a firewall and multiple major appliances. However, in there I was being steered to the 2.4ghz band. For that reason I decided to add two additional nodes. Those allowed me to build a much stronger mesh. Now I don’t have a single signal worse that -64db.

    The Orbi was a great device. Specs were great and speed was outstanding at the main node. However it lacked configurability for me. I love the parental controls and the built in security. At the end nodes, my speed dropped depending on what took of the house I was in.

    Reply
  203. Thank you Dong! Yes, looking through your reviews the Asus seems like the best one. Oh fascinating, so do you use the GT router too? Some of the routers look like something out of Star Wars! I do like the look of the Alien, but the Asus Zen has a very sleek brushed steel aesthetic too and yes I’d say it seems to be the more magnificent Mesh overall! I throughly enjoy reading your website. Keep up the excellent work. I watch and read it all with great interest!

    Reply
  204. Hey Rob,
    That’s good to hear. Sounds like the Asus is most impressive as a Mesh system.
    2. Interesting. So what’s the range like for each node? Having 4 though must work pretty well and blanket the property in glorious wifi no?
    3. Yes that’s one thing I noted about the Orbi and it seems a little less “user friendly” than other systems. For a house where the internet comes in at one end, and you need to get internet to the other end, I think other systems which actually mesh like a lattice would perform better.
    4. Yes naturally it all depends on the base speed of the internet feed. Some ISPs may differ in whether they constantly deliver 1 gigabit. I know that of those available to us, there’s a guarantee of about 60% of the speed for each package. Highest package offers 910Mbps download. Just trying to see how to get the most out of it via Wifi across the house as I don’t think a Powerline model (which I had used for the 1Mbps internet on copper all these years) can deliver more than 100Mbps of backhaul and I can’t start cabling ethernet cables all over the place. Been using 30Mbps 4G mobile internet thus far, so looking forward to the future, but trying to acquaint myself with all this spangled new Wifi mesh stuff!
    It feels like the Asus might not give the fastest speed right next to the “main router”, but at distance from the router and whether close, or far from each satellite, it outperforms the other competitors?
    Overall, I get the impression at least that the Asus Zen seems to be the best bet at the moment

    Reply
  205. Thanks Dong. Great article you share earlier on Wifi btw. Looking at this review article and speed results you got, does the Asus Zen AX outperform the Amplifi Alien and Orbi then overall as a Mesh wifi system, even for Gigabit internet?
    I wonder because some of the specs stated seem to suggest the Alien to have more Mimo connections, but the dedicated backhaul of the Asus seems to result in the satellites performing better right? The only real area where it wasn’t faster was at close range to the main router. But otherwise, the Asus system appears fastest overall?
    Which would Dong Ngo go for of all the Mesh systems out there?

    Reply
  206. Hey Jim,

    I am very impressed by the system. I’ve been stable on it for the past four days, with no hiccups whatsoever.

    2. My nodes are all working well together. I am still surprised by some clients attaching to the 2.4ghz signal when the house is well covered by the four nodes.

    3. You are correct about the Orbi. The two satellites both connect back to the main router, which isn’t true mesh. Therefore, in the furthest room, the number of walls to get back to the router made it tough for the back rooms to get a strong enough throughout. The Asus creates a strong mesh and each room is getting around 300 MBps even though I don’t seem to max out as high right next to the main router.

    4. I expect that you will never be able to get close to 900 at any node other than the one connected to the router. Even then, I haven’t seen higher than 550Mbps, but I find that I’m looking for that number just to say I get it. Comcast doesn’t really deliver the full 1gigabit to households anyway.

    Reply
  207. I apologize in advance if this has already been asked, but could you use each one of the Asus ZenWiFi AX units as a stand alone router in a separate home? Meaning 1 unit in my primary residence and the other at another location? I am not asking about mesh capabilities here. I do not care about that. I do not need mesh as my centralized location for my current router meets my needs. But was thinking this would be a cheaper way to upgrade both places with the same equipment. Let me know. Thanks.

    Reply
  208. Hey Robert,
    Thanks and interesting. You’ve got gigabit broadband, very lucky! So,
    1. Are you overall impressed with the ASUS Zen system?
    2. Yes unsure about number of nodes, though I guess given they connect on Wifi 6 with each other, more shouldn’t be a hindrance
    3. From what I understand the Netgear Orbi can’t mesh, but connects to the main router, thus in different property shapes, if you can’t place it in the middle, it wouldn’t be as optimal? Also the ASUS seems more user friendly?
    4. Those are definitely fast speeds. Is a speed closer to 900Mbps possible within a short distance from each node?

    Reply
  209. Thanks Dong. Please keep up the excellent site. Honestly, it’s brilliant.
    The Asus seems superior to the Alien (which itself looks good, but lacks backhaul)?
    So can you actually not get up to 1000Mbps on Wifi for a Wifi 5 client and what about say if you place one “node” at the other end of the house where the nodes connect on Wifi 6, and you have a Wifi 5 client (e.g. Mac, laptop, television) at that end of the property?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • No, Jim, you won’t get 1Gbps out of the Asus on any device (it caps at 867 Mbps). The idea here is if you have multiple devices, it’ll have more bandwidth. Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible with Wi-Fi 5 so you don’t need to take them apart. But the connection speed between a pair is always that of the slower party.

      Reply
  210. Sorry Dong – I must have misinterpreted your article. In it you said, “Since the XT8 has no multi-gig LAN port”.

    The scenario I was imagining was having the the main node in AP mode, connected to my Synology NAS via a 2.5g LAN connection. The main office is all wired in a 10Gbe netword.

    I would like to get 3x XT8 clients with a wireless backhaul in other parts of the house. Each of those XT8 clients would be connected with ethernet to a 2.5G card in a desktop.

    Would the XT8 have a powerful enough wireless backhaul to saturate the 2.5G wired connections? Each of those clients are often syncing and streaming large files in different parts of the house from the central Synology NAS.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I hear you, SKA. I haven’t tried that particular scenario. I’d rather get two RT-AX89X units and/or a 10Gpbs switch. My take is don’t count on a wireless connection to deliver the theoretical standard speeds. But I’m sure what you want to do with the XT8 doesn’t hurt.

      Reply
  211. Hi Dong – in the downloadable manual, it says that the multi gig WAN port can be used as a 2.5g LAN port if using a wireless backhaul.

    “When you’re using a wireless backhaul to connect your router and AiMesh node, the WAN port on your AiMesh node can be used as a LAN port providing up to 2.5G transmission speed.”

    It would be interesting to test the backhaul speed when connected to 2.5g devices on either end (with the routers in AP mode).

    Reply
    • I mentioned that in my review, too SKA. I don’t see any points in testing that. It’s not the backhaul speed that matters but the speeds at the clients.

      Reply
  212. Thanks for getting back I’ll try that but I seem to be having problems with the XT8. The connection light on the node goes yellow if I power it down and move it. If I try resending it with the main router at 1m away it still remains yellow. Rebooting doesn’t help and the only way I can make the light white again (strong connection) is by factory resetting the XT8. I’ve discovered this problem will always happen if I switch off or reboot either the node or router. Did you encounter this during testing? Firmware is up to date on both.

    Reply
    • I don’t recall running into that, Darren. But if the connection is fine, I wouldn’t worry about the light’s color.

      Reply
  213. Thank you Dong! Phenomenal content on this site. I have a question similar to one above. I have a 5,000 sq ft home and am currently using 6 eeros. I want to upgrade to AiMesh and stability is very important to me. My question is should I buy 2-3 2 packs of the XT8 (total of 4-6 nodes including the router) or get the AX11000 with 1-2 sets of XT8?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Scott. I’d recommend the latter. The GT-AX11000 has a lot of features so use it as the main router. Since you move from the Eeros, note that the setup process of the Asus will be a bit harder. I also recommend using its web interface first and the Asus Router app as a supplement.

      Reply
  214. Great review Dong. I’m really considering changing my old AiMesh based on 2 Asus RT68u with the zenWifi AX, but my biggest concern is range coverage. I live in a 3 storry house with concrete walls and I’m afraid the the ZenWifi AX will deliver poor coverage with it’s inside antennas compared to my 2 RT-68u AiMesh setup which covers the house well.

    Reply
    • Thank, Majed. The XT8 will be better than your current RT-AX68U set for sure. So get it. Also, you can use the one or both of the old router with the new one, jus tin case you need to extend the coverage.

      Reply
  215. @Ryan actually don’t UPGRADE the firmware: DOWNGRADE it to the previous version 3.0.0.4.38625217 2020/03/12 -> it fixed my similar problem

    Reply
  216. Thanks for the suggestion Dong! I’ll try to do a hard reset first, I did a cold reboot of the router, but the issue persist, hence i’m not sure if a schedule auto restart will work. Or maybe I’m unlucky to receive a faulty unit.

    Reply
  217. I have the same system and noticed WiFi clients stopped connecting to WAN each day as well – even with full bars – and needed a restart of the base unit. Another symptom was the web interface would not load even on a wired desktop.

    This seemed to come on after upgrading to the current firmware (3.0.0.4.386.25224 date 2020/03/26), so I downgraded to the previous firmware (Version 3.0.0.4.386.25217 dated 2020/03/12). My system is once again solid with no need to reboot.

    Get the firmware at https://www.asus.com/Networking/ZenWiFi-AX-XT8/HelpDesk_BIOS/

    Funny how Dong’s site is becoming a mini forum for this router! Thanks, Dong!

    Reply
  218. Hi Dong, I bought the xt8 and have this set up correctly. I seem to have an issue with PS4 remote play and steam link where they both stutter and lag, even with the node next to them. I’ve even tried connecting the node to to the two devices by an Ethernet cable but this makes no difference. Also QOS doesn’t seem to help and changing the WiFi channel doesn’t work.

    I have an RAX120 that can stream everything perfectly so the problem seems isolated to the xt8.

    Any thoughts?

    Also can the xt8’s function as a repeater for the RAX120?

    Reply
    • You need to connect the game console directly to the main router unit, Darren, and wired is always better than wireless. Connecting to a wireless mesh node is *never* good for gaming. The XT8 can work as an access point, as a single unit or a mesh, so if you want to use it with another router, you first need to connect the main unit of the XT8 to that router using a cable.

      Reply
  219. Hey James,

    Just chiming in. I have four nodes using the Zenwifi system ( probably one more than I need). I do not reach those gigabit speeds even when standing next to the router. However, the speeds that I get in every location are more than fast enough for any purpose. I’ve maxed out at 550 or so closest to the router. The same client, on the most difficult location in my house gets 350Mbps. Mind you, all of my clients are currently WiFi 5. So, wirelessly I think you hit a ceiling that’ might be limited by the client more so than the network.

    The wireless backhaul works very well. I came from a Netgear Orbi which worked well, but didn’t have the same protection and filters that the Zenwifi gives me.

    I can’t speak to the Amplifi as I have never tried one.

    Reply
  220. Hi Dong, great website. The ASUS ZenWifi AX seems great, can you clarify some things?

    1. If one can get Gigabit internet into the house, would this ASUS let you effectively reach those sorts of speeds (assuming you place enough around the house, like say 4) wirelessly given the seemingly excellent “Backhaul” band at 4,800Mbps?

    2. For Wifi 5 devices, will the ASUS mesh system actually be able to broadcast at each node close to 1,000Mbps then? Or is it restricted even after a Firmware update to 500-800Mbps?

    3. Would be great to hear your thoughts, or see a review on the Amplifi Alien (without backhaul) versus this ASUS ZenWifi AX when you have say 3 nodes in a property?

    4. If the Netgear Orbi is more of a hub and spoke model, I am guessing that anything beyond 2 nodes, where the “main” Orbi is at one end of a house would be inferior to using a different brand’s mesh system?

    Reply
    • Thanks, James. Glad you’re here.

      1. You should read this post on the matter.
      2. It caps at 867 Mbps for Wi-Fi 5 clients.
      3. The Asus will do better in my opinion, and cheaper, too.
      4. The Orbi is great if you don’t want a lot of features or spend time to configure. But it has a lot of lag.

      Hope this helps.

      -Dong

      Reply
  221. Hi Dong, I was researching on this router and stumbled on your review, convinced me to go ahead with the purchase. As your rightly point out, setup was a breeze, connection is extremely strong. However, after a 5 days, the main node started to drop WAN connection from my fibre modem at a fix interval. I spent a few hours troubleshooting with my ISP and concluded that the fibre modem and cables are working fine. After switching back to my old router, there was no drop in connection.

    Likely the issue is with the XT8, any known issues that you may be aware?
    I also made a firmware update during the initial setup, so firmware on both the main and secondary nodes are up to date.

    Reply
    • Not that in aware of, Ryan. However, I can suggest a fix. Try scheduling an auto restart for your XT8 every few days or so, at the time you know you don’t need the Internet. You can do that by doing to Administrator -> System in the web interface. When you’re there, make sure you have the right information about your time zone and locales etc.

      Reply
  222. Hi Dong, quick question about the wired backhaul, is it possible to set up the wired backhaul with a switch. the setup would go as follows:
    Bridged Modem ->Zen Router -> Switch -> Zen Node

    thanks,

    Reply
  223. Dong, Glad I stumbled across your site. It’s exactly what I was looking for and I’ve read about 20 of your reviews. Here’s my question:
    I have a large 2 story house with lots of walls. Previously had lots of dead zones. I moved to Google wifi, then google nest wifi with 3 points, and it improved somewhat. Problem mainly driven by my router is in the front corner of the house and it’s difficult getting great speeds to the opposite corner.

    Last month I was able to get fiber and gigabit internet. Works great in my computer room and maybe every connected room. The opposite side of my house still only gets 20-30MPS, many rooms 100-200.

    I’ve debated upgrading my google points, to google nest routers for a slight increase (2 pack $239 at Amazon), upgrading to a ASUS GT-AX11000 ($299 Costco) + maybe AiMesh, Alien mesh, or this system here the Zenwifi.

    Any insights or recommendations? Unfortunately my house is not hardwired for CAT 5 or 6 (yet).

    Eric

    Reply
    • Glad you’re here, Eric. I’d stay away from Google/Amazon mesh systems. They turn you into a product. That said, for your home, you can get the GT-AX11000 and a 2-pack XT8. Or you can start out with the XT8 first to see if that’s enough. You can also consider other systems, just make sure you get a tri-band one. Good luck!

      Reply
  224. Dong, I really appreciate your site and detailed reviews. Regarding the ZenWiFi mesh systems, I haven’t been able to find any official documentation about whether they support the 802.11k/v/r standards for seamless roaming. I found just one unofficial reference online to the ZenWiFi systems supporting 802.11k and 802.11v but not 802.11r. Do you know if this is accurate, and if so, how big of a detriment is the lack of 802.11r support in the ability for clients to seamlessly roam? Also, is 802.11r support something that could be added via a firmware update? Thank you!

    Reply
    • That’s probably the case, Brian. 802.11r is popular in enterprise products and clients. Any of those standards will help roaming which also depends on the support on the client side to work. And no, 802.11x can’t be added via firmware.

      Reply
  225. I was all giddy when I saw the firmware update thinking *maybe* it would have the 160 Mhz front haul but it doesn’t appear to have. Would have made my day being stuck inside the house 🙁

    Reply
  226. Hi Dong,

    Asus just released new firmware version 3.0.0.4.386.25224 earlier today (March 26th) for the XT8. According to the release notes, this update supports adaptive QOS categories to help users prioritize mission-critical applications. Users who work-from-home & learn-from-home will greatly benefit from this new feature with optimized streaming experiences. This firmware includes new supported categories and apps. Hoping that this new firmware includes support for front-haul 4×4 160 MHz with improved wireless performance. Looking forward to your performance retest and updated review. Thanks again for your insightful reviews!

    Reply
  227. Dong: I see you consistently recommend to get a pair of RT-AC86U instead of the XT8s if you are going to have a wired connection/backbone. Given the prices I am seeing, that is not cheaper than just getting the XT8s. Does the RT-AC86U actually perform better?

    Reply
    • Yes, T, in most cases, but only when you use wired backhaul. The reason is both are top 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 routers, while the ZenWiFis are 2×2 routers on the front-haul. So if you don’t have Wi-Fi 6 clients, the formers are much better.

      Reply
  228. Dong,
    Thanks for the super quick reply! We just upgraded our Comcast cable ISP from 200/5 to 600/15. Would you still recommend upgrading to a pair of the RT-AC68U or go with something Wifi 6 compatible like the ZenWifi AX XT8 or a pair of RT-AX88U’s? Or even getting the AX88U/AX89U as the router and the ZenWifi AX XT8 as mesh nodes (placing one in garage without wired backhaul)

    Cheers,
    Terra