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How to Build a Multi-Gig Wired Backhaul AiMesh Combo that Works Today

This post will work you through the steps to set up a Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh system using a few supported broadcasters. As you can see in the box below, it’s part of my series on Asus’s AiMesh.

If you’re new to AiMesh, I’d recommend starting with the first post on the list first.

Also, keep in mind that Multi-Gig is still a luxury right now — you’re getting into the territory that can be more expensive than necessary. You can feel that from the cost of the latest Orbi RBK960 series from Netgear.

Going the AiMesh route won’t dig as big of a hole in your wallet but still doesn’t apply to the budget-minded.

In any case, make sure you have gotten your home wired — we’re talking most about wired networking here. Also, make sure you brush up on what Multi-Gig means.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on October 29, 2021, and since then, I have tested a few more Multi-Gig combos. This update, posted on March 8, 2022, reflected that.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX86U
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 and RT-AX86U make an excellent pair of Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo.

Asus Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combos: The available hardware options

With the release of the ZenWiFi Pro ET12 and GT-AX6000, both have two 2.5Gbps ports, we now have a decent selection of AiMesh options that can handle Multi-Gig wired backhaul.

And on this front, things will only get better. In early 2022 Asus announced a couple of new and exciting Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters with two or more high-speed network ports, including the GT-AXE16000 and GT-AX11000 Pro.

That said, if what we have right now is not enough, it’s safe to say by the end of 2022, we’ll see a lot more options.

Rules on using Asus wired hardware

With wired backhaul — that’s when you use network cables to link the hardware units — it’s generally a good idea to avoid using traditional Tri-band hardware.

This type of Tri-band broadcaster comes with an additional 5GHz-2 band, like the ZenWiFi XT8, GT-AX11000, or the ZenWiFi Pro XT12.

While they all work in a wired configuration, they are designed for a fully wireless environment, where the 5GHz-2 band functions as the dedicated backhaul.

Consequently, they might have unexpected issues when using network cables to link them. Furthermore, this type of Tri-band provides no added benefits in a wired home, despite the comparatively higher costs.

Read this  Dual-band vs Tri-band vs Quad-band Wi-Fi: 2022's All-New Bandwidth Question

That said, for a fully wired system, especially one with Multi-Gig speed grades, it’s best to use Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 or Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters.

Finally, generally, it’s not a good idea to mix Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E hardware in a mesh system.

Multi-Gig Backhaul AiMesh Combo: ZenWiFi ET8 AiMesh Node
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s the ZenWiFi ET8 working as a Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh satellite node for the RT-AX89X.
Note how its 6GHz band is not available to clients — it’s there, but you can’t configure it. That’s the reason why it’s not a good idea to mix Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E in an AiMesh setup. But if you insist on using these broadcasters together, there’s a way to make their 3rd band work — more below.

With that, let’s check out the list of the current hardware we can use right now. You’ll note that I skip all Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers from here on.

Multi-Gig AiMesh combos: The current hardware

In an AiMesh setup, we have the main router and satellite nodes.

Ideally, the router should have two Multi-Gig ports — one for the broadband (WAN) and the other for the local network (LAN). However, we only need Multi-Gig on the LAN side for a home with sub-Gigabit broadband. But it never hurts to have Multi-Gig on both the WAN and LAN sides.

The hardware only needs one Multi-Gig port for the satellite, though having a second Multi-Gig port means you can add a Multi-Gig device, like a server, to it.

In short, it never hurts to have more Multi-Gig ports. But for now, two per device are the most we can have. If you want more than that, you need to get a switch.

The table below includes all current hardware that can work as a Multi-Gig wired AiMesh router, satellite, or both.

RouterMulti-Gig PortsAiMesh RolesNote
RT-AX86U1x 2.5Gbps LANRouter or satelliteThe router role is only suitable for homes
with sub-Gigabit broadband
RT-AX89X1x 10Gbps Multi-Gig
1x 10Gbps SFP+
Router or SatelliteAn SFP+-ready Multi-Gig switch
is needed for homes with Gig+
or faster broadband unless the SFP+ port
can be used for WAN connection
GT-AXE110001x 2.5Gbps LAN/WANRouter or SatelliteThe router role is only suitable for homes
with sub-Gigabit broadband
GT-AX60001x 2.5Gbps WAN
1x 2.5Gbps LAN
Router or SatelliteReady for Multi-Gig out of the box
ZenWiFi Pro ET121x 2.5Gbps WAN
1x 2.5Gbps LAN
Router or SatelliteReady for Multi-Gig out of the box
ZenWiFi ET81x 2.5Gbps WANSatelliteNo Multi-Gig LAN option as a router
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh hardware

Generally, you can use any combination of the above routers to get a system with Multi-Gig wired backhaul. I’ve tried most of the possible combos, and they all work.

However, some combos are better than others. Below are those I’ve used for an extended amount of time with success and tips on setting them up.

Best standard Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh: The ZenWi-Fi Pro ET12

The ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is the readiest Multi-Gig system you can find. The system is currently available as a 2-pack, and it’s ready right out of the box.

In fact, all you have to do is set up one unit as the main (or standalone) router. After that, connect the second unit’s WAN port to the router’s 2.5Gbps LAN port using a network cable, and your Multi-Gig system is ready.

Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 Wired Backhaul
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s the Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 running with a Multi-Gig wired configuration.

Since each unit has two 2.5Gbps ports, you’ll get Mult-Gig on both the WAN and LAN side. What’s more, if you get more units, you can daisy-chain them without the need for a Multi-Gig switch.

Best Gaming Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E Multi-Gi AiMesh Combos: GT-AXE11000 as the main router

Currently, no Asus Wi-Fi 6E gaming router comes with more than one Multi-Gig port — we have to wait for the GT-AXE16000.

That said, for now, the only option is the GT-AXE11000, and that means we only have Multi-Gig on the LAN side.

That said, any combo with this one as the main router will deliver Multi-Gig only on the LAN side. And we have two:

The best performance option: ZenWiFi Pro ET12 as the satellite nodes

GT-AXE11000 + a 2-pack ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is the best combo in this case. You’ll get the full gaming features from the main router, the best performance throughout, and the fancy lighting of the nodes doesn’t hurt.

Asus AiMesh GT AXE11000 and ZenWiFi Pro ET12
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s the GT-AXE11000 hosting two ZenWiFi Pro ET12 satellites.

Since each ZenWiFi Pro ET12 has two 2.5Gbps ports, you won’t need a switch — you can daisy-chain them. But depending on the layout of the house, a switch might be necessary when you want to place the two units on two different sides of the router.

That said, here are the detailed steps:

  • Setup the GT-AXE11000 as a standalone router using its default Gigabit WAN to connect to the Internet source (such as a modem).
  • Upgrade the router to the latest firmware. This step is a must, the mesh won’t work well with the router’s older (initial) firmware.
  • Optional: Connect a Multi-Gig unmanaged switch to the router’s 2.5Gbps LAN port.
  • Add the first ET12 as a satellite node — you can do that wirelessly or connect its WAN port to switch or the router’s 2.5Gbps LAN port. (Detailed steps in this post on AiMesh.) Important: Keep the other ET12 off during this process.
  • Repeat step #4 above to add the second ET12 to the mesh.
  • Connect both ET12 to the network using their WAN port, via daisy-chaining or the switch. Manually restart all the hardware units.

And that’s it. Your mesh is ready.

The more affordable option: ZenWiFi ET8 as the satellite nodes

The ZenWiFi ET8 is also available as a 2-pack.

This combo will require a Multi-Gig switch if you want to use both ET8 units with Multi-Gig wired backhauls. Since the hardware only supports 2.5Gbps, the Zyxel MG-108 is an excellent fit.

After that, the steps are similar to the case of the ET12 above:

  • Setup the GT-AXE11000 as a standalone router.
  • Upgrade the router to the latest firmware.
  • Connect a Multi-Gig unmanaged switch to the router’s 2.5Gbps LAN port.
  • Add the first ET8 as a wireless satellite node. Important: Make sure that you do not turn on the second ET8 unit this time.
  • Open the AiMesh section of the GT-AXE11000 and select the node, and change the Backhaul Connection Priority to 2.5Gbps first. Important: Now turn this unit off and make sure it remains off when you work with the second ET8 unit.
  • Add the second ET8 unit as a wireless satellite node. Change its backhaul to 2.5Gbps in the AiMesh section of the GT-AXE11000.
  • Restart the GT-AXE11000 and plug both ET8 units into power and connect their WAN port to the Multi-Gig switch. Mission accomplish.
Asus Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combos GT AXE11000 and ZenWiFi ET8
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s an Asus GT-AXE11000 hosting two ZenWiFi ET8 satellites.

Best standard Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: RT-AX89X + RT-AX86U

You can have a Multi-Gig wired backhaul mesh system right away when using this combo. But if you want to use two RT-AX86U as satellite nodes, then you’d need a Multi-Gig switch.

A switch with an SFP+ uplink port will also come in handy if you have a Gig+ or faster broadband that requires the router’s 10Gbps BASE-T port. In this case, the Zyxel XGS1250-12 is a good option.

(You can also consider the TP-Link TL-SX1008 or the Zyxel MG-108 if you don’t have Multi-Gig broadband or can use the router’s SFP+ for the WAN side.)

Multi-Gig Backhaul AiMesh Combo: RT-AX89X and RT-AX86U Multi Gig Backhaul Setting
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s the step to change the backhaul of the satellite into the Multi-Gig connection using the router’s web interface.

With that, here are the steps to build this Multi-Gig AiMesh system:

  • Setup the RT-AX89X as a single router. Update it to the latest firmware.
  • Add the RT-AX86U as a wireless node. (Detailed steps in this post on AiMesh.) Update it to the latest firmware using the router’s web interface.
  • Open the AiMesh section of the RT-AX89X and select the node, and change the Backhaul Connection Priority to 2.5Gbps first.
  • Now, plug the RT-AX86U’s 2.5Gbps port into the 10Gbps LAN port of the RT-AX89X or the Multi-Gig switch connected to that port.
  • Repeat step #2 to add more satellite nodes if applicable. Manually restart all routers. Mission accomplished.
Multi-Gig Backhaul AiMesh Combo: RT-AX89X and RT-AX86U Multi Gig Backhaul
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s an RT-AX89X hosting an RT-AX86U satellite.

Alternatively use the RT-AX89X (router) + RT-AX89X (satellite) or GT-AX6000 (satellite). I haven’t tried these out extensively, but they worked, and the former is currently the only option for 10Gbps backhaul.

Best Gaming Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 Multi-Gig AiMesh Combos: GT-AX6000 as the main router

With the GT-AX6000 as the main router, you’ll get a network with all features and settings available to any Asus router, including those designed for gamers.

In this case, for the satellites, you can use any other Dual-band routers, including another GT-AX6000, RT-AX89X, or the RT-AX86U. In all cases, you’d get a robust system with a 2.5Gbps wired backhaul.

Asus GT AX6000 Multi Gig Wired AiMesh Setup with RT AX89X
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s the GT-AX6000 hosting a few other Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 routers, including the RT-AX89X, in a Multi-Gig wired backhaul setup.

Depending on the number of satellites, you might or might not need a Multi-Gig switch. But if you do, the Zyxel MG-108 is a good fit.

Extra: Mixed Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combos

As mentioned above, generally, you shouldn’t mix a Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E satellites.

That’s because AiMesh doesn’t have a practical way (yet) to control the node’s 3rd band. As a result, this band is not used, which is unacceptable.

Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Tri band Wi Fi 6E Mesh System
For the most part, you shouldn’t use this Tri-band Asus ZenWiFi ET8 with a Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router in an AiMesh system.

But if you have mixed hardware like this for some reason, there’s a way to make the best out of them. Specifically, you can use the Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E hardware the AP mode on top o the router.

Needless to say, this is not the best way to go about getting a Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh setup, but it will work out well.

In this example, I used an RT-AX89X as the main router and a 2-pack ZenWiFi ET8 as the satellite. However, the steps are similar if you use any other Dual-band routers — including a non-Asus one — as the primary router and any other Tri-band hardware as the satellite.

Here are the steps:

  • Set up the RT-AX89X as a router.
  • Connect a Multi-Gig switch to the router’s Multi-Gig LAN port.
  • Set up the ET8s set as APs to the RT-AX89X. Two possibilities:
    1. If you get a 2-pack (two units in one set — pre-synced hardware):
      • Connect the first ET8’s WAN port to the Multi-Gig switch.
      • Open its web interface and choose the AP mode.
      • Set up its Wi-Fi with the same SSID and password as that of the RT-AX89X. (You can use a different SSID for each band, especially for the ET8’s 6GHz band.)
      • Connect the 2nd ET8’s WAN port to the Multi-Gig switch. Mission accomplished. The 2-pack ET8 now automatically works as an AP-mode AiMesh system.
    2. If you get two ET8 units separately (they are not pre-synced):
      • Set up the first ET8 as a router — use the same SSDs and password as those of the router — then add the 2nd unit as a wireless node.
      • Use the first ET8’s web interface to switch the mode of the mesh into AP mode.
      • Connect both ET8 units’ WAN port to the Multi-Gig switch. Mission accomplished.

And now you get a standalone router (the RT-AX89X) and an AiMesh running in the AP mode (the ET8).

Multi-Gig Backhaul AiMesh Combo: Asus ZenWi Fi ET8 Multi-Gig Backhaul Satellite
Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh combo: Here’s my Asus ZenWi-Fi ET8 set is working in AP mode via a Multi-Gig wired backhaul connection.

In this case, you can not control the ET8 via the web interface (or mobile app) of the RT-AX89X. But in return, you can use all of the ET8’s bands and get all hardware connected using Multi-Gig wired connections.

Hopefully, Asus will release firmware at some point that allows for better controlling of tri-band satellites via a dual-band router — which has been the case in Synology Mesh from the get-go. Until then, if you intend to use a dual-band router with tri-band satellites, this is the only way.

The takeaway

There you have it. These are virtually all possible options in Multi-Gig wired AiMesh systems.

As time goes by, there will undoubtedly be more hardware options, but the principles remain: You generally only want to use Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 to Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E together.

Again, traditional Tri-band hardware — those with an additional 5GHz band — might work, but it’s not ideal to use them in a wired backhaul setup.

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39 thoughts on “How to Build a Multi-Gig Wired Backhaul AiMesh Combo that Works Today”

  1. Dong,

    I have the Asus CT8 as my main router and one node and an Asus AC 1900 as my second node. It is setup as a wired backhaul. When it works, it is great. However, more and more, the internet goes offline and I have to redo the the setup all over again including the mesh to get internet. How do I alleviate the problem? Do I need to ditch the CT8 and get the 86u or the AX86u or both? My current setup drops offline a lot and it has become a real chore to recreate the mesh and get the network going again every 3-4 weeks. I appreciate your help!

    Jerry

    Reply
  2. Another combo that has been working well for me is the RT-AX89X as router and GT-AX11000 as satellite. I am using the copper 10g port for Internet and I have the SFP+ connected to a switch which provides 2.5g to that port on the satellite for wired backhaul.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, Ben. You can’t use the satellite’s 2nd 5GHz band in that case, though, unless you use it in the AP mode.

      Reply
      • I’m confused! Let’s say I have my own router and want to use 2 x GT-AX6000 in AP mode. Would be able to wired the bachaul and keep to use the 2.5GBS LAN port for wired connections on both? If so please how? Thanks!

        Reply
  3. Hi Dong,

    Thanks so much for this resource. I was intending to create a wired backhaul with two GT-AX6000s, one in the living room by the terminal point and another in my entertainment room.

    To create the wired backhaul, how should I be connecting my cables from the first GT-AX6000 to the second GT-AX6000? (i.e. which port should be connected to which?)

    Sorry if this question comes off as ignorant!

    Reply
  4. hi Dong, does this mean we can ‘upgrade’ the AX89X with Wifi 6E broadcasting?
    Just use a 6E AP and connect it to the multigig port? Preferably from Asus family.

    Reply
    • Not really an upgrade but, yes, you can do that and I’ve used that for a long time and it worked. Clearly, you still won’t have 6GHz coming from the RT-AX89X itself.

      Reply
  5. Hi Dong, love the site!

    I live in a ~2500sf 2-storey wood frame house. My internet connection is ~900Mbps bidirectional fibre, and the ISP “modem” is in bridge mode.

    I currently have four Google Wifi (AC1200) units and have been very happy with their reliability, and mostly happy with their performance and feature set. Currently, one of them is acting as the main router, two of them are on wired backhaul in other rooms, and one of them is in mesh mode, mainly acting as a bridge for a couple of desktop PCs that are in an older part of the house not wired for Ethernet.

    Now that I WFH and my “office” is right beside the “NOC”, my work and personal computers are on gigabit Ethernet, so I don’t really have a rational reason to make changes, but nevertheless I’ve been thinking about messing with things:

    Some features I’d like that aren’t offered by Google Wifi… All motivated by the desire to help kids focus on school work. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    * selective user-defined site blocking, not just blanket Safesearch
    * temporarily disallowing connections from unrecognized MAC addresses, or ideally getting prompted to allow/deny new ones (e.g. when guests come over)

    It’d be nice to improve performance, but it’s not that bad currently.

    I’m leaning towards AiMesh for my next upgrade, mainly on the strength of your reviews, and I’m wondering what you think a good topology would be… Since I have a mixture of wired backhaul and mesh, there doesn’t seem to be an agreed-upon best practice.

    I’ve been leaning towards a pair of XT8’s for my two wired backhaul spots, mainly because they’re small and not incredibly ugly, although I guess you don’t suggest paying for tri-band in that kind of configuration. For the base router, since it’s hidden in a closet, I don’t care about aesthetics, so something that looks like a quadcopter is acceptable. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Finally, for the mesh/bridge side of things, I guess that’s where a tri-band satellite might make the biggest difference… I don’t foresee caring about multi-gig anytime soon, at least not for wireless.

    The fact that a pair of XT8’s is currently on sale for the same price as XD6’s isn’t really making my life easier, but anyway, how would you rank these options?

    * 3 x XT8 ~$800 CAD — uniformity is nice, but expensive
    * 2-pack XT8’s for satellites + RT-AX92U base, $750 CAD — not much cheaper
    * Anything else? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had been considering TP-Link X60, as they’re nice and cheap ($400 CAD for a three-pack) but it seems they don’t support MAC address allow-lists, so I wouldn’t be able to block my hacker kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyway thanks for reading, keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  6. Really enjoy your articles. I currently own the Asus GT-AXE11000 router and it works great. I have always been interested and waiting for the right mesh system to come along, something little better then what you have reviewed in this article and I’m curious if you could do a review and comparison on the new Asus Mesh ZenWiFi Pro XT12 model and having that connected to the GT-AXE11000 router in a wired backhaul, how would the performance look compared to these others in this article.

    Reply
      • Are there any 6E systems I can use as a mesh setup to connect to my current router. I have a spot or two if in a pack that would be perfect if I could find something. Was hoping this newer mesh system from asus was going to be it, buy doesn’t sound like it!

        Reply
  7. Hi Dong,
    I’m running a wired backhaul of a 1.2 Gbps internet connection in my 3 story building approx 1800 sqft. I’m running a pair of deco ax5700. My current problem is that my office on the 3rd floor is about 20 ft away from my nearest router and my pc and gaming hardware is only getting about 200 Mbps of speed. I’m thinking should I switch to aimesh hopefully the individual routers would have more range. Or is there a wire/wireless backhaul setup so that I can put one mesh node in my office.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  8. Hi Dong,

    First time poster here and like literally every other person, first I need to thank you for doing all of this. Your site is THE best resource for this stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So here’s my “wondering”…

    I’m slowly trying to build my own “home lab” and a better WiFi around the house and trying to future proof it with 10Gig (or at least multi-gig option, at least for LAN). I do not have tons of devices but right now there are about 10+ connected and in the future there might be a few more (20-30 max I think).

    Note that my house is not huge, however, it’s European built so it’s concrete + steel. I think one good WiFi AP might cover the thole thing pretty OK (something like WAX620), but I’m a bit anxious if in the future I can easily add smaller APs to cover backyard, front, … And it seems like the best choice for this would be ASUS since nearly everything that comes out of their shop supports their AI Mesh nowadays.

    So alternatively I was thinking about this setup wired back haul setup:
    – Main router RT-AX89X
    – – WAN goes into my modem (500Mbit cable)
    – – SFP+ 10G goes into Zyxel XGS1250-12 (to which my main PC would connect, my server and my little Synology DS220+ with Link aggregation 2x1Gig)
    – – 10G Base-T goes into another Mesh AP (not decided yet which one, but most likely a AX86U, although I might not need to connect many, if any devices on this end)

    So which option would you suggest (I’m not very limited with price) and does WAX620 really needs the monthly subscription?

    Thanks in advance for your time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Your current Asus combo is exactly what I’ve been using for months, Matjaz — here’s my review of the switch. You should pay me the royalty! j/k. That said, it will definitely work. After that, you can use any AP but in that case, note that you’ll have to manage the AP individually. Going with AiMesh hardware means you can manage the entire network via the router unit. And no, Netgear APs only require a subscription if you choose to use its Insight app for remote management. By the way, kudos on getting your home wired, that’s the only right way to go.

      You’re welcome.

      Reply
  9. Hi Dong, had a quick (probably silly, sorry) question. I followed your guide and overhauled my home network- ditched the supplied router/modem combo and got an RT-AX89X w/ an RT-AX86U setup in AiMesh. I also wired my home w/ ethernet to use ethernet backhaul.

    Anyhow, I noticed the node (AX86U) 90% of the time has a “normal” connection quality, I’ve seen it at “great” only once. I have no idea what changes the quality as nothing has changed as far as location of the node. Is this something I should worry about and/or troubleshoot? Since it’s connected via ethernet I was surprised the connection wouldn’t always be “great”- but I’m certainly no expert. Thanks!

    Reply
    • “Great” generally only applies to wireless backhaul, Caleb. That 10% is likely when something is wrong with your wired backhaul.

      Reply
  10. Hi Dong. Thank you for all the amazing reviews. Please excuse this simple question but I can’t seem to get a satisfactory answer. I have a whole house wired with ethernet cat5e and it is a very large house. Is there any performance advantage to setting up my wifi as wired backhaul mesh (i.e. a mesh where everything is wired) versus just installing some wired access points everywhere and some things wired directly (TV’s computers etc). I think this is called a star set-up. I know that I have to manage each access point under this scenario. This is a very basic question but thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Reply
  11. So the new XT12 announced at CES also now provides another interesting (maybe lower cost?) option esp. if 6E isn’t important to you. With a second 2.5 gbps port you could in theory attach this to a (managed?) 2.5 gbps switch and then use that switch for wired capable ethernet devices at 2.5 gbps and also to use your XT8 satellite mesh nodes 2.5 gbps WAN port to connect to the switch. Doug, do you know of any issues with sharing a switch between end-user wired enet nodes and satellite mesh nodes? In theory, this should work, or at worst set up a VLAN (assuming you purchased a managed switch) for the satellite nodes to keep them separate from the end user nodes. With this option you can keep existing XT8 nodes as satellite nodes but give them wire speed access to your gbps plus ISP connection (up to 2.5) There are an increasing number of 2.5 gbps switches including managed and unmanaged ones at attractive prices.

    Reply
    • The name is Dong, Randall.

      Yes, you can have switches in between. I actually mentioned that in this post, even specific switches — also more in this post about AiMesh. But generally, an unmanaged switch is recommended. If you use a managed one, you need to know what you’re doing. Else it won’t work. Asus first unveiled the X12 a while ago, and it’s not available yet.

      Reply
  12. Hi, Dong. As always, thanks for your website and knowledge. I may have missed it in the write-up, but do you have a preference on how these devices are mounted? Should they be in the ceiling or wall, or is having them on a table sufficient? Thank you.

    Reply
    • They are all omnidirectional broadcasters, Brad, so, however, you mount them is fine. Just make sure you put them out in the open.

      Reply
  13. Hi Dong, You usually refer to an *unmanaged* multi-gig switch. Apart from cost and updating the firmware, are there significant problems with using a managed multi-gig switch as if it were unmanaged (if one happens to have one available)? Thank you! Nick

    Reply
    • Generally no, but some managed switches will never really work as an unmanaged one, so when you use a mesh system with one in between, your satellite might not see the main router.

      Reply
  14. Thanks for this timely article Dong, I was just thinking of getting another RT-AX89X to try out 10Gbps wired backhaul. My current RT-AX89X is already hooked up to a 10Gbe unmanaged switch via the 10Base-T RJ45 port. Was also considering the 2.5Gbps backhaul through the switch to my pair of AXE11000’s. I’m currently using them both in an AiMesh combo on a separate 1Gbps network. Will hold off any purchases until firmware updates fix the issues or when Asus finally decides to release a Wifi 6E tri/quad band version of the RT-AX89X next year. Fingers crossed.

    Reply
      • For what it’s worth, Asus launched a ‘new’ Wifi 6 router in mainland China, the ROG GT-AX6000. https://rog.asus.com/us/networking/rog-rapture-gt-ax6000-model/ The router features two 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN ports as well as four 1Gbps ports. So multigig backhaul for AiMesh is possible. It’s also got most of the gaming features from the ROG GT-AX11000 and ROG GT-AXE11000. The CPU appears to be a Broadcom 16nm Quad-core 2.0GHz SoC. A post on SNB Forums indicates it’s a BCM4912 chip and this router originally shared the same specs as the RT-AX89X but with a different design. If it follows a similar launch schedule to the RT-AX89X from 2019, it should be available in North America by 1Q22.

        Reply
        • Thanks for sharing, Richard. Yeap, different regions tend to have different timelines in terms of chipset approval, and the US is often the slowest in this regard (for good reasons.)

          Reply
  15. Is there any serious use case of a multi gig network for a normal home?

    I mean how often does one download very large files and even then we are talking about 5 min vs 1 min wait time under ideal conditions.

    The only country I know of which has affordable 10 Gb internet is Switzerland where this is the standard plan by Salt Fibre(World’s fastest ISP as per Ookla) and even there I know of no one who has any idea of what to do with this bandwidth except very few who buy 10 gbps nic card for one desktop run speedtests and show off.

    Reply
  16. Hi Dong,
    Since the satellites in these setups are limited to 2.5Gbps, a less expensive alternative for the switch would be the TL-SG105-M2 (or TL-SG108-M2). This would limit the total bandwidth to the main router to 2.5Gbps, rather than allow an aggregate, however the price difference is significant.

    Reply
    • Yes, I mentioned them in the post, Dror. Those you mentioned only work for those not needing Multi-Gig WAN or can use the RT-AX89X’s SFP+ for the WAN connection.

      Reply

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