ASUS AiMesh Advertorial

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ASUS AiMesh Advertorial

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Mesh Wi-Fi is a fantastic way to make sure your home or small office is fully covered in Wi-Fi goodness. No messy or expensive to install Ethernet cables. No worrying about which electrical circuits run where so you can use finicky Ethernet Over Power devices and no separate Wi-Fi networks that take ages to switch over with wireless range extender. If you’ve got dead spots or unreliable signal, mesh networking is the quick and easy answer.

With AiMesh, Asus is bringing this game changing technology for free to a range of its wireless routers – no extra purchase required. AiMesh makes the most of your existing hardware, mixing different ASUS router models to create a mesh of devices, so when you upgrade there’s no need to throw away your old router, just add it to the mesh! All it takes is a firmware upgrade.

If you’re unfamiliar with mesh networking, the basics are simple.

Each Asus router becomes a node in your mesh network, which you spread across your home in areas that need improved Wi-Fi coverage. AiMesh intelligently chooses the best possible way for each node to communicate with each other and provide connectivity. No cables required! If one node in your mesh network goes down, AiMesh can “self-heal” and keep your network operational, despite the error.

As far as your smartphones, tablets, laptops and any other Wi-Fi devices are concerned, it’s simply a single Wi-Fi network that seamlessly roams between routers with no need for you to change Wi-Fi networks manually. Never drop out of network range again as your mesh network is a single SSID and your devices and access points automatically work out which node is best to communicate with. Add as many nodes as you wish to cover your premises in wireless, AiMesh does the rest!

Compared to conventional mesh networking devices, AiMesh leverages the unique properties of compatible routers to provide additional features and retaining the full functionality of each device – tweak all the Wi-Fi settings, VPN, parental controls, guest networking, Game Boost, QoS and Asus’s legendary AiProtection security features. All the best bits of ASUSWRT are available to you both via the web or the Asus Router mobile app.

AiMesh even allows you to plug Ethernet devices directly into your AiMesh enabled router to further improve speed and reliability. For example, instead of having your game consoles and smart TV devices in the living room each connect to Wi-Fi, hogging precious Wi-Fi spectrum, connect them via Ethernet to your AiMesh node and utilise the AiMesh device’s faster wireless hardware instead for a more robust and low latency experience.

On tri-band Asus routers, such as GT-AC5300, AiMesh can utilise the secondary 5GHz radio, in conjunction with the 2.4GHz and primary 5GHz radio, to create a dedicated wireless back-haul between the nodes. This allows for a huge amount of bandwidth (up to 2167Mbps) that doesn’t suffer from interference or congestion, resulting in high speeds and low latency.

When compared to other methods of expanding a wireless network, AiMesh achieves superior performance. In real world testing, with 3x RT-AC68U units, 13.27m away, through two layers of walls and stairs and 3.5m between floors – AiMesh is 8% faster than a traditional media bridge, 14% faster than a Wi-Fi repeater on 2.4GHz and 25% faster than a Wi-Fi repeater on 5GHz.

AiMesh is extremely cost effective, as if you want to improve your wireless network range, there’s no need to dump your perfectly working router. Just add another Asus AiMesh compatible device. This often works out to be much cheaper than buying an all new mesh network kit. It also means that if your circumstances change in the future, you can add, or remove nodes as you need them without having to exchange all your networking equipment.

Currently, the RT-AC88U, RT-AC86U and RT-AC68U routers have AiMesh support in the latest version of the device’s firmware. Updates including AiMesh will come soon for the GT-AC5300, RT-AC5300, Blue Cave, DSL-AC68U and Lyra routers. Going forward, AiMesh will be a key feature of upcoming Asus routers.

Upgrading your devices with the latest firmware containing AiMesh is simple. Visit https://www.asus.com/AiMesh/ and download the firmware for your router. Then log in to your device’s administration console and apply the firmware upgrade. Do this on all the devices you plan to use in your AiMesh network. Reset your node devices (i.e: the units scattered around your home) to the factory default and use the Asus Router smartphone app to start detecting them and add them to your AiMesh network. AiMesh automatically figures out the best way for each node to communicate. No configuration is required!

One thing you do need to plan, is where to place the nodes in your home or office. Location of the nodes can make a huge difference when it comes to wireless signals reaching the nodes and your end devices properly and achieving the highest speeds possible.

Some tips to keep in mind when planning your AiMesh network include:

Minimising nodes to reach the primary node. When a node must talk to another node to reach the primary node, speeds take a hit. Whilst this scenario works fine, best practice is to make sure each node can communicate directly to the primary node.

Solid 5GHz reception between nodes. The 5GHz frequency allows for larger channel widths than 2.4GHz, which means more backhaul bandwidth between your nodes.

Choose the router with the fastest processor and most RAM to be the primary node. Managing a mesh network requires more computing resources than usual, so by using the fastest device to be the primary node, throughput will be maximised.

Next time you upgrade your wireless router, don’t throw it away or let it gather dust in a cupboard. Upgrade it with the latest AiMesh firmware and use it to deliver strong, fast Wi-Fi to every corner of your home or office. Find out more at https://www.asus.com/AiMesh/