Analysis: How fast is the WiFi when you create your own ASUS AiMesh?

ASUS started the year with news of its AiMesh system, which allows existing users of ASUS routers to add other ASUS routers and create their own home-made mesh WiFi systems. If you want to improve the wireless network coverage and speed in large homes, buying a mesh whole-home WiFi system makes a lot of sense. But what if you did not have to, and you just bought another ASUS router to create a mesh WiFi? Do you still get real-life benefits in WiFi speed and coverage? To answer these questions, we created our own ASUS AiMesh system and compared it with a competing whole-home WiFi system. Here is what you get as real-life downloads and WiFi signal strength:

NOTE: If you do not know what a mesh WiFi is, please read this article first: What is a mesh wireless network or whole-home WiFi system?

The setup we used for testing ASUS AiMesh

First, let's take a look at the apartment that was used in our testing and how it is set up. You can see that the primary ASUS AiMesh device is placed in the living room. When using wireless routers, the signal strength is not that high in rooms like the Kitchen and the Medium balcony. To improve the coverage of the network, I placed the second router in the Big Bedroom. As a result, the Medium balcony should benefit from stabler WiFi. Then, the third router was situated just near the entrance to the Kitchen, to improve the coverage there too.

The routers we used to create the ASUS AiMesh setup are two ASUS RT-AC86U (one of them used as the main router for the AiMesh), and one ASUS RT-AC88U.

Our testing was done using a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection that's capable of uploads on the internet of up to 500 Mbps. We used an HP Spectre 13 laptop for our measurements, and we compared all the results obtained by ASUS AiMesh with TP-Link Deco M5 (a competing mesh system also comprising three devices), and with the ASUS RT-AC88U router that we initially had in the test apartment, as the only router managing our network.

ASUS AiMesh on the 2.4 GHz wireless band: Stable signal strength, and two to three times faster downloads

We measured the signal strength with inSSIDer, in all the rooms in our apartment. You can see below that the ASUS AiMesh delivered very excellent signal strength in all rooms, with smaller variations than the TP-Link Deco M5, and a lot stabler than that of a traditional router.

Then, we used SpeedTest to see how fast the internet connection is in all rooms when using the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. ASUS AiMesh was outstanding, delivering a download speed which was two to three times better than the TP-Link Deco M5, depending on the room.

When measuring the upload speed, the differences were smaller but still significant, in most rooms.

 

Next, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network, on the 2.4 GHz band. Again, ASUS AiMesh delivered outstandingly fast downloads, in all rooms. Except in one room, the AiMesh was two to three times faster than TP-Link Deco M5.

When we measured the upload speed, the differences became smaller, but even here ASUS AiMesh performed admirably.

The conclusions we can draw from these measurements on the 2.4 GHz band are the following:

  • ASUS AiMesh delivers very stable signal strength
  • ASUS AiMesh offers incredibly fast downloads, sometimes three times as fast than TP-Link Deco M5
  • ASUS AiMesh provides fast uploads

ASUS AiMesh on the 5 GHz wireless band: Stable signal strength, fast downloads, significantly faster uploads

We measured the signal strength with inSSIDer, in all the rooms in our apartment. ASUS AiMesh delivered incredibly stable signal strength in all rooms, which varied a lot less than that offered by TP-Link Deco M5.

We then used SpeedTest to see how fast the internet connection is when using the 5 GHz wireless frequency. ASUS AiMesh was very fast in all rooms on our test apartment. In some, ASUS AiMesh was significantly faster than TP-Link Deco M5, while in others the differences were relatively insignificant between the two.

When measuring the upload speed, ASUS AiMesh was consistently and significantly faster than TP-Link Deco M5.

Next, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network, on the 5 GHz band. ASUS AiMesh was very fast in all rooms, but in a few of them, TP-Link Deco M5 proved to be a worthy challenger.

The upload speed measurements showed one more time that ASUS AiMesh is significantly faster than TP-Link Deco M5.

The conclusions we can draw from these measurements on the 5 GHz band are the following:

  • ASUS AiMesh delivers very stable signal strength
  • ASUS AiMesh offers much faster uploads than TP-Link Deco M5
  • ASUS AiMesh provides fast downloads

Did you create your own ASUS AiMesh system?

We think that it is an excellent idea on ASUS’s part to allow their users to create their mesh WiFi systems so that they improve the wireless coverage in their homes and apartments. The setup is not that difficult, even though it takes some time and patience, and the results seem to be great. Before closing this article, let us know whether you have created your own ASUS AiMesh, what routers you used and whether you are satisfied or not with the results. Comment below and let’s discuss.