AiMesh is an innovative feature that allows multiple ASUS routers to create a mesh Wi-Fi network and extend the area they cover. When you purchase ASUS routers with AiMesh, you can mix different models of routers: older and cheaper Wi-Fi 5 routers, new Wi-Fi 6 routers, and mesh Wi-Fi systems from the ZenWiFi line-up. One of them will be the main node (or the master if you’d like), managing the internet connection and all the network settings, while the others are secondary stations cloning the settings they receive from the primary one. Here’s why it is a good idea to stop buying traditional wireless routers and choose an extendable ASUS router instead:
Most people don’t want to invest a lot of money in their router, even though they need one that performs well and provides a wide coverage area for their Wi-Fi. This is especially problematic when you have a large apartment or a house with multiple floors. So, let’s assume you do what most people do: buy an affordable wireless router, like the ASUS RT-AX53U, or a $100 router like ASUS RT-AX58U. While both models work well and have tons of useful features, you notice that they might not handle all the rooms in your one-story house. Some places in your home will get weak Wi-Fi signal, and you’ll barely get a connection.
Suppose you bought an extendable router with support for AiMesh. In that case, you’re in luck: you can get one more router (the same model or another model but with AiMesh support) and build a mesh Wi-Fi system that provides coverage for your entire home.
If you didn’t buy an extendable router with support for AiMesh, you must purchase a range extender and set it up. Unfortunately, this leads to a suboptimal setup with smaller Wi-Fi coverage and poorer performance, which is more difficult to manage, especially if you are not a technical user.
TIP: If you want to know more about AiMesh, read this guide: What is an ASUS AiMesh network and how to create one.
AiMesh is not new by any means. ASUS revolutionized the wireless router market when launching it, back in 2018. Ever since, this feature has been added to most of their routers, including older models like ASUS RT-AC68U, one of the most popular Wi-Fi 5 routers ever sold, originally released in 2013.
Therefore, if you have an older ASUS router, update its firmware to add AiMesh to its list of features, buy a new Wi-Fi 6 router with AiMesh, like it’s successor (ASUS RT-AX86U), and connect them using the new router as the main node. To help you pick your next router, here’s our list of the best ASUS routers for streaming and gaming.
Suppose you didn’t buy an extendable AiMesh wireless router and need wider Wi-Fi coverage. In that case, one choice is getting a range extender. While adding a range extender is fairly easy, you must manage two separate devices, each with its settings. If you’re not knowledgeable enough, this may be a real pain, and you won’t obtain the ideal setup for optimal performance. In contrast, when dealing with two or more routers with AiMesh, it is easy to add them to the network with just a few clicks or taps. Also, your newly added ASUS router(s) will automatically clone your network settings from the main one.
So, if you modify the settings on your main router, they get distributed across all the others, and you won’t have to do anything except press Save.
Routers tend to come with more powerful hardware and features than mesh Wi-Fi systems, range extenders, and other similar networking devices. Not only do they have faster processors with more cores, but they also get more advanced firmware with tons of built-in optimizations.
For example, the ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200 has a powerful 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, and 512 MB of RAM, enough to handle a busy home network, and plenty of useful tools and features for gamers.
So while you may find affordable mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market, their hardware is slightly underpowered compared to ASUS routers with AiMesh. Their firmware also offers fewer features and configuration options.
What does this mean for you as a user? Well, you get better performance when using multiple ASUS routers together.
If you want a better perspective, read this analysis we made in 2018 using AiMesh with older Wi-Fi 5 routers - you can see how they compared to a standard mesh Wi-Fi system, that was widely popular at the time, and a standalone ASUS router: How fast is the Wi-Fi when you create your own ASUS AiMesh?
Many mesh Wi-Fi systems from brands other than ASUS provide good Wi-Fi. Still, they don’t include security tools like antivirus protection, intrusion prevention systems, advanced parental controls, VPN, online gaming tools, etc. Furthermore, if you were to buy a router + range extender, you would only get the advanced features on the router but not on the range extender.
When buying extendable ASUS routers, you get the added benefit of having access to all the advanced features. Even if you use different ASUS routers with different prices, manufactured in different years, you still benefit from all the features of the main router in your entire network and on all the devices connected to it.
As long as you use your most powerful ASUS router as the main one, all the features found on it are available for your entire network, no matter how many routers you add to the mesh network.
If the benefits shared in this article sound appealing, check out ASUS’ networking store on Amazon, and browse all the available models, their prices, and features. Then, don’t hesitate to return to this article and share your favorite models and which routes you’d like to choose to build your own AiMesh network.