Upgrading to a mesh network can improve wireless coverage in your home, allowing for faster speeds on devices that sit further away from your router and eliminate dead spots in remote corners. This is especially true if there are several obstructions (walls, doors, and so forth) in your home that sit between your wireless device and router. Unfortunately, upgrading to a mesh setup can be expensive, as it typically requires new equipment. However, ASUS has issued an "AiMesh" update for several of its existing router models that enables them to act as nodes in a mesh network.
The update can significantly reduce the cost of upgrading to a mesh network, provided you already own at least one compatible ASUS router. In addition, the clever update allows different router models to play nice with each other even though they might be based on different chipsets.
"We developed AiMesh from the ground up to let existing ASUS routers act as nodes in a mesh network all their own. Making the technology work with an expanding list of routers based on different chipsets is a major undertaking, especially since we also have to ensure compatibility with different router combinations. But the endeavor has been worth the effort, because anyone with a supported ASUS router can now graduate to a mesh network without shelling out for a whole new system," ASUS says.
All users of a compatible router need to do is update the firmware on their model. Once updated, additional routers can be added via the ASUSWRT interface or through a mobile app to create an AiMesh network. More than a dozen routers are supported. They include the following (with links to the firmware update for each one):
- RT-AC68U V2