Best Setup ? Router <> Repeater <> Wireless Ethernet Bridge

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Image This, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Image This

    Image This Reformed Router Member

    Hi there,

    I'm just upgrading some equipment due to our neighbors polluting the 2.4GHZ in some areas (specifically two routers sending at 1+6 and 5+11 channels in addition to 6 other routers resulting in a really dirty 2.4GHZ band in some locations).

    I'm looking for:
    • The best High Performance Wifi-Setup for Throughput and High Performance Gaming (= Low Ping at a stable connection) in the N and AC-Band only. The High Performance Device(s) will connect via the Wireless Ethernet Bridge in the 5.8GHZ Band. The 5.8GHZ Band should also be used to link between the Router and Repeater since the 2.4GHZ Band is to polluted in the area (the positions are optimally choosen and switching positions will not do anything other then worsening the situation). The rest of the Clients will be using the 2.4GHZ Connection of the Repeater (due to it being the best position for it - and only needing medium performance throughput).

    • The Main-Router will have QoS enabled and properly Setup (I've read all tutorials and have used it to good success for over 2 years now) to trottle bandwidth dynamically enabling still good pings while watching a stream or downloading a big file.

    • I'm a bit unsure how to arrange my Equipment as of now, so in short I'm looking for advice how to arrage them. As in f. e. AC56U in 2nd Floor as Main-Router, AC66U in 1st Floor as Repeater, N66U as Wireless Ether Bridge in the ground floor. Read below at "My previous Setup".
    My Environment:

    • 30MBit's Connection via Cable with a Stable Ping between 15-20ms (averaging at 17ms)

    • 9 Wireless-Clients all of them at least at N-Standard with a Throughput of 144 Mbit 's each at least. However only one of them should be used for High Performance Gaming / Maximum Throughput, that is also the one which will get the Wireless Ethernet Bridge this one is sitting at the ground-floor level with 1 wall and a medium wooden ceiling in-between.

    • Big house with medium-thick walls (no steel/concrete) ranging over 3 floors (including the ground-floor)

    • The Modem and Main-Router is in the 2nd floor. It wasn't my choice to do that - but at least it 's enabling quite good WiFi access in the garden/court via the 2.4GHZ band (which hasn't be used at High Performance Speeds.
    The Equipment I have at hand now:
    • Asus RT-AC66U AC1750
    • Asus RT-AC56U AC1200
    • Asus RT-N66U N900 (the only device from my old setup)
    My previous Setup:

    1. Cable-Modem connected via 1GB Ethernet to the Asus RT-N16U acting as Main-Router with QoS enabled and acting as the DHCP-Server in the 2nd floor. The Asus RT-N16U will be replaced by either the N66U or the AC56U. It 's all working in the N-Band only right now.

    2. Asus RT-N66U in the 1st floor with almost Airline (not exactly - a bit of the stairs is in the way - wooden that is) connected in Wireless Bridge Mode via the 2.4GHZ Band (since the N16U has only 2.4GHZ that is why I'm replacing it due to the new routers in the neighboorhood). The connection between them is at 20mHz Channel-Width with a signal of 50% at 144MBPS pretty stable but as I said the 2.4GHZ is pretty polluted especially at the area both of those connect so I'm absolutely looking forward to replace that with a more reliable 5.8GHZ connection. The Asus RT-N66U also has a 64GB USB 2.0 Stick attached which is used for the TV and to share movies with different Devices via DLNA.

    3. Asus USB-N66 Wireless-Client in the Basement with a wall and a medium tick (more thin then thick) wooden concrete. I'm connected via 5.8GHZ to the RT-N66U with about 56-58 dBi at 144-178 MBits. The Connection to the RT-N66U is pretty stable, so I imagine with a Wireless Ethernet Bridge it should be better even though the USB-N66 is using 3 internal Antennas.

    How I think I should be arranging the new Setup:

    1. Cable-Modem connected via 1GB Ethernet to the Asus RT-AC56U in the 2nd floor. It only has 4 internal Antennas however I read that the AC-Band has far better Wireless Range in the 5.8GHZ Frequency so I guess it 's best to use the 5.8GHZ Band with AC/N Mixed and ...

    2. ... connect the Asus RT-AC66U in the 1st floor to it via Wireless Repeater Mode in the AC-Band. This place is the best one for reaching all clients - also my own PC with High Performance needs in terms of a reliable and low Ping and good troughput via the Wireless Ethernet Bridge. All other devices will connect via 2.4GHZ which can now run properly either in the Channel 3 or Channel 9 which are the least polluted in that area, and hasn't to be shared like in my previous Setup also giving the best range for most of the other Clients. This should also enable me to ...

    3. ... use the RT-N66U as a Wireless Ethernet Client in the ground-floor. I know that it isn't possible for it to reach the theoretical Speeds of the AC-Routers / Clients being limited to 20mHz only however if it has a stable Connection with a least 180 Mbit/s it should be well enough and not give me a bottleneck - unlike if I use the RT-N66U either as the Repeater or Main-Router since it doesn't have the AC-Band.

    Yep it 's a long read but in the end ...

    Let me add that I have about 0% packetloss with my current Setup and a ping from my ground-floor to the LAN-PC at the Main-Router averaging at 2-4ms with a maximum ping of 50ms (which is simply due to the polluted 2.4GHZ connection between the Repeater and the Main-Router). Between the ground-floor and the Repeater I have a maximum ping of 4ms and an average of 1ms.

    Wew, ok. Quite a read, did I forget anything or am I doing some stupid stuff? I would like to hear your thoughs on if I'm planning my new setup correctly or if I should arrange it differently - or add a station inbetween.

    Thanks for taking the time to read that Wall of Text!


    p.s: Shibby, Jacky any everyone working on Tomato - if you ever read that - thank you very much for all the work you do for us! Your stuff ranges far above all other business implementations I've seen and I wouldn't know what to do if it wasn't for you!


    Sorry if this isn't the correct Sub-Forum.

    I though it best fits here since all of them are using Tomato and it 's related to it in good amounts
    (the complete setup and it 's performance that is).
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  2. alllexx

    alllexx Reformed Router Member


    I don't really understand the
    "Wireless Ethernet Bridge" is actually a router wireless mode. You mean your high performance devices will connect over 5GHz band, or that they'll be connected to Ethernet ports of a router that operates as a Wireless Ethernet Bridge?

    Also, do you plan to use tomato on all your routers? If so, you should know that tomato doesn't support Wireless Repeater Mode. There is a workaround for that ( which I haven't tried, and there's also a post in the thread saying it doesn't work very well. You could either try this for a "Repeater" Mode or try dd-wrt for this one router.

    As for n66u router, I suggest you use Wireless Ethernet Bridge mode for the 5GHz radio instead of Wireless Ethernet Client, since I don't think that double NAT is justified in this case.

    Best regards,
  3. Image This

    Image This Reformed Router Member


    thanks for the reply.

    As for the above Textpart I ment a physical Wireless Ethernet Bridge as in a Router to be connected to my PC via Ethernet that uses it 's WLAN via Client Mode to connect to my Repeater in the 1st floor (which will be most likely the AC66U).

    I'm using the "Wireless Ethernet Bridge" mode (keep in mind I'm speaking about both the Wireless mode and a Hardware Solution in my Text above which are two different thing) - which gives better throughput and less Interference then a pure repeater mode (as in broadcasting it as one Network) would give since it 's been listed as a different Network then the one it forwards. I haven't given it to much research to be honest but it 's working flawlessly for many Builds on my RT-N66U since about 1-2 years now and never had any problems with it with good throughput and pings (until recently due to the new 2.4GHZ Routers in my Neighborhood).

    I'm not looking into using a "Wireless Repeater Mode" since it gives clients no choice to which device it would like to connect - for exampl in case I'm out in the garden and want to connect to the router in the 2nd floor which has almost no obstacles and gives a better/more stable connection.

    I've just read that the ARM builds are not that stable yet and many features are not working yet. I'm thinking about returning my AC56U for another AC1x000 router - at best with good range and external antennas however I'm stuck with a tight budget on that one since the AC66U was pretty pricey as well. Does anyone have a suggestion? Or should I change my setup as follows?

    1. 2nd floor (main with QoS) RT-N66U
    2. 1st floor AC-N66U
    3. ground floor -> Any AC-Router as Wireless Client / "Real Wireless Ethernet Bridge"

    Hm, I'm not sure if that would be the best choice in terms of throughput but it seem to be the most stable choice. However that still leaves me what good Budget AC1x000 I should choose ...

    Any suggestions on an AC1x000 alternative to the AC56U? It could even run of DD-WRT in case it 's only to be used as a Client. But for the Main-Router I want a proper QoS-Implemention to my likes and for that Tomato is a must that is.



    I've tried explaining it properly, however I'm not sure if it 's understandable ...
    Just tell me if something sounds odd. :)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  4. alllexx

    alllexx Reformed Router Member

    I can say that my ARM AC68U works just fine with latest tomato (except for captive portal conflicting with bw limiter), so you might want to stick with AC56U if ARM is the only issue. Furthermore, ARM is generally faster, which might come in handy some day. However, though, I don't know whether AC WLAN works properly, since I don't yet have any AC clients to test it.

    Personally, I don't use pure repeater mode either for reasons similar to yours. I prefer to stick to Wireless Ethernet Bridge + virtual AP.

    The setup in your original post looks ok, but you'll have to try different variations yourself to see which way it works better. You might try swapping AC56U and AC66U, e.g..

  5. Image This

    Image This Reformed Router Member

    Thanks alllexx - I've just recieved my AC56U and flashed Shibby 's latest build on it. No LED's work beside the Power-LED however it works. However I'm highly unimpressed with it 's performance. I'm trying it right now as the Physical Ethernet Bridge in the ground floor - at the same position then my old USB-N66 Adapter I get worse performance over N900!

    USB-N66 with High Power Mode -> 178 MBits ~54 dBI / 45-50% Signal-Level
    AC66U with Transmission-Power set to 200mW (not that it does anything) -> 144 Mbits ~63 dBi / 3x % Signal-Level

    Keep in mind that 's only N900 with a Channel Width of 20mHz so I'll see first when my AC66U recieves how it fairs over AC before returning it that is.

  6. alllexx

    alllexx Reformed Router Member

    You could try raising Transmit Power under Advanced -> Wireless. Also try Channel Width 40MHz, your N66U supports that.
  7. Image This

    Image This Reformed Router Member

    I know that it should support it - however with all my Wireless N900 Clients and the AC66U I get reported that it 's a 20mHz Connection so I switched it back. Maybe there 's something odd with my system over the times that I've upgraded often without clearing the NVRAM. I'll try it again after I got all new equipment (specifically the AC66U) ready and will clear the NVRAM and test that again. Thanks for the suggestion thought - I wondered why I didn't get a 40 mHz Connection in the 5.8GHZ Band recently.

    Raising the Transmit-Power doesn't seem to do anything for the AC56U thought. I get exactly the same performance between 5x mW and 200 mW. Not a single dBi / percent of signal quality difference (must be the Drivers from Broadcom - flashed the latest ASUS Build beforehand flashing Tomato).
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice