What is the link speed between your RT3200s when you see 500 mbps at your client(s)? Also, what kind of latency do you see with 500 mbps worth of speed on the RT3200s under load?
I picked up another two RT3200s after the first two I got, so a total of four to mess around with now. But I'm seeing such good performance (for the cost) as wired [dumb] APs that I'm finding it hard to justify testing the WDS route.
It just works, and works very well. Mesh used to work on these devices in a stable way, but something broke it badly around October 2021. So a snapshot older than then may work fine, if you need the slower performance mesh.
By the way about the above, the 750 Mbit/s is between two nodes on different floors. I think that's pretty good.
Won't you set up WDS on 5G? That's what I did - main router as WDS access point, and then the extension routers just connect as WDS clients. There is a setup guide somewhere. Anyway keen to hear how you get on and let me know if I can help with any configuration settings. I definitely love these devices. Official release just around the corner.
Whoops--syntax snafu there... I was talking about having her switch over to 5G on her phone and off WiFi for the evening while I bounce the wireless radios a bunch. As for 5Ghz on the RT3200, I will absolutely be setting up WDS on that band.
If you happen to have a good guide that worked well for you, I would love to take a look. It's been years since I last messed with WDS and I'm likely to miss something obvious without something to keep me in check.
Another curiosity question since you've been using these for a while... is there a reason you aren't using 160Mhz? Does it not play nicely with WDS?
Ah I see concerning 5G. Wish we had that here. But we get 30-70 Mbit/s on 4G so it is not too bad.
Regarding 160 MHz with WDS have a read from here:
And next few posts.
It seems 160 MHz isn't so hot on these devices. It didn't work well for me in WDS so I switched back to 80 MHz and everything worked great. Maybe software updates will improve that but I gather that the hardware is not well optimized for 160 MHz.
I looked again through the guides but I don't think I followed any of them entirely. For example the main guide states to set DNS forwardings to the upstream router, whereas I instead just set custom DNS to the upstream router. Not entirely sure what the difference is? I also didn't enable STP.
@Lynx and I will continue the RT3200 WDS discussion elsewhere, no problem. But @Lynx and @slh have both raised excellent points here that many others in the community will surely find beneficial when considering the mesh vs WDS options.
In the spirit of answering your questions (almost feels like you use bold type to "shout" stuff, which isn't cool):
I have tried wifi mesh, specifically 802.11s with and without batman-adv and found it to be extremely underwhelming on the hardware I tested it on.
So to be completely fair, you asked an extremely generic question to begin with and you're going to get a broad range of answers. If you aren't interested in feedback from RT3200 users, you should update your question to a more specific, "Who tried wifi-mesh on hardware XYZ?" On RT3200 hardware at the time of writing this, I would say "No, it does not work well." An Archer C7 or Netgear R7800 user may have a completely different take on it.
1, 2, 3, 42, 834? How is anyone supposed to answer this because you gave no clue as to how much area you are trying to cover, the type of wall materials in your space, what kind of hardware you're considering, 2.4Ghz vs 5Ghz vs 6Ghz, etc, etc.
Generically speaking a "mesh" would consist of 2...N nodes. The basic concept of mesh technology is that it dynamically configures routes between nodes and recalculates as you add/remove more.
I've also tried mesh on Openwrt with and without batman-adv.
I initially had it set up between two routers using 802.11s, one in a shed/workshop to connect to an outdoor IP camera, because its built in wifi kept dropping out.
Not using mesh currently, but I eventually got it working with Batman-adv and setup for both 2.4ghz and 5ghz, so that the router outdoors could connect to either of the two in the house which both have wired LAN connections. Reason for using this setup was neither 2.4 nor 5ghz were reliable due to multiple neighbour's access points frequently switching to whichever 2.4ghz channel I was using, and the lower range of non-dfs 5ghz channels being swamped too.
here's an iperf3: routers are bthub 5s using 802.11s with batman-adv