AC66U B1 Merlin or stock

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phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
hi gents,

I just bought AC66U B1 to upgrade from N18U as most of my devices are 5Ghz now ... And I might have some questions for skilled ones here, as I never had Merlin on my routers ...

1. I understood that I would need to pick fw for AC68U, is that right
2. can I save my settings so they could be imported to Merlin - or do I have to configure it from scratch again
3. is it better than stock - can somebody compare
4. are there any advices on settings in order to get best performance
5. any advice on how to block certain IPs to stop them from hammering my VPN for example ...
6. will AiProtection work in Merlin

thanks for your time in advance
 

BreakingDad

Senior Member
1. Yes you can either use stock, or as most do on Asus use Merlin. There are also other firmwares such as Tomato and DD-WRT but my advice would be go Merlin as it is the most like stock but better.
2. Yes you can save and import them, that said it may be better to start afresh depending on what you are importing.
3. Yes, it has many bug fixes and extra features, is very stable and secure. It also contains AMTM for adding additional modules, such as skynet firewall, Cake QOS (entware also required), Speed tests and many others through this or even adding entware.
4. https://www.snbforums.com/threads/amtm-step-by-step-install-guide-l-ld.56237/#post-483421 step by step guide for settings and setting up firmware.
5. Yes use skynet frewall, part of the Merlin firmware, simply installed by connecting to the router using putty and SSH, then running the command "AMTM" and activating skynet from menu
6. Yes

No problem at all. We enjoy it.
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
2. can I save my settings so they could be imported to Merlin - or do I have to configure it from scratch again
Are you talking about importing a settings file that was created by the N18U? If so the answer is "No, don't do this". While the new router will probably accept the file it is strongly discouraged. The saved settings file is only designed to be used to backup and restore the settings on the same device, it is not meant to be used as a migration tool.
 
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phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
Are you talking about importing a settings file that was created by the N18U? If so the answer is "No, don't do this". While the new router will probably accept the file it is strongly discouraged. The saved settings file is only designed to be used to backup and restore the settings on the same device, it is not meant to be used as a migration tool.

don’t get me wrong, I am talking about same device - 66U - if settings done on stock fw could be imported to Merlin ... as I am using MAC filter only. in combination with whitelist & b/g protection instead using wpa or so ( not sure if best method though )
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
don’t get me wrong, I am talking about same device - 66U - if settings done on stock fw could be imported to Merlin ... as I am using MAC filter only. in combination with whitelist & b/g protection instead using wpa or so ( not sure if best method though )
If you've setup your RT-AC66U_B1 the way you want it on stock firmware then you can just go ahead and install Merlin's firmware. No need to backup/restore any settings as your existing ones will be carried over to the new firmware. (Although as a general rule having a backup of your current firmware and settings is always a good idea just in case you need to go back to that setup ;))

The only times when it is required to factory reset and manually configure the router after installing Merlin's firmware is if the previous firmware was a much older version (and therefore significantly different) or if there's some specific requirement to do so in which case it will be stated in the release notes.
 
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bbunge

Very Senior Member
hi gents,

I just bought AC66U B1 to upgrade from N18U as most of my devices are 5Ghz now ... And I might have some questions for skilled ones here, as I never had Merlin on my routers ...

1. I understood that I would need to pick fw for AC68U, is that right
2. can I save my settings so they could be imported to Merlin - or do I have to configure it from scratch again
3. is it better than stock - can somebody compare
4. are there any advices on settings in order to get best performance
5. any advice on how to block certain IPs to stop them from hammering my VPN for example ...
6. will AiProtection work in Merlin

thanks for your time in advance
You will get many opinions. I was a long time user of AC66U_B1 until I upgraded to an AC86U. My "old" AC66U_B1 lives on working very well in a small office environment on stock Asus firmware.
1. Yes. In fact you have another option to use John's fork which is up to date and will run on an AC66U_B1.
2. No, do not save the settings once you flash Merlin firmware. In fact, a Hard Factory Reset is recommended (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1039074/) and manually set the router up again. Do not use saved settings!
3. Feature wise, yes. DNS over TLS (DoT) is worth it alone. John's fork has DoT, too.
4. Set 2.4 GHZ to channel 1, 6, or 11 at 20 MHZ and 5 GHZ to channel 36 or 149 @ 80 MHZ. Ozark Edge has some good settings recommendations. Link in his signature.
5. Set your OpenVPN to another port number than default.
 

phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
so today I uploaded 386.1 beta3 to the router, everything seems to work with old settings (I saved separately them to stay on safe side) but looks like my WAN speed is half of usual speed (via speedtest in router and via one of clients) and I don't think it's about my ISP ... so any ideas here ?

Thanks !
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
What speeds were you getting before and what are you getting now?
 

phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
250 down on stock, 110 down on merlin .... mbit .... 300 up vs 140 up ...
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
That's very unusual, your download being less than your upload. What kind of internet feed do you have? e.g. satellite, cable,etc?

Try powering off the router completely for 30 seconds and then turning it on again. Any change?
 

phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
no change after power off - few mins, 110 x 140 .... it's fiber to building .... should be 1gbps, but let's be realistic, I have speeds around 400-500 mbit ... right now it's half of it (due to corona, I might have 200 in peak period - 10:00 - 16:00) .. NAT accell was set to AUTO already ...
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Check to HW acceleration state on the router at Tools > System Information > Network
 

phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
already enabled ... I'll review all the settings again, perform some testing and let it run for few days ... DoT actually surprised me, Adguard DNS is filtering much more ads :)
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
or do you think I should try different beta or stable release ?
Did you do a hard factory reset then configure manually? That is a must in moving between firmware versions! Also check that the /jffs is mounted and if it isn't format the /jffs.
Johns fork is also an option but will not have Aimesh.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Did you do a hard factory reset then configure manually? That is a must in moving between firmware versions!
Merlin explicitly states that a reset (hard or otherwise) should not normally be required.

https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/
Easy to install
Just flash it like an original firmware update. Your existing settings will even be preserved.
 

phoenixxko

Occasional Visitor
I will revive my old N18U, hook freshly flashed ac66U via cable to it with minimum config to see what the speeds will be ... if the same, then I’ll wait for next beta ...
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Settings being preserved and a reset not being required are not mutually exclusive.

If the preserved settings work, great. If not. Reset, fully completely.
 

djbrad

Occasional Visitor
I would flash to last stable 384.18 or .19 and reset everything to default. Bugs can occurs in beta firmwares.
 

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