Advantages, disadvantages of installation

jontalk

Regular Contributor
I recently purchased the RT-AC68P and have been running stock Asuswrt firmware and recently upgraded to the new release. I've been aware of Merlin for ages, but didn't think it would be needed with my previous model, AC56U. But now that I've upgraded or side graded as it were, I'm curious if installing it will further improve performance. After reading through the links provided, it appears its more for those with MESH or other systems rather than a single device.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for someone that isn't a networking 'geek'..no offense intended.

Thanks
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Merlin adds features to the stock firmware. In some cases it also fixes bugs. Have a look at the extra features and decide if any of those are of interest to you.


... it appears its more for those with MESH ...
Incorrect. AiMesh is closed source so RMerlin cannot make changes to that. Arguably the stock firmware could be a better choice for AiMesh setups.
 

Crimliar

Senior Member
There are very few disadvantages. Sometimes there's a short delay in adding features to Merlin after an Asus release, sometimes there's a tweak in Merlin earlier than the Asus firmware. As for complexity, you are not really forced to use any of the additional abilities if you don't want to, but once you are using them it can be tough to lose those features if you go back. Frankly, you have nothing to lose by trying Merlin!
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
For me, the wonderful thing about Merlin's firmware is the scripts: being able to block advertising at the router for all devices on the network makes my browsing/surfing much more enjoyable, along with those who use it; a swap file (with Quality of Service protocol enabled) prevents my network from "internet brownout" moments if there is a significant demand on the router...it's as @Crimliar explained - you notice the difference of how YOUR network "feels" and reacts when on OTHER networks you may use, and you'll wonder how they live with it (and how you did without).
 

Weblee2407

Occasional Visitor
Well I started on this path because I had problems. My LAN was compromised and I looked at several ways to enhance or protect my router. DDWRT had features but my routers speed took too big a hit. Then I looked at using the router as an access point behind either a pfsense or sophos device. I decided to buy a Merlin compatible router. I ran stock for only a week before installing merlin and it addresses all my pain points. The skynet firewall quieted things down significantly and when combined with diversion which. blocks lots of ads and DIRECTV commercial screensavers. Browsing is now fun again. With the addons using the usb storage a reset doesn’t lose many settings. Last but not least YazDHCP has given me the ability to easily recover and set all my dhcp reservations. With the impact of a reset reconfigure process minimized I am free to experiment with different configurations.

I recommend you give it a try and you will find you can mold it to fit your needs.
 

zorinlynx

New Around Here
Look at the feature list. If there's anything in it you want, use Merlin.

For me, I wanted snmpd without having to use a USB thumbdrive. Then after installing it I found I enjoyed the little "quality of life" tweaks on the UI. I'm really glad I tried it.
 

joegreat

Very Senior Member
Advantages, disadvantages of Merlin Firmware installation:
- Advantages: Many - far too many to list them.
- Disadvantages: None!

So: "After review of the play. We have a decision..." *)

Seriously: Nothing bad will happen is you go for Merlin, only good things will come over you! :p


*) Quote from Australian Rugby League - The Bunker.
 
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jontalk

Regular Contributor
I really appreciate the comments and suggestions and from the sound of it, I'll install the latest version and circle back. Once again, THANK YOU for your feedback..
 

jontalk

Regular Contributor
For me, the wonderful thing about Merlin's firmware is the scripts: being able to block advertising at the router for all devices on the network makes my browsing/surfing much more enjoyable, along with those who use it; a swap file (with Quality of Service protocol enabled) prevents my network from "internet brownout" moments if there is a significant demand on the router...it's as @Crimliar explained - you notice the difference of how YOUR network "feels" and reacts when on OTHER networks you may use, and you'll wonder how they live with it (and how you did without).
I plan to install the latest Merlin version and would like to know the steps to block advertising as mentioned. I use a few Chrome extensions which do a pretty good job (WOT, Privacy Badger, Ad Block and uBlock Origin)..so if I use the Merlin method, do I remove them or? Thanks
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture

jontalk

Regular Contributor
That's the date the folder was created. Go into the folder, go into "Release" and choose the current version.
Thanks much Colin..I assume it downloads like the Asuswrt that includes a similar .trx file to upload, correct?
 

jontalk

Regular Contributor
Correct.

Thanks..I just downloaded it..Can you direct me to a tutorial of some kind? I don't see any in the main thread and want to configure it for the best performance as well as to block ads and have no idea where the settings would be. I've customized the settings in stock firmware so when I upload the file do I lose those? Sorry for all the questions but am unfamiliar with Merlin.
 

5stringdeath

Regular Contributor
I plan to install the latest Merlin version and would like to know the steps to block advertising as mentioned. I use a few Chrome extensions which do a pretty good job (WOT, Privacy Badger, Ad Block and uBlock Origin)..so if I use the Merlin method, do I remove them or? Thanks
Diversion


 

jontalk

Regular Contributor

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Sorry for all the questions but am unfamiliar with Merlin.

I was waiting to see your further questions. You definitely don't need Asuswrt-Merlin on your router. Read why below:

- your router is 2012 hardware and not all Asuswrt-Merlin features will be available to you, no Cake or Wireguard for example.
- your router's radios rely heavily on the main CPU and the more things you run on the router the more impact on overall performance.
- your router has 256MB RAM only and all of the above people who recommended Asuswrt-Merlin to you use routers with 1GB RAM
- uBlock origin is much more effective ad-blocker than Diversion, it doesn't destroy web pages and blocks YouTube ads.
- many custom scripts require USB stick, including Diversion. Your reliable router will become as reliable as your USB stick.
- if you want custom scripts, you have to learn how to troubleshoot your router yourself. You're far from it at this stage.

First to complain from your experiments are your family members. Make sure you are ready to handle the situation. Good luck.

Asuswrt-Merlin is excellent, but not for everyone. You can climb the mountain, but with no experience you may fall off the cliff.
 

jontalk

Regular Contributor
I was waiting to see your further questions. You definitely don't need Asuswrt-Merlin on your router. Read why below:

- your router is 2012 hardware and not all Asuswrt-Merlin features will be available to you, no Cake or Wireguard for example.
- your router's radios rely heavily on the main CPU and the more things you run on the router the more impact on overall performance.
- your router has 256MB RAM only and all of the above people who recommended Asuswrt-Merlin to you use routers with 1GB RAM
- uBlock origin is much more effective ad-blocker than Diversion, it doesn't destroy web pages and blocks YouTube ads.
- many custom scripts require USB stick, including Diversion. Your reliable router will become as reliable as your USB stick.
- if you want custom scripts, you have to learn how to troubleshoot your router yourself. You're far from it at this stage.

First to complain from your experiments are your family members. Make sure you are ready to handle the situation. Good luck.

Asuswrt-Merlin is excellent, but not for everyone. You can climb the mountain, but with no experience you may fall off the cliff.
Thanks SO much for the heads up. I'll trash the Merlin installer and stay with what works. I appreciate your details and advice.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
For non-tech people I always recommend stock Asuswrt. It's more user friendly, stable and feature rich enough. Asuswrt-Merlin is a firmware alternative for more advanced users who know how to take advantage of extra features added and extra settings exposed. The LAN/WLAN performance is exactly the same. SoC drivers are closed source and come from Broadcom. Often Asuswrt is a step ahead in code base and drivers. AiMesh works as described by Asus in Asuswrt only. Works with Asuswrt-Merlin too with some tricks. Asus App, in case you use it, works well with both Asuswrt and Asuswrt-Merlin, but you have to know about some duplicated features in Asuswrt-Merlin.

Some people like poking router settings all day long, others like to set it once and forget about it. You decide what do you need and what fits better your level of knowledge. Learning process takes time. Experiments with your main router mean downtime.
 

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