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Are Chinese ASUS Routers have the same Hardware and Features as WW models?

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by Hexenhammer, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    Hello,
    I wonder if Routers sold in China like on Aliexpress for example RT-AC86U, are the same ones sold in the EU/USA?
    And if Merlin works on US model it will run on China model?

    Also, any idea why routers sold in original boxes are more expensive then re-packed into brown box?

    Thanks
     
  2. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    They're different. Each router has a region setting stored in it which tells it what WiFi power and channels it should use. Additionally, some models like Japan (maybe Chinese) only present their own language in the GUI rather than giving you a choice of different languages.

    There are some versions that are "world" versions that allow you to select which region you are in.
     
  3. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks and Merlin firmware doesn't unlock all the channels?

    But except this channel issue it supposed to be the same router with same chipset and features
     
  4. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    No, Merlin's firmware doesn't unlock any channels.

    I believe it's fundamentally the same hardware, it's just configured slightly differently for the market it's sold into (like the GUI language restriction). Personally (not living in China), I wouldn't touch one.
     
    Enthusiast and tallytr like this.
  5. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    In case i buy it, it will be an issue of price [since its not futureproof router, I rather save as much as I can], im not from USA, before covid i would order tons on amazon, they offered either 11$ int shipping and eventually dropped it and it was free, only charged import tax by law, above 75$ which is ok, prices still low
    But now amazon only does premium shipping which starts from 50$
    If I get this router from ali, without original box its 180$ with free shipping.
    Although im still waiting for ASUS RT-AX89X to come back in stock in USA, it will be perfect for my use, even thou some people here dont like it, it will be much more expensive but i dont buy them every year and I need dual 10G Ethernet anyway, saves me buying multigig switch for 360$
    Or I can buy multigig switch for 360$ + AC86U for 180$
    Choises
     
  6. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    Obviously you need to make a decision based on your situation and usage.

    Like I said, personally I wouldn't import a wireless router from another region because WiFi is important to me and I don't want the compatibility problems with my WiFi clients. Also, if I want to use AiMesh at some point in the future that will be another problem.

    Lastly, I prefer to buy from a company that will replace or refund me without hassle if the device turns out to be faulty either now or in the future.
     
    indark, L&LD and Hawk like this.
  7. MarkyPancake

    MarkyPancake Senior Member

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    Warranty will likely be an issue with an out-of-region version as well.
     
  8. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Don't buy out of region, especially not from China. First, the bootloader will be hardcoded to use Chinese-allowed channels and output levels. And second, the firmware will be locked to only display the web interface in Chinese (Japan is another region that also has region-locked webui).
     
    Kingp1n, indark and L&LD like this.
  9. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    Thank you for replay, the listing shows that both English hand Chinese supported and they even show that merlin firmware is supported and have photos of it running LOL
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000284154696.html

    You right about the channels of course, I compared on Wikipedia and China has less open channels then where im from, thats why I prefer US network hardware, it has much more open channels.
     
  10. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    It's not my firmware. It's an unauthorized, illegal fork from it. My firmware will have the same language restrictions as Asus's original firmware.

    The region should be selected based on where you live, not based on which one has more channel or higher output power. Running a router outside of your real region might even be illegal in some places, if not flat out dangerous (for instance if using DFS channels in a region where these are not allowed).
     
  11. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    Just because the router has more channels doesn't mean that you can use them. There were a couple of threads on these forums recently from people who's routers were using US channels but none of their mobile devices could see them. That was because the mobile devices will only connect to channels that are allowed in the country they are in.
     
  12. tallytr

    tallytr Senior Member

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    Personally would never touch anything that is not oficially sold/supported and by that I mean Best Buy or Amazon in my case, you just can't beat that.
    I'd rather wait a year and to be honest, this router thing for me is much more a want than need, the progress is incremental, new routers are only so much better than the previous generation...
     
  13. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Part of the Furniture

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    If you want a fresh can of worms, get a new router! :)

    OE
     
    tallytr likes this.
  14. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    That shouldn't happen because USA has all the channels all others have + more.

    In any case, almost everything I have is imported, PS4Pro from USA, ROG Phone 2 from china, Essential Phone from USA, Switch from Europe, Tablet from China, one LG OLED from USA, one local [but its European model], one PS Vita from USA, another from Japan, 3DS from USA and so on.
    Everything works fine.

    BTW, a year ago, we had ban on Router import, it had to be router with local firmware, but last year they introduced bunch of populist laws to for people to spent less on stuff and one of them was that they allowed Private people to import Wireless equipment without permit, up to 3 devices, per quarter.
    Big companies that sell in shops still have to create local firmware.
     
  15. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    That's what I initially thought, but it turns out it's not as simple as that.

    The case in point was where the person had configured his Chinese Asus router for "US" channels but his Android devices couldn't connect to it. It turned out that when his phones boot up they determine their location (Pakistan) from the mobile network and then reconfigure themselves to only use the allowed channels in that country.

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/s...9-153-157-161-on-5ghz-band.59827/#post-522416

    There was a similar case here with a user in Indonesia.

    Some background information is here.

    There was also another post from someone that couldn't create an AiMesh network because the burnt-in code for the Chinese router is "CN" and his other device was "US".
     
  16. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    Probably because it was Chinese router, I personally never had any issues and I buy stuff all around the world, but of course I never had a Chinese router I had American and locals ones with Israeli firmware.
    I wont buy That routers from China now for sure, ill wait for when AX89X comes back in stock in USA and get one.

    BTW, wikipedia has a nice chart of wifi channel allocation per country, thats how I usually compare and choose what to buy if it works or dont, and apparently China has almost half the channels disabled
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels
    Israel is only second to China in the amount of locked channels, so thats probably why I had so much luck with US routers and otehr electronics.
    So anything is better then what we have LOL
     
  17. KGB7

    KGB7 Very Senior Member

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    In US, some channels and frequencies are reserved for Federal Gov, Military, Police, Emergency response units, etc. And are not allowed to be used by general public.
    This is why USA has FCC that strictly regulates channels and radio frequencies on commercial products and on consumer products.

    In your country, laws might be different from US laws when it comes to regulating radio/wifi channels and radio/wifi frequencies. Consumer Products from Commercial Products.

    The gaming systems and TVs that you bought from other countries, do not transmit radio signals like a CB, VHF/UHF radio or a Wifi router. Thus there are exceptions in your countries laws, same way US has same exceptions as well, when it comes importing gaming systems and TVs. Because they are in a different category of its own.

    There are universal laws across the globe, when it comes to using a specific set of channels for Wifi, CB, VHF, UHF, etc. But some channels and frequencies are restricted in most countries for public use. Because some channels and frequencies are reserved for Gov use, Military, Police, Emergency response, etc etc.

    Same reasons you can not legally buy a radio from F18 or from MiG23 as a civilian, because its not a consumer product.

    Makes sense??
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  18. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    It makes sense, but here is a chart that im following, i think its updated and current.
    Im from Israel, when I compared our channels vs USA, USA has all the same channels I do + many more.

    Unless im wrong somewhere? Because I just ordered from USA that new ASUS router with two 10G ports and its EXPENSIVE
    If its hard to see anything in this image, click on the Wikipedia link it has the full chart

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels


    bands.jpg
     
  19. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    We're all aware of the information in that Wikipedia entry. That doesn't negate the points people have been making. It also doesn't include any power output information.

    So as people have tried to point out if you run your US router on channels (>= 100) or power output not allowed in Israel don't be too surprised if you get a visit from the authorities.
     
  20. Hexenhammer

    Hexenhammer Occasional Visitor

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    What I care about if its going to work or not, forget about other issues, we have a new law that allows to import up to 3 routers at once for personal non commercial use, without getting a permit for wireless signals, before we had to ask for permits from the ministry of communications.
    I just want to be sure that its going to work for me.
    Im sure its going to work with my Imported products, like mobiles phones, but i might by something locally, you never know lol