Are dropped packets on 2.4 wifi normal? (RT-AC86U with Merlin)


Regular Contributor
RT-AC86U hardware version R1.5 (2018) with Merlin 384.19.

I had a weird event where my 2.4 GHz channel seemed to intermittently not connect to the router (or anything else) over several hours. It seems to be better now. But in trying to confirm that it’s working properly I’ve been pinging the router over the 2.4 GHz from a dedicated laptop for a couple of days. It’s pretty stable, but I’m consistently getting 0.1-0.2% lost packets. Does that sound normal? Similar tests on the 5 GHz and on Ethernet get zero packet loss. I guess it might be some kind of interference, but I’ve been careful about avoiding busy wifi channels (including overlapping ones), so I don’t think it’s from other wifi sources.

I've looked in the router's log, but nothing jumps out at me.

Set for 20 MHz bandwidth. Fixed on channel 11. The only overlapping wifi hotspot is more than 40 dB lower. Airtime Fairness, MU-MIMO, both beamformings all disabled. Router and laptop are in the same room, 10' apart.

I'm grateful for any suggestions.

Thank you!


Part of the Furniture
That low level of packet loss is not unusual in my experience, although I see it on 5 GHz rather than 2.4 GHz because that's where most of my traffic is. When the network is quiet I don't see any dropped packets.


Regular Contributor
Follow-up - I borrowed another identical router and loaded the same configuration into it, ran the same test and got the same results. Seems like there's nothing wrong with the router. At least not that I'm seeing now. It really was having serious trouble last week but maybe it was something radiating nearby.


Part of the Furniture
Loading the same config file just replicates the issues. Try a full reset to factory defaults on your router instead (you have the backup config file to quickly get you back to the working network if you need it).

See the M&M Config guide in the link in my signature below.

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