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Asus 86U or TP-Link AC4000 for the Same Price?

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Poseidon

Senior Member
Looking for some feedback please. I'm deciding on getting a new router and have narrowed down my choices to the Asus AC-RT86U (w/ Merlin's f/w) or the TP-Link Archer AC4000 Triband.

The latter is only exclusive to Costco and Fry's Electronics here in the US and both can be had for the same price ($170 USD).

I'm leaning towards the Asus mainly because of Merlin's stable firmware and features while the TP-Link seems like the better router but I haven't found too many reviews on this unit and how stable and secure their firmware is.

Can I get some expert opinions and suggestions please. Should I go for the Asus 86U w/ Merlin's or the TP-Link AC4000 if both are equally priced.

Thanks.
 

Internet Man

Senior Member
Aside from the differences in firmware support, there are some important differences in features that might help you decide.

Would you benefit from having a second 5GHz connection in the tri-band C4000? If you would use it as a dedicated wireless backhaul to another device or if you have many 5GHz clients which you could split across the two bands then it might be an important feature to have. From what I've read, most routers currently do not fully utilize quad-core processors so the two extra cores in the C4000 may not provide a noticeable benefit.

Do you have any 4x4:4 clients? If so then having the 4x4:4 5GHz radio in the RT-AC86U would be a deciding factor. If not, then having two separate 3x3:3 5GHz bands would probably be more beneficial than one 4x4:4 and hoping that MU-MIMO might help improve multi-client efficiency.

When it comes to firmware, ASUS has a huge advantage. ASUS releases updates more frequently even without considering the support from RMerlin. TP-Link has not released a firmware update for the C4000 since the "First firmware released." in April of 2018. Since it is a limited-release model, I wouldn't expect much support from them going forward. It is a huge risk to buy a router when updates seem unlikely. You can play with an Emulator for the C4000 to see if it supports the features you need.
 

Poseidon

Senior Member
Thank you for the informative and detailed reply! It's members like you that make this a great community!

I had no idea that the TP-Link has only released one firmware for this router and I completely agree about the lack of updates and support moving forward.

I'm going to go with the AC86U to replace my dead Synology RT2600AC router which worked very well for me but I miss Asus feature-rich firmwares (Merlin's in particular).
 

Gar

Very Senior Member
Looking for some feedback please. I'm deciding on getting a new router and have narrowed down my choices to the Asus AC-RT86U (w/ Merlin's f/w) or the TP-Link Archer AC4000 Triband.

The latter is only exclusive to Costco and Fry's Electronics here in the US and both can be had for the same price ($170 USD).

I'm leaning towards the Asus mainly because of Merlin's stable firmware and features while the TP-Link seems like the better router but I haven't found too many reviews on this unit and how stable and secure their firmware is.

Can I get some expert opinions and suggestions please. Should I go for the Asus 86U w/ Merlin's or the TP-Link AC4000 if both are equally priced.

Thanks.
Yeah, TP-Link firmware support sux. I found out the hard way with a C3150.
 

Dave Parker

Senior Member
No experience with TP-link routers but I'm on my 3rd Asus router. N66U, then AC68U, now AC86U running Merlins 384.8.2 firmware. No regrets here.
 

doczenith1

Very Senior Member
Do you have any 4x4:4 clients? If so then having the 4x4:4 5GHz radio in the RT-AC86U would be a deciding factor. If not, then having two separate 3x3:3 5GHz bands would probably be more beneficial than one 4x4:4 and hoping that MU-MIMO might help improve multi-client efficiency.

MU-MIMO will definitely help with multiple clients that support it. I've done some extensive testing with my 86U but haven't got around to posting my results to the MU-MIMO thread in the General Wireless forum yet.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
The latter is only exclusive to Costco and Fry's Electronics here in the US and both can be had for the same price ($170 USD).

TP-Link Archer AC4000 Triband...

If you're in an area where there is a a Costco and a Frys...

Buy it from Costco - seriously - they're really good with returns for any reason, whereas Frys treats you, well, not very friendly...

TP-Link is good enough for many, and it's worth looking at..

Price seems to be right...
 

new_berlin

Occasional Visitor
Looking for some feedback please. I'm deciding on getting a new router and have narrowed down my choices to the Asus AC-RT86U (w/ Merlin's f/w) or the TP-Link Archer AC4000 Triband.

The latter is only exclusive to Costco and Fry's Electronics here in the US and both can be had for the same price ($170 USD).

I'm leaning towards the Asus mainly because of Merlin's stable firmware and features while the TP-Link seems like the better router but I haven't found too many reviews on this unit and how stable and secure their firmware is.

Can I get some expert opinions and suggestions please. Should I go for the Asus 86U w/ Merlin's or the TP-Link AC4000 if both are equally priced.

Thanks.
What did you end up doing? I'm pondering literally the same thing but two years after you :)
Wondering whether to get the ac4000 next time it's on sale at costco (they had it for 100 a couple months ago but i wasn't looking then)?
 

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