ASUS AC88U or AC86U or which one

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Platforminc

New Around Here
Hi All.

First post, I would like to commend everyone here for help and useful information on this forum, I wish I had discovered it a month ago. New to the forum, so please take it easy on me if my question has already been answered, I did some research but mindful of making the same mistake twice.

So about a month ago, I got myself an Asus 882, I have EE broadband, although there is DSL coverage on the road, I have not explored this option. I have just been using ADSL, this might change as my bandwidth requirement increased (streaming, cloud backup etc). When I got the router, I setup NordVPN on it, and it connected but whenrver it did, I cant use the internet, its something to do with DNS but I didnt have the expertise to fix it, so I returned the router. On reading some info on this forum, there is talk of changing the DNS to 8.8.8.8 which I did, but still didnt work, the firmware on the router was stock one, again not sure if this makes any difference.

Here is my setup at home, got the EE router which works well 27mb download or so, fibre just got cabled on the street so not sure when we will be able to get faster speeds. I have an outbuilding at the bottom of the garden about 25m away from the centre of the house under the stairs where the EE router is, one of the reasons I got the Asus was its wifi coverage, I thought i can use a single wifi 25m away, with 2 walls in between, a stud wall and a solid wall leading onto the garden, when I tested the Asus, wifi coverage was not getting into the outbuilidng which also serves as my office. so I had a cheap old router from EE at home, so I just piggy backed off the main router in the house, this was done via a Cat 6 cable which runs from the house to the outbuilding, and then the other router in the outbuilding serves the devices connected to it.

I am looking to get another Asus router, and below are my requirements.

  1. I need Open VPN to work on it, so that if I want certain devices to connect via a VPN connection, they can use that router. This avoids the need to have VPN on several devices eg for streaming content.
  2. I want to be able to connect to my network whilst away from home.
  3. Single router that extends wifi to the outbuilding (not essential but just a nice to have, saves wires dangling everywhere)
  4. Excellent network performance, I have a 16 port switch hanging off the router, this is for any device on the network that wants to connect.
  5. Quad core performance as I will need the VPN on most of the time, and dont want to slow down the download speed unnecessarily. I know I may need 2 different networks in the one, VPN and non-VPN to counter this.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi All.

First post, I would like to commend everyone here for help and useful information on this forum, I wish I had discovered it a month ago. New to the forum, so please take it easy on me if my question has already been answered, I did some research but mindful of making the same mistake twice.

So about a month ago, I got myself an Asus 882, I have EE broadband, although there is DSL coverage on the road, I have not explored this option. I have just been using ADSL, this might change as my bandwidth requirement increased (streaming, cloud backup etc). When I got the router, I setup NordVPN on it, and it connected but whenrver it did, I cant use the internet, its something to do with DNS but I didnt have the expertise to fix it, so I returned the router. On reading some info on this forum, there is talk of changing the DNS to 8.8.8.8 which I did, but still didnt work, the firmware on the router was stock one, again not sure if this makes any difference.

Here is my setup at home, got the EE router which works well 27mb download or so, fibre just got cabled on the street so not sure when we will be able to get faster speeds. I have an outbuilding at the bottom of the garden about 25m away from the centre of the house under the stairs where the EE router is, one of the reasons I got the Asus was its wifi coverage, I thought i can use a single wifi 25m away, with 2 walls in between, a stud wall and a solid wall leading onto the garden, when I tested the Asus, wifi coverage was not getting into the outbuilidng which also serves as my office. so I had a cheap old router from EE at home, so I just piggy backed off the main router in the house, this was done via a Cat 6 cable which runs from the house to the outbuilding, and then the other router in the outbuilding serves the devices connected to it.

I am looking to get another Asus router, and below are my requirements.

  1. I need Open VPN to work on it, so that if I want certain devices to connect via a VPN connection, they can use that router. This avoids the need to have VPN on several devices eg for streaming content.
  2. I want to be able to connect to my network whilst away from home.
  3. Single router that extends wifi to the outbuilding (not essential but just a nice to have, saves wires dangling everywhere)
  4. Excellent network performance, I have a 16 port switch hanging off the router, this is for any device on the network that wants to connect.
  5. Quad core performance as I will need the VPN on most of the time, and dont want to slow down the download speed unnecessarily. I know I may need 2 different networks in the one, VPN and non-VPN to counter this.

Beware running Ethernet to the outbuilding if the outbuilding power has its own Earth ground/rod separate from the house power Earth ground/rod. Voltage potential differences can arise between the two building grounds, if not bonded together, and lead to ground loop currents circulating through equipment at each end of the joining Ethernet cable. Not good and potentially destructive.

Also, an exposed cable is a lightning risk.

A wireless link avoids these issues.

The outbuilding office probably deserves LAN and WLAN service and may have modest bandwidth requirements (100 Mbps and 1 or 2 users) A wireless 2-node AiMesh may reach, if you can optimize the node locations (the house node can't be buried in a media cabinet at the far end of the basement).

Tri-band routers would allow dedicating one band to the wireless backhaul, but I'd prefer waiting for WiFi 6e routers for this.

The dual-band AC86U has hardware encryption for strong VPN support, so look for that instead of just CPU cores. It would need to be your main router.

A 2xRT-AC86U wireless AiMesh would be your minimum spec... might work well enough... won't know unless you try it. The "solid wall leading onto the garden" concerns me... thick masonry attenuates WiFi. I would hope to backhaul over or around it.

The AC86U exceeds the AC88U (except for LAN ports), so skip the AC88U.

Avoid xDSL ISP service... it's what you use when you have no other choice.

OE
 
Last edited:

Platforminc

New Around Here
Thanks for the reply, the earthing for the outbuilding is from the main house. I should have a AC86U in the next day or two, so please what do I need to do to it configuration wise to achieve the objectives that I set out ? Also from my understanding, I will still need my ISP router, and what will happen is that the ISP router will supply the Asus router as the AC86U doesnt have a RJ 11 port.
 

lighting

Regular Contributor
You can also reduce the electrical and lightning problems with ethernet network isolators, including fiber media converters, which can be pretty inexpensive. Avoid wireless if you can.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for the reply, the earthing for the outbuilding is from the main house. I should have a AC86U in the next day or two, so please what do I need to do to it configuration wise to achieve the objectives that I set out ? Also from my understanding, I will still need my ISP router, and what will happen is that the ISP router will supply the Asus router as the AC86U doesnt have a RJ 11 port.

Ideally, run the ISP router in bridge mode. This may be possible despite its RJ-11 (phone?) port. Otherwise, the AC86U AiMesh root node must be wired in AP Mode... and that may affect using its VPN feature(?).

My install notes cover a basic AiMesh configuration.

OE
 

Platforminc

New Around Here
Ok, I am a bit confused now. I have EE broadband, are you now saying that the AC86U is no good ? I ask this because I thought AC86U doesnt have a built in modem. Also please be gentle with the terms, I am not a networking guru, ISP router in bridge mode, what does this mean ?

I really want the VPN feature, in fact this is the main driver for buying the router, so anything that hinders the VPN functionality means no point getting the router.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Ok, I am a bit confused now. I have EE broadband, are you now saying that the AC86U is no good ? I ask this because I thought AC86U doesnt have a built in modem. Also please be gentle with the terms, I am not a networking guru, ISP router in bridge mode, what does this mean ?

I really want the VPN feature, in fact this is the main driver for buying the router, so anything that hinders the VPN functionality means no point getting the router.

Sorry, I'm not familiar with EE Broadband. You'll have to look into it:

How do I use my own router for home broadband? | Help | EE

The AC86U is fine. It is not a gateway... it does not include a modem, which is how you want it. It is better to keep the modem separate for management and upgrade reasons.

When you are required to retain the ISP box for some reason (ask them), Bridge Mode means you set their box to not be the router... to be a simple modem or whatever it is still required to be besides being your network... and then use your own router (AC86U) wired to it. Your ISP-assigned public IP address is then passed/bridged through to your router WAN.

It is possible to daisy chain two routers... double NAT... but not preferred.

I'm not familiar with using a VPN server on the router, on a double-NATted router, nor on a router being used in AP Mode.

I suggest you first determine what your options are with your ISP box. Then go from there.

OE
 

Platforminc

New Around Here
The EE router has a feature called WAN port, if set to ON, ethernet port 4 is used for your broadband connection. I now have the AC86u router. It is new and manufactured this year, what do I need to do from.a config perspective please. Do I need any firmware upgrade etc and how will I configure please.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
The EE router has a feature called WAN port, if set to ON, ethernet port 4 is used for your broadband connection. I now have the AC86u router. It is new and manufactured this year, what do I need to do from.a config perspective please. Do I need any firmware upgrade etc and how will I configure please.

What is your network implementation plan? Can you bridge the EE box? How are you going to deliver network service to the outbuilding?

My notes linked above suggest how to configure a router and AiMesh. You might want to test/confirm a few things as they are before installing firmware.

OE
 

Platforminc

New Around Here
Hi,

Thanks for the response, I will read your notes thoroughly. I feel a picture paints a thousands words, so I have sketched what I have and hope you can somehow explain to me how to optimise it please.

For the outbuilding, there are 6 x network cables going into the 24 port switch, wired all around the outbuilding at different points, goes underneath the garden and buried into the ground straight from the wall plates to the switch.

As it stands today, I took one feed for the router I have in the outbuilding to extend wifi there, there is also a direct feed straight from the wall plates to the switch indoors as described above. I use one backing up my laptop onto the NAS in the main house as an example.

For the Asus, when its connected via VPN, does all traffic go through VPN or can i choose which devices ?
The devices that require VPN traffic are only 4, what a friend of mine did was to buy a similar VPN router, piggy backed off his main ISP router, this way he was able to create a specific WIFI connection point for devices that require VPN and still have a WIFI for devices that dont require VPN. I say this because the guaranteed speed in my home is only 17mb, even with a 32mb link, and I know VPN connection somehow slows down the speed.

Any questions, please let me know. I have also labelled the items A...G etc, in case you want to explain something to me. I have not bought the AImesh nodes just yet, I wanted to set things up first and understand what the Asus router can do and then take it from there.

Thanks in advance.

1607178029285.png
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi,

Thanks for the response, I will read your notes thoroughly. I feel a picture paints a thousands words, so I have sketched what I have and hope you can somehow explain to me how to optimise it please.

For the outbuilding, there are 6 x network cables going into the 24 port switch, wired all around the outbuilding at different points, goes underneath the garden and buried into the ground straight from the wall plates to the switch.

As it stands today, I took one feed for the router I have in the outbuilding to extend wifi there, there is also a direct feed straight from the wall plates to the switch indoors as described above. I use one backing up my laptop onto the NAS in the main house as an example.

For the Asus, when its connected via VPN, does all traffic go through VPN or can i choose which devices ?
The devices that require VPN traffic are only 4, what a friend of mine did was to buy a similar VPN router, piggy backed off his main ISP router, this way he was able to create a specific WIFI connection point for devices that require VPN and still have a WIFI for devices that dont require VPN. I say this because the guaranteed speed in my home is only 17mb, even with a 32mb link, and I know VPN connection somehow slows down the speed.

Any questions, please let me know. I have also labelled the items A...G etc, in case you want to explain something to me. I have not bought the AImesh nodes just yet, I wanted to set things up first and understand what the Asus router can do and then take it from there.

Thanks in advance.

View attachment 28231

Given the house and outbuilding power are on a common Earth ground at the house, and multiple Cat6 cables are buried between the house and outbuilding...

House
ISP box Bridged <cat6> AC86U AiMesh router ))) <cat6> switch ...
... <cat6> NAS
... <cat6> LAN clients
((( WLAN and guest WLAN clients

Outbuilding
... <cat6> LAN clients
... <cat6> AC86U AiMesh remote node ))) <cat6> LAN clients
((( WLAN and guest WLAN clients

To be determined:
o Can the ISP box be bridged?
o Can house AC86U WiFi ))) serve the outbuilding (probably not)?
o How to implement a VPN for some/all clients?
o How to implement secure remote access?
o How to manage 32max/17min Mbps ISP bandwidth?
o Are there TV/phone service considerations?
o What are the existing router makes and models (Asus 882?)?

OE
 

Platforminc

New Around Here
o Can the ISP box be bridged? What do you mean by this ?
o Can house AC86U WiFi ))) serve the outbuilding (probably not)?
o How to implement a VPN for some/all clients? Yes
o How to implement secure remote access? Yes
o How to manage 32max/17min Mbps ISP bandwidth?
o Are there TV/phone service considerations? Yes
o What are the existing router makes and models (Asus 882?)? Asus 86u


ISP Router, EE Smart Hub Router
Router in outbuilding: EE brightbox router
Also have a D-link 2640R
 

Platforminc

New Around Here
Hi all.

I just found out that the ISP router cannot be bridged. So I'm thinking of getting a belkin play N600 to replace the ISP router and use this in bridge mode if it supports it. Does anyone have any recommended router that I can use in bridge mode ?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi all.

I just found out that the ISP router cannot be bridged. So I'm thinking of getting a belkin play N600 to replace the ISP router and use this in bridge mode if it supports it. Does anyone have any recommended router that I can use in bridge mode ?

I think you need to ask your ISP what your options are for equipment that will work with their service/services and your network/router.

I would not buy more equipment until you have determined a plan that should work.

OE
 

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