1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Asus RT-AC86U - 2.4ghz reliability

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by foosion, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. foosion

    foosion Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    The AC86U is very popular here. When I look at Amazon reviews, there are a lot of people complaining that 2.4ghz stops working or is otherwise unreliable.

    Are the people reporting problems unlucky, clueless, the victims of a bad batch, or the like? Or is there a problem with router?
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,457
    Yes!

    Seriously though, some people have network setups or requirements that bring these issues to light. Most people that buy this router have no problems and therefore do not post online singing its praises. ;)

    The best you can do is try one (or two) in your specific configuration and see if the issues are real or effectively moot, for you.
     
    Dave Parker and foosion like this.
  3. foosion

    foosion Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    Good advice, although there are lots of reports of issues that only show up beyond the return period.

    I'd note that there are many people singing the praises of that router, on Amazon, here and elsewhere.
     
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,457
    That is why you want to extensively test within the return period for all your possible network usage and expectations.

    Considering how many RT-AC86U's have been sold, the online praising is a rather small percentage. ;)
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Marmaduke Ar.
    Too old to sing but 1vote of praise here for the 86U. Going on 4 months and no problems. Using Merlins 384.9.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  6. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    13,824
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've been kind of watching this - I'm suspecting a firmware bug in the upstream Broadcom stuff - the wireless driver is all closed source (Broadcom-WL) and seems like a lot of issues related to client connectivity across the board here, esp with 2.4GHz on the current Asus tip.

    Concern here is that folks are seeing issues, assuming the Asus device is somehow "bad" hardware - that's hard to accept, as most reports I've seen are on the updated firmware.

    @RMerlin - care to comment here?
     
  7. st3v3n

    st3v3n Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Central US
    foosion, As with every product made, with each production run, a few units may slip past casual QC instpection. Asus routers usually don't have problems. We had to request replacement of two 86Us by Amazon during the 30-day return periods, and the third 86U was a charm, with no issues. We upgraded/configured it to run two concurrent OpenVPN tunnels and it's performed extremely well, with WiFi faults. It was odd but the two returns were a fluke. Others have reported similar problems, but percentage-wise, it only takes a few reports to make it seem as if a model has wide-spread defects in a router, which is usually quite rare.

    While It's not for everyone, for the units sold by Amazon, the square trade hazard/replacement policy has developed a good rep, and is something we buy for all our electronics. The one area where Asus doesn't shine, (from personal experience) is their warranty service, which is a modern Achilles heel for most major manufacturers. If you buy the policy, it doesn't add much to the per unit cost. If a unit fails several months later, the policy beats the pants off of the warranty/service (always read policy terms before buying). We sent a different product through factory warranty service and finally, two months later received a different beat up refurb, which had worse problems. The manufacturer wasn't responsive, so we filed a consumer report and stopped buying their products. We only used square trade process once but it beat the warranty by light years; the process was was fast, shipping was pre-paid, and when the item couldn't be repaire within the time frame, we received full credit for the price paid, so we could purchase the replacement. Like house hazard/loss policy, you don't want to use it but are glad it's in place if you need it.

    With the Asus routers we've owned, sold, installed/setup/or configured, never had a radio fail. Ran into several customers who were inept in configuring/admin their routers, who thought it was all plug and play. There are many different aspects which can affect each/every installation, so it's easy for some to place blame on a router. Electronics sometimes fail due to age so always have a plan 'B' for a backup/standby router. The 86U radio has good reach for us; we don't need AiMesh so install Asuswrt-Merlin for the benefits the FW adds. We're still partial to the three radios in the AC3200.

    As for router reviews on the web, Amazon reviews are a mixed bag. Amazon has been better over the past year at weeding out one-time 'verified-fakes' but some folks are whiners, others are misleading or disingenuous. The third party sellers exercise a great deal of control over what appears in their reviews so we always purchase directly from Amazon. If one discounts 50% of what is posted to the web, that's a decent starting point to dig in, to find accurate info. SNB forums is a good repository of information, and a favorite of Asus aficionados. The answers most people needed have already been asked and answered from many angles and searching the threads will reveal them. Good luck with your 86U.
     
    Marin, Dave Parker and L&LD like this.
  8. Chiny91

    Chiny91 Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    27
    The 2.4 GHz radio on my home AC86U died yesterday (after 7 months) causing panic in the house. I've tacked on an old N66 via ethernet to the AC86U for now to restore calm but am now left with a "replace or go for something else" problem. Other documented bugs for the AC86U don't help (principally snmp for me). Still, I'm tending towards another just to make config easy and the price/performance point seems much the same as when I purchased. Mutter.
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Marmaduke Ar.
    You are still in warranty. I would try RMA.
     
  10. foosion

    foosion Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    I wonder what would be more reliable in the same general price/performance point