Asus RT-AX68U or AX86S as media bridge

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andrenb

New Around Here
I use an Asus RT-AX86U as my main router at our farm and want to set up an extra router as a media bridge for the PC and laptop docking station in the home office. I can get the Asus RT-AX86S (S, not U) for 20$ more than the AX68U. Which of the two should you recommend for this kind of use?

Our internet is only 40/20 mbits so the main reason I want a media bridge insted of keeping the home office on wireless is transferring large files back and forth between the computers and the NAS connected to the main router.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

andrenb

New Around Here
The RT-AX86S with a 4x4:4 connection will give you a better experience connected to the NAS than the 3x3:3 capable RT-AX68U.

Assuming that the RT-AX86S is as stable as the RT-AX68U I recently have experience with, it should easily be worth $20 more, just for that feature alone.

RT-AX86S


RT-AX68U



Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode

Thank you, it seems like the AX86S is the one to go for then when the price difference is so small. :)

The AX86S uses the same firmware as the AX86U and I'll be running both the main router and media bridge on Merlin which has given me solid performance and stability so far on the AX86U.
 
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SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Checking the current online retail prices... It looks like they went up for the RT-AX86U which is now $279 USD from Amazon (up from $249). The new RT-AX86S is $249.00 USD. I said this would happen in a post over a month ago. They will still be sold out and back ordered for the AX86U even after the price increase.
 

andrenb

New Around Here
Checking the current online retail prices... It looks like they went up for the RT-AX86U which is now $279 USD from Amazon (up from $249). The new RT-AX86S is $249.00 USD. I said this would happen in a post over a month ago. They will still be sold out and back ordered for the AX86U even after the price increase.

I live in Norway where the RT-AX86S is 235$ new while the AX86U is 350$. So the 86S is much better value for my needs now when the 86U is so much more expensive.
 

MrAsusIsBack

Occasional Visitor
Hello,
i want give a small hint.
The transfer rate comparison is a bit lagging. You also have to use the same bandwidth when comparing transfer rates.

The spec value at RT-AX86U/S is @ 160MHz which is not really often used. Also in wlan spec specified -> the transmit power is always distributed across the bandwidth, that means also less range the more bandwith is used.
The spec value at RT-AX68U is @ 80MHz.

So if both routers ran typically with 80MHz @ 5GHz Band
RT-AX86U/S - 2402 Mbps
RT-AX68U - 1802 Mbps
Yes there's a difference, but it's not as much as you just read only the headline of the specs. :)

About MIMO difference 3x3 or 4x4: I don't know a smartphone or Laptop which have more than 2x2. Only PC-Wlan cards etc. can sometimes have 3x3 or 4x4.
So you will hardly notice a real difference between these two routers.

But if only 20$ more for AX86S i would recommend this.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
As this was for a Media Bridge, the difference will be far greater than what you suggest in the post above.
 

MrAsusIsBack

Occasional Visitor
As this was for a Media Bridge, the difference will be far greater than what you suggest in the post above.
Hello,
can you please explain me why the difference is far greater?? I want to understand these things !
The difference from 1802 and 2402 ist because 3x3 and 4x4. But in which detail are much more differences?

Thanks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Connecting a 4x4:4 router to a 4x4:4 Media Bridge isn't the same in a real-world setup as connecting to a mere client device that is more than likely battery-powered and optimized for long life (when off the AC power plug) and particularly at a 2x2:2 connection as previously stated above.

Not only will the connection be faster because of those extra antennae, but it will also be more robust and dependable too.

The context of the original environment has greater weight than the mere specs on paper may show.

Depending on how important a fast/stable and reliable connection the desktop and laptop require, I would always suggest another 4x4:4 router in Media Bridge mode to pair with. Almost (i.e. when a NAS is also involved), regardless of the cost.
 

RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
I'm using a RT-AX3000 for a media bridge. Works very well for me. It's upstairs from my router node (ZenWiFi AX) and runs about 700 - 800Mbps on a gigabit network. The wifi-6 connection apparently helps a lot. I've been surprised how fast it is, and it just runs without a problem until I upgrade the firmware, or there's a power outage, or whatever. Worth a try to see how it works for you.
 

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