Asus RT-AX86U Verses RT-AC86U Wireless Signal Strength

sp1683

New Around Here
Unfortunately, I came home from vacation to a dead Asus RT-AC86U and had to revert back to using my ATT modem for WIFI, which was about as terrible as it could be. I had already been contemplating getting an RT-AX86U as I have had my previous one for close to 4 years. I setup the new AX86U on Saturday, and just left everything as default for now. I am probably going to have to go through and disable smart connect and tweak bands, etc. But the one question I have before investing too much time trying to tweak and test, does anyone know if the Wireless signal is weaker with the AX86U from the AC86U? I had a good wifi signal throughout the house with the old one, even in the furthest areas from the router. But with the AX86U, the signal does not seem to be very good far from the router, and we have an Amazon Alexa in an upstairs bathroom which can't get a strong enough signal to stay connected. I just wanted to check if anyone else has noticed anything similar? If the signal is not as strong, I may just return it and get another AC86U, since we don't have any WiFi6 devices anyway.

Thank you for any feedback.
 
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geobernd

Regular Contributor
You have the opposite of my experience: I switched from the AC68U to the AX86U about a month ago and would say 2.4 Ghz is about the same and on 5 Ghz the AX86U reaches significantly further and faster than the old one.
I am using AsusMerlinWRT 386.7 - but I don't think that makes a difference here...
The only thing I turned off on 24. Ghz is 'Universal Beamforming'
 

sp1683

New Around Here
You have the opposite of my experience: I switched from the AC68U to the AX86U about a month ago and would say 2.4 Ghz is about the same and on 5 Ghz the AX86U reaches significantly further and faster than the old one.
I am using AsusMerlinWRT 386.7 - but I don't think that makes a difference here...
The only thing I turned off on 24. Ghz is 'Universal Beamforming'
Thank you very much for the reply. I will try and disable some of the default settings and see if it helps. I just noticed I got dropped from the 5 Ghz connection and am now on the 2.4 GHz connection on my laptop, and keep seeing the connection properties change. So most likely I need to do some tweaking.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Unfortunately, I came home from vacation to a dead Asus RT-AC68U and had to revert back to using my ATT modem for WIFI, which was about as terrible as it could be. I had already been contemplating getting an RT-AX86U as I have had my previous one for close to 4 years. I setup the new AX86U on Saturday, and just left everything as default for now. I am probably going to have to go through and disable smart connect and tweak bands, etc. But the one question I have before investing too much time trying to tweak and test, does anyone know if the Wireless signal is weaker with the AX86U from the AC68U? I had a good wifi signal throughout the house with the old one, even in the furthest areas from the router. But with the AX86U, the signal does not seem to be very good far from the router, and we have an Amazon Alexa in an upstairs bathroom which can't get a strong enough signal to stay connected. I just wanted to check if anyone else has noticed anything similar? If the signal is not as strong, I may just return it and get another AC68U, since we don't have any WiFi6 devices anyway.

Thank you for any feedback.

Given current firmware (current Tx power restrictions), the AX86U WiFi should be about 20% more effective at distance than the AC68U. I would keep the AX86U.

That said, it does feel like AX equipment signal strength can vary slightly with how the router is configured. I get good results with my install notes.

OE
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Thank you very much for the reply. I will try and disable some of the default settings and see if it helps. I just noticed I got dropped from the 5 Ghz connection and am now on the 2.4 GHz connection on my laptop, and keep seeing the connection properties change. So most likely I need to do some tweaking.
I would encourage you to keep the default WIFI settings. You have bought one of the best routers around so let it and your clients choose what is best. In the past year I have tried many settings with my AX86U on both Asus and Merlin firmware. Now I use the default WIFI settings mostly with Asus firmware. I disable WPS, use WPA2/WPA3-personal and enable DFS channels and 160 MHz bandwidth. And there are good reasons to use the Dual Band SmartConnect especially if you use DFS channels. I only have three AX clients and one AC client that uses 160 MHz. But all the others, even a couple of G WIFI cams, work well with the Asus default settings. Just make sure your firmware is up to date.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I just noticed I got dropped from the 5 Ghz connection and am now on the 2.4 GHz connection on my laptop, and keep seeing the connection properties change.

Don't forget to turn OFF the ISP gateway WiFi.

OE
 

SAL9K

Regular Contributor
My 5g coverage with the ax86u has been nothing short of stellar.

I have a single floor unit, and for me there was a noticeable hit in range/throughput with non-vertical antenna's. The antenna emits in a donut shape, perpendicular to the axis of the antenna; i.e. vertical antenna, horizontal transmission; horizontal antenna, vertical transmission.

Did you try rotating your antenna's to the 45/90 degree positions to reach your upstairs better?
 
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sp1683

New Around Here
Oh wow, I messed this up pretty bad. My old router is not the AC68U but the AC86U. I just updated the thread title. Thank you all for the recommendations. I am going to try and adjust the way the antennas are facing, and will probably try a few other tweaks. My work computer is staying connected using 2.4 GHz instead of using 5 GHz, and I am getting some fairly low speed tests in comparison to what I was getting with the AC86U. I will at least play around and disable to smart connect options and try a different SSID for the 5 GHz to see if I can stay connected on 5 GHz instead of going back on forth on my laptop and staying on 2.4 GHz on my work computer.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Oh wow, I messed this up pretty bad. My old router is not the AC68U but the AC86U. I just updated the thread title. Thank you all for the recommendations. I am going to try and adjust the way the antennas are facing, and will probably try a few other tweaks. My work computer is staying connected using 2.4 GHz instead of using 5 GHz, and I am getting some fairly low speed tests in comparison to what I was getting with the AC86U. I will at least play around and disable to smart connect options and try a different SSID for the 5 GHz to see if I can stay connected on 5 GHz instead of going back on forth on my laptop and staying on 2.4 GHz on my work computer.

Makes more sense... AC68Us don't ever die.

The AX86U and AC86U are similar in WiFi performance, particularly with Smart Connect disabled on the AX86U. I would tilt \ | / the antennas as they are designed for. Also, forget and recreate client WiFi connections for the new network, after you install it.

OE
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
does anyone know if the Wireless signal is weaker with the AX86U from the AC86U?

My AC86U has better Wi-Fi than the new toy AX86U I've got recently. For the most part both work the same way to AC clients though.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I've seen a few RT-AC68Us that have died (notably, from high temperatures). Nothing is exempt from death.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've seen a few RT-AC68Us that have died (notably, from high temperatures). Nothing is exempt from death.

I've seen people win the lottery.

"Statistically speaking, you're more likely to die from a bee sting than win the lottery."

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

All are used to distort/discount the truth behind statements one may not agree with (or other political agendas - see anything 'health' past early 2020).
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
LOOKOUT!... you're swerving to the left!

In the context of this thread, an AC68U never dies. :)

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
In the context of full disclosure, it does.
 

tallytr

Senior Member
5GHz reach is where RT-AX86U shines, for 2.4Ghz (legacy devices) I use a cheap TP Link access point, all my 2.4GHz clients are stationary... security stuff, printer, home iOT devices, Sonos....
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Asus RT-AX86U shines on 5GHz as bright as $50 TP-Link Archer C80. It’s a little dimmer, actually. Why do you have an additional AP for 2.4GHz band?
 

SAL9K

Regular Contributor
Asus RT-AX86U shines on 5GHz as bright as $50 TP-Link Archer C80. It’s a little dimmer, actually. Why do you have an additional AP for 2.4GHz band?
If by "shines" you mean the C80 can match the max legal dBm output of an AX86U, then you can say that about any router on the market. An AX router is ~40% more spectrally efficient than any AC router, 867 vs 1200 Mbps/stream on 160MHz channels. You must be referring to performance of the C80/AX86U to "AC" only clients. In terms of throughput, an AX86U to an AX client will blow any AC router away, by far, including the C80.

EDIT: The C80 is 80 Mhz only, so its max is going to be 433 Mbps/stream. So, no, the C80 can't be compared to the AX86U, even to AC clients.
 
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tallytr

Senior Member
Asus RT-AX86U shines on 5GHz as bright as $50 TP-Link Archer C80. It’s a little dimmer, actually. Why do you have an additional AP for 2.4GHz band?
Disagreed. Had many 5GHz routers but none was that strong/fast, with exception of the GT-AX6000 I had for a bit recently, but wasn't good enough, and too expensive/flashy gamer interface (for me) to replace the RT-AX86U...
We have a large 3 level house around 4,000sqft and the one router, central on upper floor works well for everything, no other router did that for me... I do not like AiMesh, tried it before but was never as stable as one "manually controlled" (separate bands)...
Added one TP EAP Access Point solely for remote parameter IPCams and also to have a very strong 2.4GHz signal at the entrance for door locks, garage door and door bell...
That is just me, you need to use and be happy with your equipment/setup, that goes without saying.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
You must be referring to performance of the C80/AX86U to "AC" only clients.

Yes, of course. Both routers have approximately the same range and throughput to most common even today 2-stream AC clients. @tallytr is talking about range. I’m replying about range.
 

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