[Asus RT-AX88U] Experiences & Discussion

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Broken Hope

Regular Contributor
How likely is it that the AX88 will support the final version of WiFi 6, or is Asus likely to release a newer router later down the line?
 

Celeras

New Around Here
take a much cheaper RT-AC86U for about 150$ next time they are sold for this price again.
Then wait 2 years and you get good AX routers for the same price.
At the end you have 2 very good routers for what you have to pay right now for only one AX routers.

And then you will know which routers will get Merlin support, are reliable and AX will be well defined and implemented in chips.
Not bad advice but let's be real. I'm using a N56U currently... if I buy a router I'm probably using it for a decade. Would the AC86U still be your recommendation if that is the case?
 

Bamsefar

Senior Member
I have a AC88, and I am thinking about the AX88 - however, one thing I do need is all 8 ethernet ports working. The AC88 has problems with port 5-6-7-8, they seem to disconnect from time to time - without any reason. I have been having it like that for well since I got my AC88. And it is a famous problem so to speak...

So my question is: Does the AX88 have any problems with the ethernet ports? Or are all 8 working?
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
Not bad advice but let's be real. I'm using a N56U currently... if I buy a router I'm probably using it for a decade. Would the AC86U still be your recommendation if that is the case?
yes it would be if you rely on Asus (for some reasons I personally changed to AVM mesh), 86U is one of their most powerful routers for a very good price and will get long support for their most popular model and you could have Merlin on it!
Or wait 2 years when AX is finalized without 'teething troubles' and on its way.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
How likely is it that the AX88 will support the final version of WiFi 6, or is Asus likely to release a newer router later down the line?
Nobody knows what kind of changes the final specifications will have over the current draft, so it's impossible to say if certification would require new silicon, software updates, or no change at all (in case the remaining changes are purely political/marketing/etc...).

This late in the game, it's highly unlikely that certification would require new hardware, unless a serious flaw is found in the hardware (kinda like when Broadcom tried to enable MU-MIMO, and realized that the initial BCM4366 chip simply lacked the CPU power to handle it properly).
 

Celeras

New Around Here
yes it would be if you rely on Asus (for some reasons I personally changed to AVM mesh), 86U is one of their most powerful routers for a very good price and will get long support for their most popular model and you could have Merlin on it!
Or wait 2 years when AX is finalized without 'teething troubles' and on its way.
Thanks for your input. I definitely don't think I'll be waiting two years. I was looking at AX for it's improvements to 2.4ghz, as I said I don't currently get good 5ghz coverage with my N56U and I don't know how much the newer models will help with that.

If I had to wait that long id probably just roll the dice and hope an AC model makes a substantial difference to my 5ghz coverage, since i don't think it would do much for my 2.4 (iirc AX is the first improvement to 2.4 since my model came out, right?)
 

doczenith1

Very Senior Member
Any of the current AC routers will give you more coverage than your N router, even for N clients. My advice is the 86U. A solid AC router at a good price that will serve your needs. My 86U improved on my coverage coming from my AC68U. I am also on the "way too early to experiment with draft AX" team.
 

Andrew Willey

Occasional Visitor
I really like my AX88U. However, I have found the 5GHz band to be slightly weaker then my AC88U. I don’t believe it is faulty, just that my AC88U is more powerful on 5GHz than the AX out of the box.

So much so that I have set up my AC88U as an AP and use that for all my 5GHz devices.

The AX88U is a beast when it come to my VPN though.

Ive ordered the RT-AC86U on offer at £134 and ive also ordred the RT-AX88U for £300, but not sure which one to keep. ve got a 200 meg cable broadband connection and there is just me and my 8 year old son living there. All my TV view is via internet streaming (Now TV, Netflix) and my son is permanently streaming on youtube. I do have NordVPN which would be nice to have on the router, i had the RT-AC86U for a month last year and i was getting about 100meg throughput out of my VPN on it. Im wondering whether the throughput on VPN will increase, the range and overall speed will be worth getting the RT-AX88U for.

I heard 'VPN is hardware accelerated, and the VPN services are single threaded and both being 1.8Ghz each core' so the quad core of the RT-AX88U wouldnt make it any faster? is that correct?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
No manufacturer has yet released a product that has OFDMA enabled. This is MU-MIMO all over again. Except, this time, manufacturers are not labeling their products honestly. All AX routers spec OFDMA operation, with the only disclaimer that OFDMA devices are required to support the feature.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
I heard 'VPN is hardware accelerated, and the VPN services are single threaded and both being 1.8Ghz each core' so the quad core of the RT-AX88U wouldnt make it any faster? is that correct?
The RT-AX88U CPU has hardware-assisted AES and SHA support, so any cipher that uses these will run much faster than on a non-accelerated CPU.
 

FTC

Senior Member
But doesnt the AC86U have the same CPU?
Nope, AC86U has a BCM4906 dual core and AX88U has a BCM49408 quad core one. Both however run at 1.8Ghz and I think both have hardware assistance for VPN encryption..
 

Andrew Willey

Occasional Visitor
Nope, AC86U has a BCM4906 dual core and AX88U has a BCM49408 quad core one. Both however run at 1.8Ghz and I think both have hardware assistance for VPN encryption..
You are being most helpful thank you. Do you think you will get improved VPN encryption speed with the quad core?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

FTC

Senior Member
You are being most helpful thank you. Do you think you will get improved VPN encryption speed with the quad core?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Does not look like.. since this is typpically a monothread task, BUT having more cores will help in performance with additional tasks that the router may be doing at the same time, whether it is accessing a samba shared resource, another VPN session, general routing or whatever...
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
AC86U got encryption acceleration too and coverage schould be the same for EU.
Try them both and you will see there wont be any difference in real live. Maybe AX even slower as there are still more bugs.
Your 2.4G wont be faster with AX!!!
Your recent clients dont support AX and future devices will more likely connect to 5G.

Please report back your findings, very interested - thanks!
 

pinkfloyd1173

Senior Member
I have question for you guys.

On this RT-AX88U is it the same steps to do the hard reset like the RT-AC3100. What I mean by that is it holding down the wps button and then starting up the router at the same time??

Reason I am asking is because I have tried to do this on this router and from my experience on the ac3100 the power light begins to flash really fast when it is resetting. However on Ax88U I have tried this a few times, held down the wps button for at least 30 to 40 seconds and then I let it go, but the power light does not flash like it used to do on the AC3100.

It does rest the router but just wondering if it is the same process like before?

Thanks in advance.
 

Celeras

New Around Here
Thanks to everyone who recommended the AC86U. Reaches everywhere I need it to and signal is strong throughout. Good call, definitely didn't need the extra cha-ching and dice roll on AX. Cheers
 

Andrew Willey

Occasional Visitor
Can i just thank everyone for their input. I went with the AC86U over the AX88U and im delighted. The range is magnificent for the 5G band ime getting 215mb throughout the flat now. All i got to work out now is how to put my NordVPN on it and enable what devices use the VPN or the WAN
 

lancashire

New Around Here
I have question for you guys.

On this RT-AX88U is it the same steps to do the hard reset like the RT-AC3100. What I mean by that is it holding down the wps button and then starting up the router at the same time??

Reason I am asking is because I have tried to do this on this router and from my experience on the ac3100 the power light begins to flash really fast when it is resetting. However on Ax88U I have tried this a few times, held down the wps button for at least 30 to 40 seconds and then I let it go, but the power light does not flash like it used to do on the AC3100.

It does rest the router but just wondering if it is the same process like before?

Thanks in advance.
ASUS router Hard Factory Reset - Method 2

1. Turn the router off.
2. Press and hold the "WPS" button and turn the router on.
3. Power light is on (keep holding the WPS button).
4. Release the WPS button after the power light is off.
5. Reboot your router by manually pressing the power button.


  • Product GT-AC5300, GT-AX11000, GT-AX11000 (Call of duty 4), RT-AC2900, RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U
 

daedex

Occasional Visitor
Question guys, i dont want to make a full thread on this:

I am planning on purchasing 2 AX88u's and strictly using the aimesh and link aggregation. I have never tried the merlin firmware for this and I would like to.

Does the merlin firmware still allow me to use aimesh and link aggregation? Thanks!
 

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