[Asus RT-AX88U] Experiences & Discussion

barcote

Occasional Visitor
Thank you. That helps! My hesitation probably arose after reading this topic's various older posts that spoke of instability.

But I also see that @RMerlin has also now uploaded a stable production release. I'd guess that most bugs are out and this is a stable enough release.

And I also wanted to know what changes would I have to make to enable this hardware support to take care of encryption such that my OpenVPN would work at it's FASTEST!
I thought I'd add my (disappointing) experience as a note of caution as I don't see a lot of posts reflecting it on this forum (which are mostly positive give or take) which in no small part is why I decided it was safe to dip my toe with AX so I bought the AX88U (coming from rock solid AC88U) and had almost nothing but problems with WIFI. The basic hardware is good with a very capable CPU but the WIFI... my lord. In fairness it worked with most of my devices but is no faster than AC as is to be expected - I didn't really see a speed improvement on my ax ready S10; perhaps slightly but not anything to get excited about. Obviously the big benefits of AX are not really speed and this was not an issue for me. But my wife's Samsung S7 was operating at little better than dial up speed with frequent periodic massive latency (5-10s+) to boot and it didn't play nicely with my LG OLED either with a lot of buffering. I wasted some two hours playing with channels DFS/non DFS and toggling professional settings etc - very little channel interference here (I'm not as advanced a user as many on this forum but I think of myself as quietly competent with a fair understanding of what the settings do).

Ultimately I gave up (life is too short) and thought I'd try the AX11000 instead. Crikey - even worse. I missed Merlin which isn't available on that device but that one didn't solve the problem with S7 or LG OLED but also it didn't play nicely with my Samsung S10 either which has an AX chip(!) and the GUI hung every day or two. In fairness both devices were solid with intel wifi cards in laptops and PC. Generally for me at least, what a mess. Both routers have gone back to Amazon.

I see that many seem to be having an OK or even good experience but my experience is WIFI 6 is far from ready for mainstream at least on Asus. Unfortunately I sold my AC88U before I anticipated that there would be problems. I've since bought the AC86U and haven't looked back. It lacks the LAN aggregation I used for my NAS but I don't need it. Otherwise everything is an improvement over the AC88U. It gives better range than the AC88U (possibly due to its more upright design in my setting), love the hardware encryption on the CPU for VPN (means much faster speeds via VPN) and more importantly rock solid WIFI and router for all devices not just some.

AX will be great one day I'm sure and may even be now if you are fortunate with your device profile but you are effectively paying a premium price to be a beta tester. My early adopting days are done. I hope whichever choice you make it works out for you.
 
Last edited:

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
I thought I'd add my (disappointing) experience as a note of caution as I don't see a lot of posts reflecting it on this forum (which are mostly positive give or take) which in no small part is why I decided it was safe to dip my toe with AX so I bought the AX88U (coming from rock solid AC88U) and had almost nothing but problems with WIFI. The basic hardware is good with a very capable CPU but the WIFI... my lord. In fairness it worked with most of my devices but is no faster than AC as is to be expected - I didn't really see a speed improvement on my ax ready S10; perhaps slightly but not anything to get excited about. Obviously the big benefits of AX are not really speed and this was not an issue for me. But my wife's Samsung S7 was operating at little better than dial up speed with frequent periodic massive latency (5-10s+) to boot and it didn't play nicely with my LG OLED either with a lot of buffering. I wasted some two hours playing with channels DFS/non DFS and toggling professional settings etc - very little channel interference here (I'm not as advanced a user as many on this forum but I think of myself as quietly competent with a fair understanding of what the settings do).

Ultimately I gave up (life is too short) and thought I'd try the AX11000 instead. Crikey - even worse. I missed Merlin which isn't available on that device but that one didn't solve the problem with S7 or LG OLED but also it didn't play nicely with my Samsung S10 either which has an AX chip(!) and the GUI hung every day or two. In fairness both devices were solid with intel wifi cards in laptops and PC. Generally for me at least, what a mess. Both routers have gone back to Amazon.

I see that many seem to be having an OK or even good experience but my experience is WIFI 6 is far from ready for mainstream at least on Asus. Unfortunately I sold my AC88U before I anticipated that there would be problems. I've since bought the AC86U and haven't looked back. It lacks the LAN aggregation I used for my NAS but I don't need it. Otherwise everything is an improvement over the 88U. It gives better range than the 88U (possibly due to its more upright design in my setting), love the hardware encryption on the CPU for VPN (means much faster speeds via VPN) and more importantly rock solid WIFI and router for all devices not just some.

AX will be great one day I'm sure and may even be now if you are fortunate with your device profile but you are effectively paying a premium price to be a beta tester. My early adopting days are done. I hope whichever choice you make it works out for you.
Sorry to hear your bad experience.

I just purchased & got my AX88U yesterday. And I must say, it works pretty well. I too had an AC88U and my prime purpose of getting an AX88U was to get the OpenVPN performing at close to 100 MBPS. I can now say I'm getting roughly about 83 to 85 MBps....that's really good. So, I can say my purchase was beneficial to me, for the purpose for which I purhcased. I now AIMesh'd my RT-AC88U....and very happy with the overall coverage.

A few observations:
  1. Is there a way to go all the way till 100 MBPS? Yesterday, when I was at 50 MBPS plan, I used to get about 44 MBPS on OpenVPN. Today when I upgraded myself to 100 MBPS, I am getting roughly 85 MBPS. Is this expected? Or can I extract more juice and go all the way till 100 MBPS?
  2. I tried to flash Merlin on my AX88U. But the 5 GHz JUST DOES NOT WORK. The radio button was on, but still not working. I tried turning the radio off and then on, but still no luck. Tried rebooting but no luck. Even tried the "Smart Connect" but still I was ONLY connected to 2.4 GHz. Weird Error. @RMerlin or others - any ideas why this is happening?
    1. For now, I have reverted back to Asus-wrt, but ultimately I'd like to be on Merlin Firmware. But if Merlin's firmware won't run the 5 GHz....it would be a big bummer.

@RMerlin / Others - Please help.
Thanks.
 

barcote

Occasional Visitor
Sorry to hear your bad experience.

I just purchased & got my AX88U yesterday. And I must say, it works pretty well. I too had an AC88U and my prime purpose of getting an AX88U was to get the OpenVPN performing at close to 100 MBPS. I can now say I'm getting roughly about 83 to 85 MBps....that's really good. So, I can say my purchase was beneficial to me, for the purpose for which I purhcased. I now AIMesh'd my RT-AC88U....and very happy with the overall coverage.

A few observations:
  1. Is there a way to go all the way till 100 MBPS? Yesterday, when I was at 50 MBPS plan, I used to get about 44 MBPS on OpenVPN. Today when I upgraded myself to 100 MBPS, I am getting roughly 85 MBPS. Is this expected? Or can I extract more juice and go all the way till 100 MBPS?
  2. I tried to flash Merlin on my AX88U. But the 5 GHz JUST DOES NOT WORK. The radio button was on, but still not working. I tried turning the radio off and then on, but still no luck. Tried rebooting but no luck. Even tried the "Smart Connect" but still I was ONLY connected to 2.4 GHz. Weird Error. @RMerlin or others - any ideas why this is happening?
    1. For now, I have reverted back to Asus-wrt, but ultimately I'd like to be on Merlin Firmware. But if Merlin's firmware won't run the 5 GHz....it would be a big bummer.

@RMerlin / Others - Please help.
Thanks.
Sorry to hear your bad experience.

I just purchased & got my AX88U yesterday. And I must say, it works pretty well. I too had an AC88U and my prime purpose of getting an AX88U was to get the OpenVPN performing at close to 100 MBPS. I can now say I'm getting roughly about 83 to 85 MBps....that's really good. So, I can say my purchase was beneficial to me, for the purpose for which I purhcased. I now AIMesh'd my RT-AC88U....and very happy with the overall coverage.

A few observations:
  1. Is there a way to go all the way till 100 MBPS? Yesterday, when I was at 50 MBPS plan, I used to get about 44 MBPS on OpenVPN. Today when I upgraded myself to 100 MBPS, I am getting roughly 85 MBPS. Is this expected? Or can I extract more juice and go all the way till 100 MBPS?
  2. I tried to flash Merlin on my AX88U. But the 5 GHz JUST DOES NOT WORK. The radio button was on, but still not working. I tried turning the radio off and then on, but still no luck. Tried rebooting but no luck. Even tried the "Smart Connect" but still I was ONLY connected to 2.4 GHz. Weird Error. @RMerlin or others - any ideas why this is happening?
    1. For now, I have reverted back to Asus-wrt, but ultimately I'd like to be on Merlin Firmware. But if Merlin's firmware won't run the 5 GHz....it would be a big bummer.

@RMerlin / Others - Please help.
Thanks.
The solution that seems to work for most re the 5Ghz band according to similar posts I read before jumping in with AX is to disable the 160Mhz bandwidth and limit yourself to 80Mhz or below. 160Mhz doesn't seem to be fully baked yet.
 

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
The solution that seems to work for most re the 5Ghz band according to similar posts I read before jumping in with AX is to disable the 160Mhz bandwidth and limit yourself to 80Mhz or below. 160Mhz doesn't seem to be fully baked yet.
I remember trying that as well, but without luck. :(
 

barcote

Occasional Visitor
Only other suggestion is if you are using a DFS channel that the router thinks is being use by radar it won't work. We live a few miles from an airport and some of the DFS channels certainly didn't work probably due to radar in the area. If not already tried, try on of the lower double digit non DFS channels? "System log" -> "wireless log" will also let you see what the wifi radios are actually doing or not doing. That's about where my expertise runs out - good luck
 

Adamm

Part of the Furniture
The solution that seems to work for most re the 5Ghz band according to similar posts I read before jumping in with AX is to disable the 160Mhz bandwidth and limit yourself to 80Mhz or below. 160Mhz doesn't seem to be fully baked yet.
160MHz channels work fine. The majority of reported issues are isolated cases caused by specific clients or incorrect configuration;

 

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
Thanks Guys for your hints & tips. I went back again to install Merlin and this is what I observed (at least with my AX88U).
It almost appears like it takes slightly longer time for the 5GHz "service" to fully start...probably because of the "extra load" of DFS & 160 MHz channels. But it does "eventually" start - say maybe about 3 or 5 minutes later. Until then, it's always 2.4 GHz, who doesn't have as much baggage to start. Hence my mac connects to 2.4.

And this would also explain why earlier I wasn't able to see myself connecting to 5 GHz, because I never let it give time....tried & tested almost as soon as I connected.

@RMerlin - Would this be a good conclusion (because I only have this observation)? If yes, any chance or any way this time lag could be reduced?

EDIT: Oh! And everything works once 5 GHz is connected - 160 MHz and also DFS
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
It almost appears like it takes slightly longer time for the 5GHz "service" to fully start...probably because of the "extra load" of DFS & 160 MHz channels. But it does "eventually" start - say maybe about 3 or 5 minutes later. Until then, it's always 2.4 GHz, who doesn't have as much baggage to start. Hence my mac connects to 2.4.
When you use DFS (which is inherent with using 160 MHz channel width), the router has to perform a radio wave scan to determine if there are any radars in your area, and if so, reject the use of the channels used by these radars. That process can indeed take a good 30-60 secs (I forgot how long it takes). You can view that state on the System Log -> Wireless Log page, in the 5 GHz section. It will show if the router is currently scanning, or has completed its scan.
 

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
When you use DFS (which is inherent with using 160 MHz channel width), the router has to perform a radio wave scan to determine if there are any radars in your area, and if so, reject the use of the channels used by these radars. That process can indeed take a good 30-60 secs (I forgot how long it takes). You can view that state on the System Log -> Wireless Log page, in the 5 GHz section. It will show if the router is currently scanning, or has completed its scan.
Yes. Sounds about right, with the time taken. I guess, his startup along with the startup params are heavy, trying to filter out channels he can't use. That makes sense.!! That explains why initially when I tried your firmware, I failed to immediately start seeing & using my 5 GHz, as I was so used to seeing it immediately on startup on my RT-AC88U.

Thanks Merlin!! Looking forward to more updates from your stable for this AX88U!!
 

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
@RMerlin / Others,

Anyone facing this issue in 384.13? My Router's System time is not getting synced with NTP. As a result, the system time is now showing May 05, 2019.

And as a result, my VPN is not getting connected (as the TLS Handshake is failing).

@RMerlin / Others - Can you please help?
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
No problem with my NTP here. Double check your WAN settings, especially the DNS.
 

Srinivasan Ramamurthy

Occasional Visitor
No problem with my NTP here. Double check your WAN settings, especially the DNS.
Thanks....DNS was the issue.!!!

One other thing I noticed on the merlin firmware - my memory usage is always 97% or higher. Barely 32MB remains free....Is this normal? Why would it be so high even when nothing much is being done, even when it's idle?

upload_2019-9-10_21-21-10.png
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
One other thing I noticed on the merlin firmware - my memory usage is always 97% or higher. Barely 32MB remains free....Is this normal? Why would it be so high even when nothing much is being done, even when it's idle?
That's normal. You have a USB disk plugged, so the system will use any available memory for buffering rather than leave it to waste. That memory will be released whenever a process requires it. Just normal memory usage on a Linux system.
 

Adamm

Part of the Furniture
So my AX200 wifi card for my finally laptop came today (only took three months :rolleyes:). Did a few quick benchmarks and was able to push throughput to my NAS to around 1.4 - 1.5Gbps for a 36% increase over my previous tests with a 160MHz AC client. These results fit in pretty accurately with the link speed increase (38%).


 

LimJK

Senior Member
160MHz channels work fine. The majority of reported issues are isolated cases caused by specific clients or incorrect configuration;
Adamm,

Thanks for your screenshot :) for me to validate my own configuration.
I just received my RT-AX88U yesterday, and like the others I have the same issue with the 5GHz band.
  • It took quite a long while for 5GHz to come on (thanks for Merlin's explanation), I will be patient.
  • However, I noticed that I only have a 20MHz bandwidth on my 5GHz band vs the 160MHz shown on your screenshot. I tried various permutation that does not help ... finally I followed your screenshot and changed the Channel Control from "Auto" to "36" and I got the 160MHz Bandwidth both on Stock Firmware 3.0.0.4.384.6210 as well as Merlin's 384.13.
I do not know how to explain why fixing control channel helps ... but, it is running fine for about 12 hours now :)
 

chongliu

New Around Here
Well, great information in this topic!
I bought this RT-AX88U couple of week ago, just need the WIFI power for the farm area, not really care about AX.
Configuration: RT-AX88U to be AP only with AIMesh master, 3x RT-AC68U to be nodes.
But never get them work as expected.
As all the trouble that people mentioned in this topic:
- 5 GHz doesn't light up, with Merlin firmware.
- very slow WIFI speed.
- Entire network slow down after hour, included LAN devices, internet etc....

Call ASUS, they said: apparently the root cause of the problem is that the bandwidth is a shared resource. Lyra uses a dedicated channel to overcome this, but for each transmission the upload and download is consumed on both devices. Hence the reason why having the device configured to Legacy solved the problem.

They asked me config both 2.4/5GHz to Legacy, to avoid the problem, OMG! I spent all that much for 20 years old technologies?

I almost give up, packed it all up, try to return and buy RT-AC86U.

Now, after read all your guys conversations, set it all up as Merlin said,
- set a fixed channel and avoid DFS (52~144)
disable the following:
- HE frames
- MU-MIMO
- Airtime Fairness
- Universal/Implicit Beamforming
- 160 MHz channels
-----------------
It looks like work and for half day now, will see how it goes, and then add the AIMesh nodes back again.
Thanks for all your gays!
 

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top