Release Asuswrt-Merlin 386.2_6 is now available

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Morris

Senior Member
I'm having similar issues with 386.2_6 on my AC68U with Verizon Fios (gigabit). My speeds were cut by more than 60%, but going back to 386.2_4 resolves that issue. I have a pretty vanilla config overall, but that loss of bandwidth can't be overlooked. I'll see if the next release manages to resolve it for me.
Are those speeds wired or wireless or from router? Best test would be wired client.
 

Hazel

Senior Member
Slightly ironic maybe, but since running Merlin's 386.2_6 my fibre broadband speed is the fastest and most consistent that it's ever been on this Asus Router; 325Mbps Download / 325 Mbps Upload (and no detrimental effects either when using VPN)
No detrimental effects using a VPN on a RT-AC68U without AES-NI? I have my doubts...
 

JoeBee

Regular Contributor
I'm having similar issues with 386.2_6 on my AC68U with Verizon Fios (gigabit). My speeds were cut by more than 60%, but going back to 386.2_4 resolves that issue. I have a pretty vanilla config overall, but that loss of bandwidth can't be overlooked. I'll see if the next release manages to resolve it for me.

Was this under a vpn ?

Mine was under a VPN provider, either way going back to a 2020 firmware back to full VPN speeds.

Am fully wired also.

I guess another way to do more digging is to do dirty flashes of all the last year firmwares and track which point and which one causes the speed drop, only issue is you need time for this and not when others and devices need the internet which is pretty much every second of the day !
 

NTP66

New Around Here
Was this under a vpn ?

Mine was under a VPN provider, either way going back to a 2020 firmware back to full VPN speeds.

Am fully wired also.

I guess another way to do more digging is to do dirty flashes of all the last year firmwares and track which point and which one causes the speed drop, only issue is you need time for this and not when others and devices need the internet which is pretty much every second of the day !
Nope, no VPN here. I guess it could be a fluke, so I’m going to just stick with _4 until the next release, and then give that one a go.
 

learning_curve

Occasional Visitor
No detrimental effects using a VPN on a RT-AC68U without AES-NI? I have my doubts...
Doubt away :D I don't use VPN on the RT-AC68U itself and I didn't say that I did, to be fair! (check back again to see). I use VPN on each device if / when needed, all of which, are using either ethernet or 5G Wifi connections back to the RT-AC68U and as correctly stated, there is absolutely no detrimental effect to my VPN speeds / experience when using the latest Asuswrt-Merlin 386.2_6 firmware on the RT-AC68U. To be 100% accurate & FWIW, because of the fibre broadband speed now, when used, those VPN Connections, which are all routed through the VPN firewall, all 100% anti-tracker enabled, all No-DNS leaked verified, are smooth and faster than ever & that's when using OpenVPN (Single of MultiHop) OR Wireguard connections.
 

Clark Griswald

Senior Member
@learning_curve
Alrighty Then
My apologies for assuming too much from too little information. I'm glad your network is working well for you. Yet "updating" to a newer model might produce better results for you.
 

Svenskmat

Regular Contributor
Upgraded two RT-AC5300's from _4 dirty flash to _6 dirty - node first then router.. all is good.... had a few 2.4 disconnects with my Nest Camera but I think it has to do with my wifi congested area
Update after about 10 days. Started dropping 2.4 clients. CPU Showed crazy high levels.. 70 -90%. Soft reboot, hard reboot (not a factory reset) all tried with the same result.

Decided to downgrade - all 2.4 Clients are back on. Only time will tell if the 2.4 drops were related to 386.2_6 (I doubt they were) but will leave it at 386.2_4 for at least another 10 days before going to back to 386.2_6.
 

Tvbaas

New Around Here
The last couple of years my AC68u did run nicely with the Merlin firmware up to the last 386.2_6 version.

I upgraded my main router with a AX88u and installed the same merlin 386.2_6 firmware and all seems running fine with a great improvement on GUI response times due to the faster CPU in the AX88u.

With 2 Asus routers now I tried to give that AImesh a go.
Unfortunately, whatever I tried it was not possible to get it installed on my AC68u H/W ver. A2 with Merlin 386.2_6.

Then I tried to install the latest Asus firmware: FW_RT_AC68U_300438643129. At startup of the router it immediately showed the extra option to set it as an Aimesh node in the quick setup screens, that option did never show up on the Merlin firmware. After a reset , the AC68u on Asus firmware was successfully added as a Aimesh node the first time.

Even removing the Aimesh node and installing 386.2_6 again, it was not possible to get the AC68u installed as an Aimesh node.

My question for @RMerlin ; is this a specific issue for the AC68u H/W ver. A2 in the 386.2_6 (or older) firmware ?
 

jata

Regular Contributor
The last couple of years my AC68u did run nicely with the Merlin firmware up to the last 386.2_6 version.

I upgraded my main router with a AX88u and installed the same merlin 386.2_6 firmware and all seems running fine with a great improvement on GUI response times due to the faster CPU in the AX88u.

With 2 Asus routers now I tried to give that AImesh a go.
Unfortunately, whatever I tried it was not possible to get it installed on my AC68u H/W ver. A2 with Merlin 386.2_6.

Then I tried to install the latest Asus firmware: FW_RT_AC68U_300438643129. At startup of the router it immediately showed the extra option to set it as an Aimesh node in the quick setup screens, that option did never show up on the Merlin firmware. After a reset , the AC68u on Asus firmware was successfully added as a Aimesh node the first time.

Even removing the Aimesh node and installing 386.2_6 again, it was not possible to get the AC68u installed as an Aimesh node.

My question for @RMerlin ; is this a specific issue for the AC68u H/W ver. A2 in the 386.2_6 (or older) firmware ?
I have AC68U setup as a node using 368 codebase. I did have some issues initially but solved it by doing the following.

  1. factory reset (using WPS method)
  2. do minimum config as router
  3. re-install latest firmare 386.2_6
  4. factory reset (using WPS method)
now you are ready to add as a node from new main router (AX88U)

  1. make sure you have WPS enabled on AX88U
  2. turn on AC68U and wait a few minutes - make sure it is close to the AX88U
  3. add node / search and you should see the AC68U
I tried this once and it failed so I tried a second time and it worked

You can also try connecting via ethernet from AX88u to WAN on 68U and then search / add the node
 

Morris

Senior Member
I have AC68U setup as a node using 368 codebase. I did have some issues initially but solved it by doing the following.

  1. factory reset (using WPS method)
  2. do minimum config as router
  3. re-install latest firmare 386.2_6
  4. factory reset (using WPS method)
now you are ready to add as a node from new main router (AX88U)

  1. make sure you have WPS enabled on AX88U
  2. turn on AC68U and wait a few minutes - make sure it is close to the AX88U
  3. add node / search and you should see the AC68U
I tried this once and it failed so I tried a second time and it worked

You can also try connecting via ethernet from AX88u to WAN on 68U and then search / add the node

When you jump multiple versions in firmware the upgrade will sometimes leave confusing configuration information. Try a hard reset of the AC68U using the first method listed at this URL:

After this you should be able to load the Merlin firmware. If you can't, as long as you stay in the same trane (codebase) of Merlin and Asus Firmware, AI mesh is supposed to work properly.

Good luck,

Morris
 

askan7

Regular Contributor
Dnsmasq is very wonky on this version. I've reset my router to default twice already. CPU 100% Dnsmasq restarting itself/ clients losing connection.
I only had diversion and native ipv6 enabled. This time I won't install any scripts.

Also, wireless when set to auto sometimes selects in between channels on 2.4ghz band and my devices can't connect to it.
On 5ghz if DFS is enabled router sometimes selects channels that I can't connect to aswell. Today I reset my router to factory defaults, couldn't connect to 5Ghz, connect to 2.4, when I checked the 5Ghz it was using channel 132.
DFS off/ fixed channels fixes all. I leave in rural area, there's 0 devices using 5Ghz spectrum, no idea why router is soo wonky at picking channels.
I've had soo many issues with Asus firmware/Merlin. v386, is much worse than 384 for me, worse stability and performance.
I'd also like to see cakeqos improved, as it's far from perfect, gives good results in dslreports and other tests, but real world there's several things that cause latency spikes.

I'm seriously considering getting a raspberry pi4 with OpenWRT as a router and using this ac86u only as an AP with fixed channels.
 
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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Dnsmasq is very wonky on this version. I've reset my router to default twice already. CPU 100% Dnsmasq restarting itself/ clients losing connection.
I only had diversion and native ipv6 enabled.
That's not dnsmasq's fault if you feed it an insanely large list of entries through Diversion. It WILL increase load, and possibly even run out of memory.

I'd also like to see cakeqos improved, as it's far from perfect, gives good results in dslreports and other tests, but real world there's several things that cause latency spikes.
There's no one-size-fit-all QoS configuration, everyone has to adapt it to their specific usage scenario. That's why it's implemented to be open-ended, and extensively customized through scripts.
 

askan7

Regular Contributor
That's not dnsmasq's fault if you feed it an insanely large list of entries through Diversion. It WILL increase load, and possibly even run out of memory.
I don't think I saw this happen back when I was using 384.19. Also I'm using diversion lite with only standard lists. Router ram usage wasn't that high and I also had a 1GB swap, that wasn't even used.
This was like the third time dnsmasq acted up on v386, two of those needed factory reset. First time I was messing with unbound, after uninstalling it, dnsmasq didn't work anymore. Second time, I just added a static IP to a printer, dnsmasq stopped working until I removed the static ip rule. And now cpu 100% and dnsmasq restarting over and over for whatever reason.
 
Last edited:

Kener66

New Around Here
Little bug found, on AX86u 386.2-6 and Dutch language selected, Port forwarding ADD dont work.
switch to English for a workaround.
 

Svenskmat

Regular Contributor
Update after about 10 days. Started dropping 2.4 clients. CPU Showed crazy high levels.. 70 -90%. Soft reboot, hard reboot (not a factory reset) all tried with the same result.

Decided to downgrade - all 2.4 Clients are back on. Only time will tell if the 2.4 drops were related to 386.2_6 (I doubt they were) but will leave it at 386.2_4 for at least another 10 days before going to back to 386.2_6.
Update - nothing changed.. so I did what is often mentioned here but I have not done in quite a while......Hard Factory Reset. All the issues I was seeing are gone. Lesson learned. I had done many dirty upgrades without a factory reset .. so listen to what we are being told, Factory Reset works
 

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