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Best setup for the Asus RT-AC68U (ACTUALIZED to 2019)

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by John Adler, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. John Adler

    John Adler Occasional Visitor

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    Hi to @ll,

    I was searching for an actualized setup for the RT-AC68U in the forum and internet in general.
    I don´t know if it possible to have a complete setup for beginners ...
    thanks in advance for your input!

    rgds

    John
     
  2. dlandiss

    dlandiss Senior Member

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    John, the ultimate settings will depend on what you want your router to do for you. This page {link} is a pretty good starting point. You can try it for a while and then ask here for advice about different settings to accomplish particular tasks.
     
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  3. martinr

    martinr Very Senior Member

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  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    dlandiss is correct, there is no one ultimate setup. However, there is still a 'best practices' method that is a good starting point for all further configurations.

    Look at the links in my signature for more in-depth information, but for an overview, the following is what will get you going in the right direction.
    1. Whether you will use RMerlin's firmware or not, flash the version of the firmware you will use and then proceed to do a full reset of the router, even if you haven't previously used it at all (i.e it is 'brand new, out of the box').
    2. When resetting to factory defaults with the GUI, make sure to tick the box that says 'initialize settings...' that is right beside it.
    3. If that checkbox is not available in your firmware version, then after doing a factory reset via the GUI;
    4. Also, perform the 'format jffs partition on next boot' and proceed to reboot the router 3 times in the next 15 minutes or so (with 5 to 10 minutes between reboots to allow the router to configure itself as needed).
    5. Now, we can manually and minimally configure the router to secure it and connect to our ISP. This means that we do not use a saved configuration file to 'restore' any previous settings.
    6. This also means that we accept the defaults for most settings too, especially if using an RMerlin firmware, or we have any doubt as to what the consequences might be.

    With the above completed (it is less than 1/2 hour of 'work'), we will change the following defaults:
    1. Disable Universal/Implicit Beamforming on both bands in the Wireless/Professional pages.
    2. Disable Airtime Fairness on both bands in the Wireless/Professional pages.
    3. Disable MU-MIMO on both bands in the Wireless/Professional pages.
    4. Set Preamble type to Short on the 2.4GHz band in the Wireless/Professional pages.
    5. Set the Time Zone and DST Time Zone changes settings for our locale.
    6. Change the Memory Management: Regularly flush caches (default: Yes), to No (RMerlin Tools/Other Settings page).
    7. Change the Control Channels for both bands away from 'Auto' after testing which Control channel works best (2.4GHz use 1, 6 or 11 'only').
    8. With a new router or a fully reset one such as the above steps outline, I recommend a new SSID for each band too.
    9. Or, alternately, 'forget' the network on each client device that will be used in this network and then re-associate them. Some clients may need to have a 'reset networks' command and reboot too with this method. It is much easier to just use a new SSID.
    With the above completed, you will have the fastest, most stable and most reliable network possible.

    Of course, we can do much more with our Asus + RMerlin powered routers. Once the above is proven to be stable in your network, the additional features such as AiProtection, Parental Controls, etc. can be added as needed.

    Don't forget the most powerful features of these routers: the excellent scripts available for them. My signature below contains some of the most popular ones I am currently using. For the additional 'cost' of a spare USB drive.

    Hope this is enough to get you started. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  5. rtn66uftw

    rtn66uftw Regular Contributor

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    +1 Awesome!
     
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  6. rtn66uftw

    rtn66uftw Regular Contributor

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  7. dlandiss

    dlandiss Senior Member

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  8. John Adler

    John Adler Occasional Visitor

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    Thank you @ll a lot!
    nice support!
    I use the latest Merlin beta02 and wanted to get into the setup deeply.
     
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  9. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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  10. Sinner

    Sinner Senior Member

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    Pretty much the most perfect description of a setup ive ever read on here and exactly how i do it. Plus run freahjr qos script. Happy campet here :)
     
  11. John Adler

    John Adler Occasional Visitor

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    Again thank you @ll a lot!
     
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  12. Vishnu Rao

    Vishnu Rao Occasional Visitor

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    Would you please give a technical explanation why each of these changes would help? I am not very familiar with the networking terms.
     
  13. martinr

    martinr Very Senior Member

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    You really don’t need to be all that familiat with networking to follow the guide. The steps listed have been found to put either the least demands on the router or have been found to give the most reliable outcome without affecting performance to any appreciable degree (or more likely both). As to terms such as beamforming, Airtime Fairness or MU-MIMO etc, you could look them up with Google (and then let me know what they mean). And other steps, such as changing the wireless control channels from auto to whichever channels work best ie no interference from other radio sources, are fairly straightforward to understand. I can appreciate it might look a bit daunting if you haven’t gone through it before, but a thorough understanding - even a mediocre understanding - of networking or routers is not at all necessary.
     
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  14. Sinner

    Sinner Senior Member

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    Short version. Majority of those features require both router and client to support them. Most dont and causes problems for at least those devices or network issues in general including but not limited to constact disconnects and wifi performance drops.
     
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  15. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    I could have just agreed with the answers above, but here is my answer a little more in-depth for you.

    Probably not the technical answers you're looking for, but they are my best understanding and within my ability to communicate back to you. :)
    1. Gives the router or the client an opportunity to make the wrong choice on the split-second decisions on how they will communicate. Disabling ensures this isn't given a chance to happen.
    2. Same as 1.
    3. Same as 1.
    4. Gives quicker connections initially, if dropped, re-connects quicker.
    5. Time is important to us all and for all computer and networks to function properly. ;)
    6. Allows the RAM to be fully utilized as it is needed. Rather than 'saved' for some potential work the router may need to do in the indeterminate future. Also, if the RAM is needed because the router begins a new process, it will flush the RAM then. ;)
    7. Auto is a source of misery for a wireless network, particularly when that network is heavily saturated with nearby networks that transmit/receive at random intervals. Choosing the Control channels for the router is taking away that decision making from it and also saves the router/clients from having to connect/re-associate as it 'randomly' decides a newer channel will be better in this 'microsecond'. Another reason is that Auto may well choose DFS channels that a client doesn't have and therefore seem 'invisible' to the client (i.e. the WiFi band will disappear for one or more clients).
    8. The reason a full M&M Config reset is done to even a brand new router using the same, as-shipped firmware is so that the firmware is using the NVRAM variables it expects and receives them in the correct format too (these may change between each firmware version). The same needs to be done on the client side too. A new SSID ensures that the wireless client will be set up with the values expected on the router side.
    9. It is always easier to use a new SSID than to reset each client's network. However, in some cases, in addition to all the above, a client-side network reset has proven to be necessary to get the most performance and stability out of a new network setup.
    The above is just what has been shown to work for the majority of users. Blindly following the above advice is great to get a network running fast and stable if there are no other issues affecting it. But, don't forget; after setting up a router like this, feel free to change settings while keeping careful notes to see which settings work better for your specific network usage. These are not written in stone, there are simply too many network environments and usage patterns that they could be. ;)
     
  16. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Checks that 'what' is working?
     
  17. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Okay. What is kdig? I'm not sure why you've posted this here?
     
  18. skeal

    skeal Part of the Furniture

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    Whoops up to late and not enough coffee. :oops::oops:

    UPDATE: Removed the stupid posts of mine.
     
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  19. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    And I'm up too early with no coffee yet too! skeal, what are you doing to me? :D
     
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