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Buying advice for AX-router with Merlin-support

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andrenb

Occasional Visitor
I'm looking at buying an Asus AX-router as a router, only for the routing part and not for wifi. We already have a cabled mesh wifi-system from Orbi covering the house.

Our ISP-speed is 100/30 mbits and the reason I'm looking at Asus is the Merlin-support which gives me the options to run Cake QOS, install FlexQOS and more since I want to control the bandwith properly.

I'll be running around 35-40 devices, all cabled or through the mesh wifi-system. The models I've been looking at is GT-AX6000 (230$), AX86S (150$) or RT-AX56U (100$).

These are the only options easily available under 300$ of the routers sold in my local market, and I'm wondering if I'll get any benefit with my needs for no wifi and a moderate ISP-speed going for the AX6000 vs AX68S for example?
 
I'm looking at buying an Asus AX-router as a router, only for the routing part and not for wifi. We already have a cabled mesh wifi-system from Orbi covering the house.

Our ISP-speed is 100/30 mbits and the reason I'm looking at Asus is the Merlin-support which gives me the options to run Cake QOS, install FlexQOS and more since I want to control the bandwith properly.

I'll be running around 35-40 devices, all cabled or through the mesh wifi-system. The models I've been looking at is GT-AX6000 (230$), AX86S (150$) or RT-AX56U (100$).

These are the only options easily available under 300$ of the routers sold in my local market, and I'm wondering if I'll get any benefit with my needs for no wifi and a moderate ISP-speed going for the AX6000 vs AX68S for example?
You will get the experience of several dozen active Merlin users in the Merlin forum. I would go with the AX86S but that's just one opinion. Come on over and hear the rest!

https://www.snbforums.com/forums/asuswrt-merlin.42/
 
The GT-AX6000, while overkill for your ISP speeds, will be the router that will be supported the longest out of the list you show.

I don't believe the other two will ever be offered 3.0.0.6.xxx level firmware (and will therefore be abandoned sooner). Others may correct me here if this information is wrong.

If you're buying something for a few months or the next year or so, the 's' may be enough. If you're buying something for more long-term use, then I would still consider the GT-AX6000 here too.
 
Casa Griswald is Happy with the GT-AX6000 w/ RMerlin!
If you can wait for a brief moment, Asus is about to drop new routers (wifi 7 :rolleyes:), so these "current" models should become significantly lower in cost.
 
If you're buying something for a few months or the next year or so, the 's' may be enough. If you're buying something for more long-term use, then I would still consider the GT-AX6000 here too.

I'm buying it to be used for the next 3-4 years and hopefully at some time the local ISP's can deliver higher speeds but I'm not holding my breath as this is a remote location with little competition.

Your advice sounds interesting, the level of firmware you mention compared to AX-86S doesn't tell me much as a novice when it comes to Asus routers but longer support is always a welcome thing when buying new equipment :)
 
I expect to drop support for the RT-AX56U in the near future, as Asus themselves won't move it beyond 386.xxxx (therefore my current 388-based support for it is largely untested and unsupported by Asus).

The RT-AX86U is often discounted, so keep an eye open, you might be able to get it at a price point closer to the current RT-AX86S price.
 
The RT-AX86U is sold out in all major retailers and it doesn't look like they'll get it in stock anytime soon or ever again. So I think that one might be difficult to get, but I've seen it discounted before.

As I want to set it up this weekend I think I'll just go for the GT-AX6000, mostly for future-proofing.

In our home in the city where we have a fiber connection (500/500 mbits) I'm using the Ubiquti Dream Machine Pro as a router but it's almost 600$ to buy new, so I thought I'd go for Asus since the speed requirements aren't as high and they seem to be good bang for the buck routers. And I've heard and read a lot of positive comments about how powerful it gets when added with Merlin firmware. :)
 
If you can wait for a brief moment, Asus is about to drop new routers (wifi 7 :rolleyes:), so these "current" models should become significantly lower in cost.
How brief?
 
Doesn't matter how brief. Gen 2/Wave 2 WiFi 7 will be the ones to buy. ;)
 
The RT-AX86U is sold out in all major retailers and it doesn't look like they'll get it in stock anytime soon or ever again. So I think that one might be difficult to get, but I've seen it discounted before.

As I want to set it up this weekend I think I'll just go for the GT-AX6000, mostly for future-proofing.

In our home in the city where we have a fiber connection (500/500 mbits) I'm using the Ubiquti Dream Machine Pro as a router but it's almost 600$ to buy new, so I thought I'd go for Asus since the speed requirements aren't as high and they seem to be good bang for the buck routers. And I've heard and read a lot of positive comments about how powerful it gets when added with Merlin firmware. :)
I think the RT-AX86U Pro (AX5700) supersedes the "non-Pro" and the Pro seems plenty available in the U.S. at least; the "non-pro" is in short supply.
 
Doesn't matter how brief. Gen 2/Wave 2 WiFi 7 will be the ones to buy. ;)

I would have liked to have waited for WiFi 7, but alas, my old AC86U had other ideas. It also depends on your idea of "brief" - IIRC (and I many not RC) ASUS is expected to ship their two announced BE routers no earlier than the end of this month, and those 2 will be pricy (~$700 MSRP). I wouldn't expect widespread availability of BE routers until around this time next year, if then. The 802.11be standard itself isn't expected to be formally adopted until next year. And then add ~6 months for Merlin firmware depending on how long ASUS drags its feet on publishing the GPL code, and how much work it will turn out to be for him. So ASUS BE router with Merlin firmware sometime around late 2024 / early 2025 would be my best guess.
 
I'm looking at buying an Asus AX-router as a router, only for the routing part and not for wifi. We already have a cabled mesh wifi-system from Orbi covering the house.

Our ISP-speed is 100/30 mbits and the reason I'm looking at Asus is the Merlin-support which gives me the options to run Cake QOS, install FlexQOS and more since I want to control the bandwith properly.

I'll be running around 35-40 devices, all cabled or through the mesh wifi-system. The models I've been looking at is GT-AX6000 (230$), AX86S (150$) or RT-AX56U (100$).

These are the only options easily available under 300$ of the routers sold in my local market, and I'm wondering if I'll get any benefit with my needs for no wifi and a moderate ISP-speed going for the AX6000 vs AX68S for example?
While I'm not as knowledgeable as most of the folks here, I upgraded from the RT-AC68P to the RT-AX68U and have been extremely happy though I run ASWRT firmware rather than Merlin. Extremely stable, good coverage, great speed, runs cool as a cucumber too. The best part was I scored it on Ebay for $40 and had to send it to repair; after they checked it out, they shipped a BRAND NEW sealed unit and extended the warranty! Couldn't be happier :)
 
I think the RT-AX86U Pro (AX5700) supersedes the "non-Pro" and the Pro seems plenty available in the U.S. at least; the "non-pro" is in short supply.

I´m in Norway, Europe, and here the RT-AX86U Pro is available for 350$ which is 100$ more than the GT-AX6000. And as I wrote earlier, the RT-AX86U (non pro) is out of stock.

If I could get the non pro AX68U cheaper than the GT-AX6000 I´d probably go for that but it´s not an option right now.
 
Which is the opposite of here. The GT-AX6000 here is $80 more than the AX86U Pro. It's a weird world.
 
The price seldom reflects the value of a product.

In this case, regardless of the price, the GT-AX6000 is the superior router.
 
if I'll get any benefit with my needs for no wifi and a moderate ISP-speed going for the AX6000 vs AX68S for example?
Since you are not going to use wifi or many additional scripts:
in my opinion, buying GT-AX6000 is pointless.
With your connection speed, RT-AX56U is enough to control QoS.
RT-AX86S is good "for the future".
 
@Piotrek, you're not taking into consideration the prices today, for @andrenb.
 
Well. To be honest, it seems strange to me to look for an additional AX router to manage QoS in Orbi mesh. If so, I would buy a router without WiFi (not Asus). However, I don't know the Orbi at all.
 

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