Connectivity with RT-AC5300


New Around Here
I'm running into some issues with my Asus RT-AC5300 running a recent build of Merlin:
  • Context
    • Space is a new construction two-story townhouse, ~2,000 sq. ft.
    • There're CAT6 runs in-wall from the networking closet to every room.
    • Modem is a current Comcast Xfinity unit running in Gateway mode.
    • Raspberry Pi running Pihole acts as local DHCP and DNS servers.
  • Internet Connectivity Failure
    • About 2-3 times per month, Internet access drops with a DHCP WAN error showing in the router interface.
    • When it first happened, resetting the router/modem or tinkering with settings had no effect, though it later started working on its own.
    • When it happened most recently, I had Internet access when connected to the modem directly but not when through the router.
    • Not being able to control conditions to test this, I feel like the modem is less than completely reliable but that the router is the larger culprit.
  • Poor Signal Strength
    • Not sure what's inside of these walls, but it feels like I'm living in a slightly defective Faraday cage—
      • Verizon CDMA LTE goes from 16.3 / 3.3 Mbps outside to 0.31 / 0.01 Mbps inside with 2,000ms of jitter
      • Wi-Fi signal strength drops to two-thirds on iPhone 12 just 40 feet from the router with only two interior walls of separation (default TX power)
I had been thinking of upgrading to the GT-AXE11000 but now starting to wonder:
  • Would upgrading by itself improve signal strength?
  • Should I be looking into getting a set of AX6100s for AI Mesh?
  • Is there any sort of Comcast-Asus conflict that would be inherent to both routers?
Overall, I'd be appreciative of thoughts on how I might turn this into a more robust, functional setup.


Part of the Furniture
The RT-AC5300 is effectively obsolete today compared to a GT-AXE11000 level of hardware, particularly in challenging environments like yours.

You may want to try the following on the RT-AC5300 to see if it behaves afterward, otherwise, it most likely indicates hardware issues at that point.

Nuclear Reset

The GT-AX6000 is also a consideration over the GT-AXE11000 (more current hardware and also has RMerlin support).

The most anticipated router is the GT-AXE16000, but it is a unicorn today.

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