Do I need Merlin for RT-AX86U?

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Teppka

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

I looked through FAQ sticky posts on this section and through features website not understanding too much. I'm not a WiFi enthusiast and got general idea about Merlin firmware from Dongknows.com. Which sums up main differences of Merlin firmware for Asus router as more advanced VPN/DDNS settings and in general making router operation smoother/stable.

My ISP doesn't allow putting ISP modem in bridge mode, so I must use Asus router with double NAT to be able to use it's QoS feature, protection, etc. This also means I can't use it's VPN/DDNS features.

I don't have NAS drive or any USB drive connected to the router at this point, nor do I presently need to appoint different DNS addresses to separate wifi devices. Since I live close to the airport I will also be disabling 160Hz and usage of DFS channels just to avoid possible connection drops due to the weather radar interference.

Will updating to Merlin firmware will make my RT-AX86U operate better/smoother, more stable? Or am I better to stick with Asuses own firmware?

Sorry for lame questions as I'm (currently) not a WiFi enthusiast as probably many of you are in this forum.

Thanks.
 

kernol

Very Senior Member
Hi all,

I looked through FAQ sticky posts on this section and through features website not understanding too much. I'm not a WiFi enthusiast and got general idea about Merlin firmware from Dongknows.com. Which sums up main differences of Merlin firmware for Asus router as more advanced VPN/DDNS settings and in general making router operation smoother/stable.

My ISP doesn't allow putting ISP modem in bridge mode, so I must use Asus router with double NAT to be able to use it's QoS feature, protection, etc. This also means I can't use it's VPN/DDNS features.

I don't have NAS drive or any USB drive connected to the router at this point, nor do I presently need to appoint different DNS addresses to separate wifi devices. Since I live close to the airport I will also be disabling 160Hz and usage of DFS channels just to avoid possible connection drops due to the weather radar interference.

Will updating to Merlin firmware will make my RT-AX86U operate better/smoother, more stable? Or am I better to stick with Asuses own firmware?

Sorry for lame questions as I'm (currently) not a WiFi enthusiast as probably many of you are in this forum.

Thanks.

I have no doubt that, in time, you will be way better off with Merlin firmware - but also no doubt that, for a non-wifi enthusiast, now is NOT the time to make the switch. The only fully released firmware for the RT-AX86U comes from Asus and it is based on the 384 code version. Stick with that for now.

Both Asus and Merlin have released BETA versions of the 386 code based firmware - but being beta they are certainly not bug free and the log levels are set quite high ... meaning that the logs fill up with plenty of messages - most beyond mere mortal comprehension and many "troubling" for novices.

Sit tight for now and enjoy a really awesome Asus router in the AX86U :D.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
When you do come over to the RMerlin side, you will be able to use VPN and DDNS. Even in a double NAT setup.

When you're here, just ask, and you'll be put on a good path. :)

If you're bored already in 2021, you can see the links in my signature below for some reading. And the link below is what I do for myself and all customers to get a new RT-AX86U/RT-AX88U properly set up for stability, reliability, and performance too.

New M&M 2020
 

Teppka

Regular Contributor
Thank you guys, you're treasure.
I'll most definitely give Merlin a try once 386 will be out of beta. I already read something about VPN/DDNS usage with double NAT with custom scripts but didn't understand much. Will give it a go after the update.

Happy and Healthy New Year 2021!
 

cptnoblivious

Regular Contributor
@Teppka I would always start with the question "What's the problem you're trying to solve?"

If the answer is: The router is doing everything I need (and more) then wait until the answer changes.

If the answer is: I want to get more out of my router, such as increased security via a firewall and blacklists, better Guest network control, AdBlocking, etc, then still wait, until the Beta is complete.

Just my $0.02, good luck! :)
 

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