EdgeRouter 4 vs RT-AX88U

sam23

New Around Here
I currently have a ASUS RT-AC66U and I am looking to upgrade it. Currently my internet is 300/25 and they have recently introduced 1G fiber into my neighborhood and i may upgrade so i would want it to be able to handle at least 750/25 with QoS.
The AC66U struggles with large amounts of connections (torrents) and requires QoS and various set up tweeks to keep the network running smoothly. I'm looking for a router that can handle significantly more load with out impacting performance. Originally i was looking at the AX88U since it has a 1.8GHz Quad-Core and some of the new WIFI 6 features. After more reading im not sure if diving on the WIFI 6 train quite yet is required. So i started looking at wired routers and then would use my existing AC66U as an AP until a more polished WIFI6 AP is released.

I like the concept of spliting up the router and the AP, but is the ER-4 getting a little old? and would there be a newer equivalent?
Would the AX88U with 4x1.8GHz cores perform better than the ER-4 with 4x1GHz cores with large number of connections and QoS?

Thanks
 

Hawk

Senior Member
I currently have a ASUS RT-AC66U and I am looking to upgrade it. Currently my internet is 300/25 and they have recently introduced 1G fiber into my neighborhood and i may upgrade so i would want it to be able to handle at least 750/25 with QoS.
The AC66U struggles with large amounts of connections (torrents) and requires QoS and various set up tweeks to keep the network running smoothly. I'm looking for a router that can handle significantly more load with out impacting performance. Originally i was looking at the AX88U since it has a 1.8GHz Quad-Core and some of the new WIFI 6 features. After more reading im not sure if diving on the WIFI 6 train quite yet is required. So i started looking at wired routers and then would use my existing AC66U as an AP until a more polished WIFI6 AP is released.

I like the concept of spliting up the router and the AP, but is the ER-4 getting a little old? and would there be a newer equivalent?
Would the AX88U with 4x1.8GHz cores perform better than the ER-4 with 4x1GHz cores with large number of connections and QoS?

Thanks
My first question would be what is your skill level with networking and CLI? Edgerouter is not plug and play like other consumer routers are, also ubiquiti only provide support through their forms and have not dedicated channel for support. If you not comfortable with cli and manually configuring each and every parameter I wouldn't go towards that route. Also edge router is using mips architecture which is older architecture compare to ARM based routers, you may want to ask yourself if you can setup edgerouter 4 on your own . Regarding rt-ax88u I myself have it and have no complaints with it, just be vary of wifi alliance announced 6E, which makes current ax router somewhat absolute.
 
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sam23

New Around Here
My first question would be what is your skill level with networking and CLI? Edgerouter is not plug and play like other consumer routers are, also ubiquiti only provide support through their forms and have not dedicated channel for support. If you not comfortable with cli and manually configuring each and every parameter I wouldn't go towards that route. Also edge router is using mips architecture which is older architecture compare to ARM based routers, you may want to ask yourself if you can setup edgerouter 4 on your own . Regarding rt-ax88u I myself have it and have no complaints with it, just be vary of wifi alliance announced 6E, which makes current ax router somewhat absolute.
I would say my knowledge is low but willing to learn. Reading around it looks like the Unifi Dream Machine would be a easier to use option that is powerful and a little more up to date than the ER-4 as far as i can tell.
 

Mark070

Occasional Visitor
I went down the route of separating out the Access Point from the Router, much like the OP is talking about. I had setup an EdgeRouter 4 (still have it), and learned how to configure it (was not that bad, just took getting used to). In addition I used an Orbi Mesh to act as Access Points (wired back haul). Some things to consider if your planning on using the EdgeRouter4 (in addition to what @Hawk mentioned)
  1. Learning how to setup the EdgeRouter. Once its setup, it is rock solid, never needs rebooting.
  2. Can handle 1GB traffic with hardware offloading. If you plan on using QoS (for slower speeds), then hardware offloading is disabled and your throughput is closer to maxing out at 250-300mbps (give or take). I do not know for certain, my speeds are maxed at 240 mbps right now
  3. ER4 is getting older, but still quite capable. If you just want plug and play the AX88U is still better for that
  4. I moved to the UDM (not pro), because I wanted "single pane of glass" configuration, and it can do 850mbps with everything turned on. UDMP can do 1GBps easily.
    1. UDM and UDMP not ready for Prime Time just yet, unless your network is really simple
Stay with the AX88U unless you want to go deeper into networking. just my $.02

EDIT: I would not buy an EdgeRouter 4 new. I consider it 2016 technology, and the AX88U is modern. No reason to buy the ER4 - get one used if you want to play.
 
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sam23

New Around Here
  1. I moved to the UDM (not pro), because I wanted "single pane of glass" configuration, and it can do 850mbps with everything turned on. UDMP can do 1GBps easily.
    1. UDM and UDMP not ready for Prime Time just yet, unless your network is really simple
How do you like the UDM? After doing more reading this looks like a good middle ground. More powerful but also a little easier to set up and maintain.
 

Mark070

Occasional Visitor
My network is very simple. Only two people in the house, with only a handful of devices. I have no real need to have advanced features. What I do need is stability, as the better half of me works from home, and she is wireless. The Ubiquity WiFi seems rock solid. I am happy with it.

HOWEVER ... there are hundreds of these stories
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/router-recommendations.64904/

The above thread is (the OP) dead on correct. It is not ready for prime time. I urge people to wait, unless your setup is extremely basic (like mine).
 

Kelbesq

Occasional Visitor
[*]Can handle 1GB traffic with hardware offloading. If you plan on using QoS (for slower speeds), then hardware offloading is disabled and your throughput is closer to maxing out at 250-300mbps (give or take). I do not know for certain, my speeds are maxed at 240 mbps right now
I am only using SQM QoS on the upload side for bufferbloat, and I am getting ~950 down/950 up.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I am only using SQM QoS on the upload side for bufferbloat, and I am getting ~950 down/950 up.
So what version of QoS are you running? Cake or fd_codel? I thought you had to offload? I have neither router so I am interested.
 

Kelbesq

Occasional Visitor
So what version of QoS are you running? Cake or fd_codel? I thought you had to offload? I have neither router so I am interested.
I'm using SQM (Smart Queue Managment), as mentioned here:
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I guess it depends on your Smart Queue and how it is setup looking at your link.

I noticed that your link says the by default it only allows 95% of the bandwidth. I thought once you added TCP and UDP headers and trailers you were at around 950 mbps on a gig link. Basically adding format to the link. I must have something wrong. I would think your download would be lower if you were at 95%.

Quote " By default the EdgeRouter only allows 95% of the bandwidth to be used, keeping the rest for higher priority traffic. Therefore, if you have a 100Mbps connection, you would be able to get 95Mbps."

PS
Maybe the speedtest is UDP traffic? This would qualify as high priority traffic and you may get 100%.
 
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Kelbesq

Occasional Visitor
I guess it depends on your Smart Queue and how it is setup looking at your link.

I noticed that your link says the by default it only allows 95% of the bandwidth. I thought once you added TCP and UDP headers and trailers you were at around 950 mbps on a gig link. Basically adding format to the link. I must have something wrong. I would think your download would be lower if you were at 95%.

Quote " By default the EdgeRouter only allows 95% of the bandwidth to be used, keeping the rest for higher priority traffic. Therefore, if you have a 100Mbps connection, you would be able to get 95Mbps."

PS
Maybe the speedtest is UDP traffic? This would qualify as high priority traffic.

I was not aware of the 95% value in that specific link - it wasn't the one I used to setup SQM, but the first I found in a quick search.
I only have SQM setup on my upload. I believe I set it to ~980Mbps or in that ballpark. I kept lowering it until my bufferbloat went away.
My actual download might be a hair lower than 950Mbps, but it's in that ballpark. It was not impacted by adding the SQM ot the upload side.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
The majority of day to day traffic is TCP. UDP is for things like DNS, voice, video a smaller level of traffic than TCP. Maybe games now are UDP so they get priority. Unfortunately all the TCP traffic gets lumped together in codel models. At some point we probably need at least 2 levels of TCP traffic. So updates, file transfers and P2P can be the lowest as time does not really matter with them. And remember this is only when your internet pipe is full otherwise all is flowing and there is no waiting.
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I was not aware of the 95% value in that specific link - it wasn't the one I used to setup SQM, but the first I found in a quick search.
I only have SQM setup on my upload. I believe I set it to ~980Mbps or in that ballpark. I kept lowering it until my bufferbloat went away.
My actual download might be a hair lower than 950Mbps, but it's in that ballpark. It was not impacted by adding the SQM ot the upload side.
I would think this is good to reserve bandwidth for high priority. If you don't then when you spike you will have interruptions in voice and video. Which could be some of the problems with consumer routers. They try to ring every last little bit out of a single task to make the stats look good for marketing whether it is a good thing or not.
 

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