External IoT access is erratic with Merlin, not with stock

bsnelson

New Around Here
I recently installed Merlin 386.7_2 on my RT-AX58U, and most things are working well, but one issue I've had twice now is reaching my IoT devices via the internet. For example, I have a Ring camera, a Eufy doorbell cam, a smart thermostat etc. I can reach all of these devices via their respective apps when I'm away from home as expected. But twice in as many days, there is a brief period where none of the devices are reachable, almost as if my home network was down. During one of these instances, I was actually connected via OpenVPN through the router, so I know the router itself was functional, but obviously I can't speak to the wireless status.

More detail: The IoT devices are on my 2.4GHz network (separate SSID from the 5GHz), not a guest network. I only have these two networks defined. I'm not using DNS filtering, QoS, any of that, but I am running two Pihole instances, one on an actual Pi, and the other as a Docker image on a Synology NAS, but both seem to work flawlessly, and did before the introduction of Merlin. All other router settings are fairly "vanilla", I'm not really using any Merlin specific functionality as yet, aside from maybe the OpenVPN.

Any ideas of what to look for? In each case, the access came back without intervention, almost like some kind of timer expired or a "wake up" was needed.

Brad
 

bennor

Very Senior Member
But twice in as many days, there is a brief period where none of the devices are reachable, almost as if my home network was down.
Something to consider. Most all IoT devices rely on going through external services hosted elsewhere online. When those services had issues or go down it will prevent access to your IoT device. First step, if one's router/broadband is working fine, is to check with the IoT manufacturer (usually on their social media page or Reddit page) to see if others have reported issues. There have been instances where multiple IoT device manufacturers use the same hosted service; when that service goes down it affects a wide range of devices from different manufacturers.

Basic troubleshooting step is to review the system and wireless logs in the GUI to see if they indicate any issues or problems at the same time you loose access to the IoT devices.
 

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