Firmware: Asus Merlin AC86U question

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
I ordered a "renewed" Asus RT-AC86U router, and it arrived this morning. Long story short, I was DOA, and I am returning it for replacement. However, during my preparation for it's arrival, I went to the Asus Merlin site, and downloaded the Asus firmware for the router. (RT-AC86U_386.4_0.zip)

When I unzipped the package, I immediately noticed that the firmware file type was listed as "W" file type (no trx file in the package) I had to look that one up to find out what it is.
Was that a mistake on the particular package for that router.... or is there something I am missing?
 

AndreiV

Very Senior Member
The newer ASUS routers use "w" files not .trx

I'm sure someone will be able to tell you when this started.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I ordered a "renewed" Asus RT-AC86U router, and it arrived this morning.

Get your money back and buy a different router. The renewed routers are returns or repaired units. Many failed in first 2 years of use, mostly manufactured in 2018. You have to do your homework better.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
Get your money back and buy a different router. The renewed routers are returns or repaired units. Many failed in first 2 years of use, mostly manufactured in 2018. You have to do your homework better.
By that can I assume you mean a different model of router? A brand new AC86U instead of a "renewed" one? Or ?????

I already have an Asus RT-AC88U, which does have some annoying quirks, but mostly does well. Honestly, I was reviewing what folks here on the forums were recommending..... and it was overwhelming in favor of the 86U routers (both that AC and AX versions. I first considered the AX model, but the cost to benefit just wasn't there (I have zero AX capable devices)..... so I chose the AC86U.

I've purchased many "renewed" devices, and only a small fraction have been what I would consider a bad deal/buy. That being said, I have made up my mind, that IF the replacement AC86U is bad/fails within the return period.... then I'll return it for a refund, and either just go with the AC88U.... or look for something else. Everyone here has been super helpful..... and that is very much appreciated!

The main feature that I need in a router is cpu power..... beyond the typical network devices, I also run 16 IP security cameras, and a router VPN. This whole search started because my old router didn't have enough "power" to run everything, and keep the VPN going at a usable pace. After some support help from my VPN folks, they recommended as much "CPU power" as I could find.... hence the reason I was chasing the AC86U...... it runs a 1.8Ghz, versus my old router's 800Mhz.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The AC86U and AX86U use completely different hardware. The initial versions of the AC86U were notoriously unreliable. The ones manufactured now seem to not suffer from the same problems (so far). Check the manufactured date on your unit. If it's from mid-2020 onward you're probably OK.
 

heywire

Regular Contributor
You have to do your homework better.
No, Asus has to either step up and fix the firmware, or stop selling new AC86U units and recall the affected ones.

Or the new homework is basically "fool me once" and to never buy another Asus router again, as you risk getting f****d by their inability to deliver, only to receive the blame yourself from smart-asses on SNBforums.

And for the record, it is NOT only hardware failure we're talking about here, many people are experiencing deauth-issues with later releases, also on AX units, and in the case of AC86U get told it's a hardware-issue.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
No, Asus has to either step up and fix the firmware, or stop selling new AC86U units and recall the affected ones.

Good luck with that.

Or the new homework is basically "fool me once" and to never buy another Asus router again

That's fine. You can go with someone else next time.
 

heywire

Regular Contributor
That's fine. You can go with someone else next time.
You think there are people who should not go elsewhere next time, given that there are persistent firmware problems that affect all models on the HND platform? That's "fine"?
 
Last edited:

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
That's "fine"?

Consumer product. Some get 2-3 firmware updates and go EOS. If you want something better, you have to spend more money. Asuswrt is not perfect, but at least gets security updates longer. It also has more setup options to play with. If you want cheap and simple - TP-Link Archer C80 for $50. It's really fast and stable basic AC class router. Does 550Mbps to 2-stream AC client - very impressive for 50 bucks.
 

heywire

Regular Contributor
Consumer product. Some get 2-3 firmware updates and go EOS. If you want something better, you have to spend more money. Asuswrt is not perfect, but at least gets security updates longer. It also has more setup options to play with. If you want cheap and simple - TP-Link Archer C80 for $50. It's really fast and stable basic AC class router. Does 550Mbps to 2-stream AC client - very impressive for 50 bucks.
What are you trying to suggest, that it's my fault for being naive and not buying professional/military grade equipment just to enjoy the simple privilege of not having frequent firmware-releases throwing clients off my wifi network and make internet unusable?

In which case, I cannot utilize the security updates anyway because of having to downgrade the firmware, so the case for Asuswrt providing some sort of advantage that somehow outweighs the fact that it doesn't perform even its basic duties a lot of the time, goes out the window. And after all, this is, as you point out with your counter-example, a premium priced consumer product.

I expect the product to function as advertised, not to perform miracles in some type of extreme environment which is out of its specifications.

That is not an unreasonable request, so I don't know what you're trying to get at, really.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
In which case, I cannot utilize the security updates anyway because of having to downgrade the firmware

I don't know what router do you have. The routers I have access to are listed here. They perform acceptably well for consumer product.
 

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