Is the grass greener on the ASUS side?

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Cisco does not make consumer level equipment. They make small business and then their PRO level. Linksys back 20 years ago had what you might call consumer routers. We used the Linksys routers back then for remote access to work so there was a fine line back then. There were no small business routers back then. Maybe that was why Cisco bought Linksys. Routers back then were simple devices. Cisco and Linksys parted company many years ago
 

small_law

Occasional Visitor
I've had three Asus routers: the N66U, AC88U, and, currently, the AX88U. All of them have gems. The fact that I've bought three Asus routers in ten years speaks for itself.
 

Deldarius

Occasional Visitor
It really boils down to what works for you.

One person can have setup xyz and it works beautifully for them and the next guy with a similar setup...not so much. He is going prematurely bald and his doctor is telling him to start popping Lipitor like tic tacs, all because the router/network is not doing what he needs.

I myself have used Linkys in years past, not a fan of the current stuff (for various reasons). Netgear too, prefer their modems and switches though. Asus works for me. Started with an RT-68P, which worked like a champ until it no longer met my needs. So I gave it to a friend who was using a G rated Netgear and I grabbed a AC-86U. I couldn't be happier and will keep it until it no longer makes muster. My buddy still has that 68P, he loves it.

That's just my $0.02 cents, before taxes.
 

Sachb

Regular Contributor
It's a good brand only if you know what you're doing with it,the thing with Asus is that, there are plenty of professional settings on the Wireless tab, which either mend or break things on the wifi.

I have an Asus AC86U which I just purchased recently which is a 2019 version & didn't work well right out of the box, but after several tweaks I have managed to achieve what I wanted it to do.

Speeds are pretty darn good, and the Asus's latest firmware seems to work fine.

Other than that, I fail to understand why Asus went ahead and locked certain channels like the UNII-3 (149-165), these channels are available on my D-link DIR-882 which was purchased in the same country.

As far as I remember, my first Asus AC68U router purchased before 2013 had UNII-3 channels available on them.
 

MarkyPancake

Senior Member
My current run of routers spanning the last several years has been Asus N66U, AC68U and AC86U. Just this weekend I got my 68U out of the box, where it's been the last few years, and updated it from Merlin 380.69 to 384.17 to try it out as an AiMesh node. However, for the last year or two I've really wanted to try the Netgear R7800, but only if I can get a decent pre-owned one for a reasonable price (last year auctions for the R7800 were ending as low as £70, but I kept missing out on them, now they're consistently around £100).
 

fields987

Regular Contributor
I recently upgraded a 7 year old ac68u to an ax88u. Nothing wrong with it, but I wanted wave2 ac coupled with ax for future expansion. I spent a few weeks looking at features and reviews of most brands. I chose to stick with Asus partly due to the fact my old router had been rock solid for 7 years and I already knew the interface. But I also chose to stick with asus as it is one is the most customizable home networking solutions. Even more so with the Merlin ecosystem and there is a good community here on SNBForums for support.
 

MarkyPancake

Senior Member
I've been looking into maybe moving to an AX solution, but am wondering whether to move away from Broadcom to a Qualcomm product.

If I stay with Asus, I've shortlisted it to the RT-AX88U or the GT-AX11000. I can't decide if the AX11000 is worth the extra cost over the AX88U.

I haven't looked into Netgear much yet, but have the Nighthawk AX12 on the list so far, although this is more expensive than the Asus AX11000.
 

maxbraketorque

Very Senior Member
User reviews on Amazon can often be different from my own experience. A good example is the ASUS RT-AC86U router. I now have four in total divided among two locations, and they have all worked flawlessly since day-one. 20% of the reviews on Amazon are 1-star, suggesting that one in five are problematic. Odds are that one of my four should be defective, but so far zero issues. Maybe I'm lucky, or maybe something else is at play.

My experience has been resoundingly positive with four AC86Us, one AC68U, and one N18U. The latter sits in an unconditioned space in Thailand where the room temperature is routinely in the 80's and often in the 90's. Zero issues in the three years since it was purchased and installed. So from a hardware reliability perspective, my experience has been 100% positive.

From a features perspective, all five routers have also been good for me as well. The AC86U has the best range of any prior wifi router I owned. It also has a powerful CPU that allows it to handle gigabit internet service. The factory firmware has enough features for the average user, perhaps more than what the average user needs. It does lack in some areas, in particular, I think the parental controls are somewhat limited, and the factory QOS is not so great, although I hear that the latter is undergoing substantial improvements. It also has been glitchy when used in some ways. In particular, many people will tell you that wifi auto channel selection leads to issues. I've never had issues with auto channel selection, but I do manual channel selection because in auto mode, the router channel hops like crazy for no apparent reason.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of ASUS routers is the Merlin firmware. This custom firmware has been available since 2012, and offers many desirable features for more advanced users, and even some features that should be used by average users such as DoT. The primary author of the firmware, RMerlin, has a synergistic relationship with ASUS, that leads to more rapid bug fixes in the factory firmware as well as some of his features eventually being adopted in the factory firmware. Unfortunately for ASUS, the Merlin firmware is never discussed in product reviews on CNET, PCWorld, etc.

One area where I do think the majority of the people will say ASUS sucks is in tech support. They have a very limited US presence and from what I've read, they are slow to respond and often do not provide helpful advice. In general, your best advice for resolving ASUS router issues will be on this forum.
 
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OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've never had issues with auto channel selection, but I do manual channel selection because in auto mode, the router channel hops like crazy for no apparent reason.

My issue with Auto channel selection is the router channel hopping for no apparent reason, and the disruption that causes for clients.

OE
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
My 2 cents is that all consumer wireless routers are frankly a bit crap.

Some have great wi-fi, but terrible stability or broken WAN network stacks that fall over for no reason.
Some have terrible wi-fi but are great otherwise.
Generally a case of just using whatever fits your needs at time of purchase, every brand has pro's and cons.

Higher on the spectrum, Ubiquiti is nice, but Wi-Fi performance is not brilliant. Stability however is and is usually what I deploy to customers nowadays.
Cisco, junk unless you get into their enterprise range of aironet AP's and switching and routing, rest of their range is abysmal.
Can go on for majority of companies, all of them have quirks and speed issues.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
My 2 cents is that all consumer wireless routers are frankly a bit crap.

Some have great wi-fi, but terrible stability or broken WAN network stacks that fall over for no reason.
Some have terrible wi-fi but are great otherwise.
Generally a case of just using whatever fits your needs at time of purchase, every brand has pro's and cons.

Higher on the spectrum, Ubiquiti is nice, but Wi-Fi performance is not brilliant. Stability however is and is usually what I deploy to customers nowadays.
Cisco, junk unless you get into their enterprise range of aironet AP's and switching and routing, rest of their range is abysmal.
Can go on for majority of companies, all of them have quirks and speed issues.

I can see how the people that don't understand networking could think Cisco small business networking equipment is junk. All the VLANs, layer 3 switches and wireless networking using this equipment. This is why people buy consumer gear. Cisco is trying to add wizards to auto configure their small business networking equipment to make it easy for even the people that don't understand networking. They hope to win you over to a fuller networking experience.

I have been using Cisco small business routers, switches and wireless for a number of years with great success.
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
I primarily work on the enterprise kit and for a few clients we took over they had meraki and the other SMB kit, switches are fine, the router is stable, but throughput is horrific, wi-fi, stable, performance is pretty weak though.

Meraki being the worst thing ever though, cloud based wi-fi that can't be remote rebooted when they lockup... That never gets old when the customer is 200 miles away :)

I will say though, Cisco SMB routers do come in handy when I come across anything branded sonicwall and I need a working network :D
 

jpthsd

Regular Contributor
I have been researching routers and ASUS is about the only brand I have no idea about. I was a Netgear guy since I had a satisfactory experience with the R7000 but after purchasing a $250 device that died after few uses, forced data collection, and frustrating and glitchy Orbi, I am seeing the grass greener on the ASUS side.

Tell me about your experience, is it stable? is the hardware reliable? is the software dependable?

ASUS and Netgear are the two big dogs in this market. All other options are either inferior or limited, except Ubiquiti if you want to go that route.

My last purchase of Asus RT-AC68U in 2017 and still running strong now as AiMesh Node and new RT-AC86U as my main router.

I have N65 and I am using it for my wife's Nail Salon, it works great and continues working as of now!! You might guess how old the N65 and AC68U ,,,they are still operational!
 

digital10

Regular Contributor
My 2 cents is that all consumer wireless routers are frankly a bit crap.

Some have great wi-fi, but terrible stability or broken WAN network stacks that fall over for no reason.
Some have terrible wi-fi but are great otherwise.
Generally a case of just using whatever fits your needs at time of purchase, every brand has pro's and cons.

Higher on the spectrum, Ubiquiti is nice, but Wi-Fi performance is not brilliant. Stability however is and is usually what I deploy to customers nowadays.
Cisco, junk unless you get into their enterprise range of aironet AP's and switching and routing, rest of their range is abysmal.
Can go on for majority of companies, all of them have quirks and speed issues.

What do you mean Ubiquiti wifi is not brilliant?
What do you use at home?
Overall, which router brand would you say is best for consumer/home use?
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
Ubiquiti wifi, the range isn't great and the speed isn't blistering either. Range wise, the idea is to buy as many AP's to get the coverage required, for most people, running cat5 around the house isn't feasable, but it's business gear after all.
(Note I've just ditched my Asus setup for a Unifi Dream Machine. Range is fine for me, speed is way worse than the asus, but the stability blows any asus out of the water)

Consumer wise, best bet in all honesty is whichever brand/model fits your budget. No right or wrong answer.

Example - Asus is awesome if you have fast internet. My previous internet it was hopeless however as the qos doesn't scale down to help with 20mb down/ 2mb upload speed. A single playstation or xbox download cripples the internet way too easily.
Conversely on that crap connection, netgear xr500 did a way better job of qos for it to never be saturated, however the wifi wasn't as good as the asus. (Model at that time was an RT-AC88u)

For the average consumer, any old Asus, D-Link, Netgear, Linksys etc will suffice, as users get a bit more tech savvy and don't have rubbish phones, play a ton of games etc, then the quirks, benefits and detriments of each brand comes into question and users start becoming picky, which they should.

But through all of this, the only thing that reviews will ever concentrate on is raw throughput via a gigabit internet connection. (Most people in the uk still have less than 20mb broadband, reviews claiming qos works great etc when not capped to real world speeds for the average crap internet connection just aren't that useful).

Easiest thing is for a user to post their internet connection setup, the size/ layout of the house, the types of devices being used and what their expectations are, then users on the forum can tailor the recommended setup to the question. (Where this doesn't help is when someone has a setup that works great in their own setup and recommends it to an entirely different setup, or because it's favourite brand, if it's not fit for the requested job...)

And to end, a rough list of brands I favour in no particular order:

Ubiquiti Unifi for the techie minded folk - Their Amplifi line is also great for people that don't know what a pc, router etc is.
Google & Eero - Concerns of data privacy aside, again, for the average consumer, ease of use is paramount, these things are very easy to setup and be working within 5 minutes

Asus - Great if you enjoy tinkering with menu's, fast wifi, getting new features that are in perpetual beta, some of which are a great idea, the reality not so much (AiMesh)

Netgear - It works great...Until the wan connection decides it's no longer reliable and you spend days mucking around with it, good times while it lasts though :D

Razer Sila - Honestly, thing thing was rock solid, had decent wifi speeds, coverage not so much. Qos was truly amazing and hassle free, easy for idiots to setup via their mobile phone. Only negative, not mch tinkering to be done, but solid as a rock and never crashed or glitched in the year I had it setup at work while testing. (Was configured as an open AP router at an exhibition hall, truly good stuff, surprised no one has reviewed this on this website.

Linksys - another solid brand, just the lack of firmware updates and the cloud login tend to steer me away from them. Tough to recommend nowadays.

TP-Link - Just asus routers with a different OS. no worse, but no better either in terms of stability, but do lose out in terms of options to tweak.

Honourable mention to FritzBox. When one of my asus routers died, I had to rely on one of these supplied by my ISP. This thing was solid, had some pretty interesting features to tweak (Especially if you like VoiP, I don't :D ), if the wifi spec was a higher end model, I'd probably still be using it. Thems germans know what they are doing. :)

Long post of rambling, shouldn't have been drinking all day :D
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I say you forgot Cisco small business gear but maybe you have not run any of it. You might want to look at the Cisco RV340 and RV260P routers. They are very simple to configure using the wizard which is the default for setup. Using a Cisco WAP581 wireless AP another easy device to setup. These are not command line devices they have a simple GUI for setup. Cost wise they are not that much money for a stable network.

This simple setup can grow into a much larger setup if you want by adding more devices like more wireless AP up to 16. Maybe add a Cisco layer 3 switch. You can add a UTM 7 layer firewall behind the router. Using separates is so much more flexible than an all-in-one.
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
I specifically ignored Cisco as the question was for consumer gear. :) (Don't worry, I have my old ccna :D )

Don't worry, the list would be entirely different if I was at work selling to my business customers. That would be juniper, Cisco, Aruba, sonicwall if needed... ubiquiti still makes the list too.
 

Sachb

Regular Contributor
Asus - Great if you enjoy tinkering with menu's, fast wifi, getting new features that are in perpetual beta, some of which are a great idea, the reality not so much (AiMesh)

Netgear - It works great...Until the wan connection decides it's no longer reliable and you spend days mucking around with it, good times while it lasts though :D

Pardon me, but out of all the brands you mentioned, Netgear is the only brand which makes stable routers.

I never had any issues including wan, & also it never rebooted on it's own unlike the asus AC88U which I used long ago.

The newer 2019 Asus AC86U which I recently bought seems to be much better and stable so far using the stock Asus firmware. No reboots, nor disconnection or slowdowns.

I also tried the Linksys, as I had a curosity that it may be an even match to my Netgear X4S nighthawk, but unfortunately my experience with linksys EA8500 was terrible.
Worst router ever!!
Slowest UI I've come across so far.

On top of that I could only use channel 36-48 on 5 Ghz on the Linksys.





Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
That's exactly my point of my entire posts, different horses for different courses and everyone has their own personal bias. Which they should, why would anyone keep kit that doesn't work for them. Equally though, just because your router doesn't fall over on the wan, doesn't mean it doesn't for others.

None of my opinions are slating any of the brands, I don't prefer one over the other, if it works, brilliant, if not, move on to something different, on that note, I appreciate that most users don't have access to different brands and models as needed, they buy once and have to make it work, which I'm in the fortunate position to be in. (If I like the look of a model that may be of use to customers, then I can order it, test it for a couple of months before deciding viability for customers/ my support team to be able to remotely support)
 

digital10

Regular Contributor
Pardon me, but out of all the brands you mentioned, Netgear is the only brand which makes stable routers.

I never had any issues including wan, & also it never rebooted on it's own unlike the asus AC88U which I used long ago.

The newer 2019 Asus AC86U which I recently bought seems to be much better and stable so far using the stock Asus firmware. No reboots, nor disconnection or slowdowns.

I also tried the Linksys, as I had a curosity that it may be an even match to my Netgear X4S nighthawk, but unfortunately my experience with linksys EA8500 was terrible.
Worst router ever!!
Slowest UI I've come across so far.

On top of that I could only use channel 36-48 on 5 Ghz on the Linksys.





Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
Why did you buy Asus again if you were not happy with your prior Asus router?
 

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