Issues after latest firmware updates? RT-AX88U & RT-AC86U(node)

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CBR1000RR

Occasional Visitor
Hi. Long time reader but first time poster. Is anyone else having issues after the last round of firmware updates? I currently have a RT-AX88U and a RT-AC86U that I'm using as an AI Mesh node. It was pretty buggy when I first set it up a few years ago but has been working flawlessly for quite a while now... that is until the last round of firmware updates.

Now, we'll be on our iPads and speeds will just drop from 150 mbps to like 1 or even slower. Sometimes it even just disconnects. Its happening on all of our devices (Several variants of iPads & iPhones). Connected directly to the AX88U, I get around 450 mpbs but that also drops to 1 or nothing at times in areas where I used to get full coverage. Also noticed our Echo devices are pretty slow to respond at times (sometimes not at all).

We also lost all of our Echo devices a few mornings ago and it seems like the AC86U dropped off also. I've also noticed the connection for the AC86 changing between 5G and 2.4G quite a bit.

Also had times where after getting dropped, we couldn't reconnect for like 5 minutes.

I don't think its our modem because my PC is hardwired and that continually gets 500-600 mbps. I have yet to see that drop below 500.

I have noticed that devices seem to act up when moving from one node to the other. But not 100% sure on that.

I wondered if it was an issue with the iPad pro, but two other iPads & iPhones are seeing the same behavior. We have all the latest patches & everything on the iPads & iPhones too.

I also did a factory reset on both routers last night and set everything back up from scratch but still seeing the same problems.

I've also dug around in the logs but can't really make much of those. Thought about seeing if theres more of a debugging mode and exporting the logs to a Linux machine but haven't done that yet (mostly because I was tinkering and need to rebuild my Linux server :p ).

I've also been trying to figure out if theres anything new in the house that might be causing interference but can't think of anything. Well, we did get a new kitten whos microchipped but I'd be shocked if if had something to do with that.

I might go exchange the modem for a new one from Xfinity since I can do that for free but don't think thats the problem. Something to try though I guess. I should also note that ALL the wifi stuff on the Xfinity modem is turned off.

Pretty bummed because like I said, it was working perfectly for a long time until just a few weeks ago.

Any ideas?

Not positive it started when the last firmware was applied but I think it was right around the same time.

Firmware versions are:

3.0.0.4.384_7756-gbe27a4b - RT-AX88U

3.0.0.4.384_81351-gcb63868 - RT-AC86U



EDIT: Noticed some other posts about similar issues. I rolled both routers back one firmware version. I'll post what happens.

Now on:

3.0.0.4.384_6436-g6d47c51 - RT-AX88U

3.0.0.4.384_81049-gbd61205 - RT-AC86U

Also, can anyone tell me what the best version of firmware is that they've used for these two?
 
Last edited:

dosborne

Very Senior Member

Tommy Grace

Regular Contributor
Hi. Long time reader but first time poster. Is anyone else having issues after the last round of firmware updates? I currently have a RT-AX88U and a RT-AC86U that I'm using as an AI Mesh node. It was pretty buggy when I first set it up a few years ago but has been working flawlessly for quite a while now... that is until the last round of firmware updates.

Now, we'll be on our iPads and speeds will just drop from 150 mbps to like 1 or even slower. Sometimes it even just disconnects. Its happening on all of our devices (Several variants of iPads & iPhones). Connected directly to the AX88U, I get around 450 mpbs but that also drops to 1 or nothing at times in areas where I used to get full coverage. Also noticed our Echo devices are pretty slow to respond at times (sometimes not at all).

We also lost all of our Echo devices a few mornings ago and it seems like the AC86U dropped off also. I've also noticed the connection for the AC86 changing between 5G and 2.4G quite a bit.

Also had times where after getting dropped, we couldn't reconnect for like 5 minutes.

I don't think its our modem because my PC is hardwired and that continually gets 500-600 mbps. I have yet to see that drop below 500.

I have noticed that devices seem to act up when moving from one node to the other. But not 100% sure on that.

I wondered if it was an issue with the iPad pro, but two other iPads & iPhones are seeing the same behavior. We have all the latest patches & everything on the iPads & iPhones too.

I also did a factory reset on both routers last night and set everything back up from scratch but still seeing the same problems.

I've also dug around in the logs but can't really make much of those. Thought about seeing if theres more of a debugging mode and exporting the logs to a Linux machine but haven't done that yet (mostly because I was tinkering and need to rebuild my Linux server :p ).

I've also been trying to figure out if theres anything new in the house that might be causing interference but can't think of anything. Well, we did get a new kitten whos microchipped but I'd be shocked if if had something to do with that.

I might go exchange the modem for a new one from Xfinity since I can do that for free but don't think thats the problem. Something to try though I guess. I should also note that ALL the wifi stuff on the Xfinity modem is turned off.

Pretty bummed because like I said, it was working perfectly for a long time until just a few weeks ago.

Any ideas?

Not positive it started when the last firmware was applied but I think it was right around the same time.

Firmware versions are:

3.0.0.4.384_7756-gbe27a4b - RT-AX88U

3.0.0.4.384_81351-gcb63868 - RT-AC86U



EDIT: Noticed some other posts about similar issues. I rolled both routers back one firmware version. I'll post what happens.

Now on:

3.0.0.4.384_6436-g6d47c51 - RT-AX88U

3.0.0.4.384_81049-gbd61205 - RT-AC86U

Also, can anyone tell me what the best version of firmware is that they've used for these two?
Yeah i have had these issues too. I rolled back to .0.0.4.384_6436 last night and all is well with the world again. Going to wait for the next upgrade i think.
 

CBR1000RR

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the replies. After rolling them both back around 4 pm yesterday, everything's been working way better. Didn't see any issues at all last night. No dropped connections and speeds are as expected from both the main router and node. Moving between them is pretty seamless too.

Gonna make it a point to start saving all the firmware versions locally on my pc just in case.

I have an older RT-AC68U sitting in the closet I'm not using. Might put Merlin on that one and see how I like it.
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
Hardware version A1, 7756 broke wifi for us (we have two of these in two separate environments; same results -- AX clients are fine, AC clients grind to a crawl). Downgrading to 6436 with no issues for ~1 week or so.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnB_123 did you try using a new ssid on the 7756 firmware?
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
@JohnB_123 did you try using a new ssid on the 7756 firmware?
No - but that's almost a non-option for me. I have a couple of dozen smart devices that would take a tremendous amount of time to reconfigure. Already went through them some weeks ago with a complex password. And guest networks don't work with AIMesh, so I can't gracefully transition...
 

indark

Senior Member
7756 turns 160MHz bandwidth on by default, turn that off should fix the problem
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
7756 turns 160MHz bandwidth on by default, turn that off should fix the problem
It’s been on for some time — no issues in past firmware builds. Not sure disabling it on the new build will fix it since it’s enabled on the previous versions with no issues.

4252B92F-BF09-4D5F-8C86-58C1013F395A.jpeg
 

indark

Senior Member
at least for my case, w/ 160Mhz enabled in 7756, the client that slow dramatically is trying to use the 160Mhz

i didn't check the behavior of the client in 6436, it will be something that you can check.
maybe the AC clients were not even utilizing 160Mhz in 6436.
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
at least for my case, w/ 160Mhz enabled in 7756, the client that slow dramatically is trying to use the 160Mhz

i didn't check the behavior of the client in 6436, it will be something that you can check.
maybe the AC clients were not even utilizing 160Mhz in 6436.
OK, just updated back to 7756 - noticed that 160 MHz did NOT get enabled by default as someone mentioned previously. I did change my AIMesh setup, moving from two different Asus routers to two of the same (both RT-AX88u now; previously one AX88, one AC86u). Regardless, will monitor and update the forum.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnB_123 I hope you find your network stable and fast again.

What I see is that you are changing many things at once and possibly restoring old configuration files to your new routers? This is a sure way to need to reconfigure everything properly and manually, sooner, rather than later.
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
@JohnB_123 I hope you find your network stable and fast again.

What I see is that you are changing many things at once and possibly restoring old configuration files to your new routers? This is a sure way to need to reconfigure everything properly and manually, sooner, rather than later.
Same router, only changed the AIMesh nodes. Unfortunately, no difference -- the 7756 firmware is the only variable that positively slows non-AX wifi performance to a crawl. 160 MHz disabled, (tried two different AIMesh nodes -- now using identical RT-AX88u A1 routers for both router and node), freshly config'd 7756 firmware.

It simply doesn't work -- after about 5-10 minutes, Macbook Pro and iPhone XR wifi performance crawls to 3G speeds. Then after reverting to 6436 firmware, everything works great.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnB_123 sorry, I am not understanding enough about your setup methods to offer you further advice from the posts you have made. You may be right that the 7756 firmware is the culprit here. The only way I would be sure is to do a full Nuclear Reset/M&M Config without skipping any steps or taking any other shortcuts.

New SSID's (8 character minimum). Fully power off the entire network for at least 10 minutes (an hour is better). Flash the firmware you want to test at least twice to each router, with a full reset to factory defaults and formatting the JFFS partition after each successful flash. Do not restore any saved backup config files. Do not blindly use old settings and/or configurations (instead, use the defaults for each firmware and change slowly and methodically the settings recommended throughout these forums.

The above may seem intensive and time-consuming (and it can be if the steps above are done serially). But power off the network, pick a single router you want to optimize, flash the firmware and continue following the detailed steps in my guides (please look for the link in my signature below).

Once you have the basic network setup as you want it, add client devices in an orderly manner and see where/if any issues arise and adjust accordingly.

I can honestly say that I haven't seen a network to not respond to such an overhaul as I suggest above for my customers. Even though it may seem like a day of work, it's not; in an hour to an hour and a half, you should have the stable network you're looking for. Or, at the very least know why it doesn't perform as expected.

Yes, you may do all the above and come to the same conclusion you already have. But, you may also find a new level of performance and stability in your network too. :)
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
@JohnB_123 sorry, I am not understanding enough about your setup methods to offer you further advice from the posts you have made. You may be right that the 7756 firmware is the culprit here. The only way I would be sure is to do a full Nuclear Reset/M&M Config without skipping any steps or taking any other shortcuts.

New SSID's (8 character minimum). Fully power off the entire network for at least 10 minutes (an hour is better). Flash the firmware you want to test at least twice to each router, with a full reset to factory defaults and formatting the JFFS partition after each successful flash. Do not restore any saved backup config files. Do not blindly use old settings and/or configurations (instead, use the defaults for each firmware and change slowly and methodically the settings recommended throughout these forums.

The above may seem intensive and time-consuming (and it can be if the steps above are done serially). But power off the network, pick a single router you want to optimize, flash the firmware and continue following the detailed steps in my guides (please look for the link in my signature below).

Once you have the basic network setup as you want it, add client devices in an orderly manner and see where/if any issues arise and adjust accordingly.

I can honestly say that I haven't seen a network to not respond to such an overhaul as I suggest above for my customers. Even though it may seem like a day of work, it's not; in an hour to an hour and a half, you should have the stable network you're looking for. Or, at the very least know why it doesn't perform as expected.

Yes, you may do all the above and come to the same conclusion you already have. But, you may also find a new level of performance and stability in your network too. :)
The solution you are suggesting is not only beyond ridiculous, it has a placebo effect to go with it.

Changing the SSID? Why? What specifically does this remedy?

We have a large number of IoT devices that have SSID and passwords that are tedious to set (pair with Bluetooth, direct connect to their wifi, remove/re-add to HomeKit, etc etc) -- earlier this year I went through the time consuming process of enhancing the security on our network by adding long, complex passwords -- it took several hours to complete, especially since AIMesh doesn't support multiple SSIDs on all nodes (only the router supports the guest SSIDs, so I couldn't gracefully transition with simultaneous SSIDs).

There is at least one other thread where someone recently bought this router and immediately upgraded firmware before anything else, only to find wifi wasn't working properly after getting their settings dialed in. Someone suggested downgrading and now they are stable. That's all the evidence I need to prevent wasting another half day following your advice.

7756 simply isn't stable. No amount of nuclear resetting will change that, and if this is the expectation on each firmware revision (change of SSIDs and fresh setup every time), I'd sooner change to something slower and less capable -- my time is simply worth too much.
 

JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
@JohnB_123 sorry, I am not understanding enough about your setup methods to offer you further advice from the posts you have made. You may be right that the 7756 firmware is the culprit here. The only way I would be sure is to do a full Nuclear Reset/M&M Config without skipping any steps or taking any other shortcuts.

New SSID's (8 character minimum). Fully power off the entire network for at least 10 minutes (an hour is better). Flash the firmware you want to test at least twice to each router, with a full reset to factory defaults and formatting the JFFS partition after each successful flash. Do not restore any saved backup config files. Do not blindly use old settings and/or configurations (instead, use the defaults for each firmware and change slowly and methodically the settings recommended throughout these forums.

The above may seem intensive and time-consuming (and it can be if the steps above are done serially). But power off the network, pick a single router you want to optimize, flash the firmware and continue following the detailed steps in my guides (please look for the link in my signature below).

Once you have the basic network setup as you want it, add client devices in an orderly manner and see where/if any issues arise and adjust accordingly.

I can honestly say that I haven't seen a network to not respond to such an overhaul as I suggest above for my customers. Even though it may seem like a day of work, it's not; in an hour to an hour and a half, you should have the stable network you're looking for. Or, at the very least know why it doesn't perform as expected.

Yes, you may do all the above and come to the same conclusion you already have. But, you may also find a new level of performance and stability in your network too. :)
Do you even have an RT-AX88u? Your signature says you have the RT-AC86U.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnB_123 of course, you know what is best for you. Even if you extrapolate ~1 hour to half a day. :rolleyes:

This is as much as I know today to eliminate all possible extraneous variables to actually get to the root of an issue with Asus routers. :)

Yes, I do have one. I haven't updated my signature as I'm still in testing mode with the RT-AX88U. When I begin offering it to my customers in the new year, I don't want any surprises. ;)
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
Why do you think Merlin himself didnt use last firmware 7756 GPL for RT-AX88U but previous 6436 instead?
Answer: It's holy crap.
 
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JohnB_123

Regular Contributor
@JohnB_123 of course, you know what is best for you. Even if you extrapolate ~1 hour to half a day. :rolleyes:
The smart switches we use each need to be removed and re-added to their app interface, along with HomeKit and Amazon Echo, to work. Those, too, need to be completely nuked in order to work properly when changing SSIDs. Then each device needs to be re-added to its respective group, automation routine, and scene since it's "new."

I assure you this process takes a minimum of 10 minutes per device (and more, depending on the smart home setup piece, and we have nearly two dozen of them). This represents only one class of the wifi components of our smart home. In all, 60+ devices connected in our home.

Your methodology may have been relevant 10 or more years ago; today, it's impractical.
 

CBR1000RR

Occasional Visitor
Update to all this. Since rolling back to the previous versions on both routers, everything has been solid again (knock on wood). No issues all weekend. I'll wait for the next round of firmware updates before messing with it again.

I dunno about the SSID thing but yeah, we have like 25 wireless devices in our house. Wouldn't be a fun task to change them all.

Hardware version A1, 7756 broke wifi for us (we have two of these in two separate environments; same results -- AX clients are fine, AC clients grind to a crawl). Downgrading to 6436 with no issues for ~1 week or so.
Interesting. I was seeing the issues on both the AX device and the AC device. I probably should've rolled back the firmware on one device at a time to see if just one was the culprit, but got impatient and did em both at the same time.
 
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