What's new

just purchased rt-88u: should i have looked at others

  • SNBForums Code of Conduct

    SNBForums is a community for everyone, no matter what their level of experience.

    Please be tolerant and patient of others, especially newcomers. We are all here to share and learn!

    The rules are simple: Be patient, be nice, be helpful or be gone!


Occasional Visitor
So without coming here first I just got a rt-88u to replace my now out of support rt-66u router. I wanted something that would cover my entire house (2000 sq/ft) and just looking between various models, i saw that the 88u had 4 antennas. Although I didn't think about it at the time, a tri band router would have worked better for me since I have a 66u set up as a bridge.
In any event, is the 88u just as good as the 86u? I just noticed someone else mention here that despite the naming, the 86 is a newer more powerful model. Whatever that means, other than having more flash memory.
I'm not doing anything fancy other than transferring large movie files from my main PC which is now running on the wireless 88u to the bridge(66u).
I tried transferring large files off my pc connected via gig lan port on the 88u over 5g to my other pc and was only getting about 500Mbps. I thought it would have been closer to a gig.
Should I return the 88u for an 86u. I just got it yesterday from amazon and just flashed it to the latest Merlin as of today.
I went from an 88U to 86U and it’s a good step up in Wi-fi range/performance and CPU horsepower.
If you can switch without penalty I would

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Depending on sales and offers, the RT-AC86U may be cheaper too, and, it is the newer and more powerful model with a much beefier CPU and more RAM and flash too.

I would agree with @JDB that if you can return/exchange without penalty, I would. :)

If you don't need to upgrade today (did your RT-N66U die?) I might be tempted to wait for the 2nd wave of AX routers instead. That is what I'll be upgrading my RT-AC86U to. Nothing wrong with what I have already, but I do have a client device that can already take advantage of the AX routers (when they're finally offered with all options implemented).
For a 2K SqFt home, there will be no difference in range.

What makes it better is that it has at least a two year newer design (RF and otherwise) than the 2015 model 'AC88U.

The internal 4th antennae for the 5GHz band isn't an issue in any customer's home I have employed it in and the 25% faster CPU (and almost 10x faster VPN accelerator) makes fast ISP connections noticeably more responsive too.

In your transferring of large files between two wired LAN connected PC's, how large were the files and what were they stored on (and to) on those computers? HDD's or SSD's?
I got it from Amazon so I have until 9/29 to return it if needed. I'll see if I run into any issues where I have to reboot it. For whatever reason my old 66u has a schedule reboot option and this doesn't in the merlin firmware.
I was transferring from 2 PCs.
PC1 connected to gig lan port on the 88u, running 2 10K raptor drives raid 0 - reading files, about 80GB
PC2 connected via wifi 5G about 12 feet from the 88U writing files to a SSD
Task manager was showing about 500Mb/s on pc2.
Connect both PC's via wired LAN to test for maximum throughput. Then you can see if the WiFi can match it (or, at least come close).

Just because it is connected to WiFi AC on 5GHz doesn't mean it will do Gbps transfers. How many antennae/streams? What model WiFi adaptor? What SSD (and, how full is it)? How long does it take to transfer the complete file (you may be exceeding the 'buffer' of the SSD and dropping to native silicone speeds)?

Which part of Task Manager? The network tab or the drive tab was showing 500Mbps? :)

Depending on the version of the 10K Raptors you have and the state of the RAID0 array, it may be the limiting factor here too.
PC2 is a new build on a gigabyte z390 wifi board and i'm using the wifi on board that came with it. came with an external antenna. it has a samsung 860evo sata 3 that is new and empty. just installed it also yesterday. was looking at the transfer speed performace tab under wifi.
A single external antennae/stream?

If so, that is pretty impressive in itself. :)
beats me: from the specs on the board:
  1. Intel® CNVi interface 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
  3. Support for 11ac 160 MHz wireless standard and up to 1.73 Gbps data rate
    * Actual data rate may vary depending on environment and equipment.
But, how many antennae does it have? :)
Okay. That sounds like a 2 antennae/2 stream solution connecting at a max of 867Mbps. So, about 500Mbps actual throughput is reasonable for your setup then.

You can try manually setting the control channel on the router to see if you can eek a little more out of it (change the channel, reboot the router, wait for 5 minutes and test to see if there are any improvements).

If you can set 160MHz channel width on the router, then you may hit 1Gbps throughput speeds over WiFi at close range. Depending if the rest of the chain is sufficiently up to snuff.

Again; test between them fully wired to see the maximum possible throughput first, then you can see if the WiFi is working as expected or not. :)
Personally I like the 88u and just got another on to replace the first one that was taken out by lightning week before last. As for wifi coverage you have to take many things into consideration that affect coverage. I have a 31 wifi network environment around me so it impacts my performance which is great. If anything, I hope that the price of the ax88u drops so I can have it with a quad core processor.
the only problem i have with the 88u at this point as I'm moving a PC from the bridge (66u) to directly plugged into the 88u and when doing so the pc won't be found on the network. i have to reboot the 88u so it detects where the pc is being moved. the 88u shows a pc being on wifi(bridge) when in fact it is directly plugged into the lan port on the 88u. rebooting the 88u detects is correctly.
not sure if that matter as i won't be doing this as much in the future.
In any event, is the 88u just as good as the 86u?

1. "... giving RT-AC86U combined total speed of 2917Mbps"
Looks like it has 3 external antennas (from pics) and 1 internal (5GHz) ?
4 Gigabit LAN ports.

2. "... on the RT-AC88U delivers a combined 3167 Mbps Wi-Fi speed,"
It has 4 external antennas.
8 Gigabit LAN ports.

Feel free to correct me if I got something above wrong. Data I got was from ASUS website.
There's also a RT-AX88U that looks better than the RT-AC88U.

Sent using Tapatalk
Last edited:
Those "numbers" are completely irrelevant in real live. There are much more indeed relevant differences which let you prefer 86U much more.
Is a car with max. speed 200mph better than one with only 190? Is this your identifier for being a good product?
Last edited:
Agreed. But those numbers are what ASUS publishes in their marketing material. If they position their less expensive routers more favorably in some particular aspect compared to their more expensive routers, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot.
I don't see ASUS comparing processors and RAM across their models, though that would be helpful. But my 88U CPU is nowhere closed to being maxed, so a more powerful CPU may not help too much? Added power consumption associated with more powerful/faster CPUs increases temperature too.
And wifi distance/coverage is so dependent on obstructions, etc that it is difficult to say what would work at a particular distance. Positioning my router's 4 antennas does help.

Chipsets can vary across versions of the same product model over time too (e.g. in Cisco/Linksys routers). So a V2 might be worse off than a V1, until a V3 in that same model comes along.

Sent using Tapatalk
Last edited:
No matter what marketing positioning numbers say, RT-AC86U is a newer and much better hardware device than RT-AC88U. It routes the traffic faster under load, offers better USB transfer speeds and the VPN performance is unmatched. It has some quirks (hopefully resolved in future firmware updates), but in general best router for the money on the market. Not too many reasons to get a 2015 router model in 2019 anyway.

If you want best reliability ASUS product though, I believe you should go with the later versions of RT-AC68U. Not the latest and greatest, but on 3rd hardware revision and with less chances something to arrive broken. The price in 2019 is right too. RT-AC68U revision B2 or RT-AC1900P (same device, dual-core 1.4GHz BCM4709C0 CPU as in RT-AC88U) to be exact. May be hard to find though.
Last edited:
I went from an 88U to 86U and it’s a good step up in Wi-fi range/performance and CPU horsepower.
I made the same path. AC88u remains as a node though. Its connection quality to the main router degraded from 3 bands to just one within a year. I am thinking to replace it with something simpler as the newer ac68uB2

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!