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Looking at an AC86U. Are there still issues with the 2.4Ghz band?

binarydad

Regular Contributor
I was doing some research and was seeing a lot about issues with the 2.4ghz band not working after a while or having very short range (or poor performance) after a firmware update. Is this still the case? I have quite a few devices on this band.

BTW is this router generally still a good buy in 2020? I have no AX devices currently.

Thanks!
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
I had 2 RT-AC86U routers. Unreliable in both hardware and software. The most reboots and resets I ever made on a networking equipment. Check Amazon, filter 1-2 star reviews from 2019-2020. It's up to you to decide based on what you see. Better get an RT-AX88U router. The best Merlin supported router and with better reliability record. If its 2.4GHz is not good for your needs, use your RT-N66U as 2.4GHz access point. Read this discussion:


I would buy again RT-AC1900P. The fastest version of RT-AC68U with 1.4GHz CPU. Older model now, bur excellent home router.
 

Jack Yaz

Part of the Furniture
Running an RT-AC86U here, no problems whatsoever. Good all-round performer, and survives me pushing it to the limit with script development!
 

Luizlp10

Occasional Visitor
I have a RT-AC86U manufactured in 2019 and it has no issues. Quite the opposite, actually. Over 10 devices continuously connected and even a Smartv on 2.4 Ghz band being able to stream 4k videos 2 brick walls from my router. Best router I've ever had.
 

Matthew Patrick

Senior Member
First time bought the ac86u last year . After a day the 5ghz radio died. Then the router bootlooped. Changed to a new unit and it's been fine till now. I used to have a problem that sometimes the 2.4ghz just stopped working. Nothing can connect to it and service restart_wireless fixed it. I had to do that every midnight just to make sure. Wiped etc and same issue. Then atleast now on this latest fw revision, it doesn't happen anymore. I removed the auto restart wireless and tried running the router for days and I've hadn't gotten any problems with the radios. All my IoT things connected just fine
 

binarydad

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the replies. Is there a certain HW version to look out for? I was reading that it was a hardware issue and not much could be done to fix it.
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
Some say 2019-2020 are better. More volunteers needed. There is a potential hardware bug in all versions:

 

ChatmanR

Regular Contributor
I have 2 AC86Us; 1 for home, and 1 at a small school I support...both are rock solid running Merlin firmware. If you can't afford a Asus AX model, you should get or seriously consider the TP-Link Wifi 6 AX1500. I think it's a great router for $80.00 at Amazon.

.02
 

dodge

Occasional Visitor
Rocking an 86u currently. Had some setup issues initially (router hard-reset itself) but after a 2nd factory reset it seems to be performing better. WebUI still crashes occasionally though. Have both 2.4 & 5ghz on, but I solely use 5ghz for its faster speed and the range is pretty good. 2.4 on just for backup.
 

keefrto

Occasional Visitor
I have 2 86u and one 68u, all three working well for the past 9 days and counting, i have one from 2019 and one 2018.. Just cant fork out cash yet for the AX.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've installed six RT-AC86Us and three RT-AC68Us. One 86U died fully at 23 months and was replaced under warranty. They are all in service for years at various locations.

Get the 86U. If you don't like it, return it.

OE
 

Matthew Patrick

Senior Member
Some say 2019-2020 are better. More volunteers needed. There is a potential hardware bug in all versions:

Yeah mine sometimes doesn't power on after a reboot using the GUI. Sometimes being the keyword here. Most of the time it's fine. So yeah so far I'm very happy with my router...
 

Matthew Patrick

Senior Member
No big deal if you have physical access to the router. Rebooting remotely and scheduled reboots are not recommended though.
True true. Sometimes it's annoying when I wanted to reboot the router and it just blacked out , needing a power reset
 

Smokey613

Senior Member
I have two 86Us in an AiMesh wireless setup. One is 2019, the newest is 2020. I am very happy. As for the reboot issue, I did experience it on the 2019 during initial setup but not since. Both units have been very stable.
 

MarkyPancake

Senior Member
I've been using the AC86U for a few years now, a 2017 model, and have never had any issues with the hardware or its wireless performance. Just the usual quirks you can sometimes experience with any model following a firmware update. Added my old AC68U as an AiMesh node upstairs a few months ago with a wireless backhaul and it's all been solid.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've installed six RT-AC86Us and three RT-AC68Us. One 86U died fully at 23 months and was replaced under warranty. They are all in service for years at various locations.

Get the 86U. If you don't like it, return it.

OE
Funny you should mention that... my second 2018 China 86U (remote node) just died overnight like my first one did... LAN 4 LED half lit. Maybe we'll be seeing a spike in 2018 86U complaints around here.

For the record, both dead 86Us were always protected on a UPS.

OE
 

binarydad

Regular Contributor
Thank you for the replies. I ordered an AC86U. I'm replacing my AC68U. I realized some of the pages noting 2.4ghz issues were also for the 68U, though mine has been pretty much solid for years. So, who knows.
 

binarydad

Regular Contributor
I wanted to follow up once more and ask what version firmware (stock, merlin, version #) those with successes and issues are running. I don't personally need any additional features, but interested if a certain version of any firmware addresses or improves performance, especially related to the 2.4 radio. Thanks again.
 

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