Looking for upgrade from AC87U

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Nostos156

New Around Here
Hi,

Been running an AC87U for around 5+ years at the moment. It has been running mostly OK for that period but now seems to be acting more spotty as time goes on, requiring reboots to fix it. I also notice that on those reboots it takes an age for the WiFi modules to load up, so I'm looking for something new now.

Improved wireless range and speed on both 2.4/5Ghz is preferred, but not completely essential as it's everyone else in the house who use WiFi and I stick to wired. As I'm in the UK, I still use a HG612 modem that I hope doesn't die anytime soon, as I'd rather keep the router and modem separate (to avoid DLM triggering when I need to reboot the router for whatever reason, god I hate DLM).

Bufferbloat is a concern, but it seems newer versions of Merlin have CAKE in it (maybe not added by default yet?) so I presume ASUS is still the go-to on these forums (which I find strange as Reddit and the wider internet seem to have a hard-on for Ubiquiti yet here is far more ASUS focused).

One other thing is LAN throughput. I noticed on my AC87U I never achieve full 1Gbps on my Synology NAS, and I wonder if that has to do with the router not being up to scratch. But I could be barking up the wrong tree here.

Given all that, what are the go-to's these days, and why?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome, @Nostos156 to the forums. What is your budget? What are your ISP speeds? What firmware is running on the router today?

The RT-AX58U, RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U, and the RT-AX86U are the ones to consider today (good to best).

If your ISP speeds are above 200Mbps up/down symmetrical and you use VPN, do not consider the 'AX58U.

Do not buy older RT-AC86U's (no matter how good the price may seem), there are known issues with the 2018 batch and possibly unknown issues with newer versions (only time will tell if they're the same as the initial ones).


With all the above said, I would still attempt the suggested steps in the link below to rule out hardware issues for your current router first. If you can make it last more reliably until the summer/fall, then would be the time to make a bigger (and better) jump to Wi-Fi 6E equipment.
 

Nostos156

New Around Here
Hi,

Budget isn't a concern, so don't worry about that. ISP speeds are above 50Mbps down and 15Mbps up or so. Not sure on the firmware, I only really update once every year or so - but it's on whatever Merlin was on at the time.

Why is the 86U superior to the 88U despite the latter being higher priced? I do prefer the 88U form factor hence the question (putting it in a little shelf so height may be restricted).

I have heard of WiFi 6E but we'd probably have teething issues regarding firmware that need to be worked out first, then device support too. I mentioned before I primarily use LAN myself so it's not a big deal for me to hop on it late.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Wi-Fi 6E routers are already shipping. I have the Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adaptor already. That is why I'm giving it till summer/fall before I seriously look at those options. :)

The RT-AC88U is based on an older design (same as RT-AC3100) but with known/buggy LAN Ports. The RT-AC86U has superior hardware, performance, and latency vs. anything that came before it.

The RT-AX86U is superior to the RT-AX88U with regards to latency and its available 2.5GbE Port. In a wired 2x AiMesh v2.0 setup, 2x RT-AX86U is obviously superior to any combination of RT-AX88U, RT-AX58U, and RT-AX86U when the RT-AX88U was part of the mesh.

If the last info/paragraph below doesn't help your current router, the benefits of the lower latency on the RT-AX86U are felt (even more?) with lower-tier ISPs too. If budget isn't a concern and you need fast, wired, connections on opposite ends of a home that you can connect 2x RT-AX86U's with Cat5e or better (over the 1GbE ports or the 2.5GbE ports), then this is what I would suggest. Even if Wi-Fi isn't important to you today.

Two AX86U Aimesh @2.5G Ethernet backhaul possible? | SmallNetBuilder Forums



I apologize, I forgot to include the link in my post above! The link below is what I would attempt to get the router working reliably for you first.

Fully Reset Router and Network
 
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Nostos156

New Around Here
Thanks for the info. I did like the 88U for the 8 ports, but a switch would do the same thing and if the 86U has better performing ports and specs, seems like an obvious bet. Only annoyance is the tall form factor, really wish they didn't do that.

The 86U is also only a bit more than I originally paid for my 87U so that's great.

And yeah fair enough on the 6E thing.
 

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