Merlin firmware for the new RT-AX86U?

yobocuruyo

Occasional Visitor
@RMerlin I have to buy a router right now for a non profit organization and I usually use your firmware on all AC86 devices. I notice that AX86 is not supported (yet?) so I want your advice. do you recommend me to buy the AC86 because it is supported or the AX86 because it make more sense to buy something new ? Just a recommandation based logic and not about whether it's merlin compatible or not
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
@RMerlin I have to buy a router right now for a non profit organization and I usually use your firmware on all AC86 devices. I notice that AX86 is not supported (yet?) so I want your advice. do you recommend me to buy the AC86 because it is supported or the AX86 because it make more sense to buy something new ? Just a recommandation based logic and not about whether it's merlin compatible or not
Depends on what your needs are.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Smart answer ;), I like your firmware for the openvpn features but not mandatory. for years I have purchased routers based on what you use
If OpenVPN is something you use and you have an Internet connection faster than 100 Mbps, then you'll want a model that has hardware-accelerated AES, like the RT-AC86U or RT-AX88U.
 

kernol

Very Senior Member
Smart answer ;), I like your firmware for the openvpn features but not mandatory. for years I have purchased routers based on what you use
Have a look at this post https://www.snbforums.com/threads/release-asuswrt-merlin-384-19-is-now-available.65801/post-611534
Note only one of the Merlin supported routers has a fully up to date GPL released - and that is the RT-AC86U.

I would go with that router if I were you - after minimal initial config - first patch it to the stock firmware listed in the above post [ 384_81992 ] - then upgrade that to MerlinWare 384.19 with fresh build from scratch on all required amtm add-ons.

I would not buy any of the AX models right now - given that new 6E models will likely be out within a year.
 

Cidious

Occasional Visitor
AC86U is just rock solid if you want a decent allrounder with great Merlin support. It's still going strong for me in the office.

And for Wifi 6E. Not everyone is all about WIFI like explained above. 6E is not a valid reason not to buy a router right now. WIFI AC is still very viable. And 6 is an outcome in crowded areas with loads of clients. 6E is fancy and all but adaptation will take time for all the clients also. I hope people stop constantly writing wifi 6E, 6E mindlessly. Needing WIFI 6E is a very personal thing for a specific situation. Wifi 6 hasn't even rolled out properly yet. 6E will take years to come to be fully supported by all clients.

I have NO use for 6E at all. I'm sure more people are with me. If you need a router now. Buy a router now. For all we know WIFI 6E might be even delayed by the pandemic... It's future glass ball looking.
 

kernol

Very Senior Member
AC86U is just rock solid if you want a decent allrounder with great Merlin support. It's still going strong for me in the office.
..... Needing WIFI 6E is a very personal thing for a specific situation. Wifi 6 hasn't even rolled out properly yet. 6E will take years to come to be fully supported by all clients.
Fully agree with your sentiments - save that most of us don't buy new routers frequently - so I would still grab the lower priced offerings on an RT-AC86U right now - than buy an AX model when an updated more capable model is going to be available within 6 months.

For non-coders like me - this Youtube video explains the conundrum in simple terms ...

 

yobocuruyo

Occasional Visitor
If OpenVPN is something you use and you have an Internet connection faster than 100 Mbps, then you'll want a model that has hardware-accelerated AES, like the RT-AC86U or RT-AX88U.
Yes, It is a stable 400 Mbps connection, 8 devices, a lot of file sharing and live streaming. Because I always buy the same device you have as your primary router, that is why i took the time to ask by guessing what will be your next router. I also understand the situation (other thread) about the GPL mess. Thank
 

Neil62

Senior Member
Any real world working user comparisons between the AC86U and AX86U?
 

Batnun

New Around Here
Any real world working user comparisons between the AC86U and AX86U?

I've got the RT-AX86U yesterday to replace my RT-AC86U, using it in AP mode. So far works great on the latest official firmware, and of course I'm getting better speed on devices that support WiFi 6 (iPhones), but no Merlin firmware... :(
 

PhiL_P

New Around Here
Another here who's just purchased an RT-AX86U after many happy years running Merlin firmware on my trusty RT-AC68U.

Just made a donation to say thanks for those years and keeping my fingers crossed to be able do so again in the future :)
 

CaptnDanLKW

Regular Contributor
Keep in mind the hardware flaw of the RT-AC86U; When it sometimes does not complete a restart without someone who has physical access to the device so they can press the power button.
This is a nuisance for home users and a show-stopper for someone who wants to support the device remotely.
 

jsbeddow

Senior Member
Keep in mind the hardware flaw of the RT-AC86U; When it sometimes does not complete a restart without someone who has physical access to the device so they can press the power button.
This is a nuisance for home users and a show-stopper for someone who wants to support the device remotely.
Who are you directing this to?
This thread is primarily about the newly released RT-AX86U, not the older but still very popular (and relatively up to date, CPU wise) RT-AC86U.
 

CaptnDanLKW

Regular Contributor
Who are you directing this to?
This thread is primarily about the newly released RT-AX86U, not the older but still very popular (and relatively up to date, CPU wise) RT-AC86U.
It was to @yobocuruyo since he mentioned having to buy a device for a non-profit. In my mind that means probably some level or remote support in combination with non-technical people, which could be an issue.
 

roostir

New Around Here
Hello. Excellent thread. Unfortunately though, I think this spells doom for my new RT-AX86U. I have been having a problem (VPN stops Outlook client from connecting) where I believe the answer is in this thread:
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/r...es-from-connecting-loading.63370/#post-604400
Apparently, the answer is to load Merlin and make the following change: Tools > Other Settings > Advanced Tweaks and Hacks
dhcpd: send empty WPAD with a carriage return (change from Yes to No, Apply)

It sounds like @RMerlin does not support this device (RT-AX86U) and may never do so (and it sounds like I don't blame him). As such, I guess there's no way to update that setting and therefore, I can't use my work laptop, and as a result, I will have to return this router. Unless there's some other suggestion?
 

gattaca

Senior Member
^^^ FWIW, my AC86U used to commit the crazy "power down on reboot..." Then I decided to replace the power brick with an ASUS one which has a bit more power (amps) capability. My theory is there is probably a pHW power design issue somewhere which causes the the router to exceed the shipped PSU's capacity briefly during a reboot and the PSU shuts down. I cannot prove it but that's my gut. What I will share is my AC86U has not powered itself off during a reboot in more than 1 a year now since I replaced the original ASUS 19V/1.7A PSU with an ASUS 19V/2.37A unit. I have 1 USB SSD attached using a UGREEN case and that's it. There's a specific thread around here just for this topic and it has been mentioned many times as it is a common PITB issue -> https://www.snbforums.com/threads/ac86u-sometimes-powers-completely-off-during-reboot.48296/page-16 Of course, YMMV.

If interested in trying this, look for a 19V 2.37A (or higher) 4.0 x 1.3mm tip The model I see on eBay often is Model ADP-45BW B like this $15.00 Genuine ASUS OEM part -> https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-As...165097&hash=item3fe74759b6:g:vrUAAOSwDa1fPr76

You will find many non-OEM variants on eBay. I cannot speak for non-OEM units. I tend to stick with the same OEM for critical PSU parts which undergo rigorous testing and certifications. ASUS uses the same PSU across many different products, so as long as you find the 19V 2.37A or greater 4.0 x 1.3mm male plug, you should be GTG. For me, $15 solved the headache (so far) for me. Peace. Stay safe, stay alive!
 
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PhiL_P

New Around Here
Unfortunately though, I think this spells doom for my new RT-AX86U
Indeed, I realised when setting up my RT-AX86U that the DNS Filter functionality for specific LAN devices I'd come to rely upon on my RT-AC68U was all thanks to the Merlin firmware. Was initially in denial desperately searching thinking "well it must be here somewhere!" before resigning myself and frustratingly having to work around not having it.

Don't think this alone will cause me to return it but disappointed to be taking a step backward on some functionality.
 

umang349

New Around Here
These changes over time, but right now:

- It needs to be Broadcom-based
- It needs to be widely available (not just in two or three countries)
- It needs to have high-end hardware so I don't have to fight with lack of flash or RAM
- It needs to receive frequent enough GPLs so I won't have to regularly skip it due to the GPL being outdated
- I need to have one
- I need to have the time to try supporting it
- I need to have the motivation to try supporting it

Each new model requires its own dedicated support. That means every time I work on a new firmware release, I have to work on each separate model, and I need GPL releases from Asus for each individual model, and I need to merge each of them separately. So that means if I support 10 different routers, then I need to merge in the content of 10 different GPL releases, and these need to be close enough to one another to be compatible. The more models I support, the harder this is to accomplish, therefore I am VERY conservative regarding adding any new model. The RT-AX92U for instance didn't happen so far because it gets irregular GPL releases, it has limited market share, and I didn't feel like putting the 2-4 weeks of dedicated work just to add this specific model.

Right now in the short term, I have no plan to add any new model. The last two models I added were an absolute nightmare, and are still problematic to this day (as all three AX models receive GPL releases from Asus on three separate frequencies, one of which is currently out of sync with the two others. The sure thing is I won't even consider adding any new model until after the 386 code merge has been done for a sufficient number of models, which will at least help a little by unifying two separate code branches. That probably won't be done for a couple of months.

So, since there are too many variables involved, I no longer speculate about which model I want, nor which model I CAN support. It will happen if and when it happens. I can't know for sure until I have gone ahead and did all the necessary work to support it, to confirm whether it CAN be supported or not.

The amount of work involved for adding any new model is constantly increasing, which in turns make my motivation in doing so constantly decrease as a result. Just supporting what I do right now has pretty much reached the limit of what I am willing to invest in terms of time and efforts into this project.
Hi Merlin,
In case if you counting users vote would like to add +1 on RT-AX86U support please.
Thanks.
 

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