My USB drives keep dying with my AC86U router. What is reliable brand?


New Around Here
I've now had 2 different Sandisk USB drives die after a few months of being plugged into my AC86-U, can anyone recommend a good brand that will last for a good long while? I use Diversion and recently installed Skynet.



Occasional Visitor
Always had good luck with Kingston and Samsung USB drives. Sandisk products were very good until a few years ago when their quality and reliability really went to crap.


Regular Contributor
I am using the same Kingston DataTraveller 16Gb USB drive since 3 years ago on my router.
Last edited:


Senior Member
I gave up with USB thumb drives. They just can't handle the constant reading and writing. I spent the money and attached an SSD in an enclosure. I've had zero problems since.


Senior Member
Yeah, any sort of flash memory can take only a finite number of writes before it dies. With thumb drives that number is, um, very finite --- they're not made for heavy use, but for applications like offloading photos from cameras. If replacing the drive periodically isn't okay, you'd better spend the extra coin for something that's designed to serve as a computer hard drive.


Asuswrt-Merlin dev
One thing that might help is to use a short USB extension, so that way the heat generated by the router won't turn your thumbdrive into an heatsink. I used to do that with my WDTV as it was generating a lot of extra heat on my thumbdrive.

That old Kingston DT410 has been going on 24/7 for close to ten years now on my router, and a few more years before that running 24/7 on my WDTV. USB thumbdrives used to be much more reliable than they are today :(


Senior Member
So I do have a NAS, a machine running Openmedia vault with samba shares. You saying I can use that instead? It wont be slow or anything?
You didn't mention specs or anything, but any respectable NAS should run rings around USB-thumb-drive-hanging-off-a-wireless-router. Even if you put less bottom-of-the-line storage on the router, it should still lose. Routers aren't NASes; they don't have the right software, nor are their CPUs chosen with that usage in mind.

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
So I do have a NAS, a machine running Openmedia vault with samba shares. You saying I can use that instead? It wont be slow or anything?
Well, I might have missed you're using apps on the router locally.

I have some higher end USB drives I use for imaging systems ranging from the cheap 32GB Sandisk @ $9 to the 256GB Sandisk @ $60 that runs at SSD speeds ~400MB/s.

For the purpose of narrowing down the # / types of drives from A / C connectors I just got a handful of adapters for $5 to make it simpler.

@RMerlin suggests distancing... the adapters will get you out away from the router 1-2 inches.


Very Senior Member
We've talked about this before. The "Fit" style USB sticks, plugged into a USB3 port, anecdotally have short lives, perhaps due to heat. I'm not sure even an extension would help.

The routers don't need that form factor, so for the addons, a real stick, preferably metal, plugged into a USB2 port, is likely to do better. It doesn't seem to be the constant r/w. I've had a no-name plastic stick in a 56U for going on 6 or years now.

The other use case in this thread is I guess file sharing, and that is a whole different topic.

The third idea floated here is having the addons run over the network from an NAS. Maybe, but AMTM isn't designed around that and it is much easier to just plug in a USB stick.


Senior Member
We've talked about this before... (needs to be a sticky)! ;)

USB drives use NAND media that is mostly "bottom of the barrel" WRT to reliability and longevity. It is not designed for repeated writes and the small physical size does not help the heat dissipation issues which decimates electronics.

BLUF: If one wants a reliable solution for running SWAP and AMTM on the ASUS routers, then what has proven ultra reliable for me (and many others here who have tried it) is the USB <-> SATA + small SATA SSD plugged into USB2 port. I've been running these setups for 5+ years without a whimper. I've used the UGREEN USB/SATA models (they use the ASMedia chipset) for every router I have + a smaller SATA SSD, (Samsung, Micron, Intel). There are many technical reasons why this approach is a more reliable solution than any USB key stuck on the rear of the routers. (Technical dive is far beyond the original question.) Sure, there are good, better and best USB manufacturers but I've seen these change over the past 3-5 years too. Lexar, Sandisk have stayed remain tier 1 but again overall longevity is not designed in for this NAND's use profile.

For me, reliable, hassle free far exceeds having to spend more of my valuable time debugging weirdness and replacing USB keys every couple of years. What's your time and headache worth? YMMV. Peace. Stay safe, stay alive! Have fun!

UGreen unit ->
Last edited:


Regular Contributor
Kingston DataTraveller 16Gb with metal casing off Amazon, running for 3 years now with no issues.


Very Senior Member
I use Sony memory sticks, they are from my old Sony cameras, these are over 13 years old and are as reliable as when I first bought them.


I mean, most modern USB flash drives don't care about endurance like the old and expensive flash, they usually die after less than 1000 write data cycles, using a real SSD might be a solution, but SSDs consume more power than USB flash drives, so they will speed up the aging of the router's power supply and add more heat to the router. buying cheap USB flash drives and replacing them when they die is a good solution. Going for an SSD is a bit too much in my opinion. I also don't recommend buying these older drives unless you already own them.
Last edited:


Senior Member
What works here, with USB lead on usb2 and usb3:
SEAGATE Seagate Expansion Portable Drive 4TB
WD Elements Portable 4TB
Samsung 256 GB Bar Plus Titan


Regular Contributor
..have also tested a lot:
Main problem is usb 3.0 mode and the strong warming of the usb-stick, in 2.0 mode this is more moderate... changed to Intenso 3823430 Portable SSD 128GB Premium and since then satisfied...


Occasional Visitor
The metric for USB drives these days is $/GB and $/MB/sec, and high-end SSDs have the write endurance market. An older USB drive does better because 1) it's already past infant mortality, and 2) it was made when USB drive write endurance was more important.

Try looking for, say, usb drive high endurance in Amazon. Look for how much writing you can do, not for MB/sec. Also, a bigger drive that you don't use much of helps.


Senior Member
So I'm a little surprised no one else has discovered the UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) supporting flash drives. The ones I use are substantially larger than a conventional flash drive, and use their metal cases as heatsinks. Sequential read & write speeds on mine are supposed to be up to 400MBps with random read & write speeds supposedly up to 30MBps - though using them in the router and with Rapsberry Pi's it's doubtful that while they are noticeably faster than anything else I've used they probably don't come anywhere near the claimed speeds (but what does). As for reliability, the three I have all been subjected to a small number of unprepared power-outs with no errors as far as I'm aware. They're a pretty good match for my needs in price, performance, and reliability.

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

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