N66U replacement...AC86U or AX58U?

sunshinedave

New Around Here
I’m lucky enough to have FTTP and I’m still running a RT-N66U, although currently my service is only 80/20 this router is due a change.

If it wasn’t for the new AX routers I’d have had an RT-AC86U by now, seems like a fantastic mid range router and does all I need (very little, 2.4, 5ghz and I run an OpenVPN server on my 66u).

Having seen the AX88U I have been waiting for a mid range “AX” 86U equivalent....

Is the new AX58U it? It’s £200 so similar price, not sure the significance of 2x2 Wi-Fi rather than 4x4, and also the processor being intel is said to not be potentially as good?

What’s the consensus do we think for an AX replacement for my RT-N66U?

I have a 2 bed semi, not massive, good range on the 66U - runs an OpenVPN server for occasional browsing use when abroad, iPhone XS for browsing, a wired TV and desktop PC.
The only wireless load really is a number of Nest camera on the 5ghz band.

Any thoughts? AX58U, AC86U or wait? (Can’t wait forever, March 2020 sees 500/1GB residential service on Openreach FTTP, so I’ll jump to 500 most likely and will want a router to match!).

Thanks!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Being Intel-based, the RT-AX58U won't ever benefit from RMerlin magic. Hard pass for me!

I say wait until you have your new service installed and available, there may be other options from Asus then.

If nothing changes at that point in time, the RT-AC86U is the best option for bang-for-the-buck.

The only AX router I would be considering (still) is the RT-AX88U.

But make no mistake, any of these options will be a massive upgrade from the venerable, but now old, RT-N66U. :)
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
Can’t wait forever, March 2020 sees 500/1GB residential service on Openreach FTTP

Get the RT-AC86U on sale around holidays, play with it until March, find what you want from it, switch to 500Mbps ISP line.
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
I have been using the AX58U for 3 weeks now and all I can say is it's rock solid so far. Great range, speeds are right were they are suppose to be for my 300/300 fiber connection. Some are saying this router is Intel based but the Wiki site says it's Broadcom based so not sure on that one. The user interface is quick and snappy definitely faster then my ac3100. Still working on getting some wifi 6 clients. All in all don't be afraid to try a AX58U it can always be returned if it does not deliver for you. I would be carful if you consider a 86U many reports of radio failures and disconnects.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I may be wrong about it being Intel-based, memory not what it used to be, but if it works for you and is better than what you had, it's a keeper.

@Kal-EL, thanks for the update. :)
 

sunshinedave

New Around Here
Thanks for the comments.

I really want to upgrade to an AX router despite owning no AX devices, if this lasts half as long as my N66U then I’ll have it for a long time.

There’s not much info out but the AX58U sounds like it may be a bit budget, and perhaps not a AC86U equivalent.

I don’t really use WI-FI for high throughput stuff, I much prefer Cat 5e for desktops and TVs etc. So WI-FI performance isn’t everything to me.

I currently use a gigabit switch from my many smarthome hubs etc into a port on my old router, so I am considering perhaps the AX88U also now; only £100 more than the AX58U and its a pretty high end product.

Most of my critical traffic will be wired and the 8 ports will be handy, freeing up my switch for use elsewhere.
I can’t find much info on the AX58U but I hear the AX88U has hardware AES encryption, making my VPN server faster.

I also never bothered changing firmware on my N66U so maybe missed the benefits, but the AX88U can also run Merlin firmware, which may or may not deliver me benefits (used to just keep the ASUS firmware current).

Perhaps in the spirit of “buy once cry once” an AX88U may be the answer? There are of course lots of posts on here about people asking for support/bug fixes with them, but they seem to be well thought of and a known quantity now. Maybe there’s £100 of extra value over a new AX58U midrange offering.

Also I’m suffering some WAN disconnects at the minute that I’ve not pinned down to Fibre network, Openreach ONT or my N66U - my ISP have sent me a replacement “free” router to troubleshoot with, but I’m not really looking to use it if it confirms the N66U is causing my WAN disconnects....

Thanks for your thoughts guys, it’s appreciated!
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
There’s not much info out but the AX58U sounds like it may be a bit budget, and perhaps not a AC86U equivalent.

Yes budget is KEY at this early stage of AX (WiFi-6) Certainly as time passes I will get a higher end AX router, I always do. I totally agree about not much info on the AX58U but it just hit the local market recently. Again though I have to say this smaller AX58 is filling all my router needs and doing so very well.

What ever you decide hope it works good for you.. :)
 

maxbraketorque

Very Senior Member
The AX58U is a 2x2 on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands whereas the AC86U is 4x4 for 5 GHz and 3x3 for 2.4 GHz. More antennas help with reception, and if you have any AC wireless devices that are 3x3, they will have higher bandwidth on the AC86U. Overall, I'd say pass on the AX58U unless all your devices are already AX-enabled and can take advantage of the higher throughput of the 802.11X protocol. Or get an AX router that has more antennas/streams, such as the AX88U.
 

sunshinedave

New Around Here
Well, after waiting all sale season with nothing good at all on ASUS routers (aside from the AC86U).....I checked today and the AX58U is still the same price at £199, but the AX88U has dropped £50 down to £254, so that’s not a lot of difference in price from the 58U....so I think I may be picking one of the Ax88Us tomorrow to upgrade and future proof me!

Hopefully it’ll be noticably better than the N66U, even if the UI looks the same .

Many thanks for everyone’s input, it’s all been taken onboard. Let’s hope I don’t have any issues with the AX88U!
 

c.petras

Occasional Visitor
Hi guys ! To not open another topic i ask here. After a bit time of testing..What whould you recommend to buy right now. AC86U, AX56U or AX58U. All 3 have the same price in my country and i am unable to decide. Now i run an backup N18U which have a problem with LAN ports and wifi password (I am unable to connect to wifi with WPA2 password from phone). I plan to use that N18U as an extender even if have only 2.4 band. Please share here your thoughts and help me to decide. Thank you !
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@c.petras welcome to the forums. Btw, you replied to a year and a half old thread. :D

For me, it would depend on the ISP speeds you're getting. But as a router, the RT-AC86U is much better than either of your other options and you won't miss much on the Wi-Fi front either by your post.

I would consider not using the N18U as an 'extender'. Rather, (if it's capable), I would use it in Media Bridge mode for any wired capable devices you may have. That is if it's needed at all (the RT-AC86U is that good).

Here is what you need to know to get the most from the RT-AC86U today.

About | Asuswrt-Merlin (asuswrt-merlin.net)

Best Practice Update/Setup Router/AiMesh Node(s) 2021

And the link below describes how to do a proper WPS Button reset after flashing the RMerlin firmware suggested above.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I don't know if I would use the word 'fine'.

All I know is that anyone who could run RMerlin firmware never asked me to downgrade to stock Asus for them.

As I've said many times before, Asus builds the best consumer router, period. When newer code, security, options and features, and performance is considered.

RMerlin makes that base even better. That's why I state;

Here is what you need to know to get the most from the RT-AC86U today.
 

c.petras

Occasional Visitor
LE: I cancelled the order because i read that AC86U have problem with 2.4 drops. Does anyone know by now if there is a hardware or software problem? My ordered Router was K9 SN and Production year 2019

Thank you for your response. After a deep research and your last replies, I ordered the AC86U. Thank you again!
 
Last edited:

Zetto

Regular Contributor
Something to consider - AX55. In my country, it's twice as cheap as AX58 and pretty good upgrade over n66u (which I also have). N66 maybe has a slightly stronger signal in 2ghz range (5ghz is a toss-up) but overall, ax55 is faster. No Merlin but it's a pretty much a clone of supported AX56 (minus memory size and USB) so maybe it'll get added at some point.
 

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