Need help choosing next ASUS-Merlin router.

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.


Occasional Visitor
For the last 5 years I've been using my faithful 68U with the latest merlin firmware.

But today, I suffered a power loss in my neighboorhood, and my router got the dreaded static USB 2.0 light and nothing else. It doesn't boot, doesn't reset, doesn't nothing... =( ... seems like it's busted.

I am looking for a replacement, which must definitely run merlin, but I've been out of the market for these last years. Which one would be a good choice? Is the 86U a nice investment?

Thanks a lot!


Part of the Furniture
The RT-AC86U should be a very good replacement for the RT-AC68U. Before you junk, it though, make sure to test/use it with a new power adaptor. It may be all that went south on you. :)


Senior Member
I went to the AC86U from the AC68U a few years ago and it's still going strong. I recently dusted off the the AC68U and am now using it as an AiMesh node upstairs.

If I had to replace the AC86U today, I would likely go for the AX88U.


Very Senior Member
I recommend the AC86U and a small UPS to protect from power surges. APC UPS 450 is good for about $45.00


Regular Contributor
AC86U for budget performance.

-GT-AC2900 if you don't mind not having Merlin (Same router with upgraded features such as 160mhz channel bonding and link aggregation) Cheaper atm. Currently $169.99 from newegg with code that ends today. ASUS/e-tailers have been dropping the price from $199 every other week.

AX88U if you want to go all out with the newest/up to date device.

Only con is that its pricey. A lot of people are buying routers due to stay at home so finding this for under MSRP is tricky atm.

Internal radio SoC apparently runs at 1.5ghz on the 4x4 AX chip according to internal marketing via ARRIS. Multiple sites claim broadcom AC wave 2 chips only have an internal speed of 800mhz. Both have 64 bit 1.8ghz main CPU's. The AC86U being dual core while the AX88U is a quadcore.

Currently not supported by Merlin due to being new/not available to purchase in western market:

AX86U if you want to see how it ends up performing, should be a little cheaper than 88u while covering most of the performance aspect. Same main CPU/ram and main 5G radio as the AX88U.
AX82U if it ends up on the market at a good price point relative to AX86U. This is based on the AX58U PCB with a fully enabled 4x4:4 5g Radio. Has weaker CPU/RAM

Again, Both of these are TBD if they get supported down the road.
Last edited:

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!