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Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by MjWoneR, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. MjWoneR

    MjWoneR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    I’m trying to replace an old router. It’s not going very well for me since I’ve been literally trying the whole year, and I’m thinking with Black Friday coming maybe it’s time to do this.

    I need speed, range and stability and preferably around $300.
    I only have a 100Mbit connection (maybe 200mb in the future) but I do transfer big files locally every now and then to an iPhone 11 Pro.
    I am not using any advanced features like VPN, QOS etc.

    I really wanted to move to AX from my current N, but I’m not finding any good alternatives, so maybe I should just grab a cheaper AC, and upgrade again in a year or two when AX has stabilised. Though it feels weird to get a router that does not have AX to match the phone. AX features I like on paper are battery saving for the phone, range and less interference with my N/AC neighbours.

    Routers I have in my watchlist atm are:
    AmpliFi HD (no mesh)
    R7800
    RT-AX92U (single unit)
    RT-AC68U
    RT-AC86U
    RAX40
    TPlink AX6000 (price is pushing it, better be perfect)
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,875
    I think you should tell what router you're using now and what issues it is giving you.

    I also think that any of the routers on your list may be easily surpassed by features and/or price in just a couple of months after Asus releases its new models.

    What I can't recommend anymore is the RT-AC68U on your list. It was a great router! But unless it is available 'new' from $80 or less, it is not worth buying for long term use/enjoyment anymore. Just too old and will be dropped soon from being supported by both Asus and RMerlin. ;)

    If you must buy today, find the best deal you can on the RT-AC86U and load with RMerlin firmware, of course.

    The other options are not even on the radar. :D
     
  3. MjWoneR

    MjWoneR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Thanks for your reply!

    I am using an old 4rth gen Apple Time Capsule from 2012, so in principle any router from that list should be an improvement.

    It has been rock solid until this year when it randomly restarts all by itself a couple times per week.
    The local transfer speed is not up to 2019 file sizes.
    The range in the new apartment is barely reaching my side of the bed. Sometimes the signal is so week it disconnects or I disconnect manually because there is no traffic. Other times it works.


    I am not an enthusiast when it comes to routers, so unless RMerlin’s CFW improves stability over OEM, I’m not sure if I have any use for it.

    I’m a bit afraid to wait for new models to be honest, after the whole AX “beta” like routers released from most companies. Even SNB reviewers are far from impressed. Any idea on when Asus will drop it’s new models?
     
  4. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    996
    This. Stick with proven AC Wave 2 until we're well past a ratified draft 1 of AX and there are plenty of stations in the field with actual support for working AX-only features, such as OFDMA, BSS coloring, etc.

    To K.I.S.S., simply do another all-in-one. RT-AC86U running the latest Merlin is typically the best bang for the buck. If you need multiple radios, Netgear Orbi RKB50, preferably each unit wired for backhaul, otherwise in mesh. Simple and effective either way.
     
  5. MjWoneR

    MjWoneR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Thanks for the input. I might do just that, and don’t complicate things.
    Get the AC86U (hope the 2.4Ghz won’t fail) when it’s on sale and upgrade again in a couple of years when AX has matured.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  6. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,875
    Agree 100% with @Trip. :)

    And as you can see from RMerlin's official site, stability is his main goal too. ;)

    https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/
     
    MjWoneR likes this.
  7. timmkvinn

    timmkvinn New Around Here

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Hi I am also using RT-AC86U Router from last 1 year and according to me its one of the best wireless router

    and

    If you love to play online games then, ASUS RT-AC86U is the ultimate choice.
     
    MjWoneR likes this.
  8. Poseidon

    Poseidon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    270
    I don’t understand why people keep recommending the Asus 86U router when there are clearly better options out there???

    I don’t understand this community’s love affair with Asus routers either. I’ve gone through three 86U units before I realized that they are terrible, overrated routers that under-deliver on performance, range, speed and stability.

    Scripts do nothing but make the above mentioned issues worse IMO.

    While Merlin’s f/w does better job offering more options than stock f/w - but it’s not going to do much to improve on a subpar router.

    I’d like to see a couple of more options offered to those who need a router recommendation besides the 86U. It seems like the 86U is being pushed down people’s throats for no good reason when there are clearly better options out there in similar or slightly higher price points.

    Asus has really taken a step back since the Dark Knight N66U days.
     
    CaptainSTX and MjWoneR like this.
  9. MjWoneR

    MjWoneR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    That is good to hear. I do play online every now and then, but I never had any issues even with the time capsule. I’ll take the improvement nevertheless! :)


    Thanks for taking the time to write. I’d love to hear about your recommendations about an alternative to 86U with similar or slightly higher price.
     
  10. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,875
    @Poseidon, no, they're not perfect. But they are better than anything else in the consumer space. Just like the RT-N66U, the RT-AC66U, RT-AC68U, and also RT-AC3100 were for their time too.

    When routers come with 1GB or more of nvram capacity, 2GB or more of ram, and processors in the 3GHz range and higher, they will be approaching what today's ISP's are capable of delivering.

    Right now, the RT-AC86U or the RT-AX88U (both on sale, of course) with RMerlin firmware and a USB drive with a swap file on it makes these the best consumer land has to offer. Some basic work is required to make them shine, but I feel it is worth it.
     
    Clark Griswald likes this.
  11. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Great White North
    If you don't plan to play too much with the router's options and settings and the price is not an issue, R7800 is the router I would recommend to you. It is expensive, the firmware is more basic compared to Asuswrt-Merlin supported ASUS models, but the performance and stability are excellent. One of the best WiFi consumer routers, perhaps. Or for the same price you can get an RT-AX88U with AX support, but not only for the AX support. It's even better hardware than RT-AC86U and is probably more reliable too. Not too many issues with this model are mentioned here on SNB.

    Netgear R7800 or ASUS RT-AX88U
     
    MjWoneR and Poseidon like this.
  12. MjWoneR

    MjWoneR Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    I decided to go the cheapest route, to make it easier to upgrade again in a year or two to WiFi 6.
    I got the Asus RT-AC2900, which seems identical to the AC86U.

    Appreciated the help!
     
    ng4ever likes this.
  13. Darcy

    Darcy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Messages:
    225
    I purchased my 86U in 2018 and have never had an issue with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Clark Griswald likes this.
  14. Klueless

    Klueless Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    AX - I'm cheap. Why pay bleeding edge prices for tomorrow's technology when you can get AC so much cheaper?

    I like Asus. I love their "Real Time Traffic Monitor". I only have a few sites but they were all having problems before Asus. With the real time traffic monitor (and "Ping Plotter") I was able to debug and fix them all.

    As an Asus loyalist I see nothing wrong with the 68U (price) or the Blue Cave (Wife friendly form factor) but I do see better range (despite others having problems) with the 86U.

    With everything working I could be open to a non-Asus solution. Because you mention "Range" I'd be tempted to read up on "Google Wifi" (mesh).
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019