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Newb here. Asus, VPN, IP Cameras...

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by David D, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. David D

    David D New Around Here

    Joined:
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    Stumbled upon this forum and what a wealth of information, but talk about overwhelming!

    I have an intrusion detection system (Elk M1), cameras (Blue Iris on a dedicated PC), and lighting automation (Universal Devices ISY & Insteon) that I access from outside the house. I want to setup a VPN to secure things and have narrowed it down (I think) to using an Asus wireless router due to the recommendations that I've read here and other forums.

    Equipment wise, I have FIOS gigabit with the Verizon G1100 router. I have an Apple 5th gen Airport Extreme connected to three 2nd gen Airport Expresses distributed across the house (mostly for audio streaming). The house is about 1900 square feet built in 1956, and it has a lot of brick with plaster walls, so radio signals don't travel as far as they would with a more modern house. In addition to that, I have two TiVo's, 3 smart TV's, a Synology NAS, AppleTV and a desktop PC. Everything is hardwired and most of the WiFi usage is for phones and tablets. No video games since our daughter moved out.

    What I would like to do is replace the Verizon G1100 with a router capable of VPN and firewall duties. The new router would be connected directly to my ONT via CAT6 (not coax) and would handle all routing, VPN and firewall duties. I have had numerous hits recently to my NVR that MalwareBytes has stopped, but it has convinced me that I need to disable the port forwarding and go VPN.

    I am considering the Asus RT-AC68U and the RT-AC86U. My questions are these:

    - Will either of these handle my needs for routing, VPN and firewall?
    - I know that VPN can/will slow things down. Will the 68U suffice, or do I need the 86U to maintain as much speed as possible?
    - Anything else I haven't thought of, or should consider?

    Thanks!
    David

     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    The AC68U will suffice, but the AC86U is the much better choice. Not just for performance, but for getting more years out of the router (via expected firmware update support, of course), over the slightly archaic AC68U today.
     
    HuskyHerder likes this.
  3. David D

    David D New Around Here

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    Thanks for the reply. They're both listed on the Asus website, so I didn't know the 68U had been out longer. Good to know.
     
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    The RT-AC86U was available early 2Q of last year, but the RT-AC68U was introduced back in Sept 2013. ;)

    Betting that the 'AC86U will be supported longer is an easy win. :)
     
  5. Zonkd

    Zonkd Senior Member

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    Either will do but I upgraded my Ac68u to AC86U and i definitely get better wifi range and speeds now. I flashed Asus Merlin firmware and installed Diversion and Skynet use that to outright block domains and IP addresses known to be associated with malicious activities, and ads. Diversion dnsmasq logging helped me spot a device in my network with malware.
     
    HuskyHerder, Dave Parker and L&LD like this.
  6. David D

    David D New Around Here

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    Sounds like the 86U is the one to get. As I noted before, my current setup consists of Apple Airports and I have great WiFi coverage, but not great speed. I'm hoping the Asus has enough range to replace all of the Airports.
     
  7. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Without knowing your particular setup like how many Airports you have and where you'll be locating your new RT-AC86U, I would tentatively say 'easily'.

    Can't find the post right now when my customer and I were really impressed with an RT-AC3100 I installed for them, or the post(s) where people have compared the RT-AC86U to the RT-AC3100 and found the AC86U superior for range and speeds.

    The Airports may have been stable, but the one I gave away years ago when I got my first RT-N66U seemed ancient tech vs. the RMerlin powered Asus back then. ;)
     
  8. bbsc

    bbsc Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
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    Just my 5 cents.
    A single AC86's price is the same as for 3 (three) TM-AC1900, and I'd prefer to have more than one AP for a 1900 square feet house.
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Regular Contributor

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    Location:
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    If your budget will allow, the 86U is definitely a step up. Been using mine going on 4 months with no issues. It replaced the 68U that I used for several years. Not that it was lacking in any way. Small house, 2 users, a dozen or so clients. It was always very reliable and stable, but as L&LD mentions above, it has been around for several years now and at some point Asus and RMerlin will discontinue support. So might be better to get something that still has several years of support left.
     
  10. dkalbach

    dkalbach Occasional Visitor

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    [​IMG]
    David,

    I think you are already above my skill level so take this for what its worth. Just check out the ASUS Blue Cave before you buy the 86U. I looked at the 86U as well and believe it has better range, but the Blue Cave (ASUS Newest model) has a few capabilities built in that are pretty nice if range isn't an issue. I have a brick home (not where my Blue Cave is however) along with multiple wifi devices and a few wired devices (TV's, Airport Extreme, etc)

    The Blue Cave has some newer feature that allow connection support for Amazon Echo devices, Smart Home Devices, IFTTT, as well as back up functionality utilizing your existing Airport Extremes (wish Apple hadn't given up on them)

    So, I think you are on the right track with the 86U or 88U (newer model) but I'd check into the Blue Cave before making the purchase. In the end range may be the issue, if so I think the 86 and 88U are a bit stronger.

    I'm not sure if the 86U offers AIMesh either. Might be a deciding factor as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Regular Contributor

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    Location:
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    The 86U does support Aimesh but only on stock firmware. Asus is keeping that code to themselves for now and RMerlin can do nothing with it.
     
  12. David D

    David D New Around Here

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    I actually looked at the Blue Cave, but read that it doesn't have as much processing power and would bog down my gigabit internet connection. I work from home frequently and already have to VPN into work and don't want to do anything that could slow things down worse than they already are when I'm working. It's a cool router though and I almost pulled the trigger before I read that.
     
  13. HuskyHerder

    HuskyHerder Senior Member

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    I love my 5300, but from what I have read around the forums the 86 is best for VPN. Ive also heard it has some great wifi range.

    Raises hand also owns Elk M1, I use to have multiple Airport Expresses and Extremes around the house and replaced them with Asus products. I have better speeds etc. from my Asus products.

    I love my Apple products, but the Airports were getting a little lackluster. Needing more features etc. I still love Apple simplicity but I do love tinkering with my ASUS. :)

    One the home side, you and I both seem to have a lot in common. Mine built some time in late 50's or early 60's. 98% of my home is hardwired and also as you indicate mostly my wifi is phones, and tablets. Built with loads of Plaster w/ expanded metal wire mesh, Brick, Foil backed insulation, etc. I live in a huge faraday cage of sorts.

    Being OCD and being a Geek I went all out, (gradually mind you) and built out a mesh system to fix my dead spots. They are caused by my plaster walls etc. I replaced all my Cat5,Cat5e with Cat6.

    I could probably scale it back at least 50% easily but what's the fun in that. Half the fun was getting super deals on eBay, and then building it out.

    I may shed some of it when my son moves into a perm residence or do a bridge of my net wirelessly with the in-laws across the street. But I digress. The point is you can go so many places with ASUS and further with Merlin.

    I don't do specific things for VPN as for work. I mainly do tech support for the family and use it protect my devices while I travel for work. aka Always on VPN on all devices.

    As one user told me one time its kinda like drinking from a firehose. :p
     
  14. David D

    David D New Around Here

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    Geek and OCD here as well! It does sound like we have much in common.

    Plaster and brick makes for miserable radio coverage, not to mention cutting/drilling holes. Add to the fact that my house has blocking at the 4 foot level on all interior walls, so fishing wires is more difficult. Fortunately, I've pulled and fished a lot of wire in my lifetime!

    I'm building a custom 19" rack to go at my head end so I can have a neater place to terminate everything. I have a structured wiring cabinet, but my network has outgrown it, so it will just house the Elk M1 and CATV from now on. The new rack will go above at the ceiling and house my 19" patch panel, router, and switches. It should make for a much better setup.

    I am hoping the Asus will cover the whole house well. The Apple Airports do a great job and if the Asus covers adequately, I'll leave the Airport Express's in place, disable the wireless portion, and continue to use them for audio streaming.

    I haven't even looked into the Merlin stuff yet. :confused:

    I like the fire hose analogy. I look at many things like horsepower: Some is good, more is better, and too much is just right! :D
     
  15. HuskyHerder

    HuskyHerder Senior Member

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    Went that way for a long time, sold mine on DSLReports about 6 months ago. Since I have Apple TVs in most of the bedrooms anyway, I now just play music thru the TV not quite as good, but suffices since a few kids have moved out and we typically only fill the house with music around xmas. :)
    I also picked up a couple of HomePods while they were on sale during the holidays. They surprised me and are not bad sounding.

    ps. Yep those fire brakes are bad. My favorite one is the the one near the corner thats on a diagonal almost. You think you got the fish all the way down and it's no where to be found.

    pps. It's funny when I moved in here, I ran all my wires were down the walls etc. Now a lot of my system is as you indicate much closer to the ceiling. :p