[Noob questions] Upgrade to AX86u

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Worth the upgrade?

  • Yes, since your actual router is too old

  • No, the ac68r is very tough

  • Depends on the usage


Results are only viewable after voting.

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
Hello guys,

I'm targeting on a AX86u to upgrade from my flawless AC68r (since 2014), does it worth the buy as an "upgrade schedule" since the 68r is getting too old?

I'll certain use both USB 3.x from the ax86u to setup 2x external hdds in combination with the 2,5Gbps port to connect to my PC with 5Gbps card via CAT 6 cable, I expect higher transfer ratios, since the ac68r gives me only about 30-35MB/s via USB 3.0 port w/ a 7200rpm external seagate.

What about the WiFi range, the ax86u is considerable better than the ac68r?

The AiMesh feature using those two routers must be made only via ethernet cable? No WiFi backhaul support, right?

I won't wait the WiFi 6E routers, since I think WiFi 6 is good enough for my usage and my AC1900 is getting old, although it served well for all these years.

Tks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Doesn't sound like you need an upgrade in your router or Wi-Fi?

Spend the money on a proper NAS instead. Anything connected via USB to a consumer NAS will be in the low XX's in transferring over the network. A NAS will get you to saturate your 1Gbps Ethernet connections easily and more reliably (via redundancy of RAID1, 5, etc. you choose for the NAS).
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Hello guys,

I'm targeting on a AX86u to upgrade from my flawless AC68r (since 2014), does it worth the buy as an "upgrade schedule" since the 68r is getting too old?

I'll certain use both USB 3.x from the ax86u to setup 2x external hdds in combination with the 2,5Gbps port to connect to my PC with 5Gbps card via CAT 6 cable, I expect higher transfer ratios, since the ac68r gives me only about 30-35MB/s via USB 3.0 port w/ a 7200rpm external seagate.

What about the WiFi range, the ax86u is considerable better than the ac68r?

The AiMesh feature using those two routers must be made only via ethernet cable? No WiFi backhaul support, right?

I won't wait the WiFi 6E routers, since I think WiFi 6 is good enough for my usage and my AC1900 is getting old, although it served well for all these years.

Tks
I say do it. I wouldn't hesitate for a second. My upgrade was also from the AC68U/P / AC1900P series. Those older Asus AC routers were good in their day but you should notice a significant and noticeable improvement in all areas... improved range, lower latency, better overall performance, device handling, longer range wireless stability on 5Ghz, etc.. with the AX86U.

I agree with LL&D that getting a dedicated NAS device would be a good idea but I think you should upgrade the router as well. Try the storage using the new router and add the NAS later if you want.

I don't use AiMesh since the coverage is great as it is. If I was to use AiMesh I would run hard wire Ethernet cable. Wifi 6E triband routers would be ideal for backhaul but the first gen of 6E routers aren't going to be cheap and you will need two of them. You could try using back haul on one of the two dual band Wifi 6 router's radios and see how you like it. Let us know how it goes. If you need any setup and configuration advice there are plenty of AX86U users in this forum to help you out.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No argument about how much of an upgrade the RT-AX86U is over the almost eight-year-old RT-AC68U.

However, there is no indication in the post that a router upgrade is what is needed here.

What are the ISP speeds today? What are they expected to be in the next 6 months to a year?

The obvious bottleneck is the USB storage that is from 1999. The router, even when it's over 7 years old, is still capable of many, many ISP's speed offerings today.
 

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
No argument about how much of an upgrade the RT-AX86U is over the almost eight-year-old RT-AC68U.

However, there is no indication in the post that a router upgrade is what is needed here.

What are the ISP speeds today? What are they expected to be in the next 6 months to a year?

The obvious bottleneck is the USB storage that is from 1999. The router, even when it's over 7 years old, is still capable of many, many ISP's speed offerings today.

I have FTTH 300/150 Mbps ISP, I received today the AX86u unit and will post later my first impressions of it.

My intention is to get a more future proof router, since I´ll have more AX clients being used in near future.

Tks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Congrats! There is no doubt that the RT-AC68U would be able to handle those speeds, 'easily'. The RT-AX86U will do it effortlessly.

If those future AX clients will be accessing the USB attached drives, your network will not feel like an upgrade anymore. :)
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Congrats! There is no doubt that the RT-AC68U would be able to handle those speeds, 'easily'. The RT-AX86U will do it effortlessly.

If those future AX clients will be accessing the USB attached drives, your network will not feel like an upgrade anymore. :)

Some people prefer to fly "First Class". It gets you to the same destination... but more comfortably with room to stretch and relax in style. ;)
 

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
Router installed, flawless setup as expected, attached external usb 3.0 hdd hitting 130MB/s-140MB/s via 2,5Gbps port, stronger WiFi range and the most important: system stability, no wifi or ethernet drops/disconnections, awesome piece of hardware.



Tks guys
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I'm impressed by the USB drive speeds! Could you specify the external USB drive attached to the router and the client device used at the end of the 2.5GbE Port?
 

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
I'm impressed by the USB drive speeds! Could you specify the external USB drive attached to the router and the client device used at the end of the 2.5GbE Port?

Sure:
It´s an old external HDD USB 3.0 - 3,5 inch Seagate disk @ 7200 rpm w/ 3TB capacity via CAT 6 cable to my 32 core/ 64 threads Threadripper [email protected] installed in a TRX40 Aorus Master w/ [email protected] + 980 Pro 1TB PCIe 4.0 disk (transfer source), onboard network card: [email protected]
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That must be a single large file you're transferring at those speeds from the PC/Workstation to the USB attached external HDD? And, that HDD is not very full either. ;)
 

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
That must be a single large file you're transferring at those speeds from the PC/Workstation to the USB attached external HDD? And, that HDD is not very full either. ;)

Yep, it´s a 1.8GB .pst file (e-mail backup routine), and yes, the hdd is almost empty (more than 80% of free space). :)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for confirming!

You'll get a poor fraction of that performance with many small files transferred (2GB worth of 1MB or smaller files, for example). The overhead that Ethernet and USB translation imposes on file transfers will take their toll on performance if you need to do those kinds of transfers frequently.

At least when you get a NAS now, it will give you an even bigger boost in performance (it will eliminate the USB translation). :)
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Router installed, flawless setup as expected, attached external usb 3.0 hdd hitting 130MB/s-140MB/s via 2,5Gbps port, stronger WiFi range and the most important: system stability, no wifi or ethernet drops/disconnections, awesome piece of hardware.

...Great news to hear Jepz! Thanks for your update.

Welcome to the First Class Wifi 6 router experience. :cool:
 

Jepz

Occasional Visitor
...Great news to hear Jepz! Thanks for your update.

Welcome to the First Class Wifi 6 router experience. :cool:

Thannks! :)

I just need to adjust the 5GHz band, just forced to channel 136 since nobody in the neighborhood use it, but even now I cannot reach my full ISP speeds (300/150), the downlink just gets around 220-250Mbps, I will test with the AX client from the PC.

Just a pic of the file transfer I've mentioned before:

 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Thannks! :)

I just need to adjust the 5GHz band, just forced to channel 136 since nobody in the neighborhood use it, but even now I cannot reach my full ISP speeds (300/150), the downlink just gets around 220-250Mbps, I will test with the AX client from the PC.
Yep... Maybe when you forced channel 136 the automatic bandwidth width for that channel changed from 80 to... 40 or 20. If you want go with manual settings you will have to experiment with the available channels in your area and tinker with the settings to see what works best.

In the past I would sometimes force channels and set bandwidth for 2.4Ghz to help legacy devices but I usually leave 5Ghz on auto channel and default max bandwidth. Now I leave most of those channel settings on auto. It might just be my experience but the newer Asus routers seem to have improved at doing auto channel selection when detecting interference... better than the older Asus AC and N models. But we can still have fun tinkering with those settings... especially when the router is a brand new model.
 
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Jepz

Occasional Visitor
Yep... Maybe when you forced channel 136 the automatic bandwidth width for that channel changed from 80 to... 40 or 20. If you want go with manual settings you will have to experiment with the available channels in your area and tinker with the settings to see what works best.

In the past I would sometimes force channels and set bandwidth for 2.4Ghz to help legacy devices but I usually leave 5Ghz on auto channel and default max bandwidth. Now I leave most of those channel settings on auto. It might just be my experience but the newer Asus routers seem to have improved at doing auto channel selection when detecting interference... better than the older Asus AC and N models. But we can still have fun tinkering with those settings... especially when the router is a brand new model.

I've just roll back to Auto on 5GHz, tested QoS On and Off, leaved it Off, but I think the TrendMicro package is slowing down the wifi downlink somehow, also RAM utilization is very very high (960MB of 1GB), I just don't know the reason, it's not TrendMicro.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
I've just roll back to Auto on 5GHz, tested QoS On and Off, leaved it Off, but I think the TrendMicro package is slowing down the wifi downlink somehow, also RAM utilization is very very high (960MB of 1GB), I just don't know the reason, it's not TrendMicro.
Any kind of buffering can effect the RAM utilization whether it's from TrendMicro or a USB connected storage device. I'm not really the expert on either one of those and since I don't use them... I am sure another forum user could give you better advice for optimizing for those settings.

For my uses I like to have my settings lean, mean and clean for maximized low latency online gaming... and I use mostly the default settings with AiProtection, TrendMicro, QoS all set to OFF. My wireless settings are mostly default with SmartConnect OFF and I use WPA2 instead of WPA3. My AX86U RAM utilization is usually around 450MB... but I don't think a high RAM utilization like you mentioned by itself would be causing excessive Wifi slowdown. One of your multiple Wifi devices could simply be utilizing more bandwidth doing a background update...etc... at the time you are testing it. To make sure you need to turn off all other Wifi devices before you run your performance tests.
 
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Jepz

Occasional Visitor
Any kind of buffering can effect the RAM utilization whether it's from TrendMicro or a USB connected storage device. I'm not really the expert on either one of those and since I don't use them... I am sure another forum user could give you better advice for optimizing for those settings.

For my uses I like to have my settings lean, mean and clean for maximized low latency online gaming... and I use mostly the default settings with AiProtection, TrendMicro, QoS all set to OFF. My wireless settings are mostly default with SmartConnect OFF and I use WPA2 instead of WPA3. My AX86U RAM utilization is usually around 450MB... but I don't think a high RAM utilization like you mentioned by itself would be causing excessive Wifi slowdown. One of your multiple Wifi devices could simply be utilizing more bandwidth doing a background update...etc... at the time you are testing it. To make sure you need to turn off all other Wifi devices before you run your performance tests.

Just performed a reboot and now it's using only 53% (546MB) of total RAM instead of 94% as before, also WiFi adjusted to 300Mbps downlink, everything is 100% now.

Tks
 
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tallytr

Senior Member
Doesn't sound like you need an upgrade in your router or Wi-Fi?

Spend the money on a proper NAS instead. Anything connected via USB to a consumer NAS will be in the low XX's in transferring over the network. A NAS will get you to saturate your 1Gbps Ethernet connections easily and more reliably (via redundancy of RAID1, 5, etc. you choose for the NAS).
Agree on the NAS, for sure my best IT investment other than the router. So much better than the ext. HDD's connected to the router ports.
Using a WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra 12TB for a couple years without any issues.
 

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