preparing for merlin 386 with a clean start

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Regular Contributor
Hi folks, I am a happy and long-time merlin 384.x user and looking forward to 386 in the not too distant future. My main router is a RT-AX58U and I am happy with it (previously I had a RT-AC86U but the 2.4ghz wifi died).

I will be doing a complete / nuclear reset of my network for 386 and wanted to get some views on the following topics...

My first question (that drives other design decisions) relates to privacy concerns with trend micro services on asus routers. From my understanding there are 2 camps - those that are ok with sharing data with trend and those that are not. My (limited) understanding is that if I am ok with sharing data with trend then I should enable the trend services and build my network around this. Thoughts?

The other areas I am interested in discussing are:
  • Firewall / Security: aiProtect v. Suricata v. Skynet
  • adblocking: Diversion v. Pi-hole v. nextDNS
  • QOS: FlexQOS v. cake-qos
  • Mesh: aiMesh2.0 v. main router + APs

Thanks in advance!


Very Senior Member
Nuclear reset is not needed. Just do a Hard Factory Reset as documented here:

Use DoT to the DNS service of your choice, AiProtect and skip the rest of the add-ons. If you want to invest in a Raspberry Pi and use Pi-Hole. Use Adaptive QOS and AiMesh 2.0.


Senior Member
Stubby on the pi-hole here....


Senior Member
I like using dnscrypt-proxy over DoH or DoT because you can configure a long list of servers and it will select the fastest and failover to others if that one doesn't respond, and until recently it was the only way to get encrypted DNS access to OpenNIC.

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