1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Purchasing input sought

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by DHLarson, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. DHLarson

    DHLarson New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    I have a mixed environment today with an AC-68U as the primary internet boundary router connected to an AC-68U and an AC-66U via gigabit ethernet as APs for improved wifi coverage throughout the house. I'm looking to replace the primary router AC-68U with a newer Asus unit but still run Merlin's fine software.

    Key items - full performance on 150 mb WAN link with likely speed upgrades in the future. Using OpenVPN server to support remote use of both internet and local resources, the current environment uses most of one processor's capacity and remote performance is ok but could be better. Gaming is in use but not hard core.

    Of the current generation of hardware out there, which model is preferable. Most of my devices support 802.11ac. None currently support ax.

    Thanks for your input.
     
    Vexira likes this.
  2. doczenith1

    doczenith1 Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    MI
    I will attempt to predict the future and predict that you will get many responses suggesting the RT-AC86U.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    Vexira, L&LD, Gar and 1 other person like this.
  3. DHLarson

    DHLarson New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Cool. I've always wanted to get insight on the future. Thanks for the laugh.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  4. Smokindog

    Smokindog Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    The Great State of Texas
    What are your reasons for replacing the current AC68? It sounds like the current one is meeting your needs, just no headroom?
     
    L&LD likes this.
  5. doczenith1

    doczenith1 Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    MI
    I'm guessing one of the main reasons for the upgrade is to be able fully utilize his 150 Mbps WAN connection over VPN which the 86U will do without breaking a sweat. My past experience with a 68U had it maxing out around 60 Mbps over the VPN.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  6. DHLarson

    DHLarson New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    VPN performance which seems gated by CPU capacity is a primary. I also have a need to drop a router into a family member's apartment and see this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone since their demands will be light.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  7. Smokindog

    Smokindog Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    The Great State of Texas
    Unfortunately we're at an inflection point with the AX stuff coming out. I personally don't like to buy 1st product cycle stuff in the SOHO categories so I'd avoid any of the AX stuff. Besides, who's got clients :)

    @doczenith1 pretty much gave you what will be shared as the common knowledge safe play.

    I personally don't mind taking a little risk on refurbs and recently replaced my AC68's with AC3100's for $80 a pop. I also moved AC68's to replace AC66's and helped out my niece!!!!

    HOWEVER, it did take some RMAs to get 3 "stable AC3100's" AND I haven't seen them on newegg for a couple weeks or so. Are you in a hurry?
     
  8. DHLarson

    DHLarson New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Probably 30-60 days or so. I have gone down the refurb route in the past but may not this time since I lack the spare time to chase odd issues that can crop up. Having said that, thanks for the insight.
     
    Smokindog likes this.
  9. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,592
    Easy to second the RT-AC86U with RMerlin firmware. :)

    Make sure to fully reset it after flashing the latest firmware and you should have no issues afterward. :)
     
  10. Grisu

    Grisu Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,053
    +1 RT-AC86U, for VPN much faster than AC3100/3200 and similar old product lines.
     
  11. ^Tripper^

    ^Tripper^ Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Disneyland with the death penalty
    If it helps, I was in the market as well and just bought the 86 a couple of days ago based of what I’ve read in here. Am just waiting for it to be delivered as we speak (or type) :)
     
    L&LD likes this.
  12. DHLarson

    DHLarson New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    OK - thanks for the suggestion. What's the best approach for migrating configurations across models? I have a variety of settings that are likely not well documented - any experience with using some of the tools on this forum? I assume I'll have to transfer the JFFS contents and custom scripts manually but...

    Thoughts?
     
  13. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,592
    I would not 'transfer' anything. ;)

    Different kernels, different underlying code for a large part of the firmware and sometimes even different commands used from the over 5-year-old RT-AC68U to the RT-86U. :)

    I would recommend a full M&M Config (if not better; the Nuclear Reset instead) even after taking the brand new router out of the box and installing RMerlin firmware on it. :)

    Followed by the amtm Step-by-Step guide to have a properly formatted and setup USB drive with a swap file and a fresh install of all the scripts you may be using now (I'm not sure for each one, but they could easily be installed differently on the different hardware).

    The links to the guides suggested above are in my signature below, along with a few other important links too.

    Don't be too daunted by the list. It looks longer when it is written out than to do it (30 to 60 minutes max for the Nuclear Reset, for example, depending on your network environment). :)
     
  14. doczenith1

    doczenith1 Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    MI
    I take screenshots of the pages that have the information that I want to re-enter manually after I reset the firmware after an update.
     
    Smokindog likes this.