Recommendation for a router to deal with bufferbloat (ac88u and ax88u)

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Fissurez

New Around Here
Hi there, i'm looking to replace an old apple router i have, and have been looking at the asus rt-ac88u. however, i'm also aware that asus has just released the rt-ax88u and have also been looking at that.

currently i have a BT homehub connected to an apple airport extreme, there's very little interference as there are not really any other wifi networks visible. with internet speeds of 17mb down and 2-4mb up. the house is a converted bungalow of 19m x 9m

The main need for the replacement was due to significant bufferbloat, with latency reaching upwards of 1500 when someone is uploading. This is particularly a problem as dropbox is used a lot by someone else in the house as a back up drive, effectively killing the net for anyone else for large periods of the day.

Ideally i'd rather not install any custom firmware, as the router is not mine and as someone who has just finished university, I can't really look after the wifi when i inevitably move out, but something like merlin for the SQM features would probably be ok as it is close-ish to the original software.

i'm wondering whether there would be any significant benefits in terms of performance and range between the ax88u and the ac88u, due to newer (and better?) radios and processors, and also whether this would solve/significantly help my issue with bufferbloat.
Also, would it be worth replacing the modem as well?

thanks guys!
 
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Grisu

Part of the Furniture
AC88U got much older and slower processor, you should consider between AC86U or AX88U.
There wont be any other firmware beside stock and Merlin for them, nothing to think about "real" custom firmwares.

AC86U and AX88U will be very similar in performance, only AX could provide faster (double) 160MHz bandwith on 5G if you got such clients to support it too. AX firmware has still lot of problems as you could read in some threads.
So I would take the popular and much cheaper AC86U for the next years running Merlin.
 

Fissurez

New Around Here
thanks for the advice! Am I right in thinking that the ac86u will have the same range + features as well then? I noticed the processor is different between the ac86u and the ax88u, with one being dual core and the other quad, although i have no idea if this would make a difference in terms of performance for stuff like managing traffic.

Since our internet is quite slow, i'm not too fussed about the extra speeds ax provides, especially as nothing we own supports it, as long as it has good range and can deal with my bufferbloat problem (and is available in the UK)
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
they are very similar with much newer powerful processor and design, both much more than you will need in your home.
Wont make much difference as one task can use only one core.
And they will get much longer support than older router models like AC88.
AC86U is even much cheaper for about 150€, its their flagship router and best choice for now.
 

birdy

Occasional Visitor
Hi, I think about the same topic. I need a new router to replace my WDS with Mesh. Currently I have the option to buy a new AC88u for the same price as an AC86u.
For sure, the AC86u is the newer Device and CPU has more power.

The only thing who points me to AC88u is the better 2.4G bandwidth with used 4 x 4 MIMO.
Not sure is 3x3 MIMO (AC86u) also enough. So I still struggle to make my decision.
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
do you really think that makes any difference in real live?
Its all only for specs, nothing that will make your Wifi any faster!
Or do you have a 2,4G client with 4 antennas as MuMimo far away to work?
Even if you have one you wont make me believe its faster ..., maybe 1m beside your router where I would use LAN.
 

birdy

Occasional Visitor
Yes, I hope it makes a performance difference (I assume there is a good reason for higher price).
To be realistic, I know the real live is another thing. And it could be, there is no noticeable difference.
Thanks for sharing you experience.
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
there is just no difference in 2G and for 5G both have 4 antennas.
And for me it seems 88U wont get long support with its old hardware, EOL is coming with big steps, 86U will be supported much longer!
 

Adamm

Part of the Furniture
You will get significantly better performance in almost every aspect using a AC86U or AX88U compared to older models and much longer firmware support in the future.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Hi, I think about the same topic. I need a new router to replace my WDS with Mesh. Currently I have the option to buy a new AC88u for the same price as an AC86u.
For sure, the AC86u is the newer Device and CPU has more power.

The only thing who points me to AC88u is the better 2.4G bandwidth with used 4 x 4 MIMO.
Not sure is 3x3 MIMO (AC86u) also enough. So I still struggle to make my decision.
Unless you have clients that are 4x4 and are connecting to the 2.4 GHz band, it will make no difference.
 

Klueless

Very Senior Member
With that slow (17 x 3 Mbps) of an Internet an RT-AC68U should be fast enough : -) I think playing with QoS and bandwidth limiters are more likely to help with the issues you are experiencing.

Re: Dropbox, what's he doing? Backing up his whole folder/drive? Can't he schedule it for the wee hours of the morning? [And, as above (QoS), set dropbox for low priority.]
 
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birdy

Occasional Visitor
Unless you have clients that are 4x4 and are connecting to the 2.4 GHz band, it will make no difference.
Yes, your right, I haven’t 4x4 clients on the 2.4 GHz (not 100% sure but I think so). But a few normal 2.4 GHz clients.
Meanwhile I believe AC86U is the better option, so I will go for that.
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
Best you could do at the moment!

MiMo is only working to ONE client with 4 antennas, you wont have them with 2,4G and not even with 5G at home.
MU-MiMo would support parallel transmission to more than one client at the same time, have fun finding it working anywhere faster than without it, makes more troubles than benefit.
 

birdy

Occasional Visitor
You will get significantly better performance in almost every aspect using a AC86U or AX88U compared to older models and much longer firmware support in the future.
Signal strength of my „old“ AC3200 is through the hole house even or slightly better than the new AC86U.
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
Power is same on all new routers, so there shouldn't be any visible differences, AX would be the same. But your (I think) EU-devices got less power due to EU regulations and furthermore poor Asus implementation for it.
Older units may have stronger signal.
 

beboptrumpet

Regular Contributor
AX88 has quad core processor & Merlin....which allows for FQ_CODEL
should be faster for VPN, encryption, QOS, etc.


Might get you an A+ instead of an A on DSLREPORTS a little easier.'
I've found that quad core devices don't require as much tinkering to get a great blufferboat as dual core routers


AX88 (6000)
Adaptive QOS
manual bandwidth
manual overhead
FQ_Codel
FreshJR QOS Script
 

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