RT-AC3200 Upgrade needed?

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biglo

Occasional Visitor
Hi everyone. I currently have an RT-AC3200 router which has been working pretty good for me for as long as I had it for once I got merlin on it.

Currently, in my place, I have about 23 devices connected to this router with 6 of them being used in the LAN (used a small switch to get more ports). I'm currently in the process of adding some more smart home devices which would be about 10 more wireless devices and I also think I may be planning on using the VPN client on my device soon as well.

My question is will this device be able to handle the extra load with more devices and the probability of having to use the VPN option in the future as well or would it be smarter to just upgrade to a newer router now. We do a lot of video streaming from my media server most of the time. I did borrow a new AX88U that a friend loaned me to test out and while it seemed pretty good I did notice that my AC3200 had much better signal strength than the new AX88U. It was on average 5-10db stronger. To be fair I did not test the throughput on both wireless signals, cause it could be very well better on the AX88U despite the lower signal strength.

What do you guys think I should do? Stick with old faithful for now even though I think merlin said it probably won't have any more updates to get or move on up to the less powerful (in terms of signal strength) AX88U that has a better CPU or AX.

Also, a side question, do any of the ASUS devices that have the Fusion VPN support Merlin?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Consider that the RT-AC3200 may be used as an AP if needed. A new router (one that is current, powerful, and fully supported is definitely needed eventually). ;)

What are your ISP speeds? What are the ISP speeds of the VPN endpoint you want to connect to? For both ends, up and down speeds. Remember, the 'up' speed of the endpoint will be your maximum 'down' speed on your end, and vice-versa.

The number of clients you have indicated should be easily handled by a single router. What a new router may offer (as you guessed) is greater throughput, less latency, and more security too.

The routers to consider today (if you need to buy today) are the RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U and if you're willing to run Alpha RMerlin firmware for a few days/weeks, the RT-AX86U.

If you can stick to what you have for the next half-year or so, I would (the latest Wi-Fi 6E routers should be available by then).

Seems like the most important question right now is how fast do you want your VPN speeds to be, and, how fast do you want to have them.
 

biglo

Occasional Visitor
What are your ISP speeds? What are the ISP speeds of the VPN endpoint you want to connect to? For both ends, up and down speeds. Remember, the 'up' speed of the endpoint will be your maximum 'down' speed on your end, and vice-versa.
Well my ISP speeds aren't great. It's only 24/8 and I'm currently using ExpressVPN as the VPN provider.

The number of clients you have indicated should be easily handled by a single router. What a new router may offer (as you guessed) is greater throughput, less latency, and more security too.

The routers to consider today (if you need to buy today) are the RT-AC86U, RT-AX88U and if you're willing to run Alpha RMerlin firmware for a few days/weeks, the RT-AX86U.

If you can stick to what you have for the next half-year or so, I would (the latest Wi-Fi 6E routers should be available by then.
My main concern is actually the speed of the internal network and how fast devices can talk to either other and transfer speeds. I think my baby internet speeds is easy for the router to handle. At this time. I did have a AX88U on order but cancelled it after seeing how lower distance covered by it. Granted I don't have any WiFi 6 devices so the distance could have actually been greater.

My only concern about the Wi-Fi 6e standard is the fact that current AX devices are pretty expensive. Do you think these prices will come down? Cause I don't think I'm gonna shell out over $300 bucks lol. Not to mention it's getting tougher on merlin to support new devices.

Seems like the most important question right now is how fast do you want your VPN speeds to be, and, how fast do you want to have them.
When using my vpn right now I only lost about 1Mbit of speed which is great in my book.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Your ISP speeds are below the router's limits. Upgrading at this point doesn't make sense.
 

sigfreund

New Around Here
Newer is not necessarily better. I had 90 devices on my network with a RT-AC86U doing a great job handling all the traffic. Keep an eye on your "System Status" page for cpu utilization. I would rarely see either of the two cores go above 40%. A couple of weeks ago I upgraded to a RT-AX86U when the AC86U died. Now I rarely see any of the 4 cores above 5% but big picture I can detect zero improvements anywhere in my network. If you plan on running a VPN on your router you might need a more powerful cpu with more memory. Personally I wouldn't go that route and would recommend setting up a dedicated VPN computer. I have an older machine running UnRaid and it will run circles around even the best router available today.
 

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