RT-AC86U 2.4Ghz is gone

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Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
Continuing to monitor and temp has been holding at ~77. The router is in an open space with plenty of ventilation. Room temp is usually around 25. Having said that, I wouldn’t say the router is under any significant load. There are 3 wired clients and 11 wireless clients, but not all are connected or transmitting/receiving at the same time. There’s a stream of about 50Mbps on average at any given time, mostly because of my three IPTV boxes. Downloading of large files is a rare thing, and I’m not doing any other network intensive tasks.
 

Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
Updated the router to the new stock firmware (x.386.44470) released a few days ago and the temp has dropped about 2 degrees (and holding for several days) at 75.

Performance, range, and connectivity remain solid and stable.
 
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SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Thanks for the quick reply. That’s most likely what I’ll do. Any thoughts on getting an AX86U instead?

If you have a serious itch to upgrade to the AX86U I wouldn't hesitate to do it. IMO it's probably overall the best wireless router Asus has ever made up until now. It's such a well engineered piece of hardware and software. Even if you run all AC devices it will probably run them better and with more reliability, stability and range. You don't just have to take my word for it. You can read the numerous online professional reviews, SNB router tests and comparison results, and the many positive comments from owners in the SNB AX forum and from the online stores (Amazon, BB, etc.) . However, if you are satisfied with your AC86U after making those adjustments and don't want to spend the extra money then that's ok too. You could afford to wait until the next major wave of Asus router releases.
 
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Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
Thanks. I’m very satisfied with my AC86U, but had thought about getting the AX version. A few things held me back:

1. Couldn’t justify paying almost double for the AX version when I don’t have any AX clients and I’ve been perfectly satisfied with AC performance and speed. Also, the AX standard is still in draft.

2. There are several reports of random WiFi drops with the AX86U, even when running in AC mode only (i.e. with AX disabled).

3. There are several reports of random WAN disconnections which have been confirmed to be the router and not the ISP or ISP’s modem.

4. No way to disable LAN port 1’s auto prioritization for its “gaming” feature from what I can tell. I have no need for a gaming port and don’t want any prioritization that I can’t control.

Having said all that, I do like the quad core CPU and 1GB of RAM in the AX86U. If the issues above can be resolved with firmware, then I might reconsider. Otherwise I’ll wait for Asus’ next iteration of the AX86U…perhaps a WiFi 6E variant. By then I might have more of a need for WiFi6.

By the way, what makes you think the AX86U would have better performance and range in AC only mode? Does it have better antennas with higher gain? I don’t recall reading anything about that.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Thanks. I’m very satisfied with my AC86U, but had thought about getting the AX version. A few things held me back:

1. Couldn’t justify paying almost double for the AX version when I don’t have any AX clients and I’ve been perfectly satisfied with AC performance and speed. Also, the AX standard is still in draft.

2. There are several reports of random WiFi drops with the AX86U, even when running in AC mode only (i.e. with AX disabled).

3. There are several reports of random WAN disconnections which have been confirmed to be the router and not the ISP or ISP’s modem.

4. No way to disable LAN port 1’s auto prioritization for its “gaming” feature from what I can tell. I have no need for a gaming port and don’t want any prioritization that I can’t control.

Having said all that, I do like the quad core CPU and 1GB of RAM in the AX86U. If the issues above can be resolved with firmware, then I might reconsider. Otherwise I’ll wait for Asus’ next iteration of the AX86U…perhaps a WiFi 6E variant. By then I might have more of a need for WiFi6.

By the way, what makes you think the AX86U would have better performance and range in AC only mode? Does it have better antennas with higher gain? I don’t recall reading anything about that.
I don't own the AC86U so I can't speak from experience about it. From comments I have read in the forums from AC86U owners who upgraded to the AX86U they have reported increased stability and reliability. Apparently the AC86U had overheating issues which the newer quad core processor of the AX86U doesn't have an problem with. The signal and range is going to be similar with both routers but the AX86U does have updated hardware specs... I believe there are differences with the radios but I can't verify right now... you can look up the exact hardware specs.

One major surprise with the AX86U is the extremely low internet latency. In some professional reviews it had the lowest overall latency measured vs. other gaming routers costing up to twice the cost. The reason for this could be from a combination of the new quad core processor and how it is interfaced with the other chips and newer streamlined software code in the AX86U. The implementation of AX/Wifi 6 puts higher demands on the router. Upgrading from the AC68U I noticed that the connection stability of all my AC devices improved dramatically. The long range 5Ghz... N and AC connections with the AX86U have a range, stability and performance better than 2.4Ghz connections used to have on my AC68U. It's a night and day difference that most users who upgrade to the AX86U notice right away.

In conclusion I can't say whether you will see dramatic improvements with your older AC devices since the AC86U is also a well designed high performance gaming router. What you would gain with the AX86U would be future proofing with AX/Wifi 6 capability, likely a lower latency with internet connections, a top rated gaming router with "updated streamlined hardware and software" and possibly higher reliability due improved new main quad processor performance. I also wouldn't be surprised if you saw some improvements in range and throughput performance but those differences with AC devices would probably be less noticeable.

You should be good with your AC86U. It's also a very good router. I just thought I'd offer my advice about how good the AX86U is. I'm not sure about the value of 6Ghz AXE until we see more routers and devices utilizing it. Due to the physics of the higher frequency the range will be worse but just like they did with 5Ghz they will be improving on that as well. We should be seeing a wave of newer AXE/Wifi 6E devices being released this next year then in a few more years after that we will have BE/Wifi 7.
 
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Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
Thanks very much for your detailed response and your feedback…very much appreciated!

Just a few more points I wanted to make:

1. I noticed improved range and stability on 5GHz with the AC86U compared to my old 68U. I didn’t noticed it at first but after several days of using the new router, I realized how it outperformed the range (on 5GHz) of the 68U on 2.4GHz. So I’m not surprised that the 5GHz performance is really good on the AX86U because I’m seeing similar performance gains with the AC86U.

2. Regarding the overheating issues of the AC86U, I believe those were largely limited to the 2018 models built in China. Mine is a 2020 build and after over a week of moderate use, I haven’t noticed any overheating issues. My temps seem to stay around 75 to 76. Also, after some additional research, I found that the overheating issue might’ve had more to do with firmware than hardware. For a period of time, Asus had disabled the CPU’s “wait” state in the AC86U, that had a direct impact on the CPU’s temperature. They re-enabled the wait state in a later firmware update which seemed to have resolved the issue.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
It's such a well engineered piece of hardware and software.

Only time will tell. AC86U had the same description when it came to the market. Two years later the number of failed AC86U was higher than expected. I hope Asus fixed AC86U flaws and made AX86U better in terms of reliability. This is why I would buy AX86U, not just because it's newer and faster.

I found that the overheating issue might’ve had more to do with firmware than hardware.

No. It's perhaps inconsistent quality related. Read my post here what's inside. Some work reliably for years, some fail in months. AC86U is a very good router, when it works. Upgrading to AX86U may not result in huge performance difference for you. Both routers have about the same routing performance (one core only is doing it), the same ARMv8 CPU cores with AES, the same CPU clock.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Only time will tell. AC86U had the same description when it came to the market. Two years later the number of failed AC86U was higher than expected. I hope Asus fixed AC86U flaws and made AX86U better in terms of reliability. This is why I would buy AX86U, not just because it's newer and faster.
For the record I actually have purchased SEVEN AX86Us for my own personal use, business use and family. I have managed most of them for the past eight to ten months 24/7 and so far not a single hiccup or issue with any of them. Some have been running four to five months solid without need for a reboot or experiencing a glitch. I'm sure they could could have run for up to ten months except most have been rebooted for firmware upgrades and/or settings changes.

All of them have been performing perfectly during this time with excellent range and throughput performance with all types of difference devices... iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Macs, Windows PCs, laptops, gaming systems, Wifi printers, etc.. Not a single issue that I am aware of and at the same time all seven routers have shown exceptional performance. I consider that level of performance and reliability a gold standard for Wifi routers. I value this about the AX86U because I've had various problems... large and small with most of the Wifi routers I've owned in the past. We will see if this reliability continues into years 2, 3 and beyond but from what I have seen so far I have a feeling that it will.

No. It's perhaps inconsistent quality related. Read my post here what's inside. Some work reliably for years, some fail in months. AC86U is a very good router, when it works. Upgrading to AX86U may not result in huge performance difference for you. Both routers have about the same routing performance (one core only is doing it), the same ARMv8 CPU cores with AES, the same CPU clock.

Thanks for the link and info about your experiences with the AC86U. I hope that they fixed those quality control issues with the recent batches.
 
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Tech9

Very Senior Member
We have to take into account AC86U was the first Asus HND platform router. Reading earlier comments here on SNB it had not only hardware, but software issues too. Consumer market is different and manufacturers hurry to offer latest and greatest before anyone else. Sales and revenue are more important than reliability at that stage. I don't know about hardware, but I believe software is mostly fixed now. The latest Asuswrt 386_44470 is good, except some known non-working reliably Asuswrt features in general. Those routers are actually not made by Asus. The manufacturer is Arcadyan.
 

Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
Does anyone know if the “gaming” port (i.e. LAN port 1) on the AX86U can be turned into a standard port? Meaning can the prioritization (or QoS) be disabled for that port? I’m not referring to the Adaptive or standard QoS features. I’m referring to the prioritization that is supposedly enabled for LAN port 1 by default (hard coded??) that makes it a “gaming” port.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
That's a good question. I've asked myself the same question in the past and thus far I haven't found the settings to change the LAN gaming port prioritization in the AX86U (if in fact it is auto prioritized as the documentation says). Maybe there is a setting for it that I wasn't aware of. Maybe it's part of the settings when full QoS (which I don't use) is enabled. I did notice that in the QoS settings Enable GeForce NOW QoS UPnP control is ENABLED by default.

I left the QoS settings as default. If you were really worried about the gaming port prioritizing as one of the four main ports you can configure the 2.5GbpE port as a LAN port and use that instead. I haven't worried about any of those details. Everything has worked perfectly for me including AX/Wifi 6 online gaming Wifi broadcasting to my AX capable PS5 located two rooms away on another floor. There is no noticeable lag that I can detect. It performs like its wired but it's not.
Does anyone know if the “gaming” port (i.e. LAN port 1) on the AX86U can be turned into a standard port? Meaning can the prioritization (or QoS) be disabled for that port? I’m not referring to the Adaptive or standard QoS features. I’m referring to the prioritization that is supposedly enabled for LAN port 1 by default (hard coded??) that makes it a “gaming” port.
 
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Xboxsx4life

Occasional Visitor
OK thanks. Not that it matters because I don’t have the AX86U and I’m not planning on getting one anytime soon (or at all). I was just curious because it was one of several reasons why I decided not to get the router. I don’t do any online gaming so the feature was useless to me. And I didn’t want anything plugged into that port to be auto prioritized over anything else connected to the router. Shame that Asus doesn’t allow the feature to be disabled.
 

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