RT-AC86U - Firmware and Settings

Sachb

Regular Contributor
I continue to collect success stories from my settings recommendations. Some, including me, have even better performance with Asus Factory than running Merlin. As I have stated before, my goal was to make my network simple enough for someone with basic network knowledge to fix something in case I get sick (or die) and can't manage the router. I feel that I have succeeded in spite of some (your) negative comments.
In your screenshot you've Tx bursting enabled, this isn't the correct setting for best speed.

You need to disable it and try.

On 2.4 Ghz Wireless mode should be set to auto but, very imp thing is to have, the bandwidth set to 40 mhz so that the router falls back to max link rate possible even in crowded environment.

For me it's on 173 mbps since my environment is slightly crowded.

But I do agree with you, that the latest stock firmware is better than current Merlin's firmware.
With Merlin's current 384.17 firmware I experienced some bugs where my speed on Samsung smartphones would crawl at 20 mbps and the phone needed a reboot to fix it.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

Jbennett360

Regular Contributor
@Jbennett360, not in a million years! :D

Hmm. There seems to be a few under the hood improvements for the 86U though which as of now aren't in a Stable Merlin release. They may well be in the current Alpha?

Here is my experience:
- latest two Asus stock releases for RT-AC86U work better than any available to date Merlin release
- the two best working Merlin releases for RT-AC86U were 384.12 and 384.14

This. Ideally i need to look at resetting and starting from scratch as i havent done it in over 2 years! So, just trying to work out which route is best to go down. In theory, i've never used any of the 'Extras' that are chucked in with the Merlin Fw.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
This. Ideally i need to look at resetting and starting from scratch as i havent done it in over 2 years! So, just trying to work out which route is best to go down. In theory, i've never used any of the 'Extras' that are chucked in with the Merlin Fw.

Look here... it takes about 10-15 minutes.

OE
 

Jbennett360

Regular Contributor
Look here... it takes about 10-15 minutes.

OE
That's fine.

It's setting up everything else afterwards which is really putting me off haha.

Static IPs for the NAS drive, making sure they're the same as they are now etc.

Reconfiguring a wireless devices, laptops, phones, TVs etc.

Technology eh!
 

Jbennett360

Regular Contributor
Look here... it takes about 10-15 minutes.

OE
Updated to latest stock.
Reset via the UI
Setup through the wizard
Hard reset using WPS
Setup again through the wizard
Bare minimum tweaks

Feels snappier then it did, RAM usage and CPU usage seems a lot less too.

Manual channel selections for the WiFi (11 for 2.4 and 56 for 5ghz)

Will see how it goes.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Feels snappier then it did, RAM usage and CPU usage seems a lot less too.

Good! How it 'feels' is a key troubleshooting skill.

And don't add back anything you don't really need... saves time and trouble.

OE
 
Last edited:

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
:):):)
Updated to latest stock.
Reset via the UI
Setup through the wizard
Hard reset using WPS
Setup again through the wizard
Bare minimum tweaks

Feels snappier then it did, RAM usage and CPU usage seems a lot less too.

Manual channel selections for the WiFi (11 for 2.4 and 56 for 5ghz)

Will see how it goes.
Another convert!:)
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Another convert!:)

I think if you don't need or use Asuswrt-Merlin features, returning to stock firmware is not a conversion... it's a correction.

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I think it's an act of treason. :)

Treason to requiring a 'stable-as-possible' platform that is. :)

Asuswrt-Merlin features
With a few rare exceptions, Asuswrt-Merlin retains the features from the original stock Asus firmware. In addition, the following features have been added or enhanced:

System:
  • Various bugfixes
  • Performance optimizations to some CPU-bound components like OpenVPN
  • Some components were updated to their latest versions, for improved stability and security
  • User scripts that run on specific events such as firewall restart
  • Cron jobs for scheduled tasks
  • Customizable config files for router services
  • Third party software through Entware, with an easy setup script
  • SNMP support
  • Nano text editor (for more user-friendly script editing)
  • NTP daemon, which can synchronize your client devices
  • TLS 1.3 support for some services (OpenSSL 1.1.1)


Disk sharing:
  • Optionally use shorter share names (folder name only)
  • Disk spindown after user-configurable inactivity timeout
  • NFS exporting of USB drives
  • Allow or disable WAN access to the FTP server
  • Updated Samba version (3.6), with SMB2.0 support
  • TLS support for the FTP server


Networking:
  • Act as a SMB Master Browser
  • Act as a WINS server
  • SSHD support for key-based authentication
  • Allows tweaking TCP/UDP connection tracking timeouts
  • CIFS client support (for mounting remote SMB share on the router)
  • User-defined options for WAN DHCP requests (required by some ISPs)
  • Advanced OpenVPN client and server, based on code originally written by Keith Moyer for Tomato and reused with his permission.
  • Support for new OpenVPN 2.4 features like NCP and LZ4
  • Netfilter ipset module, for efficient blacklist implementation
  • Wireless site survey page
  • DNS-based Filtering, enforcing a specific DNS server, can be applied globally or per client
  • Custom DDNS (through a user script)
  • TOR support, individual client access control
  • Policy-based routing for OpenVPN clients (based on source or destination IPs), sometimes referred to as "selective routing", or "split tunneling")
  • DNSSEC validation
  • fq_codel queue discipline for QoS (ARM-based models only)
  • Full cone NAT support (RT-AC86U/RT-AX88U only)
  • Detailed wireless troubleshooting information (RT-AC86U/RT-AX88U only)
  • Modern DDNS client (In-a-Dyn), with https support
  • DNS-over-TLS support
  • Redirect NTP client queries to the router's own NTP daemon
Web interface:
  • Performance improvements
  • Optionally save traffic stats to disk (USB or JFFS partition)
  • Enhanced traffic monitoring: adding graphical charts, and traffic monitoring per client IP
  • Hostname field on the DHCP reservation list and Wireless ACL list
  • System info summary page
  • Wifi icon reports the state of both radios
  • Display the Ethernet port states
  • Wireless site survey
  • Advanced Wireless client list display, including automated refresh
  • Redesigned layout of the various System Log sections
  • Editable entries (on some pages)
  • User-provided SSL certificate


Some features first debuted in Asuswrt-Merlin have since been integrated/enabled in the official firmware:

  • HTTPS configuration interface
  • Persistent JFFS partition
  • LED control - put your router in Stealth Mode by turning off all LEDs
  • Turning WPS button into a radio on/off toggle
  • Clicking on the MAC address of an unidentified client will do a lookup in the OUI database.
  • WakeOnLan web interface (with pre-configured targets)
  • Display active/tracked network connections
  • VPN Status page
  • DualWAN and Repeater mode (while it was still under development by Asus)
  • Basic OpenVPN (client and server) support
  • Configurable IPv6 firewall
  • Improved compatibility with 3TB+ and Advanced Format HDDs
  • SSH access
 

Jbennett360

Regular Contributor
I think it's an act of treason. :)

Treason to requiring a 'stable-as-possible' platform that is. :)

Asuswrt-Merlin features
Don't get me wrong I've used it since I got the router but I've never used any of the added features, scripts, logs, filtering etc.

Just all seems a little OTT for me? I'm not ruling out using it again, I more than likely will at some point if I decide there's a feature I need and that can offer me it.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If you had it installed you were using the features already.

See the quote in my post above for what you're missing. :)

Not OTT, just right.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
If you had it installed you were using the features already.

See the quote in my post above for what you're missing. :)

Not OTT, just right.
Sorry, but we are not missing anything but have gained increased stability and reliability, with the AC86U at least, on the last two Asus firmware releases.
You and several others should be content that this has happened as this stability will get into the Merlin release in time. Someone will surely flame this post as it is social media and will not be left in peace.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I have looked. The majority are extras that I never touched or used or were 'off'

You don't need to use any features or options. These are improvements by default. :)

System:
  • Various bugfixes
  • Performance optimizations to some CPU-bound components like OpenVPN
  • Some components were updated to their latest versions, for improved stability and security

Web interface:

  • Performance improvements
  • Optionally save traffic stats to disk (USB or JFFS partition)
  • Enhanced traffic monitoring: adding graphical charts, and traffic monitoring per client IP
  • Hostname field on the DHCP reservation list and Wireless ACL list
  • System info summary page
  • Wifi icon reports the state of both radios
  • Display the Ethernet port states
  • Wireless site survey
  • Advanced Wireless client list display, including automated refresh
  • Redesigned layout of the various System Log sections
  • Editable entries (on some pages)
  • User-provided SSL certificate

Some features first debuted in Asuswrt-Merlin have since been integrated/enabled in the official firmware:
  • HTTPS configuration interface
  • Persistent JFFS partition
  • LED control - put your router in Stealth Mode by turning off all LEDs
  • Turning WPS button into a radio on/off toggle
  • Clicking on the MAC address of an unidentified client will do a lookup in the OUI database.
  • WakeOnLan web interface (with pre-configured targets)
  • Display active/tracked network connections
  • VPN Status page
  • DualWAN and Repeater mode (while it was still under development by Asus)
  • Basic OpenVPN (client and server) support
  • Configurable IPv6 firewall
  • Improved compatibility with 3TB+ and Advanced Format HDDs
  • SSH access

Sorry, but we are not missing anything but have gained increased stability and reliability, with the AC86U at least, on the last two Asus firmware releases.
You and several others should be content that this has happened as this stability will get into the Merlin release in time. Someone will surely flame this post as it is social media and will not be left in peace.

I've been content to enjoy the stability and reliability along with all the extra features RMerlin firmware offers for a long time now. In your case, you're enjoying stability with these two firmwares, only. While missing out on everything else.

To each their own. :)
 

Sachb

Regular Contributor
You don't need to use any features or options. These are improvements by default. :)

System:
  • Various bugfixes
  • Performance optimizations to some CPU-bound components like OpenVPN
  • Some components were updated to their latest versions, for improved stability and security

Web interface:

  • Performance improvements
  • Optionally save traffic stats to disk (USB or JFFS partition)
  • Enhanced traffic monitoring: adding graphical charts, and traffic monitoring per client IP
  • Hostname field on the DHCP reservation list and Wireless ACL list
  • System info summary page
  • Wifi icon reports the state of both radios
  • Display the Ethernet port states
  • Wireless site survey
  • Advanced Wireless client list display, including automated refresh
  • Redesigned layout of the various System Log sections
  • Editable entries (on some pages)
  • User-provided SSL certificate

Some features first debuted in Asuswrt-Merlin have since been integrated/enabled in the official firmware:
  • HTTPS configuration interface
  • Persistent JFFS partition
  • LED control - put your router in Stealth Mode by turning off all LEDs
  • Turning WPS button into a radio on/off toggle
  • Clicking on the MAC address of an unidentified client will do a lookup in the OUI database.
  • WakeOnLan web interface (with pre-configured targets)
  • Display active/tracked network connections
  • VPN Status page
  • DualWAN and Repeater mode (while it was still under development by Asus)
  • Basic OpenVPN (client and server) support
  • Configurable IPv6 firewall
  • Improved compatibility with 3TB+ and Advanced Format HDDs
  • SSH access



I've been content to enjoy the stability and reliability along with all the extra features RMerlin firmware offers for a long time now. In your case, you're enjoying stability with these two firmwares, only. While missing out on everything else.

To each their own. :)
So you suggest we stick with Merlin's firmware eventhough it's buggy, for the extra features it offers?

No offence but, let the genius update the stable release from the latest original firmware first, and have few testers before releasing the firmware to the public.

It's like saying others to prioritize on extra features over a stability & reliability.

As it is, it's reputation is being withold due to hardware issues, and on top of it if the software too went buggy and viral it would do more damage than good.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
Sorry, but we are not missing anything but have gained increased stability and reliability

Exactly. I re-flashed my Merlin router with Asus stock. Running Asus stock on both now.

Treason to requiring a 'stable-as-possible' platform that is.

Reading 384.18 alpha thread, I would say enjoy Merlin until it lasts. I would drop this project tomorrow unless it generates at least $10K on top of my monthly income. This hobby turns progressively into a full time job and some tough decisions have to be made.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@K-2SO glad you're not RMerlin then.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Sachb, not buggy firmware for myself and many customers, not to mention the others here.
 

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