RT-AC86U or RT-AX86U (or other)?

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ibob337

New Around Here
Hi all. First time posting here and looking for some advice.
I currently have a Nest wifi system (Router + 1 point) in my house and I found out about some annoying dropout issues with it that seems to be a known issue, so I'm considering going to a higher end single router. After a whole bunch of reading, it seems like the 86U series Asus is a pretty good bet and generally well liked. The AC86U seems like it could be pretty good for me, but I wonder if it makes sense to go with the AX86U for ~$90 more. Would there be an advantage? All of the marketing literature talks about the AX having enhanced range and all that, but most of what I've read suggests that it may not have better range than the AC version.

Thoughts? Does it make sense to make this move? AC vs AX for my situation? Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance for the help!

Here's my setup:
  • My house a 1920 house with 2 floors plus basement. ~1300 sq. ft. without basement
  • I usually have about 30 devices on my wifi at any given time, including 2 - 3 computers, 2 phones, several Roku units, smart TVs, multiple Google Home devices, 4 security cameras, doorbell, and smart lock on my front door. Of course they aren't all being used at the same time. I'm honestly not even sure if I have any wifi 6 devices in the mix.
  • My ISP is Verizon Fios at 300 Mbps package
  • My fiancée and I both work from home right now and do a lot of video calls
  • I also have a garage maybe 40 to 50 ft. from the house that I like to have coverage in. Right now I do, but it isn't great. Right on the edge.
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
As of this minute I would recommend the AC86U. I got an AX86U today, set it up and have had some issues with it. Mainly not running the Merlin firmware as I had expected but even with Asus factory firmware some of my PC's will not connect to the 5 GHZ even with the AX feature turned off. Please, I am not bad mouthing the AX86U and I really hope in time I can get this beast of a router to work for me. It has the potential to future proof the WIFI so if you have the extra cash and can afford to play with settings go for the AX86U. In time the firmware will be improved.
 

Wallace_n_Gromit

Senior Member
Hi all. First time posting here and looking for some advice.
I currently have a Nest wifi system (Router + 1 point) in my house and I found out about some annoying dropout issues with it that seems to be a known issue, so I'm considering going to a higher end single router. After a whole bunch of reading, it seems like the 86U series Asus is a pretty good bet and generally well liked. The AC86U seems like it could be pretty good for me, but I wonder if it makes sense to go with the AX86U for ~$90 more. Would there be an advantage? All of the marketing literature talks about the AX having enhanced range and all that, but most of what I've read suggests that it may not have better range than the AC version.

Thoughts? Does it make sense to make this move? AC vs AX for my situation? Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance for the help!

Here's my setup:
  • My house a 1920 house with 2 floors plus basement. ~1300 sq. ft. without basement
  • I usually have about 30 devices on my wifi at any given time, including 2 - 3 computers, 2 phones, several Roku units, smart TVs, multiple Google Home devices, 4 security cameras, doorbell, and smart lock on my front door. Of course they aren't all being used at the same time. I'm honestly not even sure if I have any wifi 6 devices in the mix.
  • My ISP is Verizon Fios at 300 Mbps package
  • My fiancée and I both work from home right now and do a lot of video calls
  • I also have a garage maybe 40 to 50 ft. from the house that I like to have coverage in. Right now I do, but it isn't great. Right on the edge.
Hi ibob337, Welcome!

I recently upgraded my primary router from an Asus RT-AC68U to a RT-AC86U and so far am very happy with the purchase. Though I have a bigger house (it is 2-story, stick-built), even the single 68U was able to provide whole home coverage where I was needing wifi coverage.

My 2 main considerations with NOT going with a AX router was 1) the increased cost; 2) I don't have any WiFi6 appliances/equipment and didn't plan on getting any soon. (seemed like a waste of money)

I don't have more than maybe 10 devices that use the router/internet/networking at a time including two Roku TV's, two phones, multiple smart home devices, so my usage pales in comparison to your needs.

My main reason to upgrade to the AC86U, was the routers onboard AES-NI hardware (not sure if the AX86U has AES-NI), which allowed my VPN service to stream 3X faster on my 100MB/s internet (90ishMB/s) vs. my OC'ed RT-AC68U which could barely route 30MB/s (it doesn't have AES-NI). At 300MB/s Verizon Fios ISP you could still see VPN speeds around 270MB/s, if you use a VPN service.

At your garage, if your wifi is barely registering, it is nice that whatever router you chose can be configurable/tweaked or linked through AIMESH for better coverage.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi all. First time posting here and looking for some advice.
I currently have a Nest wifi system (Router + 1 point) in my house and I found out about some annoying dropout issues with it that seems to be a known issue, so I'm considering going to a higher end single router. After a whole bunch of reading, it seems like the 86U series Asus is a pretty good bet and generally well liked. The AC86U seems like it could be pretty good for me, but I wonder if it makes sense to go with the AX86U for ~$90 more. Would there be an advantage? All of the marketing literature talks about the AX having enhanced range and all that, but most of what I've read suggests that it may not have better range than the AC version.

Thoughts? Does it make sense to make this move? AC vs AX for my situation? Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance for the help!

Here's my setup:
  • My house a 1920 house with 2 floors plus basement. ~1300 sq. ft. without basement
  • I usually have about 30 devices on my wifi at any given time, including 2 - 3 computers, 2 phones, several Roku units, smart TVs, multiple Google Home devices, 4 security cameras, doorbell, and smart lock on my front door. Of course they aren't all being used at the same time. I'm honestly not even sure if I have any wifi 6 devices in the mix.
  • My ISP is Verizon Fios at 300 Mbps package
  • My fiancée and I both work from home right now and do a lot of video calls
  • I also have a garage maybe 40 to 50 ft. from the house that I like to have coverage in. Right now I do, but it isn't great. Right on the edge.

An RT-AC86U will suit your house. Another wireless one in the garage will likely cover the property and then some and afford you hardware backup.

The AX86U would cost more and be a bit stronger but still fall short of WiFi 6E, so I'd wait.

OE
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
An update to my trials with the AX86U. Whew! On the Asus factory firmware things are finally working well. I discovered that my Dell Windows laptops needed a driver update based on the AX FAQ cited in the router GUI. With the driver update to the Intel AC7260 cards the laptops were able to connect to the router with AX mode enabled. Other WIFI devices are connecting even an old "G" IP Cam. My daughter gets a new laptop tomorrow with an AX WIFI card. Can't wait to try that. Also am connecting my NAS to the 2.5 GIG port even though the NAS has a 1 GIG adaptor. I needed one more wired port to eliminate a switch.
My recommendation for the AC86U still stands especially if you have older equipment and you do not have the knowledge to fiddle with the AX settings.
Want to buy my 1 year old AC86U with a cooling fan?
 

ibob337

New Around Here
An update to my trials with the AX86U. Whew! On the Asus factory firmware things are finally working well. I discovered that my Dell Windows laptops needed a driver update based on the AX FAQ cited in the router GUI. With the driver update to the Intel AC7260 cards the laptops were able to connect to the router with AX mode enabled. Other WIFI devices are connecting even an old "G" IP Cam. My daughter gets a new laptop tomorrow with an AX WIFI card. Can't wait to try that. Also am connecting my NAS to the 2.5 GIG port even though the NAS has a 1 GIG adaptor. I needed one more wired port to eliminate a switch.
My recommendation for the AC86U still stands especially if you have older equipment and you do not have the knowledge to fiddle with the AX settings.
Want to buy my 1 year old AC86U with a cooling fan?
Glad to hear you got it all working nicely. I definitely don't want to mess around with too many settings. I like easy. :)
Hmmm . . . interesting idea. How much would you want for your AC86U? Shoot me a PM if you want.

Is there realistically any advantage coverage-wise going to the AX?
 

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