RT-AC86U & RT-AC68U with dead WAN port as Access point or AiMESH possible?

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New Around Here
Firstly, please forgive what maybe very simple network type questions but I struggle to understand anything "network" beyond the basics.

I have RT-AC86U as my main router. The router is running old'ish Merlin firmware and is currently in Wireless Router mode.

About a week before Xmas 2017 a power surge on my then ISP cable network fried their cable modem (replaced by the ISP) and the WAN port on the RT-AC68U (replace by the RT-AC86U).

At the time the AC68U was running Merlin firmware. The AC68U has been sitting in a box ever since.

I retrieved the AC68U and switched it on. My phone can see both the 2.4g & 5g networks so the wireless function of the router seems to be working OK.

I also recall still being able to logon to the AC68U from my PC which had a wired connection so I believe that the LAN ports (or at least 1 of 'em) on the AC68U were still working after the power surge.

What I would like to do is the following:

* Purchase a powerline kit, for example, the TP-Link TL-PA9020P (running ethernet cable is not possible),
* Use a LAN port on the AC68U to connect powerline device to.
* Run the RT-AC68U as an Access Point, -OR- better still run the AC68U in AiMesh node.

If possible, I would also like to use another LAN port on the AC68U for a wired connection but if I can't then I can do without it.

So my 1st question is:

Will the above work?

If so, are there any tutorials available online that give step by step instructions of how to do so?

Many thanks in advance.



Occasional Visitor
For a short time I had an 86u / 68u combination very similar to what you have. It 'worked', but performance was poor. If I connected to the 68u, I got slower speeds even when in the same room.
My connectivity was via a Netgear switch. I have seen a few threads on here where people trying to mesh with the 68u aren't that impressed.


Occasional Visitor
If you are going to use a powerline as the backhaul to the RT-AC86U from the RT-AC68U then without diving into the command line (even then it may not be possible) you would need the WAN port on the RT-AC68U to be working.

*I quite happily mesh an RT-AC86U and a first release RT-AC68U without problems. One tip would be to reduce the Wireless>Professional (5G)>Modulation Scheme to MCS9 (same as the RT-AC68U). It makes the handover between nodes un-noticeable! Stability here is far more important than absolute speed.

**Also with the current Merlin Firmware, it looks as though if the powerline backhaul runs out of bandwidth, then it supplements with WiFi backhaul.


Senior Member
you can enable WAN -DualWAN - Primary WAN - Ethernet lan1-4
but it will be for main router only

for AC68U you can install tomato (to do it you would go to very old RMerlin, for example RT-AC68U_378.55_0.zip and then install tomato) and then easy setup WAN on any LAN port with VLAN - than it can be use as AP.
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