RT-AC86U Wireless Internet cutting out

Makasae

New Around Here
Hello! New to this forum!

So I have 2 of these routers set up and for the past 2 years we have been trying almost everything to fix this issue to no avail so now I turn to you guys. We have had these routers probs around 3-4 years now.

So basically I have one router as the "master" and another as an AP, both with the same name and such. What happens is randomly throughout the day my families wireless devices get cut off from the internet but they are still connected to the routers, this happens with both 2.4 and 5. Wired connections are fine and have never had a hiccup.

I have tried a lot of things like updating firmware to latest version on both routers, different settings, less crowded channels, full factory resets, power cycling, etc. and im honestly at a loss for what to do now.

I attached the logs from tonight since it happened again in the middle of my families online meetings.

Thanks again, if you need any more info please ask! I really want to fix this. Hopefully I don't have to replace the routers.
 

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Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
should get a different router...
I swore off things I could buy off the shelf long ago and built my own instead.

If you up your game it's less headaches to deal with. Getting away from run of the mill FW being deployed that's full of bugs makes it so you can concentrate on other things rather than having to troubleshoot crappy code.

If I was looking for something other than an all in one device.... I did some searches prior to building my own and found some options such as splitting the duties into a pure wire router like the Edge series and then doing true AP for WIFI like the NWA210AX ($160). There are other non-WIFI routers that are cheaper but will accomplish the same thing as the ER.

Combined products are just a headache when they stop filling their need and having issues. Being able to swap out a specific function such as WIFI makes life easier and technology evolves. For example for about $250 you could have WIFI 6 when packaged units sometimes run as high as $600.

With making your own though the options are unlimited as to what speeds you want to use as you simply select the NIC based on your speed requirements and pop it into the case. I'm more bleeding edge than some and like performance options. I took on the task awhile back with AC not performing as well as it could've been and used a QNAP AC2600 inside the case w/ hostapd configured for each band and duplicated the service files to keep both running automatically and restart when they failed as they tended to occasionally. When AX was released I started looking for a similar NIC to install in the case but, there still isn't one on the market ~2 years into it now and switched to using an AP externally in the interim.

With 6E devices trickling out it's something I keep looking into since I've been using the 6E cards for over a year now and just waiting on an AP because the routers with 6E are insanely priced ~$600 or alternatives coming in pairs or 3's @ over $1000.

As to the ability to swap out parts in the case as things sped up and I added more options to the case such as the NAS functionality + Raid 10 my data speeds needed a boost as the Raid was pushing 400MB/s and well 1gbps wasn't cutting it. I upped things with a 4-port 5GE card @ $200 and a 5GE USB adapter ~$60 and get full speeds between machines when it's needed for copies / restores. I can also split those 4 ports however I want to allocate them into LAN / WAN as needed. The NWA210AX has a 2.5GE port on it which makes the 5GE prior to my upgrade to a MOBO that has a 2.5GE port on it a good fit to remove potential bottlenecks.

If you're using a Cable Modem don't get caught in the hype marketing saying they can hit 6-10gbps but only offer a 1gbps or 2.5gbps port on them as well, 6-10 now becomes 1-2.5.... The devil is in the details and your data only moves as fast as the slowest port.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Before giving up on these, I would try the following instead. (Sounds more like an incorrect setup than anything hardware right now).

Flash the latest stock firmware or RMerlin 386.3_2. Then follow the steps below.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global

Fully Reset Router and Network

With the above performed as outlined, test at a minimum for 24 hours with a single router to see if the hardware is stable or not. If it isn't with that router, try again with the second router.

If it is 100% stable, be sure you fully reset the second router and then connect it as an AiMesh node via the main router's GUI. Do not try setting it up by going into the node's GUI after you have reset it one last time with the first link above.

Again, let the system work for 24 hours or more before attempting to add any features, enable any options, or install any scripts you may be using now.

If the hardware is found defective, new routers to consider would be the RT-AX68U or the RT-AX86U, today.

Out of curiosity, these are 2018 manufactured routers?
 

Makasae

New Around Here
Before giving up on these, I would try the following instead. (Sounds more like an incorrect setup than anything hardware right now).

Flash the latest stock firmware or RMerlin 386.3_2. Then follow the steps below.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global

Fully Reset Router and Network

With the above performed as outlined, test at a minimum for 24 hours with a single router to see if the hardware is stable or not. If it isn't with that router, try again with the second router.

If it is 100% stable, be sure you fully reset the second router and then connect it as an AiMesh node via the main router's GUI. Do not try setting it up by going into the node's GUI after you have reset it one last time with the first link above.

Again, let the system work for 24 hours or more before attempting to add any features, enable any options, or install any scripts you may be using now.

If the hardware is found defective, new routers to consider would be the RT-AX68U or the RT-AX86U, today.

Out of curiosity, these are 2018 manufactured routers?
Hey thanks for the advice! Once my fami is done meetings for the day I shall try reseting and testing. Unfortunately it might be hard to test one at a time due to the nature of our setup. one router is handling one half of the house, and the other is a AP node(wired running under the house) in the other half due to signal not reaching. so one half of the house will have zero wifi for 24 hours.

im sorry if im remembering incorrectly but arnt AImesh nodes hooked up by wifi? if thats the case I cannot do that since they both dont reach each other.

I was looking at those! thanks for the recommendation.

The sticker on the back says it was made in 2017.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
This official beta firmware has good Wi-Fi, if you want to try. It is older, but stable.


Use official Asus reset instructions, don't waste your time with pseudo-science procedures.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
AiMesh can use wired backhaul too.

24 hours is a suggestion. But the longer you can test a single router, the better.
 

vincom

Regular Contributor
ive been using the ac66u for years, had no issues other than cpu on it was slowing down due to my higher internet speed and 2.4 wireless devices connecting to it, the overall throughput was slowing down due to high cpu load maxing out at almost 100%.
finally got the ac86u, cpu loads are much lower than the 66u doing speed tests and all devices connected. , but the 2.4 is awful. devices, espicially phone keeps disconnecting/reconnecting to the 2.4 wireless, even when connected it wasnt stable, the 5ghz seems fine though. but i use the 2.4 more for distance and wall penetration as i dont need the speed of the 5ghz.
im not a newb to networking/i.t. stuff. installed latest merlin 386.4, did multiple wipes/resets to factory and clean installs, which helped but problem would eventually come back, even the previous version firmware by merlin was giving same issues with the wonky 2.4ghz wifi. never tried asus stock though. even my smart light switches/iot devices/wifi cameras were having issues in not connecting. reboot seems to have fixed it for awhile but will see. had no connection issues on the ac66u.
going to enable reboot scheduler. it seems that it either is effected after a few days or a couple of weeks but initially it was a daily affair until i did a couple of resets and reformatting of the jffs, jffs is not enabled to run custom configs
there must be a setting that can be changed to resolve this....imho, just dont know what that would be since the ac66u was rock solid in its default wifi settings
read about changing the 86u beamforming settings but it seams to be a shot in the dark from what ive read. other than that its been a good router otherwise
might just use my trusty ac66u for the 2.4 signal(or reboot scheduler for 86u) and just leave it at that and no im not spending the money on the ax series. picked up the 86u for $180can +tx last month. in canada the ax series is like its gold for its price
 
Last edited:

retuor

Occasional Visitor
I have these same two routers in wireless AiMesh. They both run 3.0.0.4.386_45956-g23134c9 and I haven't had any issues since upgrading. I spent about an hour slowly re-configuring the routers manually.

Prior to that I was running 3.0.0.4.384_82072-gc842320 on both and always had issues. I also had issues with versions before that and went through ASUS to request replacements twice over a span of about a year.

Back to 384_82072 ... Sometimes the 2.4 and 5 would not work. My devices would go through this strange connect and disconnect cycle. Another problem is sometimes the internet would cut out. When I check the admin, sure enough it says internet is disconnected but this is strange because the modem lights say otherwise. Sometimes wifi just stops working and I found out turning off the node router appears to fix things.

I upgraded the firmware about a month plus ago. In fact the uptime in the system log shows 38+ days. After the upgrade, I did the hard factory reset and the factory default restore with initialization through the admin. I then re-configured from scratch and added the AiMesh node. I don't run/enable any extra things on the routers. I did however use the AiMesh bind feature for some devices that I think is closer to the node than the main. Knock on wood, so far I haven't had any of the problems I had before.
 

slurmsmckenzie

Occasional Visitor
It is interesting to read this - I am also new to the forum, although I have found it a great source of information and help in the past. In August 2020 I decided that I wanted to upgrade our AC68U to try and improve wifi up in a new loft room we had made (AC68U is on the first floor where the VDSL modem is located and we have an old N56U downstairs acting as an access point for wifi dead-spots down there) and for reasons that I can no longer remember I bought a brand-new AC86U. But due to various reasons I won't bore anyone with I never actually got it up and running in place of the AC68U so it has been sat on a shelf ever since (bit crazy I know but there it is)!

Due to changing the location of the study in the house I have the opportunity to finally get the AC86U set up as the primary router in place of the AC68U in the coming weeks. This would involve the AC86U being on the first floor of a UK semi-detached 1930s 4 bedroom house providing 2.4 and 5 wifi to the first floor and new 2nd floor loft room (currently not great wifi up there via the AC68U) with the ethernet-connected N56U configured as an access point on the ground floor for devices down there. Two of us work from home every day (across three laptops) and good, solid wifi is essential. We also have a 2.4 IP camera as a baby monitor on the first floor for which a solid connection is also paramount.

But having browsed a few threads here in the last few days I'm starting to wonder whether it is the best choice for the role of a primary router due to the issues that others have seen - although I also see posts indicating that they can work fine (as above). The thing is that due to our use case I don't want to be having issues that require a load of investigation / factory resets / test periods as there is virtually no time in any day of the week that we don't need the router to be operational, connected to the internet and giving solid wifi.

I'd welcome any thoughts on whether it is worth a go or whether it is too likely to encounter problems. I would use the latest Merlin FW and reset everything before configuring, and if it helps I can see that the year of manufacture was 2020.

I appreciate that I could just give it a try but as said I can't afford to have our main router causing problems so I don't really want to risk that - although I do appreciate that anything else I could buy instead would also have the risk of problems! I guess it is just about whether the AC86Us are more likely than others to have issues really. Maybe the AC86U wouldn't even be much of an improvement over the AC68U either?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
It is interesting to read this - I am also new to the forum, although I have found it a great source of information and help in the past. In August 2020 I decided that I wanted to upgrade our AC68U to try and improve wifi up in a new loft room we had made (AC68U is on the first floor where the VDSL modem is located and we have an old N56U downstairs acting as an access point for wifi dead-spots down there) and for reasons that I can no longer remember I bought a brand-new AC86U. But due to various reasons I won't bore anyone with I never actually got it up and running in place of the AC68U so it has been sat on a shelf ever since (bit crazy I know but there it is)!

Due to changing the location of the study in the house I have the opportunity to finally get the AC86U set up as the primary router in place of the AC68U in the coming weeks. This would involve the AC86U being on the first floor of a UK semi-detached 1930s 4 bedroom house providing 2.4 and 5 wifi to the first floor and new 2nd floor loft room (currently not great wifi up there via the AC68U) with the ethernet-connected N56U configured as an access point on the ground floor for devices down there. Two of us work from home every day (across three laptops) and good, solid wifi is essential. We also have a 2.4 IP camera as a baby monitor on the first floor for which a solid connection is also paramount.

But having browsed a few threads here in the last few days I'm starting to wonder whether it is the best choice for the role of a primary router due to the issues that others have seen - although I also see posts indicating that they can work fine (as above). The thing is that due to our use case I don't want to be having issues that require a load of investigation / factory resets / test periods as there is virtually no time in any day of the week that we don't need the router to be operational, connected to the internet and giving solid wifi.

I'd welcome any thoughts on whether it is worth a go or whether it is too likely to encounter problems. I would use the latest Merlin FW and reset everything before configuring, and if it helps I can see that the year of manufacture was 2020.

I appreciate that I could just give it a try but as said I can't afford to have our main router causing problems so I don't really want to risk that - although I do appreciate that anything else I could buy instead would also have the risk of problems! I guess it is just about whether the AC86Us are more likely than others to have issues really. Maybe the AC86U wouldn't even be much of an improvement over the AC68U either?

The AC86U offers about 20% better WiFi coverage and beefier processing including hardware encryption for a VPN, if you need that. Overall, it will be snappier.

The AC68U has proven itself reliable.

Given you might want backup hardware, I would consider holding the AC68U as a ready spare or use it as an AiMesh node, and go ahead with using the AC86U... it may serve well enough until you upgrade to the next thing, and better than the AC68U.

Be sure to install current firmware, reset the firmware, and then configure it from scratch. The AC68U does not support Smart Connect and same SSIDs, so you may want to continue with SC disabled and different SSIDs, particularly if you add the AC68U as an AiMesh node.

OE
 

slurmsmckenzie

Occasional Visitor
The AC86U offers about 20% better WiFi coverage and beefier processing including hardware encryption for a VPN, if you need that. Overall, it will be snappier.
Thank you for the info, that is good to know and I think will help in my situation.
The AC68U has proven itself reliable.
Yes indeed, it has been on-duty since 2016 here and has been rock-solid to my recollection - although should note that I don't mind tinkering with settings etc. in case I sounded like I want a "switch on and forget" solution. I'm happy to get my hands dirty so to speak, just that I'd be nervous about anything that is likely to be flaky once in position.
Given you might want backup hardware, I would consider holding the AC68U as a ready spare or use it as an AiMesh node, and go ahead with using the AC86U... it may serve well enough until you upgrade to the next thing, and better than the AC68U.

Be sure to install current firmware, reset the firmware, and then configure it from scratch. The AC68U does not support Smart Connect and same SSIDs, so you may want to continue with SC disabled and different SSIDs, particularly if you add the AC68U as an AiMesh node.
Thanks again - I have considered using the AC68U as a bridge or repeater so may well do that. One of the frustrations I have is that my IP camera (a Hikvision which is very good in my eyes) and all of my Logitech Squeezeboxes are on 2.4 and this seems to ends up impacting other more recent wireless technologies in some way (have vague memories about reading somewhere on this forum that turning 2.4 off entirely improves something). But because the 2.4 devices are across three different floors of the house I don't think that I can easily separate them out onto a single wireless router.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thank you for the info, that is good to know and I think will help in my situation.

Yes indeed, it has been on-duty since 2016 here and has been rock-solid to my recollection - although should note that I don't mind tinkering with settings etc. in case I sounded like I want a "switch on and forget" solution. I'm happy to get my hands dirty so to speak, just that I'd be nervous about anything that is likely to be flaky once in position.

Thanks again - I have considered using the AC68U as a bridge or repeater so may well do that. One of the frustrations I have is that my IP camera (a Hikvision which is very good in my eyes) and all of my Logitech Squeezeboxes are on 2.4 and this seems to ends up impacting other more recent wireless technologies in some way (have vague memories about reading somewhere on this forum that turning 2.4 off entirely improves something). But because the 2.4 devices are across three different floors of the house I don't think that I can easily separate them out onto a single wireless router.

The AC86U 2.4 radio performs well unless it dies. You might find that the AC86U AP is enough coverage. If not, you can add the AC68U as a wired/wireless AiMesh node or as a wired AP. If you use AiMesh, the same configured SSIDs and channels are used on/sync'd to all nodes.

Set your A68U aside while you commission and trial the new AC86U network.

OE
 

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