RT-AX58U as replacement for RT-AC68U AP

Smokindog

Senior Member
I'm helping out some very good friends who are having coverage issues out on their patio for their TV (ROKU streaming HULU and other services).

I found a wired ethernet port in the room leading out to the patio and fortunately it goes back to the main router (Frontier Quantum).

The ONLY AX devices they'll have is when they upgrade their iPhones in the coming months.

I took a spare RT-AC68U to them and set it up as an AP in the back room. I left it for them to test/play and see if they're happy. My cursory testing showed it should fix all their issues for their use. I've heard nothing but happiness thus far and they're HUGE March Madness people so I know it's been used! :)

I'm now looking for a "purchase" for them. I could just get another RT-AC68U (I loved these routers for APs) but figured I may as well get them to AX and WPA3. Replacement of the main router is in the future, just not now, so I'm not looking for something to move into that slot. They're not financially crippled but cost does matter right now. They ARE onboard with prepping for AX/WPA3 and a future main router upgrade if it's in the cards.

I found an RT-AX58U refurb for about $120 and it seems to be an ideal choice for this situation. I'm not too worried about a refurb as I see these folks multiple times per week and can take care of any failures within the return period. My experience is if the refurbs make it past the initial couple weeks they're typically AOK. I'll do all the needed resets/.... and setup. Will probably go with stock firmware since it's not in my home but if there are compelling reasons particular to this router I'll be happy to support them with Merlin. They're that good of friends! :)

My questions are:
  1. General impressions of the RT-AX58U as an AP
  2. Wireless coverage versus the RT-AC68U I've already installed for testing
  3. I've read that initially there were issues with the 160MHz performance. Has this been fixed?
  4. Any obvious negatives based on the criteria I've mentioned above
PS - I forgot to mention that there will be 2 wireless repeaters/range extenders I found while doing my setup. Turns out their wireless "expert" brother in law told them they'd fix all their issues :) It's also a small home on small lots with a LOT of spectrum clutter. I'm going over to turn them off later today now that I know they're happy. Should help some, at least with the spectrum clutter :) The RT-AC68U AP is on a separate SSID for now so I didn't interfere with anything in their work from home environment.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The RT-AX68U is what I would be leaning towards. Much better router/hardware than the RT-AX58U.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Might be too pricey today (and be sure you get it on sale at almost 50% off, depending on your region), but the far better buy in the long haul. Even at full price.
 

Smokindog

Senior Member
Might be too pricey today (and be sure you get it on sale at almost 50% off, depending on your region), but the far better buy in the long haul. Even at full price.
Thanks, I got all that but I'm interested specifically in the AX58 now. TIA
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I'm helping out some very good friends

Why Asus, why AX and what 160MHz channel in a crowded Wi-Fi environment? For what reason?

Get one TP-Link Archer C80 for $60* - AP Mode, 3x3 AC Wave 2 radio and actually better coverage than AX58U. I have both to compare.


I had one of those as temporary AP in an office for a month, works amazingly well. You can get 550Mbps to common 2-stream client out of it. What more is needed on the patio? It has WPA3 option as well, if you insist.

* - I got it on sale in Canada for 60CAD, or about 48USD.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
My questions are:
  1. General impressions of the RT-AX58U as an AP
  2. Wireless coverage versus the RT-AC68U I've already installed for testing
  3. I've read that initially there were issues with the 160MHz performance. Has this been fixed?
  4. Any obvious negatives based on the criteria I've mentioned above

1. I had the RT-AX58U, but almost immediately sold it (gave up on it). It is 'AX' class only in name.

2. I would expect the wireless coverage to be superior to anything from the RT-AC68U era (and it was).

4. Stability issues that weren't addressed in the few months I was using/testing it with (vs. RT-AX86U, RT-AX88U, RT-AC86U (at that time frame), and even the RT-AC3100 proved superior for stability, and performance (range mostly).


With the RT-AX86U out of stock for the last few months again, I installed/upgraded a customer to an RT-AX68U yesterday with surprising results. Assuming they had ~300Mbps ISP download speeds (based on their old routers capabilities in the same room), we were frankly shocked that they were achieving over 850Mbps over 40' away from the router. The RT-AX58U with its two-stream/two antennae design would find that impossible to approach from my previous experience with it.

Bottom line, if you want a consistently fast and stable network, forget the lowest entry routers with only two stream/two antennae capabilities (even if most of your client devices are only two-stream, they will still benefit from greater throughput at a longer distance) and equipped with low power CPU and RAM.

The cost savings difference isn't worth it if buying something for more than a few years, even at full price. And when on sale, the recommended routers are true bargains, even if they may be considered 'overkill' for a specific environment, today.

The venerable RT-N66U was also in that position too a long time ago. Nobody ever regretted buying that router either, even at full price.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
My questions are:
  1. General impressions of the RT-AX58U as an AP
  2. Wireless coverage versus the RT-AC68U I've already installed for testing
  3. I've read that initially there were issues with the 160MHz performance. Has this been fixed?
  4. Any obvious negatives based on the criteria I've mentioned above

1. Crippled hardware in firmware, AX5400 class routers use the same hardware - RT-AX82U, GS-AX5400 as examples.
2. Better about 20% on 5GHz, about the same on 2.4GHz.
3. No idea. I don't recommend using DFS channels and 160MHz wide channels.
4. You don't need AX58U in this location as AP - I would use an outdoor AC class AP. You don't need range on a patio - the neighbors perhaps have their own Wi-Fi. You don't need high speed on a patio - most devices connected to this AP will be phones.

AX58U is my least favorite router in my Asus routers collection (see my profile). It's quirky, it looks cheap. Asus offers new hardware revision with new SoC, AX58U V2. This one has no Asuswrt-Merlin support at the moment. Asuswrt-Merlin is not needed on an AP. Router is not needed for AP use.
 

fishface

Occasional Visitor
I have a AX3000, which is, as I understand it, essentially the same as RT-AX58U, I also have a RT-AC68U and RT-AC66U_B1

The AX3000 is the main router the RT-AC68U configured as an AP.

The reason I want for the same brand was for ease of management, maintenance and inter compatibility, I like the easy life!

My AX3000 has been rock solid, I have about 50 devices connected to the network, security cameras, wife and me team/zoom meetings, servers, laptops, 3 kids with many devices.

The RT-AC68U was my main router, but when I got gigabit fiber the CPU choked (with QoS, bandwidth management and a few other options turned on) when running speed test.

Testing directly, i.e, not using the router, wired connected, I get around 950Mbs speed, using the router I got between 550 and 650 and the CPU would max out. If I disabled all the features, QoS, bandwidth etc, I managed to squeeze 690- 750Mbs out of it.

So I purchased the AX3000, having 3 cores and higher CPU clock speed was high on my list, it has completely solved then issue, running the same test I now get 850 - 900, and download speeds across the network have improved.

Having said all of this, as you can see, I still use the RT-AC68U as an AP, and it perfect for this as it doesn't need all the horse power, as you will not be running all the apps/features, the RT-AX58U will work, but seems like over-kill, but I guess if the price is good then it's up to you, it will still get the job done.

I maybe lucky, as people seem to have many issues with the RT-AX58, but mine has been working great for me, unless I do maintenance or have a power outage (it's a UPS) it's basically on for months up end.
 

Yota

Senior Member
Why Asus, why AX and what 160MHz channel in a crowded Wi-Fi environment? For what reason?
iPhones and Macs don't support 160 MHz, they are just WIFI 6, in other words just 1024-QAM and WPA3, and they never even support mu-mimo, ironically their wifi chips are from Broadcom, so they have the ability to support these functions, but in order to build Apple's walled garden, they chose not to use these features.

The only benefit of using a WIFI 6 router with an Apple product is that you get 1083.33 Mbps, yes Apple changed from a 3-stream antenna to a 2-stream, so bye bye 1300 Mbps for WIFI 5.

 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
but in order to build Apple's walled garden

I see no much connection between the quote and your reply. In regards of Apple - they don't use mostly useless technologies and I like that. I also like the genius engineering behind Apple products. Hard to repair, but levels above competition. Every square mm space is used to the point mobile boards look like single hybrid IC.
 

Labdoc

Occasional Visitor
I have an RT-AX58 as an AP in the bedroom. It is an AiMesh node wired to the main Router on 1G ethernet, an AX88u. FW on both Asuswrt-Merlin 386.5. 160 MHz enabled. Clients include a recent model Lenovo X1 carbon with Intel Wifi 6 AX201 and 160MHz and a Samsung Tablet (I don't remember whether it has AX). The house is a big one level bungalow. No complaints here.
 

Smokindog

Senior Member
THANKS ALL for the information!

As luck would have it, just before ordering the RT-AX58 I stumbled on an RT-AX86S (yes I know the difference with the RT-AX86U) for $176 at a local store on a one day only sale. Actually we missed the sale by 2 days but the manager at the store gave us the sale price :)

I encouraged my friend to spend the extra $56 from the refurb RT-AX58 ($120). I may still pick up a refurb RT-AX58 ($120) for my own "play" and use as my "only when needed outside AP" to cover the far back yard when we have guests. You know, important stuff like horseshoe and cornhole scores need constant updates on FB!

Part of the decision was also as a future replacement of their FIOS Quantum router which I found out they're "renting". I'll probably move this to the main slot and then do the AP search again in the near future but 90+% of their "online life" is towards the back of the house so they're happy and the two repeaters are gone......

Thanks again for the info, it's in line with what I expected and good to hear! I'll report back on the RT-AX86S if there is anything "noteworthy".

 

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