Should I upgrade R7800 to RT-AX86U

cheenachatze

Occasional Visitor
In the last couple of months, the number of AX clients I have grew from 2 to 7. In addition to these, I have several clients that use AC and a few that only support N 2.4Ghz (printers, security cameras). I have R7800 running OpenWRT. The house is about 1300sf on one floor. Router is located in the office, which is about 1/3 way down from the front of the house. Signal in the front rooms is excellent. Problem is in the rear bedrooms, where signal is weak and sometimes connection drops.
Would it be worthwhile for me to get a RT-AX86U? Would that improve the range in the 5Ghz? Would that improve the speed with AX clients that are in close proximity to the router?
Thanks for any advice!
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Entirely your call. It seems to be the most recommended router and it works very well with Merlin firmware. It is, in my opinion, a better product than Netgear.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@cheenachatze, yes to all your questions, at least, 'on paper'. :)

From all I know, the RT-AX86U should be a very worthwhile upgrade (don't use the R7800 anymore, unless you can put it in Media Bridge mode for your wired capable clients).

Media Bridge Mode

Repeater mode = wireless AiMesh


This is what even an RT-AX68U (or two) can do for the previous Asus router 'champ' (I believe it was roughly equivalent to your R7800), the RT-AC86U.

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode

Note that the customer wanted the second RT-AX68U installed (it really wasn't needed though).


Before you buy it, you may want to try making location, orientation, and antennae adjustments to your existing router in 3D space (oftentimes, even a few inches in any axis can make a huge difference to faraway clients).

And, when you do buy the RT-AX86U, be sure you do the same to get the best possible location/orientation of the router too.


The current routers have much improved RF designs, antennae, and other behind-the-scenes goodness (i.e. SDKs) that make them superior to even the best, now old, routers from years past.

Is Wi-Fi 6 Worth It

Wi-Fi 6 Pt 2


At the very least, you can test the new hardware in your specific environment and see if the improvements are worth it to you (if not, simply return the router). Nobody that I have 'trialed' the router for though has asked to return it yet.
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
In the last couple of months, the number of AX clients I have grew from 2 to 7. In addition to these, I have several clients that use AC and a few that only support N 2.4Ghz (printers, security cameras). I have R7800 running OpenWRT. The house is about 1300sf on one floor. Router is located in the office, which is about 1/3 way down from the front of the house. Signal in the front rooms is excellent. Problem is in the rear bedrooms, where signal is weak and sometimes connection drops.
Would it be worthwhile for me to get a RT-AX86U? Would that improve the range in the 5Ghz? Would that improve the speed with AX clients that are in close proximity to the router?
Thanks for any advice!
The R7800 is still pretty competitive with some of the AX routers you may not see a major difference. Unlike L&LD, my experiences and those whom I’ve given some of my test ax routers didn’t see any major gains. There paper/benchmark gains and then there’s real world use. Plus @L&LD he’s using OpenWRT plus even stock firmware was updated this year so.

OP you could temporarily get a device like the AX86U and test to see if it’s making enough of a difference in your daily use, aside from personal anecdotes going either way from me or anyone else before spending.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That's why it needs to be tested in the specific environment it will be used in and not blindly follow what online users may state (see the last paragraph, above). :
 

RMinNJ

Regular Contributor
Ok Im in the middle of doing just this. I had an Amazon gift card and Ive been working from home so I thought why not.

My R7800 with Voxel Firmware has been flawless.. its on the lower level of a 2 story ranch style house..not too big..only the far upstairs bedroom struggles with the R7800 5Gz signal. Otherwise I see 590? to 877 on the my few AC devices on the 5G. The Mac in the same room as the R7800 will do a 1.2Mbit/s connection..some better NIC in that.

So Im still in the return window for Amazon..one of the only reasons I purchased the AX86U from them. Note: their prime shipping for the ASUS takes a week despite showing 1 day or 2 day shipping so if you want it fast I'd source it locally..

And..

First initial impressions... its not a major difference for my few devices... my sole AX client phone connects AX now, 1.2 Mbit in the lower floor.. I thought maybe a tad slower in connection speed upstairs but really the same 600 to now 900. The big difference I see is the far bedroom gets a better connection now... no longer a -74db drop but -50ish. So in that regard its a big improvement for no more borderline 5Ghz in the far bedroom.

I did see the pings a little smoother or less various to the router on 5Ghz. I had set it Auto channel for 2.4...my 2.4Gz devices no issues. For 5Ghz i had it on defaults auto channel also where it selected Channel 48 ...but... I changed it back to 153 that my R7800 used so well (I have a roku and xbox controllers bursting wifi direct on channel 36 and 40).

So the AX86U , to me, for my place, really shows me how good the R7800 AC router still is (with Voxels firmware for performance and stability). With the AX86U Im gaining a tad more range right now, but also LAN/WAN aggregation, 2.5Gbit support, AX etc for future devices ...the ASUS firmware does gives me more information about my tiny network which I like.

Let me know if you'd like me to compare anything else between the R7800 and RT-AX86U. Currently Im still in the return window and if I had to send it back I'd at least know my R7800 setup was not too shabby as I was told here.
 
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cheenachatze

Occasional Visitor
First initial impressions... its not a major difference for my few devices... my sole AX client phone connects AX now, 1.2 Mbit in the lower floor.. I thought maybe a tad slower in connection speed upstairs but really the same 600 to now 900. The big difference I see is the far bedroom gets a better connection now... no longer a -74db drop but -50ish. So in that regard its a big improvement for no more borderline 5Ghz in the far bedroom.
Thank you for your response! Did you actually measure the speed in the far bedroom? Did it actually improve?

I have two concerns about buying:

1. Since I already have 7 AX clients, would they benefit from AX router? I looked again at the charts on SNB for both routers, and it's clear that the Asus can reach higher maximum throughput than the Netgear, so I think the answer is yes.

2. Would the Asus have longer range than the Netgear? That is the more difficult question to answer without actual side by side comparison. Based on your findings it seems like the Asus has longer range.

I think the price is reasonable, considering the Asus has CPU and 2.5G port that it shares with much more expensive routers. Also, if I remember correctly, the R7800 was also over $200 when it came out, so the Asus is not outrageously priced.
 

RMinNJ

Regular Contributor
I switched back to my R7800 as I had a cheap Hisense TV on the 5Ghz that kept restarting..i think it may not like the AX 5Ghz.

I testing some areas like the back bedroom and my phone gets 350 Mbit with the R7800 vs 470 Mbit with AX86U. Other areas with my phone were similar..I gained about 100 to 200 Mbit with the ASUS.
 

cheenachatze

Occasional Visitor
I switched back to my R7800 as I had a cheap Hisense TV on the 5Ghz that kept restarting..i think it may not like the AX 5Ghz.

I testing some areas like the back bedroom and my phone gets 350 Mbit with the R7800 vs 470 Mbit with AX86U. Other areas with my phone were similar..I gained about 100 to 200 Mbit with the ASUS.
Thanks for your help! Based on your findings, I think I will give the Asus a try. If the range is not improved, I may run a network cable to the back of the house and configure the R7800 as AP.
 

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