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To replace my old but favourite RT-N66u

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by donduck, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. donduck

    donduck Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
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    Hello everyone,

    I have been a member of this forum since I discovered the Asuswrt-Merlin firmware since I bought my aging RT-n66u.

    It has come to a point now I have to replace the router and I am seeking for advice for the replacement.

    I loved all the functionalities of the RT-N66U but I’ve not been following the latest updates and I’ve read the rankings that the TP-Link routers are pretty good.

    What would you suggest for a $150 price point router for a household for about 20 devices? The router would also need to have guest networks as I run a airbnb in my house so QOS and network traffic monitoring/restriction is a must.

    Would really appreciate any thoughts!
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
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    10,181
    At your required price point or lower, the RT-AC66U_B1 is highly recommended along with the just-released final of 384.14_0 final RMerlin firmware. Any of the TP-Link routers, not so much.

    Btw, what are your ISP speeds? What is the square footage of your home? How many levels?

    Note that the RT-AC66U_B1 is effectively a hardware upgraded version of the original RT-AC68U, one of the most stable routers Asus has ever offered. As a matter of fact, you will use the current RT-AC68U RMerlin firmware to upgrade it.

    What caught your interest on the TP-Link router side? I don't know anything that offers what an RMerlin supported Asus router can.
     
  3. donduck

    donduck Occasional Visitor

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    The coverage area is 3 floors, about 1500 sq ft each floor. Currently the router is located on the main floor, close to the middle of the house so the coverage of the RT-n66u router is sufficient. With regards to ISP speeds, we are currently on 30D/5U mbps. Looking to upgrade to speed to 75-100mbps in the next few years when prices come down further.

    On the suggestion of RT-AC66U_b1/RT-Ac68u aren’t these routers launched some time ago? I’m concerned about having to replace the router again the near future.
     
  4. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

    Joined:
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    TP-Link Archer C2300 is the same hardware as RT-AC86U, offers same TrendMicro firmware components, WebUI is very good and easy to understand, WiFi performance and range is similar to RT-AC86U, i.e. better than RT-AC66U_B1. It doesn't have 100 firmware options, but what is offered works really good. I was playing with one for a week and it was a pleasant experience. Not a bad option for a home router at $120 price point.

    I would also recommend RT-AC66U_B1 to @donduck though. He is already familiar with Asuswrt WebUI and the router can be found under $100. There is a bandwidth limiter option in Guest Network settings, but not separate traffic monitoring. Access to Intranet may be restricted, as expected. The issue with Internet sharing remains though. If Airbnb guests do something illegal using his ISP account, it becomes his responsibility.
     
  5. donduck

    donduck Occasional Visitor

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    It sounds like my issue here is the price point. Are there routers out there that can provide similar / more functionalities within the sub $200 budget?
     
  6. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    No, your budget is fine. The main issue is the idea to share your ISP account with people you don't know. ISP keeps activity logs and everything there is linked to your account. Think drugs, weapons, minors, copyright material, threats in public space, etc. - it's all linked to your WAN IP and is your responsibility. There is a chance to get $50 for the room and then spend $5000 for a lawyer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  7. donduck

    donduck Occasional Visitor

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    During my Linksys WRT54GL days, I remember the Tomato firmware allows you to visibly see the searches and places the clients within the network have visited. What has changed since then and are there products out there that can do the same?
     
  8. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    There is a Web History in current Asuswrt, but it’s not very reliable in my experience, it generates hard to read pages long log and... it’s a history, for things that already happened. If something already happened, your ISP has a log for it. The other option is to run VPN for all your guests. YazFi script can redirect your Guest Network through VPN. It doesn’t guarantee full protection, but is at least some form of protection. Popular commercial VPN services cost about $5/month.
     
  9. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    Look at the traffic analyzer when using Merlin's version. It gives you the ability to look at traffic by device and where they were fairly specifically or you can sort by device and see has been using Netflix, Amazon, etc.

    Data is presented in both pie charts and tabular form. Time frame option of daily weekly or monthly.

    If you or someone else is using a VPN either on the router or their device you won't know what they have been doing and if it is something bad all law enforcement needs to do is serve papers on the VPN provider and they will reveal what the real IP was that the traffic originated from. The VPN provider probably doesn't keep logs of where you go using the VPN but they most definitely know the originating IP so if you bet that by using a VPN you keep the copyright police of your back or the cops away from your front door it is bad bet!
     
  10. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    True, but a bit better if really no logs and a VPN provider registered in a country with weak enforcement practices. If Guest Network is a must for Airbnb, then I would go full VPN, peer-to-peer restrictions and the best content filtering I can find.
     
  11. netware5

    netware5 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Bulgaria
    My suggestion is a little bit different :) If you spend some time in searching and if you are lucky you can find RT-AX88U for about $100 more than your budget. You will take: 1) The latest technology; 2) Fast CPU and large RAM; 3) Long time Merlin support; 4) Eight LAN ports.

    I did the same. I’ve used my old RT-N66U since 2013 and jumped directly to RT-AX88U just one month ago. I like to use my devices for long time. I still appreciate the old one and keep it in the box in case of emergency :)
     
  12. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    RT-AX88U is definitely a better router, but the potential problem with Internet sharing remains.
     
  13. netware5

    netware5 Senior Member

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    True, but see the OP - seems to be sharing is not a problem till now. The question is which router to replace the good old RT-N66U. Simple question - simple answer :)
     
  14. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

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    Not so simple:

    - RT-N66U used to cover the place, so will RT-AC66U_B1
    - The ISP line is currently 30Mbps, may go up to 100Mbps in few years
    - Only 20 devices on the network, probably not all active at the same time
    - both routers run the same Asuswrt-Merlin firmware with similar options
    - RT-AC66U_B1 is $100, RT-AX88U is $300
    - 30Mbps VPN should be enough for Airbnb, as it is enough now
    - RT-AC66U_B1 and RT-AX88U will do exactly the same thing on this network

    What exactly value brings the extra $200 spent to @donduck?
     
  15. donduck

    donduck Occasional Visitor

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    Wow. Thanks for everyone’s input.

    It seems the consensus is to go with RT-AC66U_B1!

    Much appreciate everyone’s responses! It’s been 7 years since I found this forum and it is still going strong by all your insightful input!
     
    L&LD likes this.