TP-Link ER605 + ASUS GT-AC5300 - DUAL WAN

ForkWNY

Senior Member
I've been thinking of ordering a TP-Link ER605 to handle dual WAN between two high-speed ISP's, Fios (1 Gb up/down) and Spectrum (1 Gb down/40mb up). Currently I'm using my GT-AC5300 to handle Dual WAN, but the firmware is buggy at best and doesn't even handle failover/fail-back properly, and load balancing is a complete wreck at best. I have 4 AiMesh nodes connected to the GT-AC5300 via wire in ethernet backhaul mode, so ditching the GT-AC5300 isn't an option. I just want something to handle WAN failover/load balancing reliably.

Is it possible to put the TP-Link ER605 in front of the entire network, connecting to the two WAN devices, and placing the GT-AC5300 behind it, connecting the ER605 LAN port into the GT-AC5300 WAN port? I'm presuming I'll lose functionality such as DDNS, etc. on the ASUS and end up with a double NAT situation? Or is it possible to completely disable NAT/DHCP on the TP-Link ER605? I'm not really interested in load balancing as much as I am just having reliable failover...the problem I foresee with load balancing relates to upload speed...upload is 20x faster over Fios vs Spectrum, so I'd rather not see any clients sent outbound over spectrum due to the limited upstream bandwidth. If Fios goes down, I simply want to failover to Spectrum. Load balancing would only make sense if both WAN's were the same speed, or one WAN was being saturated over another. What happens to port forwarding in this situation? I have port forwarding/DDNS set up on the GT-AC5300, and am hoping I can maintain that configuration somehow with another router out in front.

Any basic setup suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I haven't really dabbled with placing one router in front of another one, at least not for a home network. Thanks.
 
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Smokey613

Very Senior Member
Let the ER605 handle the routing and dhcp functions. Place the GT-AC5300 in AP Mode. The ER605 will also handle ddns but it is limited to the 4 built in providers. Fortunately it supports NO-IP which is the one I use.
 

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Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Is it possible to put the TP-Link ER605 in front of the entire network

Yes and few folks around run this exact setup.

I'm presuming I'll lose functionality such as DDNS

With 2x ISPs you have to run DDNS on something more reliable than your Asus router and checking more frequently. Otherwise on WAN IP change your router may not react very quickly and you have to wait to access your VPN server, for example.

and end up with a double NAT situation

This is not a problem. You can still run the services you want and forward the ports you want plus all Asuswrt features as usual (except Instant Guard, but alternatives are available). UPnP in 386.7_2 doesn't work with private WAN address, roll back to 386.5_2 if you need it.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
Let the ER605 handle the routing and dhcp functions. Place the GT-AC5300 in AP Mode. The ER605 will also handle ddns but it is limited to the 4 built in providers. Fortunately it supports NO-IP which is the one I use.
I also use No-IP DDNS. What about the manual DHCP assignment I have set up within the ASUS device? Can all of those be transferred over to the ER605?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Let the ER605 handle the routing and dhcp functions. Place the GT-AC5300 in AP Mode.

This is another option. This small router does Gigabit well, but some features are not available with no Omada controller.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
Alright, so in summary...

DHCP/Manual IP Assignment/DDNS - ER605 takes over all of it
ASUS GT-AC5300 (btw there is NO Merlin FW for this router) - ER605 LAN plugs into GT-AC5300 WAN port, placed in AP mode, still handles port forwarding? Or does ER605 plug into one of the GT-AC5300's LAN ports?

I do have a Win 11 PC that runs 24x7 (IIS web server), so I figured i could run the Omada controller software on that PC if needed.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
still handles port forwarding?

What port forwarding on an AP? There is no routing there. It's a wired to wireless bridge + switch for Ethernet ports. If you want to use your Asus router this way you lose all Asuswrt features including Guest Network separation from LAN. I would run it in double NAT instead and let ER605 do Dual WAN only. GT-AC5300 is still very good HND platform model. Why waste all the features on in? You're more familiar with Asuswrt anyway.
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
@Tech9 has the right idea and the one I am going to return to. Just use the ER605 for dual wan failover. I have been out of town on a “vacation” even though I am retired. :)

I decided to order a RT-AX86U and will run it in a double NAT behind the ER605 and if needed, run the RT-AX86S as an AiMesh node. I will probably stay with RMerlin 386.5_2 firmware for now.

I like the mesh operation of my eero Pro 6 units but an auto update broke wired backhaul left me rethinking that solution. They did rollback the software but it exposes, IMHO, the flaw in forced firmware updates.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
Thanks for all the tips - I ordered up an ER605. Will go the double-NAT option, although I almost want to take away DHCP/Manual IP assignment from the GT-AC5300 as the firmware is flaky whenever those settings are changed. The GT-AC5300 reboots after every [email protected] change to the manual IP assignment table and it often crashes after reboot. I may try the AP mode option first, see how it pans out, and go double-NAT afterward.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
Managed to find an ER-605 locally, got it set up and running this AM and so far so good. I ended up installing the Omada controller software onto one of my light-weight Win 11 PC's that is up and running 24x7, wasn't terribly difficult to install and configure. Once I saw all of the features available within the Omada UI, I decided to put my GT-AC5300 into AP mode and allow the ER605 to act as the main/primary router. ASUS ROG GT-AC5300 now sits behind the router in AP mode, in addition to some wired switches and a number of wired clients. The router seems to handle load balancing perfectly, it's dramatically better than the GT-AC5300 which costs over 5x as much. ASUS needs to get their act together on their firmware...I would've loved to have Merlin as an option but it's simply not available for the GT-AC5300. Thanks again for all the tips and suggestions, definitely helped get me up and running pretty quickly.
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
Which version of the ER605 did you get?

Version 1 without the USB port or Version 2 with USB port.
 

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Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Once I saw all of the features available within the Omada UI, I decided to put my GT-AC5300 into AP mode

Your next steps:
TL-SG108PE ($60)* + 2x EAP610 Ultra-Slim** ($100/each) + PoE power to APs

The switch is not Omada SDN integrated, but the same physical size as ER605. Makes a nice small networking hub - router and smart switch with PoE. Then you discover your router, switch and APs all have native VLAN support. It opens new area for exploration and proper LAN/WLAN segmentation. You get UniFi experience for less with quality Qualcomm hardware APs. Omada is the best price/performance small business system. No more reboot and reset. If you miss a lot reboot and reset - keep your Asus router as a toy and play with it. You may even get a new one, like I did. :)

* - sale price as we speak, $100 regular
** - wall plate style model is EAP615, AX1800-class
 
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ForkWNY

Senior Member
Your next steps:
TL-SG108PE ($60)* + 2x EAP610 Ultra-Slim** ($100/each) + PoE power to APs

The switch is not Omada SDN integrated, but the same physical size as ER605. Makes a nice small networking hub - router and smart switch with PoE. Then you discover your router, switch and APs all have native VLAN support. It opens new area for exploration and proper LAN/WLAN segmentation. You get UniFi experience for less with quality Qualcomm hardware APs. Omada is the best price/performance small business system. No more reboot and reset. If you miss a lot reboot and reset - keep your Asus router as a toy and play with it. You may even get a new one, like I did. :)

* - sale price as we speak, $100 regular
** - wall plate style model is EAP615, AX1800-class

That'll definitely be the route I take in the near future. I do have a TL-SG1024DE managed switch that everything wired in the house routes through, fully VLAN capable (but not Omada or PoE capable unfortunately). I've liked ASUS for the Wifi coverage...I have 4 AX92U mesh nodes scattered around and they provide great signal range and have been fairly reliable, but moving on from ASUS seems like the way to go. Love the Omada SDN for managing the router, and would like to see everything moved over and managed by Omada SDN. The EAP610's remind me of Aruba/Ubiquiti and seem enterprise level, reasonably priced. Appreciate all the recommendations...will be aiming to replace the ASUS stuff by early 2023.

Any idea how many EAP610's would provide the same coverage level as 4 AX92U's? Might be difficult to estimate that but was wondering if I should invest in more than 2...I enjoy having 5Ghz signal well into my backyard which is a couple acres. With my current setup I can sit and watch movies stream in on my 5Ghz bands from about 150 ft from the house.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
One question regarding the performance of the ER605...I've noticed on routine speed tests that my upload rate appears to max out at around 250mbps on a 1Gb/1Gb Fios connection. When my ASUS GT-AC5300 was the main router, I'd get pretty consistent speed tests up/down of over 900Mbps. The ER605 has no issues achieving over 900Mbps on the download side, but upload side seems neutered for some odd reason. Bandwidth control, etc. are off/disabled. Any ideas?
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
That is interesting, unfortunately I only have a 100M/100M connection so no way for me to test this behaivor.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
but upload side seems neutered for some odd reason.

I don't have this router, but I remember there was hardware offloading setting somewhere. It's definitely Gigabit capable up/down. Omada controller was updated few times since I've played with it last time. The router is popular and you'll find where the issue is. Search online for configuration advice. Also seems like this FIOS service has frequently mentioned upload speed issues with non-ISP provided equipment.
 

ForkWNY

Senior Member
I haven't been able to find a setting for hardware offloading within Omada 5.7.4 (I did some searching last night as well), so not sure if that's a default setting somewhere or they removed it from Omada for whatever reason. It's no longer in Advanced Settings...(just wifi settings there now).

1670777493017.png


I'm also not understanding how this is possible:

1670777223228.png


How can app optimized routing AND failover/link backup be enabled at the same time? My thought with link backup is that load balancing would be nixed entirely, secondary WAN use for failover only. As much as it's nice to load balance 1Gb/1Gb on the download side, my cable ISP only does 40Mbps upload, so I figured it was better overall to have everything pushed out through the primary WAN (which is Fios 1Gb symmetrical).
 

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