Unhappy with Asus RT-N66U

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vredin

New Around Here
Hello,

During last 4-5 years I'm using Asus RT-N66U
Initially everything was good - I worked in office and used internet at evenings.
Later I switched to work from home and found some issues
1) This router can't give internet for the most remote room (~10 meters from router thru couple of some walls one of them is about 70 cm thickness)
2) Speed is not good (provider gives me 100MB). I tried Xiaomi - speed is about 10-15% higher but stability worse
3) About 2 months ago I connected 2nd provider to improve reliability (now I'm freelancer and need to have good internet). But this router works very bad with 2 providers. My tvbox stucks a lot of time, phone switched to mobile internet often and my laptops lose connection to the wifi not so rare as I expect.

All the time I used stock firmware.
Yesterday I tried to flash last firmware from Merlin but found that it doesn't work for me (with 2 providers).
Today going to try Tomato firmware.

Can you suggest solution for my case? How to increase coverage of wifi in my flat and work with 2 providers?
Maybe its time to switch to Microtic ac lite / ac2 or Tplink deka5?
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
Hello,

During last 4-5 years I'm using Asus RT-N66U
Initially everything was good - I worked in office and used internet at evenings.
Later I switched to work from home and found some issues
1) This router can't give internet for the most remote room (~10 meters from router thru couple of some walls one of them is about 70 cm thickness)
2) Speed is not good (provider gives me 100MB). I tried Xiaomi - speed is about 10-15% higher but stability worse
3) About 2 months ago I connected 2nd provider to improve reliability (now I'm freelancer and need to have good internet). But this router works very bad with 2 providers. My tvbox stucks a lot of time, phone switched to mobile internet often and my laptops lose connection to the wifi not so rare as I expect.

All the time I used stock firmware.
Yesterday I tried to flash last firmware from Merlin but found that it doesn't work for me (with 2 providers).
Today going to try Tomato firmware.

Can you suggest solution for my case? How to increase coverage of wifi in my flat and work with 2 providers?
Maybe its time to switch to Microtic ac lite / ac2 or Tplink deka5?
The N66U is a good router. It was my first Asus router and I ran Merlin firmware on it. Now the best firmware for the N66U is the Merlin fork. See https://www.snbforums.com/threads/fork-asuswrt-merlin-374-43-lts-releases-v44ea.18914/
May not give better range but a new router may not either.
 
C

COBOL-Coder

Guest
Perhaps it's time to bite the bullet & move on. Since you like(ed) your router initially you might consider a pair of ASUS RT-AC66U B1 (AC1750) routers (the newer version of what you have) configured in an AiMesh arrangement. Amazon sells this model for a modest $93 US which for what you get I think would be a reasonable expenditure. The flexabilty of an AiMesh arrangement plus the capability of the newer AC66U's should handle your needs well as I understand them to be.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
It is time to upgrade your router hardware, especially if your client devices support 802.11ac. The n66 is 2-3 generations behind, and while it still works, the newer routers are better equipped to meet modern/current demands; ac66 is an upgrade, ac68 is a bigger one, ac86 better than that and now ax86/88 is best - my suggestion is to get no less than a pair of ac68 meshed to contend with that 70cm wall, or for a longer replacement interval, 2 AC86 meshed.
 

StR

Occasional Visitor
I've been using RT-N66R for about the same period of time, also with the last Merlin firmware (380.70).

I agree that the range could be better. With the onset of work and school from home, when the increased use of Zoom, Skype, WebEx, I've started noticing some issues (occasional hiccups in Skype video sessions, and occasionally in Zoom)
Those issues are see in a few points in my house where the signal has to go through 3 drywalls at a distance of 10-15 meters (30-45 ft.). In my case, due to the equipment that is connected via Ethernet, the router is in the side room (office).

However, I do not see any issues with the speed (I have 100/10 Mbps) outside of those spots.

I am in the process of upgrading and reconfiguring my setup: I just purchased RT-AC86U, which I am trying to set up in the center of the house, and last night, I switched RT-N66R to the media-bridge mode, to connect all the wired devices.
Even from the spot near the RT-N66R, AC86U seems to provide a better connectivity, especially in 5GHz band. So, even if my plan of relocating the router with the active AP to the middle of the house will not be successful (I am currently blocked by the phone jack wiring issues, which prevents me from relocating the modem), it seems that just the upgrade to AC86U yielded some noticeable improvement.

I have never tried any of these routers in the dual-WAN configuration. I've been wondering how well AC86U would work with that. I've seen some discussions on this board about that relatively recently, with some people reporting issues, but I don't remember with which (ASUS) router model.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Unhappy with Asus RT-N66U
I grew unhappy with my N66U, so I replaced it with an AC68U... over 5 years ago. Then I upgraded the 68U to 2xAC86U wireless AiMesh for a new home that needed more coverage.

OE
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
I grew unhappy with my N66U, so I replaced it with an AC68U... over 5 years ago. Then I upgraded the 68U to 2xAC86U wireless AiMesh for a new home that needed more coverage.

OE
#ThisIsTheWay
and it will be for the AX series, and whatever follows them
(firmware v386 will be very interesting...)
 

DarkKnight75

Senior Member
Hello,

During last 4-5 years I'm using Asus RT-N66U
Initially everything was good - I worked in office and used internet at evenings.
Later I switched to work from home and found some issues
1) This router can't give internet for the most remote room (~10 meters from router thru couple of some walls one of them is about 70 cm thickness)
2) Speed is not good (provider gives me 100MB). I tried Xiaomi - speed is about 10-15% higher but stability worse
3) About 2 months ago I connected 2nd provider to improve reliability (now I'm freelancer and need to have good internet). But this router works very bad with 2 providers. My tvbox stucks a lot of time, phone switched to mobile internet often and my laptops lose connection to the wifi not so rare as I expect.

All the time I used stock firmware.
Yesterday I tried to flash last firmware from Merlin but found that it doesn't work for me (with 2 providers).
Today going to try Tomato firmware.

Can you suggest solution for my case? How to increase coverage of wifi in my flat and work with 2 providers?
Maybe its time to switch to Microtic ac lite / ac2 or Tplink deka5?
I was in your shoes and got fed up with my n66u last year and got an ac86u...all my problems went away..you should do the same.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
During last 4-5 years I'm using Asus RT-
I would think that if you got that many years out of a piece of technology in an ever changing world, that you did pretty well. As mentioned above, it is a couple generations old now so not surprising that it does not meet your new and increased demands. Time to upgrade.

Although, to give it a fair shot, installing the newest firmware and fully resetting the router to defaults then manually reconfiguring, would be a good test to ensure you don't have a legacy / residual issue, and it costs you nothing to try it except a couple hours of your time.
 

wh7qq

Regular Contributor
Some versions of the firmware give better range than others. The best is probably from John's fork of the Merlin software and the very latest upgrade is at https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AKXdaMzjqVKbGsc&id=9332FC159A7E129!1117&cid=09332FC159A7E129. It was upgraded in August 2020 so it addresses recent threats. I have been running it on my RT-N66 for several weeks now with no problems. As long as current firmware is available, I plan on keeping the RT-N66 and this firmware works great but the N66 may not do so well with a 100M feed.

Note that recent AsusWRT firmware lock out upgrading to firmware from other sources so if you have recent AsusWRT firmware, it may be necessary to revert to the original firmware before trying to load any more recent forks. Tomato has not been recently upgraded so it may be a poor choice.

Your range problem may require something like a "range extender" but a newer router may not be your answer either.
 

KsWoodsMan

Occasional Visitor
I have an RT-N66U that I tried setting up for Dual Wan (2 providers) and was disappointed with the results when trying to bond the connections.
I didn't spend a lot of time with it. But was discouraged that my latency dropped considerably from 40 ms with either provider to nearly 200ms when Dual-Wan was enabled. This caused slower web browsing and seemed to also total throughput to from internet sites.

I live in the styx. Internet connections here pale in comparison to what others have available.
My setup was AT&T DSL at 6Mb/s down 1 Mb/s up and Cox cable at 25Mb/s down 5 Mb/s up.
These were verified with several different speed test sites.
My best results , with Dual-Wan enabled, were at 4:1, my throughput still never exceeded 20Mb/s and , as mentioned , the latency dropped as did the "feel".
My best results were with setting it up with the 6Mb/s DSL as a fail-over. Connectivity wasn't mission critical and I couldn't justify the cost of 2 connections for the "gain". I eventually dropped the notion of Dual-Wan for anything useful at the time.
Dual-Wan, with this router/AP, wasn't a solution for what I wanted.

I do get excellent range from my RT-N66U throughout my home and outside.
My only reason to upgrade the hardware would be for features and more secure firmware.
I have metal siding over wood sheeting with drywall.
My device is nearly centrally located in the house along an outside wall (in a window) and covers the 1200 sqft here as well as my daughter's house next door. Her neighbor (2 doors down from me) works out of town during the week and has asked about connecting to it on the weekends.

Is it possible to move the router/AP closer to where you use it the most or where it's most needed to reliably work from home ?
IMHO , If you can't get the AP closer to your work area then AI-Mesh, a repeater or a second AP hard wired in your home office might be your best solution.
 

Daybreak

Regular Contributor
Did you think it was a fine wine?
Did you think it would get better over time?
The RT-N66U is getting dated.
Anyway, there are more ASUS router out there.
 

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