Upgrade from RT-AC68u to RT-AX86u

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gogreen1

Regular Contributor
In the next few months, I'm going to upgrade my router from my RT-AC68u to an RT-AX86u (when the vendors I'm watching have it in stock). I haven't found specific instructions for this task, so I'm wondering if this process will be simple or complicated. My plan is to:
  1. Save my old router settings to a .CFG file and then unplug the old router.
  2. Plug in the new router and connect it to my modem (Arris TM722G/CT--Comcast).
  3. Via the Asus login, update the new router's firmware.
  4. Restore the old router's settings from the .CFG file.
  5. Connect my iMac via cable to the router for a wired connection.
  6. Change the Asus login and password to those of the old router.
  7. Let my other 7 wireless clients search for and find the new connection and connect in the usual manner.
Would this plan work, or am I dreaming?

Note: I might use the old router in an AiMesh setup later, but initially, I'm just setting up the standalone new router.

Thanks.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
In the next few months, I'm going to upgrade my router from my RT-AC68u to an RT-AX86u (when the vendors I'm watching have it in stock). I haven't found specific instructions for this task, so I'm wondering if this process will be simple or complicated. My plan is to:
  1. Save my old router settings to a .CFG file and then unplug the old router.
  2. Plug in the new router and connect it to my modem (Arris TM722G/CT--Comcast).
  3. Via the Asus login, update the new router's firmware.
  4. Restore the old router's settings from the .CFG file.
  5. Connect my iMac via cable to the router for a wired connection.
  6. Change the Asus login and password to those of the old router.
  7. Let my other 7 wireless clients search for and find the new connection and connect in the usual manner.
Would this plan work, or am I dreaming?

Note: I might use the old router in an AiMesh setup later, but initially, I'm just setting up the standalone new router.

Thanks.

1. Download the current AX86U firmware. Run WinMD5 to verify the firmware file MD5 checksum value.

2. Wire a PC to the AX86U and commission your new network (upload the firmware, reset it, and configure it minimally from scratch). You can not restore an AC68U firmware/router configuration to an AX86U firmware/router, so stop dreaming.

Reset FAQ
Reset Button/webUI Restore (my preference)
WPS Button Hard Reset

See my install notes if you need basic configuration clues (no AX bits yet). Includes link for testing your WAN security at grc.com.

3. Set aside your existing router and install your new router. Reboot your cable modem. Login and review your new router status. Give it time to settle in.

You can reuse your existing WiFi credentials. Assuming you will later recommission the AC68U as remote node, you should use different SSIDs per band. And use fixed, least congested, non-DFS channels. I suggest you not use 160 MHz bandwidth until your network supports WiFi 6e (many more channels for 160 MHz bandwidth use on the 6 GHz band)... or wait until after your new network is working well without it, so that you know the difference.

OE
 
Last edited:

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
WIFI recommendations for the AX router:
On initial setup use a WIFI SSID of up to eight letters and a passphrase of up to eight letters and numbers. No special characters. Use the AX settings.
Once into the GUI, use Dual Band SmartConnect, Authentication Method - WPA2/WPA3-Personal, 2.4 GHz - Channel bandwidth 20MHz, Control Channel - 1, 6 or 11, 5 GHz - Channel bandwidth 80MHz, Control Channel 36 or 149 (do not use DFS channels) To start I recommend you do not enable 160 MHz. In Professional disable Airtime Fairness and Universal Beamforming for both bands. Under Professional 2.4 GHz Roaming assistant set to -55.
If you are not going to use AiMesh I recommend disabling WPS but enable it when you do set up AiMesh.
I would also recommend checking the cable between the modem and router. Needs to be CAT 5 at a minimum with no kinks, folds or crushed areas. Some will say it needs to be CAT6 but that is not necessary. If you have made your own cable at a minimum do a continuity test to be sure the ends are crimped correctly.
These are settings that are working well for me on my AX86U with Asus factory firmware. I have also made up the CAT 5 cable which runs to my ONT which is outside.

Best of luck.
 
Last edited:

Tech9

Very Senior Member
use Dual Band SmartConnect

I don't know why you recommend SmartConnect all the time. There is much more control over the devices connection with two separate SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. I see the SmartConnect rules page in Asuswrt and it's a PITA to adjust the rules right for different environments. We all have different Wi-Fi environments. I don't believe Asus defaults are the universal best solution, it may or may not work right. Separate SSIDs work always, guaranteed.
 

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
As a followup, setting up my new RT-AX86u was quite easy. I used my old network names and passwords with the new router, and that setup was easy with the Asus app (I did that on my iMac). Some of my router clients worked immediately with the new router. I just connected the others manually. I was worried about how this changeover would go, but it went surprisingly smoothly. :cool: I live in a single-story home. The RT-AX86u's signals are strong enough that I don't need to set up the old router as an Aimesh node.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
What you can use your old AC68U router is Wireless Bridge, or Media Bridge as per Asuswrt. It turns the router into high-powered 3x3 AC client for wired devices. Consoles, PCs, TVs, etc. with up to 1300Mbps link to your main router. Media Bridge doesn't serve Wi-Fi for wireless clients.
 

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