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What does the Asus+Merlin router have that other routers don't?

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and wrote that he should rather buy TP link XYZ,
Did TP-Link finally stopped using 10+ years old versions of dnsmasq and openssl? because back in the day when I checked their firmware, it was REALLY bad there...
 
The cars that can beat a fine tuned exotic to 100 KM/h are many. None have the feel of the exotic though. Nor it's prowess in the real world (road or track).

The difference with an RMerlin powered Asus router is the same. The difference is Eric (aka, RMerlin).

He not only amplifies the excellent base that Asus provides, his work is also amplified by the scripts and dev's that build on his work too. Including the testing/changes made during Alpha/Beta testing, and regular users too.

Are there faster routers? Yes. Are there routers with more features? Possibly.

But none as well balanced (with a tilt towards security), with as many features, as high a performance, and with the longest support for anywhere near the cost.

The people who do not understand this, are simply not using them.

Just look at the features/about pages and see if any other manufacturer can provide what RMerlin does.


 
I wrote him to buy the GT-AX6000, it was currently on our online stores from €242. Then "intelligent" joined the discussion and wrote that he should rather buy TP link XYZ, which is equally powerful but €40 cheaper.

This is different. I would recommend GT-AX6000 over equivalent hardware TP-Link as well. TP-Link home router is good when the user doesn't have too many requirements and the budget is limited. You guys mixed home and business equipment and this conversation is going nowhere. If you want stable set and forget equipment from TP-Link - you pay more for Omada. If you want cheaper toy with Ubiquiti on it - get the Dream Machine soda can. Omada is not the Archer for $100 and Dream Machine is not a good example of what Ubiquiti can do. There is something for everyone.
 
A lot of former Ubiquiti fans seem to be unhappy with their product shift to the Dream platform. What is bad about the change? Fewer features, locked infrastructure? (I'm not familiar with Ubiquiti products, just wondering why the recent unhappiness with their product direction).
 
A lot of former Ubiquiti fans seem to be unhappy with their product

No experience with Dreams, but I got rid of one UniFi set because of endless updates*. Every time I check there was an update and not guaranteed to fix anything. The fans are about the UniFi "experience" - nice polished UI, white Apple like styling, AP skins... Not bad, but annoying for business.

* - Asus is similar, by the way. Frequent updates, but many things broken every time. Wasting your time as well.
 
No experience with Dreams, but I got rid of one UniFi set because of endless updates*. Every time I check there was an update and not guaranteed to fix anything. The fans are about the UniFi "experience" - nice polished UI, white Apple like styling, AP skins... Not bad, but annoying for business.
Which makes me wonder: what is there these days that`s a good prosummer ecosystem? Mikrotik is flawed, Ubiquiti lost a lot in popularity... Is Netgate the only real alternative available?

I know that you can build your own x86 box to run pfsense/opensense/XGS FIrewall/OpenWRT/etc..., but I mean for a small business who don't have the internal expertise to build and maintain these DIY solutions. Seems to be you can go with SOHO off the shelves products from Asus/Netgear, or pay big bucks for Netgate/Cisco/Sonic/etc.. Or hope that your ISP provides a non-sucky product. With Bell (for instance), you can get complete garbage like the HH2000 (which can take 1-2 minutes to load a single UI page), or get lucky and get a HH4000 or GigaHub. Vidéotron's Zyxel is actually pretty good.

I haven't looked closely into Synology's offer, but considering they already have a foothold in the business market, they probably have the potential to be a significant player in that market, assuming they can deliver, and find it profitable enough to devote significant resources into development.
 
Which makes me wonder: what is there these days that`s a good prosummer ecosystem? Mikrotik is flawed, Ubiquiti lost a lot in popularity... Is Netgate the only real alternative available?

I know that you can build your own x86 box to run pfsense/opensense/XGS FIrewall/OpenWRT/etc..., but I mean for a small business who don't have the internal expertise to build and maintain these DIY solutions. Seems to be you can go with SOHO off the shelves products from Asus/Netgear, or pay big bucks for Netgate/Cisco/Sonic/etc.. Or hope that your ISP provides a non-sucky product. With Bell (for instance), you can get complete garbage like the HH2000 (which can take 1-2 minutes to load a single UI page), or get lucky and get a HH4000 or GigaHub. Vidéotron's Zyxel is actually pretty good.

I haven't looked closely into Synology's offer, but considering they already have a foothold in the business market, they probably have the potential to be a significant player in that market, assuming they can deliver, and find it profitable enough to devote significant resources into development.
Cisco and HP have SMB solutions. I don't know much about them.
 
Cisco and HP have SMB solutions. I don't know much about them.
SMB implies $1000+ solutions with yearly service contracts. That's a different market.

I'm thinking more about a business of 25-75 employees.
 
SMB implies $1000+ solutions with yearly service contracts. That's a different market.

I'm thinking more about a business of 25-75 employees.
Small starts with 5 employees. The Cisco Business 150AX Dual Band AP is $125 at Newegg and the AC model is $85. Of course Cisco lists them for nearly double that. They try to get you to use their cloud management with an annual subscription yet it's not required. Support is not required. Support is not required in the enterprise eather. I always had support for the more expensive components as they were too expensive to stock.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/small-business/networking/wireless.html#~products

Looking at this it's quite interesting. One still needs a router and/or firewall as well as switches that support VLANs and there are plenty of options from Cisco and many others including low cost and free. Cisco's firewall/switch will run you $800 or so. If you add up what a few AI Mesh nodes cost the price is close.

Surprised? I was when I saw the new line.
 
what is there these days that`s a good prosummer ecosystem?

All from one brand and acceptable for home use price UniFi and Omada. Edge routers are on life support, has to be UDM Pro. MikroTik is not popular around here, but good quality and cheap. More popular in Europe. Cisco has everything of course, but expensive and with licenses. Firepower 1000-series is the cheapest, new cheaper 150AX APs are available now. Netgate has a new 4100 firewall with good specs. Arista (Untangle) has Q4 appliance, but needs license as well. HP/Aruba and CommScope/Ruckus - out of question, no home user needs $1000 AP with 500 clients support. Some exotics - Peplink, very good, but expensive. Netgear - not successful Insight wired router, APs with licenses, pass. Business switches good and popular.

know that you can build your own x86 box to run pfsense/opensense/XGS FIrewall/OpenWRT/etc...

The best home solution with switch and APs of choice, controller based and centrally managed, done in stages when time and budget allows. It may cost >$1000 at the end, but most of it is reusable, each component is more stable and upgrades are less costly. UniFi has a lot of updates and little annoyances, but nothing even close to sticky GUI or firewall bug. Omada has less updates, but surprisingly stable and mature. Low-end UniFi APs are MediaTek, low-end Omada are Qualcomm. TP-Link may piss you off with 15 hardware revisions of the same thing with the same product number, but SDN integrated products work the same way, so not very critical. My opinion - go with Omada, it works similar to UniFi and costs less. iPhone vs Galaxy basically.
 
Small starts with 5 employees. The Cisco Business 150AX Dual Band AP is $125 at Newegg and the AC model is $85.
Those are just APs tho, there are tons of affordable players in that market. I was more thinking on the router side of things.
 
stability long FW update life , security , for a home router cannot be beat I switched from linkless and notgear 12 years ago have not looked back . plus the support you get here

I agree with you even when I have to replace the Asus products do to early deaths.
 
Those are just APs tho, there are tons of affordable players in that market. I was more thinking on the router side of things.

All the decent firewalls start at $500 and are more typically $800 for what we need. The Sophos 3rd gen firewall runs on X86 code and they make it available for free to the home lab user.
When you look at the cost of there hardware it's completive with building your own.
I'd much rather have this than PFsense as the malware signatures and hostile lists come from the AV Consortium rather than open where hackers have inserted blocks of update servers including Microsoft's.

I never used the Sophos firewalls. Of the ones I used Palo Alto was a joy and they are super expensive. I also used Cisco and Barracuda. Ratings for these enterprise firewalls:

When you think abut what we get on our inexpensive Asus routers, it's a great deal and they do most of what the above systems do. They lack the deep packet inspection yet if you are running AV and protect your IOT from the outside it's good enough.
 
I'd much rather have this than PFsense as the malware signatures and hostile lists come from the AV Consortium rather than open

You can get rules and blocklists from the big guys in security, but free ones are not guaranteed current. If you need guaranteed and quick - subscription. Snort in pfSense is a Cisco software. Community support - free, more like a demo. Business - bring your wallet, the thick one. Same for Suricata and pfBlocker-NG. If you want guaranteed - choose your provider and pay subscription. Expect something similar from all free home firewalls.
 
You can get rules and blocklists from the big guys in security, but free ones are not guaranteed current. If you need guaranteed and quick - subscription. Snort in pfSense is a Cisco software. Community support - free, more like a demo. Business - bring your wallet, the thick one. Same for Suricata and pfBlocker-NG. If you want guaranteed - choose your provider and pay subscription. Expect something similar from all free home firewalls.

With this exception:

Sophos Firewall Home Edition​


Note, I've had this bookmarked for a couple of years and have not tried it. It's real next gen enterprise firewall code.
 
Which makes me wonder: what is there these days that`s a good prosummer ecosystem? Mikrotik is flawed, Ubiquiti lost a lot in popularity... Is Netgate the only real alternative available?

I know that you can build your own x86 box to run pfsense/opensense/XGS FIrewall/OpenWRT/etc..., but I mean for a small business who don't have the internal expertise to build and maintain these DIY solutions. Seems to be you can go with SOHO off the shelves products from Asus/Netgear, or pay big bucks for Netgate/Cisco/Sonic/etc.. Or hope that your ISP provides a non-sucky product. With Bell (for instance), you can get complete garbage like the HH2000 (which can take 1-2 minutes to load a single UI page), or get lucky and get a HH4000 or GigaHub. Vidéotron's Zyxel is actually pretty good.

I haven't looked closely into Synology's offer, but considering they already have a foothold in the business market, they probably have the potential to be a significant player in that market, assuming they can deliver, and find it profitable enough to devote significant resources into development.
Same. Curious about the Synology WRX560.
 
Hello. For now, I still have the old AC68U. Ever since I've known Merlin, I've learned many things thanks to this forum and this great community. I don't usually participate in public discussions, but on FB I defended Asus products, specifically routers. Maybe I overdid it when I wrote to one guy that what he gets with the Asus + Merlin router he won't find anywhere else. He laughed at me with the answer: what about Cisco, for example? Mikrotik? Ubiquiti? Fortinet? I can't answer him because I don't know these brands, but I think that if some of these brands had what Asus and Merlin have, I would have heard about it. That's why I want to ask you who at least knows a little about other manufacturers and can compare it. Write what you can do with Asus Merlin and you won't find it with another router from another manufacturer. Thank you

Late to the discussion but seems like a pointless argument. If they want to compare Asus/Merlin to another home oriented router with some other 3rd party firmware, then there are debates to be had. But those brands are really not part of the discussion.

Cisco and Fortinet are not going to be in anything but the most advanced of homes. Mikrotik and Ubiquiti make great products that have a lot of features at great price points, but again the average home is not going to use them (plenty of power users out there that have them in their homes, but it is not a proper comparison, they are for totally different user bases).

For someone that just wants some extra features and flexibility on a home based router that is as stable and reliable as the "stock" firmware, I'm not aware of anything comparable. There are some great 3rd party firmware options out there for people who want to get into VLANs and advanced firewall etc but stability is a much bigger issue with those. For every 5 releases there may be 1 pretty solid one.

Honestly even the stock Asus firmware gives a lot more features and tunability than any other stock firmware home routers I've seen.
 

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