What's new

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

  • SNBForums Code of Conduct

    SNBForums is a community for everyone, no matter what their level of experience.

    Please be tolerant and patient of others, especially newcomers. We are all here to share and learn!

    The rules are simple: Be patient, be nice, be helpful or be gone!

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).

I think it is just purely fear of change. Ironically the shift is most likely to do with the fact that so many people don't like that you have to either run a server or pay a monthly fee for management on the Unifi platform. But Unifi is still supported, haven't heard of it going away, though maybe it will. Would be surprising if they gave up their cloud income though.
 
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.

Mikrotik and Ubiquiti are probably still the most popular prosumer and SOHO ones. But an evolution/shift may have started. Ubiquiti seems to be trying to shift more into the medium and even larger business space (well they have been for quite a while but seems like they're pushing harder now).

Next step up from the above for SMB is usually going to be the Cisco SMB stuff. Cisco SMB is fairly reasonably priced (though the price to performance ratio isn't as good as the two above). Cisco has a lock on the industry since most people who are out doing consulting and contract work for SMBs are familiar with setting up Cisco stuff and they have massive brand recognition, so you tell a client you're installing cisco stuff for them, they're going to be happy.
 
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
And there’s one thing you get with Asus Merlin that no-one’s explicitly mentioned: a terrific forum full of decent, helpful people willing to give their expertise and free time and where there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Life’s too short to be dragged into a pi$$ing contest on Facebook. You’d get a far better return on your time by, for example, browsing posts on the forum or keeping up to date with all the various settings and pages on the router’s GUI. Start 2023 on the right foot and do what I’ve done: blacklist Facebook (and Twitter) via Diversion.

But thanks for your loyalty - another devoted Merlin disciple to add to the long list.

Happy new year.
 
Last edited:
And there’s one thing you get with Asus Merlin that no-one’s explicitly mentioned: a terrific forum full of decent, helpful people willing to give their expertise and free time and where there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Life’s too short to be dragged into a pi$$ing contest on Facebook. You’d get a far better return on your time by, for example, browsing posts on the forum or keeping up to date with all the various settings and pages on the router’s GUI. Start 2023 on the right foot and do what I’ve done: blacklist Facebook (and Twitter) via Diversion.

But thanks for your loyalty - another devoted Merlin disciple to add to the long list.

Happy new year.
This. I started with ISP's router, moved to DrayTek 2765ac, good customer support but their GUI/FW is not noob friendly at all. When I've done my research and stumbled upon Asuswrt-Merlin - bought the router and flashed it straight to Merlin FW without even trying stock firmware. And this forum is a huge plus! Looking back at my old posts, I think I learned a lot and interested in learning more
 
I agree with you even when I have to replace the Asus products do to early deaths.
I guess we have been lucky. We have placed 40 or 50 ASUS routers into home networks since the RT-N66U was the "standard bearer." The only failure I know of was a worn-out "wall-wart" power supply.

I still have some of the N66's in the storeroom that we replaced only because of the increasing bandwidth now being offered by ISPs. I use them occasionally as access points where speed is not an issue.
 
Write what you can do with Asus Merlin and you won't find it with another router from another manufacturer.

Perform wonderful acts of Magic
 
@Nesalex - don't start conversations like this unprepared. It wasn't very clear for you as well why you have an Asus router with 3rd party firmware on it. You know now there are other alternatives. The fact someone has different preferences or needs doesn't make him less "intelligent" than you. Carrying more tools on your belt doesn't make you a professional. Sometimes you only carry more weight for no reason. There are much more advanced products on the market for whoever needs them and much easier to use ones for non-technical users. As I often say there is no one size fits all solution. If you follow my posts you can see me recommending from $50 home router to $800 firewall. Everything else is outside of the scope of this forum.
 
Yes, conveniently ignore that his post/questions only belongs in this forum though. :rolleyes:
 
I don't know. It's not very popular. I can try it soon as a weekend project. Hardware available.


I'd love to know how this goes for you. They are very well regarded in the enterprise space.
 
It's going to be re-test, eventually. When XG came out it was much worse than UTM. I have some fun projects for 2023, will let you know.
 
It's going to be re-test, eventually. When XG came out it was much worse than UTM. I have some fun projects for 2023, will let you know.
I tinkered with it a few years ago. Definitely has a more user-friendly UI than pfsense that I was also trying out at the same time.
 
ASUS Merlin have a "MAN" function, which can put a device on ISP IP even if all devices are on VPN, a very handy thing.
I have a Synology RT6600AX, this one does not have this function. Does anyone know if this router can handle the MAN function? It is useful to put a device on local ISP IP to get Netflix working when on VPN.
 
ASUS Merlin have a "MAN" function, which can put a device on ISP IP even if all devices are on VPN, a very handy thing.
I have a Synology RT6600AX, this one does not have this function. Does anyone know if this router can handle the MAN function? It is useful to put a device on local ISP IP to get Netflix working when on VPN.
MAN is an option when you set up static routing. But using the VPN director you have the option to direct devices either to the VPN or ISP.
 
MAN is an option when you set up static routing. But using the VPN director you have the option to direct devices either to the VPN or ISP.
This option was my main reason for switching to Merlin even though Tech9 knows better than me that I have no idea why I'm using 3rd party software...
 
Asuswrt-Merlin on a home router is a swiss knife for your occasional weekend hiking with your family and friends. The price starts from $100 and it's easy to use. Sometimes you may get rust on it, may need some oil and care. If you need business networking equipment the price starts from $1000 and there is no upper limit. You also need networking skills or an entire IT department depending on the scale. There is no comparison between the two. Different products for different markets. Ubiquiti UniFi and TP-Link Omada are the cheapest alternatives to home routers, but still more expensive and not as user friendly. They have business oriented features not available to home routers. The quality of hardware and software is higher as well as reliability. Home router with USB stick is as reliable as the USB stick. Most home users don't need anything more than that though. Home AIO routers are disposable.

I use both home routers and professional equipment for different purposes. Asus router has no use in my business, but I have one $100 Asus router serving well as VPN exit point in another country for my personal use. No need to pay $1000 for Cisco equipment for this purpose. I also have one Synology home router for personal use and I find it better that Asus routers with it's original firmware. More stable with actually working features.
I've been an enterprise network engineer for many years. I've designed networks for large fortune 500 companies. Merlin is a great firmware and does offer many features. I've used it for many years and continue to use it in my lab. I recommend Merlin for folks starting out in networking / info sec. There are solutions that offer more features; however, the learning curve is greatly increases. For example, you now get Wireguard in Merlin, however hardware acceleration gets disabled. (hardware limitations) If you need to export netflow or flow data for network detection and response, you'll need a solution that scales for that. For some it depends on what your use case is. For about 99% of the population Merlin is fantastic. Many of you here are enthusiast or looking to grow in your fields and for that you won't find a better solution or starting point. If you'd like to setup similar features in let's say OPNsense or PFsense the learning curve increases as does the cost. At the end of the day, open source is cheap, flexible and fun!
 
Play with this a bit:


I need to get to my RT2600ac to see what's possible on it.

thanks everyone!
If static route, then what if ISP IP is dynamic, it can change. I appreciate if someone could come up with a solution.
 
Merlin has; style.

Ended.
 

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top