What to get...

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Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Hello, new to the forum, please be gentle...

My current AP is a single RT-N66R, with firmware v. 3.0.0.4.382_51641 that had been serving me well. This AP used to have the Marlin firmware as well, until its support ended couple of years ego and so did Asus updates awhile ego. At least, I could not find a newer version of firmware for the RT-N66R. Running an AP that no longer has update is a risk, that I am not willing to take.

Questions about the targeted replacement of Asus RT-AX88U...

The RT-AX88U will also be a single AP, no plans for mesh network, providing wireless connection for two TVs, couple of Windows and Apple laptops, iPhones and guest network occasionally. The TVs currently support 2.4 GHz wireless connection only and as such, the stability of the 2.4 GHz wireless is important. Is the RT-AX88U the right AP to get? And if it is....

Can I just backup the RT-N66R configuration and restore it to the new RT-AX88U? The chances are that the answer is no, but I just had to ask...

TIA
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Can I just backup the RT-N66R configuration and restore it to the new RT-AX88U? The chances are that the answer is no, but I just had to ask...
No. But then if you're only running it as an AP rather than a router there should be hardly anything to configure.
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
No. But then if you're only running it as an AP rather than a router there should be hardly anything to configure.
Thanks...

Well, not exactly... I should have mentioned that the current AP configuration is anything but "standard". It's a non-default IP address range, reserved IPs, SSIDs, MAC adddress filtering, etc. It's not that hard to replicate the current configuration manually, but would had been a lot faster just to restore from the RT-N66R backup.

I am more concerned about the 2.4 GHz wireless stability, after seeing some of the posts, that couldn't make it stable. Was this issue addressed by the latest firmware for the RT-AX88U?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Ah, OK. So it's not being used as an AP but as a wireless router. Got it.

I can't help you on the RT-AX88U as I don't have one. :(
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks...

Well, not exactly... I should have mentioned that the current AP configuration is anything but "standard". It's a non-default IP address range, reserved IPs, SSIDs, MAC adddress filtering, etc. It's not that hard to replicate the current configuration manually, but would had been a lot faster just to restore from the RT-N66R backup.

I am more concerned about the 2.4 GHz wireless stability, after seeing some of the posts, that couldn't make it stable. Was this issue addressed by the latest firmware for the RT-AX88U?
Sounds like you are running the N66R as a router not an Access Point.
A good step up would be an AC86U. For a bit of future proof an AX86U or for a bit of savings an AX68U. In my opinion the AX88U would be overkill for you and a lot more money.
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Sounds like you are running the N66R as a router not an Access Point.
A good step up would be an AC86U. For a bit of future proof an AX86U or for a bit of savings an AX68U. In my opinion the AX88U would be overkill for you and a lot more money.
It's more like a broadband wireless router, instead of AP, you are correct...

For all practical purposes, even the AX68U is an overkill for my current needs. The reason for picking the AX88U is more of a future proofing and longer update support.

The question is then, which one will have less issues with the 2.4 GHz, the AX86U or the AX88U? Future proofing be damned, there will be a long time before TVs will support WiFi 6 anyway...
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
It's more like a broadband wireless router, instead of AP, you are correct...

For all practical purposes, even the AX68U is an overkill for my current needs. The reason for picking the AX88U is more of a future proofing and longer update support.

The question is then, which one will have less issues with the 2.4 GHz, the AX86U or the AX88U? Future proofing be damned, there will be a long time before TVs will support WiFi 6 anyway...
As a user of the AX86U I can affirm the 2.4 GHz WIFI works well on Merlin and Asus factory firmware. I am even running some very old G IP cams with no issues. I had run an AC86U, with no major issues, for a year prior to getting the AX86U. I upgraded because I could and like to try new things with the router. True, most of my clients are N and AC but they do work very well on the AX86U. Your problem may be finding one to buy. Many feel the AX68U will be like the AC68U in the sense that it will be supported for a very long time (in electronics life time, that is).
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Thank you all for your help and quick responses, much appreciated...

AX68U it is, ordered, delivery promised in two weeks...

Not being able to restore the N66R configuration to the new router is probably a blessing. I'll just redesign the current network, IP ranges, SSIDs, etc., in advance; haven't changed the PSK for the WPA2 for six month or so anyway.
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Is the referenced link for installing AsusRT-Merlin firmware?

My N66R used to have that firware, until Marlin stopped updating it, then the router got the AsusRT that also no longer updated anymore by Asus. Hence moving to the AX86U.

Once the new router is running with the latest frimware and the redesigned network settings, the latest AsusRT-Merlin firmware will be installed. Yes, after backing up the settings, firmware, etc.

Just curious...

The ASUS AX5700 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX86U) does come with 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface. Can you just use this interface to backup/store/restore configuration of the router? If that's workable,
maybe just get a external m.2 enclosure for my Samsung NVMe x 4 in the draw...
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Merlin not Marlin.

The ASUS AX5700 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX86U) does come with 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface. Can you just use this interface to backup/store/restore configuration of the router?
You backup the configuration by logging into the router's GUI and clicking on the relevant button. Your browser then downloads the file to your PC (or wherever else you decide to put it).
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Merlin not Marlin.


You backup the configuration by logging into the router's GUI and clicking on the relevant button. Your browser then downloads the file to your PC (or wherever else you decide to put it).
My apologies for mistyping Merlin, I guess it happens with other fisherman too...;)

So, you cannot use the router's USB port to backup the router, correct? If that's the case, then why would you need the latest USB port for a computer? After all, the downloading/uploading the router configuration will take place over the 1Gb network, with max throughput of 125 MB/s, if you disregard the data transfer overhead. Not to mention, that this throughput drops like a brick with small files. Maybe I am wrong, but any good HDD, USB 3.0 flashdriver, SSD, etc., the 1 Gb network is the bottle-neck as far as throughput is concerned...
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The USB drive is intended to be used to share files on the LAN, through Samba (Windows) shares, FTP server, Media server, iTunes server or Time Machine. That's why the interface is fast, because it's expected to be used to store large quantities of data, like media files.

It's not particularly intended to be used to backup the router's settings (which is very small). But if you've set it up as a Samba share there's nothing to stop you using that as the download location instead on your PC.

If you're using Merlin's firmware rather than stock you could create a script on the router that ran automatically (say once a week) that backed up the settings to the USB drive. That way you wouldn't need to log into the GUI. Of course the danger of that approach is that there's no human interaction to confirm that it's worked. Often an automatic process will stop working for some unexpected reason and the only time you find out is when you need to use the backup and discover it's not there.
 
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Tech9

Senior Member
At least, I could not find a newer version of firmware for the RT-N66R.

Your N66U router is supported by @john9527 with his Asus-Merlin fork:


The last update is from Apr 1, 2021.
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
@ColinTaylor

While I have reservation for utilizing the router's USB interface for network storage, due to security implications, network throughput concerns, etc., it'll be tested with AX86U. I'd still like to see backup/restore/firmware update, etc., directly accessing the USB interface, instead of Samba share. With Samba share upload/download configurations still takes place over the network interface.

Once the new router has been working for couple of weeks, the next step is adding Marlin firmware.

@Tech9

Yes, I had been aware the existence of the fork, but it had been easier to return to the Asus firmware at the time, when Merlin support ended. By now, the N66U is about 8-9 years old, it's time to get a new one, despite the fact it had been stable with no issues during this time. Unlike the Juniper wireless router that it had replaced....
 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Use the N66U as 5GHz wireless bridge to one of your 2.4GHz TVs, for example. The TVs perhaps have Ethernet port also.

No need for running a wireless bridge in my small house, the single router does/did provided ample coverage. The N66U will replace my even older Lynksys wireless router as the travel router for hotels.

That was quick, the AX66U will be delivered on this Friday; getting it in two days caught me by surprise...
 

Tech9

Senior Member
No need for running a wireless bridge in my small house, the single router does/did provided ample coverage.

Wireless Bridge is a Wi-Fi client for wired devices. Asus calls it Media Bridge in Asuswrt. It doesn't serve any wireless clients. For travel router with WISP see the one below. It's super tiny, has a built-in VPN and can be powered by USB power bank. Asuswrt doesn't have WISP, you have to experiment with Tomato and it's not guaranteed to work on every Tomato supported router.

 

Cr00zng

Occasional Visitor
Wireless Bridge is a Wi-Fi client for wired devices. Asus calls it Media Bridge in Asuswrt. It doesn't serve any wireless clients. For travel router with WISP see the one below. It's super tiny, has a built-in VPN and can be powered by USB power bank. Asuswrt doesn't have WISP, you have to experiment with Tomato and it's not guaranteed to work on every Tomato supported router.

Thanks for the short and precise explanation of terminologies...

Both of my current TVs have built-in wireless connections and one also has a Roku-stick. The N66U has no issues with streaming to both TVs with HD resolution. I didn't think that the N66U would support UHD resolution and had been one of the reasons for getting the new router.

The GL-AR750S/Slate is an interesting option for travel router, certainly worth for looking in to.
 

Tech9

Senior Member
I didn't think that the N66U would support UHD resolution

The router has nothing to do with resolution. What matters is the bandwidth it can provide. Single 4K compressed stream from YouTube, Netflix, etc. requires 25-40Mbps and your N66U is capable of providing it. Better quality 4K stream may jump to 150Mbps and your TVs with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi or 100Mbps Fast Ethernet ports may not be able to receive/process. Uncompressed 4K stream is 6Gbps and you can't have it on any of your devices. Your new router may be much faster than N66U, but to see any benefits you need corresponding fast clients.
 

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