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Why ASUS routers are so popular on here ?

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I'm just wondering why so many people on here are choosing ASUS Routers ? Do they have some special features that other routers don't offer ? Is it price range ? or maybe just the quality itself or perhaps that it's just a known brand ? I personally only heard about security implications in their routers and that AiCloud have been vulnerable and because of that they got some fines and that some watchdog needs to watch them for the next couple of years. So generally nothing good.

Now, can someone share why ASUS is the one for many people here ?
Probably because there is a dedicated support forum for Merlin's customised firmware. Compare the 876 threads in the Asus-Official forum to the 14,911 threads in the Asus-Merlin.

Merlin's firmware transforms what it is possible to do with the router whilst improving security and maintaining the look and feel of the original.
They're popular here because I built a community here for my firmware.

And personally I chose to work on Asus routers rather than other brands because they had the most open firmware source code for me to work with. When I started, almost the whole source code was open, except the wireless drivers. With other manufacturers, you basically can't do anything but minor tweaks here and there. Even the web server which requires extensive changes to implement new features is fully closed source with many manufacturers, making it impossible to add new features to the web interface.
NETGEAR routers are also very popular here, second to ASUS. NG has good open source policy so Voxel can improve on it. Despite NG having an ugly and outdated management interface and lacking some important features, their hardware is, IMHO, top notch and doesn't run as hot at ASUS
NG has good open source policy

Actually no, they don't. Large parts are closed source, seriously limiting what Voxel can do. And they are also most likely in violation of the GPL licence by not providing the source code to the changes they make to various open sourced components, preventing Voxel also from upgrading these components.

And Netgear has also ignored every attempts @Voxel made in getting in touch with them, and at times they have even made some moves that seemed to be deliberately aimed at preventing him from doing some things...
a lot of the stuff closed source in asus comes from broadcom, however asus has worked with RMerlin when it comes to exchanging expertise from firmware, and at the very least has provided him with some routers. Its not only RMerlin's hardware that makes asus good, its the hardware chosen that makes ASUS decent. Its not the best but compared to netgear, asus hardware is better and cheaper than what netgear offers.

I have netgear, i am unimpressed with their hardware's reliability on the consumer/home front.

Asus not only pairs a decent SOC combo but also has decent hardware quality.

Over here we dont care how glorious asus router looks, even i prefer mikrotik and pfsense as routers than asus. Its more to do that both the hardware and software is decent for a home router and also a decent wireless AP for me.
@RMerlin isn't ASUS moving the same way as NG? More and more is a binary blob in their firmware
@RMerlin isn't ASUS moving the same way as NG? More and more is a binary blob in their firmware

An increasing amount of code is now closed, yes, but mostly what involves their own proprietary code, due to the proliferation of illegal forks. They don't close the entire code related to the web server or the firewall configuration for no obvious reasons unlike Netgear.

Last time they went too far (by closing down a critical httpd part), I poked at them about it and they reversed course.

So while causing me a few problems, it's not preventing me from doing what I want to do so far (AiMesh support being the one exception, and that's something I can live without).
Myself, being a complete noob at setting up and maintaining a simple home network I have found Asus routers to be very reliable, stable, and damn near bullet proof. I'M on my third, an AC86U running Merlins 384.8.2. More than once I thought I had killed my n66u but I was always able to get it to come back alive. My son has it now. If they can survive my ignorance they can survive anything. Also, you won't find a more knowledgeable group anywhere like here at SNB forums.
Vampiry; Long ago, in ages past, 'BFE' (Before the Merlin Era) we owned a nice-looking Asus WL500W. It had 2-USb 2.0 ports and was meant to be compatible with DD-WRT. We decided to flash it to DD-WRT but the router still wasn't delivering the performance we needed and we moved on to other brands/platforms. Interesting side note, about the time we gave that router away, we ran across a developer (RMerlin) who worked on WDLXTV a 3rd party firmware for a certain WDTV video player. We had the compatible player, and WDLXTV was an improvement over the stock WD FW. The same player is a bit dated by 2019 standards but still streams video files from a USB drive to one of our HD TVs

In 2011 we bought an RT-N66W which was a big improvement over the WL500W. The next year (2012) we purchased an RT-AC56U. Shortly afterward we found RMerlin had developed the Asuswrt-Merlin FW for Asus routers. Ever since, Asus and Merlin have been inseparable for us; as soon as a new Asus router comes out of the box, we immediately install Merlin's latest build. We've recommended/installed the fork on quite a few Asus routers for our friends, relatives and others. To their credit, Asus has released firmware that is more secure and stable than in previous years. Always use what works best for your needs, and perform your research before attempting to flash firmware.

We like Asus but the Merlin fork has always offered us more than the official FW, with regular security updates and fixes for flaws in the official builds, which enhances the GUI without reinventing the wheel. We'd have moved away from Asus several years ago if Merlin didn't exist. Asus has adopted some of Merlin's features but currently keeps enough of their official firmware as open-source, so the Merlin fork can move forward. Asus now offers AiMesh which Merlin doesn't. Whatever direction Asus takes the brand and their firmware in the future, as long as Merlin is able to continue, we'll continue to use Asus and Merlin. We have an RT-AC3200 and RT-AC-86 in regular service with others as backups. Some alternative FW takes a different approach to official FW, and can have a much steeper learning curve than Merlin. Various sources put the number of folks who have downloaded and use Merlin at between 150K and 200K.

SNB/Asus Wireless forum(s) contains many threads covering many subjects and usually there's a proficient or advanced user who tries to answer questions when they have spare time. Asus official product support has improved in the past year. Hope this helps.
  1. Asus has been making routers since at least 2001 and is older than many tech companies that still exist today.
  2. They are one of the largest manufacturers in the PC market. They have a large range of models and a global consumer presence. There's probably almost nowhere on the planet you cannot get an Asus device if you really wanted it and if you've ever shopped for a PC you will almost have certainly seen their name somewhere.
  3. Before the most modern routers, they have been dominant and a pioneer in the breadth of features present in both software and hardware.
  4. They have a long record of supporting and even improving their routers well after the marketing life cycle. This is (very) significant in the consumer market because many manufacturers do not offer this and people tend to find this out after the fact. So, when you return to the consumer router market after buying your first ultimately unreliable non-Asus device, Asus sticks out as one of the few credible alternatives either by word of mouth or by doing deeper research, now that you know what you're looking for.
  5. These forums specifically have a community based around RMerlin's high quality firmware for Asus routers due to their open source support.
On top of that, Asus routers and other networking hardware often performs well in many consumer critic tests, including on this forum's sister site. That further raises their profile across the Internet, including via affiliate marketing, search engines and shopping site ratings.

For a typical ordinary consumer, Asus is one of the safest and most convenient options for a router.

No, I'm not affiliated with Asus, but I've used some of their routers for a long time, until the SOHO and SMB markets became much more accessible in recent times.
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