Yet another RT-AC86U thread, 2.4Ghz issues (2020 build)

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Dr_MC

New Around Here
Hi all,

I've been lurking around here for some time before getting a new wireless router. I went with the AC86U due to the positive reviews around early January. I knew about the risk of those "other" reviews stating various problems with the 2.4Ghz band, but I thought those would be isolated issues.

In the beginning it was great-- however after a few weeks I started having problems during Zoom calls on the 2.4Ghz. I tried to fiddle with the settings following the advice in the forums, but it didn't help. Then it got worse, doing a speedtest I would get around 30Mbps, and at times it would drop to ~1Mbps or less. Doing the same test on the 5Ghz band I'm constantly getting 100+Mbps. Then, suddenly the 2Ghz band would drop everyone and disappear, or not allow new clients. I've tried changing channels to the least busy ones, not much difference.

My router is a 2020 build made in China, always using the latest stock firmware. I've read about issues on the 2018 builds or so but not on the more recent models.

Based on the description above, should I assume this is a hardware issue? I've seen plenty of comments about doing regular factory resets, setting up daily reboots, trying merlin's firmware, etc, but this sounds odd to me given that one would expect this device to work out-of-the-box without the need of such rituals.

I have one more week to return it, so any advice welcome :)
Thanks!
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi all,

I've been lurking around here for some time before getting a new wireless router. I went with the AC86U due to the positive reviews around early January. I knew about the risk of those "other" reviews stating various problems with the 2.4Ghz band, but I thought those would be isolated issues.

In the beginning it was great-- however after a few weeks I started having problems during Zoom calls on the 2.4Ghz. I tried to fiddle with the settings following the advice in the forums, but it didn't help. Then it got worse, doing a speedtest I would get around 30Mbps, and at times it would drop to ~1Mbps or less. Doing the same test on the 5Ghz band I'm constantly getting 100+Mbps. Then, suddenly the 2Ghz band would drop everyone and disappear, or not allow new clients. I've tried changing channels to the least busy ones, not much difference.

My router is a 2020 build made in China, always using the latest stock firmware. I've read about issues on the 2018 builds or so but not on the more recent models.

Based on the description above, should I assume this is a hardware issue? I've seen plenty of comments about doing regular factory resets, setting up daily reboots, trying merlin's firmware, etc, but this sounds odd to me given that one would expect this device to work out-of-the-box without the need of such rituals.

I have one more week to return it, so any advice welcome :)
Thanks!

Upload the latest firmware 41994 beta RC2-11, reset it, and configure it from scratch. If the issue persist, then return it since you can.

OE
 
Last edited:

bbunge

Very Senior Member
For your WIFI: do use Dual Band Smart Connect. Set the 2.4 GHZ to 20 MHZ on channel 1, 6 or 11, 5 GHZ to 80 MHZ on channel 36 or 149. Under Professional disable Universal Beamforming and Airtime Fairness. Works for me!
 

Dr_MC

New Around Here
Install the latest firmware 41994 beta RC2-11, reset it, and configure it from scratch. If the issue persist, then return it since you can.

Reset FAQ
Reset Button/webUI Restore (preferred)
WPS Button Hard Reset

My install notes can help with a basic configuration.

OE

Thanks for that, just installed the RC2-11 fw and did a webUI reset, and followed the recommended config steps. Seems that in principle it worked, 2G speed was back to 100+ Mbps, however then it became unstable again, going around 20-50Mbps. 5G still remained consistent at 100+Mbps.

I noticed that the situation is significantly worse when I stream through the smart TV and/or PS4 which are close to the router and connected via ethernet. (wifi is off on both devices to avoid unnecessary signals).
I tested it this morning and 2G died for a bit, then went back to mediocre speeds. Trying different channels didn't help.

Is it possible this is interference, or given this model's history with the 2.4Ghz, it's likely hardware related?
 

Dr_MC

New Around Here
For your WIFI: do use Dual Band Smart Connect. Set the 2.4 GHZ to 20 MHZ on channel 1, 6 or 11, 5 GHZ to 80 MHZ on channel 36 or 149. Under Professional disable Universal Beamforming and Airtime Fairness. Works for me!
Thanks, that was one of the first things I tried but unfortunately didn't make a difference :(
As per post above seems to be either heavy interference due to the router placement + ethernet connected devices, or dying 2.4Ghz hardware. Will try moving things around and keep testing.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for that, just installed the RC2-11 fw and did a webUI reset, and followed the recommended config steps. Seems that in principle it worked, 2G speed was back to 100+ Mbps, however then it became unstable again, going around 20-50Mbps. 5G still remained consistent at 100+Mbps.

I noticed that the situation is significantly worse when I stream through the smart TV and/or PS4 which are close to the router and connected via ethernet. (wifi is off on both devices to avoid unnecessary signals).
I tested it this morning and 2G died for a bit, then went back to mediocre speeds. Trying different channels didn't help.

Is it possible this is interference, or given this model's history with the 2.4Ghz, it's likely hardware related?

I don't think there is interference from Ethernet. Perhaps EMI from nearby other electronics or a connected USB 3.0 device or cordless peripherals like headphones or a mouse operating on the 2.4 band(?).

It could be a hardware defect, going from ok to not ok to ok again.

I use a WiFi Analyzer or similar app to see how signals are behaving. They should appear steady and not jumping up and down, power-wise.

I also use the WiFi connection Status in Windows while performing repeated speedtest.net to observe the connection link rate speed. It should remain steady at or near max link rate speed, typically ~72 or 150 Mbps for a 2.4 connection, or 433 or 866 Mbps for a 5.0 connection, depending on the device WLAN adapter, etc. The link rate speed should remain steady and not dropping out.

If healthy hardware/firmware, the above observations may vary normally a bit, but if unhealthy, they will appear much more erratic.

At some point, you convince yourself it should just work like normal and that what you are observing is not normal and most likely a defect.

OE
 

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