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ASUS router RT-AC68U

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yorkytime1
New Poster

ASUS router RT-AC68U

I just purchased this router.  Got it up and running yesterday.  Thank goodness it was pretty easy even for a dummy like me.  But I do not know how use any of the bonus features of this router.  I can see all my devices when connected....that is great.  And I found a traffic analyzer was included.  Beyond that I am pretty clueless.  Thank goodness it seems to work well without any input from me.  LOL  I am wondering do I need to install any software to expand the abilities of this router?
81 REPLIES 81
Gwalk900
Honorary Alumnus

It will require that you install the free firmware update from Merlin to allow the track data by device feature.

I'm going to let BirdDog guide you on that one as I believe he has that router.


yorkytime1
New Poster

okay thanks Gwalk.  Will wait to BirdDog to chime in.
Gwalk900
Honorary Alumnus

Remember, he is kinda old 🙂


yorkytime1
New Poster

hahahaha will do.  I'm old too so we will be in good company.
BirdDog
Assistant Professor

Gwalk, you're one to throw stones about being old.....lol !

yorkytime, I would definitely recommend using the Merlin firmware but up to you, I don't want to be blamed if something goes wrong. Highly doubt it though as I've updated many times without a problem. Just be patient and let it do it thing once you start. The router will eventually reboot and come online with the new firmware. I did highlight the note on the router update page that tells how to recover if a problem.

The upload button is what you press then select where you downloaded the firmware file to on your computer. It is a zip file so will have to unzip it first. You should have a similar page in your router setup GUI. 

Here is the Merlin homepage and also the download page for your firmware, the download is near the top of the page:

http://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/

https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/

Happy to help you figure things out once you get it up and running again.

Amanda
Moderator

Sounds like it's gonna be an adventure! Kind of was when I got my Nighthawk. Have fun!

Amanda
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Nice router. Very nice router.  I'm envious. 

Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Phyllis McClain
New Member

GabeU, I've not had any problems with my Linksys, nor do I have any complaints on my service, but maybe you could educate us about having better routers. For a start, would I get any better service by having this router?
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Phyllis,

To be honest, I wouldn't really be the one to give advice about routers, as my experience and knowledge of them is limited.  With that said, as long as the router is working properly, and not taking into account the increased number of things that can be done with a more expensive router, they will all pretty much give the same level of basic service.  I'm sure that the performance of my $40 Netgear router is just as good as a $300 router.  But, like mentioned, I'm not able to see many of the more technical aspects that could be seen with a more expensive one, and the router like yorkytime bought has additional capabilities of being able to monitor data usage with a special type of firmware. 

If the speeds you get wirelessly with your Linksys are about the same as what you get when your computer is connected directly to the modem with a cable, and your Linksys has enough range for your home, it's most likely just fine for your purposes and a more expensive router wouldn't be much of an advantage for you.  This is just my opinion, of course. 

Edit: 

I should add that the Netgear router I'm referring to I no longer use much because it started going a little buggy a few months ago, so I have another one, but it's an inexpensive one, as well, and it works just as well as the Netgear did before it started getting buggy. 


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Amanda
Moderator

Meh
Phyllis McClain
New Member

Thanks, GabeU
Gwalk900
Honorary Alumnus

Phyllis,

As Gabe stated if your speeds while connected directly, are the same as when using the router, then all is well really.

Different routers have different attributes. From a wireless standpoint some have better range, some are better in multi level homes with others be better in the horizontal.

Some are dual frequency 2.4 & 5 Ghz. On some you can adjust the wireless power levels.

On others such as Yorkytime's Asus after installing the Merlin firmware she will be able to look in the routers display and see how much data is being used and which devices are using it.

It is more a matter of "bells $ whistles" than something that can provide a boost. Presuming of course the router wasn't a choke point in the beginning.


Phyllis McClain
New Member

Well, Gwalk900, I have no idea about data usage, etc. and figure I'm probably better off by not tinkering with it to find out cuz then I'd feel compelled to tinker when I'm really a novice in such things. If it ain't broke...... But, range I could use. My casita is two rooms, very small by today's standards but all I need at this age. When I move to my front porch, I have to go to 4G, then back to router when I come in. Now what's funny is that while I'm on my porch, I have to be careful I'm not on my sister's router and that is maybe 100' away, whereas mine maybe 15'. Now i figure that's because mine has to go through a metal wall, but really?

But in the country, we expect to put up with inconsistencies and I'm glad to pay for the privilege of having internet at all regardless of data usage, lost data bites, etc. Every router I've owned has about a 2 year life so I'm glad to hear you all comment. And, I'm definitely going to file this one away when I get ready to replace this one.
BirdDog
Assistant Professor

Phyllis, if your walls are metal then any router will have a hard time punching through them. Best thing to try is to place the router near a window that is close to the porch if possible. You'd probably need a longer LAN cable to connect to the Hughes modem but they are sold in many different lengths.
Jeffrey Henry
New Member

You can run NightShift on that router. It lets you download Netflix shows with your bonus bytes so you can watch without using your anytime bytes.
Phyllis McClain
New Member

I figured it was something like that. I've been buying Linksys routers the past two times as they seem more dependable than AT&T's or some others. I also get one that can handle multiple devices for when others come visiting with theirs. But I wasn't thinking metal walls when I decided on my casita, I was thinking quick and easy, so thank goodness for 4G.
yorkytime1
New Poster

Well I am back.....and WOW!  I've had an adventure.  A pleasant one I might add.  This ASUS router is simply awesome!!!  I have spent the last couple of days getting to know my new router.  I've gotten the network up and running.  Also a repeater for my outside wireless security cameras which have never worked this well...signal is really great.  yada yada yada.  LOL  This router has way more options than I will ever need.  

So far I've found.....
Surfing the net seems to be way faster than with the Linksys router I was using.

EACH device in our home.....computers, tablets, phones, cameras etc are all shown on the device list....along with how long that device as been connected,  how much data that device has used, what websites that device has accessed.  How much data is downloaded and uploaded PER device.  Just amazing!  It is called traffic analyzer.  

Even if a device is asleep it still is active in the device list.  Think tablets and smartphones and kindles....this serves as a reminder for us to be sure the take the device completely offline when not in use.

Data limits can be set PER device.....think teenagers that want to hog the download data.  Or too many movie downloads to TV,  Especially useful for Hughesnet customers I think.  LOL   Also can block certain websites should the need arise.  

It is 2.4GHZ and 5.0GHZ.  But I haven't found how to use the 5.0GHZ yet.

It has USB support 3.0 and 2.0.  These ports can be addressed from anywhere in the world via Internet and can be used to upload to the cloud.

Of course firewall, and all kinds of other little goodies for protection.

ASUS offers free 5GB cloud storage and 200GB cloud storage for $29 per year. I'm considering this since they also offer seamless uploading of files to the cloud.  

The user interface control panel looks like something out of Star Trek.  LOL

Overall this router seems to be an amazing piece of equipment.  I am not sure I need to update the firmware with the Merlin version??  This firmware seems pretty darn complete to me.  I don't think I've even touch the surface of all the benefits of having this router.  

Thanks Gwalk for your suggestion of the ASUS router.  
Gwalk900
Honorary Alumnus

Hi Yorkytime,
Glad you are getting better performance and per device info.
I would caution against cloud backup and services ... they are data killers !
You could however add a USB or Ethernet network drive to one of the routers ports and have all devices back themselves up "locally".
GW
Advanced Tutor

ASUS is pretty good stuff. We have a bunch of it.  I have an ASUS router too. I got it to give my tried and true antique a rest and put it into emergency reserve back-up status. Mine has most of the things you mention but not the traffic analyzer. Considering I paid $6.49 after discounts, promotions and the rebate, I guess I'm OK with that.