Question Internet keeps cutting off - ISP says it's my router - looking for reliable choice

Mocs123

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My internet cuts off maybe once or twice an hour - it comes right back, but is enough to be a hindrance on an online game or steaming video. My ISP (EPB Fiber Optics) says they can't find anything wrong with my signal and thinks it may be my router, a four year old Asus AC68U.

So, I'm looking at replacement routers and trying to decide between something like the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 or Asus AX88U or even the Orbi RBK-50. The Asus sounds nice, since apparently I can use my existing Asus router as a "mesh" system, but some of the reviews talk about it cutting out just like what I have now. The Netgear is different, though I hear the Customer Service stinks. The Orbi is for large houses, but doesn't have the newest WiFi standard, which isn't an issue now, but may be in the future.

We have a fairly large house (3800sq.ft.) that's two levels, and of course the internet comes in on one end of the bottom floor which is where the router is.

Here is what I can think of off the top of my head that's connected

1 desktop PC hardwired
3 PC's WiFi (two laptops and one desktop)
3 ipads
1 ipod touch
3 iphones
X-Box 1
1 Samsung TV
2 Ruku's
Fitbit scale
2 programmable thermostats

What are my best options for reliable internet options?

Thank you for your input
 
Best first option is to try the latest firmware. Asus runs the same image on all devices so they tend to put out updates quite often. You can also try the merlin firmware and see if that works any different. I forget what is even in asus factory since I immediately load the melin images. Merlin has better logging than the asus I think. It should show why your connection is going down.

You should not need anything better than the 68u you have. I would look at the 86u if you are really planning on replacing it. The 86u has a 1.8g processor and hardware vpn accelerator if that maters to you.

Don't get sucked into all the silly mesh stuff. These are still wifi repeaters and they still suffer from having mulitple radio signals subject to interference. You are much better off using simple AP connected via ethernet cable.....even though they seem to want to call that mesh too even though wired ap have been used by corporations for more than 15 years now.

If what you are looking for is the 802.11ax support I would wait. All the equipment currently on the market was produced before the standard was final. You run the risk we had back in the 802.11n days with all the crappy "draft" equipment that was not 100% compatible.

There are almost no end devices that support it. Maybe in 6 months but I do not expect this to be a magic solution. They still have no solution to too many people competing for the same radio spectrum and the new 802.11ax uses even more than 802.11ac. Seems everything is transmitting wifi signals.
 
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Mocs123

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Thank you. I just did a firmware update today. I'll report back to see if there is still a problem. Where would I find and install the Merlin firmware?

You are probably right about AX, we don't have any devices that support it and it may be years before we do.
 

kanewolf

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Thank you. I just did a firmware update today. I'll report back to see if there is still a problem. Where would I find and install the Merlin firmware?

You are probably right about AX, we don't have any devices that support it and it may be years before we do.
Here is the Merlin homepage -- https://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/ The primary support for Merlin is on the smallnetbuilder.com forum.
 
3 PC's WiFi (two laptops and one desktop)
Before you spend money on a new router, try connecting your gaming PC to the router via an Ethernet cable, or 5 GHz network, or the 2.4 GHz guest network. See if the disconnects go away.

The Asus routers have had a long-standing problem with the 2.4 GHz LAN network. It works fine for some equipment, but other equipment experiences slowdowns and dropouts when connected to the LAN over 2.4 GHz. I first noticed it when I bought an AC56U 7 years ago, and I've helped someone diagnose and solve the same problem on an AC68U. So it's been a long-running problem.

The 2.4 GHz guest network, and 5 GHz network (LAN and guest) work fine. It's only the 2.4 GHz LAN network which has the problem. I was never able to find a fix for it (the Merlin firmware does not help since it doesn't change the modem firmware). The person with the AC68U simply switched to using his guest network as his WiFi network, as he didn't need his devices to communicate with each other. I've heard that replacing the Asus firmware with a third party firmware fixes the problem too.
 

Mocs123

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We just got done at Mothers Day and got home and within the first 20 minutes the internet goes out again (5ghz). I'll try the Merlin software, but the new Asus firmware didn't fix my issues.
 

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