Home - Programming - ASUS vs. Linksys.

Another non-programming post... I got tired of everyone in my house complaining about the 2.4GHz band in my house, especially after I determined definitely that the problem wasn't the radio noise in my neighborhood, but instead the router I was using. This was my experience; I hope it's useful to someone else.

The Linksys WRT 1900AC that I installed a year ago to replace the Linksys EA6350 has been nothing but grief from day one. And about 4 months after installing it, it stopped working reliably for any 2.4GHz devices. It would drop the connection and then reconnect, over and over again, about once a minute. I bought 5GHz USB dongles for the older laptops in the house, and spent money on upgrades for the other devices where an upgrade was available, but that still left a number of devices off the network.

I chalked it up to the 2.4GHz noise coming from my neighbor's house. He automated his house, and all the devices seem to like chattering at each other. I talked to him about it, he tried a few things, but nothing seemed to help for long.

On top of that, I have a web-accessible security cam system in my house that could never seem to stay visible on the network. After a couple of days I'd have to go out and restart the network appliance that connected the Ethernet-only DVR to my wireless network. Very frustrating.

And then one day I was farting around with a tablet I really wanted to use, but couldn't because it was 2.4GHz only, and I saw a network labeled "xfinity". So I tried it. And it connected.

And stayed connected.

In fact, I surfed the web a bit just to see how well it would stay connected. Of course, it did fine.

Back to my network. No connection. Back to xfinity. Connected just fine.

No swearing. No throwing things. Just calm, ice cold, resolve. Did a little quick research, got on Amazon, ordered an ASUS RT-AC88U. It showed up the next day. Installed it, configured it, and boom, everyone is on-line. I took back all the 5GHz dongles and stored them for another day, because now everyone can get on the network just fine, thank you.

Eight months of aggravation because I couldn't believe that a practically new router would just fail like that. I've said it before, Linksys was AWESOME back when they were making the WRT54G routers, but since Belkin took over, they suck so bad it's infuriating. Do not buy Linksys. I don't care what model it is, just don't do it. You will regret it if you do.

Update: 1/24/2017
The ASUS is working pretty well. Not that everything has gone smoothly. For a time the 5GHz devices were having a bit of trouble getting connected and staying connected. A reboot seems to have fixed that for the most part, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Also, my one gripe with the configuration is that I can't specify which part of the 5GHz band the device should default to. It seems stuck at the high end, and around here most routers seems to either go to the high end or the low end, leaving the middle deserted. If I could push it down into that range, I'd have no competing signals.

Update: 1/27/2017
Restarting the 5GHz radio has become a daily, often several times a day, chore. Do not buy this router. I went back on NewEgg and scanned the reviews and found that several of them mention this problem, and when they do, Asus responds with a form letter telling them stupid crap like...

  • Check for interfering devices i.e. Cordless Phone / Microwave Oven / Bluetooth Devices
  • Check the wireless settings {Wireless Channel: 1 / 6 / 11 }
  • Try to test with 5ghz
  • Try with different wireless computer or other wireless devices and check the connection if its stable
  • Try using the hardwire cable and check the connection if its stable
  • Bypass router and connect PC directly to the modem then check the connection if its stable
  • Update the firmware/Downgrade
  • Reconfigure the router
  • Change DTIM to 3 and Beacon Interval to 70.
  • Everything short of, "Is your router turned on?" The second one in the list, btw, is useless since there's no way to set the wireless channel. And what is, "Test with 5GHz?!" Wouldn't you assume that, if the customer is complaining about the 5GHz radio, that they've already tested with 5GHz. So it's a form response they came up with a while ago and no one there ever really reviewed it. It's insulting.

    Todd Grigsby