Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Asus RT-AC87R AC2400 802.11AC Wireless Router Has Incredible Range-But Fails To Deliver When Stressed


Coming from the amazing and highly rated Asus RT-A66U wireless router, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the new Asus RT-AC87R AC2400. But it wasn't to be for me--at least not for now.  I installed this router and began adding my switch controlled nodes that were connected via cat 5e ethernet. I have three main gigabit switches that distribute wired ethernet connections to different areas of my house. Most of my nodes are simple video or audio clients like Apple TV, Roku, Tivo, Blu-Ray players, etc.   I connected my first Dell high quality 16 port Gigabit switch that had about 12 clients connected  to the first gigabit port on the RT-AC87--no problems. Next I added my root node ethernet connected Sonos Play 5. All 16 Sonos zones showed up without a hitch (wired and wireless). Next I added my second gigabit switch which has 8 ethernet connected clients (Tivo's, Apple TV, Blu-Ray Players, etc.) and again, no hiccups. Sonos zones still streamed and switched fine which meant DHCP was working great.  Finally I added my second 16 port ethernet switch which has only about 12 clients. This is where things go wrong. As soon as I connect this switch, the router craps out--literally. Internet disappears, Sonos stops streaming--then disappears, and the router can barely be accessed from my Mac for configuration.  I try to then remove the last switch I added from the router by unplugging the ethernet cable, and presto, everything starts working great as before. I try to re-add the last switch again--same problem and no joy. I figure maybe it's the ethernet cable to that third switch so I swap it out with a brand new one. Still the same problem. I trade out the switch for a new one and try again--this time with only ONE of the clients attached, still no joy. At this point  I reconnected my old router--and voila, everything including all of my clients, Sonos system, and switched worked just fine for all my connected devices with zero issues. Before I connected my last switch, the status page on the Asus router showed about 60 active clients, all seemed to work just fine. As soon as I added more, (the last switch or even a single client, this router refused to function, so I've disconnected the ASUS RT-AC87R till I have a chance to research, update or exchange it. I had such high hopes for this beast as the wireless 801.11 AC range when it worked was incredible. The other complaint I had is about the antennas. They look amazing, but they tend loosen easily when you adjust them, making them fall flat. Trying to tighten them works, but overall it's not a good design.  I do think Asus has a winner in the RT-AC87R--but only when all the bugs have been worked out. I'll update when I get this working.

1 comment:

Sam F. said...

Nice job on the review!