Tuning The Asus Wireless Router To Best Performance

Useful.
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I’ve been really enjoying Asus wireless router at home for years, which I believe is the best home wireless router in the world.

The reason why I’m saying best is because of the following consideration as a home wireless router

  • Coverage
  • Performance
  • Features
  • Compatibility
  • Third party firmware support, like Tomato and DD-WRT

The last Asus wireless router I was using was RT-N16 which is one of the classic router from Asus, it served my home for 2 years without any issues. However, by moving into a bigger house and all of my devices now supporting dual-band network, it seems that I have to buy a new router.

The consideration of the new router will still be the above, especially for the best signal coverage as I don’t want to extend my network by using any WIFI extender and slow down my network.

Lucky, the new Asus RT-AC87U can meet all of my requirements, the only AC2400 4×4 MIMO wireless router in the world with 465m2 coverage premised. More review can be found here, the longest effective range so far.

In case some people need to understand a few performance parameters:

AC2400: the WIFI network speed can reach to 2.4Gb with 600Mbps (Max speed of 2.4GHz network) plus 1734Mbps (5GHz network)

4×4 MIMO: best router capacity, read here

With the best hardware (home router), our next step is to tweak the router to best match our environment since every family may have their own needs.

So the first thing we need to think about is the firmware loaded on the router.

Since Asus router supported various types of firmware, and they all have pros and cons, you can consider by my below matrix

Firmware RT-AC87U Supported HW Acceleration VLAN Guest Network VPN QoS Per IP Traffic Monitoring Save History to USB Static DHCP Nickname Firmware Quality
Asus Original Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No Stable
Asuswrt-Merlin Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Stable
Tomato No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Less Stable
DD-WRT No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Less Stable

I also struggling a long time to decide since all of the features are critical for me, especially for a home network with a lab. Although both Tomato and DD-WRT still haven’t support the latest RT-AC87U yet, but I can still flash to it, just lacking the new feature support I believe.

However, the Hardware Acceleration can boost your router a lot, especially for NAT, the internet speed once you have a large number of devices, I don’t want to miss these important feature, so finally I decided to go with Asuswrt-Merlin, which is the one just right build on the original firmware with more customized features. Once Tomato and DD-WRT starting support HW Acceleration, I may switch to them.

To be more clear on the Hardware Acceleration on both Asus original and Asuswrt-Merlin firmware, please refer to below table

  • CTF(Cut Through Forwarding): Software optimization technique to accelerate NAT
  • FA (Flow Accelerator): Hardware NAT acceleration mechanism design for accelerating wired DHCP and Static IP connections

Level 1=CTF Only

Level 2=FA + CTF

Category Feature Menu Support HW Acceleration Level
QoS Traditional Adaptive Qos->QoS Off
QoS Adaptive Adaptive QoS->QoS Level 1
LAN Spanning-Tree Protocol LAN->Switch Control Level 1
None of Above Level 2

Asuswrt-Merlin

Category Feature Menu Support HW Acceleration Level
QoS Traditional Adaptive Qos->QoS Off
Traffic Monitor IP Traffic Monitoring Tools->Other Settings Off
QoS Adaptive Adaptive QoS->QoS Level 1
None of Above Level 2

OK, now we are clearly enough on the Hardware Acceleration, let’s start tunning the settings

I will ignore a few basic settings since everybody should knows that , will only focus on the advanced settings

1. Wireless->General


Option Description Recommendation
Protected Management Frames Current 802.11 standard defines "frame" types for use in management and control of wireless links. IEEE 802.11w is the Protected Management Frames standard for the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. TGw is working on improving the IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control layer. The objective of this is to increase the security by providing data confidentiality of management frames, mechanisms that enable data integrity, data origin authenticity, and replay protection. These extensions will have interactions with IEEE 802.11r and IEEE 802.11uMore security, Less compatibility Disable
Wireless Mode (2.4GHz) Max the 2.4GHz performance since the 802.11 a/b/g connection will slow down the 2.4GHz speed, and it’s hardly to see any a/b/g client now Auto (b/g Protection)
Turbo QAM rely on it

Control Channel Always select the best channel MANUALLY

Network Key Rotation Interval (2.4GHz+5GHz) The key is automatically generated from the SSID and the password set for the network. Refreshing of this key does not mean that a new password will have to be entered every hour. However, it results into Internet connection being unavailable for some time at regular intervals More security, connection may lost during key renew 0 (If your device has compatibility issue with 0, set this value to max value 259200)

2. Wireless->WPS

Less security protocol, just turn it off

3. Wireless->Professional


2.4GHz

Option Description Recommendation More Details
Roaming assistant Enabled if more than one AP Disable (Default)
IGMP Snooping Enable when use streaming or mirroring service Enable
(I’m using mirroring at home)
http://routerguide.net/enable-igmp-snooping-on-or-off/
Preamble Type Better compatibility and signal coverage but less performance
2.4GHz signal coverage is more important than performance, and performance can be done in 5GHz
Long (Default) http://routerguide.net/preamble-type-short-or-long/
AMPDU RTS Better error handling
Again, 2.4GHz network better to have better compatibility and signal converge, performance can be done in 5GHz
Enable (Default)
Enable TX Bursting Only affect to b/g devices Disabled http://routerguide.net/tx-burst-on-or-off-frame-burst-packet-burst/
Enable WMM APSD Better power management for mobile devices Enabled (Default) http://routerguide.net/wmm-apsd-on-or-off/
Reducing USB 3.0 interference Better 2.4GHz performance and range, less USB 3.0 speed Enable
Optimize AMPDU aggregation Handling high error rates but less performance
Enable it unless you are in a high interference environment
Disable (Default) http://routerguide.net/optimize-ampdu-aggregation-on-or-off-a-mpdu/
Optimize ack suppression Enable only in no error rates environment Disable (Default) http://routerguide.net/ack-suppression-on-or-off-no-acknowledgement/
Turbo QAM Better performance, both router and client must support it Enable (Default)
Airtime Fairness When the device that you wish to boost is the faster speed link. Or if you want to improve performance of network as a whole, especially N only network Enable (default) http://routerguide.net/airtime-fairness-on-or-off/
Explicit beamforming For legacy wireless network adapter that do not support beamforming, the router estimates the channel and determines the steering direction to improve the download speed Asus AiRadar with universal beamforming optimizes signal strength in any direction to give up to 150% coverage and is backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n clients

However, Apple device (include iPhone/iPad) seems having compatibility issue with Beamforming

Enable (default)
(Turn off if you have Apple (include iPhone/iPad) devices)
http://routerguide.net/enable-beamforming-on-or-off/
Universal Beamforming For legacy wireless network adapter that do not support beamforming, the router estimates the channel and determines the steering direction to improve the download speed Asus AiRadar with universal beamforming optimizes signal strength in any direction to give up to 150% coverage and is backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n clients

However, Apple device (include iPhone/iPad) seems having compatibility issue with Beamforming

Enable (default)
(Turn off if you have Apple (include iPhone/iPad) devices)
http://routerguide.net/enable-beamforming-on-or-off/
Regulation mode IEEE 802.11h is the IEEE standard for Spectrum and Transmit Power Management Extensions. It solves problems like interference with satellites and radar using the same 5 GHz frequency band. It was originally designed to address European regulations but is now applicable in many other countries. The standard provides Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and transmit Power Control (TPC) to the IEEE 802.11a MAC
It has no useful function as far as we are concerned. However, if left "floating" in an unknown state, it caused association problems Apple device (seems only mac) works better when regulation mode is on
Off (default)
(Enable if you have Apple (mac) devices)
http://www.snbforums.com/threads/ios-8-1-performance.20497/page-2

5GHz

Option Description Recommendation More Details
Roaming assistant Enable for better 5GHz and 2.4GHz switch
When on the same SSID for both 5GHz and 2.4GHz, not every device is smart enough to automatically switch to 2.4GHz network when 5GHz network still in range but signal is bad
Enable
IGMP Snooping Enable when use streaming or mirroring service
I’m using mirroring at home
Enable http://routerguide.net/enable-igmp-snooping-on-or-off/
iEEE 802.11h support Apple device (seems only mac) works better when regulation mode is on Disable
(Enable if you have Apple (mac) devices)
http://www.snbforums.com/threads/ios-8-1-performance.20497/page-2
Explicit beamforming For legacy wireless network adapter that do not support beamforming, the router estimates the channel and determines the steering direction to improve the download speed Asus AiRadar with universal beamforming optimizes signal strength in any direction to give up to 150% coverage and is backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n clients

However, Apple device (include iPhone/iPad) seems having compatibility issue with Beamforming

Enable (default)
(Turn off if you have Apple (include iPhone/iPad) devices)
http://routerguide.net/enable-beamforming-on-or-off/
Universal Beamforming For legacy wireless network adapter that do not support beamforming, the router estimates the channel and determines the steering direction to improve the download speed Asus AiRadar with universal beamforming optimizes signal strength in any direction to give up to 150% coverage and is backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n clients

However, Apple device (include iPhone/iPad) seems having compatibility issue with Beamforming

Enable (default)
(Turn off if you have Apple (include iPhone/iPad) devices)
http://routerguide.net/enable-beamforming-on-or-off/

4. LAN->Switch Control

Option Description Recommendation
NAT Acceleration HW Acceleration Auto
Enable Jumbo Frame More compatibility, less performance Disable
(Only enable when you know what you are doing)
Spanning-Tree Protocol Turn off if no switch under router Disable

If you would like to flash the router to Tomato, you can refer to my post earlier here

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Posted on 2017-06-04, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 留下评论.

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