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Thread: Nice Deal: Asus RT-AC68U router clone $59

  1. #1
    Storage? I am Storage! Clocker's Avatar
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    Nice Deal: Asus RT-AC68U router clone $59

    Stolen from Hardforum Hot Deals

    https://hardforum.com/threads/rt-ac6...e-com.1917201/

    The T-Mobile router can be flashed into a standard Asus RT-AC68U. I have Merlin installed on mine and loving it. Have the router configured with PIA which allows you to specify which clients use the VPN and which do not in the router settings. I have a 2nd one configured as an Access Point. The wireless range is noticeably better than the Asus RT-N66U Dark Nights they are replacing.

  2. #2
    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    Thanks for the heads-up. I ordered one to check out. Maybe it will replace my Linksys E3000 running Tomato.

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    Storage? I am Storage! Clocker's Avatar
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    Bootmonger's guide is the best. Some of the other guides required the use of a hex editor etc. which looked like a major PITA. Bootymonger's guide made it easy:

    https://slickdeals.net/f/9330575-asu...5#post92529215

    If you need any of the files (due to dead links or anything) just let me know.

  4. #4
    Storage? I am Storage! Clocker's Avatar
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    Note: Shipping is FREE (at final checkout) whether you select Next Day or not.

  5. #5
    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clocker View Post
    Note: Shipping is FREE (at final checkout) whether you select Next Day or not.
    Don't worry, I picked one day shipping.

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    Storage? I am Storage! Howell's Avatar
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    T-mobile web site is screwed up so I can't even pull up the product page to order. Stuck in some kind of port 80 https loop.

  7. #7
    Storage? I am Storage! Howell's Avatar
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    I was able to get it to work by following the holiday deals link at the top of the page rather than searching through the accessories for it.

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    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    I'm not sure what I'm going to find on my porch when I get home. I definitely bought the right thing from my T-mobile through the checkout process, but the order confirmation and shipping notice says I got an Askey Wi-Fi Router.

    Edit: I'm not going to find anything. It turns out they sent it via UPS and they won't leave packages with my authorization.

  9. #9
    Storage? I am Storage! Howell's Avatar
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    Same.

  10. #10
    Storage? I am Storage! Clocker's Avatar
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    "Askey Wi-Fi Router" is correct as far as what you will see in the email confirmation.


    If you log into the T-mobile site with your Order Number, Zip code and last name, to check order status - you should see the proper description.

  11. #11
    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    UPS left it on my porch this morning. I saw it as I was leaving the house for work. I put the box in the garage, so I'll take a look at it when I get home.

  12. #12
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    Well, I guess the Askey Wi-Fi Router and the Asus TM-AC1900 are the same thing because I got the Asus, but the marking on the box also says it's a Askey Wi-Fi Router.

    I haven't played with it yet.

  13. #13
    Storage? I am Storage! Howell's Avatar
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    Which might make you think Askey private labeled an Asus and resold it to Tmo. It is not available through the Askey website so it might be a one off. Either way glad to see we are getting what we think we are getting.

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    New version of Merlin is out: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/bkf...#qc4e5xc252czd

    380.64 (16-Dec-2016) - NEW: New firmware availability notification. The router will
    notify you if a new firmware is available, and will also
    let you view the changelog before sending you to the
    download page (the update process remains manual).


    Note that the automated check will only report new
    final releases. The Check button on the Firmware Upgrade
    will immediately check for final releases or beta (if you
    select that option), but not both at the same time.
    - NEW: Added iptables MASK support on MIPS kernel (patch
    by john9527)
    - NEW: Webui warning shown in the notification area if running
    low on free nvram.
    - CHANGED: Updated nano to 2.7.1.
    - CHANGED: Updated OpenVPN to 2.3.14.
    - CHANGED: Updated curl to 7.51.0, resolving numerous security
    and stability issues.
    - CHANGED: Tor clients will now route other TCP ports than just
    80/443, and drop UDP and ICMP traffic (patch by
    blackfuel)
    - CHANGED: QoS Stats info will automatically refresh every
    3 seconds (user-configurable)
    - CHANGED: IPTraffic charts now show sorted slices, so the
    clients with the least traffic will get grouped
    under "Others" if truncating the list of shown
    clients.
    - CHANGED: Enabled IPv6 support in curl.
    - CHANGED: Improved webui performance, by caching large static
    Javascript files such as jquery, and increased cache
    life from 5 mins to 1 hour.
    - CHANGED: No longer include Download Master packages in the
    firmware for those models that still included them,
    reducing firmware size by a few megabytes.
    Those were always outdated, the router will download
    the latest versions from Asus's servers at install
    time.
    - CHANGED: Improved webui protection against CSS/XSS attacks
    (backport from GPL 4164)
    - FIXED: Web server crash if importing an ovpn file with an
    invalid key or certificate (Asus bug)
    - FIXED: App icon at the top wouldn't work on Firefox,
    generating a Javascript error (Asus bug)
    - FIXED: Firefox would sometime fail to display the client
    list, reporting a JSON parsing error in the console.
    - FIXED: HMAC setting not properly set when importing an ovpn
    file for a config based on TLS authentication mode.
    (backport from GPL 4164)

  15. #15
    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    What's so great about Merlin?

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    Main reason I am using it is because it was recommended by the Hard Forum crew and also works very well with PIA in that you can specify which clients use it and which do not. Also, it is updated pretty frequently, from what I hear, and there is a lot of community feedback/support by the developer. I think if it as the Asus firmware, but enhanced. I'm sure you can find more with a search.

  17. #17
    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    PIA?

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    Private Internet Access, a VPN provider. They have instructions to set up the Merlin firmware on their site.

  19. #19
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    I finally played around with the T-Mobile router today. I followed bootymonger's guide and it went smoothly. I've got it swapped in place (running the latest Merlin) replacing my Linksys E3000 (running Tomato) to see how it works / behaves.

  20. #20
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    Great! What firmware did you settle on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clocker View Post
    Great! What firmware did you settle on?
    I'm not sure I've settled on anything just yet. Right now I'm really upset with some misbehavior of my network. The master browser is misreporting the IP of my file server when I use it's network name. I'm trying to figure out which machine is the master browser.

  22. #22
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Probably the easiest way is to seize the roles? Also make sure you don't have an LMHOSTS file or old static DNS entry somewhere.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    Probably the easiest way is to seize the roles?
    Perhaps easier said than done.

    Also make sure you don't have an LMHOSTS file or old static DNS entry somewhere.
    I'm sure I don't have those lurking about. A reboot of the router seems to have fixed the issue. Now I have an unhappy Windows 8.1 box to fix that can't / won't contact Windows Update for the past few months. And of course the Windows Update repair tool says it found problems and fixed them, but it still doesn't work. The tool finds the same problems every reboot.

    Edit: Apparently sitting and spinning overnight finally got it working. I had updates waiting to install when I checked it this morning.
    Last edited by Stereodude; 01-02-2017 at 10:53 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clocker View Post
    I have a 2nd one configured as an Access Point.
    How does that work for you? Are you treating it as a discrete 2nd wireless network with unique SSID and settings, or are all the settings the same and your relying on the device to connect to whichever one has a stronger signal? My understanding is that there's no way to have a device seamlessly migrate from one AP to the other as you move around the house with this level of consumer HW.

  25. #25
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    My understanding is that there's no way to have a device seamlessly migrate from one AP to the other as you move around the house with this level of consumer HW.
    My experience is that the cheapest one to transparently hand-off is the Ubiquiti stuff.
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    My AP is unique and is in a high location in the house so it covers the whole house with 2.4Ghz w/o issues. No need for handoffs. The router downstairs in the basement doesn't do much from a wireless perspective but I do have the 5Ghz band enabled so it can talk with one of my Fire TV sticks near by. We have Ubiquiti stuff at work and hand offs are usually pretty good (about 75% of the time it seems - depending on the application I am using at the time).

  27. #27
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    Thanks, I was just curious. I can cover my entire house adequately with a single unit on the first floor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    I finally played around with the T-Mobile router today. I followed bootymonger's guide and it went smoothly. I've got it swapped in place (running the latest Merlin) replacing my Linksys E3000 (running Tomato) to see how it works / behaves.
    I finally dedicated some time to getting the 2 I bought up and running. I had tried when I first bought them a couple of months ago but for what ever reason I couldn't make it through any of the guides successfully. I found this Light49x YouTube guide and now have them up and running on Merlin. Though I ended up turning off the Wifi because my old Ruckus 7363 had better reach. If anyone has Ubiquity and $30 for the 7363 on Ebay I'd be interested to see how the 2 compare.

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