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Asus RT-AC3100 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router $229

  • Last Updated:
  • May 9th, 2020 9:23 am
25 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4136 posts
1679 upvotes
Toronto
I'm back and forth between something like this or one of those qotom i3 mini-pc's from aliexpress loaded with pfsense... Although the qotom option is about $100 more than this Asus

.... Coming from a guy who is still running an Asus rt-n66u (dark knight) loaded with Merlin firmware.

I seem to be having quite a bit of stability issues in the last few months.
Member
Dec 3, 2007
434 posts
61 upvotes
Showed up as $344 for me. And no Prime.
Newbie
Jan 29, 2013
96 posts
63 upvotes
Mississauga
4zim wrote: Showed up as $344 for me. And no Prime.
If you choose amazon as the seller, then it shows up as OPs price.
Member
Dec 3, 2007
434 posts
61 upvotes
tegboy wrote: If you choose amazon as the seller, then it shows up as OPs price.
OOS
Deal Addict
Oct 8, 2009
2370 posts
1586 upvotes
Kitchener
Thanks for taking the time to post Op.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8423 posts
2073 upvotes
I upgraded from an ac68. Did not notice any performance improvements for distance....
Jr. Member
Feb 21, 2011
128 posts
157 upvotes
Canada
Note that this is a slightly downgraded version of the highly-rated Asus RT-AC88U:

he Asus RT-AC3100 has two minors differences from the recently reviewed RT-AC88U. It has only four LAN ports (the RT-AC88U has eight), and it comes in black (the RT-AC88U has red styling). Other than that, the two routers are the same. That said, if you don't have use for the extra LAN ports, the RT-AC3100 will deliver exactly the same performance as the RT-AC88U.

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/asus-rt-ac ... r-preview/
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 1, 2005
624 posts
481 upvotes
Kitchener
I'd take a RT-AC86u (aka AC-2900) over this one. Goes on sale for $199 from time to time, and if you're lucky maybe a staples coupon is also running. It has better performance and a much smaller form factor, at almost half the size (though it's vertical only). The performance difference is especially relevant if you want to run OpenVPN clients or servers on it. The AC-2900 has a total throughput of about 200Mbps with Openvpn where the AC-3100 is like 40-50Mbps. Difference is due to CPUs in the units.

The cool thing about merlin firmware is you can put only certain devices through the VPN if you want rather than everything or nothing. Different devices on different VPN endpoints even -- i.e. maybe you want a streaming device on US, but other stuff is fine on Canada because you just want the security factor. I also have the openvpn server setup so I can easily access my NAS securely when away from home. The AC86 is a beast.
Deal Addict
Oct 8, 2009
2370 posts
1586 upvotes
Kitchener
bendak wrote: I'd take a RT-AC86u (aka AC-2900) over this one. Goes on sale for $199 from time to time, and if you're lucky maybe a staples coupon is also running. It has better performance and a much smaller form factor, at almost half the size (though it's vertical only). The performance difference is especially relevant if you want to run OpenVPN clients or servers on it. The AC-2900 has a total throughput of about 200Mbps with Openvpn where the AC-3100 is like 40-50Mbps. Difference is due to CPUs in the units.

The cool thing about merlin firmware is you can put only certain devices through the VPN if you want rather than everything or nothing. Different devices on different VPN endpoints even -- i.e. maybe you want a streaming device on US, but other stuff is fine on Canada because you just want the security factor. I also have the openvpn server setup so I can easily access my NAS securely when away from home. The AC86 is a beast.
I agree with this.

I have both and used the 3100 as my main router before AiMesh and it was great, but the A86u is better overall, mainly due to the processor. Now my 3100 is a node and the A86 is the main unit.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 25, 2010
611 posts
170 upvotes
Does this router support full hardware acceleration (CTF and flow acceleration) with PPPoE? I presently have the RT-87u and I can only use CTF with PPPoE
Newbie
Feb 4, 2017
98 posts
90 upvotes
stevensingh21 wrote: does it support the bell hub 3000
Hmm, was wondering how this works. Do you replace the Bell Hub 3000 with this or connect them?
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1536 posts
758 upvotes
Nobleton, ON
How does this stack against Linksys wrt1900acs? I see the Linksys has a little bit higher CPU frequency, but the 3100 has Merlin support which is very nice.
Newbie
Aug 3, 2006
45 posts
32 upvotes
Montreal
bendak wrote: I'd take a RT-AC86u (aka AC-2900) over this one. Goes on sale for $199 from time to time, and if you're lucky maybe a staples coupon is also running. It has better performance and a much smaller form factor, at almost half the size (though it's vertical only). The performance difference is especially relevant if you want to run OpenVPN clients or servers on it. The AC-2900 has a total throughput of about 200Mbps with Openvpn where the AC-3100 is like 40-50Mbps. Difference is due to CPUs in the units.

The cool thing about merlin firmware is you can put only certain devices through the VPN if you want rather than everything or nothing. Different devices on different VPN endpoints even -- i.e. maybe you want a streaming device on US, but other stuff is fine on Canada because you just want the security factor. I also have the openvpn server setup so I can easily access my NAS securely when away from home. The AC86 is a beast.
The RT-AC86u is currently on sale at Staples for $200: https://www.staples.ca/products/2860115 ... rt-ac86uca

I live in a three-floor townhome and I currently have a Netgear Nighthawk router (r7000) on the second floor. Coverage is spotty throughout the house. I currently have a 120Mbps internet connection and I struggle to get higher than 50Mbps on floors one and three (often dropping to 20Mbps). Would the RT-AC86u be a massive upgrade over the r7000 or should I instead consider a tri-band mesh network (Eero Pro or Orbi RBK50)?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35121 posts
8543 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Why would anyone blow this much money on a consumer router?

You can do a lot better for less

Ubiquiti Edge Router is less than 100$ on sale
The TP-Link EAP 245 Access point is currently on sale at Amazon for 89$

That combination will beat any consumer router
Newbie
Jul 19, 2011
97 posts
285 upvotes
CALGARY
TP Link is bottom of the barrel crap, I have a TP Link AC1750 right now and it's drops connection every other week. And I have never heard of Ubiquiti...sounds like some Aliexpress product.

Asus is best known brand for reliable routers. Rather spend the $30-40 extra!

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