Expired Hot Deals

[Staples] ASUS Router RT-AC86U - $209 After Taxes WARM

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 8th, 2021 1:50 pm
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2005
2005 posts
454 upvotes

[Staples] ASUS Router RT-AC86U - $209 After Taxes WARM

Main reasons for purchase: Price as low as BF, DFS channels (5x 80Mhz Channels), MIMO 4x4.

This is the lowest price it's been according to CCC. If you still have Amex Biz offer, even better. Plus you can throw on a Staples coupon for another $15 which brings it down to $209 after taxes. You do need to add a filler to break $200, so I bought pencils for $0.27. You can pick anything from here really though The only downside is that, you can only do pick-up if you choose something like cheap office supplies. Some will work for delivery but you have to test and see.

Link to cheap things to add: https://www.staples.ca/collections/offi ... ice-210%22

76822 - $15 off on $200
staples-coupons-megathread-389024/4828/ - Thread for more codes in case the above doesn't work for you.

Reasoning for this Router
Now I know this isn't SUPER hot or anything but reason why I need to buy this is because it's roughly the best value I can find for my needs. I live in a new townhouse complex and too many of my neighbours are over-saturating the 5Ghz spectrum. So this has resulted in really bad video conference calls. After some research, and without getting too technical, the reason it's so bad (besides having 5 neighbours), is because most consumer routers only offer 2 channels for 5Ghz. There are 4 other channels that are available but only certain routers can access it (this one RT-AC86U does). Here's a site that discusses best router/access points to buy https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-t ... ml#routers as well as all the technical stuff, if you're interested. Initially, I wanted to get a Ubiquiti nanoHD, but I need a switch too for where my unit is going, so the ASUS one works better for me. The nanoHD is faster with "wave2" but more expensive and I don't need the extra speed.

Additional Links:
Merlin Firmware https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/download
Script for VLAN Setup https://gist.github.com/Jimmy-Z/6120988 ... e7e42c64c4
Last edited by Chocolinx on Jan 20th, 2021 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
165 replies
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Jul 2, 2001
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How do you enable those dfs channels? Is it that "auto channels" setting?
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
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If you're spending over $200 on a router, you should be looking at WiFi 6 routers even if you don't have any WiFi 6 devices yet.
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May 1, 2012
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A lot of people here hyping WiFi6, but what they fail to mention is that you actually won't notice the difference for day-to-day use. Even if you could use WiFi6, you would need to have the necessary Internet service... at least Rogers Ignite 500 or higher. Even then, why not wait another 6 months for WiFi 6E?

The point is that you don't need to dole out double the money for an AX router, unless you're really into using your network super effectively. For 90% of the people out there, an AC WiFi 5 router for half the price is all you need.
Sr. Member
May 23, 2008
680 posts
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Toronto
The same router in GT versioning (hence, I expect, no Merlin) is $179 less 25%, about $134 +tax.

https://www.staples.ca/products/2952578 ... ing-router

I just did curbside pickup on one for my mesh.
I don't intend to upgrade tech until 6e routers have been out in Canada for at least a year.
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Dec 18, 2007
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Anikiri wrote: A lot of people here hyping WiFi6, but what they fail to mention is that you actually won't notice the difference for day-to-day use. Even if you could use WiFi6, you would need to have the necessary Internet service... at least Rogers Ignite 500 or higher. Even then, why not wait another 6 months for WiFi 6E?

The point is that you don't need to dole out double the money for an AX router, unless you're really into using your network super effectively. For 90% of the people out there, an AC WiFi 5 router for half the price is all you need.
You can get a decent WiFi-6 capable router RIGHT NOW for $129, so I'm really not sure what you're harping about being "double the price". But yes, 6E will be the better choice when it releases.

https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-AX1800-Wi ... 243&sr=8-5

The point is, why spend over $200 on an inferior router when you can pay alot less for a much more future-proof router with the TP-Link AX1800, and since most will keep their routers for 4-5 years, you're bound to purchase WiFi-6 capable devices sooner or later.
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AsianXL wrote: You can get a decent WiFi-6 capable router RIGHT NOW for $129, so I'm really not sure what you're harping about being "double the price". But yes, 6E will be the better choice when it releases.

https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-AX1800-Wi ... 243&sr=8-5

The point is, why spend over $200 on an inferior router when you can pay alot less for a much more future-proof router with the TP-Link AX1800, and since most will keep their routers for 4-5 years, you're bound to purchase WiFi-6 capable devices sooner or later.
Thats not the same tier of router as the one from OP. It's like comparing an Audi with a Kia.
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Dec 18, 2007
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Anikiri wrote: Thats not the same tier of router as the one from OP. It's like comparing an Audi with a Kia.
How is it not the same tier?
TP-link is the world's largest consumer home networking company. This isn't Taotronics.
Last edited by AsianXL on Jan 20th, 2021 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AsianXL wrote: How is it not the same tier?
Ever wonder why there are routers that cost $30 bucks and some that cost $600? You think they're all the same?
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The RT-AC86u is excellent for running OpenVPN client since the Broadcom CPU supports hardware encryption. I happen to come across a used one at an excellent price and bought it. If I didn't find a deal on a used unit, I'd grab the 86U for Merlin if I could not get the GT-2900 at a discount.
Last edited by audit13 on Jan 20th, 2021 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Anikiri wrote: Ever wonder why there are routers that cost $30 bucks and some that cost $600? You think they're all the same?
This is your argument? LOL

TP-Link AX20 is the Top 5 Best Router of 2021 according to WireCutter

So yeah, it really is like comparing a BMW (TP-Link AX20) with a Kia (Asus RT-AC86U).
Last edited by AsianXL on Jan 20th, 2021 2:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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The ac86u has years of people using it, and years of tweaks and fixes, which makes it a solid buy.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2005
2005 posts
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shabby wrote: How do you enable those dfs channels? Is it that "auto channels" setting?
https://www.asus.com/ca-en/support/FAQ/1011431/ looking at the settings here, it would be "control channel" setting. Choosing something between 52 to 144 would put you on a DFS channel. You can use something like "Wifi Analyzer" to see which channels are free (empty). Make sure bandwidth is set to 80Mhz for full speeds.
AsianXL wrote: If you're spending over $200 on a router, you should be looking at WiFi 6 routers even if you don't have any WiFi 6 devices yet.
For me DFS access is pretty important and most of the WiFi 6 routers that do support it are pretty expensive. The only one that would work for me is the Asus RT-AX88U, but that's $400. https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html#wifi6 If you read this, in my situation WiFi6 on the cheap would be still useless to me with all the 5Ghz interference I have without DFS channels. I would run into the same issue. When WiFi 6E comes out (on 6Ghz) I'll probably make the leap then. But, right now I have no WiFi 6 devices so, WiFi5 still for me, which speeds are fine - just need less interference from neighbours.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2005
2005 posts
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AsianXL wrote: This is your argument? LOL

TP-Link AX20 is the Top 5 Best Router of 2021 according to WireCutter

So yeah, it really is like comparing a BMW (TP-Link AX20) with a Kia (Asus RT-AC86U).
https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-t ... routerhype
https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html#wifi6

It's a good read, if you're willing.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2005
2005 posts
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Avignon wrote: The same router in GT versioning (hence, I expect, no Merlin) is $179 less 25%, about $134 +tax.

https://www.staples.ca/products/2952578 ... ing-router

I just did curbside pickup on one for my mesh.
I don't intend to upgrade tech until 6e routers have been out in Canada for at least a year.
Oh man, I would've gotten this if it were in my area.
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Jun 18, 2012
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sort of repost, Staples router deals discussed in the big thread
Avignon wrote: The same router in GT versioning (hence, I expect, no Merlin) is $179 less 25%, about $134 +tax.

https://www.staples.ca/products/2952578 ... ing-router

I just did curbside pickup on one for my mesh.
I don't intend to upgrade tech until 6e routers have been out in Canada for at least a year.
Merlin's actually in the supported list for that GT rgb one, at the very bottom

the 25%-off code works on this RT-AC86U router also, $149+tax... 93205
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May 1, 2012
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Chocolinx wrote: Oh man, I would've gotten this if it were in my area.
Its slightly more gimped than the one you found but a lot cheaper. Not available though, too bad =(

Also cannot flash any GT's with Merlin so at least yours can. I don't think its a bad trade getting either one. Great routers that can be used later as AiMesh nodes
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Mar 31, 2007
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jasonchewy wrote: The ac86u has years of people using it, and years of tweaks and fixes, which makes it a solid buy.
This is something a lot of people underrate.

A lot of routers should be treated like flagship smartphones, the main ones (like the ac86u) are more likely to get more updates and faster than the Galaxy A21 Nightlite Mini Zoom
Sr. Member
May 23, 2008
680 posts
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Toronto
[quote=ManCaveGamer post_id=33935020 time=1611172193 user_id=553220

the 25%-off code works on this RT-AC86U router also, $149+tax... 93205
[/quote]

Actually it doesn't : "The discount code you've entered is invalid"
The code is for clearance items, price ending in .97.

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