ASUS RT-AC5300 Router

Elegantly mounted on a shelf over the door to the garage and near the center of the house :-).

Random things I have discovered about my new ASUS RT-AC5300 Router:

You *MUST* administer it via defining a name in /etc/hosts with that address doesn't work — it logs you out every time it wants to redirect something in the web interface (like when you press the apply button :-).

I found the asuswrt-merlin firmware to be necessary (I have version 380.59 at the moment), otherwise I'm not allowed to specify the names I want for the devices I assign fixed IPs. The DNS service is only useful in the merlin version (for me, anyway, others might be OK with random names devices give themselves like android-ef9a773bc1230cf2a :-).

One bug I see is that the "client list" on the network map front page won't list any clients I've given a fixed IP address (though it does report the number of clients correctly, or maybe it won't list any clients at all — I think I have a few without a fixed IP and I don't see them either). The System Log page, DHCP leases tab does show all the clients, so that's a good work around (though you'd think it could just copy the data from the exact same source).

Another bug is the DHCP Server tab on the LAN page. I can click the icon for devices I've assigned a fixed IP, and it let's me edit the "New Device" string it shows by default, but when I click apply, it always still says "New Device".

I also was able to add additional alias IPs using merlin's add-on config file feature (/jffs/configs/dnsmasq.conf.add) to add lines to the dnsmasq config.

The antennas are a pain in the patoot. If you touch them slightly in a way that applies force in a direction to unscrew them, they flop right over. I used a needle nose plier to apply a tiny bit of pressure to tighten the knurled knobs on each antenna while holding the antenna stationary, and that may have helped a bit.

Rather than configuring each transmitter separately, it seems to work great in smart mode where I only need a single SSID and it connects at best speed to the devices. All my devices seem to connect OK and I get really great speeds on the vivo PC which has an AC wifi interface. (And, I think, better speeds, or at least stronger signals on other devices without AC).

I previously downloaded the WAN IP from my old router's web page to notice if the external IP changed (so I could update my hosts file at work), that didn't seem to be easily doable on this new router, but since it supports logging in via ssh, I can use an ssh command to run ifconfig eth0 on the router and parse out the IP address.

I also setup the asus provided dynamic DNS service, but I don't like to rely on external services to function, so I plan to keep using my manually updated hosts file (not too much work since I've only had comcast change my IP a few times in several years).

In keeping with the security track record of ASUS, I've disabled all external services (aicloud, WAN admin, etc). I forward the https port (443) to zooty (my home fedora system) where I actually listen for ssh connections from work (only the work external IP is allowed to connect). The MIS folks at work once had a fit and blocked outgoing ssh, but I bet they'll never block outgoing https, hence the use of that port for my ssh connection :-). I've also forwarded some bittorrent ports so I can download stuff easily (legal stuff, I hasten to add, like new Fedora releases :-).

When first setting up the router on a windows box without a WAN connection (just to get all the fixed IPs defined and such), I discovered that the DNS server refused to work right unless you turn off the option at Administration > System > Enable WAN down browser redirect notice. It apparently always returns the IP addr for everything when the wan warning is on (God knows why, you'd think local LAN addresses would still be fine with no WAN connection).

P.S. When I say I discovered above, I really mean I found in google search. Pretty much all the tips and tricks above came from google.

Page last modified Sun Jun 19 20:12:41 2016