New Archer AX6000 - slow upload speed, missing basic features?
Hi there, sorry for the rant up front.
I just got a new Archer AX6000 today that I bought for two reasons: I recently upgraded my internet speed that my old router can't keep up with, and I had Wifi issues on my old router for a while now mostly because we have a lot of devices (15-20) so some of them drop off a lot.
As comparison, my old router is a 6+ years old Asus RT-AC66U running DD-WRT.
<rant>I was hopeing that this router would fix both problems, but right now, I'm really trying not to sound to rude here, but I'm very unhappy with this router for multiple reasons. First, while the download speeds are good (maximum possible) the upload speeds are much slower then on my old router. More importantly, there are multiple featrues that I consider basic features every router should have. Maybe I'm spoiled from using DD-WRT for the last decade or more, but the state of the firmware on this router seems outright pathetic to me. Sorry. It's nice, shiny, but it is missing basic features. And they are not hard-to-do features, they are simple features that were cut for business or marketing resons. </rant>
I have to say that I have not finished "setting up" the router on my network because it is not adequate/safe enough. I did however finish the setup wizard and updated the firmware (today). My old router is still driving the network but I did have the new router on the web (directly, disconnected the old router) with one PC only. I'm looking for guidance on how to make this work for my network setup, if possible.
I have a fiber DHCP 500/500 Mbps type of connection.
1. Speed: Why is the AX6000 slower then my old router?
I can see that my old singe core router is at 100% CPU when I do the speed test, and the new one is not breaking a sweat. Nice. But then why is the upload speed on the AX6000 slower then on my 6+ year old router? My connection speed should be 500/500. I get around 300+/300+ on my old router (with 100%CPU) and around 517/220 on the new router. The download speeds are great, but I expected at least 450+ up. Note that with my laptop directly connected I got around 400/400, it's not the connection.
New AX6000: https://www.speedtest.net/result/10515084378
6+ Year old DD-WRT router: https://www.speedtest.net/result/10515353043
I would really like to know what the problem is here. This does not seem to be intended, maybe I'm doing somehting wrong? But what? I did not change any of the settings, the router is pretty much on the default settings after the setup wizzard. Do I have to do something to get the full speed? Is this a known issue?
The internet speed is one of the two reasons I bought this router but if it can't even do 500/500 (and as far as I can tell it's supposed to be able to do 2500/2500?) then there is no point in keeping it.
2. Custom DDNS support
This one is very important to me. It's a breaking change that will make it very hard for me to justify keeping this router if I can't get it to work. I need to be able to use any URL for the DDNS service and not just the three hardcoded options of a tp-link subdomain, and the other two paid services that, as far as I can tell, are not adequate for my case.
I use this for two reasons:
- I have my own domains, my hoster supports DDNS (all-inlk.com) and I can reach my current router at home.mydomain.example. It is not acceptable that I can't use that any more. This is important as I use VPN to dial in to my home server.
- I am also using OpenDNS with custom settings for (one layer of) parental control. I would love to switch to your parental control, however it is not adequate, so I can't. More detail below. So to use OpenDNS with custom settings I need to use DDNS to let OpenDNS know that it's me on this IP now. OpenDNS DDNS is driven by dnsomatic.com which is able to do follow-up DDNS updates (it updates my hoster).
This is such a simple thing to support. Just add a "custom" option. Let me provide the URL. Hide it in the advanced setting. I can't remember a time when DD-WRT did not have this setting.
Bluntly, I think the reason you guys are not supporting it is because you are getting money from those other two providers as long as you only support your and their services. It is very frustrating for me to see an expensive high end router fail at this.
3. Parental controlls
I tried to use the parental controlls on the AX6000, but they seem... lacking. It's not too bad though, I like the feature where I can limit devices to certain amounts of time and times of day. However the content filtering is simply not enough as it does not seem to have any kind of costumization / blacklist / whitelist. It also does not seem to enforce blocking, simply setting a custom name server on the tablet/phone/laptop, which my kids are easily capable of, seems to bypass the filtering.
So, features I'm looking for:
- Blocking DNS & enforcing the use of the router's DNS and filtering except for parent devices (whitelist and/or blacklist) On my current setup parent devices can use other (e.g. Google's) DNS, everything else can't.
- Blocking certain devices completely from the internet (e.g. smart TVs, WiFi enabled toys). LAN only.
- A default level that applies to all devices by default, except for parent devices (whitelist approach: These devices are Parent devices, no/light blocking, another rule for "No Internet Devices", everything else is considered "Child" with filtering. That's actually my current setup on the old router, did not have to touch it for more then a year. The kids simply have more devices that us parents. Also, soon enough they will figure out that they can change the MAC address.
- A list of domains (including subdomains) that can be blocked (for a specific rule), a blacklist. E.g. block everything Facebook or Youtube or example.com for the kids.
- A list of domains that are not blocked (e.g. block social networks but not Twitter), aka whitelist.
None of these features are rocket science. It's mostly DNS based blocking. I'm sure guys can figure out how it would work technically, I did.
I would also like to mention that in my current setup I'm using multiple layers of parental controls, so please adopt the attitude that your solution is not going to be the only one and work nice with other solutions on other layers.
In some ways the parental controls on this router are pretty good. They are certainly much more user friendly then on DD-WRT. But it does not help if you are missing features that simply disqualify your solution. You have an opportunity here: Open it up for advanced settings and you could be market leaders because you would combine the easy to use interface with the options of a DD-WRT firmware. The solutions that I know of out there are either "not good enough" like yours or "hard to use time suckers" like DD-WRT, and a plenty of parents are not tech-savvy enough for the DD-WRT approach.
These are just the most important issues I encountered in the limited time just by trying to set up this router on my network. I belive a high end router like the AX6000 should be paired with a firmware that is not tailered towards my parents, but power users like me.
Frankly I think I might just send it back and get a UBIQUITI ER-X plus one or two access points instead, I'll probably end up saving some money, despite of Black Friday being over.
Sorry again for the rant, I am looking for solutions. I was hoping to get away from the time-suck of DD-WRT but with an entry like this I don't see it happening any time soon. I guess I should give it a day or two before I decide wheter I should send it back or not. But as it is, the AX6000 is too expensive to be just a WiFi access point and it does not look like the DD-WRT maintainers are working on ever supporting this router.