Using the Asus RT-AC68U as a wireless router

There have been some threads regarding lack of wireless ability on the RT-AC68U because of the Broadcom chipset. There is also a note on the wiki which explains that this router is completely unsupported.
I purchased this by mistake actually because I thought it was supported. To make a long story short, I installed openwrt on the Rt-ac68u and didn’t really try to get the Broadcom chipset working as it clearly isn’t supported.
However, I did come to the realization that I should be able to install a wireless adapter on one of the USB ports, install Hostapd, usb drivers and utilities, the wpa supplicant, etc, etc, and the hardware should recognize the adapter and allow this router to be used as a router and as a wireless access point. This seems to be working, I haven’t completely tested it, however, in my x86 setups I didn’t have any problem and I don’t expect to have any with the RT-AC68U. The adapter is recognized and the wireless network shows up in scans and is enabled, the wireless menu choice is available in Luci, etc

It’s not the ideal solution, but if you have this router and you want to use it as an access point, this is a solution, and could change its status as noted in the wiki from completely unsupported, to somewhat supported with this work around.

If I find more details with using this setup, using it with different adapters,etc, or any other details, I will add it here.

Two half-decent USB wireless cards (concurrent dual-band, 5 GHz) will cost you more than the first supported mt7621a+mt7603e+mt7612e devices (new, delivered - even more options including the used markets), which will gain you better range/ performance, number of AP interfaces and -connected STAs and considerably better reliability.

USB wireless is problematic on the best days, but combined with a rather slow host bus (powered by the SOC), it will shine like carbon black in the night.

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I had to add a wlan interface in network interfaces,setup the dhcp server, and other settings like the firewall. I tested this and it works, I am able to use it like a standard wireless router. I haven’t tested performance , that will probably be a limitation as noted. I will continue testing and provide more details. In any case, great news that the RT-ac68u can be used as a wireless router with an adapter. Currently the adapter is plugged into the usb2 port, but it’s possible and adapter could be plugged into the USB3 port for enhanced performance.:+1:

So far the performance is ok .. but the adapter is an old adapter … I will try it with newer and better adapters and update this thread.

fwiw, have you considered installing Merlin? It is a customised AsusWrt build for many broadcom based Asus routers.

https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/

FreshTomato and ddwrt are also available.

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Use Fresh tomato :tomato: on it. I am using latest fresh tomato :tomato: on my 68U and it is working awesome

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I never got Merlin to work on the Asus rt-ac68u, but it’s an option. I just very much prefer a standard solution which is OpenWRT( multiple routers ). Openwrt also has a lot of options and configuration. Is there any way to load these proprietary closed drivers on Openwrt, or do you think I could use the somewhat older open source drivers for Linux?

What actual specific version and revision are you using, I will need try it :+1: ( the actual specific file name would help )

I will look at these as well .. thanks :+1:

? Just tested an installation a few hours ago.
No issues with the current Merlin Stable 386.7 release.
and
The previous 386.5_2 worked fine as well with SkyNet.

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Ignore the uptime, it is due to loadshedding aka blackouts 2 hours ago.
this is the filename and exact download link
2022.3 K26ARM USB AIO-64K
[CMP]freshtomato-RT-AC68U-ARM_NG-2022.3-AIO-64K.zip
https://freshtomato.org/downloads/freshtomato-arm/2022/2022.3/K26ARM/

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no simple way, and may even be impossible, to get proprietary broadcom drivers to work with openwrt imho.

best bet is Merlin which I think uses current wifi drivers, or FreshTomato which I think use 'old' drivers but don't quote me.

I've used Shibby/FreshTomato for dumb Access points, wireless bridge, samba and/or FTP servers for many years. It just works out of the box on the few 'old' MIPS and ARM based broadcom devices I've installed.

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I’m using a Linksys AE6000 USB adapter now with a x86 and it’s working very well, as good as a basic router. I will try it on the Asus-rtac68u as well.

I hope to look at possibly using the drivers for fresh tomato somehow, or try using fresh tomato instead possibly. In any case , working very well with a USB adapter at this point.:+1: ( since the Broadcom drivers are unusable )

Thank you, I will try it :+1:

Thank you, I will try loading that , that’s great :+1:

I installed the Linksys AE6000 USB adapter on the usb 2.0 port of the RT-AC68U and I am getting 20+ MB/sec over wireless, seems very fast for a USB adapter.

I downloaded that ( tomato version specified ), thank you, and I will try installing it. I am currently using the RT-AC68U with a linksys ae6000 adapter, so far fast and reliable, but I haven’t extensively tested it

The ASUS RT-68U (and RT-1900P, same but better CPU) run well on Merlin, but you really should do a factory reset, flash, then reset again. Do not carry over any config. There is a hard reset with buttons, and a soft reset in the Administration section of the GUI. Use the SNB forum and follow Ozark Edge and L&LD on these.