This was posted 4 years 18 days ago, and might be an out-dated deal.

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[REFURB] TM-AC1900 (Rebranded RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router by ASUS US $61.11 (~AU $78.06) Shipped @ Amazon

1020

Rebranded RT-AC68U.Similar to previous deal. Deal also here for non-refurbished version (obviously more expensive).

It is a router only, it does NOT include a modem. It comes with proprietary T-Mobile firmware, which can be re-flashed to make it an RT-AC68U. Details here. Comes with a US plug, so will need an adapter.

Price History at C CamelCamelCamel.

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closed Comments

  • Is it an ac68u or is it the same but 20% downclocked cpu ie 800mhz vs 1ghiz?

    • According to the description:

      -1 GHz Dual-core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wifi and USB data

      • If you switch the firmware over to ASUS RT-AC68U, it will report 800MHz. This could be due to the CFE being installed has the CPU marked as 800MHz, rather than it actually being an 800MHz processor (from what I've read). Or it could simply be an 800MHz processor. Either way, it will run at 800Mhz, unless you manually override it to run at 1GHz.

        • ssh into it and check for cpuinfo

        • Switching the firmware requires first changing the CFE to the 68U CFE.

    • My one is 800MHz, but apparently can be overclocked to 1GHz, though haven't bothered trying it.

    • I have two of these both run at 800 Mhz this unit is different to the Asus AC68U which has a 1 Ghz. Also I wouldnt advice OCing it as the CPU runs around 75C temp so not sure what sort or heat a 20% OC would do to it and how much hotter it would run.

    • +1

      My 1ghz ac68u uses 3% on one CPU while downloading at max rate on a 15mbps connection. USB ports some load on it, but the only time I've seen the cpu pushed hard is when I first hooked a USB in and it started cataloguing it for a bit. I have not tried VPN. 800mhz should be heaps unless you have special needs.

  • +1

    Has anyone done the flashing procedure before? Is it staight forward or did you hit any snags?

    • I have. It isn't too difficult. Some people hit some issues (such as getting it into recovery mode). But just about everyone seems to get it working in the end.

    • +2

      I bought one last months, it's very difficult to get it into recovery mode since it's on the latest firmware, the old trick did not work anymore.But I finally got it done by doing lots of researches and it took me almost whole day

    • Had to go through flashing procedures a few times.
      Worked on the third.

      Also bought the refurb version a month back for $98AUD, so price has come down a bit since then.

    • I followed the guide on the previous deal and it worked fine

    • The issue with this is flashing the CFE. it's slightly more risky than just flashing firmware as you have to customize the CFE for your specific device (there are tools to help with this) and there are no checks in place to make sure it's all correct. If something is wrong you'll brick it.

  • thanks OP, picked one up.

  • +4

    For those who wants to buy this and flash to AC68U, here is the instruction.

    https://slickdeals.net/f/9330575-asus-tm-ac1900-wireless-ac1...

    I bought 2 for myself and it is working perfectly with latest AC68U firmware.

    Re-flashing usually takes about 15 mins.

    • Why would you like to flash it to AC68U?

      • The TM firmware is adequate, but honestly pretty terrible. I haven't bothered to flash it myself as it does work out of the box. Those worried about stuff like KRACK etc would flash too, or power users that want more flexibility than normal routers provide.

      • To use Asus mesh network

        • What are the benefits of these?

        • @pal:

          To turn a bunch of this into one seemless network, extend the range, cover dead spots, faster speeds where the wireless used to be weak.

          https://www.asus.com/AiMesh/

          Instead of paying big money for a specialist mesh system you could just reuse your old Asus routers (ac1900 or better models that are supported) to make a mesh system. I assume it will work with this T-Mobile if you need a cheap node after you upgrade it proper firmware. It's a great idea of you have one of the aimesh compatible models already.

          I am wary of refurbished electronics given how hard it is to diagnose intermittent faults.

        • +1

          Thanks for the reply @CJ31, I have a couple of routers that I set them up as extenders old school, but my $6 Xiaomi repeater outperforms them. Any reason to spend $100 on routers and use them as extenders instead of $6?
          I am sure the net work speed never hits the 100MB/S mark, so 300MB/S should be more than enough and 1900 is not the highest but accumulated speed.

        • @pal:

          If you are happy with your current setup stick with it. You can also run a few speed tests at various distance in your house. somewhere like

          (http://beta.speedtest.net/)

          Even if you aren't getting your full speed at some spots it may be more than sufficient for your needs. My Ac68u covers my house, not black spots and the far corners get more speed than I use there. I'd love to set up an AiMesh just for the fun of it but I'd get no actual benefit from it.

    • cheers!

  • +1

    Anyone in mel wants to split shipping costs?
    Edit: just checked shipping for 2 is also doubled. Ignore my comment

    • Where in mel are you? May end up more expensive to catch up in Mel.

  • Tempting but always wary of a new hardware revision to prevent this hack

    • Agreed. There is a small risk you won't be able to reflash it.

      • +2

        Honestly for $75 this is an insanely good router with the TM firmware.

  • For someone as lazy as me can they explain the benefits of this router vs like a standard ac dual radio router?

    • This is a standard ac dual band router?

      • So no point upgrading? I did my own research some of the features I like about it.. the 3 antennas and traffic monitoring. I can't get that on my current router. So when i know the network is being hammered I can't find the source.

        • Well features will vary with all routers. So unless you're comparing model A to model B it's hard to say.
          Generally this is a very capable device that'll stand up to all but the most demanding workloads, which you're unlikely to see even in a small business.

  • Does this work with NBN connection..?

    • Works perfectly on HFC NBN

    • … and FTTP, as no model required

    • +1

      This should work with any NBN service. FTTN will need a modem too while FTTP, HFC provide a NTU.

      • +1

        Just to clarify ozbargainer88's comment, no it won't work with FTTN without an external (VDSL?) modem, but it will work directly with FTTP and HFC because NBN already provide the NTU so you just connect with Ethernet (to the Ethernet WAN port).

  • Anyone knows if Asuswrt-Merlin will work on this once it's reflashed with stock ASUS?

    • Yes it does. I run Asuswrt-Merlin.

    • It works.

    • Once it's flashed with stock CFE yes.

  • i got one of these from the last sale .. spent a night flashing the firmware and finally got it on .. ran great for 2 weeks … then all of a sudden the wireless power now is extremely weak and i cannot get it the same as before … had to switch back to my old router .. anyone got any ideas?

    • Return it under warranty

      • that means i'd have to flash it back .. so much hassle .. should have just bought an asus lol.

        • +1

          I had similar problems with mine from the get go. I asked the seller if he wants me to try putting the hacked firmware on there and see if it fixes it and if not Ill return it. The seller agreed & it didn't help so I returned it no problems.

          The only issue is Amazon will only want to cover $15USD of the return shipping but Amazon customer service eventually agreed to pay the full amount.

          Your mileage may vary :).

    • Exact same problem on mine… I expected ASUS to be solid quality but it failed me big time.

  • +1

    Thanks, was looking at a new Router for a few days. This was my fall back one. Saved me at least $100

  • Main concern is refurbished. Had bad experience with refurbished items.

  • Anyone know if there's a modem router refurbished version?

  • Any wifi mesh support?

  • Looks like that also means it'll work with DD-WRT.

    https://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Asus_RT-AC68U

    • In fact it is specifically mentioned as being supported:

      Sister site: Asus T-Mobile Cellspot

      This site has been seeded from material from the T-Mobile Cellspot Wiki: the Cellspot is a hobbled RT-AC68U that can be upgraded to a fully functional RT-AC68U.

  • Question - I've got a vividwireless 4g router.

    I'm not much of a comms expert, so I apologise for this silly question.

    Is there a way I can use this router for my home network for both internet(i'm assuming I have to find a way to plug in my vivid-wireless internet into it), and for my home network (this way offline wifi file sharing is a lot faster with this new router instead of using my 4g vivid-wireless router).

    To be clear - is scenario above do-able?

  • If this is US product wouldn't it be 110 Volts? Hence you'd need not just an adapter but transformer?

    • No.. Power supply accepts both.. Just need a converter for the socket.

      • Ah that's neat. I got caught up once with my wife's US Pressure Cooker not accepting 240V. Almost fried the thing.

    • These days I'd be very surprised for any consumer electronics power bricks not accepting 110~240V inputs. touchwood

      For kitchen stuff I can understand being generally higher power full mains voltage devices.

      • +1

        No, the main difference is AC vs. DC devices. Kitchen appliances are all AC.

        • Too right. I just checked an old 12V downlight transformer and that's 220-240V only as well.

  • Is this better than Tp-link archer d9? I don't need the extra features as long as it does the job,ie. Streaming and such.

    • I went from a D9 to a AC88u, which has similar firmware but better hardware.

      TP link are terrible with firmware. They update it once every 10 months and have stopped releasing new firmware for the D9 for over a year. Asus release new firmware every 2 months or so. If you use Merlin, it gets updated probably every month. The Asus firmware is SO MUCH BETTER than TP Link.

      • Why do you need frequent update for router? What can new firmware bring?

        • If something isn't working right with current firmware, you would want updated firmware.

          I couldn't get port forwarding working with my D9 so I could not access my security camera NVR. No firmware update available to fix this, and from my searches on the internet it seemed a common problem with the firmware. No such problem with Asus. Hell, Asus even give you your own DDNS service so you can access your router even easier without having to sign up for a paid or free service. The Asus QoS system actually works whereas the TP Link one said it worked but made absolutely no difference, which matters when you have others in the household that think that their torrenting is more important than anyone else using the internet. Quite literally EVERYTHING in the Asus firmware works better than the TP Link firmware.

          I have also noticed that the Asus firmware updates have made things smoother with a better interface since I first bought the Asus router.

          Also, if you want, you can see what changes there are in every update. The latest update added AiMesh, which allows multiple Asus routers to form a mesh system.

        • @FiftyCal: thanks for the comment. I think I will wait until NBN rolls out in my area. I don't want to buy another modem to pair with the router.
          Hopefully when that happens there will be another deal like this

        • @boohooimissout:

          When you get the NBN, get a cheap or use the supplied modem and put it in bridge mode, then connect it to this router.

  • +2

    Those who are not confident with flashing the formware, ebay has oz stock for asus ac68u for $142, try using code new10 at checkout for additional 10% discount

  • My nbn conection same lan port.
    So I cant conect ac1900
    That means I cant use ac1900 right?

  • Hmmm. One of these in AP mode or an ubiquity?

    Edit: just saw aimesh!

  • I love this router and purchased the same model through an earlier ozbargain deal following the steps in the comments. great deal

  • Can't speak more highly of this device, used for years now and love it. My only bug bear (and this comes from choosing to use Merlin custom firmware; is the updates are FAR too frequent and the restarting of the router (consequently) is far too often.

    RoOSTA

    • This sounds very disappointing.
      How often are we talking about here and how long is it typically down for?

      Is it not able to be set to, manual updates only?

      • Well I'm not logging into to the CP all that often for the router…but seemingly, whenever I have to check something, there's a new notification and its about a new firmware. It cannot be done automatically (or at least not with my knowledge and skills) as I need to manually visit the update page, download the correct zip file, unzip, upload and then apply. I'd say every 3-6 weeks there's a new version….haver a look at the dates and versions on the Merlin download page to get an idea….

  • +2

    Just thought I'd post on ac68 vs mesh…

    I have a medium, rectangle sized 3 bedroom house, about 14 years old, split down the middle. Study, laundry, kitchen and living area down one side, bedrooms, bathrooms down the other.

    I've been debating buying mesh systems for a couple of months now. Decided to wait for Velop or Orbi firmware to mature as the problems on the their forums are too numerous and silly to spend $400 on at the moment. Plus their firmwares don't have many advanced features.

    Bought an ac68u for $120 (to replace an ac750 dual band tp-link) as an interim solution. Put it in the kitchen. All I can say is wow. There is not a corner of my house, including my backyard that does not get full 100mbit speeds from my NBN on 5Ghz. I'm not even going to bother with mesh. Seems mesh is only worthwhile if you have a really big house or some bad blackspots. Haven't tested wireless LAN throughput yet in different areas but very happy already. I feel like an idiot for hanging on to the tp-link for so long. Can't loose for $120, so for $78, if this is roughly the same router, what are you waiting for?

    Once AiMesh is more mature, 2 of the these will be formidable.

    • Yeah I don't get why mesh is being so talked up. I have a pretty big 2 storey house and have no problems getting wifi anywhere with my AC88U. With so many people talking up mesh, there must be a huge amount of people with gigantic houses or acreage.

      • Sounds promising! Approx what size and wall construction do you have?

        I have 2 story too, around 290sqm with block walls.

        • I have no idea about size lol. Brick veneer and gyprock internal walls.

  • +1

    Just at the right time - "Asus is turning its old routers into mesh Wi-Fi networks"

    https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/1/3/16845134/as...

    https://www.asus.com/us/aimesh/

  • Anyone tried to flash these? Fit the life of me can't get into restore mode. Even trying all three buttons, reset,WPS and wifi…

    • Yes I have. I took me a couple of tries, but it got there in the end. Some people seem to be less fortunate. Have a look at the comments in BayAreaTechPro's guide (link above). People have said how they managed to get theirs into recovery mode.

  • Is this a big upgrade on the one I have - NetGear R6300?

    https://www.cnet.com/products/netgear-r6300-wifi-router/revi...

    • +1

      Yes, Definately.

  • Bought one as a backup, cheers

  • has the item shipped for anyone?

    • Yes. Mine was shipped yesterday

    • just checked mine hasn't (2 units)…

  • mine was shipped yesterday

  • Mine's shipped.

    Anyone else recently get a phone call in chinese? The only word I could make out was DHL, so I'm guessing it was related to this

    • Most likely a scam.

      I think they are using UPS, but I might be wrong.

  • Mine arrived today. Now in the process of switching it to an RT-AC68U.

    Zero problems so far. No issue with getting it into recovery mode.

    It looks brand new. Even the power plug still had the plastic on it.

    Edit: 20 minutes later, fully converted to an RT-AC68U.

    • mine arrived today as well. Same deal re condition.

      What guide did you use? The one posted above didnt really apply to me as I have a newer firmware revision (3.0.0.4.376_3181).

      Can I just upload the latest ac68 firmware? or do I need to jump through some hoops?

      Thanks.

      • I used the bayareatechpros.com instructions in the description.

        No, you cannot just upload the latest ac68 firmware. You have to go through all the instructions:
        -downgrade to a TM-1900 that supports SSH (newer versions don't have the option to enable SSH)
        -enable SSH
        -get the CFE from your router
        -replace the CFE with a new CFE (specific to your router, which includes the Mac address)
        -flash the CFE, and replace the firmware with RT-AC68U version.

        That's a brief description, anyway. But your current firmware version isn't really relevant.

        • thanks. already downgraded, will finish it off tonight.

    • What courier service are they using? I am afraid I will not be home tomorrow when it arrives.

      • +1

        Mine came Fastway (I'm in Sydney). I was surprised that I didn't have to sign for it: the package was at the front door.

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