Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bought the Asus DSL-AC68U DSL modem router

01

In the last post I mentioned that I decided to upgrade the router in my apartment. The one I wanted to buy was the Asus DSL-AC68U router. I looked around hoping for a cheap deal, which sometimes pop up out of the blue. But I was not lucky this time. I had to pay the full price.

I could have ordered one from eBay for $319 with free shipping. But there are few PC shops near my apartment and when I checked their prices, I found out that the shop called MSY was selling it at the exact same price. There was no reason for me to get it late, if I could have it today for the same price, so I decided to buy from MSY.

This was the first time I was going to buy a PC part from a shop, in a long time. In Japan, I did not buy anything at a shop since 2012. The Palit GTX 670 Jetstream card was the last one I bought by visiting a shop.

But most of these PC shops in Australia do not seem to have showrooms. You place the order online and then go pick it up. The shop will prepare the order as soon as you place the order and will inform you when it is ready for pick up. You can pay when you place the order or you can pay at the shop; at least that was how MSY operated.

I also placed an order for three short CAT6e cables.  I needed three to connect the NAS. Only one was provided with the Asus router. I had two from the Belong router that I was replacing but they were CAT5 cables. The ones I placed an order for were inexpensive as they were very short. Both the router and the NAS would be kept on the fridge, so I did not need long cables.

I placed the order to MSY Clayton shop and went there after work to pick it up. Everything was done in 5 minutes.

I came home and set it up quickly. The default SSIDs for the router were ASUS and ASUS_5G. The default password was admin. My MacBook Air could only see the 2.4GHz SSID for whatever reason. I connected to this and when I went into 192.168.1.1, I was asked to quickly change the Wireless password, which I did. After that, it presented a wizard to setup ADSL, which it automatically detected the settings for. They are exactly same as the one used by SLT in Sri Lanka. Finally I had to input the ADSL username and password and I was set. (I had to retrieve my ADSL username and password from my Belong account.)

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I let the firmware be updated automatically. I later found out there was a newer firmware, which for an unknown reason was not detected by the router. I could download it and update to it manually and I probably will do that later.

There are a lot of features offered by the router but I haven’t played with most of them just yet. It seems that I can play with the SNR to squeeze a higher speed as well. I will do that when I have time. I will let you know if the $300 I spent only made a hole in a pocket or not in a few days. I will have to wait for my family to arrive in Australia with my monitor for my PC to become operational. Then I will be able to fully explore the the capabilities of the router.

However I am not happy about one thing. Why cannot my MacBook Air see the 5GHz SSID? My Nexus 5 can see it. There has to be some incompatibility. This is not a big issue because I would not use the laptop once I set up my desktop PC. My wife can have it, just as she used to.

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