AsusWRT is the name of the firmware developed by Asus for their routers. AsusWRT by Merlin is yet another alternative system based on the AsusWRT system whose goal is to improve the existing firmware without making radical changes. It brings fixes to minor bugs and unlocks some known limitations while keeping the same performance as the original firmware.
The benefits AsusWRT by Merlin
One of the major advantages of purchasing an Asus router is the ability to access the AsusWRT by Merlin customizable firmware. This one offers several advantages including:
- The interface remains the same: As both Firmware is based on the same program, the administration interface changes very little once AsusWRT by Merlin installed.
- “Tools” menu: This menu provides access to additional data on the network and the router such as the sysinfo page.
- More VPN: While Asus has now integrated the OpenVPN interface with its default firmware, AsusWRT by Merlin provides access to more advanced features such as the ability to configure two VPN servers.
- Improved QoS: Improved Quality of Service (QoS) service is available to better distribute your bandwidth between connected devices
If you want to know about the router models that support AsusWRT by Merlin, then you better check out Asus Router Setup for the same. As far as installation of the latest version of firmware is concerned, then that can be done from the AsusWRT official website.
Since AsusWRT by Merlin is only a variation of the official AsusWRT program, the installation is quite simple:
- Log in to the Asus management interface by entering the router’s IP address in the URL bar (usually 192.168.1.1)
- Go to “Administration> Restore/Save/Load Settings” and save the current settings of your router by clicking “save”
- After downloading the firmware AsusWRT by Merlin open the.ZIP and extract the file in.TRX on your desktop or to a file of your choice
- Return to the Asus administration interface in the menu “Administration> Firmware upgrade”. Click on the “choose a file” button and upload it.
- If the router does not work properly after import press the Reset button and re-import the settings you saved earlier
A few important points to consider
The installation of custom firmware is one of the simplest available among the competitors, in fact, the installation is done as if you wanted to update your firmware in a conventional way. I still have some remarks that I would like to share with you:
- From Asus 18.104.22.168.380_3000 and for all subsequent versions, you should use a new firmware format. For flashing AsusWRT-Merlin, you will need version 380.61 or higher. In addition, version downgrade is not allowed.
- The routers RT- AC58U and RT- AC68U must be at least on the firmware version 378.55 before they can flash the 380.xx version, because of the change of the size of the partition.
- It is suggested to reboot your router prior to flashing, this frees up memory.
- Although it is not necessary to reset the router to the factory settings, this is not a bad idea especially if you are about to make a big jump in the firmware version (From version 112 to 178 for example). No need for 30/30/30 reboot as it is needed for DD-WRT routers – just run the application back to the factory settings in the router settings or restart it with the WPS button depressed (The procedure may vary from model to model).
- It’s very rare to break an Asus router. In case, you come across a problem during the installation and your router does not work anymore, just put the router in recovery mode by keeping the reset button pressed when you turn it on. Once you release it, the LED will either flash or remain off (depending on router model). Finally, you can access it by entering the IP address of the router in the URL bar: 192.168.1.1 or via the recovery tool made available on the CD provided by Asus. You can then install a firmware that works.
- If something seems strange, do not waste time and proceed with saving your settings, go into reset mode to find the default settings, reconfigure the basic settings, and make sure everything works. If this is not the case, you can always restore your settings and try more advanced manipulations in order to find the source of the problem.