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ASUS AC1900 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router (Recertified) EXPIRED

$46
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UPDATE: This very popular deal has returned.

Tanga.com has Asus AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (Recertified) on sale for $45.99. Shipping is free. Thanks Jguan198
Note: See forum thread and Wikipost for more info. and discussion.
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Editor's Notes & Price Research

Written by

Per the merchant on recertified condition, "All units inspected, cleaned, and wiped and repackaged into a white box"

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Edited February 5, 2017 at 06:26 AM by
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by Stratuscaster February 5, 2017 at 11:14 AM
NOTE: Tanga is NOT Amazon. The ordering and shipping process is MUCH slower. Expect at least 15 days from order to receipt. Once a shipping label is generated, it is far more difficult for you to cancel your order. Be sure to read Tanga's policies and understand and be willing to accept them before you buy.

It is noted that Tanga will collect funds when you place the order, NOT when the order ships.


Q: Will this work with [insert your cable provider name here]?
A: This is a router NOT a cable modem. It will work with ANY provider's cable modem.

Q: I just need a router -- do I need to worry about flashing this?
A: No! Do so only if you want: Newer/more frequent bug fixes, security patches, need features in the official or alternate firmware options. (See similar Q+A below for a more detailed answer)

Q: I've never upgraded firmware / a router before. Should I start with this one?
A: Probably not. It's more complex than most due to T-Mobile locking it down preventing 'simple' upgrades to alternate firmware. (See similar Q+A below for a more detailed answer)

Q: What makes this so slick of a deal?
A: Even though it is 3 years old, the router is currently rated the #3 AC1900 router [N600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC1300 Mbps (5.0 GHz) speeds] available on at least one dedicated networking site review. The identical official ASUS router runs around $130, so this is less than half the price.

Q: What is missing with T-Mobile firmware? Can I use without flashing to ASUS/Merlin?
A: With stock T-Mobile firmware, you have default/forced Quality of service (QoS) optimized for T-Mobile and perhaps other carrier Wi-Fi calling. It is very stable and the performance is great. But you cannot use it as a repeater. (edit: port forwarding definitely works on T-Mobile stock firmware). If you need these features, you must flash other firmware.

Q: What's the difference between this and a N / 2.4 GHz router?
A: This router has 5GHz band which delivers much higher throughput, and less interference in WiFi crowded areas (apartments, tight housing area) since 5 GHz band has 23 non-overlapping channels (for comparison 2.4 GHz band has only 3).

Q: Why do I have horrible range on 5 GHz? Why is my 2.4 GHz network so slow? Is this router bad?
A: This happens to ALL 5GHz routers. The higher the frequency, the less it can penetrate solid objects such as walls, floors, carpet, furniture, TV's. Place your router in different locations [routerguide.net], and adjust the antenna orientation [macobserver.com].
2.4 GHz travels farther and through solid objects better, but is slower and gets a lot more interference from other routers and devices (remote control toys, microwaves, wireless speakers, baby monitors, etc..). If you have trouble with 2.4 GHz band, use tools like inSSIDer (Windows) or WiFi Analyzer (Android [google.com]) to find the least congested channel in your area. Stick to one of the three non-overlapping channels (1, 6 or 11) [metageek.com].

Q: My device only sees the 2.4 GHz SSID! Where is the 5 GHz AC?
A: Assuming 5GHz is still enabled in the Asus router (should have an indicator light), the client device probably does not have the right antenna + chipset to see or use 5GHz -- supporting only the older 2.4GHz standard. Many notebooks can have the WiFi module replaced with an upgraded card, but you'd want to research that particular model to make sure the antenna configuration supports 5GHz. Upgrade the wireless network card in your device or upgrade your device. Intel or NetGear cards run about $10-$20 on eBay and can sometimes upgrade a cheap laptop that only supported one band to others or upgrade from slower AC to faster AC. It's not just the router, it's the router + device that lets you get a certain level of speed.
Note: some devices can only connect to certain channels in 5GHz band so experiment with channels starting from 36 up to 165.

Q: Can I use this router with my current modem?
A: Yes. But make sure to turn off the modem routing functionality (if any) by switching it to "Bridge mode" to avoid conflicts [netgear.com].

Q: Can I reuse my old router to fill in Wi-Fi dead zones in my house/apt?
A: Yes. You can set it up as an Access Point (AP) per this guide [labnol.org].

Q: Mine worked for a few days now can't work even a few feet from the unit on one or both bands
A: You likely have a hardware failure especially if you've tried different settings, different devices and different firmware. Initiate a return or exchange. (Only a handful have experienced this and some have on other brands of routers too)

Q: Why do I need to worry about flashing this?
A: You don't. For many people the T-Mobile firmware will work fine. However it is known to have issues with certain functions in recent builds breaking compatibility with some devices (Xbox online gaming) and may be lacking in recent security fixes (hackers attacking the router itself not your computer). For those reasons it's suggested to consider going to the official ASUS firmware at a minimum, Merlin optionally or the many other open source ones listed below if you feel you are a power user and want extra functionality and tweaking ability.

Q: Why is it so hard to flash this unit? I've put open source firmware on other routers before in under 5 clicks/5 minutes..
A: The T-Mobile firmware disabled the emergency bootloader. That prevents you from putting any other firmware on it. Therefore the vast majority of the steps are about replacing the bootloader with an open one and increasing the size of the storage partition to accommodate newer firmware. Once you are through this part, putting other firmware on is going to be no different than any other router.

==================================================================================================

This TM-AC1900 router is one of the few routers that supports most major 3rd party firmware. It can be flashed over to a ASUS RT-AC68U to support the following 3rd party firmware:

Official ASUS [asus.com]
ASUS Merlin [lostrealm.ca]
John's Merlin Fork [snbforums.com]
Tomato by Shibby [groov.pl]
Advanced Tomato [advancedtomato.com]
DD-WRT [dd-wrt.com]
Open-WRT [openwrt.org] There is NO open source driver for Broadcom WiFi [openwrt.org] so Open-WRT cannot support Wi-Fi functionality at all.

DO NOT flash if you do not have the need to do so. This router will works FINE out of the box for the average person using stock T-Mobile firmware.
Note that there is a chance of bricking the router if you do not follow the CFE changing instructions properly.


DETAILED FLASHING INSTRUCTIONS

--- User Bootymonger's instructions using SSH and WinSCP - LINK.
--> Additional steps using some ASUS software (sushiserv) - LINK

--- User Stratuscaster's instructions (updated 12/28/2016). Based on Bootymonger's steps, but in more detail - LINK

--- User jasonbuechler's screen recordings and instructions (updated 12/23/2016). Sorta based on Stratuscaster's and munchy_cool's guides. (OS X + no USB + no hex editing + no new apps) - LINK

--- User Engineer's instructions using Telnet and a USB flash drive (use next link to enable telnet first) - LINK.

--- Old thread with telnet instructions in Wiki - LINK.

--- munchy_cool wrote an OS X CFE guide (thanks munchy_cool): https://mega.nz/#!rUdSDbRK!dmbnhk...KhLU1UMAhA

--- Step-by-step video using Windows 10 and Telnet. Check comments if your T-Mobile CellSpot is on 3.0.0.4.376_3169. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_giMfTYIzI
Note 1: In the video the person doesn't transfer/copy over the WPS "secret" code, so don't forget to do that. Same process as transferring/copying mac except you search for "secret" which should be the WPS code on the back of the router.
Note 2: It's safer and faster to use the "cfe.exe" file which transfers the MAC addresses for you.

Heat warning:
For those noting that the CPU and power amps are running hot -- they do, a lot hotter than most smaller routers. The fix that can drop the CPU temp by 60*F (190* to 130*) and the radios by 25*F (130* to 105*) is to plug in a USB fan meant for cooling laptops and place it against the back of the router. See this post for an image showing the reduction in temps in just 10-20 minutes: https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=93212632&postcount=3657

304 Comments

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Featured Comments

Classic cgigate comment. None of the relevant info... B&M YMMV deal from months ago, no longer valid. This is why you have 14,000 posts and only 700 rep. Just sayin.
35 Helpful?
Bought one in the last batch that popped up. Still has not shipped.
12 Helpful?
DO NOT BUY FROM THESE CROOKS !
Fell for the same deal 3 weeks ago, they charged my card right away, but never shipped the router !
Had to file PayPal claim and credit card claim to get my money back !
They don't have phone number for support, only SMS, which they promise to answer immediately but never do and email, which send you automated reply once and nothing after that.
AVOID !!!
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#4
Back again, again, again, again!
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#5
Was it $50 for a new one not too long ago?
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02-04-2017 at 05:27 PM
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#7
Anyone bought a recert and successfully install ddwrt?
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02-04-2017 at 05:39 PM
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02-04-2017 at 05:40 PM
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#10
Quote from cgigate
:
brand new is Asus RT-AC68R $25 from Walmart ...
where did you find that for $25?
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02-04-2017 at 06:03 PM
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep DanHoo?
#12
I will echo a comment made in a previous thread, which is if you buy this re-certified from Tanga, absolutely flash it with new firmware, otherwise you really don't know what might be on there.



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Hail to the King, baby
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#13
Quote from cgigate
:
Walmart since last summer YMMV, purchased over 20 units ..
Got any left you'd like to sell?
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#14
anyone have any promo code before I buy this thing ? =)
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#15
Quote from cgigate
:
Walmart since last summer YMMV, purchased over 20 units ..
http://www.walmart.com/ip/ASUS-RT...r/37701347

Quote from cgigate
:
brand new is Asus RT-AC68R $25 from Walmart ...
In store only I assume
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Last edited by kicker618 February 4, 2017 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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