VPN Speedtest Asus RT-AC86U – Merlin firmware

VPN Speedtest Asus RT-AC86U – Merlin firmware

Introduction

I have replaced my Linksys WRT1900ACSv2 router with the new ASUS RT-AC86U (a.k. RT-AC2900).
This router has the new Broadcom BCM4906 CPU inbuilt with dual core and 1,8 GHz. 

I have previously done some VPN speedtest on my Linksys router with DD-WRT firmware on. Feel free to check them out.
Now I felt it was time to do a new VPN speed test with a couple of different VPN providers on the new ASUS router.

Test information & Specification

To test the VPN speed I upgraded my ISP’s internet speed to 1 Gbit/s uplink and downlink.
The native ISP’s speed test are shown in the blue table below.

All tests have been done by configuring the OpenVPN client in the ASUS router using the the OpenVPN config files and instructions provided by the VPN providers. The only exception was the usage of Cloudflare’s DNS server (1.1.1.1) in the routers DNS settings, instead of using the VPN providers DNS settings.
In the case of AzireVPN and Mullvad, IPv6 has also been activated as a part of the instructions provided by the provider. All other tests has been done with IPv6 disabled.

If the VPN provider offered the possibility to select unik VPN servers in Sweden then I used the VPN servers in Stockholm, to be as near as possible to my physical location. In other cases I just used the settings to connected to a VPN server located in Sweden.

Technical information:
Router: ASUS RT-AC86U
Firmware: ASUS Merlin 384.4_2
DNS server settings: 1.1.1.1 (Cloudflare)
Performance tests with Speedtest.net testing against test server NORDUnet A/S.

Test results

Marked with green, the best speeds where reached with AirVPN, IPVanish and AziureVPN.
Normally I set the “green” mark to all VPN’s receiving over 200 Mbit/s downlink and uplink speed. But because IPVanish achieved the fastest downlink speed and the uplink speed was very near 200 Mbit/s, I decided to mark it green as well.

Good speeds without anything to complain on Mulvad, OVPN and PIA (Private Internet Access).

Slowest speeds where achieved with ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN does offer two different servers for Sweden (separate network carriers). But no matter which one i used, the speed was about the same (ca. 70 Mbit/s).

Don’t forget to take a look at newer article about VPN speed test with WireGuard on the this router.

Updated 1st of May – after upgrade OpenVPN 2.4.6

RMerlin updated it’s firmware for the ASUS routers to inlcude the latest OpenVPN version 2.4.6.
I made a new test on a few VPN providers, using the same test procedure as above.

The VPN speed could now be increased to a bit over 260 Mbps on a few VPN providers in use.
Looks like OpenVPN 2.4.6 gives some speed improvements over previous versions. Even if the new WireGuard protocol is still outperforming OpenVPN.

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