Router going bad?

Sep 15, 2002
Scottsdale, AZ
The router is an Asus RT-N66u so it is an old unit, but up until about maybe two months ago seemed to be working great. I have cable internet at 150/10 and I bypassed the router to check the speed which was ~180/12, which I would get even going through the unit. Just checked the cables (modem to router and router to PC) with an unused new one. Cable are fine. Its the download speeds which have changed and on a daily basis, my YT TV stalls and has to cache. Same thing with regular YT video watching...just stops loading. I also have Ooma (VOIP) which sometimes breaks up and noticed two days ago it started breaking up when YT TV stalled. Router has latest (and last one they're doing) update from 6/20 that I just installed...thought it was up to date. **Still has issue with DL speed described below.**

When I do a speed test through the router, I still get ~110 down, though a couple days ago the max was in the 90s consistently. Up is normal. Basically I've lost about 80 of the bandwidth from normal (40, now, over what Cox advertises I have) and random stalls. The stalls are the most annoying since the 90-110 DL speed is still good for me.

Anything in the router I can look at specifically to solve these two issues? Thanks!
If you get 180 Mb/s bypassing the router and 110 Mb/s through it, it's clearly throttling the speed or limiting it. That said, that router (I used to have that one myself) is capable of 400-600+ Mb/s on the "internet" side. What is probably happening is your home network is too much for the CPU in it. This same issue is what always makes me upgrade our router. Last spring, kids at home for remote school, wife doing online school, and I working from home, it was too much for the RT-N66U too. Speed actually wasn't impacted that much, but everything else was having too much latency, i.e. the CPU in the router couldn't "process" things quickly enough.
Replace if same issue with new one you know the old one is ok for backup unit.

What is the budget.
do you need wifi 6?
$99 for

TP-Link Archer AX3000​

costco has the

NETGEAR - Nighthawk RAX45 AX4300 for $150​

sky the limit.
Did you turn on or off any specific setting like QoS or bandwidth limitation / budget / quota / priority? The ASIC of many basic routers have hardware doing simple routing but if you need complicated stuff they go through the firmware, which slows down the routing. If it is the case resetting all settings back to default should fix that. However if it is bad components then it should stay slow afterward and you see more dropped packets on the analog side, or it keep rebooting itself and you can see from the up time counter being super low.

I had an old router died 2 years ago and it just keep rebooting itself, dropping connection. WRT160N, died after 10 years.
Right after I posted this, I watched some YT and skipped ahead on them. This was one of the things that seemed to cause a stall which never happened. It didn't do it this time so I'll keep observing what happens with the update. I did get a couple caching stalls when I watched YT TV tonight. Will watch that, too.

It is just me in the house and the only things that are connected are the PC, cell, Nvidia Shield (for TV), and Ooma and generally only one is used at a time.

Budget would be ~$150-200. Don't want the cheapest and don't need the most pricey. Old one could be used as a "bridge" (?) on the TV? Is that the right term? Would that help with the wifi speed from new router to old to Shield (it has a cat5 port)?

I know I've changed some things around in the past, can't exactly remember what, and also the past couple days hoping to solve the issues. I did get another 20MB throughput, but don't know if it was me or...? It's never rebooted itself. All the modems I've had were working one day and not the next. Do routers just slow down like this due to a faulty part or just "go"? I'll keep the factory reset in mind.

Rob Roy,
The Ooma is coming from one of the ports, not in between the modem and router. I believe Ooma recommends it is supposed to be in between, but I had an issue and their tech said to switch it to be plugged into the router.

I've read a little bit over the years about DD-WRT, but don't know much at all. I'll have to research it. I've heard it is very stable and easy to use???
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If you do decide to get a new one, I highly recommend the Asus RT-AX58U. They run about $180, and it’s been just as rock solid reliable as my faithful old AirPort Extreme. I’ve had terrible luck/experiences with the last 3 Netgear routers I’ve bought.

Being “only” a Wireless N router could also be holding you back a bit…. From what I could find the Nvidia Shield TV supports wireless AC. Check and make sure there are no other wireless networks around, if they’re operating on the same channels you could be getting interference.
I know I've changed some things around in the past, can't exactly remember what, and also the past couple days hoping to solve the issues. I did get another 20MB throughput, but don't know if it was me or...? It's never rebooted itself. All the modems I've had were working one day and not the next. Do routers just slow down like this due to a faulty part or just "go"? I'll keep the factory reset in mind.

In theory if everything is perfect then things would work and last forever, but of course that's in theory.

Working intermittently is possible when things are not doing well in the analog side, causing the digital side to have bad data / signal to noise / etc, so the router's CPU or other components have to retry and slow down to get better stability. It could also be that something overheat and throttle, or ran out of memory / buffer when all those retry happens. It is hard to say but usually you can rule out software / config file corruption / etc by doing a factory reset then start setting it up step by step from the beginning. It doesn't hurt anything and in the worst case it will just be no improvement.

My personal experience is I see the Up time being very short, less than 36 hours, when I have not manually reboot it. I monitor it for a few days and saw that, and trash that router. My other router of the same model (I had 3 before powerline ethernet or mesh was around) being too slow for the upload speed I found out doing speed test with and without router (going directly to modem), testing it via wifi vs ethernet, manually setting various download and upload limit in QoS, testing using multiple laptop and computer, etc. It took many trial and error to narrow down my own problem (the router cannot handle more than 5 mbps upload). When I throttle the upload to that my webex problem ran away.

Every case is different. One thing I heard is that recent firmware for some chipset (broadcom?) do not work well with their hardware acceleration on some routing function on open source firmware like DDWRT. I would try to stay with factory firmware for new router until they are no longer supported, or with feature that only open source firmware has and I do not mind the possible slowdown. I used to use DDWRT for 10 years because, back then it is impossible to get client mode or bridge mode out of factory firmware. Now they are all over the place and I no longer run DDWRT on my new router.

Oh, I do notice once in a while when I mess with DDWRT settings for trial and error I would run into bugs, that the settings get corrupted. Factory reset fix that, so I know it is not hardware.
Hard reset it, re-enter your wifi name, password, and channels (if you want), then don't change anything else. See how it works. IF the signal from the cable modem is good, then typically either the router is bad, you have a bad setting, or a network loop. Most common are someone turned on QoS or created a loop by connecting a device back to the router twice, or looped both ends of an ethernet in to the LAN ports. BTW I do residential install and repair for an ISP. I've probably seen every way a customer can screw up their home network.
Your Ooma box will be a bottleneck if you have all your traffic going through it.
If you have your OOMA Telo wired between the modem and router (like they tell you to wire it), it can slow your speed WAY down. Ask me how I know. Do not run your entire network through the OOMA Telo. Before you do anything else rewire your network so that the router is plugged directly into the modem and plug the OOMA Telo into the router. Your OOMA call quality will not be affected unless the Telo has a problem (which is something that I encountered and ended up having to replace the Telo).
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Back to normal, it seems. I did the update and then reset the router and am getting the speeds I used to. My cell says its getting ~75 down and the Shield bounces around 25 to 40 and seems to do a little better with the 5g vs 2.4g. Even going through the router, my PC says its getting over 180 down.

Thanks for all your help!