Asuswrt is the name of the firmware developed by Asus for use on all their recent routers. It was originally based on Tomato, and got extensively modified by Asus over the years as they added their own features to it.
Asuswrt-Merlin is an alternative, customized version of that firmware. Developed by Eric Sauvageau, its primary goals are to enhance the existing firmware without bringing any radical changes, and to fix some of the known issues and limitations, while maintaining the same level of performance as the original firmware. This means Asuswrt-Merlin retains full support for NAT acceleration (sometimes referred to as "hardware acceleration"), enhanced NTFS performance (through the proprietary drivers used by Asus from either Paragon or Tuxera), and the Asus exclusive features such as AiCloud or the Trend Micro-powered AiProtection. New feature addition is very low on the list of priorities for this project.
Asuswrt-Merlin officially supports the following router models:
- RT-AC66U_B1 (same firmware as the RT-AC68U)
- RT-AC68U (including revisions C1 and E1)
- RT-AC68P (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
- RT-AC68UF (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
- RT-AC1900 (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
- RT-AC1900P (same firmware as RT-AC68U)
- RT-AC86U (starting with version 382.1)
- RT-AC2900 (same firmware as RT-AC86U)
(Note: the U, R and W variants are all supported, as they are the exact same hardware and firmware, only different marketing SKUs or different case color)
The following models are no longer officially supported: