ASUS RT-AC88U WiFi and AirPrint wireless printer problem solution

The ASUS RT-AC88U is a pretty awesome router. However, out of the box, it’s a bit finicky if you try to print to it via WiFi or Apple’s AirPrint. It doesn’t seem to want to maintain the connection. I stumbled across this somewhat cryptic post and the suggested changes have solved my issues–at least so far. Here are the steps with a little more detail:

1. First log into the router’s settings.

2. Choose Wireless > Professional tab

3. Make the following changes:

-Modulation Scheme: Up to MCS 9 (802.11ac)
-Airtime Fairness: Disable (NOTE: According to one reader, this is the only change that matters, so try this first. Thanks Dan CC!)
-Multi-User MIMO: Disable (Note that this was already disabled by default for me)
-Explicit Beamforming: Disable
-Universal Beamforming (5 GHz only): Disable

Click Apply button.

4. Each of the Bands (i.e., 2.4GHz and 5GHz) have their own independent set of settings on this page. So, change the Band and repeat Step 3.

5. Finally, change the Control Channel to a specific channel (i.e., something other than Auto). Again, apply the change for one band, change the Band setting, and apply the change for the other band. (NOTE: as hellojohnbuck points out in the comments, printers generally only use 2.4GHz, so you probably only need to change for that band.)

 

I’m not sure what real-world impact changing these settings has on the router’s performance; however, I haven’t really noticed any significant difference…other than my printer works wireless now ;-)

 

Comments

BillR
Reply

Thanks for the article! It was just what I needed. Now, I can use both my Asus RT-AC3100 and my new Brother printer! As you noted, I only changed the Airtime Fairness setting (both 2.4 and 5GHz), and all is well. Whew, I am relieved.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Bill.

Russell
Reply

Legend!!!! Quick google search bought up this page. Made the change and worked straight away. Somthing that would have normally taken hours/days….solved in minutes. Many thanks

spice3d
Reply

You’re so welcome Russell.

mk
Reply

OMG it worked …. just disabled Airtime Fairness and now my airprint printer stops flickering off and on the network. Hours of trying everything in printer, mac and router settings – nothing worked till i chanced upon your INCREDIBLE piece of “trivia”!! THANKS VERY MUCH!!

spice3d
Reply

you’re welcome mk

Ariel E Saulog
Reply

6 hours, I did everything, from resetting my printers to factory settings, setting my router to factory settings, delete all printer drivers… and I found this web-page…can’t believe this work!!!! I lost all my printers on my network when I changed routers. I going mad!? And this little setting Airtime Fairness fix everything! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! All my network printer disappear, but I could see them as clients on my router. I can actually ping my printers as well as access the web interface… but none of pcs, macs, mobile devices could see these printers… I was loosing my mind… trying to get working until 2 am in the morning… THANKS AGAIN!

spice3d
Reply

I know just how you feel Ariel. So glad this helped. You’re welcome.

Mango Zorus
Reply

Thanks a lot! Just changed Airtime Fairness and Control Channel for 2.4 GHz and both my printer and my uhoo (air quality device) are now working. <3

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome!

Jeff
Reply

Yes, changing the Airtime Fairness worked for me too! Thanks!!!

spice3d
Reply

You’re very welcome Jeff.

Sheryl
Reply

With an AC88U, HP 8600 and Iphone 11 (13.3.1) I had to only make the following changes on 2.4 ghz to get the printer to show on my phone. Modulation Scheme, Airtime Fairness and MU-MiMO

DH’s iPhone SE (ios 13.3.1 ) worked by only changing Modulation Scheme. Thanks for posting this!

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Sheryl

Alex Kroh
Reply

Hero! Thanks!
I changed airtime fairness and region.

spice3d
Reply

Happy it worked for you Alex!

hellojohnbuck
Reply

Great collaborative detective marriage saving work spice3d. One note. Printers only use 2G so there’s no need to apply the Airtime Fitness to the 5g. And the Airtime was all I needed.

spice3d
Reply

Haha. Happy to save your marriage. Good point on 5GHz. I’ll make a note of it.

Ran
Reply

You saved my marriage. I am naming my first born Spice3d. Naw, I would if I could though!

spice3d
Reply

That is hilarious! Happy to help.

Keith
Reply

OMFG, thank you for this! I had been pulling my hair out(that’s my excuse for why I’m balding now) trying to get Airprint to work on my Brother MFC-J835DW for ages now. I gave up so many times when I just needed to print something off my phone. I knew that I it had worked a long time ago once, but now I realize that must have been before I got my AC88U router. Since I need to airprint so seldom, I never made the connection. Of course, it was the Airtime Fairness setting for me as well. I’m even running the Merlin firmware, so can confirm it works with that as well. I’m the type that can’t stand when something doesn’t work as intended and often can’t let it go until I find a solution. This had me stumped bigtime. Glad it was such an easy fix, but 100% would have never discovered it without your help. Seriously trivial, but again, thank you SO much!

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Keith. I’m the same way. Happy it helped you.

Rick
Reply

Many thanks for the post. Disabling Airtime Fairness on the 2.4 Ghertz band fixed my RT-AC5300 from dropping my Brother printer connection. I do notice the occasional glitch in streamed music on that band since making the change, but a small price to pay!
Thanks again.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Rick.

kenwrotethis
Reply

Chiming into say, Thanks!
AirPrint was problematic after setting up the router, and it’s now working (so far) on multiple devices after making the single change you mentioned at the top:

-Airtime Fairness: Disable (NOTE: According to one reader, this is the only change that matters, so try this first. Thanks Dan CC!)

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Ken.

Steve
Reply

Thank you so much for this. One of the four RT-AC5300’s I setup just kicked every printer off and now it works. I couldn’t figure it out. Thanks again.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Steve

Niro
Reply

Thank you! I was pulling my hair out for the past 4 hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t properly print from my new Brother printer. I have the RT-AC86U however the menu options are near identical and my computer could detect the printer after I made the changes outlined in the article.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Niro

Andreas
Reply

After 3 hours of searching to fix this problem, I found your solution and the issue wasfixed in 10 minutes. Thank you so much to post this solution.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Andreas. Glad it worked.

Tevfik
Reply

A million thanks!!! I was able to print and scan with HP Smart app using direct IP configuration but every time I re-start the app printer was shown as offline. I had to delete and reconfigure the printer repeatedly.
I blamed HP, Windows 10, Windows Firewall but never thought that my beloved Asus RT-AC88U would be the problem.
If it wasn’t your post, I was about to replay the famous printer destroying scene from the movie ‘The Office’ :-)

spice3d
Reply

You’re quite welcome… I’m sure your printer is relieved.

Mark Cavallucci
Reply

Thank you so much. I can now use my HP Printer with this awesome router. THANK YOU.

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Mark!

Daniel
Reply

many thanks! after 1yr of trying, I can use Airprint on my Dell Printer. THANKS!!!

spice3d
Reply

I know the feeling Daniel. It’s like magic. You’re welcome.

Paul
Reply

Finally! Wireless printing with my HP printer – Thank you! It’s been years! Like Jeff and John I bought (and returned) two printers before giving up. Thank you for revealing this setting. Under “MAC Filter Mode” I thought I was white-listing my printer and accidentally blocked EVERYTHING else. Figured that out, and now up and running!

spice3d
Reply

You’re welcome Paul. I totally understand the feeling.

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