Lucky for you, this piece is a great guide and of course the right router will take your phone, PC and other devices to the level of performance you quality deserve.
5 BEST BUDGET ASUS WIRELESS ROUTERS
|Router Name||Max Speed||Standard||Ethernet Ports||Price|
|ASUS RT-ACRH13 Router||Up To 1300 Mbps||802.11AC||4x Ethernet||CHECK PRICE|
|ASUS AC1900 Wireless Router||Up To 1900 Mbps||802.11AC||4x Ethernet||CHECK PRICE|
|ASUS RT-AC88U Router||Up To 3100 Mbps||802.11AC||8x Ethernet||CHECK PRICE|
|ASUS RT-AC5300 Router||Up To 5300 Mbps||802.11AC||4x Ethernet||CHECK PRICE|
|ASUS RT-AC3200 AC3200 Router||Up To 3200 Mbps||802.11AC||4x Ethernet||CHECK PRICE|
ASUS RT-ACRH13 DUALBAND 2×2 ROUTER
The ASUS RT-ACRH13 is one of the latest routers to be released by the Taiwanese company this year, with a clear focus towards the home users.
It came as a surprise to see an attempt to include some of the latest technologies from the networking world into a rather inexpensive device (the RT-ACRH13 uses the MU-MIMO technology), since lately, ASUS and the other manufacturers only produced high-end routers, with a clear focus towards large homes and small businesses.
Does the world need an AC1300 router right now?
Sure enough, some people realized that they may actually have no use for those high-end routers with crazy high numbers (AC5300, AD7200) and an AC1300 router would do just fine in most cases.
It’s true that ASUS has already covered the AC1200 zone with the RT-AC56U, but this isn’t a new device by any means, so, while the RT-ACRH13 may not feel like a breath of fresh air in the over-saturated networking world, it may have come just at the right time to reconcile the alert technological advancements and the actual people’s needs.
That being said, let’s see how does the RT-ACRH13 perform.
With the highest customer satisfaction rankings on wireless routers in the U.S, Asus RT-ACRH13 is a powerful router with an ellegant appearance. For your bandwidth hungry devices, there is no better router.
In fact, it is designed with a Dual-band AC 1300 combined with the current 2X2 MU-MIMO technology that allows for combined speeds hitting up to 1267 Mbps.
The router is integrated with 3.0 USB port that allows you to easily share flash or external drives. Also with the ASUS Router App you can easily manage and monitor the network from your mobile phone.
The ASUS RT-ACRH13 looks almost the same as the RT-AC66U and that’s because ASUS basically kept the same case, removed the middle back antenna and added two antennas on the side (high-gain 5dBi).
So, there’s the same black and grey diamond pattern on top (doesn’t retain the fingerprints), the matte finish and the ASUS logo on the small black band towards the back of the router.
With the release of the RT-AC87U, ASUS went for a more dynamic look and took inspiration from sport cars to create a fresh design, while still maintaining elements from the previous models. But, since the RT-ACRH13 is so similar to the N66U ‘Dark Knight’ and the RT-AC66U, it maintains that slight ominous look.
While the RT-AC66U had a stand, so you could position it upwards, the RT-ACRH13 lacks this feature, so you can only position it flat on the surface. This is not a large router (it has the same dimensions as the RT-AC66U, 8.14 x 5.85 x 1.39 inches), but, because of the way the antennas are positioned, it will take up a bit of space from your desk,
so, you may consider mounting it on the wall (it has two large holes on the bottom).
Also on the bottom of the RT-ACRH13, there are four rubber feet that enhance the stability of the router (sure, it weighs 0.99 lbs, so it won’t really budge while using all the ports, but every element helps). Additionally, you can find a large label with printed info about the device (the IP address, the default user name and password, the MAC address, SSID and more).
The case of the RT-ACRH13 provides enough ventilation, so the device remains cool: there are lots of vent holes on the bottom and on both the left and the right sides.
Hiding into the diamond pattern on top of the router, there are six LED lights responsible for Power (if it flashing slow, then, it’s in Rescue mode, otherwise, if it’s flashing quickly, it means that the WPS is processing), WAN, 2.4GHz and the 5GHz WiFi radio bands (if the LED is flashing, it means that it transmits and receives data), for USB and for LAN.
Furthermore, ASUS decided to position the USB 3.0 port on the front of the router (it is a good addition, but, since it’s on the front it will create a mess of cables).
If you turn the router around, you are greeted by lots of ports and buttons: first, there’s a small recessed Reset button (accessible with a paper clip; it can return the system to the factory default settings), next, there’s the Power button, the Power DC-IN port, four 10/100/1000 BaseT RJ45 LAN ports, a 10/100/1000 BaseT RJ45 WAN port and a WPS button (press it to launch the WPS Wizard).
Overall, the ASUS RT-ACRH13 doesn’t really bring anything new to the table in terms of looks, but, as usual, ASUS took an already successful design and added some new elements to make it more suitable for the new exigences (if it ain’t broken, why fix it?).
Note: Package contains the RT-ACRH12 router unit, an AC adapter, a Quick Start Guide, an RJ-45 Network cable and a Support CD (with the User Manual).
Inside the case, the ASUS RT-ACRH13 is equipped with a quad-core 717 MHz Qualcomm Atheros IPQ4018 CPU,
128MB/2MB (Winbond W25N01GVZEIG/Macronix MX25L1606EM2I-12G) flash memory and 128 MB of RAM Nanya NT5CC64M16GP-D1 (the memory architecture should ensure that multiple devices receive a stable simultaneous download stream of data).
Furthermore, the 2.4GHz wireless performance is delivered by a 2×2:2 Qualcomm IPQ4018 chipset with a 2.4GHz Richwave power amplifier and the 5GHz wireless performance is delivered by a 2×2:2 Qualcomm IPQ4018 chipset, with a 5GHz Skyworks power amplifier.The RT-ACRH13 features a maximum theoretical speed of 876 Mbps using the 5GHz radio band and 400 Mbps using the 2.4GHz radio band (with the TurboQAM technology), so there’s a total of 1267 Mbps (rounded to 1300).
Note: Also this year, Amped released the Artemis AC1300 RTA1300M, which has similar internal hardware.
Performance and Connectivity
The ASUS RT-ACRH13 is a capable 2×2 dual-band router, equipped with the usual features and some more advanced technologies.
First of all, you get the Beamforming technology, which radically changes the way the wireless signal is being broadcast: instead of transmitting the signal everywhere, the router now scans the area, identifies the wireless devices that are connected and directly focuses on them. Second of all, the RT-ACRH13 uses the MU-MIMO technology.
Right now, there are two major features implemented into flagship consumer routers: the MU-MIMO tech and the tri-band approach .
Obviously, the RT-ACRH13 would not be able to handle three separate radio bands, so it was natural that ASUS decided to go for the MU-MIMO implementation.
The beauty of this technology consists into the ability to serve multiple clients at the same time instead of using the round-robin technique, where one device was served at the time (the RT-ACRH13 will make a difference with only two or three MU-MIMO device connected).
Obviously, the cheaper the product, the less clients it can serve at the same time. But there is one downside: in order to take advantage of the MU-MIMO tech, you need to have devices with compatible wireless adapters and, unfortunately there aren’t many on the market right now.
So, while the router is clearly future-proof, you may have to wait for a while until this technology becomes more widespread.
In order to test the wireless performance of the ASUS RT-ACRH13, I connected a 3×3 laptop and measured the throughput (a 1×1 client will get a lower wireless performance, so it is dependant on the wireless adapter of the connected device).
So, using the 2.4GHz frequency, at close range (no more than 5 feet), I measured a maximum of 95 Mbps. Afterwards, I increased the distance to 15 feet and the router managed to deliver up to 81 Mbps. Lastly, at 100 feet, I measured an average of 20 Mbps. Next, I switched to the 5Ghz radio band (the 802.11ac standard) and at close range (about 5 feet), the RT-ACRH13 managed to go up to 446 Mbps. At 15 feet, the speed decreased to an average of 325 Mbps and after increasing the distance to 100 feet, the router managed to deliver up to 134 Mbps.
Now, since the RT-ACRH13 is a MU-MIMO router, I am going to test how does it behave with the feature turned On and Off (so far, this technology will only address the downstream performance).
So, I connected two computers, each with a compatible wireless adapter and with the MU-MIMO disabled, I measured an average of 220 Mbps.
With the MU-MIMO feature enabled, I measured an average of 260 Mbps. As expected, enabling the MU-MIMO feature, improves the wireless performance by about 20 percent.
Lastly, in order to test the storage performance of the RT-ACRH13, I took a 1GB folder containing multimedia files and measured the write/read speed (the router works with almost all USB HDDs/Flash disks with a maximum of 4 TB). So, while reading the folder, I measured 24.6 MBps and while writing it, I measured 19.9 MBps.
The ASUS RT-ACRH13 provides an intuitive and easy-to-use interface called AsusWRT, which can be accessed by opening up a web browser and going to router.asus.com.
Here, you will be prompted to enter the user name and password (by default, it’s the admin for both) and click Sign In to gain access to the interface.
If it’s the first time you access the UI, it will automatically launch the Quick Internet Setup, which auto-detects your ISP connection (it can be Dynamic IP, PPTP, PPPoE or L2TP) and it will ask to insert the SSIDs for both the 2.4 and the 5GHz networks and the security keys. Click Apply so you can finish the initial setup.
The main page looks pretty much the same as on the other Asus routers: there are three top buttons for Logging Out, Rebooting and Language and, underneath them, there’s an Info banner which shows the Operation mode, the Firmware version and the SSID. On the left there’s a bigger tab for launching the Quick Internet Setup and underneath, there’s the main menu for General and Advanced Settings.
The General section features the following options: the Network Map (shows the status of the Internet, the Security level, the number of connected clients, as well as the System Status,
which includes the quick setup of the 2.4 and the 5Ghz networks), the Guest Network (provides access to visitors to separate networks, with their own SSIDs,
without allowing access to your private network; it supports 6 SSIDs, 3 for each radio band), the Traffic Manager QoS
(here, you can enable the Smart QoS feature, which prioritizes the devices and optimizes the bandwidth; there’s also the Traffic Monitor, which gives a graphical representation of your wired and wireless traffic),
the Parental Controls (which use time schedules and web filters to maintain a clean browsing experience and it’s useful for blocking malicious sites), the USB Application and the AiCloud 2.0 (allows you to access your home network through the AiCloud mobile app, which is compatible with iOS and Android; it includes Smart Sync, Sync Server, Settings and Log).
The Advanced Settings section has the following options: Wireless (it allows you to do a basic configuration of your wireless network, configure the WPS via the PIN code or by using the WPS button,
control the packets from the connected devices through the Wireless MAC Filter, access the RADIUS Setting or access the Professional section, which gives you in-depth settings to your wireless network), LAN (configure the LAN IP, the DHCP Server, the Router and the IPTV), WAN
(configure the Internet Connection, the Port Trigger, the Virtual Server / Port Forwarding, DMZ, DDNS and NAT Passthrough), IPv6, Firewall (you can configure the General Settings, the URL Filter, the Keyword Filter, the Network Services Filter and the IPv6 Filter), Administration
(here, you can choose the Operation Mode – it can be a Wireless router or an Access point; configure the System settings – includes enabling Telnet, choosing the Authentication Method, enabling Web Access from WAN, creating a Client List and more; perform Firmware Upgrade and Restore/Save/upload Settings), System Log and Network Tools.
Note: The RT-ACRH13 will have no Merlin support.
Overall, the ASUS RT-ACRH13 is a good entry-level router, offering, a nice interface with lots of features, a good looking case (even if it’s not a new design concept, it’s still modern enough), it has some of the latest technologies implemented and a reasonable wireless performance on both the 2,4 and 5Ghz radio bands, all at a surprisingly low price.
So, if you’re on the look for an inexpensive router, packed with features, suitable for home use, then the ASUS RT-ACRH13 is the best choice so far.
ASUS AC1900WIRELESS DUAL BAND
While security proves to be one of the greatest challenges in maintaining a network; with ASUS RT-AC68U AiProtection feature, you can rest asured that your network is seriously secure. Technically, it is designed with the state-of-the-art, 3-pronged security from the famous Trend Micro which has several benefits including:-
f you’re looking for an under-$200 router to bring fast Wi-Fi to your home, put the Asus RT-AC1900P Dual-Band Wireless AC-1900 Gigabit Router ($179.99) on your short list. Designed for medium to large homes, the RT-AC1900P performed well in our 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput tests,
and offers a solid feature set, including four Gigabit LAN ports, two USB ports, loads of management settings, and protection against malicious websites and infected clients.
You don’t get Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming support and its file-transfer speeds are mediocre, but it’s still worth considering if you have a limited budget.
• Provision of parental controls
• Blocks any malicious intrusions to your PC or devices, and it will alert you if there is an infected device connected.
If you are always concerned about the connection speeds, then the RT-AC68U is an excellent consideration. This router boasts of a speedy 1GHz dual-core processor not forgeting that it also supports a Wi-Fi chip offering speed of up to 1.3Gps on 5GHz frequency band.
Design and Features
The RT-AC1900P looks similar to the RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router$141.62 at Amazon that it replaces in the Asus router lineup.
The device has a glossy-black, textured finish, sits vertically on a stand, and measures 6.2 by 8.6 by 3.2 inches (HWD).
Three removal and adjustable antennas protrude from the top of the router, and there are 10 blue LED status lights along the bottom: four for LAN activity, one for WAN activity, two for USB connectivity, two for Wi-Fi connectivity, and one for power. At the rear are four Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, a power button, and an LED light On/Off button.
The right side of the router has a WPS button and a Wi-Fi On/Off button.
Under the hood are a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 256MB of RAM, and 802.11ac circuitry that supports AC1900 Wi-Fi, with speeds of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The RT-AC1900P comes with beamforming technology, which sends data directly to clients, rather than over a broad spectrum,
but it doesn’t support MU-MIMO data streaming, which sends data to compatible clients simultaneously, rather than sequentially.
You can manage the RT-AC1900P using a web-based management console or with the Asus Router mobile app. The console’s main screen contains menus for General and Advanced settings on the left, a Network Map in the middle, and System Status details on the right.
There’s also a Setup Wizard that makes it easy to get the router up and running quickly. General settings include Guest Networking, a Traffic Analyzer, and AiCloud, which lets you turn a connected USB drive into a cloud drive.
There’s also a USB application section, with support for iTunes, Samba, Time Machine, FTP-server, and print-server functionality.
The Adaptive Quality of Service (QoS) screen has a bandwidth monitor that displays upload and download bandwidth use for connected clients. Here, you can set network priority for specific clients, limit bandwidth, and view web browsing histories for each client.
The AiProtection feature, powered by Trend Micro, offers several network protection services, including routine scans for vulnerabilities, malicious site blocking, and infected client blocking. AiProtection also has Parental Controls with website filtering, app filtering, and time scheduling.
Advanced Wireless settings are made up of SSID editing, channel control, authentication method, MAC address filtering, and a host of professional settings, while LAN settings allow you to configure IP and DHCP settings and create routing rules.
Here, you’ll also find Firewall, VPN, and IPv6 settings, as well as Administration settings that let you upgrade firmware, view system logs, and change passwords.
Installation and Performance
As is the case with most routers, the RT-AC1900P is easy to install, thanks to the above-mentioned Setup Wizard. Once the router is plugged in and connected to a host PC and the internet, a browser page automatically launches the Setup Wizard. Here, you can check your internet connection and configure basic wireless security settings in a matter of minutes.
The RT-AC1900P turned in very good scores in our throughput performance tests.
Its score of 98Mbps in our 2.4GHz close-proximity (same-room) test was a hair faster than the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router$157.92 at Amazon (97.3Mbps) and the Synology Router RT1900ac (95.9Mbps),
but a bit slower than the D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R) (103Mbps) and the Trendnet TEW-827DRU (108Mbps).
At a distance of 30 feet, the RT-AC1900P (75.8Mbps) was a good deal faster than the Linksys EA7500 (52.1Mbps) and the Synology RT1900ac (45.6Mbps), and slightly faster than the Trendnet TEW-827DRU (75.3Mbps). The D-Link DIR885L/R led with a score of 85.5Mbps.
See How We Test Wireless Routers
Performance on the 5GHz band was impressive.
The RT-AC1900P’s score of 533Mbps was faster than the Synology Router RT1900ac$149.99 at Amazon(479Mbps) and the Linksys EA7500 (495Mbps), but not the D-Link DIR-885L/R (572Mbps) and the Trendnet TEW-827DRU (590Mbps).
Its score of 337Mbps in the 30-foot test was second only to the D-Link DIR-885L/R (350Mbps);
the Linksys EA7500 had a throughput of 298Mbps, the Synology RT1900ac gained 231Mbps, and the Trendnet AC2600 StreamBoost MU-MIMO WiFi Router (TEW-827DRU)$149.99 at Amazon scored 260Mbps.
File-transfer performance, which we test by transferring a 1.5GB folder containing music, video, photo, and document files, was merely average.
The RT-AC1900P’s scores of 34.2MBps in the write test and 35.1MBps in the read test were similar to those of the D-Link DIR-885L/R (33.2MBps write and 44.1MBps read), but couldn’t match our leader, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router (R9000)$449.99 at Amazon, which garnered 77.1MBps and 89.1MBps, respectively.
Solid performance and a wealth of features make the Asus RT-AC1900P Dual-Band Wireless AC-1900 Gigabit Router a great deal for $180.
While its file-transfer speeds are mediocre, it delivers fast close-range and long-range throughput on both bands.
You get a full array of I/O ports with this router, as well as a wealth of management options, including comprehensive network protection powered by Trend Micro.
You don’t get support for MU-MIMO data streaming, however. Admittedly, there aren’t an abundance of MU-MIMO-compatible clients currently, but there surely will be.
If you want a midrange router that’s a bit more future-proof, check out our midrange Editors’ Choice, the D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R), it offers better all-around performance, and supports MU-MIMO data streaming and open-source firmware.
ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 DUAL BAND ROUTER
Well, this is the premier home router that contains 8 Gigabit LAN ports and additional support for Dual-WAN. Even better; 2 of the router’s LAN ports can be aggregated into a single yet superfast connection.
So far, RT-AC88U can be dabbed as the best model ASUS have ever created. It has numerous features including; a built-in VPN server, its also capable of protecting your network from intruders and malware.
Performance-wise, the RTAC88U outshines its predecessors by far. It is a top-notch router with little to no compromise.
The Asus RT-AC88U ($299.99) is a dual-band 802.11ac router with a massive feature set and an equally large price tag.
It uses Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology to serve multiple Wi-Fi clients simultaneously without sacrificing bandwidth.
However, each client must contain an MU-MIMO-compatible network adapter in order to take advantage of the technology.
The router is equipped with numerous Gigabit LAN ports and multiple USB ports. The RT-AC88U$269.99 at Amazon offers a wealth of management options in a thoughtfully designed user interface and delivers blazing throughput on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It’s our top pick for high-end routers.
The Asus AiProtection feature uses Trend Micro’s Smart Home Network solution to monitor and detect malware and viruses and block malicious sites. It also offers lots of parental controls, including time scheduling and app filtering. With the AiCloud feature, you can access your data from a smartphone or a tablet using an iOS or Android app.
Advanced settings let you create wireless SSID names, select a security protocol and an authentication method, enable WPS settings, and configure VPN, RADIUS and wireless bridge settings. In the Wireless Professional Settings page,
you can adjust such settings as beacon intervals, multicast rates, wireless scheduling, and beamforming. The Firewall settings page offers URL filtering, Denial of Service protection, and keyword filtering.
Installation and Performance
Installing the RT-AC88U is a snap, thanks to Asus’s intuitive Setup Wizard. When you connect the router to your PC and to the Internet and power it up,
the Web-based console automatically launches and gives you a choice of using the wizard or manually configuring the router.
The wizard will check your Internet connection and set up your router as a DHCP, Dynamic IP, Static IP, or PPPoE router, depending on which connection type you select. It then asks you to name each SSID (one for each band) and create a network encryption key for each band. Click Finish, and you’re ready to go.
With the Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band Router, you get very fast throughput performance, simultaneous multi-client MU-MIMO data streaming, and a killer feature set. It turned in excellent scores on our 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput tests, but its read/write file-transfer scores were middle of the road.
It also offers extensive management features in a user-friendly interface, including gamer-friendly QoS settings, parental controls, advanced file sharing, and mobile cloud services.
With eight LAN ports and two USB ports, this router is an excellent choice for users who want to connect multiple peripherals and wired clients, such as gaming consoles, NAS devices, printers, and home-automation hubs. All this earns it our Editors’ Choice for high-end routers.
ASUS RT-AC5300WIRELESS AC5300 ROUTER
If you are a gamer and frequently do it online, then the ASUS RT-AC300 will delight you to the fullest. For a start;
his is a tri-band super router that can deliver very high speed connectivity and offers quite a variety of management settings as well as MU-MIMO data streaming.
Of course; this router can out-perform its close competitor (RT-AC3200) only when more than 10 devices are connecting through the 5GHz band.
This router is designed to improve on the RT-AC88U 3.0 USB port. If you are farmiliar withthe issue, you will notice that on this router the port is positioned on the rear end allowing for a tidier setup when using an external hard drive.
WHAT IS THE ASUS RT-AC5300?
If you’ve ever wondered whether AC1900 routers are worth it, prepare to have your horizons broadened.
The RT-AC5300 is Asus’ flagship router and it costs nearly £400. For that you get the absolute latest in Wi-Fi technology, with NitroQAM for incredibly fast single-user throughput, alongside MU-MIMO technology and two 5GHz bands for fast multi-user performance.
There’s also the option of link aggregation using the Ethernet ports, allowing for up to 2Gbps throughput.
Design and Features
Measuring 2.6 by 9.6 by 9.6 inches (HWD), the RT-AC5300$312.99 at Amazon requires a good deal of desktop space, but not as much as the D-Link DIR-895L/R, which measures 5.8 by 16.4 by 10.3 inches.
The router uses a matte-black enclosure with red trim and beveled edges, and has eight removable and adjustable antennas.
The front edge contains small LED indicators for Power, 2.4GHz and 5GHz band connectivity,
WAN and Internet activity, and WPS activity. On the left side is a USB 2.0 port, as well as buttons for enabling and disabling the LEDs and the Wi-Fi bands and for initializing the WPS security feature. Around back are four Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, and a Power button.
ASUS RT-AC5300 – DESIGN AND FEATURES
First impressions of the RT-AC5300 actually come via its box, which presents the router with all the pomp you’d expect given its price. Removing each layer of cardboard protection exposes the various parts of the router, including the perfectly aligned and individually cradled aerials – all eight of them.
Put them together and you have a monster of a router. Without aerials it measures 245 x 245 x 65mm; with them it stretches to over 30cm square and 17cm tall.
Combined, the package weighs in at over 1.7kg – making it by far the heftiest consumer-grade router you can buy.
As you’d expect, this heft is reflected in rock-solid build quality, although – like the Asus RT-AC3200 – the aerials are a touch more prone to falling over than some of the best examples I’ve seen. However, you can flip them round so that the router stands on top of the aerials, with the resulting unit appearing like some sort of mechanical spider if you’re into that sort of thing.
It’s a touch disappointing, then, to discover that there are only four Gigabit Ethernet ports on this machine. For such a large unit – and for that colossal price – I’d expect at least a few more, especially given that the Asus dual-band RT-AC88U packs in eight.
In a similar vein, having only one USB 3.0 port seems a little miserly, even if the chances of anyone needing more than one is slim. Instead, you get another USB 2.0 port.
An improvement over the RT-AC3200 is that the USB 3.0 port here is situated on the rear, which makes for a far tidier setup if using a USB hard drive permanently attached to share your files. The other USB is on the left side of the device, where it’s joined by buttons for WPS, turning the status LEDs on and off and turning the Wi-Fi on and off.
A selection of status LEDs sit at the front. They’re surprisingly small, but serve their purpose and have reasonably easy-to-see logos that indicate which is which.
Again, considering the price of this router, it would’ve been useful for the router to include lights on the front to indicate the status of the Ethernet ports too. Indeed, you don’t even get lights on the ports themselves, so peering round the back of the device will do you no good either.
As such, it really is the case that the main event here is the Wi-Fi hardware.
You get three separate Wi-Fi bands: one 2.4GHz band for legacy hardware and two 5GHz bands for newer devices. In theory, having two 5GHz bands should make for greater throughput when many devices are connected simultaneously since it essentially splits the load.
The fun to be had with a router with eight aerials
What’s more, this router supports the latest MU-MIMO technology for even better handling of multiple users on any given band.
Then there’s also 1024-QAM (Quadrature amplitude modulation), or NitroQAM as Asus calls it. Essentially, this is an extension of the 256-QAM technology that’s standard in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and its aim is to increase data rates for the same frequency
However, while the move from 256-QAM to 1024-QAM may sound like a huge leap, the resulting potential performance boost is actually only 25%. Nonetheless, it means that the maximum Wi-Fi bandwidth of this router should be among the best we’ve ever seen.
Powering it all are a couple of Broadcomm BCM43465 chips, which each handle four of the antennae as well as the 1024-QAM technology that gives this router such awesome speed. What’s more, you’re getting that speed on all three bands that this router offers.
ASUS RT-AC3200 TRI-BAND ROUTER
Well, this is the company’s second-tier router comfortably placed behind the monstrous RT-AC5300. In design and features, this router is equally capable. In terms of appearance, RT-AC3200 is covered with robust plastic. there’s inclussion of ample ventilation not forgetting the four rubber feet to hold the device firm on its surface.
The router includes six aerials to support the tri-band feature to continue providing the high speed connectivity to devices on the network. Of all the router setup you’ve encountered, you’d greatly appreciate how comprehensive this model’s wizard. It is just flawlessly easy.
Design and Features
At 2.3 by 11.4 by 7.4 inches (HWD) the RT-AC3200 is the second biggest router to hit PC Labs, coming in just behind the Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 (2.1 by 11.6 by 8.9 inches).
Its black cabinet sports the same angular design as the Asus RT-AC87 Dual-band Wireless-AC2400 Gigabit Router, but instead of four adjustable external antennas, this model has six (four on the back and one on each side).
The front edge contains nine status indicators, including a power LED, 2.4GHz and 5GHz activity LEDs, Internet connectivity and Wireless Protected Setup (WPS) LEDs, and four Ethernet port activity LEDS. A single USB 3.0 port is hidden behind a removable panel on the lower-right side. The rear holds four gigabit Ethernet ports, a gigabit Internet (WAN) port, a USB 2.0 port, WPS and reset buttons, and a Power switch.
As with the Linksys EA9200, the RT-AC3200 uses SmartConnect technology to direct wireless clients to one of the three bands (one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands) for optimal performance and employs Beamforming technology to deliver a strong signal to each client. It also supports Dual WAN, which lets you use a secondary WAN connection as a backup to your primary connection.
The RT-AC3200 is loaded with multimedia and management features, all of which are accessible via a user-friendly Web interface.
The General section contains a Network Map that shows you how many clients and USB devices are connected, and it displays security settings and the status of each band.
The Guest Network section is where you go to set up restricted access to your network for guests, and the Adaptive Quality of Service (QoS) screen lets you prioritize bandwidth for specific applications like gaming and video streaming.
It also contains a neat bandwidth monitor that displays upload and download speeds, and a traffic analyzer that displays a graph of daily client usage, as well as incoming and outgoing packets on all three wireless bands and the wired network clients.
The Asus AiProtection feature uses Trend Micro’s Smart Home Network solution to monitor and detect malware and viruses and block malicious sites.
It also offers comprehensive parental controls, such as time scheduling and app filtering.
With the AiCloud feature, you can access your data from a smartphone or tablet using an iOS or Android app and sync your connected USB drives with the Asus Webstorage cloud service.
In addition to the usual wireless SSID, bandwidth, authentication method, and WPS settings, there are plenty of advanced features, including RADIUS server settings, MAC filtering, and wireless bridge settings. The Wireless Professional Settings let you change wireless parameters such as beacon intervals, multicast rates, and Beamforming, and the Firewall settings offer Denial of Service (DoS) protection, URL and keyword filtering, and an IPv6 firewall.
If multimedia streaming and online gaming is weighing down your wireless network, the Asus RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Router can help.
It delivers fast throughput on all three bands and brings relatively good 5GHz range performance. It also offers a thoughtfully designed Web interface that is chock full of features and settings and uses embedded software to protect against malware and viruses.
At around $300, the RT-AC3200 doesn’t come cheap, but it’s no more expensive than the other tri-band routers we’ve reviewed so far. If you want the absolute fastest (and coolest-looking) router on the market, check out our top pick for consumer routers, the D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R).
It turned in the best throughput speeds we’ve seen and delivers outstanding range performance. Its list price is around $10 more than the Asus RT-AC3200, but it’s worth every penny.
All in all we all have different needs for our home network. But thanks to ASUS company, there are a variety of router models to suit everyones needs. The above are purely the best models and before you make a purchase ensure you understand your needs to avoid overspending on a router that you wouldn’t exploite all its great features.