Asus RT-AX88U User Manual – Wireless standards come and go, and too often are more marketing exaggerations than any practical and meaningful improvement (looking at yourself with WiGiG). In an effort to simplify wireless standards, 802.11 ac changed its name to ‘ Wi-Fi 5 ‘, while the latest standard, 802.11 ax, was named ‘ Wi-Fi 6 ‘ by Wi-Fi Alliance.
Wi-Fi 6 promises some advantages, which include a not surprisingly larger bandwidth. The other big news here is the orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMa), which is designed to increase the number of subchannels for each wireless channel, which should reduce latency and allow the router to handle more customers Simultaneously. There are also improvements in MU-MIMO to allow more data to be transmitted at the same time, and also improvements in the formation of beams.
This emerging wireless standard certainly has enough potential, and may represent even more substantial progress than the transition from 802.11 n to 802.11 ac. However, it comes with the warning that there are currently no 802.11 ax client adapters available, so we cannot know the true potential of the router. As such, we focus on the actual tangible benefits of this 802.11 ax router instead of what it might be like in the future. Even so, when you upgrade your hardware, it may be reasonable to anticipate the curve and test it in the future when possible.
The RT-AX88U is a vertically configured router, which allows the four antennas to be spaced better than a comparable horizontal unit. The finish is a matte black plastic that tends to show fingerprints. There are also a couple of USB 3.1 ports: One on the back and the other on the side.
In general, the specifications for the RT-AX88U are quite good and easily compete with the best game routers that exist. The hardware components for this router include a quad-core 1.8 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 256 MB of flash storage.
Asus RT-AX88U User Manual – Too many routers neglect their cable Ethernet connections, which are the preferred method to play when possible, but this is an area where the RT-AX88U is presented. On the back there is a Gigabit WAN port for the modem connection, along with eight Gigabit Ethernet ports in good condition, enough to connect a whole series of devices without having to resort to an external switch. In addition, for even greater performance, two of the Ethernet ports can be configured for link aggregation (802.3 AD).
Now in the wireless connection, which is the true story of an 802.11 ax router. Here, the RT-AX88U claims a total throughput of 6000 Mbps, with a maximum of 2.4 GHz at 1148 Mbps, and the 5 GHz offering 4804 Mbps. For those who maintain the score, we have had routers from the previous generation 802.11 ac that could approach that previous total performance, such as the Asus GT-5300-but they were triple-band with dual 5 GHz signals. In this case, the RT-AX88U offers higher performance while only dual-band, which is quite impressive, although this is also theoretical due to the available client adapters.
The RT-AX88U uses the AsusWRT interface, the preeminent standard for network enthusiasts. It has a robust set of functions and allows granular control of each configuration, including support for the client and VPN server, parental controls, port forwarding, the network in the personal cloud and the guest network. It is mainly based on the web, although it can also be used through an iOS or Android application.
Asus RT-AX88U User Manual – The RT-AX88U also has a set of game-centric features. First, the “Private gaming network ” WTFast is integrated into the router and supports a limited list of games. We had mixed results when we tried GPN previously, but having the service already on the router remains a good added value that does not offer the competitors routers at this time. Another advantage of the games is Adaptive QoS, which prioritizes game traffic when played on a congested network. Finally, another useful feature is Trend Micro’s free AiProtection Pro, which is a network-level security package. It works to block viruses and malware, and is included during the router’s lifetime.
In the previous frequency of 2.4 GHz, the RT-AX88U was performed on performance tests at an acceptable (but not extraordinary) performance of 152.35 Mbps in our short-distance test, and 158.23 Mbps in the far test. This may seem disappointing, but it is important to realize that 802.11 ax does not offer a real benefit in the frequency of 2.4 GHz.
Switching to the frequency of 5 GHz and 802.11 ax starts to shine. The RT-AX88U in the nearby test reached 300.62 Mbps of throughput and 271.43 Mbps in the distance, which easily surpasses our previous top router, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-en5300, which obtained 230.6 Mbps and 226.11 Mbps, respectively.
Asus RT-AX88U User Manual – The RT-AX88U also showed improvements with network congestion control. When running our ‘ Network game Traffic Test ‘, which consists of playing Medal of Honor: Pacific Theatre at 720p, while running five videos from YouTube to 1080p simultaneously, the RT-AX88U could give this game the highest FPS to date of any Router tested at 38.9 FPS, surpassing the previous leader, the Asus ROG at 33.6 FPS. It is also impressive that the RT-AX88U had an even lower video packet loss rate, with a 6.04 percent, which surpassed the impressive previous result of Asus ROG’s 7.76 percent.
In our tests, the next generation of Wi-Fi, 80211ax (Wi-Fi 6), provides clear benefits for the performance of 5 GHz and games in a congested network environment. While the current price on $346 Street places the RT-AX88U in the high-end category, with such good performance, it deserves to be there.
Coloréanos impressed with what we’ve seen from 802.11 ax so far. When it comes time to upgrade your router, the Asus RT-AX88U is more than worthy of consideration.
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