Asus RT-AC88U Wireless Router Review – The Beast
Asus always makes fantastic gaming components, No doubt we have seen Asus ROG series Laptop, Even gaming CPUs review on this site. I recommend them as well including the motherboard are even my favourite. I have Asus Z170 Pro gaming motherboard coupled to Core i7 6700, but that’s not the point today. Today we are going to see The Asus RT-AC88U a Mid-range router of Asus. Routers aren’t that impressive you might say. If not almost every house has one of it for sure. Also an underrated segment of the electronics I would say. There always had the Pioneer brands in the router, but Asus managed to surprise me well. We are going to talk about one of the best routers I ever used in my life that is the RT-AC88U. Keep reading to know more why it’s the best one.
Okay, I have never used a mid-range or High range routers yet. Only the entry level like the D-Link DIR 524, D-Dlink DIR 600 or The MI Router. The personal one which I use is a TP-LINK TL-WDR4300 which is again a Dual-band gaming router again kind of entry levels routers I have used. So it’s total from an entry level who reviews one of the high-end routers.
Inside the Box of Asus RT-AC88U
- The Router itself
- Power Brick
- Power Cable 3 types as per the Region All 3 are included
- Ethernet cable (Wish if it was long cable as the bundle one is the quality cable but too short).
- Antenna Bands
- Warranty Card
- Documentation CD
Build of the Asus RT-AC88U
One thing to note whenever Asus showcase an high-end gadget they are always the killer to look. The beast looks of the router make the head turn for sure if they are kept in a visible region. It looks remind me of the ROG Gaming laptop. A dual triangular structure is creating a single triangle a mid which looks killer for a router. Those poping 4 antennas 2 at rear one on each side makes it huge. The amount of time the Asus has put into the just design is spectacular, and I would say No router can closely ever match to the design which Asus has it in RT-AC88U.
Talking about the logic behind the design there is a total of 4 air vents on the router and much needed for the best performance. 8 Ethernet Gigabit port at the rear with 1 ethernet Internet port. 1 power button and 1 power adapter connector at the back. 1 reset and 1 WPS button are also included. Lastly, there is 1 USB 2.0 port. The size I said is massive compared to the all entry-level routers.
Talking specifically about the Indicator lights than from the right WPS indicator, USB 2.0 Indicator, USB 3.0 Indicator, LAN Indicator, Internet Connection Status indicator, 2.4 GHz status Indicator, 5.0 GHz Status indicator and lastly, Power Indicator as per the image.
On the front side, we have The WiFi On/Off button and LED On/OFF button on the right and onto the left there a flap which hides in the front USB 3.0 Port. Pretty solid build. I would say the Best build router ever. Considering all the aspects.
Features and Performance
The best part of the router is here. So for the Review, I have used my home connection which is 10Mbps download speed and 10Mbps upload speed.
So Let’s start with the Inner specification of the router.
- A dual-core Processor inside Clocked at 1.4 GHz
- 512MB RAM
- 128MB Flash Storage
The whole routers boot’s in less than 2 minutes. Such inner specs handle that thing correctly as expected. Since the AC Standard router does multitask things correctly.
Let’s first talk about the Range of the Router. On the box, it says 5400 ft range. In real ratio, My router was in the Hall room Corner of the 2BHK house. The most inner bedroom while using my tp-link router has only 1 small dot range on the phone in the half room. Rest of the room doesn’t have the range with my TP-Link router. In such case, the RT-AC88U has One signal bar range in the same room, and my inner bedroom had the range. This is when you spend some extra money is worth, and for bigger houses, this thing is definitely must.
How Is Asus RT-AC88U especially fantastic for gaming?
There are hardly few routers which come with the WTFast support in the router. Yes the Asus RT-AC88U has WTFast support in the router. If you don’t know what WTFast then WTFast is where none of the packets are lost in the online gaming, and No high ping rate is experienced in the online gaming. You give your game a Much needed VIP Treatment. So for in real-time, I do play CS: GO, but at the same time my brother wants to watch a TV series on NetFlix. So If he turns the Netflix ON the Ping substantially increase in the CS: GO, and such cases never Happen when you had WTFast setup and Configured in the Router. This was the first feature which was eye-catching for me and worked like a charm as required.
The Quick Setup
All the router had the quick setup, but the Asus ones were bit different and smart one as it could support and detect the type of internet connection you have. Suppose some country have a different port for TV and Internet or VOIP plus internet it can handle the same. Moreover, it’s a world router. Gift it to any person in the world he/she will be able to use it with any possible internet connection without any issue for the same.
The budget routers almost don’t get a firmware update, and if they get it, they aren’t notified they have to check the vendor’s site and then install it manually. This isn’t the case it’s just like any other smartphone update or the Windows upgrade the notification pop-up, and with one click it will get installed.
The Asus RT-AC88U is partnered to Trend micro it uses the real-time data on PC or any device connected via the router to detect malicious website or phishing site. So you don’t worry who browses which site so even if children won’t browse the malicious site. The AI Protection Also Include the parental control so The kid’s device will be monitored by you. Websites and Apps filter in the parental mode lets you control more what child should browse. Also, you could set the internet time to connected. So I can say it’s a real-time protection for you without worrying about antivirus and firewall in each device.
QoS (Quality of Service)
This feature in the router monitors the internet data traffic and prioritise things accordingly. So the games, media streaming, VOIP will be prioritised by the router without you need to worry about the things. It has its setting what is to be prioritised, and you will be benefited with it for sure.
It mainly lets you and only you to share the files on the USB drive (Pen drive or portable hard disk over the internet) It’s like a Personal NAS over the web where only you with the right credentials will be able to access files anywhere you go.
Media Services and servers
So for iTunes Home connect or the Personal FTP you need a Media services server and Asus RT-AC88U Definitely never disappoints you in that as well. I was surprised to see this feature on this router.
Network Printer server
This could substantially make your printer go wireless when Android and iOS devices have printing option, and over the network, this makes your existing printer use wirelessly. You should try this feature out. Your PC is still able to print as the same as now your phone is much powerful and smart.
So if your cable internet connection isn’t working and you have USB 3G/4G Dongle, you will be able to share the internet with the home people without any issue with this feature. Even if your internet connection has only USB dongle support, there’s nothing to worry.
A much needful backup feature for the Apple MAC Computers and they use it to the highest. Time Machine backup is the fastest and efficient backups of the computer. Still, the router doesn’t disappoint in this.
Download Master in Asus AC-RT88U
This is the much essential support. In this download master, you could upload a torrent to the router and router downloads; its file to the attached USB Storage without the need of the full computer to be turned on for the night. This feature saves a lot of money for many many torrent downloaders for sure.
It has the BitTorrent support for the torrent files you can use the magnet URL or the torrent file directly to download. It also has the support for the NZB and aMule as well. There isn’t need to worry much. It also has the Usenet support in the torrent.
You will tell me there is already media server support and even there is a time machine for MAC So how different is AI Cloud. AI Cloud will automatically sync your photos or videos or important document from the device which has it’s AI Cloud app in it. Also whatever is back up to the personal attached storage device on the router is again accessible via the App. The Personal Cloud and Personal Data server is this massive router for you.
So don’t worry about the number of the devices it could handle. I almost used to have 10-15 devices connected to the router and router handles it well.
The router sometimes does heat up a little bit, but if your AC vents are not covered, you won’t see the router heating.
Yes, they are the must in the router like the Port forwarding, MAC Binding, IPV6 Support, Guest network support everything was present as required. You could even use it as a wifi extender for the existing router.
There is One more thing the Asus RT-AC88U has
Yes and that’s the Android and iOS app to control the router. When you run the App, you get the real-time traffic in the router. You can also see the number of devices as per the WIFI 2.4GHz or 5GHz or via Wire, and you could block internet or limit the bandwidth for it. More you could share the Wifi password via the App to the Friends or family in a secured format of barcode or the other.
You could even see the traffic stats in live time and System monitor status when it’s using the high performance in much detail at the fingertips inside the app.
For AI Cloud backup and access there is a dedicated app for the same which is much brilliant.
AI player is for the media servers while AI cam is for the CCTV setup and Asus extender is to find the best place to setup an extended router.
So it’s priced for Approx 300$ in the US market. For Indian market 20,000rs approx. I know some people might not spend on the same. If you are a gamer and tech enthusiast and looking for a new router then you should definitely keep an eye on this router for the offers. I can guarantee this router will never disappoint you on the period of the long run. Almost a decade for sure until internet connections go substantially high speed. It will still hold long enough for sure. Asus really worked hard on this device. The UI, the exact features it offers were totally mind blowing and no other can do this. Asus has delivered the best router yet. Each effective price drop will have a sure increase in the sales. I don’t know why we need their high-end router as this router is more than capable to do the things the most gamers required. Those are specifically needed for Internet gaming cafes or the leagues.
A big salute to the Asus team for brilliant product and Big thanks to Asus for sending us the review unit of the brilliant product.