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Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Review: A Tiny Non-WiFi Router that Could

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The ExpertWiFi EBG15 is an interesting router. Despite having “WiFi” in the name, it’s the first in Asus’s new ExpertWiFi family not to have built-in Wi-Fi. In return, it’s tiny and incorporates a powerful feature set, including VLAN and all things VPN, to earn the full name of Gigabit VPN Wired Router.

If you want to build a Gigabit wired network, this little box packs a bunch. You can also throw in an AiMesh-enabled broadcaster, such as the EBA63 access point, to build a robust mesh system.

While the lack of Multi-Gig ports can be a big downer, at the suggested retail price of merely $89.99—the street price will vary—the ExpertWiFi EBG15 is an excellent buy for those needing a compact Gigabit router.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router out of the box
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router is a tiny box with five network ports.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15: A compact yet powerful non-WiFi router

The EBG15 is practically Asus’s first ExpertWiFi router, the EBR63, without the Wi-Fi portion. Sharing the newly-released 3.0.0.6 firmware, the two share the same web user interface and rich feature set.

However, the EBG15 is unique: It’s the first to handle multi-WAN. Specifically, it can host up to four Internet connections or double a dual-WAN router in two groups to simultaneously deliver faster broadband speed and high availability.

But that’s also where it falls short: It doesn’t have a Mult-Gig port. Consequently, there’s no way to truly take advantage of the increased WAN bandwidth. Chances are, if you indeed have more than one WAN connection, you’d opt for a multi-Gigabit router anyway.

That’s to say, the new router is somewhat limited in bandwidth and can’t compete with other non-WiFi routers with higher throughput, such as the UDM-SE. But considering EBG15’s palm-size design, there’s no comparison—the UDM-SE is a gigantic piece of hardware.

Like the rest of the ExpertWiFi or any AiMesh-enabled router, the EBG15 router can work as the primary unit of a mesh system to host any AiMesh-enabled broadcasters as satellites. For now, it seems it’s made to work side by side with the EBA63, which is the first and, so far, only Asus PoE+ access point in the ExpertWiFi family.

In a way, the EBG15 is more of a demonstration of what an ExpertWiFi router can do—and it can do a lot. The table below shows its hardware specs and its features.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router BackAsus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router Ports
The ExpertWiFi EBG15 is super-compact and light. Here are its front and back.
The router’s first three network ports can all function as WAN simultaneously—ports 2 and 3 can also work as LANs by default. Its USB 3.0 port can host another WAN connection via a cellular modem/ smartphone tethering or a storage device.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15: Hardware specifications

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN wired router
ModelEBG15
Dimensions4.76 x 2.95 x 1.02 in
(121 x 75 x 26 mm)
Weight8.82 oz (250g)
Wi-Fi BandwidthNone
Self-Defined Network• Employee
• Guest Portal
• Guest Network
• Scheduled Network
• IoT Network
• VPN Network
• Maximum Self-Defined Network Rule:16
VLAN
Bandwidth Limiter
AP isolate
DNS Server Connection
SecurityAiProtection Pro
• Router Security Assessment
• Malicious Site Blocking
• Two-Way IPS
• Infected Device Prevention and Blocking
VPN
Let’s Encrypt
DNS-over-TLS
SSH
Firewall
• Maximum Firewall Keyword Filter:64
• Maximum Firewall Network Service Filter:32
• Maximum Firewall URL Filter: 64
VPNVPN Client L2PT
VPN Client Open VPN
VPN Client PPTP
VPN Client WireGuard
VPN Server IPSec
VPN Server Open VPN
VPN Server PPTP
VPN Server WireGuard
VPN Fusion
Support Surfshark
Traffic ControlAdaptive QoS
• Bandwidth Monitor
• Bandwidth Limiter
Traditional QoS
Traffic Monitor
• Real-time Traffic Monitor
• Wired Traffic Monitor
Traffic Analyzer
• Website History
Mobile AppAsus ExpertWiFi
Web User InterfaceYes
Available Operating ModeRouter/AiMesh router
AiMesh Node (wired)
Gigabit Port1x WAN
2x LAN/WAN
2x LAN
Multi-Gig PortNone
PoE PortNone
USB Port1x USB 3.0
USB Applications4G / 5G Auto Mobile Tethering
Safely Remove Disk
Media Server
Samba Server
FTP Server
Shared Folder Privileges
PowerAC Input: 110V~240V (50~60Hz)
DC Output: 12 V with max. 1.5 A current
Firmware Version
(at review)
3.0.0.6.102_44136
Energy Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈110 Wh
(as tested)
Release DateFebruary 2023
Price (at Launch)$99.99
Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15’s hardware specifications
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 is a multi WAN routerAsus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router Power Adapter
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 at work and its power adapter.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15: Single SSID, no PoE port

As shown in the table above, the EBG15 does not have a PoE port. That said, if you want to add Wi-Fi to your network using a PoE access point, you’ll need to get a PoE switch. Either that or you’ll need an access point with a power adapter. And it just happens that both Asus’s current Wi-Fi 6 access points of the same hardware specs, the EBA63 mentioned above, and the RP-AX58U, include a power adapter.

What’s really missing, however, is the fact that the EBG15 allows for only one SSID for the main network. Specifically, you can’t create one SSID per band. This is likely because the router itself has no built-in Wi-Fi, and managing different bands of add-on APs can be complicated. Nonetheless, it has the support for Software-Defined Network support, a.k.a Guest Network Pro, where users can create up to half a dozen additional scenario-based SSIDs.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Wi-Fi SettingsAsus ExpertWiFi EBG15 SDNs
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 has just a single SSID for the main Wi-Fi network (for add-on access points), but it features the Guest Network Pro (SNDs) to add another six SSIDs.

Features via screenshots

Like the rest of the ExpertWiFi family, the EBG15 comes with a robust web user interface and the optional Asus ExpertWiFi mobile app to manage its incredibly rich feature sets. The screenshots below will run you through some major features.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBA63 Web User Interface
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBA63 shares the same web user interface with the rest of the ExpertWiFi family.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBA63 Operation ModesAsus ExpertWiFi EBA63 Web User Interface firmware update
The router can work in different operation modes and comes with new 3.0.0.6 firmware that allows for separate security auto updates.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Multiple WANAsus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN
The new router can handle multi-WAN and has all possible VPN options. It also has the usual Dynamic DNS, port forwarding, IP reservation, VLAN tangging (IPTV), VLAN, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection, and more.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 AiMesh
As shown here, the Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 can be the primary router in an AiMesh system, with the EBA63 acting as its mesh satellite unit.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15: Excellent performance

I tested the Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 with the help of the EBA63, and it proved to be a robust little router. During my week-long trial, everything worked as intended.

As a Gigabit router, the EBG15’s throughput speeds are capped at close to Gigabit at best, but I was able to get that kind of sustained rate out of my 10Gbps fiber-optic broadband connection.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 NAS Write SpeedAsus ExpertWiFi EBG15 NAS Read Speed
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15’s sustained network-attached storage speeds when hosting a portable SSD via its USB port.

To put things in perspective, I tested the router’s network storage feature by using its USB port to host a portable SSD, and its performance was exactly that of a Gigabit networking machine.

The ExpertWiFi EBG15 ran completely silent—it has no internal fan—and got just a little warm even during extended operations. Overall, it’s a well-performing router for its hardware specs.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Router's Rating

8 out of 10
Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 VPN Router with retail box
Performance
8 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Super-compact and feature-reach with a robust web user interface

Part of the ExpertWiFi family with lots of advanced features, including Software-Defined Networks and powerful VPN options

Excellent optional ExpertWiFi mobile app; can handle up to 4 WAN connections simultaneously

Cons

No Multi-Gig or PoE ports; no built-in Wi-Fi

Single main SSID when hosting an AiMesh broadcaster

Conclusion

The Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Gigabit VPN Wired Router is not for everyone. For one, it has no built-in Wi-Fi, and the fact that there’s no Mulit-Gig port means it’s stuck at Gigabit-class bandwidth.

However, for those with modest bandwidth needs, it’s an excellent wired router that can quickly turn into a host for a powerful mesh system when you add a couple of Gigabit-class AiMesh broadcasters to the mix. Within that niche, at a suggested price of less than $100, it’s a steal.

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18 thoughts on “Asus ExpertWiFi EBG15 Review: A Tiny Non-WiFi Router that Could”

  1. Great write up Dong! I’ve pulled the trigger on one of these! How on earth do you enable IGMP snooping though? It seems to be missing from the GUI, so my IPTV set top boxes (Telus) cut out after 10 seconds. I was easily able to make them work on the LAN (without dedicating a port) on my now end of life ASUS RT-AC1900P. I haven’t figured it out on the EBG15.. even though it mentions IGMP snooping specifically on the product specification page.

    Reply
    • Honestly, Conor, I don’t know, since I’ve never needed to use that. I’m looking at the interface right now and my take is that you might want to create a new profile and try different settings. Sometimes the labels on the settings are not exactly what you’re used to. The naming of certain features/settings vary from one vendor to another.

      Reply
  2. Hi Dong
    Great site!
    Is it possible to create an individual subnet on each Ethernet port, like the Edgerouter X?
    Can traffic be blocked from traversing the Ethernet ports, ie each port is isolated from the others?

    Reply
  3. I’ve successfully built my wired AiMesh setup with EBG15 as the primary, two RT-AX86Us and three ZenWiFi Minis (XD4) as satellites. One of the ZenWifi Minis isn’t giving me the coverage I want. It uses a goCoax MoCA 2.5 backhaul to the primary. I’d like to replace that node, and I see a couple of options. I could keep the MoCA adapter and use the EBA63 access point or a single EBM68 (overkill?) to stay in the expertWiFi world, or I could use a single XC5 hybrid node which would allow me to delete my existing goCoax adapter (assuming that the two MoCA 2.5 flavors play well). Appreciate any thoughts.

    Reply
  4. I have a wired AiMesh setup with an RT-AX86U as the primary, with another RT-AX86U and three ZenWiFi Minis as satellites. Given the layout of my home, I’d like to add a node near my ONT and make it the primary and convert the existing primary to secondary. There is no benefit of an additional wifi radio near the ONT. If I use an EBG15 as my new primary node, while I know I can manage the wifi secondaries, will I be limited in my ability to control the features/settings of the wifi network?

    Reply
    • You will not. However, note that the Guest Network Pro feature of the EBG15 might not be avaible at the satellites and, for now, the router only allow for a single SSID for the main network. That might change via firmware updates.

      Reply
      • Was reading a bit more about this, and I think that with the EBG15 as my primary, I might not be able to use/configure the Smart Connect band steering feature that I get with my RT-AX86U as primary. Is this a concern? I’ve seen both positive and negative feelings about this feature.

        Reply
        • Band steering should still be there. It’s generally hit or miss anyway. But I haven’t tried the particular combo.

          Reply
  5. Strange to have Wifi in product name if it is not a Wifi router. Can you double check if Wifi is disabled in settings?

    Reply

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