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Asus ExpertWiFi Overview (vs. ZenWifi): A New Mesh-ready SOHO Hardware Series

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On January 4, 2023, Asus unveiled its new ExpertWiFi product line.

After unsurprisingly missing the initial availability target, initially set for "the first quarter of 2023, " the networking vendor is finally shipping the ExpertWiFi EBR63 standalone router. There will soon be more hardware options, including those supporting Wi-Fi 7.

That said, if you're wondering what ExpertWiFi is—especially in comparison to Asus's existing ZenWifi product line, which debuted three years earlier with the CT8—you're reading the right post. Among other things, you'll see where the new hardware approach is intended to fit in among Asus's vast Wi-Fi portfolio.

Right off the bat, ExpertWiFi is not necessarily suitable for everyone, though it'll work for anyone. And, so far, with the first round of hardware, home users haven't missed out on anything yet.

Dong's note: I first published this post as a news piece on January 6, 2023, and updated it on February 6, 2024, with more information on the new product line.

Asus ExpertWiFi hardware includes routers, access points, switches and more
The first Asus ExpertWiFi hardware includes the EBR63 Wi-Fi router (top), the EBA63 PoE+ access point (square), the EBG15 non-WiFi router (left), and the EBP15 PoE+ switch.

Asus ExpertWiFi: AiMesh Turned 100% Professional

The first and foremost thing to remember about ExpertWiFi is that, like ZenWifi, it's also based on AiMesh, a mesh feature available in virtually all Asus Wi-Fi 6 and newer hardware.

Asus confirmed with me that you can use ExpertWiFi with AiMesh hardware interchangeably. That's to say, you can pick any Asus router of whichever series or product line, and chances are you can make them work together to form a Wi-Fi system. In my trial with the EBR63, the router indeed can host AiMesh satellites made of existing routers, including those running firmware as old as the 384 release.

But whether or not you should mix the two in a system is a different question. Here's a hint: It's probably not a good idea, and you might not have reasons to do that anyway.

While similar to ZenWifi, ExpertWiFi hardware is built for small office/home office (SOHO) environments. As a result, the new hardware focuses more on reliability than performance and is generally behind the curve in hardware specs.

Compared to existing AiMesh hardware, the new ExpertWiFi series is similar thanks to the shared Auswrt firmware but still differentiates itself in features and hardware design.

Asus's current product lines

Asus has a vast collection of Wi-Fi hardware options available in the following series:

  • The RT series: General consumer-grade standalone routers ranging from entry-level, mid-range, and high-end models. Improved variants might carry the "Pro" suffix, such as the RT-AX88U Pro. Some models include gaming-related features, such as the RT-AX82U. Most feature AiMesh as an option.
  • The TUF and ROG series: Gaming-related Wi-Fi routers of different tiers, including the highest-end flagship routers. Improved variants, such as the GT-AX11000 Pro, might carry the "Pro" suffix.
  • The ZenWiFi series: This series includes consumer-grade purpose-built AiMesh-based Wi-Fi systems with a broad range of configurations. Some variants have built-in MOCA or Powerline support.
  • The ExpertWiFi series: Hardware for networking enthusiasts and office environments. These are AiMesh-enabled business-oriented solutions with more advanced options in network customization and hardware design, available as purpose-built mesh systems, single (Wi-Fi) routers, APs, and switches.

Generally, all AiMesh-enabled hardware—most, if not all, Asus Wi-Fi 6 or newer routers—can work together to form a system.

Asus ExpertWiFi: Standard web user interface, built-in VLAN, captive portal, and more

On the firmware front, ExpertWiFi has everything in network settings you'd find in the existing Asus RT and Zenwifi series, plus the following:

  • Advanced software-defined networking (SDN): Up to five virtual SSIDs and VLAN support. Users can program each network port to do different things, including a Wi-Fi network with a captive portal that allows network admins to manage the way employees or guests can access the network via web-based logins.
  • More Aimesh node support: Users can have up to 12 nodes instead of 10 of the existing AiMesh in a mesh setup.
  • A more comprehensive AiProtection Pro feature.
  • Better VPN support: Enhanced VPN-related features compared to existing Asus routers.
  • Advanced Dashboard: Better monitoring and prioritization/isolation of client/connected devices.

That said, feature-wise, ExpertWiFi is more comparable to other business solutions, such as TP-Link Omada or EnGenius Fit. Still, it retains the familiar interface and a certain level of ease of use that home users have grown accustomed to.

Familiar setup process

As mentioned, the ExpertWiFi series comes with a new web user interface, accessible via the default IP address shared in all Asus hardware series: 192.168.50.1. As a result, setting up new hardware is quite simple. Specifically, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Connect a computer to one of its LAN ports or use the default Wi-Fi network printed on the underside.
  2. On the computer, navigate a browser to this default IP address to create a new username and password for the admin account. Then, run the Quick Internet Setup wizard to get things started.
  3. Configure your network the same way you do a standard router.

After that, you'll note the hardware's interface is self-explanatory. If you have worked with an Asus router before, you'll be able to figure things out rather quickly despite the relatively new layout of the interface, as shown below.

New user interface via screenshots

These screenshots are based on the EBR63 standalone router. However, you can expect all ExpertWiFi hardware to have similar, if not the same, settings and features.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Dashboard
The ExpertWiFi web user interface includes a left menu that starts with the Dashboard (after the Quick Internet Setup, which generally takes place during the initial setup) and ends with the Settings item. In between is the quick access button to the hardware features.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Defined NetworkASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Guest Portal
The Software Defined Network section includes multiple options to build virtual SSIDs for different needs. For example, for Guest Wi-Fi, you have the option to use a captive portal. Or, for the Employee network, you can utilize a Radius server as the sign-in portal.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface AiMeshASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Traffic Analyzer
The ExpertWiFi hardware includes a Traffic Analyzer section to monitor connected clients' activities, and its AiMesh feature will work with existing AiMesh-enabled hardware as old as those running firmware version 384. However, the latest firmware is always recommended.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface VPNsASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface VPN Fusion
Like most Asus routers, the ExpertWiFi series has excellent support for VPNs, including WireGuard and VPN Fusion, which allows you to apply the VPN to particular clients.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface AiProtectionASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Traffic Monitor
The ExpertWiFi series shares similar AiProtection and Traffic Monitor to other Asus routers, but now with more in-depth settings and access.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface VLANASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63 Web User Interface Adaptive QoS
All ExpertWiFi hardware has an advanced VLAN feature, which can be applied to each of the network ports. Additionally, it shares the same Active QoS features as other Asus series.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBR63 Dual WANAsus ExpertWiFi EBR63 Wi Fi Settings
Other standard advanced settings from the previous Asus series are also available, including Dual-WAN and in-depth Wi-Fi settings.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBR63 Parental ControlAsus ExpertWiFi EBR63 USB Applications
Despite being marketed as business hardware, the ExpertWiFi series includes a free Parental Control feature and support for all USB-related applications, including media streaming, data sharing, USB cellular modem, and much more.

The new mobile app, no vendor login required, and no gaming features

Other than the new web UI, the ExpertWiFi also comes with a new mobile app called Asus ExpertWiFi. This app, for the most part, is similar to the existing Asus Router app, but for obvious reasons, it's now built to handle the series' new features and functions.

The app can give you in-depth access to the hardware, though not as in-depth as the web UI. What's noticeable is that it allows users to change the theme, which is, for now, available in Simplicity White and OLED Black and light options.

ExpertWiFi Mobile App Port and Settings
The ExpertWiFi Mobile App has in-depth access to the hardware's settings.

It's worth noting that whether you use the web UI (my preference) or the ExpertWiFi mobile app, there's an option for remote management via Dynamic DNS. However, with the latter, you can opt to bind your hardware with a Google, Asus, WeChat, or Facebook account.

Asus routers and privacy

By default, all Asus routers don't require users to use a third-party login account or provide personal information to the vendor.

However, turning on specific features that require scanning the hardware's traffic, such as Traffic monitoring, AiProtection, or Parental Control, or binding the hardware with a third-party account would increase the privacy risks.

Privacy and security are a matter of degree, and data collection varies from one company to another. Here's the Taiwanese hardware vendor's Privacy Policy.

Overall, ExpertWiFi almost has everything Asus's previous series and more.

But, as shown in the first round of hardware below, there's one thing this series doesn't include: the gaming features of the ROG of the TUF series—though you can play most games just fine with it via the robust Active QoS feature. Additionally, the slow adoption of the latest Wi-Fi standard and, most importantly, the lack of Multi-Gig Ethernet support means it's, for now, not exactly the hot hardware for those wanting to be on the cutting edge.

ExpertWiFi Mobile App Theme and SDNExpertWiFi Mobile App Parental Control and AiProtection
Most of the ExpertWiFi hardware's features, such as SND networks, AIProtection, and Parental Control, can be managed via the mobile app, which also has the option to change the interface's theme.

First hardware’s specifications: ExpertWiFi EBM68 vs. EBR63

As mentioned, ExpertWiFi hardware is behind the curve in Wi-Fi standards. Its first products, the EBM68 mesh system and EBR63 router, are Wi-Fi 6 broadcasters. Eventually, you'll find ExpertWiFi hardware supporting Wi-Fi 6E and 7, but that's relatively far in the future.

ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63ASUS ExpertWiFi EBM68 4
ASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63ASUS ExpertWiFi EBM68
AvailabilityStandalone router2-pack mesh set
Antennas4 x external antennas6 x internal antennas
Wi-Fi GradeDual-band AX3000Tri-band AX7800
1st Band
(channel width)
2x2 AX: up to 574 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz
2x2 AX: up to 2402 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz-1
2x2 AX: up to 2402 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
None5GHz-2
4x4 AX: up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Hardware Role
(each unit)
Wireless Router Mode
AiMesh Node Mode
Access Point Mode
UNII-4 SupportNoYes
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IPv4, IPv6
CPU1.7GHz quad-core CPU
Memory and Flash Storage256 MB Flash, 512 MB DDR3 RAM256 MB Flash, 1 GB DDR4 RAM
Multi-Gig PortNone1 x 2.5 Gbps WAN
Gigabit Port1 x Gbps WAN,
4 x 1 Gbps LAN,
3 x 1 Gbps LAN
USB Port1 x USB 3.0,
1 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
ButtonsPower Switch, Reset Button, WPS Button
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
DC Output: 12 V with max 2 A current
AC Input: 100~240V (50~60 Hz)
DC Output: 12 V with max 3 A current
Package ContentsASUS ExpertWiFi EBR63
RJ-45 cable 
Power adapter 
Quick Start guide 
Warranty card 
ASUS ExpertWiFi EBM68
RJ-45 cable 
Power adapter 
Quick Start guide 
Warranty card 
Dimensions8.86 x 4.16 x 6.04 in
(225 x 105.7 x 153.5 mm)
(with antennas)
6.57 x 3.03 x 7.32 in
(167 x 77 x 186 mm)
Weight
(each unit)
.96 lb (436g)1.78 lbs (808 g)
Release DateDecember 2023
Warranty3-year
US Retail Cost
(at launch)
$149.99 (Single Router$599 (2-pack)
Specifications: Asus ExpertWiFi series' launch hardware

ExpertWiFi’s new design approach: Professional with “pristine white”

Design-wise, the ExpretWifi line comes with a bit of style and a whole lot of practicality. All devices have well-thought-out shapes that help declutter the office space. The ExpertWiFi EBR63 router, for example, can stay in a horizontal or vertical position with a design that tucks the plugged-in cable away.

Additionally, ExpertWiFi has a larger hardware ecosystem that includes non-Wi-Fi routers, PoE access points, PoE switches, and more. The warranty is also increased to three years instead of one year.

Asus says its new "ExpertWiFi series features a minimalistic and professional aesthetic, with a pristine white exterior designed to blend into a business environment" to give the users more preferences in hardware placement.

In other words, the hardware can blend in better with the surroundings instead of standing out like an eyesore to specific aesthetically hard-to-please groups of users. In my experience, the EBR63 is indeed a versatile router. It's one of the most compact and light Wi-Fi machines that's also incredibly practical, and that's not a bad thing.

Asus ExpertWiFi EBR63 Router in ActationAsus ExpertWiFi EBR63 cable organizing
The Asus ExpertWiFi EBR63 router has a clever design to meet different placement preferences. It's also wall-mount-ready.

The takeaway

Any existing Asus RT or ZenWifi device will work in a business environment—they generally all deliver the connection an office needs. However, if you want more features and network customization, there's now a better choice.

While not earth-shattering, at least not yet, the new ExpertWiFi series is excellent for those needing common and specific business applications having to resort to enterprise-class hardware. And judging from my early experience with the EBR63 router, the new series is definitely a welcome and exciting option.

Chances are it'll only get better in the near future.

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17 thoughts on “Asus ExpertWiFi Overview (vs. ZenWifi): A New Mesh-ready SOHO Hardware Series”

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  1. > In other words, the hardware can blend in better with the surroundings instead of standing out like an eyesore to specific aesthetically hard-to-please groups of users.

    Didn’t know my wife was evaluating ASUS routers now. The ones that resemble spiders are an especially tough sell if visible in the living room.

    Reply
  2. Judging a book by its cover is, admittedly, bad. Still, a network device without LED lights on the Ethernet ports is a bad sign.
    Another bad sign is an on/off switch for a router. Why? And why put said switch right next to the power cord which is an on/off switch of its own. I once had to throw out an Asus router because the spring in the on/off switch broke.
    Question: what is a “virtual” SSID vs. any other type of SSID?

    Reply
    • Generally, each Wi-Fi band has one SSID. When you get the second or more out of a band, such as a Guest SSID, that’s virtual.

      Reply
      • Never heard the term “virtual” used for this. Not the best terminology. Perhaps “additional”? Higher end routers (not consumer devices) typically offer many SSIDs on the same frequency band.

        These Asus routers support VLANs, so I suspect an SSID can be assigned to a VLAN (we’ll see) which would make the term “virtual SSID” a bit confusing as an “additional” SSID surely will not be required to live inside a VLAN.

        Not to be Grinch, very much appreciate you and your website.

        Reply
  3. I’m looking to go behind a VPN for the first time and searched for a “asus wired router” and came across the ASUS ExpertWiFi EBG15.

    {…}

    I don’t have huge demands, so will probly get a used Asus RT-AC86U and put Merlin on it, but I’d love something like the EBG15 if it was available and affordable (and connect a GLi.net Mango for rare wireless needs)

    THANK YOU for a great website, btw, and wonderful that you respond to all the messages.

    Reply
  4. Can you confirm the dimensions of the EBA63? In the picture, the depth (reported as 420mm) looks smaller than the length and width (both reported as 160mm).

    Also, do you think the ExpertWiFi business products will work with an ASUS mesh system that consists of consumer AiMesh products?

    Reply
    • I can’t confirm, Jason, since Asus gave me the specs. I haven’t had my hands on the hardware. As for ExpertWiFi, we have to wait and see. Check back in a while.

      Reply
  5. Hi
    As ASUS is a very open platform its new “business range” will certainly attract those users which enjoy a lot of time a tinkering with incremental updates and configuration. For those that enjoy to focus on other business activities my recommendation would, in the light of having owned two sets of ASUS mesh systems (XT8 and 12) be to look elsewhere (Aruba, Meraki Go and similar) for business grade equipment.

    Reply
  6. Until very recently I have been an avid ASUS user, but in the last 6 months I have seen abysmal performance for a 2 * RT AX89X mesh system, and in the last few days a B1 version of the RT AX89X continually dropped a wired backhaul.
    I replaced this device with a ROG GT AC5300 and things have been better.

    However I can’t see any business user putting up with ASUS hardware issues, I have had (2 * Zen Wifi XT8 fail + RT AX89X) and the offhand attitude of ASUS support

    Reply
    • I think the RT-AX89X has some AiMesh issues with the latest firmware due to the fact it runs on a different chip. As a single router, though, it’s still great.

      Reply
    • Lol I have a gt-ac5300 as well after dark knight really didn’t fit in anymore but not sure with these ram specs & the fact that they never seemed to fix the problems they had with expressway gen ap’s before merging code that ai mesh still has these metaphorical ghosts on top of the shaky tomato usb foundation they built asuswrt on that ive been leaning on buying a ubiquiti edgemax & maybe look for one of their used ac ap’s

      Reply

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