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Asus GT-AXE16000 Review: The Pinnacle of Today’s Home Networking, for a Price

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If you asked me "Dong, tell me da best router to get, money is not an issue!", which many of you actually did over the years, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 would be it.

Aside from the bulky design and the big hurdle that is the hefty $699 suggested retail price, Asus's first Quad-band Wi-Fi machine is the pinnacle of today's home networking.

Its street price can even be higher considering the anticipation.

Though designed and marketed as part of the ROG family, which includes a long list of existing gaming routers, Asus's latest Wi-Fi 6E router is excellent for any situation. It will satisfy and impress even the most demanding users. You might not need it—it's overkill for most homes—but you sure want it.

While still imperfect, the Asus GT-AXE16000 is my first recommendation (almost) without reservation. Get one—or start saving up—today!

You can get a few units to form the ultimate AiMesh system with 10Gbps Multi-Gig wired backhauling. However, there are more affordable wired satellite options with lower speed grades.

Dong's note: I first published this piece on January 6, 2022, as a news piece when Asus first announced the GT-AXE16000 and updated it on June 16, 2022, as a first impression of the actual hardware. As promised, on June 22, 2022, I upgraded this post to an in-depth review after week-long hands-on testing.

The Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E has a shiny mirror top
The Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E has a shiny mirror top

Asus GT-AXE16000: Asus’s most potent (gaming) router

The biggest thing you might have heard about the GT-AXE16000 is that it's a Quad-band router. But I'm not too crazy about this—Quad-band is not a novelty. If you're new to this concept, this post on Dual-band vs. Tri-band vs. Quadband explains it in detail.

Late last year, I published the review of the Netgear Orbi RBKE960 series, and TP-Link announced its Archer AXE300 earlier this year. Both are Quad-band.

But as a flagship Quad-band gaming router, the GT-AXE16000 is the first. And at the core, like most Asus routers, it has much more than just Wi-Fi galore.

Earlier this year, Netgear announced a new "Game Booster" feature to select Orbi sets via a $50/year add-on subscription, which seems more a gimmick than a real thing. That's if gaming features in a router can be a real thing.

The point is, taking the Quad-band notion aside, the GT-AXE16000 still gives you a lot to brag about.

Asus GT-AXE16000 vs. GT-AXE11000: A familiar yet improved design

Out of the box, the GT-AXE16000 shares a similar boxy and bulky shape to the GT-AXE11000. This mundane design hasn't changed much over time. It was the case with the previous Wi-Fi 6 GT-AX11000 and even the Wi-Fi 5 GT-AC5300.

So it's not harsh to say Asus has been stagnant on the creative front. But the GT-AXE16000 manages to have some novelty in the look department.

A beautiful light show

Specifically, its top is now a mirror.

Initially, I found this shiny area annoying. For one, it made taking photos of the router super hard because of the reflections. The surface itself is a fingerprint magnet—avoid touching it!

Asus GT-AXE16000 Fancy Light
It's tough to truly reflect—pun intended—the Asus GT-AXE16000's fancy programmable color-changing light with a photo, but take my word that it's definitely something.

However, once turned on, the router's look changed completely. Asus strategically designs the ROG Aura light to create layers of light through the glass when lit up.

There are also additional LEDs at the edges of the mirror. Altogether, they become quite a show, enough to make you want to place the router out in the open.

This light design makes the new router a perfect match for the ZenWiFi Pro ET12 in a Multi-Gig wired backhauling mesh system, which is a different topic.

Like all hardware with ROG Aura light, the GT-AXE16000's lighting is programmable—you can change the colors and do all sorts of patterns with it, or turn it off completely via the web interface or the Asus mobile app.

All that is to say, among Asus's routers with fancy lights, the GT-AXE16000 is the best. I liked it much more than the case of the Blue Cave or RT-AX82U. And that's something since, generally, I'm not a fan of bling.

Better antennas design

The GT-AXE16000 shares the same non-detachable antenna design as the GT-AXE11000, but the antennas now have bigger and stronger joints—they feel much less flimsy than those of the predecessor.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E Router
The Asus GT-AXE16000 has stronger but less flexible antennas than the GT-AXE11000. Among other things, you only extend them halfway outward.

In return, these antennas have narrower outward angles. You can only open them to a maximum of about 30 degrees instead of 90 degrees in the case of the GT-AX11000.

Considering the design, you can swivel each antenna almost a complete circle, though only 180 degrees are applicable. Generally, all you need to do is keep those little poles up anyway.

Wi-Fi antennas: What dBi is and how there's no signal gain

Asus GT-AXE16000 vs. GT-AXE11000: All-new powerful hardware

On the inside, the GT-AXE16000 is much more powerful than its older GT-AXE11000 cousin. For one, it's the first Wi-Fi router with three Multi-Gig ports, including one 2.5Gbps and two 10Gbps BASE-T ports.

Multi-Gig: What it is and why you'd love it

Note on 10Gbps Ethernet and home routers

A router needs more than just a couple of 10Gbps Ethernet network ports to deliver (close to) true 10Gbps. It also requires high processing power and applicable firmware to handle this bandwidth.

Generally, Multi-Gig home and SMB routers, including top-tier ones, do not have enough to deliver (close to) true 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) throughputs. After "overhead", they sustain at around 6,500Mbps on the LAN side and around 5000Mbps on the WAN side, give or take—the latter generally requires more processing power, especially when routing-related features are in use.

Most 10Gbps switches have similar characteristics, though they tend to have better real-world rates than routers.

That's partially why more home Wi-Fi routers support the lowest tier of Multi-Gig, 2.5Gbps, than those with 10Gbps ports. In this case, these entry-level Multi-Gig devices can deliver close to 2,500Mbps in real-world speeds.

Like previous home routers with 10GbE ports, the GT-AXE16000 won't sustain at "true" 10Gbps, but it's definitely faster than 2.5Gbps.

As the world is moving towards faster-than-Gigabit, these ports are the feature that makes the GT-AXE16000 the ultimate home router. In fact, it's one of the must-haves for those with 10Gbps broadband. However, there's no SFP+ port, which might make current owners of the RT-AX89X unimpressed, even disappointed.

Among Asus's Multi-Gig hardware, the RT-AX89X has two 10Gbps ports, but one is an SFP+. Additionally, the GT-AX6000 and the ZenWiFi Pro ET12 (as well as the XT12) each have two 2.5Gbps ports. Others only come with a single Multi-Gig port.

On top of that, the GT-AXE16000 also has a powerful quad-core 2.0GHz CPU and now comes with 2GB of RAM, the most among the majority of home routers.

In short, the new router is much more than the GT-AX11000 plus an additional 5GHz-2 band. The specs table below will give you a better idea.

You can literally stack the Asus GT-AXE16000 perfectly on top of the GT-AXE11000. The two share the same design.
The Asus GT-AXE16000 sits perfectly atop the GT-AXE11000. The two share the same design. Note the latter's antennas that can extend all the way outward.

Hardware specifications: Asus GT-AXE16000 vs. GT-AXE11000

Wi-Fi TechnologyQuad-band AX16000Tri-Band AXE11000
1st Band
4x4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 1148Mbps
2nd Band
4x4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
3rd Band
4x4 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 4804Mbps
4th Band
4x4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) SupportYes
AP ModeYes
160MHz Channel SupportYes
Number of 160MHz 
7x on one 6GHz band
2x on two 5GHz bands
Gigabit Network Port4x LAN4x LAN, 1x WAN/LAN
Multi-Gig Network Port1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN
2x 10Gbps LAN/WAN
1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
LAN Link AggregationYes 
(LAN ports 1 and 2)
WAN Link AggregationYes (WAN + LAN4)
Dual-WANYes (WAN + USB 
or any other LAN port)
Yes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
USB1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
Mobile AppAsus Router
Processing Power2.0 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 2GB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Power SpecsInput: 100-240V, 1.7A, 50-60Hz
Output: 19.5V, 3.33A, 65W
Input: 100-240V, 1.7A, 50-60Hz
Output: 19.5V, 3.33A, 65W
Power Usage
(over 24 hours)
≈ 475 WhNot tested
Antennas8x External
Dimensions (no antennas)10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in 
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
Weight5.3 lbs (2.4kg)3.94 lbs (1.79 kg)
Firmware Version
(at review)
Release DateJune 2022April 2021
US Price
(at launch)
GT-AXE16000 vs. GT-AXE11000: Hardware specifications
The Asus GT-AXE16000's extra ports are among a few things that set it apart from the GT-AXE11000.
The Asus GT-AXE16000's extra Multi-Gig port is among a few things that set it apart from the GT-AXE11000 (bottom).

Considering the Quad-band support, you can't look at the GT-AXE16000 without thinking of the other elephant in the room, namely the Netgear Orbi RBRE 960, the router unit of the RBKE 960 series. But that will be the topic of a separate post.

Asus GT-AXE16000: Extra detailed photos

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 2
Out of the box, Asus GT-AXE16000 includes an oversized power adapter—the same as the GT-AXE11000—and a CAT6A cable.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 5
The Asus GT-AXE16000 is a massive router—that's my hand. Its top, where you can vaguely notice the ROG status light is a shiny mirror.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 7
Here's a closeup of the Asus GT-AXE16000's network port. Note the two 10Gbps ports (right) and the 2.5Gbps WAN port.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 6
Like the case of the GT-AXE11000, the Asus GT-AXE16000 comes with two USB ports. However, they are now placed at one corner instead of the side. Also, only one of them is a USB 3.0.

Asus GT-AXE16000s power adapter
The Asus GT-AXE16000 shares the same power adapter as the GT-AXE11000.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 17
The underside of the Asus GT-AXE16000—the router is not wall-mount-ready.

Asus GT-AXE16000 vs. GT-AXE11000 Top
From above, the Asus GT-AXE16000's mirror top separates it from the GT-AXE11000.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 16
The Asus GT-AXE16000 can produce quite a light show when its programmable ROG Aura is lit up.

Asus GT-AXE16000: Familiar features plus some extra

The new GT-AXE16000 will share the bulk of core features found in most Asus routers. If you have used an Asus router, you're already familiar with them.

In any case, below are the highlights of what the new router has. If you're already in the know, hit the button to skip it.

Asus GT-AXE16000's feature highlights

Robust firmware with a responsive web interface

Asus GT-AX16000 Web interface
The GT-AX16000 shares the same interface theme as other Asus ROG gaming routers.

The GT-AXE16000 shares the same open-source AsusWRT firmware as the other Asus routers with a similar web interface. Most importantly, it doesn't coerce users into a cloud-based web portal, which is excellent for privacy.

(All Asus routers allow remote management via Dynamic DNS, which is turned off by default.)

The interface allows access to a router's many settings and features, some listed below. Savvy networking enthusiasts will love that though it can be overwhelming for novice users.

Standard setup process

Thanks to the web interface, the GT-AXE16000 shares the same standard setup process, as I detailed in this post on building a home network from scratch.

Specifically, here are the general steps:

  1. Connect the router's default 2.5Gbps WAN port Internet source, be it a modem, an existing gateway, or the Fiberoptic ONT. Turn it on.
  2. Connect a computer to the router, via a network cable to one of its LAN ports, or the default open Wi-Fi network, generally named "Asus xx".
  3. Open a browser and navigate to the router's default IP address which is or router.asus.com.

The rest is self-explanatory. The first time you get to the web interface, you'll run into a wizard that walks you through a few steps. Alternatively, you can use the Asus mobile app in step #3.

Helpful mobile app, no login account required

Other than the web user interface, which I recommend, you can also use the Asus mobile app for the GT-AXE16000's setup process and ongoing management.

This app is common for all Asus routers and is comprehensive. In fact, it's one of the best mobile apps for routers you can find on the market. Still, it's not as in-depth as the web interface.

The GT-AXE16000 shares the same Asus Router mobile app as other Asus routers.
The GT-AXE16000 shares the same Asus Router mobile app as other Asus routers.

The best thing about it is that you can use it to manage the router remotely without a login account. Instead, just like the web interface, it operates the remote management via the router's built-in support for the Dynamic DNS feature that includes a free SSL certificate.


The GT-AXE16000 comes with full support for AiProtection, part of which is the handy and free-for-life real-time Network Protection powered by Trend Micro.

The feature is designed to keep the entire local network safe. In many ways, it's a strip-down version of an add-on firewall, like the Firewalla or the subscription-based Armor from Netgear.

Asus GT-AX16000 Network Protection
The Asus GT-AX16000's Network Protection portion of its AiProtection feature.

And for a free product, AiProtection is great and adds more value to the router.

Generic Parental Controls

The GT-AXE16000's Parental Controls feature has its own section on the web user interface. Nonetheless, it's the same as that found in previous Asus routers: it's quite generic and rigid. Specifically:

The filters are based on pre-determined categories, which are vaguely defined.

There's no blocking via domain or keywords.

So this feature will get things done to a certain level. However, it's based on a client's MAC address so its effectiveness will be hit or miss.

Asus GT-AX16000 Parental Control
The Asus GT-AX16000 has the same generic Parental Controls feature.

Adaptive QoS

The GT-AXE16000 comes with the familiar Adaptive QoS, which is now part of its gaming section. It's one of the easiest-to-use implementations of QoS among home routers.

Quality of Service: How to better your Internet via QoS

"QoS" stands for the quality of service, and it enables users to prioritize Internet traffic to support different applications or services.

Adaptive QoS requires minimum work from the user and is quite effective. It's the generic prioritization in addition to the router's gaming-related features.

Asus GT-AX16000 QoS Settings
The Asus GT-AX16000's QoS setting page

Versatile VPN support

The GT-AXE16000 features all VPN options collectively available in Asus routers.

Specifically, it can work as a VPN server or a client. I also support VPN Fusion and Instant Guard, a new feature added in mid-2021 for mobile users.

Asus GT-AX16000 VPN
The Asus GT-AX16000's VPN section


AiMesh is by far the biggest feature among Asus routers. It's significant, I detailed it in this separate post.

And as the first Quad-stream router, the GT-AXE16000 is suited for this in any scenario. On top of that, as a router with three Multi-Gig ports, it's a new best remember of a mesh with Multi-Gig wired backhaul.

I'll cover how the new router pans as a Mult-Gig mesh member in this separate post on the subject.

Flexible port configuration: WAN vs. LAN

The GT-AXE16000 comes with seven network ports that can work with extreme flexibility.

Asus GT-AX16000 Dual-WANAsus GT-AX16000 WAN Port
Asus GT-AXE16000's WAN configuration: The router is exceptionally flexible in port designation for its single and Dual-WAN configurations.


  • Single WAN: By default, the 2.5Gbps WAN works as the designated WAN. However, when the router is up and running, you can use its interface to assign either of the two 10Gbps ports or a USB port as the new WAN port. In this case, the default 2.5Gbps WAN will work as a LAN port.
  • Dual-WAN: You can combine the main WAN port, whichever it is, with any other port in a Dual-WAN setup.
  • LAN Link Aggregation: You can combine LAN1 and LAN2 into a 2Gbps connection.
  • WAN Link Aggregation: You can combine the main WAN port and the LAN4 ports to get a 2Gbps connection. This is for compatibility purposes only since the default WAN itself is a 2.5Gbps port.

With this type of flexibility, the GT-AXE16000 will meet the port requirements of any home network.

Universal setting restoration

Like the case of most Asus routers—with the exceptions of the RT-AX89X and Blue Cave—the GT-AXE16000 supports setting backup files of other Asus routers.

I tried it with a few that worked. Clearly, as a Quad-band only applicable settings will be ported over. For example, if you use a backup file of a Dual-band router with two separate SSIDs, the setting will be applied to only two of the GT-AXE16000's bands, and the other two will take its default settings.

While it's best to set up your router from scratch, this feature can be a big time-saving method when you upgrade from a router with lots of IP reservations or perforating entries.

Other useful features

Other than the above, The GT-AXE16000 also includes a long list of handy tools and settings:

  • Networking tools: Wake on LAN, Ping, Netstat, and Smart Connect Rule can come in handy for advanced users.
  • Auto-reboot: You can set your router to restart by itself on a schedule.
  • Traffic Analyzer: A set of tools and statistics for those wanting to find out what's happening in the network.
  • USB-related features galore: When hosting a storage device, the router has all the features you can imagine—from data sharing (locally and over the Internet) to backup (including the support for Time Machine) to a personal cloud. You can even make the router handle PC-less downloading and use the router's USB ports to host printers or select USB cellular modems.
  • The standard set of network settings and features: These include IP reservation, Port-forwarding, so on and so far, and even some Alexa Skills.
  • Easy firmware update: Asus pushes out firmware updates regularly to fix issues and improve its routers' performance and function. You can choose to update manually or turn on auto-update.

And as a gaming router, the GT-AXE16000 has "Triple-level game acceleration," similar to the case of the GT-AXE11000. In fact, it has all the gaming-related features shown on this list, including the rare support for WTFast gamer VPN.

I tried all of these features out—most of them are just special QoS settings—and they appeared to work. It's worth noting, though, that these features apply to situations where the broadband connection is the bottleneck, which is not my case.

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.

According to Asus, the new router also has a feature called RangeBoost Plus technology designed to improve signal range and overall coverage. In my testing—more below—the GT-AXE16000 indeed had excellent range, but not more excellent than other high-end routers.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E Router
Here's the Asus GT-AXE-16000's fancy ROG Aura gaming light in action. It's much better in real life.

Asus GT-AXE16000: Overall excellent performance

For this review, I tested the GT-AXE16000 for a week as a standalone router, and it excelled.

I'll continue to test it as an AiMesh member and will update this post on Multi-Gig AiMesh combos to add the findings. Generally, for the best performance and value, you should use this router in a mesh only when wired backhauling is available.

The GT-AXE16000 shares the same clunky wireless backhaul design as traditional Tri-band AiMesh routers. Consequently, it's a bad idea, cost- and performance-wise, to get multiple units to form a wireless mesh system.

Though similar to the Orbi RBKE 960, the GT-AXE16000 won't be a clear upgrade in performance compared to a traditional Tri-band system, like the ZenWiFi XT8, despite the much higher cost.

Fast, but not true 10Gbps wired sustained rates

I tested the GT-AXE16000's two 10GbE ports in all possible ways and while they were fast, they didn't sustain at full 10Gbps.

Specifically, when working as LAN ports, they averaged slightly over around 6000Mbps, or about two third of true 10Gbps, when hosting two 10GbE-ready clients.

When I set each of them to work as the WAN port hosting my 10Gbps Fiber-optic line, the best Internet speed I could get from either of them was almost 6Gbps—tested via a 10GbE-ready client connected to the remaining 10GbE port working as a LAN port.

It's worth noting that my service line could deliver over 8.5Gbps when I connected the test machine directly to the ONT.

Asus GT-AXE16000 10GbE Wired Performance
Asus GT-AXE16000's wired performance via its 10GbE ports.

Asus told me that it would release firmware updates to improve these ports' performance.

Generally, no 10GbE port can deliver true 10Gbps since there's always overhead, and the GT-AXE16000's LAN performance was within my expectations—as mentioned above.

However, its WAN speed sure could use some improvement. Let's hope future firmware will improve it.

Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage

On the Wi-Fi front, the GT-AXE16000 is easily the fastest router to date in my testing methodology. Its 10Gbps LAN port and powerful Wi-Fi specs showed!

It was interesting, though, as you'd note on the charts, that its 6GHz band had slightly lower sustained output than the 5GHz band. However, this is not a big surprise considering Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E share the same speed grade—the latter only had an edge in DFS-unfriendly areas.

Asus GT-AXE16000 Router Long Range PerformanceAsus GT-AXE16000 Router Short Range Performance
The Asus GT-AXE16000's Wi-Fi performance

For seven days, I had no issue with the GT-AXE16000, which was a pleasant surprise, considering Asus routers tend to be buggy at launch. On top of that, its web user interface was noticeably more responsive than previous routers.

Considering the router has so many features and settings, I couldn't test everything—that's if anyone ever can. So, if you have crazy ideas, you might run into some oddities. But so far, this new router has proved to be excellent even with the initial firmware, which encompasses all Asus routers.

OK, there was indeed a weird incident. My test 4x4 AC adapter (an Asus PCE-AC88), on a Windows 10 machine couldn't connect at first—while it could connect to other routers. I ended up removing its existing driver software and reinstalling it using the same driver version before it worked. That might or might not have had anything to do with the router.

As for Wi-Fi coverage, the GT-AXE16000 had an excellent range—still about the same as that of the GT-AXE11000 or other high-end routers. (The RangeBoost Plus notion mentioned above didn't seem to make a noticeable difference.)

Generally, if your home is of some 2000 ft2 (186 m2), this router will take care of it when placed at the center—it did in my case, even when put inside a little closet.

Still, your mileage will vary. If your home is airy without many thick walls, you'll be able to cover even more space with it. But it's fair to say, the GT-AXE16000's range is as good as can be for a Wi-Fi 6/6E router.

Similarly to all other Wi-Fi 6E routers, the GT-AXE16000's 6GHz band has a much shorter range than its two 5GHz bands. This band showed no difference compared to that of others I've reviewed.

GT-AXE 16000 Internet Speed
Here's the general best-case Internet speed you can expect from the GT-AXE16000 via Wi-Fi. The anecdotal test was done on a laptop some 30 feet (10 m) from the router, using its 5GHz (or 6GHz) band over a 10Gbps Fiber-optic line.

As for Internet speed, I generally got between 1000Mbps to 1600Mbps via Wi-Fi from the router within 60 feet (20 m) of it—the router hosted a 10Gbps Fiber-optic broadband connection.

Generally, that's the best real-world sustained Internet speed of a 2x2 Wi-Fi 6/6E adapter—there was no faster Wi-Fi adapter at the time of this review.

Fast, but could be better NAS performance (when hosting a portable SSD)

Considering the Asus GT-AXE16000's 10Gbps ports, I had high expectations for its network storage performance when hosting a USB 3.0 storage device, and it kind of let me down.

Asus GT-AXE16000 NAS Read PerormanceAsus GT-AXE16000 NAS Write Perormance
Asus GT-AXE16000's NAS performance when hosting a USB 3.0 portable SSD

No, it wasn't slow, as shown on the chart above, but sustained copy speeds didn't live up to the specs. I tried a few portable SSDs with it, including the Samsung T7 Shield, My Passport SSD, and SanDisk Extreme Pro. The router never got past 150MB/s via a 10Gbps wired connection.

USB 3.0 has a ceiling speed of 5Gbps (625MB/s).

But 150MB/s is plenty fast, and the GT-AXE16000 can indeed work as a viable mini NAS server, considering this USB feature galore. While I did expect it to do better—at least really close to the RT-AX89X on the reading test—it's a router we're talking about here. It has other priorities.

Asus GT-AXE16000's Rating

8.9 out of 10
Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 3
9 out of 10
9.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
9 out of 10
8 out of 10


Powerful hardware, Quad-band with Wi-Fi 6E support, three Multi-Gig ports (one 2.5Gbps and two 10Gbps)

Stellar performance throughout

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

Unmatched port flexibility, including interchangeable WAN, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Beautiful ROG Aura lighting


10Gbps ports' sustained rates and NAS performance (when hosting a storage device) could be better

Awkward backhaul band design in a wireless AiMesh setup, no UNII4 (5.9GHz) support, no SFP+

Bulky design, not wall-mountable


The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 is a phenomenal piece of home networking hardware at a prohibitively high cost. Presently, it's as good as a Wi-Fi router can be, and we likely have to wait till Wi-Fi 7 to have more capable hardware.

Wi-Fi 7: The far future is near?

That said, most homes won't need the GT-AXE16000. In fact, I'd recommend it only to those desiring a Multi-Gig wired network. In this case, the new router is worth every penny, and its top Wi-Fi performance is the icing on the cake.

You can change up the previous paragraph and call the router's Multi-Gig ports the icing on the cake. That'd work for me, too.

On the other hand, this router is overkill if you have sub-Gigabit Internet and modest needs for local connections. It doesn't hurt to get it, but you won't get much extra out of it.

As mentioned above, I'll continue to test its mesh capability—again, only applicable to those with a wired home. Check back soon on the post about AiMesh with Multi-Gig wired backhauling for more.

AiMesh with Multi-Gig wired backhauling: How to build one today!

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299 thoughts on “Asus GT-AXE16000 Review: The Pinnacle of Today’s Home Networking, for a Price”

  1. Could anyone tell me the maximum concurrent devices supported by this router? My current ASUS router is crashing with a QoS exception at 32 devices.

    • That varies greatly depending on what features you use and how, Ben. It’s impossible to know. It’s a router you’re using, just because it can do something doesn’t mean you should use it or use it to the max. It’s the same as a computer which can’t run everything it support at the same time.

  2. Now that the Asus GT-BE98 (Pro) is here with Wi-Fi 7 is the GT-AXE16000 still worth purchasing? I need to replace my aging RT-AC68U both to support a gigabit connection and improve the Wi-Fi signal through-out my house. I am able to secure a new unit for ~$325 through work but wonder if I should save my ‘pennies’ and just hold out for the GT-BE98 (Pro isn’t available in Australia).

  3. Hi Dong,

    I have the AXE16000 connected to two RT AX-92U meshes. I am using a wireless backhaul using the 5Ghz-2 network. My wifi 6 devices only connect to the main router and not the nodes. Do you know how I can activate wifi 6 on the nodes as well? To my understanding the RT AX-92U were also wifi 6. Excuse my bad terminology as I am not an expert in this.

  4. Hi Dong,
    Feel free to direct me to an article with the best answer, I read as many as I could that I thought would help answer my question. The Dual vs Tri vs Quad band article was helpful but I wasn’t sure on a final answer.
    I’m upgrading my home Wi-Fi and looking at getting two Asus AXE16000 routers since the price has fallen so much recently ($450-$500). If I link them with a 50 foot cat6 wired backhaul, would the setup be much better than a pair of ASUS GT-AXE11000’s or a pair of ZenWifi Pro ET12’s? The 5GHz-2 band is what is throwing me off – would it make a difference to the clients and end users to have that second 5GHz band since it’s not being used for backhaul, or would it add nothing at all, or the third option would it slow things down a little due to the splitting of the band?

    • If you have wiring, Tom, I’d recommend broadcasters with no band-splitting. More here. The GT-AXE16000 will work but it’ll make things more complicated than necessary (and the hardware is more expensive).

  5. Hi Dong,

    In terms of raw WiFi throughput how would you compare this one with the: Asus GT-AX6000
    I am seeing the comparison on the wired table but not on the wireless one, unless my eyes are deceiving me of course.
    Based the review here of the AXE16000 the throughput is: 1632Mbps for 2×2 clients
    and your own older review of the AX6000 it is 1554Mbps.
    So, the difference is pretty marginal if WiFi is the only criteria,especially if you look at the price differential between the two as things stand now,
    I could see the 6E bringing an edge though as I noticed in my area sporadic engagements with my current 6 based router (Asus Zen XT8) from which I can get a solid 1200Mbps up/down but some days it goes up to 1920Mbps up and down (on a desktop-based Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX200 chipset) , but it’s very random.
    It’s been tough to decide on a strategy here.

    • This one is an 6E router, so it’s compared with other 6E routers — and as you’ve noted the number on the list is already overwhelming. There’s no way I can include ALL routers in a single chart, but here’s the review of the GT-AX6000, numbers are numbers, you can compare the two that way.

  6. Hi Dong,

    After reading some of these articles/reviews, I have a question in need of your opinion/suggestion.

    I currently have 1Gb Internet, my house will be wired and using Wired AP’s. Will be wiring my PC and want to make sure I have wifi coverage around the house and garage.

    I saw the alternatives you mentioned to the ax16000, I was wondering would you recommend using the — ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 PRO Tri-Band WiFi 6 — OR — ASUS RT-AXE7800 Tri-band WiFi 6E — INSTEAD of the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000?

    Thank you.

  7. Dear Dong,

    Firstly I have to say your reviews and guides have been any amazing resource in my learning. Thank you.

    We are about setup a MESH Wifi (with fully wired back-end) at our work place. 1 Main and about 3-5 satellites. We NEED Dual WAN (fail-over requirements), so that helps limit the choice to ASUS and Synology.

    Say money was not object and we want to stay future proof and stable as possible. What would you recommend?

    I was going to think is would be and easy choice of Asus GT-AXE16000 and whatever the most compatible and sat would be for that (to maximized the AI MESH), but then I think I read somewhere you saying that if the back-end is entirely wired, then using tri-band is a bad idea.

    So I have to ask you what is your ultimate recommendation Both for router and the satellite. Out goal it obviously that have good wifi all over the building.
    We are not going to run any LVPN, I know that is a feature.
    I have ASUS at home, which means I am familiar with the menu. I like the fail-over options. Not sure how well Synology has that executed. We have Synology now in out current office, but not Dual WAN. I also like ASUS mobile app much better, but it is not like I need to look at it anytime. So if you think there is any reason to consider Synology, then let me know.

    PS: Bonus question is if we need more sats then there are port on the main, does it work if we just put a switch inbetween, or it must be daisy chained.

    Forgot to mention that speed really will not be a factor…unfortunately. We do have all the Ethernet cable as CAT7, but due to our physical location, both ISP as going to under 1G. And it is not going to change anytime soon.

    Thank you very much

      • not just any… You may have missed the part that Dual WAN is a must. 🙂
        Anyway so if I go Asus GT-AXE16000, then please what satelites are the “factory intended” for it? As in match made in heaven. ergo what would you recommend for it. :-).

          • I generally don’t comment on others’ money but using Quad-band hardware in such a situation will only give you a headache, with nothing in return. More here.

        • I didn’t miss anything, Alex. Most, if not all, Wi-Fi 6 and newer Asus routers I’ve reviewed support Dual-WAN — considering you seem so posh, certainly whatever you pick among those will have this feature. So does the UDM-SE. Make sure you read before making such a statement.

          • I am sorry, I was not aware of that.
            So quadband out. Thank you.
            Just too many options still, arrrrhhh 😀

      • Dear Dong.

        Thank you again for your kind guidance. I did a lot of reading (of course the resources on your site are endless). I am starting to settle my toughts on the Ubiquiti UDM-SE. Only thing that I am not decide with is which UnFi AP to pair we it. We may be need up to 4 AP in out Wifi Mesh. Two on the first floor and two on the second. For this reason the 4x U6 Enterprise may be a lot of money. Which of the of the AP would you recommend for this that can Mesh? I am not too clear on the product line of Ubiquiti in this regards. I sware it is not just me being lazy to read. I just want to be sure I am not (a) wasting money, and (b) still getting good and compatible stuff. We are ok with dual band. So 6E is not a nececity. Obviously it should be ones that take advantage of the PoE as that is one feature I like of the Ubiquity that we do not have to power the APs from mains, just the ethernet cable is needed.
        Choices if I am not mistaken are U6 Lite, U6 Long-Range and U6 Enterprise.
        One thing that I am a bit confused about is, please correct me if wrong. I see that there controller has 6x PoE and 2x PoE+. Does that mean that I cannot even run 3 or 4 U6 Enterprise on just one of these. Unless I add more money and get an Enterprice PoE switch aswell.

        • I hit enter prematurely. Does the last statement mean the U6 Lite is the obvious choice with keeping in mind the PoE port being limited to the none “+” if I need to connect more than two APs? And finally if the U6 Lite, then what am I really sacrficing. As for connection we will never have so many. I see even the light can take 300+ which already is an over kill.
          Other question is perhaps, can these be mixed on the same MESH? Like 3 U6 Lite and 1 U6 Enterprise? Would that work?
          Thank you and sorry for the many questions.

        • I’d just go with the lowest-cost APs, Alex. The U6 Enterprise’s only advantage is the 6GHz band. But no matter which you get, it’ll likely work out great.

  8. Hi Dong,

    Any detail on how Wi-Fi can be configured across bands? I have an AX11000 and I wish I could use smart connect across 2.4 and ONE 5ghz band and leave the second 5ghz band free for use only with a VR headset, but I can only use one ssid with smart assignment if I give it all three bands. is it the same with quad band? I don’t want to manually assign every device to a band or change my ssid from what it is, but I do want to keep one band free for a single VR device

  9. Hello Dong,

    I own the Asus GT-AXE16000 and am by and large happy with it. I have, however, noticed something I think is a “bug”? I wanted to send a screenshot but see no option for that so, description of issue:

    Upon changing channels or any setting that makes the router display a page that reads “You have changed SSID or security setting. This will result in wireless clients disconnecting. Please adjust client’s setting for connecting again.”

    Ok, the issue is that below that message the screen shows

    5GHz SSID and it’s name correctly “BAR-RTx51”
    6 GHz SSID shows the name I assigned to 5 GHz-2 “BAR-RTx52” radio which is not listed
    2.4 GHz SSID shows “BAR-RTx60” which is the name I assigned to the 6 GHz radio.

    It may be worth noting I am not using SmartConnect.

    I also notice that the radios on network map are listed 5-1, then 5-2, then 6, then 2.4 which is backwards from the way they are shown on my RT-AC5300 and in the configuration… Asus bugs or oversights?

    Have you or anyone else noticed this or am I alone?

      • Thank you for the suggestion kind sir! I tried it and no luck. It is not life or death and I am still happy with the router, I am actually thinking of buying a second one of the same model although I realize I do not need another one and just having ethernet cables run through the house might even be cheaper? But I like toys 🙂

        • If your home is wired, getting anther one as a wired satellite doesn’t hurt. But the SSID thing kinda bothers me. Make sure you upgrade to the latest firmware and maybe try Merlin. I used the same router for a long time and was able to completely control the SSIDs. In any case, have fun!

          • Hi Dong,

            Well home isn’t wired, that is something I have been wanting to do (clarifying… hire someone to do as I am not going to crawl around my attic ha!).

            I was messing around using a powerline adapter in an attempt to set up my RT-AC5300 to use wired backhaul but in my case it is working fine as a node using just WiFi on the 5 GHz-2 radio with only three devices bonded to the node (TV, Roku, Alexa) using the 5GHz-1 radio… in other words the 5GHz-2 radio is being used exclusively for communication between primary router and node.

            I am using Merlin firmware on both the GT-AXE16000 and the RT-AC5300 and both are running the latest version available.

            On the SSID issue, yeah it kind of bugs me as well but the only other thing I can think of is resetting the router completely which is something I do not want to do as I have IP addresses assigned to nearly all the devices on my network and don’t want to go through all the configuration again.. I know I can save the settings and import them again, but heck, maybe sometime later, for now, “if it works, don’t fix it?” Ha 🙂

  10. I recently got CenturyLink/brightspeed fiber (IPoE) and my rt-ax86u (non pro) doesn’t look like it supports the required vlan id tagging of 201 needed. thought I would take this opportunity to upgrade to 6e but can’t find actual confirmation if the Asus GT-AXE16000 supports vlan id tagging. can you help confirm if it’s capable?

    side note. you are my first source for all my networking gear questions. love the content and dedication to the facts. thank you!

    • It does, Chris, and most if not all Asus routers (Wi-Fi 6 and newer), including the RT-AX86U, do. It’s in Advanced Settings -> LAN -> IPTV. I haven’t tested that feature, though.

      • quick question. I have the Netgear axe7800 (300) I get extremely high buffer bloat on the waveform bufferbloat test, specifically upload under load. What can I do to resolve this issue I have tried netgear QOS but seems rather limited. would the asus axe16000 yield better results for bufferbloat as I have just place a order for this router.

        • That’s a bullshit test, Broderick, so is the general idea of one router is better than the other in fixing “bufferbloat”. The only real way to “fix” it is to have a broadnabd connection faster than your needs. Don’t just take everything you read online as truth.

    • You can as long as it’s not too tight and has some ventilation. So, that depends on the closet. For best Wi-Fi coverage, though, leave it out in the open.

  11. Hi, Dong
    Some months back I asked you if this would be the best router for maximum range, so I can reach my driveway from my house. (I can’t find my post or your response in my browser favorites or history or Android files or Gmail accounts or as a gmail search of websites, so I wonder if your articles were previously under a different domain, like ZDnet ETC.) Regardless, you told me that, yes, this router would give me the best range. Anyhow, here’s the main reason I’m posting now. I’ve been waiting a long time to order one, using camelcamelcamel to watch for price drops. I was waiting to catch a future day when it matched its lowest ever price of $530, but finally decided to place the order when it got down to $550 this week, and it’s supposed to be delivered by this evening. I’m trying to anticipate anything else I might need in order to maximize this router’s performance, be it range or speed Etc.
    For any of the frequency ranges, is there anything special that I should use in the way of ethernet cables, or am I just as well off using the same kind of cables I’ve been using for the last 20 years with weaker routers?
    Thanks as always,
    — B

  12. Hi Dong, thank you for your reviews. Am I right in thinking that the AXE16000 would work with two ZenWifi XT8 in a wireless mesh, given that both models have two 5Ghz bands? Or would that combination be inadvisable and should I get the ax11000? I don’t want to replace the xt8 at this stage.

    I am about to start getting Wi-Fi 6E clients and so would prefer to get the axe16000 rather than the ax11000, if it will work with the xt8 in a wireless mesh. Our house is cabled with cat5 but a wireless mesh with two xt8 has worked better than a cabled mesh to date due to the location of the brick walls and the sockets. I will be trying a cabled mesh first but am hoping the axe16000 would work with the xt8 if I have to use wireless (acceptable worst case result being better coverage with the same performance as present)

  13. Hi!

    Thank you so much for this website Dong! It is filled with quality content and I have not found anything similar to it on the internet.

    I have one question please Dong. I live in a 1100 square foot apartment with 3 rooms and thick walls. All on one floor.

    I am torn between the asus gt-axe16000 or the asus zenwifi xt12 pro mesh (2 pack). I have a gigabit internet connection.

    Which one please would you recommend to get the best speed throughout the apartment.


  14. Hi!
    So I have a switch in my basement wired from my Asus axe16000 router and I was wondering what I would need to replace that switch with an extender so I can improve my wifi signal downstairs so I can better play PCVR games with my Quest 2.
    Thanks for all the work you do here!

      • Ok let me clarify.
        My axe16000 is upstairs. I have an ethernet cable running from it to a switch in the basement where I connect my server.
        Now, I want to get stronger Wifi connectivity in an area of the basement I use for VR gaming. So I wanted to change that network switch for some Wifi extender that works with the axe16000.
        Just not sure what I can use for that.

    • I have 3 of these on wired connection and I have constant disconnecting of the mesh. When I only use two and it can be any two it works fine. I’ve called Asus support and they are useless. in my other house which only has 2gb internet I use the orbi and its flawless. Does anyone else use three of these and have them working?

  15. How best would it be to connect the AXE16000 with the ET12 (2 pack)? I am limited to wireless back haul and given AXE 16000 is quad band and ET12 is tri, I’m just wondering what would be the best usage of available bands?

  16. is this still the best router?
    I want to upgrade from rhe ax11000 and will also be getting Google fiber service


  17. It may be worth pointing out- and feel free to correct me if you feel I’m wrong- the powerful Wifi 6E routers out today will become obsolete in early June 2023 with the release of new Wifi 7 routers from Netgear, TP-Link, Asus and others. Further these new Wifi 7 routers will be the roughly the same price has today’s super routers like the AXE-16000.

    If I were Asus and Netgear, I would start offering steep discounts on their current Wifi 6 and 6E offerings- and as a consumer- one should be cautious when buying what is now the “top of the line.”

    There is also evidence that hardware vendors will largely skip over Wifi 6E and go directly to 7- notwithstanding the few devices that now have 6E.

    While the new Wifi 7 routers may have “growth pains,” in 2023, vendors should be able to work out most bugs prior to release.

  18. Does this unit have an internal fan for cooling or is it passive?
    Our current router resides in the bedroom by the ONT so wanting passive. thks

    • One of my GT-AXE16000s is in my bedroom (which is very quiet), and i’ve never heard any fan noise at all, so i believe it’s passive cooled.

  19. Hey Dong,

    Super quick question: I have the AXE16000 as a single router rn. I live in a ~2700sq ft home and want to create a mesh network using the AXE16000 as the parent node. HOWEVER, I’m not really interested in buying a second one of these because of the aesthetic and price. It’s fine in my game room/office but I don’t want this thing in my living room/kitchen haha.

    I was thinking of purchasing a single ET12 (1-Pack). BUT that single unit is still priced at $480. Are there any other options without the “gamer aesthetic” that you would recommend where I wouldn’t be sacrificing the capabilities of this router? I would implement a wired backhaul. Thanks!

  20. Hi Dong, with this router i get only about 550 Mbps download speed via wifi 6E 6GHz to my HP Spectre x360 14-ef0003nl notebook. Via Ethernet cable i get over 2,2 Gbps. Firmware is (but i got the same results with the previous firmware). Via wifi 5Ghz i get the same speed or slightly less. Network card is Intel AX211 with latest driver. Win 11 wifi properties says link speed is 2,4Gbps UL/DL.
    I believe i should get at least 1 Gbps via wifi6E 6 GHz.
    Any ideas about what i should try?

  21. Hi Dong,
    I got this router for a fiber connection that will soon be available. Now have a gigabit cable connection. However, recently the router has switched 5ghz1 to 40mhz. The band is set to 20/40/80/160 auto, but the laptop connects at 287 mbps, speedtests are around 240 on my laptop, and about 100 or even less than 100 on my IPhone at times. All legacy smart devices use 2.4ghz. The 5ghz is used by two additional Wi Fi 5 only devices. Could this be the reason, or is this a firmware bug?

      • Would the wi fi 5 devices bog down that band that much though? All the eOT devices are on 2.4 GHZ and isolated to that band only. The reason I think it is a firmware bug is that that there was a firmware upgrade posted last week and before that there wasn’t any change in my network, and devices that supported it could get the full network speed on the 5GHZ.

        • This post answered that question, Enes — make sure you *read* stuff here and not just glance over looking for what you want. But you can separate the two 5GHz bands and test them out. Make one of them explicitly use 80MHz or 160MHz (it will not work for legacy devices). You can also go back to the older working firmware, by the way.

          • Hi Dong,
            I did review your post, and it did appear that the tablet, could have been the reason. To test this theory out, I explicitly set channel widths on the second 5g network, and connected an AX capable device to it. When I still got the same 287 mpbs data rate, I correctly assumed the firmware was the cause. I downgraded, and immediately the router switched from a 40 mhz channel to a 160 mhz channel on auto mode, and all devices, including the tablet have much higher TX and RX rates now, and my laptop now connects at a theoretical 2.4 GBPS. I did notice both the upgrade and the downgrade that I had to repair my connection to establish ethernet again. Asus have made some changes to the firmware I think are significant. It is important to note that the bug will make it so the router will not respect a manual channel selection and will always use channel 36 at 5ghz and 1 at 2.4 GHZ. Thank you for your advice. It was most helpful

  22. Great review!

    I currently have the Asus Rog ax11000 with x2 RT-AX92U. All units are under wireless AI Mesh.

    You mention that this new WiFi6e unit is best implemented under wired AI Mesh ( and assume you also recommend the same for my current config). Sadly I can’t have a wired mesh implementation. on this basis, would the Netgear Orbi RXE963 serve me better as a wireless mesh solution?


  23. Hi Master Dong,

    I bought this interesting router.
    JFYI the latest Jan. 2023 firmware does not have any Trend nor VPN tab.
    Short question:
    I do not own any Wifi 6e device yet (only Intel AX201 clients and no AX210 yet) so am I right to disable the radio on the 6GHz frequency SSID?

    Thank you for your guidance.

    • I’m not sure what you meant by “tab”? Disabling a band is an option. It’s personal preference so it’s not “right” or “wrong”.

      • What I meant it that the Paragraphs on the GUI Menu (left) are gone:
        No more VPN and Trend in the latest ASUS firmware.

        About AX201 clients my question was: can they ever make use of the 6 GHz band?

        If the answer is no then I would find it smart to disable it until I get AX210 Wifi 6E clients.

  24. Hi Dong, i have 2 GT-AXE16000s, connected to each other via 10G ethernet to form an AiMesh system. (i bought them because of your review 😉 )

    The router’s webUI says that there’s a firmware update to 22237-g9120e16 .

    Should i update or should i keep ?

    Does the new version work alright for you (if you have updated it) ?

    Actually i tried updating them via the AiMesh page on the UI but it didn’t work (the fw version remained the same), so maybe i should try to manually upload the firmware?

    (TBH i’m a bit scared of bricking them)


    • I believe the latest firmware will work now, Mike — it’s the first minor update of the 388 release. (The initial release definitely doesn’t work well). Also, you can always revert back to the current version. Make a backup of the settings and give it a go. Or you can try the 388 version of Merlin, which works great.

  25. Dong,
    Thank you so much for your terrific articles. I sudied the ports description and still have a question. Can one of the 1 gig ports serve as a stand alone WAN?

  26. I’m stuck between this and the TP Link Archer AXE300. If price is not a concern and I’m looking for fully future proofing (maybe fiber), what would you recommend?

    P.S. Waiting on the matchup, but I need to decide on one soon, so I figured the comment was in order 🙂

  27. Situation: This weekend I set up my GT-AXE16000 router and three ET12’s as per instructions (one at a time wireless within 10m – worked great). Updated firmware as per instructions. Restarted. Then connected the ET12 nodes with CAT6 wire. Two are plugged into the 10G ports and one into a 1G port on the GT-AXE16000 router. All setting on router and nodes is set to ethernet backhaul.

    Problem: The 5GHz-1 channel was only available at the GT-AXE16000 and could not be found at any of the ET12 nodes.

    Troubleshooting: Ran this test with various products near all three nodes (iPhones, Laptops), rebooted, called helpline (they had me change 2.4GHz to Bandwidth 40/channel 11 & 5GHz-1 to Bandwidth 160/channel 60), restarted system again including modem. They set me up for next level of support.

    Solution: Turn OFF the 5GHz-2 and 6GHz channel. Now I can connect to the 5GHz-1 at all the nodes and have great speeds.

    This is not a great long-term solution to have to keep those channels off and I bet they will fix it with firmware but sharing if others experience this problem. However, maybe not because as per my usual luck with technology I am told “we have never seen this before” and they will take it back to the lab. Otherwise the system seems to be working well and supporting 60+ devices.

    • The GT-AXE16000 has two 5GHz bands, and the ET12 has only one, Robert. Consequently, one of the former’s 5GHz bands is NEVER available at the latter. However, you wouldn’t notice the difference if you choose to use them with the same SSID. There’s no need to turn off the 6GHz band.

      • Yep but I couldn’t “see” either of the 5GHz bands (different SSIDs) at any of the nodes but I could “see” both at the router. The good news is another firmware update for the ET12’s was pushed to me this morning ~0600EST so ASUS has already resolved this or possibly my ET12’s were just catching up. I turned all four bands on at the GT-AXE16000 router and now I can see the 5GHz-1 channel on all three ET12 nodes and also my 5GHz-2 channel near my router. The control and speed are a significant upgrade from my recently retired AirPort Extreme network. Thanks for all your advice. Lot’s of late night reading on “Dongknows.com” has finally paid off for me. Cheers.

        • your et12’s are now allowing devices to share the backhaul link. That’s not ideal and I’d be interested to know if you experience “pausing” on devices active on the 5ghz band while connects to a mesh point.

  28. Hey Dong, thanks for another informative post. I have a bit of a connundrum I was hoping you could shed some light on. I currently use a Netgear RAXE500 and was thinking about making a change to the gt axe16000 because I still have a asus gt ax11000 Id like to get an aimesh going with eventually. However, I only have a 1gbps connection and my real focus is wifi stability, range and usb file sharing stability. I have had some usb sharing issues with the raxe500 and netgears support is absolutely horrid. I am considering several options and I wanted to pick your mind: should I consider getting the house wired for ethernet, is a powerline adapter worth a look, what would be future proof? Home is around 1700 sq ft and unforunately the modem and router are in one corner.

  29. Hello Dong. So I ended up keeping this router like we talked about on the RAX120 review. I ordered a 10gig switch 2 14 tb Seagate Exos HDD so I can install in my older gaming rig. Im gonna just use it for as a NAS for my network. Question is should I just leave windows 10 pro on it, install unraid or truenas? The older rig has a 9700k 32gigs 3600mhz ram and a 2080super.

  30. You got it right, the ET12 as a node. For context, I had wanted to use the ET12’s 5GHz channel as a wireless backhaul to my GT-AXE16000. Preferably, I would like to run a wired backhaul but I’m waiting for the MoCA 3.0 standard to be released.
    I have read the article you mentioned, and also your ‘Best Asus AiMesh Router Combos: The Sub-Gigabit Real-World Experience’ article. Your recommendation of not mixing hardware for wireless mesh setups is obviously correct but I cannot justify paying another $700 for the GT-AXE16000 if the cheaper ET12 will adequately serve the purpose. Simply put, if this were your setup, and you were temporarily limited to a wireless backhaul solution – would you choose the ET12 as a node?

    • the et12 is fine for a wireless backhaul on its single 5ghz band if every other device that roams to it uses the 6ghz band. if you set devices to connect to the node on the 5ghz band used for backhaul it will perform sub optimally. depending on your number of wireless clients and bandwidth utilization it may still work fine. I’d recommend a tri band router with two 5ghz bands and a 2.4ghz band for your application to insure the backhaul is left as a dedicated link.

  31. Hey there, Dong.

    Great site you have here – a treasure trove of useful information! I have one question in regard to this router: Do you think the ASUS ZenWiFi Pro AXE11000 would be a wise choice for a mesh node?


  32. Hi Dong,

    First, thank you for all of your hard work! Love your work and site.

    I have been (obsessively) reading your many reviews and the 10Gbps Graal article.

    Nothing you have not said but I need your help getting me out of tailspin.

    I got Sonic 10Gbps service a few months ago (from Xfinity 1.2Gbps down, 35Mbps(!) up. Tech for 8Gbps down and 3Gbps up on install day with a Cat 5e cable lol, before the ONT firmware upgrade and stabilization etc…

    I was looking for an excuse to upgrade my Asus RC-AC86U which was starting to struggle with my 30-ish devices (iOT, work from home, kids)

    I got a Nighthawk RAXE300 after reading your review but it was dropping a bit in the back of the house and I can’t have a wired backhaul mesh in my old house (i.e. don’t want to be pay thousands to have someone pull cables etc…) Also my wife said it looks like a kid booster seat…

    So I got the Asus GT-AX6000. Getting 2.3Gps up and down from the router’s speedtest. And the signal is strong enough so I can have the router inside the TV console (slatted doors). It is important because this big gaming router in the living room is… not ideal (Eye of the beholder yes yes)

    And I preordered a Firewalla Gold Plus (2.5Gbps x4 ports) and plan to use the GT-AX6000 as an Access Point.

    Life is good… right?

    So why can’t I seep at night? The “what ifs”. The GT-AXE16000 has a 10Gbps WAN port.

    Should I forget about the Firewalla and get a GT-AXE16000?
    Should I stick to the GT-AX6000 + Firewalla
    None of my devices are 6E
    And 2.5gbps is plenty enough… right?
    Is good enough good enough?

    Please help, the GT-AXE16000 is in my Amazon cart…
    So I got a

    • I feel you, Jérémie.

      1. If you have 10Gbps Intenet, you should get rid of the Firewalla since it will cap your speed at the speed its ports — 2.5Gbps in your case.
      2. The GT-AXE16000 won’t give you all the way to 10Gbps — in my case, it’s around 3.5Gbps consistently after overhead but future firmware will make it faster.
      3. 2.5Gbps is plenty, but if you have many devices, it’s generally better to have more on the WAN side. More in this post. I have heavy data sync/backup between different sites so faster is only better.

      I’d get the GT-AXE16000 (I have one) but that’s because it has more than just the speed. Among other things, it supports Merlin very well, too.

      • Thank you Dong for your prompt response! I ordered the GT-AXE16000 and it should arrive October 21 – 23 (instead of the initial mid-November date showing on the page).

        Thanks a lot for your advice ☕ and helping me getting the weight out of my shoulders 🙂

        Will report on once it arrives.

    • For true 10Gbps, I’m waiting for the TP-Link ER8411 to be launched in the USA. It should be out by the end of the year. Its data sheet says that it supports 9.3Gbps NAT throughput, which is around the theoretical maximum for 10Gbps. It’s a prosumer/SMB rackmount device rather than a consumer-grade router though.

      Also, if you have a lot of IoT devices then I’d recommend a wireless access point that supports multiple VLANs, so you can isolate the IoT devices in a separate VLAN for security reasons.

      • Is there a local web interface, or are you required to sign up for cloud management?
        I don’t want a 3rd party company to require me to use their servers to control my hardware.

  33. Thinking to buy these for $400 at Walmart. But, I have 6E and legacy AC clients , so needed to use 5 Ghz-2 as backhaul ( can’t do wired). Do you recommend this router for my use case, What’s the max speed I can expect?

    • No, I don’t recommend it — I stated the reason above and even more in this post — and I don’t know, Kevin. The “max speeds” depend on many things, but you can look at the Performance section above to get an idea.

  34. Have you tested the speeds you can get from your 10Gbps internet connection with this router? Is it ~6Gbps like the RT-AX89X you tested, or is it a bit higher?

      • I just read a review last night about the 10Gbps ports on the AXE16000… it’s a firmware issue and Asus its about to release a new firware that solves that having low speeds on 10Gbps ports… Its supposed to reach 9.5 Gbps sustained.

        • > Its supposed to reach 9.5 Gbps sustained.

          Interesting! Does that include internet/WAN connections, including NAT overhead? I guess I’ll have to find the other review and see.

          • Well the article is from September 27 and its pretty famouse media page from Spain. They claim Asus already sent them the beta version of that firmware and it works fine and Asus will release that firmware shortly.

          • I actually can ask Asus directly. 🙂 My point is we’ll see how that firmware pans out.

    • Hello again. When might Asus release the firmware you spoke of to improve these multigig ports and will that firmware be available for the GT-AXE11000? I think my expectations were set to high. From what I have read on this site and I’ve spent a lot of hours researching, the Netgear RAX120 out performs everything else when a usb device was connected 230/190 is. So any idea when?

      • If you’re looking for improved USB performance, Joseph, that likely won’t happen. USB is not a major feature of any router and you shouldn’t buy your router based on that. Get a real NAS server. More in this post.

  35. Thank for for all the detailed information. I know you are a big AiMesh fan and have been thinking about improving the WIRELESS mesh in my home.

    The Orbi RBKE953 goes for $1600 and has a dedicated 5Ghz wireless backhaul.

    Three GT-AXE16000 would go for $2100 and would be able to use one of the 5GHz channels as a wireless backhaul. Similarly, three of most Asus triband routers would be able to use of the the 5GHz channels as a wireless backhaul.

    Given all this, how would 3 GT-AXE16000 compare to the RBKE953?

    Would you recommend 3 Asus tri-band or quad-band routers in an AiMesh with dedicated backhaul over RBKE953, in general?

    • Read the reviews, Joe. You don’t know what you think you know (unless you read.) And you’re welcome! 🙂

  36. Hi I would love some help!!! I’m planing on buying this router but I would love to know if the 10GbE ports on the GT-AXE16000 router are multi-gig or only 10GbE? Im planint on using LAN Port 1 and 2 for my NAS with link aggregation. Por 2 and 3 for my TVs and I want to use the 10GbE ports for my computer that has a 2.5Gbps port and the other 10GbE port for my Mesh that has 2.5Gbps port aswell. Thank you!!!

  37. Just curious—now that ASUS has dropped the GT-AX11000 Pro, would you still place this AXE16000 at the top of the heap? And for smart home owners with multiple mesh nodes and the need for a large number of devices, which of the two would be your recommendation? Put another way, what advantage (other than price) does the AXE16000 offer that the AX11000 Pro lacks? Thanks…

      • Yes, but since neither band is likely to be widely adopted by devices for some time, wouldn’t upgrading from the AX11000 to the AX11000 Pro be more advantageous for the wireless Backhaul band? Or would the mesh nodes (in my case XT8s) be unable to receive 5.9 band traffic from the main router?

          • Thanks, but I have four XT8s placed across a 4,000 sq ft house—not sure how I’d be running Ethernet cables to those from my AX-11000 for a wired Backhaul :/

  38. Hi Dong,
    thank you for this awesome content. You really do a great job in explaining complex IT stuff!
    I have 2 questions about this router and hope you could help me.
    1) The GT-AXE16000 is a quad band router. So there could be one dedicated backhaul band. But you still write that wifi backhaul is not recommended … why?
    2) I want to set up a wifi 6(e?) mesh at my home. This router has the AIMesh functionality … does a dedicated mesh router like the Asus ZenWifi pro et12 have any benefits over the GT-AXE16000.

    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work!

  39. Hi Dong,

    I have been looking at the reviews of The GT-AXE16000 and the Zenwifi Pro Et12.

    I have been trying to find out if the range as a stand-alone router is the same. When it comes to your reviews you state that both have great range but will the Zenwifi Pro ET12 have about the same range? I used to have a GT-AX11000.

    We have a L-shaped house (180 M2). I want to wire my home so i can have a router at 2 meters hieght in the dinning room which is in the bottom of the I before the _ of the L. In order to only have one router and not a mesh system. My tv and streaming device will have direct line to the router.

    I really wanted the GT-AXE16000. But i think it will be a real overkill. And my husband doesn’t not like the antennas. So i hope that the ET12 will be adequate.

    • All routers you mentioned here have similar ranges, Martin, but if you want to make sure, the GT-AXE16000 is the way to go. If the GT-AX11000 has worked, any of the other two will, too.

      • Hi Dong,

        Thank you for the fast respons as always. It’s always good to ask one with hands on experience to go to.

        The GT-AXE16000 has not been released in Denmark yet. So i guess it will depend on what comes first. Wiring the house or the release of the GT-AXE16000.

  40. Sir,
    I just got my AXE16000 and because of the set up of my house I have to use wireless backhaul. My node is an ASUS AC-5300 triband router one floor above the 16000, what would settings would you recommend for the best connection? I currently have xfinity pushing about 1,400 download. I called ASUS and their support was any but helpful.

  41. Hi Dong, I’m finally able to use the AXE16000 as my main router with the delivery of my SFP+ to 10GBase-T media converter. One AXE16000 is the main, another is the AiMesh node with 10G wired backhaul and an AXE11000 node with 2.5G wired backhaul. Strangely, in the web GUI’s Network Map tab, the 2.5G port link doesn’t show up in the Ethernet Ports activity table. I disconnected/reconnected the link from the 2.5G port to the AXE11000 and it still doesn’t appear in the table. Another issue is that I can’t seem to get Ookla-tested wired speeds of more than 2.6Gbps (upload/download) out of either of the 10G ports on the AXE16000 main and node. I tested the wired speeds with Thunderbolt 3 10Gbe adapters to the PC from two different manufacturers and got the same result. However, when I hooked up my 10Gbps broadband link (through the media converter) directly to either adapter, wired speeds jumped to over 9.3Gbps. So there’s obviously a bottleneck at the AXE16000 preventing its 10G ports from outputting higher speeds. I’m wondering if its because of a lack of Jumbo Frames capability in the GUI’s LAN – Switch Control tab? Had no such issue with the RT-AX89X’s SFP+ or 10GBase-T ports with tested wired speeds of 8.8-9.3Gbps. As for wireless, download speeds (5G bands) are as good or slightly better than the RT-AX89X’s (+1Gbps range) with upload speeds in the 400-700Mbps range. In any case, have reported all these along with the relevant data logs to Asus Tech Support via the GUI’s feedback function. Hope there’s a firmware fix soon.

    • Thanks for the updates, Richard.

      You should turn on Ethernet Backbackhaul Mode, as mentioned in the 2nd post in the related post box at the top, that should fix the issue you mentioned assuming your wiring is good.

      As for the Internet speed, yeap, that can happen, too, since 10Gbps Fiber is quite demanding in wiring and hardware. If one piece is not good, it’ll go down to 2.5Gbps (which is still very fast.) Hopefully, new firmware will make this work better as time goes by.

      I generally get about that speed out of my 10Gbps broadband band but my desktops all have a 2.5Gbps port and I don’t want to keep testing.

      We got ourselves a first world problem here. 🙂

      • Thanks Dong, I’ve had Ethernet Backhaul mode enabled for both AiMesh nodes in System Settings before testing. The 10G Ethernet Uplink and 2.5G Ethernet Uplink Types show up in the Network tab with connection quality as Great and there’s no trouble with Wifi or LAN speeds. It’s just that the 2.5G port link doesn’t appear in the Network Map – System Status -Ethernet Ports table. Probably a GUI bug that can be easily fixed. Here’s to first world problems and fingers crossed for new firmware soon. Have a great weekend~

        • Just adding on, it seems that AiProtection is the culprit. When I turn it off, wired Okla-tested speeds return to the 8.9-9.2Gbps range. Turn AiProtection on again and it drops to the 2.6Gbps range. The speed drop wasn’t this severe on the RT-AX89X with AiProtection turned on and I still could get 8-9.1Gbps wired speeds. Will report this to Asus Tech Support as well.

          • Looks like the AXE16000’s CPU is the reason why I couldn’t get Ookla tested wired speeds higher than 2.6Gbps with AiProtection on. That’s a bummer 🙁

            RMerlin posted on SNBForums that it’s a NAT/CPU limitation. He ran iperf tests on a GT-AX11000 Pro and GT-AXE16000 linked via their 10Gbps interfaces and got just 3.2 Gbps.

            Quoting him verbatim here:

            ‘the bottleneck is the CPU not being able to run iperf fast enough to generate more traffic.

            If you are referring to NAT throughput, I don’t expect this to be changed by a hardware revision. It’s simply a hardware limitation. At those speeds, you’d need either a business-class router, or at the very least IPv6 to get rid of the NAT overhead.

            Keep in mind that my test was done by running iperf on the router itself (without NAT – I was doing LAN to LAN test, with the “client” being a second router connected in AP mode). CPU usage was showing all three cores (I ran three threads) were 100% occupied by iperf itself, and the scaling was about right when compared to running iperf in a single thread.

            For NAT throughput, I have no idea what can be expected. We’d need an expert with the necessary equipment to do a review/benchmark.’

          • I haven’t really tried the router with 10Gbps stuff, Richard, and I didn’t expect it to deliver full 10Gbps. But 3.2Gbps is low, I got some 6Gbps out of the RT-AX89X. I contacted Asus on the matter and we’ll see what they have to say.

    • I just wanted to say I’m happy to see your post as I ran in similar issues and waiting for ASUS Tech support to review the data and see what they come bac with. I have noticed same with a bottleneck and even an error in their GUI so like you hoping they will have a fix soon. Current Firmware:

      • Thanks Dong and Namor. Oh btw in better news from that same thread, RMerlin will be supporting the AXE16000 with his custom firmware.

        • Just heard back from Asus Tech Support and this is what they said verbatim:
          ‘Dear Valued Customer,

          If you recently encounter limited speed acceleration, or unable to reach maximum connection speed, please try to disable the following features: AiProtection, Traffic Analyzer, Web History, Adaptive QoS, Game boost, Web & apps filters, bandwidth monitor, Mobile Game Mode to maintain the optimal internet speed.

          ASUS Team’

          Seems to tally with what RMerlin said of it being a NAT/CPU limitation throttling my wired speeds.

          • Hi Richard,

            Thanks for sharing, I’ll keep that in mind for if ASUS Tech Support is able to duplicate and fix the issues I reported to them.


            So ASUS Tech Support came back with all that needing to be disabled?! Oh WOW !

            Well I never enabled any of that on my AXE16000 so they will have a bone to pick amongst themselves lol.

            I already knew about thise setting limiting speeds from way back on my WIFI 5 router I had from ASUS.

            It is to me a very sad thing to see being told as a cause for your challenges. I find it degrading and not a solution for the problems this router is presenting.

            It is a power house with an engine that should easily be able to handle all those settings being on or off. IMHO In My Humble Opinion.

            Now I’m very interested what they will come back with in my case.

            Which I updated a third client yesterday who showed exactly the same speed issues as found with my other two clients.

            Only difference this one still runs windows 10 as the others run windows 11.

            Thanks again for sharing , much appreciated.

            Looking forward to hear if disabeling all those settings will fix your issues and increase the 10 GB to work as 10 GB and not 3.x GB. I seriously doubt it.


        • Hi Richard,

          Thanks for sharing, I’ll keep that in mind for if ASUS Tech Support is able to duplicate and fix the issues I reported to them.


          • Thanks Namor. Disabling AiProtection on the AXE16000 helped return wired speeds to the 8-9 Gbps range. However, I can achieve the same wired speeds on the older RT-AX89X with AiProtection enabled. That was why I approached Asus Tech Support about this issue. To be fair, the RT-AX89X also had many bugs and speed issues with its SFP+ and 10GBase-T ports when it first launched. But they have since mostly been fixed with the multiple firmware and hardware revisions. Hope your reported issues get fixed soon too.

          • Hi Richard,

            I will check that with my AX89X , I don’t think I had an issue with being on or off. Still no word from ASUS thus far but with the weekend in between looking for feedback by end of this week from ASUS Tech support.

            Thanks for the update as always highly appreciated.


  42. I ended up having two of the AXE16000 in a wired ethernet backhaul mode and wanted to just note that the stock firmware only would connect in 10/100 mbps speeds if you used any of the 10GIG ports as an AI mesh configuration. But after the latest firmware that was recently released this issue was fixed and I was able to connect at 10GIG speeds at the ai mesh router. That was the one thing that I wasn’t too happy about. The 2.5gbps port worked fine always. Aside from that only small thing I tend to notice is that using my samsung s22 ultra phone the wifi 6e tends to take a bit to show up to connect to manually but I am sure this will improve in time with firmware.

    The range of the 5ghz is really incredible as well and I did notice that the 5ghz-2 channel tends to perform a bit better with range using dfs channels + 160mhz. It just could be due to the channel selection but I just wanted to share some findings. I am sure as the firmware matures we will see even better performance overall.

    I am super happy having these two as now I am getting amazing 5ghz reception even beyond my garage with thick concrete walls! That is something I could not get with my AX11000. So yea really this is the ultimate. All I want next is merlin to release his firmware for this beast 🙂

  43. I have run into one of the main problems with this one that I had with the 11000. What happens is that I will be playing a video through my NAS. Suddenly, the network share becomes unavailable. It acts like the router is rebooting because in a couple minutes, you can access the share again. However, that is not what is happening because during this time when the network share is not accessible, the internet is still working. Any thoughts on what might be happening here?

    • It can be a lot of things, Chris, including your NAS — I’d start with it. Not everything happens in your network is your router, though that’s also possible.

  44. What’s the benefit of having 2GB of memory, compared to the lower models that have 1GB? Does it allow for more clients, faster throughput, or something else entirely?

    Love the reviews!

    • It’s a lot more responsive to boot, Krash. Generally, that means it can handle more apps and features simultaneously.

      • Then my question is, how many more of those apps and features would you estimate, require that much memory before you notice a difference in performance? Talk about responsiveness, I also have noticed that the newer routers compared to those just a few years ago boot up much faster then they use to. I can only assume that has a lot to do with the latest processors. Nice review for a router that will remain future proof for quite sometime.

          • I would think that one gig would be fine for most households, but this is a state of the art router. That being said, unlike with computers, you don’t have the flexibility to customize and choose the actual amount memory to meet your needs. Thanks for the reply.

      • Only if the hardware is designed and configured properly plus the Firmware is such that it utilizes the engines properly.

        Which many of us keep finding out is not the case with the AXE16000.


  45. Others have said as much, but I wanted to add my voice on this. Thank you so much for your ongoing efforts, Dong. Your detailed content is really valuable and appreciated. The very best and most trusted, for me, on the subject. So many “reviews” out there just go by the specs without actually testing the real hardware and giving real feedback on it, comparisons with other products, etc. You are a real hero for us here.

  46. Hi Dong,

    Do you know if the ET12 (Sigle Router) will have better long distance coverage than the GT-AXE16000?

  47. Hello
    I have a Big house, it’s made of bricks and concrete – not wood.
    I plan to use GT-AXE11000 plus ZenWifi ET12 Pro do covet it all.
    I have a lot of (50-60) pieces of IoT devices.
    Do You think it make sense to use GTAXE16000 instead of GTAXE11000 in my setup ?

  48. Hi Dong,

    Waiting for this to hit UK shores next month. Does the router allow you to create a separate 2.4ghz network?

    Thanks in advance


  49. I have purchased two Asus gt axe 16000 routers. I was initially planning 1 router and 2 nodes (such as the zen-wifi packages) but there seem to be major drawbacks with almost every option available atm for wireless mesh modes after reading all your reviews. It’s a bit overkill and I wish there were better nodal options with dedicated backhaul and multiple 2.5 or 10gbit ports. I have two walls but only 15 feet between my desktop computer with 10gbit ports and my primary router location in my entertainment room. What band should I try using to mesh the two routers together? I’ll let you know how it works out for me. 1 of the routers has shipped and the other is back-ordered for now. I debated doing wired backhaul but it just wasn’t a viable option. Anything you can think of for setup that I should think about?

  50. Hi Dong,

    I downloaded the Gt-AXE16000 manual and something critical for me was not answered. I want an internal 10GB LAN with a 2.5GB Internet WAN as at this stage that is all my ISP supports

    If I get 2 or 3 AXE16000’s , can they be AI meshed via the 10GB ports (ie are they LAN/WAN) ? as opposed to the 2.5GB WAN port ?

    Is the 10GB port smart enough to detect this or is there a setting in the firmware to configure them as WAN or LAN ?

    AiMesh Nodes don’t have the same level of firmware control so I was wondering how this is propagated?

    I am hoping that node wiring from LAN 10Gb port to 10Gb port will suffice and bypass the 2.5GB WAN port of the nodes in the Mesh setup.

    Or… based on the manual I need to use the 10Gb port as WAN on the router and all will flow to the nodes from there ?? Under that scenario does the 2.5GB port on the router become a fast LAN port ??


  51. Hi Dong – Thanks for another great review. I have been following for years and your advice has helped with my current network. I am, however, building a new and much larger home (4000 sq ft, 2 story with a finished basement) which will be complete in August. The home will have many IoT devices but nothing crazy.

    I’m curious of your opinion on which setup would provide a better solution. I am running ethernet to each room and an additional run to the first and second floor ceilings in a somewhat-centralized location.

    My original plan was to run a Ubiquiti Unifi setup with the following components:
    – 1 Unifi Dream Machine Special Edition (multi-gig ports)
    – 1 Unifi Enterprise 8 port switch (multi-gig ports)
    – 2 U6 Enterprise ceiling mounted Access Points (wifi 6e)
    – 2 U6 Enterprise in-wall Access Points (wifi 6e)

    I would plan to run a potential mesh or AI-mesh environment with a wired backhaul. Do you think that I would be better suited with the above hardware choices or do you have a suggestion for alternative hardware such as multiple Asus GTE-16000, etc.? My budget is approximately $2k; however, wouldn’t be opposed to saving a bit or going slightly over budget.

    Another item that is important to me is the ability to have a few security cameras which don’t require a subscription fee. The Unifi Protect line of cameras fits this mold but, again, open to suggestions.

    I greatly appreciate your time.



        • Thank you for the reply! I read through your article on Multi-Gig wired backhaul that you linked above and have a couple of questions/clarifications.

          – Do not use the AX86U as it is wifi 6 and should not be mixed with wifi 6E.

          – My ethernet drops all terminate into the mechanical room of my basement. Am I correct in the below wiring(also following your detailed instructions from that article)?
          – Modem connected to GT-AXE16000 via 2.5Gbps WAN in the basement
          – 1 ZenWifi Pro ET12 in the most-centrally located ethernet run on the first floor wired directly to GT-AXE16000 via 10Gbps BASE-T port
          – 1 ZenWifi Pro ET12 in the most-centrally located ethernet run on the second floor wired directly to GT-AXE16000 via 10Gbps BASE-T port
          – Connect a Multi-Gig unmanaged switch to the router’s 2.5Gbps LAN port
          – Connect all other ethernet runs to the switch
          – Which port would be best suited to connect to the Synology NAS given the performance issue that you saw with the 10gbps port?

          Sorry for the further questions, just want to make sure I am thinking about this correctly with the new ports on the 16000 vs the 11000.

          • The router doesn’t have enough ports for what you described, Rich. In any case, make sure you read ALL the related posts on AiMesh in the box on top of the page first before asking any other questions.

          • Tip,

            Could add a 2.5 or 5 Gbps USB 3 x To LAN dongle to the AXE 16000 to add a LAN.

            It’s a pity it only has 1x USB 3.1



    • It’s because 4-port switch chips are very easy for the manufacturer to acquire – IIRC they’re the most common type of switch chip, so very often you’ll see switches with port numbers that are a multiple of 4. It’s common to have 5-port routers where the 4 LAN ports are attached to a switch chip while the fifth port (WAN) connects directly to the processor.

  52. First: can you please change the Leave a comment to be on the top instead of having to scroll all the way down? Thank you.

    Second in 2022, any reason not to include Thunderbolt 3 or 4 as USB C on this machine that we will pay $700 for!??

    • The rule is you need to read the review and other comments before leaving yours, Lyad, else, you might ask questions that have already been addressed. As for the ports, this is a router, not a computer. I’d be more upset the iPhone, which can cost over $1K, hasn’t had either, so far. 🙂

  53. Great review Dong! Really incredible performance, exactly what I’ve been waiting for so long. Now if only my pre order will ship…

  54. Awesome update. Interested to see how this Quad router would play in a wired mesh with the dual band GT-AX6000. Being quad it has to work in a mesh with other Asus Tri or dual bands or end up having to buy two or three of them !!

    Hope you test out that combo Quad.

  55. I have mixed feelings dropping this much coin on a GT-AXE16000. Thought I was buying a best in class router last year with my GT-AXE11000. Without a nightly scheduled reboot, it struggles to provide a stable 5Ghz connection to my employer provided HP Z-Book. Didn’t have this problem with my previous router. YMMV.

    • It must have been some sort of driver issue, Doug. Try removing the Wi-Fi driver from the Z-Book and re-installing it (even with the same version.)

    • I had a boat load of issues with my 11000 so do several others. I hated it and couldn’t rely on it.

      I sent it back and got the 16000 and couldn’t be happier so far.

  56. I’ve ordered a pair of them to replace my RT-AX89X and two AXE11000’s. However, my ISP provides 10G broadband via an SFP+ handoff, no modem in between. Using the RT-AX89X’s SFP+ port and the two AXE16000s in AP mode to enable the 6Ghz channel was a workable solution to that. Now I’ll have to either get a 10G broadband plan from another ISP with a modem that has 10G ethernet ports or buy a 10G fiber to RJ45 media convertor.

      • Indeed. There’s a price to pay for cutting edge tech, particularly amid the ongoing chip shortage.
        But looking at the specs of the new Wifi 7 platforms launched by both Broadcom and Qualcomm, future routers are more likely to have at least two 10G ports. So might as well get 10G broadband and the required network hardware up and running. But, I’ll probably wait for the second wave of Wifi 7 routers to hit the market before upgrading again, to let router manufacturers iron out the bugs as they harness the new wireless standard. Learned my lesson with the AXE11000s in Wifi6E.

  57. Hi Dong love your site keep up the great work! I have a 2021 MacBook Pro and gig speed fiber. I have tried the ET12, XT12, and am unable to get anywhere close to gig speed wifi but can get gig speeds only when hard wired. My understanding is the newer MacBooks allow for 80+80 but not 160 MHz. My laptop does support Wifi 6. Are there any good Mesh boxes that you would recommend that have an 80+80? Would this work?

  58. This is still a transition router. I hope the next model is Wifi7 and has 320Mhz channel width. Then I can make the jump from my RT-AX88U. Wifi7 routers should be here by same time next year.

    TBH, $699 price is really off putting. Companies keep prices of old products same and launch new products at higher prices. Hehe

    • Just be aware there’s no free lunch when it comes to wireless technology. The wider the channel width the more prone to interference and the shorter the range. Depending on the application, there may come a point when the law of diminishing returns comes into play.😉

    • I dont know that I agree. Wifi 7 is a long ways off, and most smart home devices dont even support anything over 2.4ghz still (which is crazy) but true. As per google…

      When Will Wi-Fi 7 Be Available? As mentioned earlier, Wi-Fi 7 is still in development. The spec is not expected to be finalized until sometime in 2024.

      So… for the very limited devices that get updated wifi chips in them (namely cell phones\laptops) idk that i really care all that much.

      That is always the problem with new wireless tech the devices simply are too slow to catch up. I just got this router and I have 0 regrets on it, even if wifi 7 was to release tomorrow. The speed increases to the internet are entirely negligible because im capped at 1gb down, and internally I dont really need the extra speed, Id argue no one really does honestly. The big selling point for me here was FINALLY a home router from Asus with 10gb ports\multi gig ports, I think this is their first.

      I wouldnt get hung up waiting for wifi 7 to come, unless you are transferring absolutely massive amounts of data internally I dont know that most people should even really care. And for them to drop a premium product like this, right after the 11000, I think that kind of speaks volumes? Something this refined, with the latest chips\chipsets, doesnt exactly scream “transition”.

    • Agreed on the price, D, but I second the sentiments of the other gentlemen. Get the equipment that works best for your need today, as I mentioned in the piece on Wi-Fi 7, which is still quite far away.

    • WiFi 6e was ratified in April 2020, WiFi 7 is expected to complete is 2024 at the earliest. Based on this, WiFi 7 devices are at least 3 years away

  59. Dong,

    Current setup is the following. 1GB internet by Charter Spectrum btw.

    Modem Netgear CM2000
    Mesh Linksys MX8501
    Linksys MX5300
    Linksys 8 port switch

    Parent MX8501 and child MX5300 nodes are wired. Would this new router be a good upgrade for a single unit? Or is my setup better in the current configuration? I have the MX8501 in the living room and MX5300 in a bedroom.

  60. This Router is very interesting. I can’t wait to read your test!
    The only negative point I would have to say is that for my part, I would have liked the 10 gbps ports to be both sfp+, I would have bought it immediately to replace my rt ax 89 x!

    • I hear you on the SFP+ but going all BASE-T is generally better for homes. You can keep the SFP+ ports on your switch for end devices.

  61. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for the continued cutting-edge material.

    I am currently running a GT-AXE11000 as the main and two ZenWiFi Pro AXE11000 with mostly good success.

    I have definitely been waiting for the GT-AXE16000, so I want to swap out the GT-AXE11000 as the main – do you see any reason why I shouldn’t?

    • I assume you use wired backhaul, Joey. If not, the current setup is a terrible one — you’re wasting money. If you have wired backhauling, GT-AXE16000 + ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is an excellent combo, you’ll get yourself real mesh with Multi-Gig wired backhaul, as mentioned here. If you intend to go wireless, you need multiple GT-AXE16000 units. It’ll be much better than the Orbi RBKE960. For more on Tri-band vs Quad-band check out this post. More on AiMesh in this post.

      • Excellent, thanks Dong – yes, wired backhaul per / with the guidance of your previous write-ups. Thanks again for all of your hard work on research and content!

          • Thanks Dong, for your feedback. I currently have the GT-AXE16000 set up with a wired backhaul to two ZenWiFi Pro ET12’s. So far, faster than the GT-AXE11000 I had setup before. I ended up ordering a second GT-AXE16000 (to make sure it was in my hands fast) and am tempted to see how two GT-AXE16000’s with a wired backhaul would be vs the two ZenWiFi Pro ET12’s.

          • Hi Dong!

            Quick question. Where did you find out about the 4 internal antennas on the ASUS axe16000? On ASUS’s website I can’t find it anywhere. It just says eight external antennas.

            I’m curious which router will have better long distance performance:

            Axe16000 Vs ET12 pro

      • Dong, I’ve been reading a lot of your articles researching my new home networking solution. This has been by far the most detailed and informative site I’ve come across.

        I want my backhaul to be wireless and I want good range for my coverage to extend over much of my yard. I’m considering buying two ET12’s, but they’re tri band. Would two GT-AXE16000’s likely be a superior setup to two ET12’s if using a wireless backhaul. Do the multiple antennas likely provide superior range?

          • So, for a wired back haul and mesh system (we currently have Google WiFi with a router and 4 points) with 1 Gbit ISP speeds (but, we’d like to be ready when our provider rolls out multi-gig next year), what system(s) should I be considering? We have a large family. The kids game and my office has to be Ethernet. Lots of wireless clients too. Thanks!

      • AXE16000 solo is what I’m gonna try first. But might get the ET12 to add mesh down the road if I need it. Great suggestion!

  62. Just got mine today the ax11000 was a lot of problems for me so hoping I dont experience them on the 16000. Going to do a very basic setup and config to test the stability. Its powered on right now but I havent even logged into it at this point. Will try to post a follow up to this too.

    • So far the 16000 has exceeded my expectations, it took several hours migration from the 11000 but thus far it has been rock solid (knock on wood). Will post back if I run into kernel panic scenarios like I was on the 11000

      • Glad to hear that! Mine gets here tomorrow. I have been fighting with the 11000 for a month. When I saw this one, decided to switch since it fits my needs better anyway. Hopeful and excited to check it out.

  63. Excited to see your review of this beast!

    Placed pre-order on B&H over a week ago so waiting for them to ship it. Availability shows 6/21 so I believe mine should get shipped this monday/tuesday. My friend already got his and is pretty impressed by it so far. Those two 10GB ports are a huge selling point if you have your home wired which I do (cat6a). Going to be exciting running wired backhaul to my current ax11000 for the connection by the garage which has thick walls. I can’t wait for Merlin to release his firmware for it too since it’s a broadcom chipset. We are very spoiled for choices!

  64. Hi Dong,

    Thank you for the first impression of the new router.

    Regarding Rangeboost: please make a note/comment in the full review reagarding the range compared to the GT-ax11000.

    I had some problems with two of them in wireless aimesh – i think they may have been to close. Switched to one and it was more stable tough medium signal quality. And don’t get me started on those flimpsy antennas. On the newer models they are better?

    I really enjoy your reviews and articles on different network issues.

    Best regards

    Martin Sønderby

    • Noted, Martin. And yes, the antennas of the new one are much better. They are similar but the joints are stronger.

      • I have RangeBoost on my GT-2900 and it provided a significant improvement with a weak spot in my home office which was an issue with my Asus 1900p. I measured an average increase of 15 dbm and I no longer require the use of an extender. I’m interested to see how the ‘plus’ version performs.

        • Thank you for your respons to my post.

          But is that based on the rangeboost or just from upgrading to a newer model.

          My GT-AX11000 also have a much greater wifi range compared to gt-ac5300 (or what is was called).

          I really hope that rangeboostplus will make a difference.

          • The fact that it makes a more significant increase in that particular area compared to other areas in my home, I would say that the RangeBoost is doing what is described:

            “RangeBoost technology combines mutiple antennas located within the machine with a unique algorithm that constantly scans the environment and selects the best pair of antennas to cover each other’s dead spots, resulting in the strongest possible signal.”

      • Hi again,

        Thank you for the review.

        You wrote that the range is more or less the same as gt-axe11000. But is that better than the gt-ax11000?

        I think i will waste my money on this one even if the range is not greater but because the router is greater than the previous ones.

        • I would say they are all very similar, Martin. I had the GT-AXE11000 at the same location to try that anecdotally, and there was no noticeable difference in range. And I did the same with GT-AX11000 when I reviewed the GT-AXE11000. The GT-AXE16000 is only better because it has better performance, more Multi-Gig ports, and is pretty much bug-free, as mentioned.

          • Hi Dong,

            Thank you for the feedback and your dedication for your followers.

            I think i will give a try – at least with a shop who allow returns after trying it 👍

  65. Congratulations on having a GT-AXE16000 in hand! Yes, I got “super antsy” and ordered one from B&H. Newegg has it listed as well, both sites showing preorder or backorder availability only. Release date is shown as 06-21-2022 on B&H, and 06-23-2022 on Newegg. Can’t wait for your review and settings suggestions!

  66. Orbi Quad AXE11000 (RBKE963) @ $1,999 for 4 units.

    Asus Quad GT-AXE16000 @ $699 for one unit, $2796 for 4 units.

    Gig service, Gaming/IoT house, hardwired Cat6, 3 story home + outparcel/barn. I want LOS coverage between house and barn (50 yards from home), in the barn, plus LOS coverage another 50 yards beyond that.

    If I star two units in the house and daisy two more on near and far side of the barn, which vendor gets me the closest to the above, and/or alternative hardware? TY!

        • Dong,

          It’s really important that you are recognized your “above and beyond” level of service for how much a *quality* ally/mentor means to the community. The alchemy that is home networking is hard enough to obtain Journeyman understanding, let alone maintain bleeding edge expertise with real world expensive testing across so many subcategories.

          The fact I found your site right before the AXE16000 was released, devoured enough articles to narrow it down as my primary, learned of its release from your update just in time for our move-in install, and was able to comfortably apply your advice to couple it with the ET12 indoors and EnGenius EWS850AP outdoors, and can confidently apply the indoor wiring and outdoor POE tips based on your supporting articles…

          …where have you been all my life?

          Peace of mind when spending this much on alchemy means a lot. Coming up to speed in a few days using just dongknows.com after 8 years coasting on the last installation means a lot. Having an easy go of it after moving cross country means a lot. Your personal and timely responses mean a lot.

          Nicely done, sir.

  67. Hi Dong!

    Thanks to your previous reviews and guidance, my current setup is as follows:

    • GT-AX11000 functioning as primary AiMesh Router, using 5-2 band as wireless backhaul
    • RT-AX88U acting as sole AiMesh node, connected via single 5 band

    Assuming the GT-AXE16000 delivers and lives up to the spec sheet, do you see any reason I couldn’t retire the RT-AX88U and transition to the following?

    • Set up new GT-AXE16000 as primary AiMesh Router, using 5-2 band as wireless backhaul
    • Relocate GT-AX11000, the former AiMesh Router, to act as the new sole AiMesh node, connected via single 5-2 band as wireless backhaul

    Thank you for all you do!

    • The RT-AX88U has been connecting to the main router’s first 5GHz band, Artem. You’ve had no dedicated backhaul band. More in this post. Generally, it’s not a good idea to mix Tri-band and Dual-band unless you have a wired backhaul. So yes, you should retire it.

      • Apologies if the bulleted format and my wording made it unclear, but to the best of my understanding of the setup offered by Asus router webui, the GT-AX11000 is set up via backhaul on the 5-2 and, since the RT-AX88U has no dedicated backhaul 5-2 (as you stress here), the RT-AX88U is connecting to the GT-AX11000 via its standard 5 band. Is that not the case, in spite of it not being the ideal 5-2-to-5-2 backhaul connection?

        Regardless, any concerns with the GT-AXE16000-to-GT-AX11000 AiMesh setup I describe in my first message, wherein both connect to one another via 5-2 backhaul?

          • Reviewed and understood as my current setup (dual-to-tri) is interconnecting via standard 5 (in spite of the Asus webui stating 5.2 backhaul from the router, whereas the new setup of GT-AXE16000-to-GT-AXE16000 will utilize the proper 5.2 backhaul, leaving all other bands for standard, non-interfered use.

            Thank you!

  68. Is this thing actually released at this time? Trying to figure out, some sites say its “sold out” others are stating its not even released. how can something be sold out if its not even out yet. I have had alot of issue with my axe11000 so looking to replace it with this model.

  69. Dong,

    Good morning. AX11000 or AXE16000 for wireless VR and mesh?

    Currently looking to upgrade my home network, but willing to wait. Wanting a dedicated band for wireless VR (currently Quest 2, so no 6e support).

    Should I wait so that I can use the 6g 6e band for mesh, 5g 6 band for VR, and remaining bands all other devices?

    Will the AX11000 support a dedicated band and mesh? Even if so, better to wait for added processing power and new features?

    Thank you!

  70. Dong,

    I really appreciate your deep-dive reviews into the various networking solutions available (though, admittedly, most of this goes over my tech head).

    Question: we have 6 kids in the house and a ton of wifi clients. Only a few wifi6, though…and those are my work stuff which is important. We’ve had google wifi mesh (1 router, 4 nodes) for a couple years now, and it’s being overwhelmed by our devices and kids’ gaming. It’s time to upgrade. But to what??? I’ve been looking at Orbi (but will most likely pass due to the add-on subscription costs), eero pro 6 (same boat as google with us?) and ASUS. I am really interested in the upcoming Pro XT12 or maybe the GT AXE16000. But, should I be looking elsewhere or what? And if we go with the AXE16000, what AiMesh “nodes” would you recommend? There’s just SO much information on here!

    Our current setup is 1Gpbs fiber (no modem…just straight connection), but I can upgrade to 10Gbps (expensive). I have one wired node, but can add more if needed.


  71. This router is very interesting. Personally, what I would like to see is if Asus will release a router with a 10 gbps sfp+ port and a 10 gbps rj45, like the rt ax 89 x I currently have but with wifi6e support.
    Or, better yet, they will wait a few years to offer us a wifi7 router with sfp28 ports…

  72. Hi Dong,

    Have a few separate questions which I hope you can unravel for me.

    I have a 5 X AX88 Mesh , 3 connected via ethernet and 2 via wifi as there is no ethernet port in those locations.

    1. If I move to 5 x AXE16000 to support some 55-60 devices with the same ethernet constraints (ie 3 wired) do you see this as an upgrade or indulgence! My ISP speed is about 500 Mbps.

    2. My understanding of ASUS mesh is that you wire from router 1GB port to wan port of the satellite in wired mode. Does that mean that I go from 1Gb (AX88) to a 2.5Gb connection in an AXE16000 setup or can I wire satellites to the free 10Gb ports? I am unsure if that is a valid connection (ie not use the Wan port on the satellite and go 10Gb to 10Gb)

    3. Going from a dual band to a quad band surely has to help with my wifi satellites (2 of them) to service my 60 devices. At what band would these connect with each other? I am hoping this would make the wifi service to all devices less constrained and have a dedicated band for connection to satellites.

    Many thanks


    • 1. It’s not an upgrade. It’d be the same thing. The only difference is now you can use 6GHz clients. More in this post on Wi-Fi 6E and this post about dual-band vs tri-band vs quad-band. The wireless satellites might see some benefits, but all are speculative since the GT-AXE16000 is not out yet. Nobody knows how it pans out.
      2. Your understanding is somewhat incorrect. More in this post.
      3. Check out this post. Don’t think in terms of connected devices. A truck’s hauling capacity is measured in tonnage, not in the number of chickens it can carry, for a reason.

  73. Hi Dong,

    Do you know if the GT-AXE16000 also includes the expanded UNII4 Spectrum like the GT-AX11000 Pro?


  74. A hypothetical, if you had three of these units could you ASUS mesh them using the 10GB ports and an ethernet backbone ??

  75. My feeling is if you bought the GT-AXE11000 thinking it was the “ultimate” router but with only one 2.5 gig port, that’s on you, not ASUS.

    • It WAS the ultimate router for a year or more only if you did not need the 10g port. I returned one unopened as after further reading and research, it brought me to 2 x RT-AX86U for now, and will try Merlin. They arrive today! Can upgrade later or sell one or both and get the newest AXE16000, or in a few years, an even better router. Wifi7 will be the ONE TO GET, but I think it is 4 years out for a consumer router. Birthday and Christmas falls once a year!

  76. I have AX89X and this one is a reason to upgrade, instead of buying a 10G switch, i rather get this router and its exactly what I need for now, i have 2.5G fiber internet, so 2.5G WAN port is great [although we already have 3.5Gb fiber here but i dont see much difference, since upload is lower then my 2.5G, i have 250Mb upload and the 3.5Gb down comes with 150Mb upload].
    I have 2 PC’s with 10Gb network, my main PC and my server

    • That makes sense, but eventually, though, Ben, you’ll end up getting a Multi-Gig switch. It was in your situation once — the 10Gbps ports, not the WAN speed (so jealous!). Only a switch can fix that port anxiety. Many new desktop computers come with a 2.5Gbps port these days.

  77. I read the actual press release from Asus from the link and was puzzled as to why they didn’t specify whether the 2 X 10Gb ports can function as both WAN/LAN as per the RT-AX89X. Should be a no brainer…unless it’s a chipset issue? The RT-AX89X uses a 2.2 Ghz quad core from Qualcomm whereas this uses the 2.0Ghz quad core from Broadcom that Asus has switched to for its upcoming Wifi 6e and Wifi 6 routers this year. In any case, looking forward to further developments to fully utilise my 10Gig broadband for Wifi 6e. Currently using the Wifi 6 RT-AX89X which is somewhat inadequate…

    • It’s still in a very early stage, Richard. Asus told me a lot of things were still subject to change. Hang in there! 🙂

  78. Well I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go with the ax89x. This one for sure interests me. Now what it will come down to me is if tp link will release the archer 206 this year or not.

    If i was someone who recently bought the axe11000 i would be pretty annoyed as this new router announcement makes that one seem kinda obsolete. Looks like the new year is off to an interesting start with new tech announcements as if 2021 was just a year to skip.

  79. Count me in as well. I currently use the RT-AX89X, and will be saving up for this new one, the GT-AXE16000. Let’s just hope that it’s sooner rather than later.

  80. Id also add … who in the hell at asus is designing these 6E routers they are absolutely hideous. I HATE the look of my axe11000 and it isnt even wall mountable so you have to put it on a desk \ table, it takes up a ton of room because its like gargantuan.

  81. bullshit honestly. i just got the axe11000. I was waiting and wanting 10gb ports, other than the cpu and additional band thats the real benefit to me. having two of those is very significant for server work loads. The axe11000 is kind of disappointing in this area. just has the one 2.5g port and the rest are just normal gig and there are only 4, you pick up an additional 2 ports here. sucks. silver lining is that i would expect high end equipment moving forward to start coming standard with these ports now.

  82. Great post, thanks for the awareness. I currently have the RT-AX89X plugged into my 10g switch. I noticed that the AX89X seems to have a 2.2ghz quad-core processor vs this ones 2.0 ghz. Is there an argument that the new one will be a better process nonetheless? I’m trying to find reasons to upgrade to this one once it’s available, haha.

    • Wifi 7 is like a year or two out.. I wouldnt personally plan on upgrading until then. most vendors are likely skipping 6e and just waiting for 7. I will for sure have massive fomo on this 16000, just purchasing the 11000, but i cant see spending another ~600 dollars when this too will be obsolete in short order.

    • I actually agree with MP on this front, Dennis. The RT-AX89X is still great. You don’t need an upgrade. But if you want to, well, it’s your call. But this router is not available yet. You have time to save up. 🙂


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