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Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Review (vs. Netgear RS700S): An Excellent Next-Gen Top-tier Gaming Router

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The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Quad-band Wi-Fi 7 router is a sizable step up from the RT-BE96U. It represents the ROG gaming family and has everything the older cousin has, plus four extra Multi-Gigabit ports and a ton of gaming-related features.

Here's the bottom line: The GT-BE98 Pro is definitely an excellent Wi-Fi 7 router—as a standalone machine or a member of an AiMesh system—easily worth the $800 street price. It offers much more than the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S semi-counterpart. If you're in the market for a non-compromising Wi-Fi 7 solution, this is the one to get. That is if you can find it where you are.

On the flipside, there's also no rush, and the router will likely only get better as time goes by.

Dong's note: I first published this piece on December 19, 2023, as a quick take when the router was first announced, and upgraded it to an in-depth review on February 26, 2024, after weekslong hands-on testing.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro is a formidable Wi-Fi 7 router. You can tell from the look alone.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro: The new flavor of top-tier Quad-band (gaming) Wi-Fi 7 router

The GT-BE98 Pro is Asus's flagship gaming router. The quick take is that it is the Wi-Fi 7 version of the Wi-Fi 6E GT-AXE16000. Looking a bit deeper, there's a lot more to talk about, among which is the elephant in the room, the non-Pro version GT-BE98.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98: Familiar design, different Quad-band approaches

In late 2023, Asus finally confirmed with me earlier the existence of the two GT-BE98 versions, Pro and non-Pro, with the former being for North America and the latter for elsewhere.

The GT-BE98 Pro is the company's first to feature two 6GHz bands. Since this band is regulated differently around the world and Wi-Fi 7 is still in its early stages, it's hard to make hardware supporting this frequency, as a whole, available worldwide. Splitting the 6GHz into two portions only further complicates the matter.

On the other hand, the GT-BE98, also a Quad-band router, has the good old 5GHz band split, which has been in practice since Wi-Fi 5. It's much easier to make it readily available everywhere. Still, Asus told me that it, for the foreseeable future, had no plan to release the GT-BE98 in North America, though it "welcomes feedback from the community if they have interest in this model".

Other than that, the two routers are almost identical. Both are bulky devices, sharing the same squarish design that started with the Wi-Fi 5 RT-AC5300 years ago. Each comes with eight non-detachable antennas around the body that can be swiveled some 45 degrees outward and half a circle around.

Like the RT-BE96U, the GT-BE98 Pro doesn't include wall-mounting holes on its underside. However, you can hang it on a wall using one of the three feet that are shaped like a loop.

The Asus GT-BE98 Pro is a massive and heavy routerThe Asus GT-BE98 Pro has a fancy top with a seenthrough portion
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro comes with the iconic programmable Aura RGB light, and its top has a see-through portion that shows some gaming-oriented design. Note the large red heatsink in the middle that keeps the router cool and the feet that keep the router elevated from a surface that can be used for wall hanging.

As gaming routers, the two include Asus's iconic programmable Aura RGB light. Its top has a see-through portion that shows gaming-related patterns and slogans. Some might find the design "bold" and cool, but overall, the two routers will be hard passes for that often painful "wife-approval" requirement.

Gaming routers: How lag kills

Open the cabinet below for the table that shows how they are stacked up against each other hardware-wise.

Extra: GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98: Specs

Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98: Hardware specifications

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming RouterAsus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Wi-Fi 7 Gaming Router
Asus GT-BE98 ProROG Rapture GT-BE98 Left
ModelGT-BE98 ProGT-BE98
Antennas8 x external
Wi-Fi BandwidthQuad-band BE30000
(2.4GHz + 5GHz + 6GHz-1 + 6GHz-2 ≈ 30000Mbps)
Quad-band BE25000
(2.4GHz + 5GHz-1 + 5GHz-2 + 6GHz ≈ 25000Mbps)
Modulation Scheme
(QAM)
4096-QAM (all bands)
1st Band
(Qchannel width)
2.4GHz: up to 1376Mbps
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz-1: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
6GHz-1: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
5GHz-2: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4th Band
(channel width)
6GHz-2: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
6GHz: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Asus Gaming Features
Mesh-ReadyYes
(AiMesh)
Processing PowerQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU, 256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAM
Multi-Gig Port1x 10GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
1x 10GBASE-T LAN,
1x 2.5GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
3x 2.5GBASE-T LAN
Gigabit Port1 x Gigabit LAN
USB Port1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
Hardware ButtonsPower Switch, Reset Button, WPS Button, LED Control
Dimensions
(with antennas)
14.12 x 14.12 x 8.77 in (358.6 x 358.6 x 222.8 mm)
Weight4.41 lbs (2 kg)
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
DC Output: 19V with max. 3.42A current
Release DateQ1 2024Q1 2024
AvailabilityNorth AmericaOutside America
Hardware specifications: Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98

With the GT-BE98 out of the picture in the US market, the GT-BE98 Pro's worthy comparison, for now, is Netgear's Nighthawk RS700S. While the RS700S is sleeker, the GT-BE98 Pro is superior in more ways than one.

The table below shows the differences and similarities between the two.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Hardware specifications

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming RouterNetgear Nighthawk RS700S BE19000 Wi-Fi 7 Router
Asus GT-BE98 ProNetgear Nighthawk RS700 Wi-Fi 7 Router
ModelGT-BE98 ProRS700,
RS700S
Wi-Fi BandwidthQuad-band BE30000Tri-band BE19000
Modulation Scheme
(QAM)
4096-QAM (all bands)
1st Band
(Qchannel width)
4x4 2.4GHz BE: up to 1376Mbps
2nd Band
(channel width)
4×4 5GHz BE: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4×4 5GHz BE: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
4x4 6GHz-1 BE: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
4×4 6GHz BE: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
4th Band
(channel width)
4x4 6GHz-2 BE: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
None
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Asus Gaming Features
Web User Interface
Nighthawk Mobile App
Limited free features and settings
Vendor Login Account RequiredNoYes
(to use the Nighthawk Mobile app)
Premium Add-onNone
(all features are free for life)
Netgear Armor ($100/year)
Parental Control (70/year)
(both require the mobile app)
Mesh-ReadyYes
(AiMesh)
No
(Wi-Fi EasyMesh—planned)
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Asus Gaming Features
Operating ModeRouter
Access Point
Repeater
Media Bridge
Router
Access Point
Multi-Gig Port1x 10GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
1x 10GBASE-T LAN,
1x 2.5GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
3x 2.5GBASE-T LAN
1x 10Gbps WAN
1x 10GGbps LAN
Gigabit Port1x LAN4x LAN
Link AggregationYes
Dual-WANYesNo
USB Port1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
Dimensions14.12 x 14.12 x 8.77 in
(358.6 x 358.6 x 222.8 mm)
11.09 x 5.59 x 4.88 in
(281.70 x 142 x 124.03 mm)
Weight4.41 lbs (2 kg)3.61 lb (1.635kg)
Processing PowerQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU, 256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAMQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU,
512MB Flash, 2GB RAM
Power Intake100-240V120V
Firmware
(at review)
3.0.0.6.102_32882V1.0.7.82
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 560 Wh
(as tested)
≈ 375 Wh
(as tested)
US Release DateQ1 2024Q4 2023
US Price
(at launch)
$799.99$699.99
Hardware specifications: Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. Netgear Nighthawk RS700S
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro has two USB ports, one is USB 3.0The Asus GT-BE98 Pro includes two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps ports
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro includes two 10Gbps, four 2.5Gbps, and one Gigabit port. It also has two USB ports, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0.

At $100 more, the GT-BE98 Pro has lots to offer in terms of hardware and features. The four extra 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports are already enough to justify the added cost. When you factor in the availability of free-for-life features, the Asus router is a steal.

Even if you're willing to pay another $170/year to get everything the Netgear RS700S offers, you won't get close to what you can do with the Asus GT-BE98 Pro. The web-based Remote Management feature, or the lack thereof, alone is a deal breaker for many.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro: The splitting of the 6GHz band

As you might have noted from the table above, the splitting of the 6GHz band is the GT-BE98 Pro's novelty. It's the second broadcaster on the market that does so, besides the TP-Link Deco BE95. Chances are these won't be the last.

Band splitting is tricky, and how that's done on the 6GHz frequency is not all clear. But in principle, it's similar to the case of the 5GHz, which gave us the original Tri-band concept.

If you're new to band splitting, I detailed that in this post on Dual-band vs. Tri-band vs. Quad-band. You can also open the cabinet below for some highlights.

Tri-band Wi-Fi and the splitting of the 5GHz band

Channels allocation, the 5GHz’s DFS, and band-splitting

A Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (or Wi-Fi 5) broadcaster (2.4GHz + 5GHz) has two distinctive sets of channels. One belongs to the 2.4GHz band, and the other to the 5GHz band.

By default, each channel is set at the lowest width, which is 20MHz. When applicable, the hardware can combine adjacent channels into larger ones that are 40MHz, 80MHz, or even wider.

Again, depending on your locale and hardware, the number of available channels on each band will vary, depending on how wide the band is and the width of the entire band.

In the US, the 2.4 GHz band includes 11 usable 20MHz channels (from 1 to 11) and has been that way since the birth of Wi-Fi. Things are simple in this band. The 2.4GHz band uses channels of 20MHz or 40MHz width. The wider the width, the fewer channels you can get out of the frequency—the entire band is only so wide.

On the 5GHz frequency, regardless of Wi-Fi standards, things are complex. We have DFS (restricted) and regular (non-DFS) channels and the UNII-4 portion. The 5GHz band uses 4 channel widths, including 20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz, or 160MHz. Wider channels are desirable since they deliver more bandwidth or faster speeds.

The 5GHz Wi-Fi channels and their positions on the spectrum.
Here are the 5GHz Wi-Fi channels and their positions on the spectrum in the US. The gap in the middle of the DFS portion, between channels 64 and 100, is reserved exclusively for Doppler RADAR, and the portion beyond 5.8GHz is generally unavailable—it belongs to UNII-4.

Below is the breakdown of the channels on the 5GHz frequency band at their narrowest form (20MHz):

  1. The lower part of the spectrum includes channels: 36, 40, 44, and 48.
  2. The upper portion contains channels: 149, 153, 161, and 165.
  3. In between the two, we have the following DFS channels: 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, and 144. (Channels from 68 to 96 are generally reserved exclusively for Doppler RADAR.)

In a dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) broadcaster, the 5GHz band gets all the channels above (#1, #2). It'll also get #3 if the broadcaster supports DFS.

In a traditional Tri-band broadcaster (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz), the first 5GHz band (5GHz-1) will get the lower channels (#1), and the 2nd 5GHz band (5GHz-2) gets the upper channels (#2).

If the broadcaster supports DFS, the 5GHz-1 gets up to channel 64, and the rest (100 and up) goes to 5GHz-2. If the hardware also supports the new 5.9GHz portion of the 5GHz spectrum, it generally has three additional channels to its upper part, including 169, 173, and 177.

The splitting of the 5GHz spectrum ensures that the two narrower bands (5GHz-1 and 5GHz-2) do not overlap. So, here's the deal with traditional Tri-band (2.4GHz+ 5GHz+ 5GHz):

  • The good: While the total width of the 5GHz spectrum remains the same, we can use two portions of this band simultaneously, theoretically doubling its real-world bandwidth.
  • The bad: Each portion (5GHz-1 or 5GHz-2) has fewer channel-forming options, making it harder for them to use the 80MHz or 160MHz channel widths required for high bandwidth. Physically, the channel-width options are now more limited than when the entire 5GHz spectrum is utilized as a single band.
  • The bottom line: Limited bandwidth for each sub-5GHz band. In an area crowded with 5GHz Wi-Fi broadcasters, practically everywhere these days, this band-splitting practice likely adds little in terms of extra real-world total bandwidth.
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro includes a large amount of plastic wrapsThe Asus GT-BE98 Pro comes with a big power adapter and a network cable
Like the case of the RT-BE96U, the GT-BE98 Pro comes with a disturbingly large amount of plastic wraps. Shown here are those that covered the antennas alone. Out of the box, the router includes a relatively large power adapter—the same one used for the RT-BE96U—and a network cable.

In the case of the 6GHz band, things are different but still with a lot of variables.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the 6GHz band has a total width of 1200MHz and ranges from 5.925GHz to 7.125GHz. However, depending on the regulations, which vary from one region to another, only a portion or portions of this entire spectrum may be available for local Wi-Fi applications.

So, this band's availability alone is complicated, and it's impossible to convey its variations worldwide in a few short paragraphs. Assuming we live in an area where the entire 1200MHz spectrum is available for Wi-Fi use—a non-existent scenario—note the following:

  1. If split in the middle, we'll get two 600MHz-wide sub-bands. Generally, the narrower the band, the less flexible it becomes in forming a channel with the widest possible width.
  2. To deliver the best performance, Wi-Fi 7 needs to use its widest channel, which is 320MHz. In a 6GHz + 6GHz split, each sub-brand's 600MHz total width is wide enough for one possibility of a 320MHz channel. As a result, when multiple individual 6GHz broadcasters are in close proximity, only narrower channels (160MHz or 80MHz) are likely possible instead of the desirable 320MHz due to interference.
  3. By nature, with the current allowed broadcasting power, the 6GHz frequency has just about two-thirds of the 5GHz's effective range and much weaker object penetration—it's not ideal in homes with lots of walls.

To improve the 6GHz band's range, Wi-Fi 7 has a new feature called Automated Frequency Coordination that allows for additional broadcasting. However, AFC is not an inherent feature of the standard and also depends on regulations—its availability is not a given.

That's to say, coverage-wise, the 6GHz band is not as impactful as the 5GHz. And that means the extra bandwidth you'd get from using two 6GHz bands simultaneously might not be as meaningful as it's cracked up to be. All the while, the drawbacks of band splitting, including the extra hardware cost and the lower possibility of having a 320MHz channel, are inevitable.

In the US, the GT-BE98 Pro's 6GHz-1 band occupies the lower portion of the frequency from 5995GHz to 6415GHz, and the 6GHz-2 band takes up the 6595GHz to 7055GHz upper portion. The rest of the spectrum is not available to Wi-Fi.

However, thanks to the much broader spectrum, the 6GHz band is generally more beneficial when split than the 5GHz, which is much narrower. In the case of the GT-BE98 Pro, both of its 6GHz bands delivered excellent real-world performance, as mentioned below.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Interface AiMeshAsus GT-BE98 Pro Interface VPN
Apart from gaming-related features standard in Asus gaming routers, the GT-BE98 Pro has lots of other advanced settings and features for savvy and pro users, including support for AiMesh and all possible variants of VPN.

A familiar router powered by AsusWRT 4.0 firmware

Like the case of the RT-BE96U, the new GT-BE98 Pro will be powered by the latest AsusWRT firmware, version 4.0, based on a new 3.0.0.6 Linux kernel—a significant upgrade from the 3.0.0.0.4 kernel used in hardware released in earlier than late 2023 (Wi-Fi 6E and older).

The new version maintains the same local web server with a robust interface that allows for in-depth customization of many networking features, including the support for AiMesh.

However, per Asus, AsusWRT 4.0 includes a few noteworthy improvements:

  • Upgraded VPN: Users can manage VPN using either the web user interface for the Asus mobile app. VPN Fusion can now deliver VPN connections connected to clients without client software and help VPN-enabled and non-VPN Internet access co-exist within the local network. The support for WireGuard VPN server and client. Improved Instant Guard.
  • Better Android/iOS Tethering: Users can quickly tether an Android or iPhone to the router's USB port to work as backup Internet access via Dual-WAN.
  • Better security scan and parental controls: Asus AiProtection Pro is now improved with more features and higher effectiveness. It remains a free-for-life feature.
  • Better auto firmware update: Now, there is a separate automatic update section for security patches only.
  • Theme customization and port monitoring: Users can change the theme color of the Asus mobile app and monitor each port of the router individually for a better understanding of their network.
  • Guest Network Pro: The router now includes six different types of virtual self-defined networks (SDN). Each can be customized with great details, including a web portal, scheduling, Intranet access, part of the router or the entire AiMesh mesh system, and more.

Still, at the core of it, AsusWRT 4.0 remains a familiar firmware that's been used in Asus routers for the past two decades, and it remains open-source, meaning users can still expect support from Merlin on select models going forward.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Interface Guest Network ProAsus GT-BE98 Pro Interface Guest Network Pro Configurations
With the latest firmware, the GT-BE98 Pro comes with a Guest Network Pro that includes six flavors of virtual Wi-Fi SSIDs, each with comprehensive software-defined settings, available at the router or in the entire system when AiMesh is used.

That said, you can expect the GT-BE98 Pro to be a similar router. And as the top-tier gaming machine, it'll have everything other Asus routers collectively have—including robust gaming features and the Aura RGB lighting bling—and then some. For more on what you can expect in terms of features and settings, check out this primer on Asus Wi-Fi routers.

I didn't test everything the router could do, but all those I tried panned out as intended.

Excellent AiMesh support, no MLO or AFC yet

Like other Asus routers in the RT and gaming families, the GT-BE98 Pro is a flexible machine. You can upload backup settings from most other Asus routers onto it and use its network ports in a variety of configurations for WAN, LAN, Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation.

For example, you can move its primary WAN function from the 2.5Gbps (default) to one of the 10Gbps ports or the only Gigabit port. After that, in a Dual-WAN setup, you can pick any of the other ports, or a USB port, as the second WAN. The GT-BE98 Pro features Link Aggregation but only on the LAN side. Considering its number of Mulit-Gig ports, the support for port bonding is rather unnecessary.

Additionally, the router allows for in-depth Wi-Fi settings—virtually, all you can think of in terms of USB-related features. You can use the two ports for cellular tethering, a printer server, or hosting a storage device for data sharing, media streaming, PC-less downloading, and more.

The Asus GT-BE98 Pro has two 6GHz bands each occupying the lower and upper parts of the spectrum
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro has two 6GHz bands, each occupying the lower and upper parts of the spectrum. The router allows for lots of in-depth settings, including those of its Wi-Fi bands.

In terms of AiMesh, the router can work with any AiMesh-enabled router to form a Wi-Fi system. I tried with a few and was able to add routers using firmware as old as version 384—the original release with AiMesh support—as satellite units.

However, generally, it's recommended that you use routers of the same or close firmware versions in a system. Since the GT-BE98 Pro is the most powerful Asus router to date, it's best to use it as the primary router of an AiMesh network unless you get a 2-pack or a 3-pack.

I tried it extensively with the RT-BE96U as the satellite, and the two worked well as a system, which wasn't a surprise considering the two were similar—with AiMesh and mesh in general, mixing hardware of different Wi-Fi specs is when things get complicated.

Still, this review looked at the GT-BE98 Pro primarily as a standalone router, and as such, it didn't have everything you might expect from a Wi-Fi 7 machine. Not yet.

Specifically, Asus told me that the Multi-Link Operation and Automated Frequency Coordination were not yet available. However, they will likely be added via a firmware update later this year. This is not a surprise, considering MLO is slated to be officially supported in Windows 11 24H2, which is set to be released in the second part of the year.

But even without these two features, the GT-BE98 Pro proved to be a formidable performer in my testing.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming Router
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming Router is being tested.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro: Excellent performance

For this review, I tried the GT-BE98 Pro for over two weeks and was happy with it. The router had no disconnection issues and passed my 3-day stress test with flying colors.

In terms of coverage, it was similar to the RT-BE96U or the GT-AXE16000. Without AFC, the ranges of its three bands were the same as those of any existing routers. Still, as a powerhouse, it likely could cover around 2500 ft2 (232 m2) when placed at the center. But your mileage will vary.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Close Range Wi-Fi PerformanceAsus GT-BE98 Pro Long Range Wi-Fi Performance
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro's Wi-Fi performance when hosting clients of different Wi-Fi standards.

As for real-world throughput speeds, the Gt-BE98 Pro was slightly slower than the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S in a few tests and faster in some others, all within the margins of errors. However, it was easily one of the fastest Wi-Fi routers to date, with sustained multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi rates when hosting Wi-Fi 7 clients and high Gig+ rates when handling Wi-Fi 6E and 6 clients. Both of its 6GHz bands worked well.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Wired Performance
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro's Multi-Gig wired performance.

The router's Multi-Gig ports performed well, too, with sustained rates of over 6300Mbps for the 10Gbps ports, which is among the fastest of home routers. Out of my 10Gbps Fiber-optic line, the 10Gbps WAN delivered over 5500Mbps of broadband speed, which was quite impressive to date.

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, consumer-grade Multi-Gig routers and switches do not deliver true 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) throughputs. After "overhead", they sustain between 6.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 6 hardware) to 8.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 7 hardware), give or take. Often, a router's traffic-related features, such as QoS, security, etc. when turned on can impact its bandwdith.

Many home Wi-Fi routers support the entry-level Multi-Gig, which is 2.5Gbps and can deliver close to 2,500Mbps in real-world speeds.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro Read NAS PerformanceAsus GT-BE98 Pro Write NAS Performance
The Asus GT-BE98 Pro's network attached storage performance when hosting a portable SSD via its USB 3.0 port.

Finally, when hosting a portable SSD via the USB 3.0 port, the GT-BE98 Pro did quite well as a mini NAS server with sustained copy speed via a 10Gbps wired connection of over 150MB/s. While that wasn't the best, it was fast enough for casual network storage needs before you should think of a dedicated NAS server.

The GT-BE98 Pro seemed to have no internal fan and stayed silent during my testing—I didn't open the router to make sure. It also remained quite cool even during heavy operation.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro's Rating

8.6 out of 10
Asus GT-BE98 Pro Gaming Router with Aura light
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Design and Ease of Use
8.5 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Quad-band with top-tier Wi-Fi 7 support and excellent real-world performance

Lots of free, in-depth, and valuable networking features and settings (VPN, AiProtection, Parental Control, Guest Network Pro, Bandwidth monitoring, etc.); tons of gaming-related features; AiMesh-ready

Two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports with WAN/LAN flexibility; supports Dual-WAN and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

No vendor required login account; fanless design; silent performer

Cons

Bulky design; lots of plastic wraps

MLO and AFC not available at launch

Unavailable outside of America

Conclusion

At a glance, the ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Quad-band Wi-Fi 7 router seems familiar enough. But looking deeper, it's a totally different beast from the rest of Asus's other similarly-designed routers.

The router checks all the boxes for a formidable Wi-Fi machine that has enough to make any user happy, especially those with gaming and advanced networking needs, except for the bulky dead-spider-like design. But in Wi-Fi, size matters, and you can't expect a workhorse to have the skin as smooth as a baby's butt.

So, if you can't handle the rough edges, this new router is not for you. Otherwise, consider one today!

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86 thoughts on “Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Review (vs. Netgear RS700S): An Excellent Next-Gen Top-tier Gaming Router”

  1. Hey Dong,

    Thanks for your articles; they’re detailed and really narrow down the technical specs/capabilities which is what I appreciate a lot.
    I’m way overdue for a router upgrade, and since it’s being a while, I want to get the latest and hopefully it’ll be relevant for at least several years. Our house is setup in a way that I’d need a 2nd AP otherwise reception at one end is pretty crappy. So I’ve been looking at the Asus GT-BE98-Pro, but since my current routers are netgear, I would need a different ASUS to act as the 2nd AP (with wired backhaul). Given that, I was wondering how the ZenWifi BQ16 would fare given it comes with a pair out of the box? I do work from home and require good (wifi) latency for some of my work, but it doesn’t need to be “online fighting game” level of latency. Would you recommend BE98 and another Asus as AP (and if so which would you recommend)? Or would the BQ16 be a good option as well (I noticed you haven’t done that review in depth, wondering what your thoughts for that are as well)?

    Thanks!
    Z

    Reply
    • The BQ16 is not avaible yet, Z. You can wait for that or you can get two GT-BE98 Pro units or one and another RT-BE96U and build an AiMesh system out of them. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. I desperately need to upgrade my WiFi (Currently using a Netgear Xr700 (main router with PPPOE login) with Nighthawk R8000 as AP via wired connection to the basement), I am highly considering changing over to Asus with Netgears subscription changes and I figured I would go big since it has been so long since I have upgraded my WiFi. Initially looking at the Orbi 970, but would it be overkill if I went with 3 of these units and put 2 of them into AiMesh mode? Can I start with one unit as wireless backhaul until I can run cable and the other as wired backhaul? I am not seeing other Asus WiFi 7 mesh units… yet

    Reply
  3. Given that the router promises a 20Gbps link aggregation in the future, it’s surprising it only hits around 6Gbps throughput. I wonder if there are plans for firmware to improve this, otherwise, it doesn’t seem useful to support 20Gbps link aggregation?

    Reply
    • It has only two 10Gbps ports, you’ll never experience the benefit of 20Gbps LG anyway, Matthew. 6-ish Gbps is generally the case of most routers of this caliber. More here.

      Reply
  4. Man, I love this router but the 2.4 GHz range isn’t as long as the AXE16000 – have 3 wired in a backhaul, but my outdoor wall mounted cameras using 2.4 are struggling with a wireless connection – I do have long floor levels, but I am wondering if the smaller antennas are the difference.

    I know, small complaint but enough to contemplate adding a dreaded extender or being more invasive and adding wired cameras through finished walls.

    Reply
    • I agree, having come from the same AXE16000. Wired speed is exceptional on the GT-BE98 Pro, but the Wi-Fi on all bands seems weaker. For example, I have the S24 Ultra with Wi-Fi 7. I usually turn off Wi-Fi on the S24 at home because my cell network is much faster with lower latency. Not a deal breaker, but worth noting. Good luck with your situation, Joey.

      Reply
      • Hey Johnny, thanks for your reply. Super helpful support when trying to pin down a pain point. Gabriel from Broadcom was super helpful in the past with troubleshooting Wi-Fi 6E & apple products in the past for me, this is most likely not a software limitation but it can’t hurt to reach out to him for input.

        Reply
      • Thanks Dong, did that and do have better performance – still not on par with the 16000 but big difference. Thanks again for the support!

        Reply
        • I have this as part of a mesh with 2-ET12 Pro wifi 6e
          I get one gig plus a little on the wifi 6 band, on a one gig fiber connection, using my s23U and my wife;s FE23 phones near the router
          all my legacy IOT stuff, that uses 2.4 connects just fine, on my 1/2 acre property, outside and in and inside my 2200sf house
          This BE 98 is a BEAST!

          Reply
  5. You’re going to roll your eyes, but I bought this with the intent of disabling all WiFi. We needed a dual WAN that could handle the throughput of our 2 ONTs. I had been struggling to find something better than the Cisco RV345. It’s stable and low latency, but we discovered that the RV345 was the ONTs’ limiting factor.
    Now, I desperately want to remove the antennas in the back by the ports as I’m pulling nearly 2 GB up and down from each WAN port. But they’re bulky and can’t move with those giant antennas. I really want to figure out a way to take them off.

    Reply
    • 🙄

      You have to cut them off or break the plastic and wrap the antenna wires around the body. Wi-Fi can be disabled via the Wireless–>Professional tab within the interface, which you might have already known.

      Reply
      • Thank you. BTW. I did some testing. I was wrong about the 2GBps from each WAN. When I drop back to 1 WAN it drops down to the normal plan of 940/880. Even though it’s claiming load -balancing Dual WAN it’s somehow aggregating the 2 ONTs. They do go to the same street box. I’m so confused. With both WAN ports active it’s combining the speeds.

        Reply
          • I used a Cisco RV345P before this. I understand that Dual Wan is not supposed to increase speed. That’s why I think it’s Aggregating the 2 ONTs instead of doing load balance. I have the screenshots to prove it.

          • I’ve read that document several times and have worked in tech for decades. I know what you’re saying is true but it somehow doubled when I linked them. It’s almost like it’s trunking the lines instead of using load-balancing.

  6. Brilliant site, Dong. Thanks for all the interesting articles
    I’m coming from a Linksys router with the {..}VPN firmware installed on it, which allows me to assign VPN connections by individual device. Is that possible with the GT-BE98?

    Reply
  7. I have ax89x router meshed with ax3000. I do utilize it pretty much to full extent and have hit a 64 rule limit when trying to add more devices to the safe browsing.
    I’ve also used up all the 8x 1gig ports and purchased a switch to add more although that is 1 gig shared so I limit it to low speed traffic like a couple printers and Smart tv.
    One issue i’m a little disappointed with is traffic connected to mesh router on aiprotect hides behind mesh router Mac. So I’ve had to sometimes take suspected devices and bind them to use the main router and continue to monitor but this is not 100 as the router will still ignore my bind.
    Do you guys actually see identifiable reports for devices behind your mesh including usage reports?
    Is protection still limited to 64 devices?

    Reply
    • That doesn’t sound right, Hector. If you set up AiMesh properly, devices connected to the AX3000 should connect using their true MAC. I think you might be using the AX3000 in repeater mode.

      Reply
      • It’s definitely in mesh mode. This behavior after some days of support was confirmed by asus support with a possibility of future fix some day. I’m guessing it’s not an issue any normal user takes notice of and likely low priority. I’ve also decided to run a LAN cable but that only changed the Mac the traffic hides behind.

        Reply
        • That’s good to now. I guess that happens with some hardware combo but not all since I haven’t noticed that. But yes, that generally only affect stuff that require the MAC, like Parent Control, etc.

          Reply
  8. Does this router have vlan tagging. I have a gt-axe16000 currently. And I was loving it, until recently when I upgraded the firmware (didnt take a back up of cfg – which was my fault), and it got stuck in a boot loop. Since then its been a bit unstable, and I had to spend days trying to reconfigure all of what I had setup on it, very frustrating. They were experimenting with switchport vlan (not for isp), and I was wondering if this routers firmware had it yet? Ideally id like to be able to vlan the wireless and wired ports, but would settle for just wired ports. If I were to purchase this router I could use my 16k in a mesh scenario, I have like 50+ devices connected to this existing router and I feel like im approaching the upper limit of what it can manage individually. Just looking for your advisement and if you saw anything vlan related for the lan/wifi. Thanks!

    Reply
    • All Asus routers, generally, has that settings, MP. But I’ve never used it since it’s ISP-specific. You can refresh the router to the older firmware version. More here.

      Reply
  9. Love your in-depth reviews as always. The first place I go and recommend others go as well. I’m trying to find out if the GT-BE98 Pro can do ISP VLAN ID tagging? My fiber ISP requires it. I have an older RT-AX86U and it has ISP profiles under IPTV but it’s not going past asuswrt 3. Do you know if the GT-BE98 Pro can (or maybe the more accurate question is if asuswrt 4 can)? Thank you for any help you can provide!

    Reply
    • Yes, Chris. There’s that setting. I’ve never tried it, though, since it’s not applicable where I am. Good luck!

      Reply
  10. As always, thank you for your review. Of particular interest to me was the wired speed chart. Impressive ranking. And, as you pointed out: “The four extra 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports are already enough to justify the added cost.” Sold!

    Reply
  11. I just bought this device and although my ISP’s technician can get 8+ Gbits/s on his device for the 10 Gig service, I can’t seem to get more than 5 on this router. I have tried everything I can think of but am at a loss now of what else to try.

    See my thread over here for details: https://rog-forum.asus.com/t5/gaming-routers/gt-be98-pro-too-slow-on-10-ge-wan-only-getting-5-gbit-but/m-p/998396/emcs_t/S2h8ZW1haWx8dG9waWNfc3Vic2NyaXB0aW9ufExTWEpCVlZJSzFNRkM0fDk5ODM5NnxTVUJTQ1JJUFRJT05TfGhL#M7064

    I’m hoping someone else has had this issue and knows a fix, or that it is a known firmware issue. I have tested with everything unplugged and WiFi turned off so nothing but one computer could connect. The speeds I’m seeing are in the built-in speed test under Game Acceleration. QoS is off. Jumbo Frames is on (also tried off).

    Reply
      • Thanks for the reply and the links. Looks like I am getting what you found in your tests then. So would you say that if my ISP starts allowing 12G on 10G connections my numbers should go up? The technician said they might do that at a later date.

        Reply
        • No, Ryan. The router itself is the bottleneck. When you go past the 2.5Gbps mark, things get complicated — you have to deal with the MTU settings among other things. The post on Multi-Gig, previously linked, explains that. In any case, don’t take the specs’ numbers literally.

          Reply
          • You are not wrong there, Ryan. Imagine how I felt years ago after spending loads of $$ on the hardware. But it is what it is. Plus, anything over 2Gbps is plenty fast. We’re lucky.

    • I ended up seeing a post elsewhere stating that the SpeedTest on the router itself is slower than if I were to have a 10Gig card on my computer. So I got such a card and it was 100% correct. I am now up to 8.2Gbps on my main computer, which is what the technician was able to get on his industrial router that he brought. So it would be good if this review added that side note. One CAN get the expected speeds through this router.

      Reply
  12. I just purchased a GT-BE98 Pro and need some advise on purchasing a few ASUS extenders to hook up into a back-flow configuration for the time being. As ASUS doesn’t as of yet have any WiFi 7 extenders and not wanting to spend too much money until they do, will a few RP-AX58‘s work? I know there WiFi 6, but this is only until ASUS comes out with a WiFi 7 extender(s). Thank you.

    Reply
    • Your question implies if AiMesh will work over wired backhaul. Yes it will. I think TP-Link makes it confusing regarding wired vs wireless backhaul, unfortunately, in particular with TP-Link OneMesh, and roll out for EasyMesh of wired backhaul…

      Reply
  13. I’m assuming I could connect this with my two Asus XT12 routers and they would all use 5ghz as wireless backhaul?

    If so, would the BE98 pro be best used as the main router, or as one of the mesh points? Only reason I’m considering this router is for better game streaming over wifi from my PC upstairs to my TV downstairs.

    Reply
  14. My GT-BE98 Pro just got set up and I did run into a few issues, like every time I make a change for the wi-fi Mac filter, the router reboots. Sometimes the clients can never reconnect unless I do a hard shutdown. Other than that the performance is phenomenal and I don’t think it’s expensive at all. Considering I paid $400 for my 8 port 10Gbe switch, $800 is very reasonable. I’m also using the AXE16000 I bought last year as a node, but will probably purchase another matching GT-BE98 Pro and use that as my node. I wouldn’t mind utilizing both 6Ghz channels throughout my home with AiMesh. I love your articles Dong and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate them. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • The MAC-related restart you mentioned is generally the case, Richard. That happens, too, when you apply IP reservations in most routers. Glad you like it. I likely won’t be able to get to it after CES. Thanks for sharing the experience.

      Reply
  15. Hi Dong

    hope you had a nice xmas!

    quick question; do you think its worth paying and extra 100 dollars to get the BE 98 Pro Versus the BE96?
    I have the BE96 now, and it works great with my ET12AXE’s in a mesh, but, the number of multi gig ports on the BE96 is a bit disappointing, and, for another 100 dollars at this point, it doesnt make much difference to me..just wondering if you think its a good idea to return the 96 and get the 98 pro
    thanks!

    Reply
  16. Hey Doug, thank you for all your content. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 🎄🎉

    Any chance you’ll be reviewing the Deco BE63 units? 😀

    Thank you!

    Reply
  17. How is this shaping up against the upcoming TP Link GE800? Does one the GT-BE98 Pro have any notable advantages/disadvantages in comparison?

    Reply
  18. These specs are pretty nuts. Surprised actually this router became available already in the US. I thought it wouldn’t be available until middle or end of 2024.

    Luckily, I ended up actually ordering one from newegg just as it became available in stock today (GT-BE98 Pro). The pro version is really worth it! Going to pair it with my GTAXE-16000 router(s) most likely. Wifi 7 looks super promising with MLO. This time it’s a nice upgrade that we should notice once the features become available on firmware and clients! Even better with some merlin magic dust.

    Woohoo excited!! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Thanks for the write-up and staying on top of the king of the router battle. This one looks really good, I am thinking about making this the flagship and replacing the main GTX-16000 and using it with two wired GTX-16000 backhauls. Probably don’t need it at this point in time but it’s never too early to get ready for the next standard in WIFI.

    Reply
    • I am curious about your projected change. I too have 2 X GT16000 routers wired and as you know you get 1 x 2.4 , 2 x 5 and 1 x 6e.

      If we get the Pro model which has 2 X 7 radios (instead of 2 x 5) how does the second 5 Ghz band continue to work or can they be mapped to the same SSID ? I have split workloads across the 2 x 5 radios (different SSIDs)

      I was eyeing no NON pro as the most compatible version with the GTAX16000’s . Appreciate your input.

      Reply
      • I have a GT-BE98 Pro with 10G backhaul to an AXE16000. It appears you can max out at quad band Smart Connect: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz-1, 5 GHz-2, and 6 GHz, OR 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz (not sure which of the two on the AXE16000 is chosen), 6 GHz-1, and 6 GHz-2.

        Reply
        • I’m running the BE98 Pro on (latest current public firmware as of today 05-15-20204) 3.0.0.6.102_34491, ET12 on 3.0.0.4.388_24542, and GT-AXE16000 on 3.0.0.4.388_24329. I am able to use all bands on all devices as part of Smart Connect.

          However, each device is limited to its own native SSID broadcast count limit. In other words, the mesh nodes can’t do as many SSIDs for things like guest networks (with MLO) as the BE98 pro. That said, they are all able to utilize all their bands for the same SSID and at least 1 additional. MLO can be even be used on the BE98 Pro as part of a MESH network while the other other devices don’t support MLO but are broadcasting the same SSID on all bands

          IDK if this is a firmware change, but I suspect it is. It may be worth going in to see if you can update firmware and set up a 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz-1, 5 GHz-2, 6 GHz-1, and 6 GHz-2 configuration (if it didn’t happen automatically) if you’re interested in that.

          Reply
  20. Hi Dong ,in my opinion seems to be more interesting the non PRO variant. Here in Italy, the BE98 is currently available on amazon at 771€.
    My 10G symmetric fiber coming last Saturday, and I’m thinking/waiting to buy the BE98 or the down priced GT-AXE16000 actually at 480€ (second hand Amazon warehouse). What’s your advice?? Thank you and have a nice Christmas!

    Reply
    • In EU my understanding is governing body analogous to our FCC have only released the lower 600 MHz of 6 GHz band hence why non-Pro models are diverted there first, (similar to why TP-Link not making BE95 available there yet). Hats off to the FCC for being quicker to release both upper and lower segments quickly…

      Reply
      • Thanks Jesse. Does anyone know if the EU will update its regs anytime soon such that the Pro model becomes available.
        Also, I have a now 6 year old RT-AX88U (got it just as wifi 6 was coming out so has served me well). I guess I will re-purpose this as a network extender and use the BE98 for the main house router. Is it worth waiting for the BE98 Pro or shall I just go with the regular BE98 ?

        Reply
  21. Nice specs. Now that I’ve moved from an older Asus to a Verizon CR1000a (I found for $85 on eBay) I miss it. I will definitely be picking one of these up once the price comes down to reasonable levels.

    The one big advantage of 6GHz is that I occupy that bandwidth to myself (as opposed to 5GHz which is overcrowded). I realize it won’t stay that way forever, but it should be relatively uncrowded for at least the next few years.

    Reply
  22. WiFi 7 seems like really cool tech especially with MLO. But At these high prices is it really worth considering ASUS anymore ? You can build Ubiquiti setup with a few access points for that kind of money. One router is not enough to cover a whole home at maximum speeds especially with floors and obstructions in the way. And 6 GHz will only operate at the highest MCS (QAM) levels when the SNR is good. The further away you are then 6 GHz will not do you as much good.
    I have started dabbling with unifi/ubiquiti and I found it much easier to set up and deploy than ASUS AiMesh. Clients roam just fine between nodes. The key is channel plan the frequencies and power levels of the various radios. I think I will wait to see what unifi/ubiquiti releases on the WiFi 7 side before I consider one of these ultra expensive ASUS WiFi 7 routers.

    Reply
    • Asus routers are NOT ultra expensive if you look into other brands, like Netgear, eero, or Linksys. The company likely will release lower-tier and more affordable models next year. Ubiquiti is quite different, it’s more for business users, and generally slow in adopting new Wi-Fi standards.

      Reply
      • If you don’t think $800 for one router isn’t ultra expensive then with all due respect you are part of the problem. Part of the marketing machine.

        You should consider steering consumers toward solutions that will improve their quality of life not siphon hundreds of dollars away for a subpar experience.

        We know 6 GHz doesn’t penetrate obstructions as well as 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. So for consumers living in a large space, a one router solution will have subpar WiFi in some locations. And 6 GHz won’t save them either. I hear it all the time on zoom and teams calls. People dropping in and out can’t hear them speak all because they’re too far away from their one router and don’t realize. A meshed / multiple access point system would be a much better solution than a single $800 router. So rather than saying I have the fastest router with the newest technology (that’s not even yet fully ratified) on the market, how about considering is this $800 really worth it when other solutions (such as multiple access points) exist. What is the opportunity cost of giving ASUS $800 for this router? What do you give up ?

        Anyways, thank you for your time. And good luck.

        Reply
        • I said Asus routers were not ultra expensive compared to other brands. And this one is indeed not for what it has considering the cost of Multi-Gig switches in general. And nobody forces you to buy it. There are other options.

          Please don’t tell me about me whom you clearly know nothing about. Plus I didn’t ask. But I’ll take your good luck wish.

          Reply
        • Unfortunately the $ isn’t quite what it used to be, and who knows how weak it will continue to get…

          It is expensive in my opinion for what it is. And I do recall my wife complaining about the $699.99 + tax I spent on our AXE16000 when I could find it/when it first became available at my local Micro Center.

          Now the AXE16000 has dropped in price $100, and that is what I wish to point out. Eventually as newer/higher models come out, this one will become more and more affordable. Check out prices on the RT-AX89X as an example.

          Reply
          • This comment has 0 value for this review that shows off what the device can do and the tech. Not to mention berating the reviewer by attempting to take everything they say out of context for the sake of your bias against the product itself when they have 0 control over this. Most of the other routers in the same category are the same cost if not more + Additional services.

    • Not sure why you would say that unifi/ubiquiti is easier to setup than Asus mesh; plus, they have had lots of security issues in the past, they are SUPER slow to update/release/ship new products, they are very finicky for people who want to just get things setup and forget it, so comparing Asus to Ubiquity stuff is like comparing Apples to Sushi; nothing like each other, and not targeted to the same marketplace

      Reply

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