Asus RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U Review: A Pair of Excellent Little Wi-Fi 6 AiMesh Performers

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Despite coming in two slightly different retail boxes, the Asus RT-AX3000 and the RT-AX58U are essentially the same routers.

The Asus RT-AX3000 (as well as its RT-AX58U variant) is among the most affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers in the market, and that’s the least interesting thing about it.

This little Wi-Fi machine delivers a lot more than its compact design suggests. It has a ton of useful features and the support for the venerable 160 MHz channel bandwidth. Featuring Asus’s AiMesh, you can use a couple of hardware units as (part of) a versatile Wi-Fi mesh system.

READ MORE:  AiMesh Review: Asus's Journey to Fast Wi-Fi and Excellent Coverage

On the downside, as a mid-tier router, the RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U doesn’t have the power of its more expensive dual-band cousins, like the RT-AX88U or the RT-AX89X. But comparing with similarly-specced and priced counterparts, it’s an easy winner.

For those living in a medium or smaller home, the RT-AX3000, as well as the RT-AX56U, is worth their sub-$200 price tag. And if you wonder which to get — in case you have the option to pick — either will do. They are exactly the same.

Dong’s note: This review, first published on April 6, 2020, was initially about RT-AX3000. On May 6, I updated it — based on questions and requests from readers — to include the performance of the RT-AX58U as a single router as well as part of an AiMesh system formed by the two.

ASUS RT-AX3000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

$179.99
8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • 160 MHz channel support
  • Fast and reliable performance
  • Ton of useful features with excellent AiMesh support
  • Full web interface and well-design mobile app
  • Compact design, wall-mountable

Cons

  • No multi-gig port or Link Aggregation
  • Modest hardware specs
  • Relatively short Wi-Fi range
  • The Parental Control feature could use some improvement

Asus RT-AX3000 vs. RT-AX58U: A tale of two identical twins

The RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U are both AX3000-rated Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) routers. They have the top speed on the 5GHz band of 2400 Mbps and the 2.4 GHz, 600 Mbps. In other words, again, you can call both AX3000 routers.

So the RT-AX3000’s name makes things a bit confusing, while the RT-AX58U uses Asus’s traditional naming convention. What’s important, however, is the fact the two are of exactly the same hardware. They are not a similar case to TP-Link’s Archer AX3000 and Archer AX50, which are indeed two different routers. Asus itself has assured me of this in more ways than one.

Still, to make sure, in testing, I even tried flashing RT-AX58U with the RT-AX300’s firmware, and then the other way around, and that worked. Though the routers’ model names remained the same, the flashing went through without a hitch, and both functioned normally afterword.

Asus told me that the only reason for two separate model names is the fact the AX58U is a Best Buy exclusive router in the U.S. while the RT-AX3000 is more of a generic version. So if you want to blame Best Buy for this, I don’t blame you.

There you have it. Again, these two are the same routers.

Asus RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U: A compact traditional design that packs a punch

You’ll be a little surprised getting either router out of the packaging, they are much smaller than the photos on the box suggest, easily among the most compact Wi-Fi 6 routers.

The two router’s boxes do show two different model names, Asus RT-AX3000 vs. Asus RT-AX58U. The fact the box of the latter shows a seal of Broadcom while that of the former doesn’t might suggest they use two different Wi-Fi chips. That’s just not the case. They both use the BCM6750 1.5Ghz Triple-Core CPU.

Traditional design, non-removable antennas, wall-mountable

Both routers take the shape of a traditional design, with four antennas sticking up from its back. These antennas are not removable but you can swivel them around.

In between the antennas, you’ll find the four usual Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port. There’s also a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) port to host a storage device, a printer, or a supported mobile cellular device.

Neither router has a multi-gig port, nor do they support Link Aggregation. However, both manage to offer Dual-WAN and allows users to turn one of their LAN ports or the USB port into a second WAN port.

On the underside, there are four little rubber feet for the routers to stay put on a surface. But you can also mount them on a wall.

Asus RT-AX3000 vs. Asus RT-AX58U: photos

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech While the box of the RT-AX58U is slightly different (with a Broadcom seal), the router is the same as the RT-AX3000.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Try to tell them apart if you can.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The routers’ four antennas are not removable, but you can swivel them into different directions.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The label on the underside is the only thing to can tell the RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U apart.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Both routers are very compact, among the smallest on the market.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U has the usual four LAN and one WAN Gigabit network ports. It also has a 5Gbps USB port.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech You’ll find an array of tiny status LED lights on the front of the router.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX3000 (or maybe the RT-AX58U?) next to the RT-AX92U.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Here it is next to the TP-Link AX50.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Look how small the RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U is next to the RT-AX88U.

The RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U’s hardware specifications vs. competitors’

Modest hardware, dual-stream Wi-Fi 6

The RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U shares the same specs as that of the Netgear RAX40 and TP-Link AX50. These three mid-range Wi-Fi 6 routers are direct rivals of one another.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech With the latest firmware, Asus RT-AX3000 has an improved QoS feature includes a new category for Video Conferencing. Just in time for those needing to work from home.

Standard Asus feature set

Like most Asus routers, starting with the RT-AC86U, the RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U comes with what I call the Asus core router feature set, which is the most generous on the market.

If you have used an Asus router before, you’ll feel right at home with this pair. Specifically, you can expect the following.

  • Universal setting restoration: Asus routers can use the setting backup files on one another. As a result, when you upgrade from one to another, just back up the old router’s settings to a file, then restore it to the new router. Most of your network’s configurations — including those of an AiMesh system — will remain the same with the new router. Note, though, that it’s always better to set up the router from scratch to avoid possible setting conflicts.
  • A robust full web interface: Asus’s web user interface is one of my favorites. It’s intuitive and allows for in-depth customization. But the interface can be overwhelming for novice users.
  • Helpful Asus mobile app: Alternatively, users can use the Asus mobile app to manage and set up their router. It’s a well-designed app with decent access to the router. You can also turn on the Dynamic DNS-based remote access without having to have an account with Asus.
  • AiProtection: This feature includes a free-for-life real-time online protection powered by Trend Micro and a decent Parental Control engine. I’ve used AiProtection for years, with many different routers, and it proved to be quite useful. Parental Control, on the other hand, could use some improvement. The way Asus define categories for web-filtering is a bit vague, and you can’t block a specific website, which is a significant shortcoming.
  • Adaptive QoS: A quality of service engine that allows you to prioritize Internet traffic to support different applications or services. Adaptive QoS requires minimum work from the user and is effective. It also includes Bandwidth Monitor in case you want to know who uses the most Internet at all and Web History that shows web sites a client has visited.
  • Traffic Analyzer: A set of tools and statistics in case you want to find out what’s been going on in the network in a set amount of time, and in real-time.
  • 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 also use the router’s USB ports to host printers or select USB cellular modems.
  • Frequent firmware releases: Asus regularly pushes out new firmware updates to improve its routers. For the most part, this is a good thing. However, once in a while, new firmware can cause issues. In this case, you should downgrade the router to the previous stable version and wait for the next release. (Asus routers don’t auto-update firmware by themselves.)
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX3000, as well as the RT-AX58U, has a standard feature set as most Asus routers. And like others, its Parental Control feature could use some improvement.

AiMesh support and other features

On top of that, the RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U also features AiMesh. It can work as the main router or a node when coupled with any AiMesh router from Asus. The router can work as a VPN server or a VPN client.

It also includes some nifty networking tools, including the Wake-on-LAN function which will come in handy if you want to turn on a local device via its interface. I’ve used this tool many times on my Synology servers.

It’s worth noting that the RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U doesn’t have all the features you can collectively find in Asus routers. Notably, it doesn’t include any game-specific features.

But in all, the router has plenty more compared to those of the same physical size and hardware specs. In fact, it’s comparable to Asus’s top of the line dual-band router, the RT-AX89X, in terms of features and settings.

Standard setup process

Setting up the RT-AX58U / RT-AX3000 is the same as that of any Asus router and similar to the way you do all routers that has a web interface.

Specifically, from a connected computer, just point a browser to the router’s default IP address (192.168.50.1) or router.asus.com, and you’ll run into a wizard that walks you through the process step by step. After that, the rest is self-explanatory.

I was able to set the RT-AX3000 up in less than 20 minutes, as a standalone router, including the time to update it to the latest firmware. The RT-AX58U took even shorter since I just uploaded the backup file of the RT-AX3000.

Asus AX3000 routers: Excellent performance

Both the RT-AX3000 and the RT-AX58U worked well in my testing with almost exactly the same performance throughputs.

One thing is for sure; both proved to be formidable contenders among themselves and their peers, namely the Netgear RAX40 and the TP-Link AX50.

Note: Initially with the launch firmware, I found that RT-AX58U had some issues with certain Wi-Fi 5 clients, similar to the case of the RT-AX92U. Specifically, my test PCE-AC88 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 adapter, also made by Asus, had a hard time connecting to it. However, with the latest firmware, this was no longer an issue.

Fast mid-range Wi-Fi speeds

Both routers support the 160 MHz channel width and my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients had no problems connecting to them, as standalone routers, at 2.4 Gbps within a short distance.

However, since there’s no multi-gig LAN port, the data rates of my test methodology will still cap at 1 Gbps. Nonetheless, both routers still delivered quite impressive and almost the same sustained speeds.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

With 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients, at less than 10 feet (3 m) away, both routers averaged faster than 880 Mbps. And when I moved the client to some 40 feet (12) away, they still scored almost 750 Mbps. Both were faster than the Netgear and TP-Link counterparts.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The routers did well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too. At close range, my 4×4 test client got a sustained speed of 770 Mbps with the RT-AX3000 and almost 780 Mbps wit the RT-AX58U. Farther out, my 3×3 device drew higher than 530 Mbps. Again both were quite impressive compared to their peers.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

On the 2.4 GHz band, I test Wi-Fi 6 routers using only 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients, and both the RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U did quite well, averaging almost 170 Mbps and more than 130 Mbps for close and long ranges, repetitively. Again faster than their direct competitors.

Asus RT-AX3000 + RT-AX58U = a viable AiMesh solution

When testing the RT-AX3000 solo more than a month ago, I tried it as an AiMesh node with the GT-AX11000, and it worked quite well. This second time around, since I also had the RT-AX58U on hand, it only made sense to test them out as a system of their own.

And the two didn’t disappoint. It was easy to combine them into a mesh system, just like any other AiMesh routers. And the performance was quite good, too.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Using the RT-AX3000 as the main router, I could easily detect the RT-AX58U (at default factory settings) available as an AiMesh node.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech It took about a minute to add the RT-AX58U to be part of the RT-AX3000’s AiMesh network.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech After that, the two worked well together.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech For good measure, I also tried the system the other way round, with the RT-AX58U being the main router and the RT-AX3000 as a wireless satellite node. It worked exactly the same.

Since they are dual-band routers, there’s no dedicated backhaul band — devices connected to the satellite unit will get slower performances compared to those connected to the router. That’s just the nature of any dual-band wireless mesh systems.

One thing to note, though, in a wireless mesh setup, for some reason, my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients only connected at 1.2 Gbps (instead of 2.4 Gbps) at the satellite’s end.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

But overall, the system delivered speed fast enough to take care of any typical residential broadband connection in full.

By the way, the two also worked well via a wired backhaul. And in this case, I got the same performance, from either unit, as when they worked as a standalone router.

Reliable performance with a decent range

Like the RT-AX3000, the RT-AX58U passed my three-day stress test with no disconnection at all. And both routers had the same coverage. If you have a medium home of round 1800 ft² (167 m²) or smaller, either will be able to take care of it when placed in the middle.

As a system, depending on how you arrange them, the two can handle about 3000 ft² (279 m²) to 4000 ft² (372m²) easily. Considering their Wi-Fi specs, it’s best to use them with wired backhaul, however.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX3000 works very well as a wired AiMesh node.

Modest USB-based NAS performance

The RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U shared the same network-attached storage performance. Considering their hardware specs and the lack of a multi-gig port, you couldn’t expect much from them, by the way. But they worked quite well as a mini NAS server.

When coupled with the Micron X8, via a wired Gigabit connection, the two delivered sustained copy speeds of some 65 MB/s and 44 MB/s for reading and writing, respectively.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

These weren’t terrible, and faster than the Netgear RAX40, or the TP-Link Archer AX50. Still, you should definitely consider a real NAS server if you want to get serious about network storage.



Conclusion

Considering there are currently only 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients, the Asus RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U fits in the sweet spot where it will deliver the best bang for your buck, thanks to the rich feature set.

While the router has less bandwidth than higher-end options, it has enough to deliver almost full Gigabit Internet to a couple of Wi-Fi 6 clients at the same time. And that means it can handle any household with a typical broadband connection with ease.

That said, if you live in a small home and want to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, either of the two is an excellent choice. And if you have a large house that’s wired with network cables, get the couple of them to form a real mesh system. You won’t regret it.

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About the Author: Dong Ngo

Hello! My name is Dong Ngo. Technology is my passion, and I do know it. | Follow me on Twitter, or Facebook!

99 Comments

  1. Hi Dong, thank you so much for your great reviews and advice. I live in a not so big apartment and my equipment is positioned centrally, so most new routers give good signal in all corners of my apartment. I currently use D-link DIR880-L.
    However, it often happens that we have 2 devices streaming internet video (YouTube, Netflix, HBO…), plus downloading some torrents and, most importantly, copying data back and forth from my Time Capsule (connected via LAN to the router) or another HDD connected via USB to the router. As you can imagine, my current D-link is not very happy about it, so everything get really slow.
    Now, I almost decided buying Linksys EA9300, as I read it has really good network storage performance, but then I read this AX3000 review of yours and now I can’t make a decision. I mean, I’d like a future proof router (for WiFi 6 devices), but then again, I’m also kinda OK with AC network if I get great performance.
    What do you think? AX3000 or EA9300? Or something completely different?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for the reply! I did some debugging and determined that the disconnects only occur in WPA2/WPA3 compatibility mode (apparently my dated MacBook does not handle key rotation under WPA3 well). Thought I’d follow-up in case anyone else is facing similar issues. Going to return the C4000 and stick with the RT-AX58U as that seems like the more future proof choice.

    Best,
    Janus

  3. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for your great and detailed reviews!

    I picked up the RT-AX58U from Best Buy at $160, thinking it was a good deal. Was excited about it at first: speeds are pretty good (but I came from a low-end Netgear router, so I was easy to impress), and the management interface seems nice (aside from the fact that the “Router Security Assessment” seems bugged — it keeps reporting that I haven’t changed the default credentials, even though I have).

    However, after a week’s use or so, I noticed that my MacBook gets kicked off the Wi-Fi every hour (exactly at the hour mark) for about 15-30 seconds (time it takes to reconnect). This seems to coincide with when the Group Key is rotated (default value is 3600s; I confirmed by reducing to 120s which resulted in disconnects every two minutes). Apparently this issue has been present for 5+ years, and one hack is to disable key rotation, but that’s a security hazard, so a no-go for me. Do you know of any other workarounds to this issue?

    I picked up a TP-Link Archer C4000 today (at $171), hoping it’ll be more stable. Unfortunately it seems like it’s slower than the RT-AX58U: comparing the speeds achieved on non-Wi-Fi6 devices (e.g. my mid 2014 MacBook Pro 13-inch, Galaxy S9+), it seems like the RT-AX58U consistently achieved better speeds than the C4000. I was expecting it to be similar, or that the C4000 would be better.

    What’s your opinion on these two routers stacked against each other, given that they’re pretty much the same price?

    Thanks again for your great articles!

    1. That’s odd, Janus. You can try setting the key rotation to zero. I wouldn’t worry too much about security, the chance of you losing the Wi-Fi password by your telling it to somebody else is much higher. Hopefully, this will be fixed via new firmware. The two you mentioned are routers of different standards, so they are apples to oranges.

  4. Thank you. I had an ASUS AC3200 router which suddenly died. Since it did not support AIMesh I had to have various repeaters to get a decent signal to our second floor. I recently ordered an AX89X to replace the AC3200 but apparently this unit is on a long backorder so in the meantime I put an AC88U which I purchased last year (but never used) into service as the main router and acquired an AC66U to be used as a node. With the assistance of your articles the new system is now working great (AC66U is on a wired backhaul). So thank you again and I will be closely looking at your website.

  5. In order to set up an ASUS Aimesh system, do I have to have WPS turned on? For security purposes it has always been turned off on my main router and I do not want to enable it if I do not have to.

  6. Ya i’d love to daisy-chain them but I can’t get a network cable up the second floor (yet). So only the basement one would be wired to the main one. The second floor node would have to be wireless for the foreseeable future. Thank you so much for your time and advice Dong!

  7. Many thanks for the quick response! Follow-up question:

    Is there an ASUS Wifi 6 router I could get that could be the main router and work well with the XT8s as nodes (or are you saying the XT8 is one of the best ASUS main routers available?

  8. Is it possible/recommended to use the AX58u as the main router and the two XT8s as nodes?

    My set up is limited: Second floor, main floor, basement and I must put the main router on the main floor in a corner because of wiring. I have ethernet to the basement only and not the second floor.

    Right now I have the two XT8s only. One is on the main floor attached to the modem and the other is on the second floor. It seems like the clients mostly prefer the one on the second floor, which I feel is because it is placed better than the main router (which is unfortunately in a corner of the house). Wifi in the basement is “ok” but I was hoping for better. SO my desire is to put the main router on the main floor, a wired node in the basement and then a wireless node on the second floor.

    As an aside, the XT8 seems to be working great now — but I too am having client dropping issues on the 5GHZ-1 band. I am using my computers/phones on the 5GHZ-2 band with a different ssid and having no issues — although I acknowledge it’s taking away from the dedicated backhaul for the unwired node.

    1. Possible, yes. Recommended, no. You should use one of the XT8 as the main router and the AX58U as a node. That said, you can just add a RT-AX58U to your current setup now, Dan.

  9. Hi Dong. Great review! My IT support guy is recommending this router, but he is not sure I can USB tether my MiFi 8800L to it. Are you able to answer that question? Thanks a lot!

  10. Thanks Dong, I have just done the ethernet backhaul setup for them with one XT8 as the primary node and both the Ax58u and the other XT8 as nodes. they works perfectly. credit to your review on the XT8 too! Much Appreciated.

  11. Currently have a rt-ac86u ( master ) ad 3 xrt-ac68u (nodes) (reflashed Tmobile 1900 routers) All running merlin firmware for a very wide 3800 sq ranch. As time and wifi tech has expanded i have expanded and for the most part unscathed. I do have a problem I have been unable to solve.

    I bought the rt-ax3000/58u , its ready go. I am hoping that someone can help me troubleshoot a issue with my cell phone/voIP calls(wifi calling)

    my cell defaults to wifi calling well because the signal for verizon is sketchy in my house. The house is newer contruction circa 1996. The router 86u is high near the ceiling top in the center of house. The nodes are connected with back-haul moca 2.0 speeds about 1000mgb/s.

    My problem is if i use the SSID from the asus router and walk from room to room, my wifi call blinks out ( loss of volume back and forth. ) most times if i stay still it recovers. I attribute this to handshaking and moving from one node to the other.

    I setup a separate linksys router i got at a garage sale ea9500 ( a beast). Just for my cell phone.

    My question is there some tweak or is the wifi call issue just a reality with mesh networking?

    I will let you know if the change up to rt-ax3000 makes a difference.
    sorry if i hijacked the review.

    1. Stop moving around, Tom. 🙂 Seriously, you’re supposed to stay at one spot even when you have strong cell signals. There’s no system or router that’ll make Wi-Fi calling better if you keep moving around. Check out this post for tweaking, but ultimately, if you keep moving around, there’s no fix. Your current setup seems pretty good to me — smart move with the Merlin firmware on the T-Mobile router!

  12. Thanks for the great review! A quick question. I need to replace the router in my home. I am considering this router versus the older AC86U given that prices are similar where I live. It will be used to serve WiFi 5 clients only. I have read your review on the AC86U and the figures seem to show that it outperforms the AX3000 with respect to range and speed. Would it be wise to purchase the older router for my needs?

  13. Not finding NSS on the wireless tab nor on the professional tab as your review mentioned. Not sure if that is gone now that the Mesh is created but I can certainly go through the steps again of resetting it to see if any different. I currently don’t have any wifi 6 devices, just was thinking future proofing with the purchase. I reread your review since it had been a month since I read the first time and ordered since the 89X was on backorder everywhere. I’m now understanding a bit more the bit in the review about the backhaul but still I’m using it as Asus advertises it should work.

  14. that would be Operation Mode? I have 5 options there and mine is set the first, listed as the default option.
    Wireless router mode / AiMesh Router mode (Default)
    Access Point(AP) mode / AiMesh Router in AP mode
    Repeater mode
    Media Bridge
    AiMesh Node

    I noticed in screenshots of the Asus router browser dashboard, some previous system that I believe was the Zen had settings and stuff for the AiMesh to make adjustments. I’ve not come across much for setting for Mesh with 89X.

    1. No, on the WiFi settings of the 89X, Clif. Make sure you use Auto for all value and turn off NSS. I mentioned that in the review of the RT-AX89X. You might want to reset the 86u, set the 89X in compatible mode, then add it again.

  15. I don’t have a wired backhaul set up. Would have to run the wiring through the attic or something to span the two rooms separating the two routers. I’d prefer to have the mesh system work so I can have the 5Ghz works through out the house, right now the 89X is giving me a poor 2.4Ghz in my office and one of my kids rooms at the other end of the house. There have been ZERO issues while running just the 89X just don’t know why so many problems once the mesh is being set up.

  16. I purchased the AX89X and two AC86U routers to utilize the AiMesh set up. After researching I heard good things about the Asus AX89X router and figured with the wifi 6, it had some good future proofing. The 89X router does do as it says and covers my entire house with one router but when I connect one of the AC86U routers is when I start having issues. Not right away, the problem I’m experiencing is not with the initial set up. Link a node to the main router and devices connect to and I’m getting great speeds through the mesh. The 86U node router will at least once a day just say its offline. Pull the power cord and put it back in a boom, back to working again. Or if I have a device connected to the node and everything is working good and I put it down to take the dog for a walk, when I come back, I have a connection to the node router but no internet connection. Some time toggling the devices wifi off and back on will fix the internet connection. Some times it requires restarting the router even through it doesn’t show as being offline to fix it. Seems most times it is some but not all devices connected to the node that are having a problem.

    Last night I was watching a movie on my iPad which was connected to the node and half way through I had just lost my connection and had to toggle wifi on and off to get the connection back. So while at first I thought it was it just couldn’t make the reconnection after sleeping I am having an issue with an active connection. There shouldn’t need to be this much restarting, toggling, powering off to get the mesh to work. This set up is replacing the two Apple Airport Extremes I’ve been using for years.

    With Covid it hasn’t helped that their call support is down, text support has been unhelpful and I’ve done enough tickets they are trying to figure out how to call me for support.

  17. HI, i have been searching and reading articles on wireless routers setup during this WFH period.. your post is by far the easiest and clearest to understand.. i would very much appreciate if you could assist to clear more doubt on this.. since budget is an issue.. i’m thinking of using AX58U and a pair of the XT8 with ethernet backhaul mesh connection.. is it workable?

  18. Dear Doug, currently I have an ASUS rt ac66r. It’s getting a bit older and think it maybe starting to have some issues. Do you think the Rt ax3000 is a good replacement. I get decent coverage currently and was hoping to use the old one as a mesh until it completely dies to fill in the small gaps. Thoughts?

  19. @Ozzy – If I may ask, where are you finding the AX92U for a slightly cheaper price than the AX58U? I’d jump on that in a heartbeat if that’s the case.

  20. Hi Dong,

    First of all, your reviews are easily understandable and thanks for the detailed review. I was happy to read your article in the About you section. I was trying to find a best router for my work @home situation during this Covid pandemic and came across this site.

    Its really hard for me to select between the Asus RT-AX58U and Netgear RAX45 (AX6-4300) model. My requirement is that it needs to have a nice coverage for a large home (~ 3000 sq.ft) and it needs to have excellent content share using the USB connection. Obviously, it needs to support multiple devices across the home, if the router installed in the basement.

    Can you please suggest me a best between these two? or Would I need to go for Mesh WIFI system to support my need?
    Please advice. Thanks much !!!

    1. Let me make it easy for you, Jai: Neither will work. :). But seriously, the fact that you’re going to place the router in the basement means even if you get the most powerful router (neither is), chances are it won’t work for your needs. For more, check out this post (the Wi-Fi signal strength and hardware placement parts).

  21. Hi Dong, I really want to buy an Asus AiMesh but there is an issue that stops me. I really need a guest wifi network in all my house. But in several reviews i read that the guest wifi is only available on the main router and not on the nodes. Is that bug fixed in the ax58ul ax92u of xt8?

    Thanks.

  22. Hi. thats for the TUF Gaming AX-3000. I was the one that left the comment on that other review site if you saw it. It’s unclear if the AX3000 and 58U are identical or different still until someone actually opens up a standard AX-3000.

    What I did notice from Dong’s pics is that the 58u.. at least for the American version is made in Taiwan while the AX-3000 is made in Vietnam, but this could vary as i’ve Chinese made 58u’s for other markets like Europe.

  23. Hi Dong, I just bought a RT-AX58U but saw I could get a RT-AX92U slightly cheaper. Would you recommend i return the AX58U for the AX92U? I get good coverage throughout my house with the AX52U so I assume the AX92U coverage would be even better, with no need to mesh it. I would have to run the AX92U with the antennas folded in as it would be wall mounted behind a sofa. Would that hinder the signal? Any advice would be great here !

  24. The Asus RT-AX58U and the RT-AX3000 are not identical hardware-wise and the difference can be seen on the PCB, where the latter has a couple of Skyworks front-end modules for the 2.4GHz wireless chipset

    2.4GHz in RT-AX58U is non amplified (poor performance).

  25. Yes. I got the same insert in my box recommending driver upgrade. Had done so. Also the problem occurred two evenings in a row at almost the same time which is really weird. Because it worked great the rest of the time. But (touch wood) it has not happened again in the past day…

  26. K H Tan…. Hi, I am a user of the AX3000 (Same as the AX58U. I had the same problem in the beginning used of the router. For almost a week or more my wifi failed to work. It was the compatible issues with some Intel WIFI adapters. The unit i bought came with a noticed to “upgrade Driver for some version of Intel WIFI adapters”. I upgraded it and it seems to work better. Also, it helps to update your firmware to the latest version.

    The Realtek wifi adapters seems to be okay.

  27. Hi Dong, really appreciate your reviews, especially for the RT-AX89X. We have a single story 4200 sq. ft L-shaped home and are online nearly all the time. Our Netgear extender was failing, so we upgraded our Netgear AC3200/extender combination to the combination of Asus RT-AX89X and RT-AX58U (mesh). This combination has been running for a a month in now and we’ve had zero issues running with Wifi 5 clients. The RT-AX58U services the back of the house plus the back yard. At some point, we’ll drop a wire between the two routers, but for right now, we are super pleased and a lot more knowledgeable thanks to you. Thank you.

  28. Dong,

    Your reviews are awesome. Thanks! I purchased 2 GTAX11100s a few weeks ago. I’m running a wireless backhaul. Connected via Ethernet, I’m near 1 gig. But, no matter where I am with WiFi, I can’t hit 500 megs. I’d love any suggestions you may have?

    Thanks!

  29. I bought the RT-AX58U in Singapore and have been using it for about a week. Definitely better range than my Portal mesh set-up, even with just ONE unit of the AX58U. There is no Best Buy here and I am also certain that the AX58U is the same as the AX3000.

    I do have a curious problem with the unit. Two evenings in a row, at about the same time, the WiFi would lock up and stop working. The wired connections are still fine and even a secondary router attached to the AX58U would continue to work, but connecting via WiFi to the AX58U would simply fail. No reason. Fixed by a reboot. But it really shouldn’t be doing that. I will be monitoring to see if it happens today. I set the router to reboot every early morning before 6 am, to try to prevent strange problems, so I’m rather miffed by this. I hope it clears up.

  30. By the Way, The RAM usage on the AX3000 is at 80-90% most of the time. Even higher at 97% when it is reading and writing to the USB HDD that is attached to it. Is that normat? I remembered before the latest firmware update, my RAM usage was low 70s and reached high 80s when running the HDD. Hope Dong can help shed some light. Thank you

  31. I currently have the Asus RT3200, which is dying. My home is about 2000sq/ft and is wired with cat 6. I would like to replace the RT3200 router with the Asus RT-AC88U and use the AX3000, as a wired node. Would this be the best setup for that price point? Thanks!

  32. Hi Dong Ngo,

    Sounds more like the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 is something is should go for. Wired Backhaul is just not possible at this time (would have to run cables and open walls for that). Something like 2 AX11000s is something out of the price range. Thanks for the advice

  33. Dong Ngo,

    If you had to recommend a unit for performance in mesh network, what would you choose (budget not an issuse)? If there are budget constraints, do you have any recommendations as well on that front?

  34. Dong Ngo,

    Recently had to replace my Asus RT-AC86U because the 2.4GHz band died. Went with 2 AX3000s. Wondering if you think it would be better to go with a AX88U (main) and a AX3000 (mesh unit) instead for my main network or stick with the 2 AX3000s? Have a fairly large house and trying to extend the wifi as much as possible throughout the house. Don’t have wired backhaul unfortunately… Don’t have a lot of wifi-6 clients, but want to be ready for that upgrade for the future. Let me know what you think or if anyone else has advice. Thanks

  35. Will try to suss it out some more. But the overall naming seems to be that Asus will plaster an “AX” or “AC” and a numerical value, as a shortform of the capabilities of the device, over and above the actual *model* of the device. BTW, since you are online, let me ask you. Between ZenWifi AX (XT8); a pair of AX58U, the AX92U AiMesh pair; or the AX88U… to set up a mesh, I’m thinking of doing a pair of AX58U. Which of these other options would outperform that? Wired backhaul. Fibre service is 1Gbps. Thanks much for your excellent work and whatever guidance you can provide.

  36. I am pretty sure the RT-AX3000 and the RT-AX58U are the same devices minus the WPA3 support for the former. Did you see any chip or antenna difference? I am not entirely sure how you could have seen a performance difference between the two devices.

  37. Hi Dong, thanks for the great site! I have a 2200 square foot home, and am looking to upgrade to either the Archer A20, or the Asus RT-AX3000 (no mesh setup or other units, just the router). which do you think would provide greater coverage?

  38. Thanks 🙂 And just to be sure, I can get a pair of RT-AX92U at the same price of two AX-3000. What will best the best choice, since I have a wired backhaul?

    The RT-AX92U have a better hardware, but I read your review of this router and it was a little buggy… I don’t know if a firmware update are fixed this issue when a wifi-5 client use the 5GHz-2 (wifi6) band? And it’s weird that the 2.4-GHz and the 5-GHz-1 bands are only on wifi-5…

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. If you’re aware of the 92U’s issues, I’d say get it. It needs some work but it’ll work well in a wired setup, too. And you have an extra 5GHz-only network.

  39. I forget , for my wireless clients, I have 3 laptop (Intel AX200NGW cards), cell phones, iPad, a Chromecast on each TV, but a use the Samsung app (wired) for Netflix and other HDR/4k movies. Oh, I have some appliances with wifi connexion (lol).

  40. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for all your great reviews 🙂 I justed buy this router and I like this performance. I will like to buy an other one because my house have 3 floors. All my floors and my pieces have 1 or 2 wired connection (cat6a). All my TV, PC, PS4 are wired. My second router will use to a wired connection.

    With this, a second AX3000 will be a good choice, or do you have a better choice for me? Or Replace this router and buy a set of RT-AX92U? Zenwifi AX? Or Keep this router and buy the RT-AX88U as primary router (overkill)?

    Thanks 🙂

  41. I have had this router for a couple days and I have had to reboot it at least twice a day. I have lifted up so it has good venting and still stops working. I have about 15 wireless connections and 4 wired connections. Is that too much for this router?

  42. Dong Ngo,

    So I guessed it is better to buy MESH WIFI…instead of ASUS AIMESH. But I heard so much positive AIMESH, and seem that 99% of AIMESH reviews were positive….but none about the “lousy” AIMESH.

    Now, I might not even want to get an AIMESH anymore. Frankly, I know ASUS won’t shoot themselves on the foot, having AIMSH and ZENMESH.

  43. Dong Ngo,

    Why on earth would ASUS create AIMESH that can’t used with WIRELESS MESH? Using Cable between the main and node doesn’t make any sense. I guessed these type of router aren’t make specifically for MESH, users should not buy it.

    A Tri Band AIMESH better I assuned.

    Thank you

    1. It CAN and it’ll work, Simon. It just a matter of degrees. If you just want to share a modest internet connection, your original plan will work out. Just don’t expect crazy speeds out of it.

  44. Wow… Thank you for reviewing the AX3000. I have been using the AX3000 for more than 2 weeks, The WIFI was good, especially after the latest Firmware (3.0.0.4.384-8591). Much improvement has been made for QOS which have very much improved for Video Streamings, Youtube etc.

    For me, I felt that the 2.4Gs are rather weak compared to some of the other ASUS routers. The 5Gs was excellent.

    You mentioned that AIMESH for AX3000 using wireless will get only half performance. Do you meant that AIMESH wifi for AX3000 will be weaker? and range worst?

    I was planning to get the RT-AX1800 as a Wireless Node, not sure if that will be worst or better.

    Any idea?

    1. Sure, Simon. Wireless mesh with dual-band broadcaster will result in severe signal loss. More on this here. So getting the RT-AX1800 as a node will work out technically, but for the best result, you need to use a network cable to connect the two.

  45. Just found the site! Love it! Thanks for the in depth information. I was wondering though what you would recommend – the RT-AX3000 or something else? I currently have a Peplink Surf SOHO. It worked fine on my 100 Mbps connection. However, I just upgraded to 400 Mbps. The Surf SOHO is limited to 120 Mbps throughput. My house is wired with Cat5e and those run to a switch in the basement. I currently only have one Wi-Fi 6 device (an iPhone 11) and am really in no hurry upgrade. Thanks!

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