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 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.
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 compared 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 the same hardware.
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 and part of an AiMesh system formed by the two.
Table of Contents
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 the same hardware.
They are not similar to the case of 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-AX3000’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 afterward.
Asus told me that the only reason for two separate model names is that 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 routers are of the same hardware. Note, though, that they might still be some differences at the firmware level.
In other words, as time goes by, Asus might choose to make one have (slightly) more or less than the other. In this case, it’s safer to get the RT-AX3000 since it’s more of a “world” version.
But if you use the Merlin firmware, which is the same for both routers, you’ll see that there’s no difference between the two.
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’ boxes show two different model names, Asus RT-AX3000 vs. Asus RT-AX58U. The fact that the latter box shows a seal of Broadcom while that of the former doesn’t might suggest they use two different Wi-Fi chips. That’s 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 their back. These antennas are not removable, but you can swivel them around.
You’ll find the four usual Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port between the antennas. 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 offer Dual-WAN and allow users to turn one of their LAN ports or the USB port into a second WAN port.
There are four little rubber feet on the underside 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
The RT-AX3000 vs RT-AX58U: Hardware specifications vs. competitors’
|Asus RT-AX3000||Netgear RAX40||TP-Link Archer AX50|
|Full Name||Asus RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U|
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
|NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 |
4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
|Archer AX50 AX3000 |
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
|Dimensions||8.82 x 6.06 x 6.3 in |
(224 x 154 x 160 mm)
|13.38 x 8.11 x 2.24 in |
(340 x 206 x 57 mm)
|10.2 × 5.3 × 1.5 in|
(260.2 x 135.0 x 38.6 mm)
|Weight||1.19 lbs (538 g)||1.32 lb (600 g)||1.24 lbs (.56 kg)|
|Hardware Specs||1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, |
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
|Dual-core CPU||Intel AnyWAN GRX350, |
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 |
|Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 |
|Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 |
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2×2 AX: Up to 2.4 Gbps|
|2×2 AX: Up to 2.4 Gbps|
|2×2 AX: Up to 2.4 Gbps|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|Wireless Security||WPA, WPA2, WPA3||WPA, WPA2, WPA3||WPA, WPA2|
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Netgear Nighthawk||TP-Link Tether|
|Web User Interface||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB Port||1x USB 3.0||1x USB 3.0||1x USB 3.0|
|Gigabit Port||4x LAN, 1x WAN||4x LAN, 1x WAN||4x LAN, 1x WAN|
|Link Aggregation||No||No||Yes (LAN 2 + LAN 3)|
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.
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
You can interchangeably restore the backup settings of most Asus Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 routers.
As a result, you won’t need to program the new router from scratch in an upgrade or replacement. Instead, most of your network’s configurations — including those of an AiMesh system — will migrate from the old router to the new one.
This feature is a huge optional time saver if you have many settings, such as IP reservation and port-forwarding entries.
Note, though, that it’s always better to set up the router from scratch to avoid possible setting conflicts. But I’ve personally used this feature countless times among Asus standalone routers and hardly ran into any issues.
Tip: After the migration, adjust applicable specific settings, such as the router model name, to make sure they match the new router and perform a deliberate backup and restore. This step will make the old setting “native” to the new router.
Exceptions: I generally test this feature on all Asus routers during the review process, and, so far, it didn’t work only in the case of the RT-AX89X and Blue Cave. These two won’t accept a backup file of any other model.
A robust web user interface
Asus is one of a few networking vendors that stays true to the web interface and doesn’t coerce users into a cloud-based web portal, which is excellent for those caring about privacy.
(All Asus routers allow remote management, which is turned off by default, via Dynamic DNS mentioned below.)
The interface allows access to a router’s tons of settings and features — some are listed below. Savvy networking enthusiasts will love that though it can be overwhelming for novice users.
Dynamic DNS (DDNS) is a relatively common feature of all home routers. It’s excellent for those wanting to dial home remotely via other advanced features, including remote access or VPNs.
What sets Asus’s Dynamic DNS apart is that the networking vendor also includes an entirely free DDNS domain — you won’t need to get a third-party one. On top of that, this domain also comes included with an SSL certificate.
That said, if you need DDNS, Asus is by far the best option. (Read more about DDNS in this post.)
Dynamic DNS: What it is and why it’s super useful
Standard setup process
Thanks to the web interface, all Asus router has the standard setup process, as I detailed in this post on building a home network from scratch.
However, here are the general steps:
- Connect your router’s WAN port to the Internet source, be it a modem, an existing gateway, or the Fiberoptic ONT. Turn it on.
- 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”.
- Open a browser and navigate to the router’s default IP address which is 192.168.50.1 (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 also use the Asus mobile app in step #3 if you use a phone or tablet instead of a computer. However, I recommend the web user interface even when you use a mobile device for the setup process.)
Helpful mobile app, no login account required
Again, the Asus mobile app works for both the setup process and ongoing management.
This app is common for all Asus routers and is quite comprehensive. It’s one of the best mobile apps for routers you can find on the market. But, still, it’s not as in-depth as the web interface.
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.
However, one thing to note is that using the app can inadvertently turn on or off specific settings that could cause the router to behave unexpectedly. In this case, you’ll have to reset the router and set it up from the beginning.
So, while this app is convenient and fun to use, it can cause issues if you mess around too much.
AiProtection and Parental Controls
The AiProtection is a feature that adds so much value to an Asus router. In some routers, this feature includes Parental Controls. In others, the latter has a section of its own.
But, among other things, AiProtection always includes Network Protection.
Free Network Protection
It includes a free-for-life real-time Network Protection powered by Trend Micro and a Parental Control engine.
Network Protection is designed to keep the entire local network safe. In many ways, it’s somewhat like a strip-down version of an add-on firewall, like the Firewalla or the subscription-based Armor from Netgear.
Still, for a free product, it’s excellent. I’ve used it for years on multiple networks, and it has proven effective against many malicious websites and malware. Don’t expect it as total protection (there’s no such thing!), but just a helping hand, and you’ll love it.
Generic Parental Controls
On the other hand, the Parental Controls portion has been a bit too rigid, in my opinion. You can only filter the web via pre-determined categories and the way Asus defines categories for web filtering is a bit vague.
On top of that, you can’t use it to block a particular website or keyword. This simplistic approach is not a huge deal, however, especially considering the fact there’s no tool that can provide effective Parental Controls other than a real parent, anyway.
While AiProtection is available in all Asus routers, some get a stripped-down version due to their limited processing power. Examples are the case of the Zenwifi XD4 and XD5 where, among other things, the Network Protection is neutered.
The Adaptive QoS is a common feature available in all Asus routers and is one of the most easy-to-use QoS features among all home routers.
“QoS” stands for the quality of service, and it enables users to prioritize Internet traffic to support different applications or services.
Asus’s Adaptive QoS requires minimum work from the user and is quite effective. It also includes Bandwidth Monitor, Web History, and an Internet Speed test if you want to know more about your resources and keep tabs on your network’s online activities.
AiMesh is a valuable feature available in all Asus Wi-Fi 6 and most Wi-Fi 5 routers. First introduced with the RT-AC86U in early 2018, AiMesh allows each standalone hardware unit to work as part of a robust Wi-Fi mesh system.
Since this feature is very significant, I detailed it in this separate post.
Flexible port configuration: WAN vs LAN
Asus routers generally have a lot of flexibility in their port configurations. Following is what you can do with most of them when the hardware is working in router mode.
In other modes — AiMesh satellite node, access point, repeater, etc — all ports work as LANs.
Routers with a Multi-Gig WAN port
This is the case with most ZenWifi routers such as the XT8 or ET8.
- Single WAN
- If the router has no Multi-Gig LAN port: The default WAN always works as the WAN port, but when the USB port (when available) or a Gigabit LAN port is set as the primary WAN, the default WAN port can work as a Multi-Gig LAN
- If the router has one or more Multi-Gig ports: The default WAN port will always work as a WAN port.
- Dual-WAN: The default WAN port must work as one of the WAN ports (Primary or Secondary). Any other LAN port, or the USB port (when available), can work as the second WAN port.
Routers with a Gigabit WAN port
This includes those with a Multi-Gig LAN port, such as the RT-AX86U.
- Single WAN: The default WAN, USB port (when available), or Multi-Gig LAN (when available) can work as the primary WAN port. The rest of the ports will work as LANs.
- Dual-WAN: The default WAN port remains and the USB (when available), or any of the LAN ports, including the Multi-Gig (when available) can work as the second WAN.
- WAN Link Aggregation (when supported): Default WAN port + another LAN port — the LAN4 in most cases.
- LAN Link Aggregation (when supported): LAN1 + LAN2 as long as neither is used for other applications, such as Game Port, Dual-WAN, or WAN LG.
Note that a particular router might deviate a bit from the list above, depending on the number of ports it has or its hardware specs.
Flexible VPN support
Almost all Asus routers feature a VPN section with support for just standard VPN servers but also Instant Guard, a new feature added in mid-2021 for mobile users.
On top of that, many routers can also work as a VPN client and support VPN Fusion which allows for assigning a certain connected client to a particular VPN connection.
Other useful features
Other than the above, you can also expect the following from all Asus routers:
- 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.
- Frequent and flexible 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 can also revert back to an older version.
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 any Asus router and similar to how you do all routers with a web interface.
Specifically, from a connected computer, 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 managed to get the RT-AX3000 up and running 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 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 difficulty 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.
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.
The routers did well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too. At close range, my 4×4 test client sustained at 770 Mbps with the RT-AX3000 and almost 780 Mbps with the RT-AX58U. Farther out, my 3×3 device drew higher than 530 Mbps. Again both were quite impressive compared to their peers.
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 router. And the performance was quite good, too.
Since they are dual-band routers, there’s no dedicated backhaul band — devices connected to the satellite unit will perform slower than those connected to the router. That’s just the nature of any dual-band wireless mesh system.
One thing to note, though, in a wireless mesh configuration, 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.
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 around 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.
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.
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.
Asus RT-AX3000 / RT-AX58U's Rating
160 MHz channel support
Fast and reliable performance
Tons of useful features with excellent AiMesh support
Full web interface and well-design mobile app
Compact design, wall-mountable
No multi-gig port or Link Aggregation
Modest hardware specs
Relatively short Wi-Fi range
The Parental Control feature could use some improvement
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 simultaneously. 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 wired with network cables, get a couple of them to form a real mesh system. You won’t regret it.
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243 thoughts on “Asus RT-AX3000 vs RT-AX58U Review: A Solid AiMesh Pair”
Hello Dong, I read your comparison review about Asus RT AX3000U router. Unfortunately this model isn’t available in my country but a similar name model called Asus TUF AX3000 V2 is available on an offer price. Could you please advise if it’s a good one worth spending money for? Appreciate your feedback.
I haven’t tested the TUF-AX3000, Sooraj, but it should be very similar to the TUF-AX5400. Give it a read!
Hi Dong, thanks for the great article.
I live in a 2-floor house and am thinking of setting up a mesh system so I get better wifi on the second floor. The connection on the 2nd floor will need to be wireless as wired is not possible. I have relatively basic use for internet (work, TV, phone etc) and will not require lightning speed so I think I can (have to) live with the loss of speed due to wireless
Should I consider a set up with 2*RT-AX3000 or is the ZenWifi considerably better? I note that the ZenWifi system will probably cost a lot more. I am not able to understand the difference in the advantages for the additional cost.
ps I saw that someone asked this question earlier and you provided the link to another article saying it gives better speed, but I did not really find the answer there (pardon me as I am really new to wireless systems).
Would appreciate any help/guidance, thanks!
Check out this post, Jonas. Make sure you read it!
Thanks Dong. I have read the article. It seems that a wireless backhaul is not recommended on the RT-AX3000, while the comparable (in price) ZenWifi system would be the AX Mini XD4. That being said, I looked at your review of the XD4 and the speedtest of the satellite is similar to that of the RT-AX3000.
Given I will be setting up a wireless system, are there other considerations I should look at between the RT-AX3000 and AX Mini XD4?
Hi Dong, I have two RT-AX3000 routers setup as AiMesh. The main one runs fairly cool but the node one seems really hot on the bottom ( got it used from Amazon Warehouse – maybe that is the reason ). I am not sure if it is possible to check temperature on the AiMesh node router?
Didn’t you figure out which was hot and which was cool already?
Hi, thanks for all the Asus mesh reviews, but I was shocked by the “Relatively short Wi-Fi range” CONS here.
So does this short range only relate to the wireless “WiFi 6 Mesh SATELLITE Performance” test?
Or does it really have a bad “Single Router” Wi-Fi range, compared to the next more expensive models like AX82U,AX92U ?
I thought the router was not that bad in the 5GHz tests, and at 2.4GHz long range it beats some more expensive Asus models.
I want to use Asus mesh with wired backhaul satellites. I don’t need high performance, only a little bit of Wi-Fi up to every corner of the house. Until now I thought one AX58U (or AX56U) satellite in every floor of the house should be sufficient for that.
That’s for a single broadcaster, Dave. Ranges are always fluctuating depending on the environment — it’s always case by case. So for you, sufficient or not depends on the floor’s square footage, layout, and where you place the broadcasters. More on that in this post.
does anyone know what this means:
AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current
DC Output : 12 V with max. 2 A current
Can I use 12v 2A power supply.
(I have a 12v linear power supply that I use for a hi-fi system).
You need to use the power adapter of the correct output specs and connector, Naum. I’m no electrician but that’s generally the case.
Was wondering, how does the AX3000 compare to the AX82U? In your personal opinion, which one would be better for a 3000-4000 sq ft house?
Read the reviews, Robert. All of them are my personal opinions. But neither can handle a property that large unless it’s an empty wearhouse.
Ahhhh that’s true. But for simplicity’s sake, would you rather buy the AX82U or the AX3000? Thank you.
I’ve actually been using both at different places. So it really depends. More in this post. Give it a serious read!
Would this make a good media bridge with the RT-AX86U? I can’t seem to find out if the router being used as the media bridge really matters? Does the range of the media bridge matter? or only the main router’s range?
You can, Aaron, but why would you want to to that? Just use it as an AiMesh node.
Maybe my knowledge is outdated. Doesn’t a media bridge allow for a better connection/speeds with the devices wired to it? If not, why is media bridge still a thing?
Speed is a matter of bandwidth, Aaron. If you connect just one device to it, that device will get all the bandwidth, etc. It’s still “a thing” because that mode works with ANY Wi-Fi router. AiMesh node is only available when you use an AiMesh router, which the RT-AX86U is.
Oh, I see. One last question since I don’t have the RT-AX86U yet. If I did go the media bridge route, will the AX58u perform better than the AX55 or AX56u? or is it all dependent on the main router?
The 58u is definitely better.
I have an AX-88U and I was thinking of getting a TUF-AX3000 as a node for AIMESH. I know you have an article about AIMESH combos and you did say try to get a router pairs of the same tier. But if budget is a limitation, do you recommend the TUF as a AIMESH node? I understand it’s an upgraded AX58U. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
My thoughts are in that combo post, Calvin. Read it again. 🙂
What is the advantage of getting a much more expensive zenwifi over just getting 2 compatible aimesh routers and running them in a mesh system?
Many things, Dino, but clearly speed is a big factor. More in this post.
Thanks Dong! But in a fully wired backhaul, having zenwifi vs any combination of aimesh capable router wouldnt matter?
Check out this post, Dino. It matters, and it’s a matter of degrees.
I need a technical help from you. I have an ASUS RT-AC86U router which acts as an access point. I have 2 ISP feeding me with Fiber Broadband and I feed the 2 ISP into a CISCO Dual WAN Load Balancing Router. From the Ethernet LAN of the CISCO Dual WAN , I have a wired connection to ASUS RT-AC86U and so I have set the router in AP mode to avoid Double NAT issues. Now I wish to get another RT-AX3000 router. My whole house is WIRED and hence everything will be on Wired Backhaul. Here is my question.. If I attach the RT-AX3000 to another Ethernet port of the Dual WAN Router and set it up as AP mode, will it detect RT-AC86U as an eligible mesh ? I understand that if I connect the LAN port of RT-AX3000 to WAN port of RT-AC86U , they can behave as Mesh Parent (RT-AX3000) and Mesh Node (RT-AC86U). But if both of them have their WAN connected to Ethernet LAN ports of CISCO Load balancer , can they be recognized to each other as being parent and child of the same AiMESH ?
No, Anish. You won’t have a mesh if you use them in the AP mode. More in this post. Since you have wired your home, you have a lot of options.
I really want to like this Asus AX3000 and may still end up getting it but I use USB 3.0 storage regularly even my 5 year old WRT32X running OpenWrt and get 110 MB/s read/write. This storage performance is very poor on this Asus router. Maybe it’s better with Asuswrt-Merlin which I’d end up installing anyway.
That’s a good point, JF. Try it and keep us posted. Or get a NAS server, you’ll enjoy things much more. 🙂
Been on your site for days with all these informative reviews, it’s been a great help.
I live in Hong Kong and our average flat is under 1000sq.ft. However, our flats are built with thick concrete walls with alot of metal components in some areas near the kitchen.
I got a Apple Extreme (i know…) almost a decade ago and it did not cover the whole flat very well to the point I had to get a Express (node).
Because of this I have been considering Mesh, but after reading more reviews on these stand-alone routers with today’s technology I’m starting to think if I should just get one Asus (AX3000) first and then just expand if necessary.
It will be great to hear your thoughts on this, as I know the reception will be totally different in other countries with wood houses. Would Mesh be a safer way (i can probably wire the nodes) or will a router like The RT-AX3000 be sufficient?
Thanks in advance.
Looks like you need to use a wireless mesh, Gl. In that case, you want tri-band. So go with a two-pack RT-AX92U. Check out this post on best AiMesh combos.
Hi Dong, this router is inside my budget range. I’m looking something for online gaming and with a VPN option for my work. Is this the best option or is there something better inside +-50$ range?
Thanks a lot!
You can also consider the RT-AX68U, Valentino. https://dongknows.com/asus-rt-ax68u-ax2700-router-review/
Great, after reading your review I found it in the store and decided to buy it these days!!
Coo! Have fun, Valentino! 🙂
Hi Dong, love what you are doing on all your reviews.
I am having Ax88u as my main router and I have 1 Ac88u and 3 lyra all wired connected as node. I feel that the 3 lyra is not performing well and wish to replace it. I am thinking to replace either with 3 Ax92u, Or 3 Ax3000 or 3 XD4.
All my nodes will have wired backhaul and because we live in a big house and have alot of wall, I am looking for a strong signal node and I think tri or dual band node won’t make any difference here right since we are connecting them with network cable. Hope to hear form from you soon thanks
Check out this post on AiMesh combos, Kenney.
Amazingly detailed review! I ordered RT-AX3000 from amazon based on your review and am happy with it so far. Just wanted to add a difference I found comparing AX58 and AX3000. AX58 supports LAN link aggregation while AX3000 doesn’t (according to tech specs on Asus’s website). Not sure if that is worth the $20 price difference currently between those 2 models.
They both do if you use Merlin firmware, Cfal. Thanks for the input, though. I think Asus take it off for certain markets. Link AG is only worth it if you have a client (like a NAS server) that also supports it.
Thanks for the heads up. I will try the Merlin firmware. I do have a synology NAS that supports link aggregation. A quick question though, if I use merlin firmware, can I still use the Asus iOS app to manage the router? I am new to Asus routers, so hoping to keep the Asus router app functionality working.
Check the post on Merlin, Cfal. Link in my previous reply.
Hi Mr Dong.
Can you tell me what is different about asus rt-ax3000 and asus tuf- ax3000? Thank you.
They are, for the most part, the same, Hai. If you want more details, I don’t know what to tell you.
Hi Dong! Congrats for the blog!
I currently have a AC68U and would like to get a newer router to mount an AiMesh system (no chance to wire the node to the router).
I am mainly deciding between the AX82U and the AX58U. Which one would you recommend me? Which one is better in terms of range?
Thanks a lot in advance.
Neither, Edu. Unless you have wired your place, you needs to Wi-Fi 5 one if you want to use it with your RT-AC68U. So get the RT-AC86U. More on AiMesh here.
Thanks for the ultrafast answer! You mean there is no benefit at all on upgrading to a WiFi 6 router? Or it is just a matter of compatibility? I really do not understand what is the concept of backhaul and why does it affect so much if it isn’t wired. I was just thinking in the future.
I have been reading your articles on Wi-Fi 6 AI mesh systems and am ready to make the plunge. I have 2 homes to take care of and stream movies and some gaming. First is single story 3400Sq ft with router at back of house and bedrooms/study at front. I have Ethernet in each room but would like an Ai mesh system in addition. I currently ha a U-VERSE wireless router at 1 end and an Apple AirPort Extreme base station at other end. Not very good!
Other home is 2 level and not wired with Ethernet. Would appreciate your recommendations. Thanks
Go with the ZenWiFi XD4 Stephen — you might not need all three but it won’t hurt if you spread them out at far ends. Or any dual-band combos.
Thank you for the reply. Now to install the Aimesh system. I have a central place for my ATT Uverse router and am stuck with this. I have wired data/Uverse throughout the house. How do I install the Asus system, as I can’t bypass the Uverse modem? I could connect the AI router to Ethernet in one room and the other satellites in other rooms, but is this really a wired backhaul?
I purchased the RT-AX3000 (TUF version). I’m achieving 900Mbps+ on wired LAN. However, on a iPhone 12 speedtest I’m only getting 400-500Mbps right next to the AX3000.
WiFi settings: 160mhz disabled, Channel bandwidth set to 80Mhz.
Any ideas on what I can do?
That’s on your phone, Alex. The number seems right. More on testing here: https://dongknows.com/how-to-do-an-internet-or-wi-fi-speed-test/
Do you recommend to enable Smart Connect on RT-AX58U?
If your answer is yes do you have recommendations to override the default settings?
It’s irrelevant, Dov, just a matter of personal preferences.
Hi Dong, asus rt ax58u and tp link archer ax50 what is the output power of the antennas, how many dBi total and each, thank you
I have no idea, Hasan.
Dong, thanks so much for the helpful review. The house is 3000 sqft with basement. I had ASUS AC1900 from 5 years ago + TPLink RE650 to get to the basement. The AC1900 got unreliable so I replaced it with the AX3000, which doesn’t seem to get to the basement and is not as reliable. Suggestions?
What made you think that the AX3000 (or any other router for that matter) will deliver a better range than the AC1900, Simi? Check out this post!
Ignorance. So, given I have a large 2-floor L-shaped layout, and I have an TP-link RE650 extender and probably no AX clients, I should replace the AX3000 with a long-range AC?
Since I’m not there, it’s tough to know exactly, Simi, but if you want to be sure, I’d recommend getting a pair of the RT-AX92U or ZenWiFi AX.
Thanks for the excellent trove of reviews. I have a question. I have a XT8 mesh pair right now, but am returning them due to major issues with compatibility with older clients. After doing a lot of troubleshooting (both myself and with Asus’ tech support) it seems like the mesh system is causing the problem. Anyway, the question is…if I go get this AX58U will it have:
1. The same parental controls which the XT8 has, or a paired down version?
2. Compatibility with older hardware be the same as XT8?
I know the second one is difficult to determine, but I want to know if the OS is identical between XT8 and AX58U
2. Check out this post.
Thanks Dong, based on your response. I have ordered an Asus AX3000. I am very afraid that my two Squeezebox Radios will not work with it, just like the XT8….but we shall see. At this price point, there really is no other router available with all the features the AX3000 offeres. I will update you here about the final result.
As for your #2 point, these are hardware devices (like IoT devices), not something like a generic computer, and hence their network card drivers cannot be easily upgraded.
Fingers crossed! Thanks
Very informative, thank-you. I’m considering the Asus AX3000, or the Archer AX50. I already have an Asus RT-68U running as an access point. If I bought the AX3000 could I aiMesh it with the RT-68U? Thanks :-), John
Yes, John. Considering you have the RT-AC68U wired, it’ll work well as an AiMesh node. (You can keep using it as an AP, too.)
Thanks Dong. After a few days of research I’ve decided to blow my budget and go with your judgement and purchased an Asus RT-AX86U. What swung me was the great NAS specs it had, so that will be useful. Now I just have to work out how to connect our RJ11 phone to it. Thanks again!
Excellent, John! Thanks for sharing your experience!
Would 3 of these with a wired backhaul work better in terms of speed and range as AIMesh than the off the shelf mesh systems at a similar price? Thinking about the XD4 in particular or other mesh system like the TP Link XD60?
Yes, Jerry. But the XD4 is a great option, too, if you have wired backhaul.
I have a single RT-AX58U and am generally happy with it, after bad experiences with tp-link mesh in the past (dropouts galor). Im connected to Cox on a 500 Mbps tier. I get over 500 Mbps directly connected to the arris sb8200 modem, and over 500 Mbps directly connected to the ethernet ports on asus router. Unfortunately, all of my clients are wifi however, and wifi5 at that (mostly iphones and ipads). Over wifi, I only see about 170 Mbps on the 5 Ghz link and around 100 Mbps on the 2.4 link, both measured up close, withing a couple of feet. I assume this speed is normal… ?? … but it sure is disappointing.
Normal or not it depends on many things, Roger. More here.
I have the exact same hardware (Arris SB8200 and Asus RT-AX3000 – same as the AX58U) and have seen much better results with this combo in my home. So I don’t think your speeds are “normal” for this hardware combo.
I did, however, spend a LOT of time to optimize both WiFi channels to minimize interference by my many WiFi neighbors (used the WiFi Analyzer Android app to select the channels with the least number and lowest signals from neighbors). That made a HUGE difference from where I started from. Also, I always set up both bands separately to put the older/slower clients on the 2.4 band and only put the higher-end clients on the 5GHz band.
On the Comcast 400/10 tier, without Adaptive QoS enabled I typically saw about 15% faster speeds than those limits wirelessly close-up to the AX3000 router (within 10 feet), which means it’s able to take fully advantage of their overprovisioned speeds at that close distance.
Likewise, my WiFi devices see very reasonable speeds 30-40 feet away in a 2000+ sq. ft. home (more like 220-350 mbps without Adaptive QoS enabled).
However, I did enable the 40MHz option for the 2.4 channel bandwidth, and the 160MHz option for the 5 GHz band, and disabled the AX/Wi-Fi 6 option for both bands (all of my clients are N/AC for now). Doing all of this combined made a very noticeable speed difference on my WiFi devices. I didn’t expect that enabling the 160 should have any effect on non-AX clients, but it did! Specifying the “control channel” on both bands is so VERY critical for getting the top speeds as every location is different due to overlapping signals from neighbors.
Bufferbloat tests per the DSL Reports test site typically give A/A+ overall, and typically more A’s than B’s on the Bufferbloat rating (by about 2-to-1) — on both my Wi-Fi and ethernet client tests.
After turning on the stock firmware’s Adaptive QoS (to optimize for VOIP, for example) it typically results in a drop on the DL speeds so that it’s more like 320-355mbps within 10 feet of the AX300, which is still highly usable. Seeing a drop in DL speed after enabling QoS is typical across routers from what I’ve discerned — it’s the price one pays to better shape and prioritize your network traffic) I’m still having VOIP issues for people on the other end of my VOIP calls . I was previously choppy on their end before turning on Adaptive QoS, but now it’s just more scratchy-sounding on their end without the dropouts with Adaptive QoS enabled. I’m currently thinking it’s at least partially due to the pathetically slow 10mbps upload speed that Comcast offers on their 400 DL tier (their lower tiers only offer an anemic 5mbps UL speed — technically not even enough to do two concurrent Zoom calls at full HD per Zoom’s requirements).
I have kept up reasonably with the stock firmware updates (currently on 22.214.171.124.384.9918), but it’s been pretty good throughout since last May when I bought the AX3000. Haven’t tried the new 386 firmware line as it doesn’t specifically list anything I need at the moment, and there have been some reports of it creating issues for some users. I’ve found the 384.9918 stock firmware and its immediate predecessor, .9890 to be very solid. Of course, there’s always the Merlin 384 and 386 versions to try as well — they are available for the AX58U/AX3000 (same unit). I do have the router auto-reboot once a day (only results in 1-2 mins of downtime) as I noticed it helps to keep it at peak WiFi speeds.
I’m considering trying the Merlin versions out due to the increased QoS functionality it enables to try to improve my VOIP UL quality, but that’s another project.
Anyway, hope this helps anyone who’s considering this combo. Sure, the AX58U/AX3000 is lacking some of the higher-end features like 4×4 streams, but since all of my current WiFi devices are only 2×2, I knew I wasn’t going to notice any deficiency there. There are certainly better ASUS AX routers available now, but I bought this as I needed a good mid-range router for under $200 at the time, and was put off by the large number of very negative Amazon reviews for a number of ASUS AC routers that had run hot and experienced very early failures of either the 2.4 or 5 GHz radios. I was hoping that they had redesigned their new AX routers to run cooler and be more fault tolerant, and so far that has been the case — this router runs extremely cool in my basement.
Is it a powerhouse like the higher-end $300+ ASUS routers? No, but at the time it sat in the sweet spot of affordability (half the price of the AX88U) and pretty darn good performance for up to 500mbps DL plans. If I had Gigabit service, I would have gone up a notch in the router, but no plans as yet.
Hi, I currently own the AC1900/RT-AC68U in a 2 story 1500sqft trafficky condo. I get ~600dl/450ul next to the router with 1gb Webpass service. I’d like to upgrade this and use it as a satellite (or whatever the term is) to get better signal into my daughter’s room which is impeded by a cement wall. I’m considering this AX3000 to enter wifi6, but I’m also considering the AC2900 or a used AC5300 (~$200, hesitant bc bad reviews and no returns). Advice?
Check out this post, Cla.
So it sounds like I should probably use a wired backhaul to increase the likelihood for aimesh success. (Sounds like this is the case for any 2 band routers) I dont want to waste too much time trying what you know is probably going to fail. Since I already bought this ax3000 and have limited time to return, I want to be able to get results fast and put my best foot forward. With a wired backhaul, the ax3000 still deliver wifi6 to wifi 6 devices even if the ac1900 delivers wifi5? And if so will it hand off the the wifi 5 signal of the ac1900?
Thank you so much for all your reviews and it was great to read them. I have a quick question about 2 routers the Asus AX92U vs Asus AX3000. Both the routers are on Sale and there is a $30 difference in price. Is the AX92U worth the upgrade? Also someone in another forum mentioned that AX92 is a discontinued model from ASUS, just wanted to know your 2 cents.
As a single router, I’d get the RT-AX92U, Jay. As a mesh, get it if you intend to have a full wireless network, or the RT-AX3000 if you have wired your home. More here.
Is the RT-AX58U capable handling optic fiber?
Yes, Dov. All router can. More here.
Great reviews and information. Your articles have convinced me to opt for Asus products for a Aimesh system in my 3400 sq ft home. Currently, I have the Asus RT-AC86U as my main and as a node Asus RT-AC68U. I’m looking to add another node to my network and don’t have any Wifi6 clients. Would you recommend another Asus RT-AC86U or Asus RT-AX3000?
Go with the RT-AC86U, Pratik. It’s best if you get your home wired, too.
Thanks Dong. I am used a Wired Backhaul to connect the nodes via switches. Do I need to enable Ethernet Backhaul mode if so? I noticed when I enable this, all my nodes went away under the Aimesh menu.
You can manually pick wired backhaul or leave it as Auto, the hardware will use that automatically over wireless, P. In your case, make sure you set up the hardware correctly. The nodes have to be behind the main router. More here.
Why did you stop making YouTube reviews? I think a video review of this particular router would hit quite well given it’s a Best Buy product
It’s the question of time, Abe. I only have so many hours a day and need to make a living, taking care of kids, etc., too. 🙂
Hey Dong, I happen to have an ASUS Blue cave and just acquired an ASUS rt-ax3000. I only have one computer that is capable of wifi 6, everything else I have is wifi 5 (phones, tablet, Apple TV 4K, smart plugs). I just upgraded to gig speed from my isp. Which of the two routers will be better for speed for these purposes?
The Blue Cave. It’s a higher-tier router. More here. But either should work out.
Great review, thank you!
I’m considering a Wi-Fi 6 router for my (small) apartment and currently can’t decide between Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 and Asus RT-AX58U. I know they are in a slightly different price range but still they are the only two options I have at the moment.
I like the Asus more in terms of web interface and the fact that it doesn’t require user account. On the other hand I’d still like to use the router as NES server so the Netgear is on top here.
Which one would you recommend?
I assume you meant NAS server, Boyan. In any case, get the Asus.
NAS server of course. 🙂
Thanks a lot, Dong!
I manage to get the RT-AX58U in addition to my GT-AX11000 and RT-AC88U, thanks to your great review.
With GT-AX11000 as my main router and AX58U and AC88U as a node, both nodes will not connect to dedicated wireless backhaul if I set the wireless band 5GHz-2 manually to channel bandwith 160MHz. Looking at wireless log, it will only connect to wireless band 5GHz-1 at 160MHz bandwith. However, if I change the wireless band 5GHz-2 settings to channel bandwith 20/40/80/160 MHz, both nodes AX58U and AC88U can connect to dedicated wireless backhaul 5GHz-2 but only at 80MHz bandwith. FYI, wifi clients are using intel AX200 wifi cards.
I’m a noob when it comes to this wireless networking thing and surely there is something that I haven’t configured properly. Please kindly share your thoughts on it and maybe a little bit of advice on the possiblity to rectify it to make use of the 160MHz bandwith.
Thank you very much in advance, Dong!
Mixing tri-band and dual-band is always tricky, Genne. More on that here. Just get them work and leave them manage things by themselves. Doing what you do will likely cause issues. 🙂
Great review, as always. Love your site.
Let me add my 2 cents though, regarding this particular model.
I own two of the RT-AX3000s and wanted to use them as replacement for some of the RT-AC68Us I have been using as repeaters/media bridges for years and what I can tell you about the RT-AX3000 after having experimented for two weeks is this:
For all practical purposes, this is an “AX1800” router, at best.
The reason is that it simply can not stick to operating over 160MHz on 5GHz for more than a few hours, due to the many DFS radar detection false positives, even with the latest ASUS firmware (126.96.36.199.384.9505, as of now).
I live in the middle of nowhere, no interference from neighbors, no weather radar anywhere in sight, but still the routers default back to 80MHz and drop back to the non-DFS channels around Ch 36, never to return to DFS and 160MHz (I live in Japan so only the lowest 80MHz is non-DFS for me – not that the AX3000 supports 80+80, as far as I know, so that would not help either even if I was in the US).
My AC68Us are also scanning the 5GHz DFS channels but only detect radar (very) occasionally, not every couple of hours.
Also, convergence between two AC68Us after a radar detection and channel change is only a few seconds (almost transparent), compared to anywhere between 60~120 seconds with two AX3000s.
I can also confirm (as you also pointed out) that the AX3000s have a significantly weaker signal so they will perform relatively poorly, compared to a AC68U pair.
With two AX3000s, about 6 meters apart and two thin walls (Japanese wooden house) in between, I get around -60dBm and a 1200 Mbps link negotiated over AX/160MHz but it drops back to 600 Mbps soon, as mentioned about, due to radar detection false positives and the link defaulting back to a 80MHz width.
With two of my RT-AC68Us, I get -50dBm and 866-1300 Mbps over the same distance (3 wave-1 80MHz AC streams, 433 Mbps/per stream, max.), and they stay like that forever, sticking to 80MHz.
Also, not sure why but with two AX routers ping response time / latency is anywhere between 2 and 5 ms, with large standard deviation (noisy).
Using two AC68s I often get sub-millisecond latency for a long duration (1ms on average), with very small standard deviation.
In summary: as far as I’m concerned, the AC68U (or a 2nd wave AC router if they are still available – unfortunately their prices were not dropping before they disappeared from the market as “new”) still gives the best bang for the buck (at least for me, using identical pairs as repeaters), especially with it’s price dropping (it has stabilized and even increased a bit recently – I guess people realized how robust and relatively cheap they are).
I know it does not have all the MU-MIMO, OFDMA, etc. bells and whistles like these new AX routers but, again, I don’t think AX routers can utilize their full potential on 5GHz if they keep dropping back from 160MHz continuously because of spectrum, regulatory and (DFS) implementation limitations.
I’ll still keep the AX routers to play around with the technology but glad I did not invest more into something like two RT-AX88Us ($400 each), for instance. If the RT-3000 is anything to go by, the AX88U is also only as good as 2400 Mbps, max, on 5GHz, because of the same reasons.
Thanks for the input, Gabor. You’re right on! And yes, it’s a great time right now to get a new AC router. And that will continue to be so for a while. https://dongknows.com/why-wi-fi-5-still-relevant-today/
Coming here is a treat, thanks for tons of info here.
What would you suggest RT-AC86U or RT-AX3000 considering best wifi range and signal strength (and speed)?
Happy to have you here, Mukesh. That combo will work but it’ll only work well if you have wired backhaul (via a network cable.) Mixing different Wi-Fi standards via a wireless dual-band setup tends to be problematic.
I think my question was little confusing. I wanted to know which one between Asus RT-AC86U and Asus RT-AX3000 is best considering wifi range and signal strength (and speed)?
They are two of two different tiers and therefore not comparable.
Following your recommendation I have returned Deco X60 and got a pair of Asus RT-AX58U. I like the rich interface very much.
However, I have noticed that at larger distance Deco was delivering considerably higher speeds than Asus. It translates into less stable and reliable connections when working on the terrace, even than it’s less than 10 meters from the router.
Now the question – does Asus offer other AiMesh AX routers that perform better with simple 2×2 clients put further away from the router?
Generally, if you use dual-band routers in a mesh, it’s best to use wired backhaul, Krzysztof. More on that here.
I had gotten the AX58 first and it was doing fine on its own. However, I have now gotten and reconfigured my routers with an additional AX88 as the main router, and the AX58 as the Mesh router, with a wired backhaul. Performance is peachy and I’m really quite happy with it all. Just for info.
Nice! Thanks for sharing, K.
Dong, I too have gotten the ax3000, based on your recommendation. Range and features are quite impressive. Works great, with the exception of pairing an Xbox one. It does not seem to recognize the Wpa2/wpa3 standard option it has. Any suggestions?
Use the WP2 or update your console. It’s your XBOX’s fault.
Hi dong, am currently running ac66u b1 and planning to setup AI mesh with ax56.
Care to advise which should i set as the main router?
The latter, Tara.
hi dong, thanks for your review and being a beginner into world of APs, i have learnt from your reviews.
I have a RT-AC88U (4×4) currently. for AiMesh as satellite, should i get a 2nd hand RT-AC86U (4×4) or a new RT-AX58u (2×2), given roughly same price?
-my NAS is connected to my AC88U
-most of my devices/laptop are normal WIFI 5, with only 1 WIFI 6 laptop.
Check out this post, Cheer. And this one. I can’t answer your question since there are many other things that need to be considered. Figure out your situation, what you want and you can decide yourself.
Thank you so much for this amazing site! I was looking at an RT-AX3000 for a 1400 sqft condo, but with rooms on three levels. Your thoughts on the RT-AX3000 or a better device will be greatly appreciated.
All the best,
The RT-AX3000 will likely work out well, Hal, better yet get the RT-AX86U. But of course, how well either will work out depends on your situation.
Thank you. I clicked through to Amazon but the RT-AX82U could be as long as mid-September delivery. Other vendors don’t seem to have them at all, not even the Asus website. Are there other models, equivalent to, or better than the RT-AX82U that I should look at?
The RT-AX86U, Hal.
My apology, I typoed my comment. It is the RT-AX86U that is not available to ship for 2-4 weeks. Any alternative recommendation is greatly appreciated!
No worries, Hal. Any on this list
Thanks Doug that let me in.
Sure, John. Glad it worked out. 🙂
hi Dong i am so happy i found your website. it has increased my understanding 10x
i have a very simple question.
I was using the RT AC68U.. and it was serving my purpose well…. i had to give it to my brother…
now i am planning on getting the ax3000 … will you consider this as getting something equal or an upgrade or downgrade ?
if you think this is an equal alternative or a downgrade, what do you suggest i get ?
Happy to have you, Abbas. Your brother lucked out. For the most part, that’s a downgrade. Get the RT-AX88U instead.
Sure, Mark! Have fun! 🙂
Hi Dong – I love your articles / reviews. I’m looking to upgrade the wifi in my home (4,500sf, wired) and am considering using three AX3000s in a wired-backbone AiMesh configuration. In your opinion, would it be beneficial / worth the cost to go with an AX88u or AX89X as the “primary” (and keeping two AX3000’s) or would 3 AX3000s give us both the breadth / speed of coverage (assuming hardwire backbone and decent placement for coverage)?
I’m sure either scenario will be a vast improvement of my current Apple “3 way bridge” setup of a timecapsule + basestation extreme + airport express. I’m thinking I may need to spend the $$ for the AX89X to get the better SAN speed / functionality for TimeMachine backups for our multiple macs (some wired, some not). Hopefully this would give us some better connectivity in the garden as well for controlling Sonos, lights, etc..
Thank you in advance for any thoughts you may have.
I’d go with the former, Mark. The more experience pensive router will just give you extra features (as noted in their reviews) not performance.
I have the Asus RT-AX58U and it is great, however when I assign a DNS on the router or pc adaptor I can not get to the ASUS Router web site.
Assume you wanted to get to the router’s wen interface, John. In that case just use it’s IP address. By default it’s 192.168.50.1
Wow, that was a very quick response 🙂
Thank you so much Dong and keep up the good work.
Thank you Dong. I’ve received pricing in South Africa for the TP-Link AX50 and ASUS RT-AX58U. The price is very similar with the ASUS being just R300 (17USD) more than the TP-Link. If you don’t consider the Dual WAN benefit from the ASUS, which one would you go for, based on Performance, Range, Stability and reliability between the 2?
I’m also not sure if the Intel Chipset will be better than the Broadcom Chipset?
I’d get the Asus, Bjorn.
Hi Dong, thanks again for a awesome review. My question to you is, are there any TP-link AX routers that support dual WAN for fail-over? I almost went to buy the TP-Link AX20 and then realized that they don’t support Dual WAN Fail-over and now I see that neither does the AX50? Would you recommend the ASUS RT-AX58U or will there be a TP-link alternative or perhaps something else that you can recommend for better value for money?
Also, how does the RT-AX56U compare to the RT-AX58U?
Not as I know of, Bjorn. If you want Dual-WAN, you have to go with Asus for now. The RT-AX56U is very similar to the RT-AX58U, just slightly slower due to the lack of support for the 160 MHz channel width. But you can get a Wi-Fi 5 Asus router, too. Like the RT-AC86U which supports Dual-WAN.
I will be sure to read your linked article, Dong. Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Have a great day and weekend!
Sure, Scott. You, too! 🙂
Thanks for your kind welcome, Dong, and also for letting me know that Merlin also supports the AX3000. It sounds like the AX3000 will meet our current needs and also be a nice “bridge” as we eventually buy devices that support Wi-Fi 6.
Just for my own understanding as I read your other reviews, would all routers that you determine will work well for small to medium homes also work for me? Or looking at it another way, since the only thing smaller than a small home would be an apartment or studio, I suppose that any router that you rate well would work in our home, too. I did search this website before asking and hope that I don’t sound pedantic. Thank you for your help!
That depends on your place, Scott. More on that here. But yes, my estimates are actually quite conservative, based on my own place. Chances are others might have a better experience. But ultimately it always depends on the specific location.
Thank you for a creating a website with articles that are singularly thorough and yet easy to read. I’m using a TM-1900 flashed with the Asus-Merlin firmware to function as an RT-AC68U, and to my surprise it does an even better job of QoS than my newer Synology RT2600ac.
I’m planning to buy a new Asus router and keep the TM-1900 as a backup. The RT-AX3000 sounds like the perfect candidate, so I wanted to clarify what it means when you recommend it for those who live in a small to medium home. My TM-1900 covers our 1,800 square foot, single story home well enough. Would the RT-AX3000 have the same coverage, or do I need a higher model? Thanks so much for your thoughts.
Sure, Scott. Happy to have you. Your choice is good. You can put Merlin on the AX3000, too by the way.
Does AX3000 support being a Repeater?
No. Collectively Asus routers generally support these roles: (AiMesh) Router, Access Point, Bridge, and AiMesh node. The last one works pretty much like a repeater but you need to have another AiMesh router in your home.
You replied to one poster in your review of the TP-Link AX50 that you’d get the AX50 since it has more features than Asus AX3000. Now I’m confused.
That was a terrible mistake, Sal. I actually meant to write “AX3000”. It was confusing the naming for me since the RT-AX3000 is also an RT-AX58U. But the two were indeed similar and chances are Kevin wouldn’t have any problem going with either.
Thanks, Dong. Luckily ASUS didn’t keep me waiting for long. A new firmware was released a few days ago. I flashed it right away and I’m happy to report that the issue has been fixed. All my Intel clients are now connected to the node at 2.4 Gbps.
Sure, Josh. Good to know! 🙂
Hi Dong. Thanks for such a great review. I decided to buy the RT-AX3000 because of this article. 😊
However, I hooked up the RT-AX3000 as an AiMesh node to a GT-AX11000 using wired backhaul, but for some reason the 160 MHz channel setting is not propagated to the node (the AX3000). My 2×2 Intel WiFi 6 clients can connect to the AX11000 at 2.4 Gbps, but the link speed seems to be capped at 1.2 Gbps when the clients are connected to the node (the AX3000).
Not sure what I’ve done wrong here, or this is simply a limitation of the AiMesh system (particularly this combination of ASUS routers). Your review article on the ZenWiFi AX seems to suggest that you could get the 160 MHz channel working throughout the AiMesh system using the 5GHz-2 band with wired backhaul.
Are there any settings that I should tweak in order to get this working? Many thanks in advance for any help you might offer.
I experienced the same in my testing via a wireless backhaul, Josh. Maybe a future firmware will fix that.
Thank you so much!
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!
Get the Asus, RT-AX3000, or better yet the RT-AX88U, Nikola. Also, make sure you use QoS. The Torrent downloading will kill your Internet bandwidth. Also, read this post on what you can expect from the USB port. Just because a router can do a few things, doesn’t mean you should pile everything on it.
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.
Yeap, Apple stuff tends to be like that.
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!
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.
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.
Glad it worked out, PCL. The RT-AX88U is quite similar to the RT-AX89X, so you can keep your current setup for a long time.
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.
No, Paul. It’s off by default and you can turn it off if it’s not.
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!
Sure, Dan! Have fun! 🙂
Got it, I think: AX11000 as main router, with two XT8 as nodes (one wired and one wireless), and that would work well?
Yes, totally, Dan. You can daisy-chain them by the way.
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?
No, you can get the GT-AX11000 or the RT-AX92U. Not a good idea to use a dual-band router there.
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.
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.
Thanks, Dong. I will let you know now it goes.
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!
I haven’t tried that, Nate, even though I’ve reviewed both at separate times. I’d say the chance it works it high.
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.
Sure, Avalon. Glad it worked out.
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.
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!
May I know if TP link archer ax50 or this have a better range?
About the same, KH. The Asus has a lot more features, though.
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?
Yes, DJ. The AX3000 will be slower for your situation.
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.
It’s Extended NSS. But good luck, Clif.
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
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you set the 89x up in compartible mode, Clif. They are of two standards. Also update the firmwares to the latest.
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.
If the 89X is enough to cover the entire home, maybe it’s a good idea not to use the 86U, Clif. Also, do you use wired backhaul?
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?
Yes, totally, Avalon. You can use the Ax58u as a node.
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?
Yes, CJ, if the RT-AC66R has worked for you, the RT-AX3000 will do much better. Good luck! 🙂 (The name is Dong, BTW)
@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.
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.
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 !!!
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).
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?
No, that’s still the case, Henk. It’ll be fixed eventually but nobody knows when.
Hi, Does the AX3000 have NAT Acceleration and does it offer Level 2: (CTF) + FA (Flow Accelerator), Hardware NAT acceleration? Thank you for your time.
I don’t have the router set up right now the check the specifics but generally, all Wi-Fi 6 routers (and many Wi-Fi 5 ones) have those.
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.
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 !
Go with the RT-AX92U, Ozzy. If you mount it vertically then leaving the antennas folded is fine. But behind the sofa is never a good idea, though that would work if you have a small place. More on that here.
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).
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…
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.
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.
Excellent! Thanks for sharing, Timothy. And yes, running cables is the way to go!
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?
You might want to check out this post, Jake.
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.
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
It seems to be just Best Buy being Best Buy. They ALWAYS need to have their OWN model number for certain products so they don’t have to price match other competitors.
Nice observation, Ruvim! That actually makes a lot of sense!
The AX58U and AX3000 are identical. Both use Broadcom BCM6750 1.5Ghz Triple-Core CPU.
You seems to be correct, Ruvim. I’m testing the former and they both have shown the same performance do far.
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!
Yes, it’ll work out great, Brian.
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
Sure, Alex. Hope that works out. 🙂
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?
This depends, Alex. If you have wired backhaul, almost any systems that support wired backhaul will work well. If not, a tri-band system is a must.
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
You want have very good performance in a mesh using low-end hardware in a wireless mesh, Alex. You need 4×4 or tri-band hardware, throughout.
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.
Good point, Ken. I’d go with the AX88U (or the AX58U but I haven’t much xp with it). Use dual-band routers if you have wired backhaul.
Fairly certain that the model is RT-AX58U and AX3000 is the “specification” – ax type, 3000 Mbps. Over here in Singapore, this is what the Asus website says: https://www.asus.com/sg/Networking/RT-AX58U/
The two are VERY similar, but they might use two different chipsets. I’m not so sure and haven’t had much time with the former.
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.
Me, neither, Marius. I didn’t spend much time with the latter. But both sure are very similar.
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?
I haven’t tested the A20, Damon, but I think if you place the Asus in the middle, it can probably handle your home if it doesn’t have a lot of walls.
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 🙂
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.
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).
My answer is the same, Jean. If you have wired backhaul, a couple units of this router will work fine as a mesh.
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)?
If you have wired backhaul, this router will work fine, Jean.
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?
That’s not too much at all, Diaz. Try using this firmware version.
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.
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.
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.
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 (188.8.131.52.384-8591). 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.
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.
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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!
Sure, Chase! Glad you’re here. Since your home is wired, you have lots of options. You can get any dual-band AiMesh system and it will work out very well. Wi-Fi 6 is good but you can use Wi-Fi 5, too. Check out this post for more.