Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Asus RT-AX82U Gaming Router Review: A Fancy Little Wi-Fi 6 Performer

The Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router looks the part. Gamers — well, almost anyone actually — will love the cute design and especially the large front-facing programmable fancy lighting.

On the inside, though, the new router is a somewhat muted version of the RT-AX86U. It has lesser processing power, Wi-Fi specs, and no multi-gig port. Other than that, these two are almost the same despite their distinctive looks.

And since the RT-AX86U is current the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router on the market, the RT-AX82U is also up there, especially considering its friendlier price of around $230.

If you’re looking for a well-performing, feature-laden, compact Wi-Fi 6 machine that you can use for gaming as well as everything else, including a mini disco party, the Asus RT-AX82U fits the bill squarely. I recommend it.

Asus RT AX82U Front
The Asus RT-AX82U is a fancy looking compact Wi-Fi 6 router

Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Beautiful design with tons of helpful networking, game-related features and settings
  • Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • No support for WTFast Gamer VPN
  • No multi-gig network port
  • Network storage performance (when hosting a portable drive) could use some improvement
  • Not wall-mountable

Asus RT-AX82U: A fancier, yet muted, version of the RT-AX86U

It’s impossible to look at the RT-AX82U without thinking of the RT-AX86U, especially for me, after having reviewed the latter.

READ  Asus RT-AX86U Review: Arguably the Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router to Date

For one, the two were released at the same time two months back, both as “gaming routers,” though neither has everything an Asus gaming router has to offer.

That’s right. Compared to Asus’ real gaming router, the GT-AX11000, the RT-AX82U is also missing the support for WTFast gamer VPN. But in return, it’s (on the way to be) certified as part of the NVIDIA GeForce NOW‘s recommended routers.

And the two share a lot of similarities in hardware specs, too. Both are dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with a 4×4 5 GHz band that can deliver up to 4800 Mbps.

Hardware specifications: RT-AX82U vs. RT-AX86U

The only difference between the two, in Wi-Fi, is the fact the RT-AX82U has a lower tier 2.4 GHz band. In reality, though, since this band is so slow anyway, the two delivered similar real-world performances you can see in the performance section below.

READ  RT-AX86U vs. RT-AX82U: The Hard Choice Between Asus's Gaming Duo
RT-AX86URT-AX82U
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5700
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6
AX5400
ChipsetBroadcom BCM4908Broadcom BCM6750 SoC
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs3×3 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 861 Mbps
2×2 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 574 Mbps
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs4X4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 4804 Mbps
4X4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 4804 Mbps
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-readyYes (AiMesh)Yes (AiMesh)
Channel Support20 MHz, 40 MHz, 
80 MHz, 160 MHz
20 MHz, 40 MHz, 
80 MHz, 160 MHz
Gigabit Port4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig Ports 1x 2.5 Gbps LAN/WANNone
Link AggregationYes (LAN 1 and LAN 2)Yes (LAN 1 and LAN 2)
Dual-WANYes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)
Parental ControlYes Yes 
Online ProtectionYes 
(AiProtection )
Yes 
(AiProtection)
USB2 x USB-A USB 3.0
(storage, modem, printer)
1 x USB-A USB 3.0
(storage, modem, printer)
Mobile AppAsus RouterAsus Router
QoSYes (Excellent)Yes (Excellent)
Processing Power1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
Dimensions
9.52 x 3.93 x 6.45 in 
(24.2 x 10 x 16.4 cm)
10.83 x 7.26 x 6.5 in
(27.5 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm) 
Weight1.8 lbs (814.5 g)1.63 lbs (740 g)
Game FeaturesMobile Game Mode, 
Game Port (LAN1)
Front Gaming Lights,
Mobile Game Mode, 
Game Port (LAN1)
MSRP (U.S)$249.99$229.99
Hardware specifications: RT-AX82U vs. RT-AX86U.

RT-AX82U: A crazy cool design

The RT-AX82U looks entirely different from its fraternal twin, even though it’s also not wall-mount-ready — you need a surface for it. It’s a more compact router that has a larger footprint.

The router shapes somewhat like a trapezoid, tapering toward the back. Its front looks like the air intake of a spaceship or a race car and also work as two large color-changing lights. More on them below.

On the back, the four external antennas are not removable. You can only swivel them a quarter of a sphere around. Between the antennas are the usual four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port. There’s also a single USB 3.0 port.

Asus RT AX82U 13
The Asus RT-AX82U has the usual number of network ports. Note the Gaming Port (LAN1).

Flexible network ports

So there’s no multi-gig network port, and that generally means you won’t get faster than 1 Gbps network speed out of the router. But there are a couple of cool things to note about these network ports:

  • Game port: The LAN1 port is a gaming port by default. Plug a wired device (like an Xbox) here, and it automatically gets prioritized for gaming.
  • LAN Link Aggregation: You can combine LAN1 and LAN2 into an aggregated 2 Gbps connection. (When you do this, the gaming-prioritized function of LAN1 is no longer.)
  • WAN Link Aggregation: You can combine the WAN port and the LAN4 port into a 2 Gbps WAN connection when working with a supported modem.
  • Dual-WAN: You can use the WAN port and any of the LAN ports (or the USB port) to host two separate broadband connections (from two different providers) at the same time for high availability or load balancing.

Other than the game port, which is unique to the RT-AX82U and RT-AX86U, the rest of the network port features listed above are also available in many other Asus routers.

Asus RT AX82U 20
The Asus RT-AX82U’s front features Asus Aura RGB lighting which is quite cool.

That fancy Aura RGB lighting

The moment you turn the RT-AX82U, its front lighting, called Asus Aura RGB, will catch your eyes. It’s not just on or off but pulsing smoothly with different colors. And it can do more.

There’s no on-off switch for these lights, but you can use the Asus router mobile app to customize it. And there are lots of customization for this light that you can change to fit your mood.

I’m not a fan of excessive lighting on gadgets, but that of the RT-AX82U is different. It comes in all different shades of colors. It will flash, pulse, or roll like a wave or a rainbow, and much more. So you can customize it to fit any room perfectly.

And of course, you can turn the whole thing off completely, which is always lovely. I do wish, though, that there was a way to manage it on a schedule. For now, you need to change the lighting manually.

By the way, you can control the Aura RGB lighting only when the RT-AX82U works as a standalone device or the primary router in an AiMesh system. When working as an AiMesh node, there’s no way to manage its lighting, at least for now. You’ll be stuck with the default Aura setting (pulsing blue) or the one you last picked when it was working as the router.

Asus RT-AX82U’s detail photos

Asus RT AX82U 5
The Asus RT-AX82U and its box.

Asus RT AX82U 25
The router comes with a traditional power adapter shared with many previous Asus routers.

Asus RT AX82U Routers Left Side
The Asus RT-AX82U looks quite nice from top down. On one side it has a small array of status lights.

Asus RT AX82U Routers Right Side
On the other, you’ll note a big Asus logo.

Asus RT AX82U 9
The front of the router look quite futuristic.

Asus RT AX82U 12
It’s like that of a spaceship or a race car.

Asus RT AX82U 19
Especially when lit up.

Asus RT AX82U 10
On the back the Asus RT-AX82U has the usual amount of network ports. and one USB 3.0 port.

Asus RT AX82U 15
The Asus RT-AX82U is actually quite compact and light. Either that or I have a strong and large hand.

Asus RT AX82U 16
The Asus RT-AX82U’s underside. Note how it’s not wall-mountable.

Asus RT AX82U 22
One last photo Asus RT-AX82U with the fancy lights turned on since nobody can possibly get enough of them.

Familiar feature set and setup process

Other than the unique fancy lighting, the RT-AX82U shares the same gaming features as that of the RT-AX86U, and it behaved exactly the same in my testing.

Basically, the router will automatically create especial QoS and port-forwarding settings for a game of your choosing. On top of that, you can also use the mobile app to turn on the mobile game mode quickly.

And similar to the case of the RT-AX86, turning on a gaming feature means you will need to stop using the router’s friendly Adaptive QoS, which has a gaming section of its own.

Asus RT AX82U Asus Router App
The Asus Router mobile app is a pleasure to use and is the only way to control the RT-AX82U’s Aura RGB lighting.

I’m not big of a gamer (not anymore), and the RT-AX82U worked out as intended in my testing for games. I could live without these features, though.

All Asus’ core router features

Apart from the game-related things, it’s important to note that the RT-AX82U has all the common features you’d expect from an Asus router. Here’s the list:

  • Universal setting restoration: I tried restoring the router using the backup files from a bunch of other Asus routers, including the RT-AX86U, RT-AX3000, GT-AX11000, and all worked without a hitch. Basically, you can do that with any Asus routers running Broadcom chips. This flexibility makes upgrading to the RT-AX82U from another Asus router a super convenient job, especially if you have lots of settings, such as IP reservation or port-forwarding entries.
  • 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. In the case of the RT-AX82U, the app is a must-have since it’s the only way to control its Aura RGB lighting.
  • 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 as the way Asus define categories for web-filtering is a bit vague.
  • 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.

As a result, setting up the RT-AX82U is precisely the same as that of any other Asus router. That, by the way, is similar to the case of any standard router with a web interface. All you have to do is point a web browser from a connected computer to the router’s default IP address, which is 192.168.50.1 (or router.asus.com), and the rest is self-explanatory.

RT AX82U Web Interface
The Asus RT-AX82U share the same web interface as other router and game feature set as that of the RT-AX86U.

Asus RT-AX82U: Excellent performance

Again, since the RT-AX82U doesn’t have a multi-gig port, its speed will cap at 1 Gbps according to the way I test routers. With that in mind, the router delivered!

Impressive Wi-Fi throughputs

My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients could connect to it easily at 2.4 Gbps and produced a sustained speed of 880 Mbps at a close distance. At 40 feet (12 m) away, it now averaged 860 Mbps. Note how the numbers are close to the top speeds of Gigabit after overheads.

Asus RT AX82U 5 GHZ Wi Fi 6 Performance Chart
W-W: Extra tests done with two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients with data transmitted from one to another.

To see how the router’s wireless bandwidth panned out, I did another test with two Wi-Fi 6 clients.

And this time, the connection between the two averaged 560 Mbps and 475 Mbps for the close and long-range, respectively. That means if the router had a multi-gig port, my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client would get the sustained speeds of around 1120 Mbps and 950 Mbps, respectively.

Asus RT AX82U 5 GHZ Wi Fi 5 Performance Chart

The router did well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too. In fact, it edged out the RT-AX86U a little with the sustained speeds of 875 Mbps and 694 Mbps at the close and long-range, respectively.

Asus RT AX82U 2 4 GHZ Wi Fi 6 Performance Chart

And finally, on the 2.4 GHz band, which the RT-AX82U has lesser specs compared to its brother, the numbers were quite impressive, too.

My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 registered almost 200 Mbps at 10 feet (3 meters) away. At 40 feet (12 m), it now averaged some 160 Mbps. Both were slower than those of the RT-AX86U but not by a huge margin.

Reliable signals, excellent coverage

At publication, I’ve used the RT-AX82U for some three days consecutively and had no problem with it. I’ll keep using it for a while longer and will update on its reliability, but so far, it has proved to be a reliable router.

The RT-AX82U’s range was similar to that of the RT-AX86U in my testing, maybe slightly shorter. It’s always hard to figure this out precisely but if you live in a home of 1800 ft2 (167 m2) without thick walls, this router will be able to take care of every corner.

RT AX82U As AiMesh Node
The Asus RT-AX82U working as an AiMesh node in a system hosted by the RT-AX89X.

By the way, if you live in a larger place, you can get another one and use them in a mesh. In this case, you should wire the home with network cables first. I did try the RT-AX82U in an AiMesh system with a bunch of other routers — including the RT-AX86U, RT-AX88U, RT-AX89X, and the GT-AX1100 — and it worked out well.

OK network storage performance

Due to its relatively modest hardware specs, the RT-AX82U does have one area where it was clearly behind the RT-AX86U in my testings. When hosting a storage device, its network-attached storage performance, though not slow, could use some improvement.

Asus RT AX82U NAS Performance Chart

I tested it with a WD My Passport SSD. Via a wired Gigabit connection, its sustained copy speeds averaged 56 MB/s for writing and 73 MB/s for reading. There weren’t slow. But considering the vast amount of storage-related features the router has to offer, you will wish the numbers were higher.

Conclusion

The Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 Dual-Band Gaming Router is an excellent Wi-Fi 6 solution. It ranks close to the RT-AX86U, and which one you should pick depends mostly on your style.

If speed is what you care about, the RT-AX86U has more to offer. But if you’re living in a home of sub-Gigabit Internet, the difference between the two is minimal. That’s where the RT-AX82U’s fancy design will get you, and then the friendlier price won’t hurt.

Of course, you can always get both. In this case, though, picking which to be the primary router of the AiMesh system will be challenging. But that’s a good problem to have.

69 thoughts on “Asus RT-AX82U Gaming Router Review: A Fancy Little Wi-Fi 6 Performer”

  1. Dong

    I have a Asus RT ac66u router on my first floor. From my cable ISP i pay for 70-100mbps max. When i’m right next to the router i get the full 70-100mbps, but when i’m on the 2nd floor in the corner of my house, probably 40-50ft, my speed drops to half of what i get on the first floor, like 35-45mbps. My question is if I upgrade to the Asus RT AX82u, will this solve my drop in wifi speed on the 2nd floor. I considered getting a mesh router, but my wife does not want the router and it’s EMF near our bedroom.

    Sorry last question: One day my on my Ipad I was getting 5mbps, when i tested my connection speed to the hardwire nvidia shield, i was getting 100mbps. Is my router going out, do i need a new router?
    Thanks
    Ron

    Reply
  2. Cheers Dong!

    Great tips and advices here! Per your reviews, I ditched my old DLINK DIR-880L plus a PLC WIFI AP and set up a wired backhaul for a primary RT-AX82U with a RT-AX55 node. I still have most of my devices wired when possible (Smart TV, wired adapter for Chromecast, wired Sonos components when possible, etc).

    I live in a two story house aprox 2800 sq ft BUT one side of the house is separated from the rest with heavy structural walls and no matter where I place the routers (currently both are on the middle of each floor) I loose decent wifi signal in either side of the house on each floor.

    I’m thinking of going for a second RT-AX55 yet for a few bucks more I could go for a RT-AX58U or even RT-AX68U. When I’ve placed the RTAX55 on the lower floor of the separated area, I get good coverage on both floors of that area so my guess is that it should be enough?

    My ISP provides me with 400 / 200 Mbps and I manage to get the full 400 mbps over WIFI and/or the PLC bridge to the separated area.

    —————— ——–
    | * | | | Top F * routers (RT-AX82U top floor)
    ——————- ———
    | *|>>| | Bottom F >> 1200 MBPS PLC bridge
    ——————————–
    Main Separated area

    Wired Backhaul between routers, I have tried to put the RTAX55 router on the lower floor of the separated area via PLC and I do get better Wifi on both floors of that area, but the lower floor on the opposite side looses acceptable signal.

    The second question I have is that if the RTAX55 with its lower hardware specs takes a toll handling several wired clients (Sonos, TV, etc) might it be better to use a small unmanaged 5-switch box so that most wired devices depend on the more powerful RT-AX82U router??

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Really appreciate the in-depth review. I just upgraded my home from the T-mobile version of the AC-1900 that was without firmware updates for ages and didn’t feel safe continuing to use it. Thanks to the review I felt confident picking one of these up from my local Best-buy, interestingly they didn’t have them out on the sales floor but had many in the back, strange but glad I asked! Thank you again for your time and review!

    Reply
  4. Lately my RT-AX82U does not connect to my desktop wifi 6 board with a 2400 connection. It is only 1200. I mean no more 2×2 Mimo. Not sure if it is the router, after a firmware update or the AX200 on-board device (inside an AsRock X570 Taichi motherboard). I did a reset on the router, tried all kinds of reinstalls for the onboard device, but no luck.

    Reply
      • It was actually the channel. For some reason, after the router update it defaulted itself to auto, which meant in routers “opinion” channel 100. I’m in Romania and I do not know if we have DSF channels or if it is completely forbidden and even so, I’m in the country house, away from any airport or weather station. The village is in a hills area also.
        Long story short … I changed to 36 channel and now my AX200 device connects to 2×2 MIMO, I have my 2400/2400 connection back.
        Thank you for the heads-up with the 160MHz channels.

        Reply
  5. Thanks very much – great content which has really helped me make my upgrade choice recently.
    It’s a great product, however I’m hitting problems which, I think, are simply due to upgrading to a more sophisticated product and thus, I have a question on firewalls.
    Currently, I have a sky router connected to the master phone socket (wireless off) which then passes into this AX82 router, which is then used as the hub for all wireless connections (plus it’s wired to two PC’s).
    I’m getting instability issues with some hardware in the wireless network (mainly my Sonos speaker system). I’ve done lots of diagnostics, however I’m now wondering whether it’s a firewall issue??
    I have IPV6 firewall (inbound and outbound) turned on on my Sky Router, “general” and “IPV6” firewall turned on on the Asus Router, plus Windows firewall on my PC.
    Is this a normal configuration, or is it pointless to have both the Sky and Asus Router’s firewall settings activated?

    Reply
  6. Hi Dong,

    Really like your site, it gives someone like me who is not too techno minded a lot of helpful information.

    I am in the UK and recently got Virgin Media installed but having issues with the wifi dropping out and need to reboot the hub regularly so looking to get a new standalone router. I have 3 questions:

    1) I think I am between the TP Link Archer Ax50 and the Asus RT-AX82U. which would you recommend?

    2) Am I likely to see an improvement with either if these over my ISP router (virgin superhub 3)?

    3)Left field this one but I also have a tenda nova mw6 mesh system that I had being using previously. Will the standalone routers mentioned be better than this? The ISP router I have covers almost my entire house but as I said the consistency is poor.

    Really grateful for any help

    Reply
    • Happy to have you Stuart.

      1. I’d go with the latter. It’s a MUCH better router.
      2. Yes. Highly likely. But chances are you will need a modem (or a terminal device). Or you will need to do a double NAt setup.
      3. If the current ISP-provided router can handle the house, chances are the new one will do better. But this depends. More on that here. (I don’t think Tenda is a good brand in general.)

      You’re welcome. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Hi Dong hope you’re doing well and get a great year. Sorry to disturb I’m in search for a new router for myself. I found XT8 for 199 dollars (standalone unit) vs a RT-AX82U 189 dollars. Which one should I go for? (I’m gonna use 1 router only no mesh for me) Thanks for help and have a great 2021.

    Reply
  8. Your reviews are great. I’ve been doing research on what to get myself. I am moving into a 2000 sq ft townhome. 400 mbps Fios internet. I’m guessing it will be set up at the ground/basement level where the garage is.(They set it up this weekend) We will have streaming tv’s there, the 2nd/main floor and then 2 work offices on the top floor.

    My desktop PC and my wife’s laptop are both wifi 6, her work laptop is wifi 5. I do some gaming and she works from home. I just ordered this router on Amazon to upgrade from our current one since it’s down to $212. Is this enough? Is it overkill? I wasn’t sure if needing service on multiple levels would be okay with this. I looked at the AX 3000 as well but wasn’t sure that it would be enough. I also considered a Google mesh system but that’s not wifi 6.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Great review Dong! I’m currently debating between getting this RT-AX82u vs. RT-AC88u. I have fiber 1gbps internet but I don’t have any wifi-6 clients (though I have 30+ smart devices connecting to 2.4 & 5ghz bands). The heaviest load might just be 3 or 4 concurrent conference calls during the day. Since the price and performance of those two routers are similar, I’m not sure which one makes more sense for my scenario. Would it be better if I get the RT-AC88u one now and upgrade to a better wifi-6 (when 6e becomes more common) router a few years later? Or I might as well jump to wifi-6 with AX82u now? Thank you!

    Reply
  10. Hello there Dong! i am between RT-AX82U and RT-AX92U. they are both at a discount price in my country (170€ and 150€) I am a PC gamer and i play wireless using the 5ghz band to play , nothing else! Which one of those 2 is the best for me? i like the RT-AX82U but the only thing that holds me back is the WTFast mode the RT-AX92U has.. will this WTFast make so much difference playing wireless?
    (By the way the official website of WTfast does not include the RT-AX92U as a partnered router but the Asus website includes it.) i dont care about wifi coverage or anything else. What do you think? which is better for me ?

    Reply
    • WTFast only applies to certain games and you can install that on your PC, Christos. It also depends on where you are. Where I am, for example, it makes no difference at all. (For more on gaming routers, check out this post.) I’d go with the RT-AX82U if you haven’t experienced WTFast before. But it’s a hard call.

      Reply
      • Thank you for your fast reply ! I am from Greece and the games i play are supported from WTfast but i don’t know if it will make such a difference using this programme.. My mind tells me to buy the AX92U but my heart AX82U so i think I will go with the RT-AX82U. 😀

        Reply
          • Hello again Dong ! i bought the RT-AX82U and i want to ask something. My provider gave me MODEM/ROUTER combo. But i am confused of how to connect them together. i know that one the one edge of the ethernet must be on WAN port of the AX82U but the other must be again on the WAN of the MODEM/ ROUTER combo? or just plug it to a LAN port? i tried both but when i do the WAN – WAN connection the asus utility doesn’t detects automatically my ISP connection (PPPoE,PPtP or L2TP) and it goes to manual mode which is hard for me to configure. when i put the cable to LAN port on mode/router combo and WAN to AX82U its takes me to the step to configure the WIRELESS settings. Which is the best way to connect those 2 ? Also do i have to call my provider and tell him to enable the BRIDGE MODE on my modem/router combo so that will work only as a modem ( i tried to do it myself but i think i don’t have the authorization to do it ) or it’s fine if i leave it like this and use the AX82U as an access point connected to the modem/router?

  11. Hey Dong, love your reviews, they are fantastic and very detailed.

    I was looking at purchasing two new WIFI 6 Devices and utilising the in a mesh. Looking for some advice really on two questions, I was wondering if you could help?

    1. If I purchased an Asus RT-AX86U as my primary device and the AX82U as the secondary mesh device, apart from expected slight lower 2.4Ghz speeds, are there any downsides? I presume they will both mesh if they support AiMesh?

    2. Whilst I am looking at using the secondary device in the mesh as hard wired for AiMesh, and I have read your Dual-Band vs Tri-Band article, is there downsides to not having Tri-Band? I get you do not have dedicated Backhaul if needed, but will it make a difference? Will the issue of having only one band for 5Ghz traffic cause incompatibility issues with older equipment, or reduce throughput in any way?

    Thanks again and thanks for all the great reviews and articles.

    Reply
  12. It’s crazy, Amazon won’t have the 86 for another month. I hope you’ve been getting those commissions! You have an excellent site. I think I will wait it out over the 82. I am moving into a new apartment with 1gig up and down and really stoked to try it out on my iPhone 12. For gaming, I strictly hook up LAN to my desktop and PS4. Thanks, Dong!

    Reply
  13. Nice review. As I read it, the Aura RGB can light up different patterns. What would have been more useful is if they can be tied up to display meaningful stuffs. Like left and right showing number of clients in 2.4 and 5 GHz. Or left and right showing upload and download speed etc. Maybe Merlin will hack it someday.

    Reply
  14. Greetings from Indonesia!

    Thank you for review, just got my AX82U yesterday. It is just a new release this month in Indonesia. Just found your website today and I have been trying to catch up with your review(s).

    I am planning to get another Asus router to make an AiMesh network, I have found there are some spots with dropped performance even with the new router. Question is, should I get the same router, another cheaper Asus AX router like 56U or AX3000 or can I just get a cheap Asus AC to become a node?

    Thank you

    Reply
      • Because of the size of my house (2 floors, narrow house) I think I am going to need 2 nodes (I used 2 small range extender on my old network), but I think I could only get 1 node wired (planning to install the cable) while the other have to be in wireless setup.

        Should I just go crazy, get ZenWifi AX (XT8) and combine it with my AX82U? I am thinking, ZenWifi connected to my ISP router, while AX82U wired to the central ZenWifi and the other ZenWifi nodes connected wireless. It is more for family set up (I don’t do heavy gaming), WFH and since the pandemic the kids (two of them) have to do full online class (Google Classroom+Meet). Or should I just keep my AX82U as my main router?

        Reply
          • Finally got the TUF AX3000 router on (early) sale for our yearly 11.11 online sales. I think it is a bit overkill since I got the AX82U for the main router. Took me about 2 hour to set it as AiMesh node. Couldn’t update the firmware even when I switched it as a separate router. Finally I was able to update it manually through the AX3000 web, then reset it as the node.

            I was able to pull a CAT6 from the first floor (where my main router is) to the second floor where I put the AX3000 and it has been working very well as I have full 5Ghz coverage on the whole house now. But I just found one Android phone (an old trusty Samsung Galaxy S7 that I gave to my son as WiFi only device to submit his school works) and one IoT device (for controlling my son’s Air Conditioner) that doesn’t work well for now.

  15. Hi Dong,

    Thanks so much for the review! I’ve been reading quite a few of them and I’m a little bit stuck as to what to do in my current situation. I’ve been looking at a bunch of different routers/mesh systems, and I have decision paralysis.

    I have a 3-storey home that has a relatively small surface area (kind of like a long and skinny shape with ~700 sq ft per floor) where the router sits on the main floor. Right now I have the Nighthawk AX1800 Mesh system with two satellites, and I’m kind of underwhelmed with it for what it cost me, and may return it. At times the connection speed is poor, and I have a network drive that transfers insanely slow on it.

    I’ve been looking at this router and a bunch of others, and I’m wondering if you think this would work without any mesh extenders? I’ve also been looking at a few AX3000 models, and trying to get a grasp on what I should get. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I do have a gigabit internet plan and I’d like to use it to its potential.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • A couple of things, Kyle.

      1. Chances are you won’t be able to see 1 Gbps Internet speed on your devices. More here.
      2. A good router placed in the middle can probably handle a 2100 sf home, like yours. More here.
      3. Generally it’s a good idea to get your home wired, espially when you use a dual-band mesh.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the quick reply Dong, appreciate it! My home is actually wired up already, I just wasn’t sure if I could wire the satellites or not, and although it’s wired, the person who setup the modem ran in the cord about 20 feet away from where the wires come out (d’oh!). I’m looking at ways that I might be able to utilize it now without running wires all over the place – it definitely would be nice to use.

        Also, I was wondering if you might have an answer for this – my ISP provided my with a big ugly router (Bell Home Hub 3000), and I know with a lot of routers, I can buy a SFP Media Converter and get rid of the router they provided and use one that I’ve purchased. Do you think the Nighthawk MR63 would be able to do this? Right now I have the HH3000’s wifi disabled, and I activated DMZ as bridge mode is disabled. Not a requirement, but it would be nice to ditch it, as it’s quite an eyesore.

        Thanks so much!

        Reply
  16. Well, after reading 3 times both AX86U and 82U excellent reviews i still hesitate between both !
    Performance for 86U, look for 82U in the living room 😉
    It’d be my main router with 3 other nodes connected by cable, the main router will have to cover the widest area compared to others
    My internet connection right now is 400 Mbp, i can upgrade to a 1Gb

    Reply
  17. Hi Dong,

    First of all, thanks for the review and other informative guides!

    I am considering AX82U or AX3000 to replace my current main router AC68U. My use case is to retire my AC68U router to a AiMesh node for a large size house and entirely retire my currently N66U repeater setup. My internet is only 150Mbps so peak transfer speed is not my main concern. However, when I play latency intensive FPS games, I am experiencing dropped packets due to (seemingly) network congestion from other clients streaming videos. I tried QoS to prioritize gaming on AC68U and it didn’t help a bit. My gaming clients are in the same room as the router albeit on 5Ghz wifi instead of ethernet. From monitoring the network traffic, the total bandwidth is not under much stress (<1/4 of the allowable up and down). There are also a dozen smart home devices that rarely transmit.

    So in summary, my use case decent coverage and allowing for low latency games to not get interrupted by moderate level of concurrent streaming. Maximum transfer speed not a priority of mine. AX82U and AX3000 look like very similar routers to my eyes except the former has a lot of "Gamer" specific features. Would picking AX82U solve my latency issues over AX3000 or AX3000 is enough of an upgrade to handle the load? And would you recommend something different all together?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  18. Hi Dong,

    As usual, really appreciated all your effort to put up so many good reviews here, I started following your page since I am looking for a new WiFi router.

    Typically I am struggling between RT-AX82u and RT-AX86u, I am not a gamer and have not a big house (my apartment is about 1200 square feet). However the internet termination point is installed at the edge or my apartment, although I have 1 data point installed on the ceiling behind a beam at the center of the apartment but the beam blocks most of the signal unfortunately.

    Long story sort, I am currently using TPLink Deco M5 mesh (1 + 1) on a 1Gbps internet connection and mainly have 3 laptops, 3 iPhones, 2 iPad and 1 Android TV box will be used concurrently, the reason for me to look for an upgrade is because whenever I started watching a video (HD only) from the Android box, the router will stop working and I have to restart both routers to restore the WiFi connection. I suspected that it is because the Deco M5 couldn’t handle the traffic. I don’t have any WiFi 6 device yet but though it is worth to get a WiFi 6 router for this upgrade.

    May I have your professional advise that what to be the best option/solution according to my situation?

    Many thanks
    Jeff

    Reply
  19. I am currently using a pair of AC68U since it was released and I am planning to switch to WIFI 6 because now I have more gears with WIFI 6 and Work From Home with connection dropping all the time is not fun at all.
    Do you suggest that I put the RT-AX86U as the main router and using wired backhaul to RT-AX92U as another node?

    Reply

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