Asus RT-AX86U Review: The Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router to Date

Asus RT AX86U 24
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX86U is a large router with a relatively small footprint.

The RT-AX86U AX5700 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router is the more powerful option out of the two new gaming routers Asus announced late last month. And it proved to be a stellar contender in my testing.

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

Unlike the GT-AX11000, the RT-AX86U is not a full gaming router, in my opinion. First, it doesn’t include the Asus ROG signature lighting or fancy theme decoration. (For that might need to wait for the RT-AX82U). Also, it doesn’t have every game-related feature found in the tri-band cousin.

But gamers sure will still have fun with it. Most importantly, no matter how you view it, the Asus RT-AX86U an all-around excellent standalone (and mesh-ready) Wi-Fi 6 machine that truly delivers. So, at a current price of $250, it’s a steal. Get it!

ASUS RT-AX86U AX5700 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

9

Performance

9.0/10

Features

9.5/10

Easy of use

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast performance, excellent range, reliable
  • Tons of helpful networking features and settings
  • Useful settings for online gaming
  • Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app
  • Multi-gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support
  • Excellent NAS performance and features when hosting a storage device
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • No support for WTFast Gamer VPN
  • Not wall-mountable
  • Gaming features turn Adaptive QoS off
  • Multi-gig port caps at only 2.5 Gbps

Asus RT-AX86U: The RT-AC86U’s worthy upgrade

The RT-AX86U reminds me of the RT-AX88U that came out last year. For the most part, both are the Wi-Fi 6 version of Asus’s Wi-Fi 5 counterparts, the RT-AC86U, and RT-AC88U, respectively.

While the RT-AX88U didn’t have much to qualify as a must-upgrade — it’s basically like the older cousin plus the support for Wi-Fi 6 — the RT-AX86U now is an entirely new beast that will tempt you.

To put it in perspective, the RT-AC86U is a great router I still recommend today. And I will keep doing so for as long as Wi-Fi 5 remains relevant. With that in mind, I have no problem calling the RT-AX86U an excellent upgrade, especially if you have a Gigabit-class broadband connection.

Asus RT-AX86U’s hardware specifications

Compact footprint, multi-gig ready

The RT-AX86U shares the same upright design as its Wi-Fi 5 version. It’s not a small router but still manages to have a relatively compact footprint. In return, it’s not wall-mountable, you need a surface for it. The router has good heft and will stay put. It won’t topple easily.

Asus RT AX86U 18
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech There’s an array of tiny LED lights on the router’s front.

The RT-AX86U comes with three removable antennas that you can swivel around its top. Asus insists that there’s a fourth one hidden inside the chassis, but nobody cares. On the front, there’s an array of tiny status lights for the route’s Wi-Fi bands and network ports.

On the back, there are the usual four Gigabit LAN ports (for local wired clients) and one Gigabit WAN (Internet) port. What makes the RT-AX86U special is the presence of the new 2.5 Gbps port that can work either as a LAN (default) or a WAN.

And you can do a lot of things with the router’s network ports, including:

  • Combine the LAN1 and LAN2 ports into an aggregated 2 Gbps LAN connections. This feature, available in most Asus routers, is great to host a NAS server or any devices that also feature Link Aggregation.
  • Use LAN1 as the game port. A wired device connected to this port will automatically get prioritized for online games.
  • Combine the WAN port and the LAN4 port into an aggregated 2 Gbps WAN connection. This configuration works great for those having a 2 Gbps Internet connection via a modem with WAN Link Aggregation.
  • When you choose to use the 2.5 Gbps port as the primary WAN port, the original WAN port now works as LAN.

With these options and flexibilities, one might wish there were more network ports — I sure did — but six is a decent number. And the router also includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports that support a host of USB-related features, just like any other Asus routers.

Asus RT-AX86U’s detail photos

Asus RT AX86U 2
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX86U’s retail box.

Asus RT AX86U 3
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The router comes with three detachable antennas.

Asus RT AX86U 4
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX86U comes with six network ports and two USB ports.

Asus RT AX86U 15
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech One of those ports is a 2.5 Gbps LAN/WAN port.

Asus RT AX86U 6
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX86U is quite compact and relatively light, or maybe I’m just strong.

Asus RT AX86U 7
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech You’ll find the LED on/off switch on its right side.

Asus RT AX86U 8
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech And on the left, there’s the WPS button.

Asus RT AX86U 11
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The red ventilation gill on the underside is just that, and not a fancy light as one might hope.

Asus RT AX86U 25
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The swivel the antennas all around on the router’s top.

Asus RT AX86U 16
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX86U is the first Asus router I’ve seen that comes with a modular power adapter, making it easy for it to fit in different parts of the world.

Asus RT AX86U 1
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The only lights you’ll see on the Asus RT-AX86U are those tiny ones on its front.

Asus RT-AX86U: All those familiar features you’ve been enjoying

The RT-AX86U comes with a host of common functions and settings available in most, if not all, of Asus routers. Even though I’ve collectively mentioned them all in previous reviews, they worked so well on the new router that it’s worth going through them again here.

The time-saving universal setting restoration

The RT-AX86U can take the setting backup file of any other Asus router. And it did so very well.

Indeed, I tried restoring it with backups from a bunch of Asus routers — including the RT-AC86U, RT-AX300, RT-AX92U, GT-AX11000 — and they all worked flawlessly.

The restore process automatically ignores irrelevant settings of the old router and applies the rest. For example, when I used the backup file of a tri-band router, such as the GT-AX11000 or RT-AX92U, the configuration of the 5 GHz-2 band was ignored. That happened both when I used the routers as a standalone or the host of an AiMesh system.

By the way, even if you’re using your old router as the main one in an AiMesh setup, the whole mesh setup will migrate over to the new the RT-AX86U — all the node units will remain. In my case, I didn’t have to re-add them at all.

What’s interesting was the fact the settings of unique features — such as the VPN server, or Dynamic DNS — also migrated in my case. What’s more, the data of certain features moved over, too, as though I had been using the same router. Basically, the way I experienced it, everything was carried over beautifully.

Since my network has lots of customization, including a ton of entries for port-forwarding and IP reservations, this universal setting restoration proved to be an incredible time-saver. If you’re using an Asus router, keep this in mind the next time you upgrade.

RT AX86U Network Protection
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX86U comes with the standard web user interface and includes lots of useful settings and features. Note the dates of the Network Protection feature, those were ported over from the old router.

Of course, the router works well, too, if not better, when you set it up anew from scratch. And, note that using the backup file of another router can also carry over erroneous settings. So make sure to back up your old one when it’s working well.

The robust full web interface with a standard setup process

The RT-AX86U shares the same web user interface as that of other Asus routers, including the RT-AC86U. So if you have used an Asus router before, you’ll feel right at home with this new one.

You can get to the interface by pointing a browser on a connected computer to the router’s default IP address, which is 192.168.50.1 or router.asus.com.

Together with this interface is the fact you can set up the RT-AX86U the way you do all standard routers. I was able to get it up running in less than 15 minutes, including upgrading it to the latest firmware.

But the interface has a lot of options and settings, which can be overwhelming for novice users. In this case, they can opt for the mobile app.

The helpful Asus Router mobile app

Unlike the mobile app of other routers, the Asus Router doesn’t require a login account with the vendor.

By default, the app only works locally — your phone must connect to the router’s Wi-Fi network. However, you can turn on remote access via Dynamic DNS so that you can manage your home network when you’re out and about.


There are two scenarios.

  • If you haven’t set up DDNS on the router, the app will do that for you using Asus’s own free DDNS service, as I detailed in this post. In this case, it will pick up a domain name in the form of xxx.asuscomm.com, where xxx is a random string of text.
  • If you have already set up DDNS separately, including when you use a popular third-party host such as Dyn.com or NoIP.com, the app will automatically use the domain name you picked.

In either case, there’s little or no privacy concern, the DDNS host generally only has the information of your WAN IP and not much else. Your Internet traffic doesn’t go through it.


Overall the app is well-designed and responsive. It also has in-depth access to most of the router’s settings and features, including those of an AiMesh system.

With the RT-AX86U, the Asus Router app has an additional feature, which is the Mobile Game Mode. Available only locally, this allows you to quickly tune the router, via one tap, for mobile gaming.

Asus Router App
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus Router mobile app is a pleasure to use to control a single router or a mesh system.

In all, while I personally still use the web interface, the Asus Router one of a few mobile apps I’d recommend for your Wi-Fi network. It’s a bit geeky, in a good way, and overall a pleasure to use.

The valuable AiProtection feature

AiProtection includes a Parental Control feature and an online protection engine called Network Protection powered by Trend Micro.

The latter is free-for-life and protects the entire network in real-time against online threats and malware. It worked as expected on the RT-AX86U during my trial.

Note on privacy: When you turn on Network Protection, certain Internet traffic will pass through Trend Micro. However, that’s the only way the system can protect you.

The Parental Control feature could use some improvement, though. It was easy to use, but the way Asus defines categories for web-filtering is a bit vague, and you can’t block a specific website, which is a significant shortcoming.

The Flexible Adaptive QoS and helpful Traffic Analyzer

Asus’s Adaptive QoS is one of my favorites in the Quality of Service. It’s super flexible in prioritizing the Internet since it does so based on the type of traffic rather than connected clients.

You can set it up with minimum effort and the router will take care of everything for you, including figuring out your download and upload speeds. The RT-AX86U also features another way to manage QoS if you choose to use its gaming features. More on this below.

The Traffic Analyzer, on the other hand, is a set of tools and statistics. It’s super helpful in case you want to find out what’s been going on in the network during a period or in real-time.

This part is true for all Asus router that has a USB port.

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.

On top of that, you can also use the router’s USB ports to host printers or select USB cellular modems. By having two USB ports, the RT-AX86U allows you to have two USB-based applications at a time, and with the multi-gig port, it also delivers excellent NAS performance as you will see below.

Asus RT-AX86U: An interesting set of gaming features

As mentioned above, the RT-AX86U doesn’t have everything the GT-AX11000 has in terms of online gaming support. But it also has something of its own.

Specifically, the new router doesn’t include the support for WTFast GPN, which is a VPN for gamers. In return, it’s the first from Asus that’s certified for NVIDIA GeForce NOW.

It’s worth noting that the latter is just a tweak in the router’s QoS, and you can probably achieve that manually on the GT-AX11000. So, if you’re a real hardcore gamer, the support for WTFast is perhaps a better value. But then again, you can also use WTFast at the computer level, independently from the router.

Adaptive QoS vs. Game features

Without the support for WTFast, all of the RT-AX86U’s game-related features, including Game Accelerator, Open NAT, and Mobile Game Mode, are just special QoS settings and port-forwarding tweaks.

(By the way, while the Mobile Game Mode starts with the RT-AX86U, it’s available retrospectively to other gaming Asus routers, including the GT-AX11000, when you upgrade them to the latest firmware. That was the case in my trial.)

RT AX86U Game Features
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX86U’s game-related features basically includes easy way for users to tune the router’s port-forwarding or QoS features.

In other words, the gist of how the router’s gaming features work is like this: Just tell the router which game or games you want to play, and it will configure all the related settings for you. (As opposed to you having to do that manually, which is possible but requires more work and then you’ll have less time to play). The objective here is to get the games, or the console, the highest possible priority to the Internet.

And while that worked as intended in my trial — I’m no hardcore gamer and have relatively low expectations on this front — one thing is clear:

If you choose to use the RT-AX86U’s game features, that will generally require a different QoS mode, instead of the user-friendly Adaptive QoS. As a result, other critical applications, such as video conferencing or Voice over IP, might suffer. So, you have to choose between gaming and working.

On the other hand, if you keep using Adaptive QoS, which has a gaming section of its own, chances are you can keep everything to co-exist peacefully, though not all applications will work at their best.

The point here is that the router’s game-related features might not necessarily be all good in all cases. I hate to break it to you, but the router will not give you everything you want, all the time.

Mobile Game Mode
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Mobile Game Mode only works locally and will turn Adaptive QoS off.

Asus RT-AX86U: Stellar performance

What’s always great, however, is the RT-AX86U’s performance.

With the 2.5 Gbps port and the support for 160 MHz channel width, you can expect the top speeds out of this router. And that was exactly what I got in my testing.

READ NOW:  The Right Way To Do an Internet or Wi-Fi Speed Test

Excellent Wi-Fi speeds

My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client was able to connect to the router at 2.4 Gbps quite easily and consistently and registered the sustained speed at a close range of 1245 Mbps. At 40 feet (12 m) away, it now still averaged almost 1080 Mbps. These were among the fastest I’ve seen.

Asus RT AX86U Wi Fi 6 5 GHZ Perfomance Chart
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech (W-W): Tested done with two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients.

Just for kicks, I decided to test the router using two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients. In a full wireless connection, the router still delivered some 600 Mbps and 520 Mbps at close and long ranges, respectively.

Asus RT AX86U Wi Fi 5 5 GHZ Perfomance Chart
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The RT-AX86U did well with Wi-Fi 5 devices, too. At a close range, my 4×4 test client got the sustained speed of some 870 Mbps. And at 40 feet away, my 3×3 laptop managed to connect at some 670 Mbps. There were also among the fastest on the charts.

Asus RT AX86U Wi Fi 6 2 4 GHZ Perfomance Chart
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

On the 2.4 GHz band, which has always been slow where I live, the RT-AX86U did very well, too. It was again, one of the fastest, registering the real-world speeds of more than 260 Mbps and some 180 Mbps at close and long ranges, respectively.

In all, while the Asus RT-AX86U isn’t the fastest Wi-Fi 6 router I’ve tested, it’s up there on the charts. Most important, among similarly-priced routers, it’s definitely the fastest one.

Excellent reliability and and range

The RT-AX86U delivered excellent range in my testing, edging out that of the GT-AX11000 by a small margin. It’s hard to put Wi-Fi range in a specific number, but at certain locations where I only got 3 bars with the GT-AX11000, I had full bars with the RT-AX86U and slightly faster real-world speed.

So it’s safe to say if you have a home of some 2000 ft2 (186 m2) or smaller, this router will be able to handle it when placed in the middle.

Dongs AiMesh Network
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX86U as the primary router in an AiMesh system.

The router also passes my 5-day stress test with no issue at all. Let me put it this way; I’ve always used the GT-AX11000 as the primary router in my personal AiMesh system since I first got it for my review. It’s been a great router!

Now, after having switched it out with the RT-AX86U for testing purposes, I don’t want to put it back anymore. And that’s really something.

Totally fast NAS performance

With the 2.5 Gbps port, the RT-AX86U has no excuse in network attached storage (NAS) performance when hosting a portable drive. And it didn’t need one.

Asus RT AX86U NAS Perfomance Chart
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

I tested it using the Crucial X8 and the WD My Passport and it excelled in copy speeds.

Via a 2.5 Gbps wired connection, the router delivered the sustained speeds of some 150 MB/s and 140 MB/s for reading and writing, respectively. And via a regular 1 Gbps connection, it averaged around 110 MB/s for both, about the max speed of Gigabit.

That said, if you want to dabble into network storage, the RT-AX86U sure will make an excellent mini NAS server, especially when you consider its generous amount of storage-related features.

Conclusion

The RT-AX86U AX5700 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router is in no way the first Asus router I’ve reviewed, nor is it the last. However, it’s the first that I found problem-free in Wi-Fi performance. And that’s big, considering Asus routers are known to be buggy at launch. (The RT-AX88U was a prime example.)

More importantly, this router has everything one would want from a Wi-Fi 6 machine, including the multi-gig support, top Wi-Fi specs, a robust interface, an excellent mobile app, and a ton of features and settings. And then it has the performance to match all of those.

Of course, there are always more I’d want the Asus RT-AX86U to offer, like tri-band, more network ports, faster multi-gig speeds, and a nice bottle of wine. But, still, when I say it’s the best Wi-Fi 6 router to date, I mean it. This router is worth every penny of its $250 price tag.

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147 thoughts on “Asus RT-AX86U Review: The Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router to Date”

  1. Thank you for the review. I have a 3 level home with the modem buried the basement. The house is wired with cat5e ethernet in most rooms. I purchased the ASIS ZenWifi 2 pack, but I think I need a dedicated router in the basement to help with the AI mesh coverage. Based on your recommendation, I am thinking of buying the ASUS RT-AX86U AX5700 router to connect with the basement modem and add the Zenwifi’s to the second and 3rd floor, all units hardwired/backhauled. I have 2 questions: 1. Is there any good reason to pay more for the Rapture gt-ax11000 router? I’m not a gamer. 2. Will the AI mesh function properly with One ASUS router and the 2 Zenwifi units (in AP mode I’m guessing – will the app set that up or do I)?
    Thank you for all your great work!

    Reply
      • Thank you for the advice, it makes sense to get two dual band AX86U routers instead and create a back-wired AI mesh that way.
        1. Is there a difference between the AI mesh created by two wired AX86U vs the two ZenWIFI units (wired) as far stability, range and mobile app features?
        2. The AX88U is a bit better, spec wise, than AX86U, but I’m worried about the AI mesh of two of those. In you review you describe the AX88U node needed to be restarted frequently to work. Also amazon has a lot of reviews about how glitchy AX88U is. Do you know if the glitches were resolved by now by the newer firmware updates?
        3. If I keep the modem/router from Centurylink gigabit fiber, and add the ZenWifi to the CL router (backhauled wired), I’m assuming both ZenWIFI units will be set in AP mode. Will they still generate a fully featured Ai mesh with parent control features?
        I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your knowledge and answers !

        Reply
    • I just bought the AX86U for main router and floor 0 and i’m very happy, if not gamer i don’t see why i should upgrade to a AX11000 …
      I was thinking about 2 or 3 mesh satellites to complete my mesh system, Asus XT8 but they seems to be instable and too costly. Also i have ethernet cables to connect the satellites so i don’t need a 3 band system … so i’m looking availability of the 3 nodes Zenwifi AX Mini XD4 … but nobody is selling them

      Reply
  2. Dong, would happen to know the maximum storage size for a usb external drive connected to this router. I honestly didn’t think storage size was an issue with any drive connected to the usb port of a router until I started reading online about the processor limitations using large usb external storage. Since this asus gets a good score for usb transfer speeds as a sort of a mini NAS, and since it has a pretty powerful cpu, do you think a 12tb wd drive connected to this router streaming to a few 2019 Nvidia Shield pro’s would be too large of a drive to work it. I’ve read people were successfully running an 8tb drive with the previous gen without issues, so I’m just wondering, in your experience, have you tried anything close to a 12 tb usb external drive on this router?

    Thanks for any input.

    Reply
    • Good question! I haven’t checked, Lee. I’ve always used a few portable SSDs but all of them cap at 2 TB. (There’s no larger portable SSD so far). However, if it can do an 8 TB then for sure a 12 TB will work. It’s just a matter of MBR vs. GPT.

      Reply
      • Thanks Dong for the input. I guess one way to find out for sure is just to buy the Asus router and see if it works.

        I really enjoy all your reviews.

        Regards

        Reply
  3. Hi Dong, i’m going to buy either a AX86U or AX82U as main router, still hesitate between both, and i’d like to have 2 or 3 more satellites in mesh.
    – All will be with RJ45,
    – 2 will be indoor, medium wifi coverage (about 10 to 15 meter with small walls
    – 1 will be outdoor (but protected from rain), medium+ coverage (15/20 meter)
    I’m waiting for Zenwifi XD4 but they are still not available in Europe.
    => do you have any news about a worldwide availability ?
    => what other Asus node points you would advise for my 3 satellites in mesh mode ? (not too expansive)
    Thanks

    Reply
  4. hi Dong,

    Nice review there, been following your articles since early this year.
    I have AC86U (main) and AC66U B1 (node) in aimesh.

    Working well so far with a very few hiccups which needs me to restart my main router.

    Do you think I should upgrade to AX86U? Can I mix AC86U as node, since your other article mentioned it is not good to mix between AX and AC.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  5. Hello Dong
    I’ve been trying to find a way to talk or chat to Asus about my rt-ax86u and some info on the tr-ax89x but having no luck. When I click on chat i get directed to the help page that just has a list of pre-canned questions and canned answers.
    Have you come across a functioning link?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • I don’t usually need to contact support, Darryl. But if I do, I’ll just call my contacts at the company. If you can’t find the info online, chances are the person you can reach won’t know, either, since you can’t reach the engineers.

      Reply
  6. I came across your site when i was researching routers. Based on your review, i bought the Asus rt-AX86u. Absolutely love it! It’s fixed so many little issues that i was having in my house. I’m a first time Asus user, and i am in love with the firmware and all of its features.
    That being said, i do have a question. I’m setting up some parental controls with some content blocking. Do you know if there is a way to change the landing page of blocked content? Currently, it gives the “Secure Connection Failed” page, but is pretty generic and a little hard to tell if the site is being blocked by the Rule or if its something else. Would having a custom blocked content page only be available if i choose to use another DNS service?
    Regardless, i love your site and am going to buy you a coffee!

    Reply
    • You’re on the right track, Seth. And no, there’s no way to customize that page. And yes, you can use OpenDNS’s parental control and get a completely new set of blocking customization. Thanks for the support! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Dong, wow, I just spent a few hours on your site reading your reviews and articles. Impressive detail. Thank you.

    I have a 3700 sq ft U-shaped ranch home that’s spread out, and recently upgraded to Gigabit fiber. My primary router in the center of the house is a Linksys EA9500 AC5400. On the left side of the house, connected via cat 7 is a TP-Link AC1750 (Archer 7) in bridge mode. I’d like to boost the signal strength on the right side of the house (also wired) — the Linksys wifi gets there, but it’s weak. Based on your reviews, I was thinking of getting the Asus RT-AX86U to place there. (I like the performance and security features.)

    My questions are:
    1. If I get the RT-AX86U, should I make that my primary router? And if so, does it matter if I put it in the center rather than the side of the house? (the wiring in my house would permit either the center or right side to be primary in a “star topology” — not daisy chained.)

    2. Or instead, should I consider replacing everything with Asus ZenWifi AX Tri-band 2-pack (when it comes back in stock)? Perhaps locating them on the two sides of the house and skip the center location?

    3. Or something else?

    My son is a gamer, and we sometimes have 6 simultaneous Zooms.

    Reply
    • Happy to have you here, Reed.

      Since you have wired the place, you have a lot of well-performing options.

      1. Use the RT-AX86U as the main router. It’s fine to daisy-chain if you use network cables to link the hardware. But the star topology is still the best. So you’re fine on this front.
      2. Use the rest of your existing routers in the AP mode (which you might call “bridge” though that’s actually something else.) OR
      2b. Get two other dual-band AiMesh Wi-Fi 6 routers, any is fine, really. Pick the one with the Wi-Fi speed you want. But these will work well: RT-AX86U, RT-AX82U, RT-AX3000, RT-AX88U, ZenWiFi XD4.
      3. Don’t go with tri-band routers.

      Reply
  8. Hi Dong, thank you for such a wonderful site full of great info, I have read many of your articles and am always impressed by your vast know-how and also by the effort you put into each one.

    I need help. Today I have NG RAX120 and EAX80 extender. But I’ve got 75+ wifi clients in my “smart” house and it seems every couple days my kids laptops get booted (wifi connected, no internet to their clients but rest of house is fine, laptop reboot doesn’t work, maybe a dns issue IDK but I have to reboot wifi) which is awfully inconvenient while they’re in virtual learning and IT support (dad) is on his own work Zooms.

    Rather than troubleshoot my existing NG setup, I’d rather get a new setup that has good parental controls and a true mesh, so I am leaning towards a new all-in Asus setup.

    My main location is 1st floor, with a wired backhaul available on 2nd floor. But I’d also like to have mesh nodes on the work desks of my kids so they can use a wired connection to the node. (I’m thinking I’ll have fewer IT issues with the wifi from nodes vs their laptops/ipads etc). Thus, I think I want 1 main, 1 wired mesh node, 2 wifi mesh nodes.

    Based on working through a number of your posts, I am leaning towards ASUS RT-AX86U for the Main, and then ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) for the 3 nodes.

    I’m hopeful (please!) you can help with a few questions: Is this a decent plan? Is there another route I should try? Will all 3 of the XD4 units work as nodes? Will the Parental Controls available in RT-AX86U work correctly from the XD4 units despite those having less features in their firmware? If you were choosing, would you go AX11000 or AX86U for your main?

    Reply
      • Hi Dong- thank you. I double checked the RAX-120 and IP pool size is 2-254. I suspect that the issue with my kids laptops is with their client somewhere, I noticed one laptop that was wifi “Connected, No Internet” worked just fine just by plugging in wired connection.

        In any case, I’d say at this point that my prime motivation is to get a Router with nice Parental Controls, and having mesh nodes on the kids desks with wired connections would be a nice bonus.

        I am leaning towards ASUS RT-AX86U for the Main, and then ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) for the 3 nodes. If the XD4’s are all AIMesh Nodes, will they be correctly governed by the RT-AX86U’s Parental Controls? I believe I read in your post that the XD4’s had stripped down QoS and PC’s, I’m not sure if that means they’re limited even when running as nodes. I liked the XD4 looks, for sitting desk-top, but am open to other options.

        As you noted, my house has a lot of clients so I do want my main unit to be robust enough for all the workloads. (gaming is not a top priority though) Is there any reason to consider the AX11000 over the AX86U? Is consumer grade good enough, or should I be looking at commercial grade gear at this point?

        many, many thanks… I don’t know how you find the time to respond to so many people’s questions!

        Reply
  9. Hi Dong,
    Exceptional review, thank you! I am on verge to replace my very old but somehow stable router. After some research I narrow down my list to 3 routers until I came across with RT-AX86U. When your review published, I had no doubt to go with Asus RT-AX86U since my other options were either expensive or not convincing as the Asus. However, just about to purchase I found TP-Link Archer AX11000 priced down to $300 from original price, which makes it $50 more expensive than Asus RT-AX86U with all that AX11000 bells and whistles! So, I need your help to choose between RT-AX86U and Archer AX11000 for me. I regularly play games but I’m not a hardcore gamer. WIFI coverage for both devices seems to be enough for me (about 2500 sqft). AX5700 data rate is more than enough for me, let alone AX11000. I don’t need mesh at this moment but it’s a feature that I prefer to have if it doesn’t cost me a fortune. I’m not sure if AX11000 superior specs like tri-band, 4×4 MIMO for all bands, higher speed rate is something that I seriously need to consider in my case, what are your thoughts?
    Notes: Unlike Asus, TP-Link tends to update once a blue moon. AX11000 currently doesn’t have a mesh capability even though they promised to add mesh ever since it was released, still waiting! Potential custom Merlin firmware for Asus is something that I really like. I prefer hardwired networking over wireless so I need to add an unmanaged switch to RT-AX86U, while AX11000 comes with 8 ports.

    Things that personally I like or I don’t about these two routers, outside what you already addressed in your reviews:
    RT-AX86U I like: performance, regular updates, possible custom firmware. I don’t like: 4 lan ports. all for $250 + $25 (for adding a switch)
    Archer AX11000: flagship features, 8 lan ports. I don’t like: No mesh support (promised but not very optimistic) and slow updates (I heard but never had a TP-link router, very happy with their Kasa products though) for $300.

    And since you published Asus RT-AX82U review yesterday, which one you would choose between Asus RT-AX86U or Asus RT-AX82U?

    I would really appreciate your help, thank you.

    Reply
  10. I enjoy reading all your articles. Thanks.
    I have used RT-AC87U for last five years. Looks like time to retire for AC87.
    I am thinking of buying RT-AX86U or RT-AX89X (both have a rating of 9 from you).
    If price is not a concern then which one I should buy?
    Also, can I use RT-AC87U as a node in mesh? I see on Asus site that in mesh router, RT-AC87U is not mentioned in the list of mesh router!

    Reply
      • Thanks Dong for a prompt reply. Your site is the best to get knowledge on networking and other hardware. Five years back, I took your advise while you were working for CNET and bought Asus RT-AC87U. And I still enjoy RT-AC87U. Looks like, soon, I will replace it with RT-AX86U or RT-AX89X. Again, thanks for all your excellent suggestions to make our life easy.

        Reply
  11. Hello,

    Just wondering if the Asus RT-AX86U stock firmware supports a SMB version greater than 1. Not looking to tweak windows to allow SMBv1.

    Alternatively, is there a comparable router that supports full tunnel vpn and ftp access and also uses SMBv2 or 3?

    I like the detailed reviews you provide. Very helpful.

    Reply
  12. Saludos, soy nuevo por acá pero me gustaría me pudieras ayudar con un problema de red que poseo.

    Actualmente cuento con una conexión por fibra óptica de 500mbps, tengo desde el año 2013 utilizando el router Linsys Ac 1750 y siempre me funciono bien hasta que adquiri esta velocidad de 500mbps ya que anteriormente solo tenia contratados 20mbps. El router pareciera no soportar la velocidad que me brinda mi operador de red y solo en la banda de 2,4ghz alcanza maximo 40mbps y en la de 5ghz 220mbps. Deseo poder disfrutar de la velocidad completa contratada y estoy en la busqueda del mejor enrutador en el orden de precios como el del Asus Ax86u. Mi pregunta es, podra este router brindarme los 500mbps en ambas bandas o cuales serian las velocidades maximas a alcanzar en cada una.

    Reply
    • No, Eudo, el RT-AX86U (como todos routers) no va a brindarte los 500mbps en la banda de 2.4 GHz, pero solo en la 5.0 GHz band.(Puedes ver su velocidades de ambas bandas sobre las tablas de rendimiento). Necesitas los clientes los que sont capaz de los 500 Mbps ou mas rapido, tambien. Soy hablando de la velocidad del mundo real, no teórica. Lea esta articulo para mas.

      Reply
  13. You Convinced Me!
    I now have to make my rt-ac68 Sad.
    Sorry Buddy, You served me Great. for almost Half a Decade.
    time for Retirement.

    Reply
      • I need your suggestion on a router plan. I just read this article and trying to come up with a plan to change my stuff. My house is 3500 ft2(1750 main 1750 basement). My wireless router is in the basement, that’s where my main tv and kids Xbox is at. I have an Apple extreme and airport and am having slow wireless speed with my devices. 1computer, 3 laptops ,2 iPhone 11 Pro, 4 tablets one is iPad Pro, printer, 3 smart TVs , 1apple tv , 2 wireless security cameras and 1grarage door link. The wireless router has to be down in the basement and I cannot run any networking cables in the house. Do I start with this router and create a mesh system with it? If so what other parts do I need? Or do I just buy a mesh system already complete? I want to step up to WiFi 6 if possible. Unless you think it is not worth doing. Any ideas would help. I’m having trouble with the system I have right now and it keeps running slow or having connectivity issues while the 4 of us are on the system.

        Reply
        • Daniel, here’s what you should do:

          1. Run a network cable along your basement.
          2. Get two of this router, or this one and another dual-band AiMesh router. Or any other dual-band AiMesh combo you prefer.
          3. Set the first one up as the main router where the Internet drop is, and the 2nd one at the far end of your basement.

          Now try to place the routers higher up, close to the ceiling of the basement, and you’re all set.

          Reply
  14. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for the RT_AX86U review, very helpful in my decision of buying the RT-AX86U to extend my existing AiMesh network.

    My existing AiMesh network is made of a RT-AC5300 as the main AiMesh router and a RT-AC86U as a node.

    Should I replace the RT-AC5300 as the main AiMesh router by the new RT-AX86U or keep the RT-AC5300 as the main AiMesh router?

    Any difference in performance or functionality between the two configurations?

    Reply
  15. Hello
    does the dual wan settings allow us to choose a USB 4G lte dongle for fail-over purpose?
    I can’t find the information… :/
    thanks !
    Vincent

    Reply
  16. Just got one and must say it is very good.
    Just an evolution, less heat, a bit faster, better built (at least the rocker switch for ON/Off).
    I was OK with the RT-AC86U but like the AX86U better now.
    Again, just a slight improvement but unlike going from wireless N to AC the step from AC to AX is minimal.
    I don’t see the AX86U as essential, especially if you are on a good AC router.
    If you need a new one this one is recommended for sure.

    Reply
  17. Hi Dong -> Great Review. I enjoyed reading your article. Just want to get your thought between this router and Amplifi Alien. Correct me if I’m wrong, technically purchasing 2 RT-AX86U will work the same with Amplifi Alien Mesh Kit since Amplifi Alien doesn’t have dedicated backhaul. It will act as dual band to connect to the satellite.

    Just want to ask your experience as well using AIMESH for this router? Did you encounter any issues? I’m not sure if one router is enough on my home. That’s why I’m planning to purchase a single router first(between Alien or RT-AX86U). Hence, I’m looking your opinion using this router as AIMESH.

    Reply
  18. Hi Dong,
    If I understand correctly I can connect my backhaul cable from the 2.5G port (using it as a LAN) of the ax86u to the Wan of my ac86u node. My modem is wired to the 1G wan and the 4 gigabit LANs are full.
    Thanks
    Stay well.

    Reply
    • That’s correct, Darryl, but it’s better to use the 2.5 Gbps for a fast client and use one of the four LANs for the backhaul.

      Reply
  19. Hi Dong.

    Do you feel the Asus RT AX86U is better than the RT AX88U? Which of these two has the most WIFI range? My House is 5300 sq ft and 2 floors.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Neither will be able to cover your home, John, it’s too large. You need a mesh, in that case, run network cable and get a couple of dual-band AiMesh routers.

      Reply
      • I’ll only use it for one part of my house, so I’d like to know which of those two you recommend most and why. Thanks.

        Reply
  20. Hey Dong, I am currently using an ASUS RT-AC5300 as my main router with a new AX56U as a AIMesh node, it works pretty well, but I plan to update my internet connection and have many multiple wifi 6 devices.
    I was thinking of upgrading the AC5300 to this AX86U. Do you think this would make a huge difference in the speeds seen by the AX56U?
    My main issue is getting internet in a back room, and being able to move to Mesh node a little further away would be really useful.

    Reply
  21. Hello Dong,
    Got my new RT-AX86U hooked up and my old AC86U as a node. Setup was smooth and I seem to have good wifi out on the back deck.
    Here in my study my PC, Modem and AX86U are all right together. For a test I connect my PC direct to the modem and I’m getting 325mbps, I reconnect modem to Router and PC to router and sometimes I will see 300+/- mbps but after a few minutes download is down to anywhere from 15 to 30 mbps. There are no other devices hard wired to the router at this point and there are several smart devices thru the home but nothing actively accessing the internet.
    Whats goin on? Have I got a dud router?
    I’d appreciate your thoughts.
    Darryl

    Reply
      • Every time that I see the low numbers I quicly re-hook the pc direct to the modem and check – it is very consistent at 320+/-

        Reply
      • Dong, is there a chance that clicking multiple times on the “GO” to test the speed that is embedded in your article “the right way to do an internet speed test” the test might go a bit wonky? I have since loaded the Ookla app to my desktop and so far it is not showing any of those weird low numbers???

        Reply
          • Thanks Dong, I have not seen those low numbers of late and I suspect there could be some operator error involved :o).
            I am getting a consistent 325mbps thru the router now. When I unhook from the router and connect wireless from the PC that is very close to the rt-AX86U router I am getting 70mbps does that sound normal to you? The wireless adapter is a qualcomm QCA9377 802.11ac with the latest drivers

          • No, that’s not right, Darryl. Make sure the computer uses the 5 GHz band and not the 2.4 GHz one, or a 100 Mbps wired connection.

  22. Hi Dong

    Thanks for the detailed review as always, particularly the painstaking test results.

    I have a question relating to the long range speeds on the 5GHz band when used with Wi-Fi 5 clients. The results here seem to suggest a lower speed as compared to the AC-86U (668 vs 801) from your AC-86U review of Feb 2018. With the majority of my clients being Wi-Fi 5 and only a couple being Wi-Fi 6, would this suggest I will be better off holding on to the AC-86U? Or are there any other technical factors I’m missing? Thank you for your thoughts.

    Best,
    Rex

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t worry about that too much, Rex. There are different settings (like QAM) that my 3×3 test clients worked better with the AC86u than it did with the AX86U. You might experience differently with other clients. It’s always tricky for devices to work cross standards.

      Reply
  23. How’s the fan noise of this router? Usually Asus router is known on this issue. Do you experience the same thing just like rt-ax89u or ax11000? Thanks.

    Reply
    • From my experience, it doesn’t seem to have a fan, James. As I said in the review, it’s the most stable one (at launch) so far.

      Reply
  24. Hi Dong -> Great review. Just want to ask your opinion about this router and other mesh products(amplifi or orbi). I lived in a small house(less than 2000 sqm). Would you recommend this compare to a mesh product? They say tri-band is better nowadays but this one still runs at dual-band. I’m looking for a router that will process our wifi needs.

    Also, one question about this specs:

    2×2 Wi-Fi 6: up to 861 Mbp
    4X4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 4804 Mbps

    Does this matter only if you have plans to hook up this router with synology nas? If you will you use your router for purely wifi(no lan connection), the specs above doesn’t matter? Thanks.

    Reply
  25. Hi Dong,
    I’d like to use either the ax89x or the ax86u as my main router and my existing ac86u as the mesh node with ethernet backhaul.
    You call the ax86u the best wifi6 router yet but the ax89u seems to have better specs. Which one will give me the best range and best potential for the future?
    I see my local shop got some ax86u’s in but have yet to see the ax89x here in Canada.
    Thanks
    DARRYL

    Reply
    • If you read the reviews in full, you’ll know why I called the routers one way or another, Darryl. As for your situation, you’ll likely see no difference between the two. So, I’d recommend the RT-AX86U, but the other one will work, too.

      Reply
      • Good morning Dong,
        I would not have asked the question if I had not read the reviews in full several times. I guess my almost 80 year old brain just isnt picking up some of the import of some of your observations. It seems like that happens to me more and more of late ☺. Sorry for bothering you.
        Darryl

        Reply
  26. Hi Don,

    That’s a comprehensive review of AX86U. Finally I manage to get this to replace my trusted AC68U which has served me for many years.
    I got a better wireless coverage compared to AC68U on 5Ghz band. I am using AC8265 adapter with the latest driver, latest router firmware, disable all the 802.11ax setting on the router and I only able to connect to a, n network mode of the router on 5 Ghz band, not the 802.11ac mode. Previously on AC68U I could connect up to 780Mbps on 5Ghz on 802.11ac.
    I am thinking maybe is due the compatibility of the network adapter or maybe the firmware?

    Reply
    • Yep, check to make sure your card’s driver was released in 2019 or later, Andy. Also, it’s the sustained speed that matters, not the negotiated connection speed.

      Reply
  27. I’ve tried to find this router (RT-AX86U) for sale anywhere, and I can only find it on amazon, but it won’t ship for a month or more. Is there anywhere else that sells it?

    Reply
  28. Hi Dong,

    Great site, very informative! I’m moving in to my own home and buying my first router ever (have always used the ISP provider’s routers).
    House is 1800sq ft, two floors, and will be having 1gb fiber service. Will ethernet hardwire two computers, and otherwise just have 1 smart tv and the usual mobile devices/tablets.

    Would you recommend the Asus RT-AX86U over the Amplifi or Unifi products of ubiquiti which seem really popular on reddit? Specifically, the Amplifi Alien (main downside seems to be lack of 160mhz and i don’t expect much need for the Teleport VPN) or a dream machine and AP.

    With either option, do you think i need a second router/ap device to create a mesh or is my house not large enough for such a need?

    THANK YOU!!

    Reply
    • If you can get the router as near as the center of the house as possible, Roy, chances are that’s all you need. I’d get the RT-AX86U in your case, but either will work.

      Reply
  29. Love your site and reviews,

    Just a quick question, I have a AC86u and am always looking for an “edge”.
    I have over 30 connections at a time (ip cameras, google home, tv streaming, gaming on 3 separate systems with kids etc) . I have a gig bandwidth that I pay for through my internet provider.

    The AC86U has been running well for 2 years but I’ve noticed lately that there is stutter or ‘lag’ when all connections are running full. Meaning, if the kids are on Xbox and PC gaming away, and the wife is streaming Netflix (nvidia shield 4k), the Google homes are playing music, and I’m in VR (Index or Oculus) there is a drop in music buffering and sometimes game delays.

    I am very tech savvy but I’m wondering if the AX86u will solve these issues OR if I simply need the AX1100 or better for my needs,

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  30. Great site Dong. I’ve been following you since CN**. Keep up the informative work!

    I’m doing a complete overhaul of my home network. I’ll be upgrading to 1 Gigabit cable so am purchasing a Docsis 3.1 modem and plan to replace my aging, but still perfectly functioning Apple Airport Extreme routers (primary and a second hardwired AP configured for “roaming”). I also have a DSL based secondary service for backup (limited to 10mbps where I live) and job required landline phone.

    The ASUS products with the dual WAN configured for failover points draws me to their routers so I can utilize both ISP on a single network. I’m thinking the AX-86U will be a great choice for a wired backhaul AiMesh node, but still trying to decide about the AX-89X vs the AX-86X as the primary router. I’m really not sure what advantage the 89 offers over the 86 in real life scenarios I may encounter? Am I missing something? Sure, I’d like the extra LAN ports, but I already use a gigabit switch so wouldn’t have to purchase one due to the slightly limited ports on the 86. The AX89X still seems to have issues with dropping clients from what I read and it’s been out a while now. At that price point, that makes me a little weary. What are your thoughts for my application?

    Reply
    • Happy to have you here, Gary. I’d use the RT-AX86U in your case. Note though, Dual-WAN can be a tricky business, especially there’s a huge difference in speeds between the two. But if you just want to use them for failover (and not load balance), it will likely work without any problem.

      Reply
      • Thanks Dong, that’s where I’m leaning. Any idea when it will be released? It’s not available yet it seems. We live on the coast where weather takes our our cable provider’s service not infrequently, yet the ‘ol land line seems to hang in there typically. So failover would be all I would need the twisted pair for and typically not for long. Load balancing would be a disaster for sure.

        Reply
  31. Glad I found this review! I am looking to replace my ISP-supplied Zyxel EMG3425-Q10A (AC2200) which lately is giving me erratic wifi speeds despite the stable wired speeds. I noticed that Zyxel routers are not listed on your comparison charts maybe because they are not as popular, and I’m assuming that my ISP is providing them because they are a cheaper solution to providing internet service. This also leads me to believe that they probably don’t perform as well. Do you believe that the ASUS RT-AX86U is a signifcant upgrade to a Zyxel EMG3425-Q10A? My household does a lot of video conferencing, gaming, and 1080p streaming services (mix of wired and wifi). Ultimately I’m hoping that the ASUS RT-AX86U will solve my erratic wifi issues. The Wifi 6 support is also a bonus.

    Was thinking of getting the ASUS RT-AX88U (which seem to be out of stock almost everywhere) based on your earler reviews, but the RT-AX86U appears to be nearly equal in performance and superior in price.

    BTW, thank you for providing clear explanations in your reviews, they’re very helpful for network newbies like myself!

    Reply
    • Assuming your Internet connection is sound, Patrick, yes, the RT-AX86U is a significant improvement over your current router in ALL counts. And you’re welcome! 🙂

      Reply
  32. I’m puzzled by your statement, “However, it’s the first that’s totally problem-free. And that’s big, considering Asus routers are known to be buggy at launch.”

    I, along with everyone else who has responded to my question on snbforums, have totally blank traffic stats/web history on our brand-new RT-AX86U routers, so that’s at complete variance with your statement above. Can you explain please?

    Reply
    • What I meant by that is in terms of Wi-Fi performance, Brian. You might have noted that if you read the entire review, but I should have quantified that statement. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Reply
  33. Hey Dong,

    Great info. If I have gig/fiber internet would you recommend to use the 2.5gig port as the port connected to the fiber gateway (i.e. the WAN port)?

    Thanks you!

    Reply
  34. Hi Dong,
    Currently have wired backhaul:
    AX88U as main router
    AC86U as node
    Mentioned previously been eyeing the AX86U vs getting a second AX88U. Thought maybe 88 prices would drop with introduction of AX86 so I was holding off. After your review I’m thinking just get the AX86U. Question is, which to use as the main router. I keep all firmware up to date, don’t use Merlin because don’t know enough about it. In past posts you made a point that the AX88U is a wonky node and better as primary. Does that still hold true in your experience? Logic would seem AX86U as primary because newer tech and AX88U as node.
    Bonus- maybe Powerline the AC86U in the concrete basement for the IoT like W/D and water heater OR Powerline 3rd floor corner of house to reach the most distant / weakest -78 outside security cam. Figured keep the AC nearer the legacy frequency devices like you mentioned in your “Why Wifi 5 is still good” article.
    I’ve read your Powerline article and your mixing AImesh article but still have two questions;
    Better main router – AX88U vs AX86U?
    Does mixing AC and AX routers cap WiFi 6 benefits like mixing cat 5 with cat 6 wiring? I’m fuzzy on where the fall off in that mix is. I’d say no, otherwise why bother mixing.
    Thanks so much.
    Steven

    Reply
    • Hi Steven. You should put Merlin on routers that support it — though that’s not a must-do. It’s the same process as updating your firmware using Asus’s stock. Merlin seems to works the kinks out and makes the router quite stable, and the two firmware (Asus vs. Merlin) works together. After that, your vision of the new setup will work out well. I prefer RT-AX86U.

      There’s almost no discernable difference between using CAT5e vs. CAT6 since the two can deliver the same speeds for nearly every home since you won’t likely need to use a cable longer than 150 feet. Mixing AC and AX, on the other hand, can be tricky. The gist of it is that you should only expect Wi-Fi 5 performance in that case.

      Reply
      • Ok Thanks. AX86U for the main router it is.

        As far as only expect WiFi 5 performance….do you mean within range of the AC router, or throughout the whole network.

        Reply
  35. In my search for a new router, I discovered your site and now my decisions are harder.
    I only have 400 Mbps internet, could have gig but not sure I can justify the monthly cost.

    My question is I currently have a Netgear AC2300 and hate it, mostly due to parental controls and now getting random reboots (does provide signal throughout my house). I’m buying a new router I was undecided between mesh or router but leaning towards router now. I was set to buy the Tp-link ax6000 mostly due to robust parental controls, then I just read the RT-ax86u review. Which one would you recommend? Other note I’m a gamer too with teens currently have 2 Xboxs and a gaming PC will also be getting the new Xbox when it’s released this year.

    Reply
  36. I would like to upgrade my brownstone WiFi and the RT-AX86U seems like a great main router. If I want to pair other units as Access Points (with a wired backbone), is there a better bet than the RT-AX86U for the access points (that will cost me less). I need to have one on each of four floors and if the RT-AX86U is on the ground floor, what can I use on the other floors that will get WiFi 6 but cost less and function only as Access Points (I have cat 5e from each floor to the room on ground floor.

    Reply
  37. Hi Dong,

    Your website is always a great resource, thank you!

    I am going to be upgrading my RT-AC66R with the RT-AX86U. I’m currently using a range extender with the AC66R for dead spots in the house, so I would like to pair an Asus AiMesh router with the AX86U so I can remove the range extender. Is there an Asus router you could recommend?

    Our house is 3 levels, 2500 Sq ft, currently have 600Mbps coming up, but will upgrade that to 1Gb soon.

    Thanks!
    Dan

    Reply
  38. Dong, first at all you are amazing!!!

    2nd is a small advice if you don’t mind. I am here on budget and 250$ is just about max I can see myself spending for the router.

    Currently I have ISP provided router D-Link DIR-850L, which I am quite aware it’s erm not that good.

    I will not lie, I need that upgrade for better performance overall in the apartment(bedroom signal is bad) plus I do like to play games. 🙂

    Considering my geographic location I am outside of Europe but most of the games I play with my friends are located in Europe I have issues with the ping. Is this router have any chance of making this issue a bit better? I am aware it can not do magic for me and give me 30-50 ping but still any improvement is appreciated.

    Lastly, RT-AC86U with the old technology or AX86U as investment for Wi-Fi 6?

    What would you suggest me, save some money with AC86 or go with new tech and pay 100$ more for AX86?

    Sorry for huge post, hope you don’t mind. Wish you great day.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Al. Can we spend a bit more time on the first, please? 🙂
      If the D-Link kinda worked out, then the RT-AC86U will totally be an improvement. That’s well within your budget. The RT-AX86U is definitely better but you might have the needs for all of what it has to offer.
      As for your gaming situation, unfortunately, that’s super hard. They make different game servers for different regions for a reason. I’d say the Asus (either of them) will make things slightly better, but not by much.

      Reply
  39. Been looking for an AX router since I got Gigabit internet and thought this would tick all the boxes – thanks for confirming that it does, I’ve got it on pre-order at the moment to replace my ISP’s

    Reply
  40. Thanks for this review. I’ve been needing to replace my very very old Netgear WNR1000 router. I’ve been eyeing this for a few days now. My internet speed is only 200Mbps and I live in a 1200 sqft apartment. But I would like to buy a router can be used if I were to move into a bigger space and/or increase my internet speeds. I’m still torn on whether to go with Wifi6/Dual-Band vs Wifi5/Tri-Band.

    Reply
  41. Got a AX88U last year to ‘upgrade” from my AC1900P model from Best Buy. I loved that damn thing, was a great router, but the “upgrade bug” got me with AX88U hype

    Needless to say, I wasn’t really “blown” away by the difference other decent increase in wifi coverage increase in my apartment, but I had constant Skype lockups with my wife in Japan no matter what setting or firmware I ctried and overheating issues/worries from SNBforums made me worried I was gonna have a brick after warranty. So I had to sell it and buy another one that’s luckily been more stable but I’ve since moved and now its simply too damn big of a router taking up precious desk space as I am now working from home a lot due to covid, so I’ve been eying this spiritual replacement for the long loved AC68U model series for some time.

    Needless to say, your review has me pumped and I cannot wait to unbox it from Newegg tonight and get it wired up! I pray it fixes still exisiting Skype lockups with my second AX88U.

    Cool about your story from Vietnam, I had two ex’s who were actually from their and always wanted to visit their someday with them, but neither worked out and my new wife is from Japan, so yeah, probably not gonna happen now lol

    Reply
  42. Since I work in IT and need speed and reliability etc but no gaming. I will have many computer connected wifi, installing os updates etc. I need a good range for inside and outside to. Also will be streaming 4k. Is this what you suggest and would be further proof? Or mesh system?

    Reply

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