This post is all about the Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120 matchup. Both are top-tier dual-band routers, but they are quite different. In many ways, they represent the way their makers, Asus and Netgear, approached home networking.
You’ll be able to find out which suites you better by the end. Hopefully.
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Similarities
These two are dual-band 4×4 routers, capable of delivering up to 4.8Gbps in a single Wi-Fi 6 connection, or 2.4Gbps to existing 2×2 clients. Note though, that some might call them 8×8 routers by combining the total streams of both bands.
In all, they are somewhat like the case of the Asus GT-AX11000 vs. Netgear RAX200 matchup, minus the 2nd 5GHz band on each router.
Both routers support Link Aggregation, where you can combine two Gigabit ports into a 2Gbps connection. And finally, they are quite huge.
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Hardware specifications
|Asus RT-AX88U||Netgear Nighthawk RAX120|
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX6000||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX6000|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps||802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps|
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps||802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps|
|160MHz Channel Support||Yes||Yes|
|Gigabit Network Port||8x LAN, 1x WAN||4x LAN, 1x WAN|
|Multi-Gig Network Port||None||1x 5Gbps LAN/WAN|
|Link Aggregation||Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)||Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)|
|USB||2x USB 3.0||2x USB 3.0|
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Netgear Nighthawk|
|Processing Power||1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 256MB Flash, 1GB RAM||2.2GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of flash, 1GB of RAM|
|Dimensions||11.8 x 7.4 x 2.4 inches (30 x 18.8 x 6.04 cm)||12.2 x 7.48 x 1.77 in (310 x 190 x 45 mm)|
|Weight||2.1 lbs (945 g)||3 lbs (1364g)|
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Differences
The RT-AX88U has a standard look of a Wi-Fi router, while the RAX120 is a fantastic looking piece of hardware (it shares the same design as the RAX200). The latter also has more raw power with a faster CPU and twice the amount of flash storage.
Port-wise, the RAX120 has the usual one Gigabit WAN port, four Gigabit LANs plus one 5Gbps LAN port. The multi-gig port can work either as a LAN port or a WAN port. So, this router can handle a faster-than-gigabit connection on either the LAN or the Internet side.
The RT-AX88U has no multi-gig port at all, but it has eight LAN ports and one WAN port, all are Gigabit. But Asus features Dual-WAN, where you can turn one of its LAN (or USB) ports into a second WAN port.
The RT-AX88U has many features but can be a bit buggy, especially with its few early stock firmware versions. Alternatively, though, you can put the Merlin third-party firmware on it.
The RAX120 has a standard feature set, minimum Wi-Fi settings, but, for the most part, it works well right out of the box.
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Performance
Thanks to the 5Gbps LAN port, the Netgear can deliver faster real-world speed than the Asus when working with top-notch clients. That’s especially true in NAS performance, where each router hosts an external storage device, as shown here.
But if you have sub-Gigabit Internet, you’ll see almost no difference between these two. The two routers had similar Wi-Fi coverage in my testing. Either can handle a relatively large home with ease.
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Ratings
ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router$310.99
- Fast Wi-Fi performance
- Tons of useful features
- Eight network ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation
- Universal setting backup and restoration
- Fast network attached storage speed when coupled with an external drive.
- Merlin firmware support
- No multi-gig network port
- Buggy firmware (at review)
NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX120)$384.77
- Powerful hardware, fast performance
- Beautiful design
- Multi-Gig network port (5Gbps)
- Well organized web user interface
- Ultra-fast network storage performance
- No online protection, gaming, or mesh features
- A bit bulky
Asus RT-AX88U vs. Netgear RAX120: Which to get
Both of these routers have their own strengths and weaknesses. But chances are the two will deliver the same Wi-Fi experience.
That said, get the Asus RT-AX88U if you want extra LAN ports and don’t mind tweaking the settings, and you don’t care about multi-gig wired speeds. It’s also the only out of the two that features Merlin, making it great for geek and nerds.
On the other hand, Netgear RAX120 is a better fit for those wanting reliable performance out of the box, or the fastest Wi-Fi and NAS performance when hosting an external storage device. It’s also my personal pick — the 5Gbps port is worth the extra dough.
Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.