The Asus RT-AX92U, first released in mid-2019, is an interesting case for two reasons. First, you only find it during the transition from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6. And secondly, well, I reviewed it twice.
Dong’s note: That’s right! You’re reading the updated review published on January 7, 2021, with tests done using the latest firmware that features AiMesh 2.0. The original review of this router first went live on February 20, 2020.
But to cut to the chase, on the one hand, the RT-AX92U is a cute little tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router, almost perfect for a small home. On the other, when working as a mesh, its odd specs make things a bit complicated — you might mistake what you’ll get out of it.
So, here’s the deal: If you live in a home of 1800 ft² (167 m²) or so, at the current cost of some $230, the RT-AX92U is an excellent standalone Wi-Fi solution, especially if you want to keep your personal space neat and tidy and play online games a lot.
As a $350 2-pack mesh, though, there are things you should know before pulling the trigger. So, keep reading.
ASUS RT-AX92U AX6100 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Router$219.98
- Compact design, tri-band specs
- Good performance, large coverage
- Excellent set of features, including online protection, WTFast VPN for gamers, and system-wide Guest network when working as a mesh
- Link Aggregation and Dual-WAN support, wall-mountable
- Comparatively affordable
- No Wi-Fi 6 when working as a wireless mesh
- No Multi-Gig port
Asus RT-AX92U: A cute compact Wi-Fi 6 router
The Asus RT-AX92U the smallest Wi-Fi 6 router I’ve tested. It looks like a miniature version of the GT-AX11000, taking the shape of a small square box, measuring 6.1-inch (15.5 cm) wide and 2.1-inch (5.5 cm) tall, with four antennas on top.
You can raise these antennas upward for better coverage or collapse them on top of the router to make the whole thing even adorable. Either way, the router works. By the way, the router is wall-mountable, which is always a nice touch.
A little tri-band powerhouse
Despite the small footprint, the router comes with the usual one Gigabit WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports. It even has room for two USB ports to host storage, printers, or a cellular modem.
The router has no multi-gig port, but it does have Link Aggregation (both WAN and WAN sides) and Dual-WAN. The former enables you to combine two ports into a 2Gbps connection, and the latter allows for turning one of its LAN ports or a USB port into a second WAN connection.
On the inside, the RT-AX92U is a tri-band router with non-conventional specs. It’s a broadcaster with a 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 band, a 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 5GHz band, and a 2×2 Wi-Fi 4 2.4GHz band,
When using it as a single router, you can lump all these bands together using Smart Connect, or you can name each with a separate SSID (Wi-Fi network).
The router uses a dual-core 1.8 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 256 MB of flash memory for processing power. It’s not the most potent router I’ve seen but still quite impressive considering its tiny physical size.
Asus RT-AX92U: Hardware specifications
Again, the RT-AX92U is one of the tri-band routers that use different Wi-Fi standards for its three bands.
When you use multiple units in an AiMesh setup, it will dedicate its fastest Wi-Fi 6 band (the 5GHz-2) as the dedicated backhaul that links the units up. Consequently, it delivers the same throughputs as a 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 system from connected clients’ perspectives.
Specifically, as a single router, current 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients can expect to connect at 2.4Gbps, while 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 can get up to 1.73Gbps. As a mesh, all wireless clients will get a ceiling speed of 867 Mbps. These are theoretical speeds, and real-world sustained rates will vary — more below.
Asus RT-AX92U’s photos
The familiar setup process, settings, and features
At its core, the RT-AX92U is like any other Asus routers. You can set it up using its web user interface or the Asus Router mobile app.
I prefer the former, which involves connecting a computer to it and then opening up a browser. You’ll then automatically run into the initial setup wizard that walks you through the setup process.
Alternatively, you can always reach the router’s interface by navigating the browser to its default IP address, 192.168.50.1, or router.asus.com.
The RT-AX92U shares the same web interface as other Asus routers and has the same set of network settings and features.
Most notably, it has AiProtection that includes free online real-time protection and a set of Parental Control settings. There’s also Adaptive QoS that allows for quicky prioritize internet traffic for different purposes.
What’s more, the router even supports WTFast Gamers Private Network. Available in only select Asus routers, WTFast allows the router, hence the network it hosts, to be part of a proprietary VPN designed to deliver the best online gaming experience given the broadband speed.
Asus RT-AX92U: Not a real Wi-Fi 6 mesh router
While straight forward as a standalone router, the RT-AX92U is quite different as a mesh system. Again, that’s because it dedicates its only Wi-Fi 6 band, the 5GHz-2, as the dedicated backhaul.
A Wi-Fi 5 mesh system at its core
As a result, by default, Wi-Fi clients can only connect to it via the Wi-Fi 5 standard. In other words, when using a 2-pack as a mesh, which Asus calls AiMesh AX6100 Wi-Fi System, the RT-AX92U is about the same as a regular Wi-Fi 5 system, such as the ZenWiFi AC CT8.
(Note: Like all tri-band AiMesh systems, you can turn the RT-AX92U’s 5GHz-2 band into a non-dedicated backhaul to also use it for clients.)
Having a strong backhaul, though, you can place the hardware units farther apart to deliver a broader coverage — Asus claims the mesh can handle up to 6000 ft² (557 m2). But in terms of speed, the system’s ceiling speed will cap at 867 Mbps. Real-world speeds will be much lower.
That said, if you have Gigabit-class internet, as a mesh, the RT-AX92U will not be able to deliver it in full unless you use it via a wired backhaul.
AiMesh 2.0 support
But if you have sub-Gigabit Internet, the RT-AX92U will make an excellent mesh. That’s because, with the latest firmware, the 2-pack RT-AX92U is one of the first that gets AiMesh 2.0.
Among other things, it can now deliver up to six Guest networks (three for each band) throughout the mesh system, and not just at the router unit.
It also comes with a new AiMesh section within the web interface with a one-click mesh Optimization function. And now, if you choose to use wired backhaul, the 5GHz-2 band will be made available to clients automatically.
By the way, the support for AiMesh 2.0 (and system-wide Guest network) remains when you use other AiMesh routers as nodes. Just make sure they have firmware version 184.108.40.206.386 or later.
Non-pre-synced hardware, wired backhaul support
I tested a 2-pack of the RT-AX92U and found that out of the box, the hardware units are not pre-synced, like the case of the recently-released ZenWiFi AX. All this means you’ll have to add the 2nd unit to the first to form a mesh manually, the way you do any AiMesh router.
And adding the second unit, or any other AiMesh router for that matter, to the mesh hosted by an RT-AX92U proved to be a bit problematic. I had to try a couple of times. The lesson I learned is:
- If you get a 2-pack and set up both units as a wireless mesh system from scratch, you’ll likely have no problem. You’ll note that the 5GHz-2 Wi-Fi 6 band automatically works as the dedicated backhaul in this case.
- If you have used just one unit as a single router and now want to expand the coverage, here’s the best way to go about that:
- Reset the router and set up the mesh from scratch if you want to use them wirelessly. Or
- Keep the current router’s setting but use a network cable to connect the node unit’s WAN port to its LAN port.
I’d say using wired backhaul is the way to go since you’ll get a full Wi-Fi 6 system out of a 2-pack RT-AX92U set.
Asus RT-AX92U’s performance: Excellent with the latest firmware
I tested the RT-AX92U first as a standalone router and then as a wireless AiMesh system. A year ago, the router proved to be a bit of a rough ride. This second time around, with the latest firmware, things were much better.
Fast but still no 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi 6 connection
The most noticeable improvement was the fact the 5GHz-2 Wi-Fi 6 band worked much better. I was able to connect all clients, including legacy ones, to it with ease.
But one thing remained. My 2×2 Wi-i 6 client never connected to the router at its top 2.4Gbps negotiated speed, but only at 1.2Gbps. This happened even when I made the router use the 160MHz channel width and work in Wi-Fi 6-only mode.
For this reason, RT-AX92U’s Wi-Fi 6 band delivered the same performance as it did a year ago, with Wi-Fi 6 clients. You can expect close to 900Mbps out of it.
(Realistically, though, considering the router has no Multi-Gig port, chances are my tests wouldn’t register any faster number since the router’s Gigabit LAN port limits the speed.)
What clearly improved is the support for Wi-Fi 5 clients. My 3×3 clients got faster than the previous time when placed some 40 feet (12m) away.
It’s worth noting that, at the close range, my 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 client could connect (to the 5GHz-2 band) at 1.74Gbps and yielded faster throughput than that of the 2×2 Wi-Fi client shown above.
The RT-AX92U’s 2.4GHz band delivered the same performance as that of most routers. There was nothing of note here.
Faster faster than most Wi-Fi 5 mesh counterparts
I tested a 2-pack RT-AX92U as a mesh via a wireless setup. In this case, again, from the clients’ perspective, it was no longer a Wi-Fi 6 system, but only a 2×2 Wi-Fi 5.
In this case, the system’s router unit had the sustained real-world speed about the same as any other 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 router, averaging about 610 Mbps at close range and some 415 Mbps at long range.
The satellite (node) unit, which I placed 40 feet (12 m) from the router, however, topped the chart, registering more than 560 Mbps at the close range and some 500 Mbps at the long-range.
Clearly, the fast Wi-Fi 6 backhaul band played a big role in the RT-AX92U satellite’s stellar speed. That said, generally, you can expect the RT-AX92U to deliver the full speed of the system’s 2×2 Wi-Fi front-haul, which caps at 867 Mbps on paper.
Good range, excellent add-on AiMesh node
This second time around, I tested the RT-AX92U for some 10 days, and it proved to be reliable. There was no disconnection or any other issues.
With the two-unit combined, you can expect to cover some 4000 ft² (372 m²), or possibly more, but your mileage will vary depending on the layout of your home and the type of walls.
By the way, I also tried the two RT-AX92U units as add-on nodes to my GT-AX11000 router, using wired backhaul, and they have been working quite well.
Fast NAS speed
Considering the RT-AX92U has no Multi-Gig port, I didn’t expect much from it in terms of network-attached storage performance. But the router did well.
I tested it with the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, and via a gigabit wired connection, it registered the sustained copy speeds of almost 70 MB/s for writing and more than 112 MB/s for reading.
Generally, it’s a good idea to get a real NAS server, but if you want to do some casual network storage, the RT-AX92U will do, especially considering its vast amount of storage-related features.
With the latest firmware, I can recommend RT-AX92U with no reservation as a single router.
If you’re getting it as a wireless mesh system, keep in mind the dedicated backhaul notion mentioned above. If you can live with that, the RT-AX92U proved to be a reliable solution.
And the fact it can give you up to six system-wide Guest networks is an excellent bonus that you can’t get (yet) from most other AiMesh alternatives