Looking for a new Asus Wi-Fi 6 gaming router and just can't afford the GT-AX11000? Well, you now have two more options.
Indeed, the networking vendor today officially announced the availability of the RT-AX86U and the RT-AX82U. Both models aim to satisfy those who need a robust Wi-Fi machine that can prioritize the Internet effectively for online gaming and, quite importantly, looks the part.
RT-AX86U: The long-awaited upgrade of the RT-AC86U
As the name suggests, the RT-AX86U is the Wi-Fi 6 version of the RT-AC86U. The new router shares a similar upright design with three removable antennas sticking up from its top. It also has an additional internal antenna.
Of course, on the inside, it's totally a different beast -- it's an AX5700 Wi-Fi 6 router. The RT-AX86U has the top 5 GHz speed of up to 4800 Mbps while its 2.4 GHz band caps at 861 Mbps.
Other than the usual number of network ports (4 LANs and 1 WAN), the router also has a 2.5 Gbps LAN/WAN port. It's multi-gig ready.
Hardware specifications: RT-AX86U vs. RT-AX82U
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX5700||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX5400|
|Chipset||Broadcom BCM4908||Broadcom BCM6750 SoC|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||3x3 Wi-Fi 6: up to 861 Mbps||2x2 Wi-Fi 6: up to 574 Mbps|
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||4X4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 4804 Mbps||4X4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 4804 Mbps|
|Mesh-ready||Yes (AiMesh)||Yes (AiMesh)|
|Channel Support||20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 160 MHz||20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 160 MHz|
|Gigabit LAN Ports||4x Gigabit LAN, 1x Gigabit WAN||4x Gigabit LAN, 1x Gigabit WAN|
|Multi-Gig Ports||1x 2.5 Gbps LAN/WAN||None|
|Link Aggregation||Yes (LAN 1 and LAN 2)||Yes (LAN 1 and LAN 2)|
|Dual-WAN||Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)||Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)|
|Online Protection||Yes (AiProtection powered by Trend Micro)||Yes (AiProtection powered by Trend Micro)|
|USB||2 x USB-A USB 3.0 ports (storage, modem, printer)||1 x USB-A USB 3.0 ports (storage, modem, printer)|
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Asus Router|
|QoS||Yes (Excellent)||Yes (Excellent)|
|Processing Power||1.8 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 12.79 inc. (242 x 100 x 325 mm)||9.52 x 3.93 x 12.79 inc. (242 x 100 x 325 mm)|
|Dimensions (With Antennas)||9.52 x 3.93 x 6.45 inc. (242 x 100 x 164 mm)||9.52 x 3.93 x 6.45 inc. (242 x 100 x 164 mm)|
|Weight||1.8 lbs (814.5 g)||1.63 lbs (740 g)|
|Game Features||Mobile Game Mode, Game Port (LAN1)||Front Gaming Lights, Mobile Game Mode, Game Port (LAN1)|
RT-AX82U: An all-new cool looking gaming router
The RT-AX82U, on the other hand, is an all-new broadcaster. First and foremost, it has an intriguing design with a futuristic shape.
The router comes with four non-removable antenna attached to its back. And on the front, there are these massive ASUS Aura RGB lights with hundreds of color options that make the router look like something out of this world.
In fact, I'm a bit worried that the router is a bit too eye-catching for its purpose. You might be spending all day customizing its multi-color modes to match your mood and distracted from your games. Well, as long as that makes you happy.
Specs-wise, the RT-AX82U is very similar to the RT-AX86U, with two exceptions. It doesn't have a multi-gig port and its 2.4 GHz band caps at just 574 Mbps. So, it's an AX5400 router. But chances are the lighting mentioned above is more than enough to make up for the differences.
NVIDIA GeForce NOW recommended routers
According to Asus, the RT-AX86U is one of the first routers that's part of Nvidia's GeForce NOW recommended program. That's a service where users play games using the company's cloud-based GPUs and content libraries.
To make life easier for gamers, the RT-AX86U has a dedicated Gaming Port that automatically prioritizes any connected device. On top of that, it also has an easy-to-use port forwarding feature called Open NAT. What's more, the Adaptive QoS feature can prioritize Internet traffic based on applications.
Asus says the RT-AX82U also has enough to be qualified for the Geforce Now program and is in the process of getting certified.
Both new routers share the same familiar web user interface. They also use a new version of the Asus Router mobile app that has a Mobile Game Mode. It's is a one-touch feature that quickly turns on all game-related settings of the routers when need be.