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Asus Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: Half a Dozen Wi-Fi 7 Solutions Unveiled to Fit All Budgets

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If you've been wondering when you can get more affordable options for Asus's Wi-Fi 7 routers besides the existing expensive hardware, we now have the answer.

Today, the company unveils a long list of broadcasters complementing its current offerings, consisting of five standalone routers and one purpose-built mesh solution. All of them are set to be available soon in 2024, and most carry suggested retail prices that aren't sticker shocks.

Still, some can be little surprises.

Dong's note: I first published this piece on June 3, 2024, and updated it a day later to add more information.

Asus RT-BE88U Wi-Fi 7 Router Left Angle
Asus Wi-Fi 7 hardware: The RT-BE88U is the first in Asus's series of Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers.

Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers galore, and much more

The first noteworthy news is the official cost of the RT-BE88U, which was announced a couple of months ago and is now set to be available sometime this month. We also now know that it costs $399, which is much lower than anticipated, which is always a good thing.

In case you're not aware, the RT-BE88U is the first Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 machine–it has no 6GHz band–which can be a downer for hardware Wi-Fi 7 fans. Here's the kicker: it's not the last of this approach. Indeed, Asus also unveils today three more Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers, including:

  • RT-BE58U: An entry-level BE3600 router that carries a friendly $199 price tag. It's the Wi-Fi 7 version of the RT-AX58U.
  • TUF-BE3600: The gaming version of the RT-BE58U above. Price: $229.
  • TUF-BE6500: A higher-end gaming version. Price: $279

The table below shows the hardware specs of the RT-BE88U and Asus's new Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers.

Asus Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers: Hardware specifications

Asus RT-BE88U Dual band Wi-Fi 7 RouterRT BE58UTUF BE3600TUF BE6500
ModelRT-BE88URT-BE58UTUF-BE3600TUF-BE6500
Wi-Fi BandwidthDual-band BE7200Dual-band BE3600Dual-band BE6500
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
4x4 BE
Up to 1376Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2x2 BE
Up to 688Mbps
(20/40MHz)
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
4x4 BE
Up to 5764Mbps
(20/40/80/
160/240MHz)
2X2 BE
Up to 2882Mbps
(20/40/80/160/240MHz)
4x4 BE
Up to 5764Mbps
(20/40/80/
160/240MHz)
6GHz Wi-Fi SpecsNone
Multi-Link Operation
(MLO)
Yes
Automated Frequency Coordination
(AFC)
n/a
AsusWRT 5.0 with Guest Network Pro (SDN) and VLANYes
AiMesh-readyYes
Gigabit  Ports4x LANnone
Multi-Gig Ports1x 10Gbps
1x 10Gbps SFP+
4x 2.5Gbps
1x 2.5Gbps4x 2.5Gbps
Link AggregationYes 
(LAN and WAN)
Dual-WANYes
USB Ports1 x USB 3.0 
Mobile AppAsus Router
QoSYes
Parental ControlYes
Processing Power2.6Ghz quad-core CPU,
256MB Flash,
2 GB DDR4 RAM
TBD
2.0 GHz quad-core CPU,
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.5GHz quad-core CPU,
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Built-in Online ProtectionYes
Asus Gaming FeaturesYesNoYes
Aura Game LightNo
Dimensions11.8 x 7.4 x 2.4 in
(30 x 18.8 x 6.04 cm)
TBD10.79 x 6.61 x 8.07
(27.4 x 16.8 x 20.5 cm)
11.96 x 6.85 x 8.43 in
(30.4 x 17.4 x 21.4 cm)
Weight2.23 lbs
(1.01 kg)
TBD1.24 lbs
(561g)
1.7 lbs
(772 g)
Release DateMarch 2024June 2024
Firmware Version
(at review)
3.0.0.6.102.33921not yet tested
Power Input100 - 240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 340 WhTBD
U.S. Price
(at launch)
$399$199$229$279.99
Hardware specifications: Asus Dual-band Wi-Fi 7 routers

Still, it's important to note that the 6GHz is anything but ignored. Asus also unveils two more "traditional" Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 routers, including:

  • RT-BE92U: This is a BE9700 router, somewhat of a replacement for the RT-AX92U, though it shares the same design as the RT-AX86U. Cost: $329.
  • GT-BE19000: A high-end gaming version of the RT-BE96U. It's set to be the first standalone wi-fi 7 router with AFC out of the box. Price: $749.

The table below shows the hardware specs of Asus's current Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 routers.

Asus Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 routers: Hardware specifications

RT BE96UGT BE19000RT BE92U
ModelRT-BE96UGT-BE19000RT-BE92U
Wi-Fi BandwidthTri-band BE19000Tri-band BE9700
Antennas8x external4x external
Modulation Scheme
(QAM)
4096-QAM (all bands)
1st Band
(Qchannel width)
2.4GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 1376Mbps
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz 2x2 BE
Up to 2882Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
6GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
6GHz 2x2 BE
Up to 5764Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
Multi-Link Operation
(MLO)
Yes
Automated Frequency Coordination
(AFC)
TBDYesTBD
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
Mesh-ReadyYes
(AiMesh)
FirmwareAsusWRT 5.0
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Web User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Asus Gaming Features
Web User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Processing PowerQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU,
256MB Flash, 2GB RAM
Quad-core 2.0GHz CPU,
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Multi-Gig Port2x 10GBASE-T2x 10GBASE-T
4x 2.5GBASE-T
1 x 10Gbps
1 x 2.5Gbps
3 x 2.5 Gbps
Gigabit Port4 x Gigabit LAN1x Gigabit LANNone
USB Port1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
USB 3.0
Dimensions
(with antennas)
13.8 x 13.8 x 8.57 in
(350.6 x 350.6 x 217.59 mm)
9.73 x 4.00 x 11.32 inch
(247.18 x 101.59 x 287.47 mm)
Weight4.12 lbs (1.87 kg)4.41 lbs (2 kg)TBD
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
375 Wh
(as tested)
not yet tested
Firmware Version
(at review)
3.0.0.6.102_32872not yet tested
US Release DateAugust 18, 2023July 2024
US Price
(at launch)
$699.99$749$329
Hardware specifications: Asus Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 routers

On the mesh front, if you're impressed by the ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro's performance and features but taken aback by its high cost, there's now an alternative: the ZenWiFi BT10.

The new mesh variant shares most of its older cousin but is a tad less in hardware specs, enough to cost "significantly less", though the exact price is not currently available. It likely delivers similar experiences in many cases, especially when used via wired backhauling, considering it has two 10GBASE-T ports per hardware unit.

The table below shows how it differs from the BQ16 Pro.

Hardware specifications: ZenWiFi BT10 vs. ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro

Asus ZenWiFi BT10 Wi-Fi 7 Mesh SystemAsus ZenWiFi BQ 16 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System
ZenWiFi BQ10Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro Mesh System 2 pack
ModelZenWiFi BT10ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro
Antennas8 internal13 internal
Wi-Fi BandwidthTri-band 18000Quad-band BE30000
Modulation Scheme
(QAM)
4096-QAM (all bands)
1st Band
(channel width)
2.4GHz 2x2 BE
Up to 688Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2.4GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 1376Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 5762Mbps
(entire band)
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
6GHz 4x4 BE
Up to 11,525Mbps
(entire band)
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
6GHz-1 4x4 BE
Up to 11,525Mbps
(lower channels)
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
4th Band
(channel width)
None6GHz-2 4x4 BE
Up to 11,525Mbps
(upper channels)
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App with Smart Home Master
Mesh TechnologyAiMesh with AsusWRT 5.0
Automated Frequency Coordination
(AFC)
TBDYes
(at launch)
Multi-Link Operation
(MLO)
Yes
Hardware Availability
(at launch)
1-pack and 2-pack2-pack and 3-pack
Processing Power2.0GHz quad-core CPU,
2GB RAM, 256MB Flash
Undisclosed CPU,
2GB RAM, 256MB Flash
Multi-Gig Port1x 10GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
1x 10GBASE-T LAN
Gigabit Port1x Gigabit WAN/LAN1x Gigabit WAN/LAN,
2x Gigabit LAN
USB Port1 x USB 3.0
Hardware ButtonsPower Switch, Reset Button
Dimensions
(each unit)
2.32 x 2.83 x 7.32 in
(59 x 72 x 186 mm)
8.43 x 14.12 x 2.83 in
(214 x 174.2 x 72 mm​)
Weight
(each unit)
TBD2.79 lbs (1.27 kg)
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
DC Output: 12 V with max. 3 A current
AC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
DC Output: 12 V with max. 5 A current
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
TBD≈ 530 Wh
(measured at router unit)
U.S. Release DateJuly 2024May 26, 2024
AvailabilityWorldwideNorth America
U.S. Price
(at launch)
TBD$1299.99 (2-pack)
$699.99 (single router)
Hardware specifications: Asus ZenWiFi BT10 vs. BQ16 Pro

Asus Wi-Fi 7 hardware: Now powered by the next-gen AsusWRT 5.0 firmware

Per Asus, all of the new hardware above uses the latest 5.0 release of the well-known AsusWRT firmware. The fifth generation of the software includes all the goodies of the previous version and now has advanced VLAN, VPN, and self-defined network (SDN) features for different scenarios. Most importantly, all of these creatures remain free for the life of the hardware.

AsusWRT has so far gone through five major versions, including:

  • AsusWRT 1.0: Available in pre-Wi-Fi 4 routers. It's the initial Asuswrt firmware with the 3.0.0.4 kernel.
  • AsusWRT 2.0: Available with Wi-Fi 4 hardware and added support for USB storage.
  • AsusWRT 3.0: Available in Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 hardware and added the support for AiMesh starting with version 3.0.0.4.384.xxx.
  • AsusWRT 4.0: This version is available primarily in Wi-Fi 6 and 6E hardware, starting with version 3.0.0.04.386.xxx. It added multiple levels of gaming and security. It's the last version with the 3.0.0.4 kernel.
  • AsusWRT 5.0: This version was first available in late 2023 in Asus's latest hardware, such as the new ExpertWiFi family and Wi-Fi 7 hardware. It uses the new 3.0.0.6 kernel. Among other improvements, it supports self-defined networks, advanced VPN, Gaming networks, and more.

The self-defined network (SDN) feature in AsusWRT 5.0 allows users to create multiple virtual SSIDs that fit different scenarios, such as office space, Guest Wi-Fi, IoT, etc. This feature has different names:

  • SDN in Asus's new ExptertWiFi business hardware.
  • Guest Network Pro in its ROG gaming and high-end RT models.
  • Smart Home Master in the Wi-Fi 7 ZenWiFi lineup.

Additionally, like previous versions, the firmware allows for universal backup and restoration–users can move from one Asus router to another quickly without having to program the new one from scratch. It also features AiMesh, which allows different hardware units to work together to form a powerful mesh system.

The takeaway

Before today, Asus was behind other networking vendors, such as TP-Link, in Wi-Fi 7 hardware. This new batch of releases changes that. Most importantly, the relatively long wait allows the company to offer its Wi-Fi 7 solutions with the final specs of the standard.

The ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro, for example is the first with working AFC and MLO, and the GT-BE19000 is expected to be the first standalone router to follow suit.

While, like usual, Asus hardware is still expected to be buggy initially, they have proven to be the only ones, so far, that deliver actual Wi-Fi 7 experience right out of the box. That's a good thing, and the affordability of the rest of the soon-available hardware never hurts.

Check back in due time for more on this new batch of hardware, including possible in-depth reviews.

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22 thoughts on “Asus Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: Half a Dozen Wi-Fi 7 Solutions Unveiled to Fit All Budgets”

  1. Thanks for the excellent reviews. Despite your best advice, I just added 3 wired ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro satellites to a home network with a GT-BE98 Pro as the main router. I use the gaming features. The satellites replace older Wifi6 hardware. Commenting that the current firmware does seem flaky, and clients seem to not want to roam onto the satellites unless I force them to join a satellite specific guest network. I am looking forward to future firmware upgrades from ASUS.

    Reply
  2. Hello,
    I am considering the Orbi 970 but wanted to know if the concerns about stability and performance have been addressed with the latest firmware (released a few days ago).

    Also, I read somewhere that the Orbi is not fully WiFi 7 certified and so lacks AFC (supported by the Asus WiFi 7 mesh) – is this correct and is the lack of AFC due to a hardware limitation in the Orbi or will this be added in future firmware releases ?

    Reply
      • Thanks for the advice.
        I dropped my obsession with the Orbi 970 after reading the nightmare stories about stability and performance issues reported on the Netgear forums as well as seeing your review.
        I just picked up the Asus BE30000 from Best buy and except for the long sync time for the nodes to come online, I have been extremely happy. {…}
        very good software and security features.
        more to learn and explore.
        for anyone getting this device, just remember to download the latest firmware – which may require a manual update on a node if it refuses to do so automatically – this will require patience after the reset for the nodes to sync.

        Reply
  3. Dong i love your content , especially on networking side but with the risk of being repetitive and nagging around i will point out again that for year 2024 router DoH dns over https should be must have feature.
    I would highly advise you introducing as test method and talking about this DoH dns over https in your reviews because this way you can raise awarness on manufacturers and end customers side.
    This feature allows at least very basic protection and privacy over the internet we use at home against the ads trackers and getting profiled by some random AI for the benefit of some big data company.
    We need privacy and security and companies like Asus and TP-Link and Netgear can provide us this just by adding couple lines of code into the firmwares.

    best regards
    Ovi

    Reply
    • And most, if not all, modern routers support it, Ovidiu. In those you don’t see the option to turn DoH on (or off), chances are DoH is enforced as default. And there’s no “testing method” for DoH. It’s either there or not. More on DNS in this post.

      Reply
  4. Hey Dong-
    Thanks for your initial review! I need to replace an aging Orbi mesh system that I thought were the pinnacles of performance.. However, after a few years of lurking here I feel like I’m reentering the market as an educated consumer and now better understand the limitations of these mesh systems.

    On this go around, I’ll hardwire the 3x pack sold by BB. Currently, my fiber is 1G and would like to future proof my home as speeds increase. I’ll require a main switch and will hardwire a 5x port switch in my office. Which brand/model Switches would you suggest pairing with this router?

    Thanks for your time.
    Brett

    Reply
  5. You don’t seem to know what a kernel is. The Linux kernel used on Asus routers is 4.19 something and considering Linux is at 6.9 now… Admittedly 4.19 is an LTS kernel with support until 2029, it’s not too bad, but Asus is about a year behind in the minor releases, if not more. Not exactly what you want to see from a company that claims to take security seriously.

    Reply
    • Behind what, though? Did you actually read the entire post or stopped at the word “kernel” to jump on the chance to tell the world how smart you are? If not, put things in perspective! I’m all ears.

      Reply
  6. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for keeping us informed. Two questions. Not quite sure how to ask these, but here goes…

    Does the ROG BE98 Pro run AsusWRT 5.0? If so are there any firmware features missing that the BQ16 Pro has?

    Do you know when the ROG BE98 Pro will have a working AFC along with all WiFi 7 features?

    Hope those questions make sense and don’t sound too ignorant.

    Thanks so much. Steve

    Reply
  7. Hello
    The GT-BE19000 has been presented in a white version at the Computex.
    Is it just a prototype or will it be released ?
    How can we know in which countries the AFC will be available ? (I live in Europe)
    Thanks for your reply.

    Reply
    • You need follow the local authorities on the matter, Frederic. But generally AFC can be enabled where the 6GHz band is available.

      Reply

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