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Best 14 Router NAS Options of 2022: Add Some Cool Storage to Your Wi-Fi Today!

You probably already know how a router hosts a home network and delivers Wi-Fi to multiple devices simultaneously.

But there are also “router NAS” options where a USB-enabled Wi-Fi broadcaster can work as a mini NAS server — that’s a Wi-Fi router with USB storage. All you need is an external drive.

So, if you want to dabble into network-attached storage, a good Wi-Fi router is the best way to start before a real NAS server. Find here the list of the current 14 best candidates for the job.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on October 29, 2020, and updated it on June 29, 2022, to add more options and relevant information.

Router NAS
Router NAS: When hosting an external drive, a router can work as a mini NAS server.

Almost all Wi-Fi routers with a USB port can work as a mini NAS server, at least for simple file sharing. However, it’s the actual performance that counts.

That said, below is the chart of NAS performance of all routers I’ve tested listed in alphabetical order.

Router NAS All Performance Write Router NAS All Performance Read
Router NAS: Popular Wi-Fi routers’ NAS performance when hosting an external portable drive.

Note: These charts are updated each time I review a new USB-enabled Wi-Fi broadcaster. It includes router NAS options that don’t make it to the top list below.

I tested each broadcaster using a wired Gigabit connection. With those that feature a Multi-Gig port, I tried that out, too.

As for storage devices, I’ve always used SSD-based portable drives that are faster than the router’s USB 3.0 (a.k.a USB 3.2 Gen 1) port (5Gbps).

USB standard: Speed grades vs connection types

Note that the scores on the chart are in megabytes per second (MB/s), not megabit per second (Mbps). The latter is generally used for network connection speed. One megabyte equals eight megabits.


Best Wi-Fi router NAS solutions: The list

Again, any routers on the chart above will work as a mini NAS server. But you’re on the market for a new USB-enabled router; find my recommendations below.

These are routers that deliver the best performance or have a great feature set when hosting external storage or both. I’ve personally used them all.

This list is sorted based on the NAS read performance using the fastest wired connection each router supports. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see their performances.


1. Asus RT-AX89X

Wi-Fi Router USB Port: Here's that of the Asus RT AX89X USB
The Asus RT-AX89X has two 10 Gpbs network ports and two USB 3.0, making it one of the best Wi-Fi 6 router NAS servers to date.

The Asus RT-AX89X has two 10 Gpbs network ports and two USB 3.0 ports occupying two of its sides, making it one of the best Wi-Fi 6 router NAS servers to date.

The RT-AX89X is the top-tier dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router from Asus, and it’s the first router on the market with two 10Gbps network ports. That plus two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports means it can deliver ultra-high-speed router NAS performance.

Like all Asus routers, including the GT-AXE11000, RT-AX86U, GT-AX11000, GT-AX6000, and RT-AX68U below, the RT-AX89X can deliver all storage-related applications you can consider, including local and cloud-based data sharing, PC-less download app, Time Machine backup, and a lot more.

By the way, the storage-based feature set is the same across all Asus routers released in the past few years. And that also applies to other Asus routers on this list.

Asus RT-AX89X's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus RT AX89X Folded
Performance
9.5/10
Features
9/10
Design and Setup
9/10
Value
8.5/10

Pros

Excellent Wi-Fi performance

Uniquely cool design with two 10Gbps network ports

Eight Gigabit network ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation

Super-fast network-attached storage speed when coupled with an external drive

Tons of useful features, including free-for-life real-time online protection and AiMesh

Cons

A bit buggy at launch, relatively expensive

Bulky physical size with an internal fan — potential heat issue in hot environments

Web interface needs work

Not wall-mountable, no universal backup restoration


2. Synology RT6600ax

Synology RT6600ax Wi Fi 6 Router 15
The Synology RT6600ax has one 2.5Gbps LAN and one USB 3.0 port.

The Synology RT6600ax isn’t the fastest in NAS performance — though its performance is up there — but has comprehensive network storage features similar to that of a Synology server.

And the fact it’s one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers doesn’t hurt.

Synology RT6600ax's Rating

9 out of 10
Synology RT6600ax Wi-Fi 6 Router
Performance
9.5/10
Features
9/10
Design and Setup
8.5/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi with the support for 5.9GHz UNII-4 spectrum, mesh-ready

Robust, comprehensive yet user-friendly SRM 1.3 firmware with excellent web interface and DS Router app

Lots of useful built-in settings and networking features, helpful add-on packages with accompanying mobile apps

Can work as a full-featured NAS server

Practical design, wall-mountable

Cons

Only one 2.5Gbps port

No Link Aggregation, awkward Multi-Gig WAN, rigid default WAN port

Only client-based QoS, 5.9GHz clients are scarce


3. Linksys MX8500

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E 5Gbps WAN port
The Linksys MX8500 has a 5Gbps WAN port and a USB 3.0 port.

The Linksys MX8500 is an interesting case. It’s part of the MXE8400 Wi-Fi 6E mesh system.

As a standalone router, the MX8500 doesn’t have a Multi-Gig LAN port. However, when working as a satellite in a mesh setup, its 5Gbps WAN now functions as a LAN. That plus the super-fast 6GHz band means you can get excellent NAS speed out of it.

And like the case of any Velop mesh set, you can use one external drive per MX8500 uint, meaning you can host more storage in a mesh setup.

Out of the box, the Linksys doesn’t officially support Time Machine backup, but you might be able to make it work with a bit of tweaking.

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max's Rating

7.1 out of 10
Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E with power adapters
Performance
8/10
Features
7/10
Ease of Use
7.5/10
Value
6/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready

Reliable performance, extensive coverage

5Gbps WAN port

Excellent NAS performance when hosting external storage device(s)

Separate SSID for each band

Cons

Expensive

Comparatively slow mesWi-FiFi speeds in homes with walls

Limited Wi-Fi settings and features, mobile app coercion

No Multi-Gig LAN port (main router), Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation

No setting backup and restore


4. Netgear Nighthawk RAX120

Netgear RAX120 Wings
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: With a 5 Gbps network port, the RAX120 delivers excellent NAS performance.

This router is the latest from Netgear and has the fastest network storage speed, by far, thanks to its 5Gbps port. But even when you use its regular Gigabit connection, the NAS performance is still outstanding.

Like most Netgear routers, the RAX120 is all about sharing that storage space in as many ways as possible when hosting an external drive.

You can share that locally or via the Internet using Netgear’s ReadyShare software. The router also supports local backup for Windows and Mac’s Time Machine.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX120's Rating

8.1 out of 10
Netgear AX12 Front
Performance
8.5/10
Features
7.5/10
Design and Setup
9/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Powerful hardware, fast performance

Beautiful design

Multi-Gig network port (5Gbps)

Well-organized web user interface

Ultra-fast network storage performance

Cons

Expensive

No online protection, gaming, or mesh features

A bit bulky


5. Asus GT-AXE1600

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi Fi 6E Router's USB and switch
The Asus GT AXE16000 comes with two USB ports but only one is USB 3.0.

The Asus GT-AXE16000 has one USB 3.0 but three Multi-Gig ports, two of which are 10Gbps. It has great potential to be an excellent mini NAS despite its performance when hosting a portable drive, though fast, didn’t match its hardware specs in testing.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000's Rating

9.1 out of 10
Asus GT AXE16000 Quad band Wi Fi 6E Router 3
Performance
9.5/10
Features
10/10
Ease of Use
9/10
Value
8/10

Pros

Powerful hardware, Quad-band with Wi-Fi 6E support, three Multi-Gig ports (one 2.5Gbps and two 10Gbps)

Stellar performance throughout

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

Unmatched port flexibility, including interchangeable WAN, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Beautiful ROG Aura lighting

Cons

Expensive, NAS performance (when hosting a storage device) could be better

Awkward backhaul band design in a wireless AiMesh setup, no UNII4 (5.9GHz) support, no SFP+

Bulky design, not wall-mountable


6. Netgear Nighthawk RAX200

Netgear RAX200 Ports
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The Netgear RAX200’s Multi-Gig port caps at 2.5Gbps.

The RAX200 is a tri-band router that shares the same storage feature set as the dual-band RAX120 above. It also has a multi-gig network port, but it caps at just 2.5 Gbps, so it’s not as fast as its cousin, but still, it’s speedy.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX200's Rating

8 out of 10
Netgear RAX200
Performance
9/10
Features
7.5/10
Design and Setup
8.5/10
Value
7/10

Pros

Reliable and fast performance

Eye-catching design

Helpful mobile app, robust web UI

Multi-Gig support (2.5Gbps)

Cons

Comparatively super-expensive with nothing extra

Shallow Wi-Fi customization, spartan feature set

Comparatively low CPU clock speed

No 5Gbps or 10Gbps LAN port, not wall-mountable


7. Asus GT-AX6000

Asus GT AX6000 Network Ports
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The Asus GT-AX6000 comes with two 2.5Gbps ports and a USB 3.0 port.

The Asus GT-AX6000 is currently the best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 router on the market.

For its NAS feature, the router comes with two 2.5Gbps and a USB 3.0 port.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000
Performance
9.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage

Dual Multi-Gig ports with Dual-WAN, Link Aggregations, and more

Tons of helpful networking features and settings, including AiMesh 2.0 and gaming-related applications

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app, no login account required

Multi-Gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support

Excellent NAS performance when hosting a portable drive

Bold-looking design, no fan, runs cool

Cons

Lowest Multi-Gig grade (2.5Gbps), there could be more ports considering the router's massive physical size

A bit pricey

Impractical antenna design, bulky, not practically wall-mountable


8. Asus RT-AX86U

Asus RT AX86U 5
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: Among other things, the Asus RT-AX86U comes with two USB 3.0 ports.

The Asus RT-AX86U has a 2.5Gbps LAN port and two USB 3.0 ports. It performs well both as a regular router as well as a mini NAS server.

Asus RT-AX86U's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus RT AX86U 12
Performance
9/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
9/10

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

Single, low-speed (2.5Gbps) Multi-Gig port

Not wall-mountable

Gaming features turn Adaptive QoS off

No support for WTFast Gamer VPN


9. Asus GT-AX11000

Asus AX11000 Back
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The Asus GT-AX11000 has a 2.5Gbps port and two USB 3.0 ports, enough for it to deliver fast NAS performance.

The GT-AX11000 is the first tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router from Asus. It’s also a powerful router, and like its cousins above, it has everything when it comes to network storage.

Again, like other Asus routers, its USB ports can host printers, storage devices, or cellular modems and deliver a ton of storage-based features. On top of that, it also has a 2.5Gbps network connection to deliver fast NAS performance.

Asus GT-AX11000's Rating

8.3 out of 10
Asus AX11000 Top 1
Performance
8/10
Features
9.5/10
Design and Setup
8/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance with an excellent range

Lots of useful features for home users

Unique and effective settings for online gaming

Multi-Gig network port, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation

Mesh ready

Cons

Expensive

Bulky design, loose antennas, non-wall-mountable

Fewer LAN ports than the previous model

Long boot-up time, buggy (at launch), fluctuating Wi-Fi throughputs


10. Netgear RAXE500

The Netgear RAXE500 Routers backside
The Netgear RAXE500 comes with two USB 3.0 ports and a 5Gbps LAN port.

The Netgear RAX500 is the third Wi-Fi 6E on this list. Other than that, it’s almost identical to the RAX200 above.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500's Rating

7.8 out of 10
The Netgear RAXE500 Router angle
Performance
8.5/10
Features
7.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
6.5/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready

Collectively excellent Wi-Fi speeds and range

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Robust web interface, helpful (optional) mobile app

Beautiful design

Fast network-attached storage when hosting a storage device

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is still in the early stage

No 10Gbps port, only one 2.5Gbps port

Limited Wi-Fi settings, no built-in QoS or Parental Controls

Online protection requires a subscription

Internal fan, a bit buggy (at launch)


11. Asus RT-AX68U

Internet bandwidth: Asus RT-AX68U
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The Asus RT-AX68U comes with one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port.

The Asus RT-AX68U is the last entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router and shares similar NAS features as its older cousins mentioned above. However, it’s noticeably more affordable.

Without a multi-gig port, this router is not the fastest in any way, but its router NAS function virtually maxed out the speed of a Gigabit connection in my testing.

The RT-AX68U deserves a spot on this list for a nice combo of excellent features, fast performance, and friendly pricing.

Asus RT-AX68U's Rating

8.9 out of 10
Asus RT AX68U
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Fast performance, excellent range, reliable

Tons of helpful networking features and settings, including AiMesh 2.0

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app

Excellent NAS performance and features when hosting a storage device

Comparatively affordable

Cons

No Multi-Gig ports or 160MHz channel width support (at launch)

Not wall-mountable


There are two USB 3.0 ports to host storage devices or printer.
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The TP-Link C5400X Wi-Fi router has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports to host storage devices or printers.

This massive and ostentatious Wi-Fi router is quite impressive in terms of USB-based NAS performance. Despite having no multi-gig network port, it delivers fast NAS performance via its regular Gigabit ports.

The router supports sharing storage locally as well as over the Internet. It can also work as a media server, casting content to network streamers and an Apple Time Capsule alternative.

TP-Link Archer C5400X's Rating

8 out of 10
TP Link Archer C5400X 8
Performance
8/10
Features
7.5/10
Design and Setup
9/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

Solid design with responsive and well-organized interface

Useful HomeCare features

Extra LAN ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation

Fast NAS performance when coupled with an external hard drive

Cons

Expensive

No advanced gaming-specific features

Bulky physical size

2.4GHz Wi-Fi speed could be better


13. Linksys MX5 Velop AX

Linksys MX10 Hand
Wi-Fi 6 router NAS: The Linksys MX5 router has a good heft to it. Note the NAS-ready USB 3.0 port.

The Linksys MX5 is the latest Wi-Fi router of the Linksys Velop mesh family. It’s part of the Linksys MX10 mesh system, but you can also get it as a standalone router.

Unlike some other Wi-Fi 6 routers below, the MX5 doesn’t have a multi-gig port, so its NAS performs caps at 1Gbps. And that was almost the speed it delivered in my testing.

The router’s USB port doesn’t offer anything more than local storage sharing — there are no personal cloud streaming features.

Like the MX8500’s case above, the MX5 can host an external drive when working as a route or a mesh satellite, and its support for Time Machine backup might require some teaks.

Linksys MX10 Velop AX's Rating

8 out of 10
Linksys MX5 Underside 1
Performance
8.5/10
Features
8/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
7/10

Pros

Reliable and relatively fast Wi-Fi performance

Helpful mobile app, full web interface

Effective backhaul that delivers Wi-Fi 6 throughout in a mesh setup

Fast NAS speeds when hosting an external drive

Cons

Expensive with comparatively low Wi-Fi specs

No support for 160MHz channel bandwidth

Mobile app and login account required for initial setup

Spartan Wi-Fi settings, modest feature set

No multi-gig network ports, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

USB port awkwardly place, not mountable


TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 7
Wi-Fi 5 router NAS: The TP-Link Archer AX11000 is the first Wi-Fi router on the market with a USB-C port.

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 is the Wi-Fi 6 of the C5400X above. It’s a newer and much better router overall. But in terms of NAS performance, it’s behind its older cousin. The two share the same storage feature set, however.

Despite other advanced networking features of a Wi-Fi router, the comparatively slow read NAS speed when hosting a storage device lands it at the bottom in this post.

TP-Link Archer AX11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 18
Performance
8.5/10
Features
8/10
Design and Setup
9/10
Value
8/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

2.5 Gbps WAN port with eight Gigabit LAN ports

160 MHz channel bandwidth support

Excellent, Antivirus, QoS, and Parental Control features

Robust full web user interface, helpful mobile app

Eye-catching and convenient hardware design

USB-C ready, wall-mountable

Cons

Misleading gaming veneer, no actual gaming-specific features

No multi-gig LAN port, bulky design

Not mesh-ready (at launch)

Artificial" "Game" items make the interface unnecessarily confusing

Mobile app requires a login account

Best Wi-Fi routers with built-in NAS features: The performance

Find below the NAS performance charts of my recommended routers above. Again, I test them all using a wired Gigabit connection. And for those with a multi-gig port, I also tried them using a 10Gbps adapter.

Best router nas performance 2
The performance of the current best router NAS options

It’s important to note that I performed the tests with just one client connected to the Wi-Fi router. When multiple clients write or read from the router’s connected storage, the speed will reduce accordingly. But that’s the case with all NAS servers.

How to turn a Wi-Fi route rinto a mini NAS server

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46 thoughts on “Best 14 Router NAS Options of 2022: Add Some Cool Storage to Your Wi-Fi Today!”

  1. Hi Dong,
    Hope your well.
    Can you point me to any router that has at least 2 multi-gig ports.
    my internet comes in at 1.2gb and i would like to connect my multi-gig switch direct to the router without having to do link aggregation.

    id prefer not to have to buy adapters for SFP+ ports and like them to be Base-T if possible..

    Thanks
    Si

    Reply
  2. Hello Dong, Thanks a lot for your post. It gives a lost of options to choose. I bought a QNAP NAS and just trying to get a good Wifi Router as i will connect the SSD’s to the network and would like to access them by all the latops in the house. could you please suggest the best/affordable router with Multi gigibit port ?

    Reply
      • There are a few but I need something which covers the whole two level house which is a 259 Sqm. Do I need access points or extra ASUS routers for better signal as I have thick insulated walls in all rooms. I was thinking if the ASUS RT-AX8RU. Also do I need to do anything else to get a better speed from laptop to NAS or NAS to devices using this router? Y

        Reply
          • Hey Dong,

            My question is more on the access points if I buy RT AX8RU. Do you have an idea if I can add access points to this router or should I be only buying ASUS routers only to add more signal to the two level house. My question to you on the speed is, if I connect my laptop to NAS to the 2.5GbE port which will be connected to the same 2.5GbE gigabit port on the router. Should I be using a gigabit converter on my laptop or a gigabit car reader to get the appropriate speed as I only have a Ethernet port on my laptop?

          • Read the first linked post in the previous reply, Sunny. Again, the rule is you need to read before asking questions. I generally don’t comment on specific situations, nor do I offer one-on-one consulting.

  3. Hi Dong,
    Thank you for helping clarify this issue. A lot of information.
    So, my need is simple. I have 3-4 MacBook pro’s on wifi and a iMac on Ethernet and want the Time Machine to run on the router. I bought a Linksys mx5300 thinking this would work per their posted information. Wrong, it does not work with Time Machine, verified by Linksys on two phone calls. So, what do you think is the best way to proceed?
    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  4. I’ve had a lot of experience with router based NAS over the years and I’ve found none of them to be reliable. The fastest ones I’ve had were the Linksys based ones, but they never really offered all the features I’ve needed.

    If you’re really interested in a NAS I suggest you just buy or build your own and get a decent router. I just built an Unraid setup based on a used Lenovo Thinkstation P300 w/Xeon e3-1226 v3 and 12GB I picked up for $75 off eBay. Stick a few hard drives in there and Unraid and you’re off to the races.

    Speaking of which, Dong, can you recommend any inexpensive, decent 10G (or 5/2.5G) switches? I don’t have a 10G wired setup yet but I picked up 2 Mellanox Connectx-3 cards off eBay and I’d like to do something with them.

    Reply
  5. “Note that the scores on the chart are in megabytes per second (MB/s), which is eight times the megabit per second (Mbps) measurement generally used for network connection speed. ”

    I think there’s an error there, which makes it unclear what you mean. Are the speeds in megabits/s or megabytes/s? Because there’s the other way around, there are 8 megabits in one megabyte and not vice versa as it’s implied in the above sentence I quoted. Thank you for your comprehensive review, sir.

    Reply
    • I don’t think it was unclear, Erick. But I revised the original text to make it clearer. Thanks. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Hi!

    This is a great article, thank you. I found your Time Capsule alternative article and came here. I currently have a modem router combo bought from my ISP. It doesn’t have NAS capability but I don’t have the budget to replace it with a standalone modem and router. Another article I found suggested disabling router of the combo and use another router. The router I have doesn’t have that capability. Do you have a suggestion what kind of a product I should get? Maybe getting a router is not the solution I need, if so I am open to any suggestions.

    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Hi Dong,

    I am experiencing a connection loss from my router to my Arris/Comcast modem a few to a dozen hours after plugging in a USB drive. This happens with both n Asus RT-AC86U and a Netgear RAX78 and using either a 1.5 TB Seagate GoFlex Drive or a 6 TB Seagate Backup Plus, though faster with the 6TB. There is no drive activity when the drops happen, affecting wired and wireless connections, and it requires the router to be rebooted.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent this, like use USB 2.0 mode or just use a flash drive? I only need a lightweight NAS for security cams and video transfers. Both routers are new and I can still return them if something else would work.

    Thanks,

    Brandon

    Reply
    • You should go with a portable SSD, Brandon. The hard-drive-based portable drive can use a lot of power and that might affect the router’s stability. Or get a drive with its own power adapter. More in this post.

      Reply
  8. Hi Dong,
    I have a ASUS RT-AX86U that I am using for NAS server. Asus shows the USB ports as USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 2 which (if I understand) can run at 10 Gbps using 2 lanes. Have you done this or do you know how to do it ? Might require USB-C cable??? Seems this would be great for fast SSD (ext USB) drives. I am planning to upgrade PC to 2.5G Enet as well.
    Thanks for any help!
    John

    Reply
    • No, John. It’s a 5Gbps USB. Also, the speed would be limited by the network port anyway. It won’t help in your case since the router has no Multi-Gig port. Read the review.

      Reply
      • Thanks Dong.
        USB is a bit confusing, and I appreciate your article “Device Connections Explained: Thunderbolt or Not, It’s All about USB-C” that helped me a lot.
        Some references to USB 3.2 Gen 1 X 2 (Link removed) indicate 10Gbps over USB-C (dual lane) . Seems the key is the cable with dual lanes.
        Asus site specs show the RT-AX86U has USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 2 which probably refers to quantity 2 ports. They are not USB-C connectors, just standard type A.
        The RT-AX86U does have one configurable (LAN/WAN) 2.5Gbps ethernet port though, which might help the NAS speed a bit. I’ll let you know if I see any difference after I install 2.5G PCIe card in my I7-8700K.
        I’m very pleased with NAS performance on this router now, but “more is better” ! 🙂

        Reply
        • As I mentioned in that post, the naming of USB 3.2 is a mess — by the way, there’s no such thing as USB 3.1 Gen 1×2. Also, USB-C has nothing to do with speed. So, no need to add more references. That only makes things more confusing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, though, John.

          Reply
  9. Took a few minutes to write up the prices, sorted up – down. Looks like the offering from Synology is the best in terms of price/speed of file transfer. The prices are enormous for the rest :O
    Though even 130 for the Synology would be a hard bargain. Still better than having to get a proper NAS for a single drive.

    Netgear RAX200 599
    Asus GT-AX11000 422.99
    Netgear RAX120 412.41
    Asus RT-AX89X 411.77
    Linksys MX5 399
    TP-Link Archer AX11000 365 Ebay
    TP-Link Archer C5400X 249.99
    Asus RT-AX86U 249.99 limited avail
    Asus RT-AX68U 199.99
    Synology MR2200ac 130.99

    Reply
      • What’s interesting is that even though they are all very expensive – they aren’t that widely available. Nor are they discontinued, which would be a good reason if they were.

        Any thoughts on why?

        Reply
  10. Dong,
    Thanks for the great article. Very helpful as I have been desperately trying to figure out how to setup some NAS without buying an actual NAS server.
    Quick question after reviewing all of the routers on your list and a much smaller set of requirements.
    Reqs:
    – no mesh
    – no gaming
    – small environment (750 sq ft)
    – streaming/playback of mp4 h.264 video via VLS over 5Ghz wifi

    What unit would you lean toward for requirements like this that are not as high?

    Reply
  11. Hi Dong, came across a few of your articles that really helped me decide on my next router. So I went from this…
    – “Ok” Frontier Fios Arris Wireless with a older Netgear AC1750 for NAS set up. I couldn’t use the AC1750 directly since it produced horrible speeds no matter what tweak I did. Then an Airi 2.4/5Ghz in AP mode + a switch.
    To this…
    – AX82U only, eliminating the Frontier router, the Airi & switch. For the life of me, couldn’t find the AX86U anywhere for the life of me.

    However, I really hate how Asus do their USB storage set up. With my old Netgear, I could plug in 5 external HDs via plugging in a USB hub into the router’s USB 3.0. Then when I accessed “readyshare” via any comp or my Android TV, I’m able to see all HDs separately and enjoy easily accessing anything from any drive. On the other hand, my new AX82U simply combines everything into a single location……. thousands of directories and files.

    So the question is, do you know if Asus have this same ability? To distinguish between drives and keep them as separate views (drives)?

    Reply
      • Thanks for your awesome feedback! Unfortunately, I was afraid that you’d hammer home what I already speculated lol.

        Ya, each drive is how I keep my media categorized and organized. I’ve looked into something like the Synology before but I’m unwilling to take the leap…. since after all, I feel I have “perfectly good” external drives with “ok” networking streaming abilities… notice all the quotation marks 😉

        Thanks! I look forward to following your articles.

        Reply
        • Sure, Drew. You’re the perfect candidate for a Synology NAS. I mean it. Get one, you can start with an older model year (2013 or newer). You can get one used or refurbished for relatively cheap. You’ll love it.

          Reply
  12. Great review Dong! I decided to keep my Amplifi Alien and use a $54 Raspberry Pi as my NAS. It is on my 1 Gb LAN and is fast enough for every day use.

    Reply
  13. Are you sure about the RT-AC86U numbers? I have seen reviews claiming it has around the same performance as RT-AX86U.

    Reply
  14. Hi Dong,

    So I finally upgraded my RT-N66U with a RT-AX86U. Everything seems to be working great except for my portable hard drive I plug into the back of the router and use SMB within Kodi to play them. I have both H264 and H265 MKV files that played fine with my old N66U router. However, I’m finding that only the H265 files are constantly skipping/buffering now with the AX86U router which I don’t understand since it’s a way more powerful router. Are there any settings that I need to look at or change within the router that could be causing playback issues? During initial setup of new router I updated it, then reset it as suggested. Even though I don’t have any AX products, I chose the 802.11AX/Wi-Fi 6 Mode that was recommended settings when first setting up the router. Should I not use that option or will that not make a difference? Also, I already completely reset Kodi a few times and started from scratch for SMB, then tried some settings within, but still got the stutter/buffering although sound worked great and picture was crystal clear. Note: Same thing happening on 2 separate Amazon Fire TV boxes that had no problems before. I did try a Raspberry Pi 4 with Openmediavault to host the portable hard drive and added that to Kodi, but that skipped video too. Everything is hooked directly by ethernet too in case you need to know that.

    Sorry for the long message, just trying to get this fixed since my old router worked fine on these same files. Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give to try.

    Reply
    • Try playing the movie file straight on your computer using VLC player, via regular SMB file sharing. If it still skips then it’s the connection issue. If not then it’s Kodi’s fault. That’s as far as I can suggest. I’ve never tried Kodi with routers before.

      Reply

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