While variety can be scarce when shopping for an internet service provider, you do have some level of customization to work with when you invest in a new router and modem. And the market is absolutely filled with some great manufacturers too. But among the best, ASUS stands among the top of the pack.
And while ASUS may be better known for their computers than their networking equipment, they’re no slouch in terms of design. A high level of quality consistency is paired with one of the best customer service experiences in the business. That’s a definite boon for individuals but also for small businesses without a dedicated IT team. We’re going to cover the best of the best ASUS routers and provide you with some helpful shopping advice.
- 10 Best Asus Routers
- 1. Asus RT-AC68U Dual Band Gigabit Router
- 2. ASUS GT-AC5300 Tri-band WiFi Gaming Router
- 3. ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Router
- 4. ASUS AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
- 5. ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Router
- 6. ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gigabit Wireless Router
- 7. ASUS RT-AC88U Gigabit Router
- 8. ASUS RT-N12 N300 Router
- 9. Asus Blue Cave AC2600 Dual-Band Wireless Router
- 10. ASUS SRT-AC1900 Onhub Google Router
- ASUS Router Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Asus Routers
1. Asus RT-AC68U Dual Band Gigabit Router
If you want reliable performance that doesn't require some serious tweaking to get, you may want to pay attention to the RT-AC68U. You can get this modem set up in just a matter of minutes, even if you've never dealt with a modem before, but there's a decent variety of features to pull from here. There are both four ethernet ports and two USB ports, so residential customers should be able to connect all of the devices in their home pretty easily. And since you can reset this modem wirelessly, you don't need to work hard to troubleshoot any issues you're dealing with.
2. ASUS GT-AC5300 Tri-band WiFi Gaming Router
In case the aesthetics alone aren't enough to tell you, the GT-AC5300 is a gaming router through and through. And while it will cost you a decent chunk of change, it provides the best performance for everything from competitive multiplayer gaming to serious streaming services like Playstation Now and XBox Game Pass. The huge array of antennas are about more than just looks. The core network coverage here is strong, but it's further expanded with the inclusion of both AiMesh and MU-MIMO technology. And with eight ethernet ports - with full support for channel bonding, no less - you can make the most of all of your gaming devices.
3. ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Router
Need solid internet performance but don't have a lot of money to work with? The RT-AC66U is a budget option that's still capable enough to meet the needs of most households. In addition to including two USB ports, this router also comes with AiCloud 2.0 support, so sharing your files back and forth between different devices is a seamless process. Getting things up and running is easy, but so is getting things up and running safely. There is some serious malware protection at work here as well as encryption protection. And the parental controls are easy to understand and put in place.
4. ASUS AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
The RT-AC3200 is one of the most impressively routers on the market. It broadcasts across three bands for some serious performance and uses Smart Connect to discover the fastest band for any one of the devices on your network. Of course, you'll need a fast plan with your internet service provider to really take advantage of what's on offer here. There are some rock solid security features at work here, but this router has another solid trick up its sleeve. For more serious business users, the ability to use it as a VPN or NAS server adds a whole lot of utility to this router.
5. ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Router
If the RT-AX88U started as proof of concept for next gen Wi-Fi 6 technology, but it continues to be a reliable standard in the router market three years later. This router also comes with AiMesh technology, allowing you to create a whole home network no matter the size of your property. And with a spacious eight LAN ports to work with, you can get the best connectivity possible for your most important devices. This is undoubtedly a router built for the needs of some serious business professionals, but at the same time, the price and functionality makes it one of the best choics for the home.
6. ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gigabit Wireless Router
If you need a router that will perform well in a smaller space, the RT-AC86U might not be your best choice. But this might be the best ASUS router for users looking to get coverage in mansions or offices. There's a lot of specialized features at work here too. Trend Micro offers 24/7 security protection, and the parental controls come with a wide variety of customization choices. This router supports both MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology also. This router is also host to WTFast technology - an inclusion that allow for the best performance and QoS controls for the most serious competitive gamers.
7. ASUS RT-AC88U Gigabit Router
If you need a router that will perform well in a smaller space, the RT-AC88U might not be your best choice. But this might be the best ASUS router for users looking to get coverage in mansions or offices. There's a lot of specialized features at work here too. Trend Micro offers 24/7 security protection, and the parental controls come with a wide variety of customization choices. This router supports both MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology also. This router is also host to WTFast technology - an inclusion that allow for the best performance and QoS controls for the most serious competitive gamers.
8. ASUS RT-N12 N300 Router
The best ASUS router in terms of value is undoubtedly the RT-N12. You won't find the best performance of an ASUS WiFi router here, but you will find a lot more performance than you could hope to expect from a model that will cost you less than $50. Both homes and small businesses should get by with the internal hardware here, and there's support for Dr. Surf so you can more readily troubleshoot situations when they arrive. Further improving the value of this router for businesses is support for three separate guest networks that can be set with their own configurations.
9. Asus Blue Cave AC2600 Dual-Band Wireless Router
ASUS' Blue Cave undeniably bears a fitting name. With its LED lighting and the massive hole that runs right through the middle of the router, it certainly steps apart distinctly from the competition - and the support for Amazon Alexa devices makes it easy to integrate this router directly into your existing smart home layout. This router comes with a free trial of antivirus software for both the PCs and the phone you own. There are even advanced parental controls that allow you to block specific sites but which also lets you set more detailed criteria and even create schedules for when and how the internet can be used.
10. ASUS SRT-AC1900 Onhub Google Router
With its cylindrical design and sub $100 price tag, you'd be forgiven if you mistook the SRT-AC1900 for a wireless Bluetooth speaker. Fortunately for consumers, the unconventional design is partnered with some seriously great performance across the board. It can be easily set up and controlled using the compatible Google On app, and you can even set QoS traffic prioritization with a simple wave of your hand. And while it may just use one antenna, it's a particularly smart antenna. It can seek out the traffic present on different bands and use that information to find the fastest stream available to you.
ASUS Router Buyer’s Guide
When you’re looking to check out the best modems available to connect to Wi-Fi in 2020, you don’t need to have to dig too deep. For the most part, any router is going to provide you with solid Wi-Fi performance over your Wi-Fi connection. You shouldn’t have to get too specialized here.
And just because ASUS is one of the best manufacturers of Wi-Fi wireless routers doesn’t mean that all of their products are interchangeable. Whether you want a Wi-Fi network that can handle a lot of devices at once, a Wi-Fi router loaded down with gaming features or cutting edge security features, there’s an ASUS router that will likely fit your needs.
If performance is a big concern for you, keep an eye out for ASUS routers with somewhat meatier performance. The quality and speed of Wi-Fi performance is largely contingent on the scale of the signal bandwidth – also known as the throughput – but you can’t go expecting download speeds of 2900 Mbps on every device just because that’s the performance expectations of the ASUS routers you’re evaluating.
Instead, the signal speed tells you the total amount of bandwidth your Wi-Fi network can handle between all of the connected devices. These performance speeds are then split up into different channels and given their own share of the Wi-Fi bandwidth. You should know that you can improve Wi-Fi performance on a single device by clearing out the bandwidth usage of other devices, but you usually can’t devote all of the bandwidth from a WiFi router to a single device.
If there’s an AC model number on an ASUS router, it can provide you with an understanding of the maximum signal performance of a router. An AC2600 routers from ASUS, for instance, can achieve download speeds of up to 2600 Mbps.
There are also a number of features that appear regularly in ASUS routers and may help improve your performance even more. Beamforming lets your ASUS router project your wireless signal more directly towards the host devices. MU-MIMO is one of the more popular features available since it allows you to maintain a high signal speed even when you have a larger number of devices attached to the same ASUS router.
But maybe the best of the wireless signal boosting features is channel bonding. Channel bonding may be one of those features best suited to gamers and others with need for serious speed, but the work done here is impressive. By connecting together two of the channels on ASUS routers, you can effectively double the wireless speeds for those connected devices. In other words, if you’re looking to stream games using a high bandwidth service like XBox Game Pass, ASUS routers with channel bonding can really fulfill your needs for a router.
802.11 is the traditional format for determining how well Wi-Fi routers work with wireless transmissions. First introduced in the 1990s, the 802.11 standard has been split up into a number of smaller standards, and new version of wireless connectivity are usually accompanied by a new introduction to the next set of standards. In the current market, almost all ASUS routers are going to employ either the 802 11ac or 802 11ax protocol.
- 802 11ac is also known as Wi-Fi 5, and it’s the most prevalent 802 11 protocol around. 802 11ac brought some new improvements to the traditional wireless format. 802 11ac routers feature the ability to broadcast on a range that extends all the way up to 5 GHz (though we’ll get into what, exactly, that means below). With MU-MIMO features, you can get an all around throughput of 3.46 Gbps on an 802 11ac device. And you can be comfortable knowing that 802 11ac protocol is fully backward compatible with earlier versions of Wi-Fi connectivity.
- The current cutting edge of Wi-Fi technology is 802 11ax, which is also commonly referred to as Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 standards take everything that’s great about 802 11a routers. But the most obvious advantages of Wi-Fi 6 aren’t about improving speeds (802 11ax promises the same frequency coverage as 802 11 ac) but instead juggling multiple devices without losing wireless speed quality. The best ASUS routers will use this protocol, but 802 11ax isn’t such an evolutionary step forward that it will be necessary for most customers to upgrade from 802 11ac to 802 11ax. 802 11ax still has its uses though. As opposed to 802 11ac, the focus on this evolution is largely about providing quality wireless performance in denser and more populated spaces. That makes these routers an absolutely excellent choice for larger offices and workspaces.
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So how is the frequency coverage of a Wi-Fi router work? It’s not that difficult to understand. When routers need to connect to Wi-Fi, they try to find the least crowded stretch of radio frequency waves to minimize the impact of noise on your frequency transmission. Each of these stretches of frequency are known as a band, and the higher the band, the more efficiently you can send data over Wi-Fi.
- Single band routers are largely a thing of the past, but ASUS still has a few on the market. If you want an ASUS router but your budget is limited, a single band router might be the way to go. And if your internet service plan you pay for doesn’t offer particularly high download speeds, a single band ASUS router might be all you need. The big advantage here is how crowded transmission can get when working with single band routers. Since it’s been the standard for so long, chances are that a lot of your neighbors are sharing the band with you, and that can lead to some serious slowdown or packet loss over Wi-Fi. The more simplistic and primitive nature of single band routers also means that they’re stripped of most of the more cutting edge features like quality of service controls or configuration settings controlled by a phone app. Single band ASUS routers can hypothetically reach speeds of 800 Mbps, though that’s generally considered the upper limit in an ideal situation.
- A double band ASUS router steps up the game by migrating up to the 5 GHz band. Ultimate throughput on the 5 GHz band is significantly increased over that of a single band ASUS router, and the newer format of 802 11ax means that you’ll likely have less neighbors sharing the frequency space with you. This type of Wi-Fi router might cost more than a single band router, but it’s been standardized enough to be pretty affordable. This, along with the ability to connect four devices over MU-MIMO, makes these routers an ideal choice for an ASUS router that’s concentrated in denser and more urban areas. A double band router can reach a hypothetical throughput of over 2500 Mbps. The truth is, a single band router will match the needs of all but the most resource heavy consumers, and there are few households – or even small offices – that need something heftier.
- A tri-band router doesn’t raise the range of frequency bands that an ASUS router covers, but it does expand down into the 2.4Ghz range. With the ability to split your devices across a variety of channels, noise becomes significantly less of an issue. In addition, they open up a second band in the 5 GHz range. The obvious case use for a tri-band is medium- and large-sized businesses. That said, it’s still a little early in the evolution of tri-band routers, and that means they can get very expensive. The other issue is that only relatively new devices will offer compatibility with a triple band router. With the ability to connect up to eight devices over MU-MIMO, this is an obvious choice for a gaming router or for expanding your smart home interface.
The amount of antennas on an ASUS router can give you some strong hints about how well a router will perform: both in terms of reliability and overall distance. That said, an antenna doesn’t always tell you the whole story, but finding a model with more built in can tell you a lot about how serious a router is.
The most important ports, of course, are going to be the ethernet ports. They allow you to connect your router to your modem and connect other devices like gaming consoles wirelessly. Ethernet ports are especially important if they offer channel bonding, because that will cut down the access for power users in half.
USB ports are less important but can still be incredibly valuable to have. With a USB port, you can get printers or other accessories properly linked up to your wireless network. You can also connect a hard drive that anyone can access from your network. If possible, you’ll want to pay the most attention to which models offer USB 3.0 capabilities. USB 3 offers significantly better data transfer speeds than the old USB 2.0 protocol.
We were already a big fan of the modems ASUS has to offer, but our deep dive into their catalog surprised us with the depth and density of products that ASUS offers. Regardless of your internet plan and regardless of what you plan on using your router for, we’re confident that there’s a model that can suit your needs on our list. Be sure to keep checking back in too. We’ve worked hard to provide our customers with all the networking resources we need, and we’ll be diligent making sure that our content in this area continues to grow steadily.