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Beginners Questions: What is the Max Input Speed on the ASUS RT-AX86U?

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ADDon88

Occasional Visitor
Please forgive my asking such a basic question, but despite researching this router for several days, I still don't really understand what I'm reading.

I just upgraded my home internet to 2Gbit, and so want to upgrade my wifi router to one that can take advantage of that speed, as my current router maxes out at 1000Mbit.

I want to buy an ASUS, because my VPN provider provides software that is specifically compatible with certain ASUS routers, including the rt-ax86u.

So my question is, if i have a CAT6 cable, running from my new modem, will i be able to plug that directly into the rt-ax86u, and thus have my compatible wifi devices be able to access such speeds? Or is the rt-ax86u not able to accept a 2Gbit ethernet input? In which case, what other ASUS router would be suitable for that requirement? Or, am I completely misunderstanding the tech and need to fully reconsider the situation?

Thanks in advance for the input. Any feedback would be very appreciated.
 
Please forgive my asking such a basic question, but despite researching this router for several days, I still don't really understand what I'm reading.

I just upgraded my home internet to 2Gbit, and so want to upgrade my wifi router to one that can take advantage of that speed, as my current router maxes out at 1000Mbit.

I want to buy an ASUS, because my VPN provider provides software that is specifically compatible with certain ASUS routers, including the rt-ax86u.

So my question is, if i have a CAT6 cable, running from my new modem, will i be able to plug that directly into the rt-ax86u, and thus have my compatible wifi devices be able to access such speeds? Or is the rt-ax86u not able to accept a 2Gbit ethernet input? In which case, what other ASUS router would be suitable for that requirement? Or, am I completely misunderstanding the tech and need to fully reconsider the situation?

Thanks in advance for the input. Any feedback would be very appreciated.
Well, I own myself a RT-AX86U and it comes with a 2.5Gbit port that can be used as WAN port. In fact, I'm using in that way.
To my understand, you could do perfectly that you are suggesting. The only thing is that all LAN ports in this router are 1GBit, as I suppose you already know, so you will only be able to reach speeds above 1GBit through your WiFi.
Best.
 
If your quest for higher bandwidth is to use a VPN client on your router, then most of the SOHO routers on the market, Asus included, will limit the VPN throughput to less than 600 MB. So spending bucks for the 2 GB service is a waste of money unless you invest in a commercial router. Am sure some of the pros out there will agree with this.
 
Or, am I completely misunderstanding the tech and need to fully reconsider the situation?

Your ISP sold to you a service you can’t really use and your VPN sold to you a service you don’t really need. Now you are going to feed a hardware vendor. All of the above are happy to get your money. Your Internet experience perhaps won’t change much after all this. They know you are not very familiar with tech and use this fact to their advantage. And by the way RT-AX86U is the older model of what is RT-AX86U Pro now. Your VPN software may or may not work on the new model.
 
Well, I own myself a RT-AX86U and it comes with a 2.5Gbit port that can be used as WAN port. In fact, I'm using in that way.
To my understand, you could do perfectly that you are suggesting. The only thing is that all LAN ports in this router are 1GBit, as I suppose you already know, so you will only be able to reach speeds above 1GBit through your WiFi.
Best.
Thanks for the reply! Yes, i don't use any ethernet cables for output on my current wifi router (if I am understanding you correctly) so wouldn't do so either on a new router. I'm really just looking for an ASUS router that can give me faster wifi, hence wanting to plug my new 2Gbit modem into it. So, again if I understand you correctly, that's what I should be able to do; plug a single CET6 cable directly from my modem into the 86U, and enjoy faster internet. Which is great, so thanks!
 
If your quest for higher bandwidth is to use a VPN client on your router, then most of the SOHO routers on the market, Asus included, will limit the VPN throughput to less than 600 MB. So spending bucks for the 2 GB service is a waste of money unless you invest in a commercial router. Am sure some of the pros out there will agree with this.
Thanks for the feedback. Actually, anything close to 600MB would be great, as I currently get only about 50 MB on my current DDWRT router. Plus, as the 86U is a WIFI6 router, if I understand correctly, my compatible devices will also be able to take advantage of that speed. As for the 2Gbit speed being a waste, when I connect directly to the modem via wifi, I get superfast speeds, which is awesome, but again, I need a new, faster device specifically for the VPN I can use, so I think the 86U *should* be a great choice, hopefully! :)
 
Your ISP sold to you a service you can’t really use and your VPN sold to you a service you don’t really need. Now you are going to feed a hardware vendor. All of the above are happy to get your money. Your Internet experience perhaps won’t change much after all this. They know you are not very familiar with tech and use this fact to their advantage. And by the way RT-AX86U is the older model of what is RT-AX86U Pro now. Your VPN software may or may not work on the new model.
Thanks for your input! Though, I'm really not sure on some of your comments.

Why do you think my ISP sold me a service I can't really use?
And why do you think I don't need my VPN sold me a service?

As for if the VPN service will work on the RT-AX86U, that model is listed on their website as one of the specific models they support. So I just assumed, as it's there, that it will work. Is there any reason to assume it wouldn't?

Sorry for so many questions. Really just trying to wrap my head around all this new stuff! :)
 
The RT-AX86U Pro is a better router and it supports the same VPN's as the older AX86U. Better to go with newer hardware.
GT-AX6000 may be a better bet for you.
 
So my question is, if i have a CAT6 cable, running from my new modem, will i be able to plug that directly into the rt-ax86u, and thus have my compatible wifi devices be able to access such speeds? Or is the rt-ax86u not able to accept a 2Gbit ethernet input?
Not sure it's been mentioned yet but you should review your WiFi devices and their capabilities to see if they will benefit from using WiFi6, WiFi6E or WiFi7 that some newer routers support. You may be throwing money at the wrong hardware by upgrading the WiFi router while the WiFi clients cannot take advantage of the new router's WiFi capabilities and the new broadband speed.

As already pointed out, while certain Asus routers do have a 2.5Gb WAN port (or a 2.5Gb port that can be configured for WAN use), one would be limited to 1Gb for their wired Ethernet LAN network unless one buy's a router with one or more 2.5Gb or higher LAN ports along with possibly additional network hardware like faster network switches (above 1Gb port speed) to handle the 2.5Gb LAN port from the router. Then of course there is all the LAN clients and WiFi clients network speed capabilities that should be reviewed and potentially upgraded to handle the faster local network and local WiFi speed. No doubt certain WiFi and LAN Ethernet devices won't be capable of having their WiFi or Ethernet hardware replaced or updated to handle the speed the new router may be capable of providing with the move to 2+ broadband speed.

Some food for thought.
 
I see three wrong decisions here. The ISP plan based on bigger is better assumption, the VPN perhaps based on privacy promises and the AIO router based on aggressive marketing. This is what all the businesses selling services or home hardware want. The real improvement for the customer may be very small depending on where they start from.
 
I'll chime in, too. The "AX86U Pro" is usually cheaper than the older (plain) "AX86U" for some reason, last I looked, so if that's the form factor you want, the newer (and somewhat more capable) version would be the better choice.

In terms of your Internet speed 1 Gb/s or even 500 Mb/s tiers, if available, might prove more economical in the long run (once the introductory rate disappears) and be completely sufficient for your needs.

If you're entirely confident you'll never hard-wire anything within your network then a model with only 1 Gb/s ethernet ports available for that purpose will not be a detriment in any event. Conversely, a model with two 2.5 Gb/s ports available would offer at least the option in the future to "spread" the Internet connection "wealth" more completely, with a > 1 Gb/s feed.

Regarding VPN setup, does the provider have /software/ for the router or merely offer pre-defined /settings/ for it? Seems one should be able-enough to use the service with /any/ suitable router.
 
Because you can’t use anything above Gigabit with your planned setup.



This on-router VPN will cut down your speed to 350Mbps max. What is it used for?

You mean the AX86U wifi doesn't go faster than 1Gbit?

And the VPN I'll be using provides software specifically for ASUS routers. I've not heard the provider limits VPN speeds. I use a VPN because the country I live in limits internet access.
 
Not sure it's been mentioned yet but you should review your WiFi devices and their capabilities to see if they will benefit from using WiFi6, WiFi6E or WiFi7 that some newer routers support. You may be throwing money at the wrong hardware by upgrading the WiFi router while the WiFi clients cannot take advantage of the new router's WiFi capabilities and the new broadband speed.

As already pointed out, while certain Asus routers do have a 2.5Gb WAN port (or a 2.5Gb port that can be configured for WAN use), one would be limited to 1Gb for their wired Ethernet LAN network unless one buy's a router with one or more 2.5Gb or higher LAN ports along with possibly additional network hardware like faster network switches (above 1Gb port speed) to handle the 2.5Gb LAN port from the router. Then of course there is all the LAN clients and WiFi clients network speed capabilities that should be reviewed and potentially upgraded to handle the faster local network and local WiFi speed. No doubt certain WiFi and LAN Ethernet devices won't be capable of having their WiFi or Ethernet hardware replaced or updated to handle the speed the new router may be capable of providing with the move to 2+ broadband speed.

Some food for thought.
Yikes! That was all quite complicated for me...

My phones and laptops all support Wifi6, so I figured getting a router, like the 86U, that also supports 6 would be a good choice.

If I understand correctly, the AX86U supports a 2.5Gb ethernet input, which my moden outputs. Unless I've misunderstood the tech on the 86U (which is why I made this post in the first place :))
 
I'll chime in, too. The "AX86U Pro" is usually cheaper than the older (plain) "AX86U" for some reason, last I looked, so if that's the form factor you want, the newer (and somewhat more capable) version would be the better choice.

In terms of your Internet speed 1 Gb/s or even 500 Mb/s tiers, if available, might prove more economical in the long run (once the introductory rate disappears) and be completely sufficient for your needs.

If you're entirely confident you'll never hard-wire anything within your network then a model with only 1 Gb/s ethernet ports available for that purpose will not be a detriment in any event. Conversely, a model with two 2.5 Gb/s ports available would offer at least the option in the future to "spread" the Internet connection "wealth" more completely, with a > 1 Gb/s feed.

Regarding VPN setup, does the provider have /software/ for the router or merely offer pre-defined /settings/ for it? Seems one should be able-enough to use the service with /any/ suitable router.
Thanks for the reply!

Where I live, the 'pro' is significantly more expensive, and I'm not sure it will offer benefits equal to the almost double price. :)

If I wire-connect anything, it will only be game consoles, but all current gen models are limited to 1000Mbits at most, so having faster wired ports probably won't benefit me. :)

The VPN provider offers an applet specifically for ASUS routers (or at least the models they support).
 
To very specific clients and in specific conditions, not guaranteed.



Home routers can do about 250Mbps on OpenVPN and about 350Mbps on WireGuard. Limited by the hardware.
Interesting! Something I definitely need to know, seeing as the most important factor will be speed under VPN usage!

So in that case, I guess I don't need to worry too much. It has 2.5Gbit input, and Wifi6, so I guess I'm set. :)
 
With all new Asus hardware moving (slowly) to 3.0.0.6.xxx level firmware sooner than later, buying an RT-AX86U today is not a good use of funds. That model won't get the latest firmware (as has been mentioned here on these forums by many, including RMerlin himself).

Can you afford to buy something that may need to be upgraded in the next year or so? And effectively cost you 150% or more of something worth buying today?

The GT-AX6000 and/or the RT-AX88U Pro are the best bang for the buck choices today. The latter may have the edge for longer support too, because it was announced well over a year after the GT-AX6000 model.

What is your current router? Is it an AC class model?

To get closer to true 2Gbps speeds over WiFi, a WiFi 6E or a WiFi 7 model router is needed. However, both those class levels are not the value options, today. But letting you know what hardware will be needed to actually give ~2Gbps wireless. (i.e. it's not only the WAN 'input' Port that determines this, it is the RF hardware too).
 

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