Best ASUS router right now?


Senior Member
Additional RT-AX86Us will be most useful if you can connect them via their 2.5GbE Ports for wired backhaul.

I use a couple of the QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5-Port Unmanaged 2.5GbE switches over Cat5E (100' run) cable and have no hiccups or slowdowns with my 1Gbps symmetrical up/down connection and any concurrent LAN usage (including to 2x QNAP 2.5GbE capable NAS').

Be sure you locate the routers as physically far apart as possible, for maximum performance and coverage. And be sure to manually select the Control Channel that works ideally for the new environment too.

AiMesh Ideal Placement
So additional ax86u’s will provide more range and throughput vs ax68u and ax86s, correct?


Part of the Furniture
So additional ax86u’s will provide more range and throughput vs ax68u and ax86s, correct?
The WiFi of the AX86U and AX86S is identical. The AX86U has a 2.5Gb Ethernet port that you could use for backhaul instead of 1Gb but you're unlikely to see any real-world difference as the bottleneck will likely be your WiFi clients and your 1Gb internet connection.


Part of the Furniture
With an extra antennae/stream (4x4:4 vs. 3x3:3), the RT-AX86 (U/s) will give more range and throughput than the RT-AX68U.

The RT-AX86U with the 2.5GbE Port used for wired backhaul will give the full performance to the node(s) (with additional 2.5GbE capable switches, as necessary), regardless of what the other node and/or other wired devices are doing within the LAN. In other words, the overall workload the network as a whole can offer will be much higher, or, support more clients concurrently without showing any stress.

The dual-core RT-AX86S with half the RAM (and no 2.5GbE Port) should operate effectively identical to the RT-AX86U in AP or AiMesh node mode but isn't capable of being switched to main router duties in case of the main router ever fails (and depending on the options/features and VPN instances used, could be substantially worse too in main router mode too).

The prices will have a bearing on this decision too, between the models we're discussing.

But for the long term, I feel that the RT-AX86U is the best route (particularly in wired backhaul mode via the 2.5GbE Ports).

Note that I would buy two additional RT-AX86Us but only unbox one to implement into your network. Testing different locations for both the main and node, you may find that one AiMesh node is all that is required vs. the multiple nodes you have/need now. If my guess proves correct for your situation too, return the unopened box and enjoy the savings.

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