Review New In the Charts: ASUS RT-AX86U

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Product Review

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
ASUS RT-AX86U
ASUS's RT-AX86U AX5700 Dual Band WiFi 6 Gaming Router has been tested and added to SmallNetBuilder's Wi-Fi Router Charts. It has an unusual three stream @ 2.4 GHz and four stream @ 5 GHz Broadcom-based design. But it currently ranks #1 in Wi-Fi 6 routers.
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
Godlike router :) performance, looks, love mine.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
The two router models I usually recommend to people are the RT-AC66U_B1 (because at $100 CAD, quite frankly it does what 90% of home users need), and the RT-AX86U (because it has pretty much all the useful bells & whistles, without going over the top like their GT models).
 

Beautiful NM Skye

New Around Here
I have this router and I really love it. It works better than nearly any home router I've had today... it solid, no drop outs, firmware is good. Has a dual-wan failover, which works (the switchover is slow but it works) and the 2.5 gb wan is great.
 

nikr

Regular Contributor
i’ve blindly purchased my last two routers based on recommendation from here, r7800 and ax86u and i couldn’t be happier.

i work for wireless radio manufacturer and was so happy to see how tests are done here that is using screen boxes and ixia in controlled environment instead of just running speed in bedroom or kitchen etc.
 

psychopomp1

Senior Member
Perhaps its also worth reviewing and adding QCA based wifi 6 routers such as the Netgear RAX120 and Asus RT-AX89X to the charts? At the moment the wifi 6 router list is occupied by Broadcom kit.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Perhaps its also worth reviewing and adding QCA based wifi 6 routers such as the Netgear RAX120 and Asus RT-AX89X to the charts? At the moment the wifi 6 router list is occupied by Broadcom kit.
I won't be doing the RT-AX89X. Ran into some oddities on the RAX120. Will be taking another whack at that soon.

Broadcom pretty much dominated Wi-Fi 6 design-ins.
 

IAAI

Senior Member
Really great router all around .

Just one small issue i would love if asus looks at which is the slow upload speed users are getting occasionally.
 

royarcher

Very Senior Member
I am getting ready to update my rt ac 88 u and I was going to go for the rt ax 88 mainly because it is so much like my ac but also because I recently bought a fan that's made for the 88 model's and it actually works and looks cool ( see what I did there cool looking and cools down the router,and my wife still thinks I'm not funny,go figure) but seriously folks is there much of a difference between the two? My plan is only 100 gbs and I don't use VPN at present so VPN acceleration isn't an issue. Decisions decisions what to buy . I would appreciate it
 

royarcher

Very Senior Member
@royarcher C'mon. You KNOW that you're going to be told to buy the AX86U. Or have you not read the many, many posts advising that? :)
yeah I have and
@royarcher C'mon. You KNOW that you're going to be told to buy the AX86U. Or have you not read the many, many posts advising that? :)
Yes I have that's why I have added it to my list it does sound good . I just wanted to use my cool fan but I suppose I can retire my ac 88 U to the bedroom and still use the fan on it
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
yeah I have and

Yes I have that's why I have added it to my list it does sound good . I just wanted to use my cool fan but I suppose I can retire my ac 88 U to the bedroom and still use the fan on it
I reckon you should get the AX86U :rolleyes:
 

Kees17760

Regular Contributor
I am getting ready to update my rt ac 88 u and I was going to go for the rt ax 88 mainly because it is so much like my ac but also because I recently bought a fan that's made for the 88 model's and it actually works and looks cool ( see what I did there cool looking and cools down the router,and my wife still thinks I'm not funny,go figure) but seriously folks is there much of a difference between the two? My plan is only 100 gbs and I don't use VPN at present so VPN acceleration isn't an issue. Decisions decisions what to buy . I would appreciate it
Hi,

I don't know about the AX86U, but i've owned an AX88U.
I wasn't happy with it, because of weak 2,4 GHz performance with both Asus's and Merlin's firmware. Ended up sending it back for a refund.
Got an AC86U at the moment and i'm very pleased with it, but as time goes by i'm sort of looking/wanting/waiting for it's successor the AX86U.

Only thing of concern i can think of is CPU temp, as i run my AC86U with a small fan attached to it.

Regards Kees
 

torstein

Regular Contributor

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Assuming the WFA keeps the database updated, if it's not in there, it's not WFA certified.

That doesn't mean that the issues you are referencing have not been addressed. It just means ASUS hasn't spent the money to run the product through WFA Certification. Many companies don't.
 

torstein

Regular Contributor
It just means ASUS hasn't spent the money to run the product through WFA Certification. Many companies don't.
That sounds crazy, it defeats the whole purpose of having a certification-program, doesn't it? If no one is using it due to costs?

I wonder how I can find out if the issues with WPA3 have been adressed or not. Looking through Rmerlins changelog and Asus's own router changelogs mentions nothing of dragonblood or side-channel-leak attacks, yet it was adressed in december 2020 according to WFA and Mathy vanHoef (the guy behind dragonblood)

I called ASUS tech support, but the rep had no idea what I was talking about. I sent customer support an email instead, hopefully an engineer will get it and provide answers.

Do you know where I can find out if the issues has been fixed?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
That sounds crazy, it defeats the whole purpose of having a certification-program, doesn't it? If no one is using it due to costs?
The Wi-Fi Alliance has done a better job than other networking-focused industry trade organizations is getting members to certify products. That said, certification is voluntary. Many manufacturers choose to not incur the expense of getting the Wi-Fi Certification logo on the box because they don't see the return on investment.

Member companies have access to the Certification test document and can run them, or whatever subset of tests they choose, internally. So they get the benefit of the testing, without having to pay extra to have a WFA-blessed test lab do the certification.

OTOH, FCC and other region regulatory certifications are required by law and expensive (and time-intensive) enough.

Do you know where I can find out if the issues has been fixed?
The only way is to test for them or find the right avenue at the manufacturer to ask. Questions like that are above the pay grade of the average support rep. The other way is to try manufacturer forums and look for knowledge base articles. Or, for ASUS products, ask Merlin! :) Note there is no guarantee he'll know. Manufacturers don't always like to talk about their warts...
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Or, for ASUS products, ask Merlin! :) Note there is no guarantee he'll know. Manufacturers don't always like to talk about their warts...
I don`t know. Low-level technical details related to wireless tech isn`t exactly my area of expertise. All I know is that at least part of the authentication is handled by hostapd for WPA3. You could lookup what the hostapd project has to say on that front. But whether there are aspects of that fix that have to be done at the driver level as well, I have no idea.

One thing I can say is that the RT-AX86U is based on a newer Broadcom SDK than the RT-AX88U, for all that might mean.
 

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