A modern router is not just a safe bridge between the Internet and gadgets, but also a multimedia center, network storage, print server and more. ASUS RT-AC86U, in addition to all of the above, also offers additional features for fans of online games.
- Network standards: IPv4, IPv6, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 450/750/1734/2167 Mbps, 2.4 / 5 GHz).
- Antennas: 3 external removable, 1 internal, MIMO technology (2.4 GHz 3x3, 5 GHz 4x4).
- Administration: UPnP, IGMP v1 / v2 / v3, DNS Proxy, DHCP, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, DMZ, System Event Log.
- Management: 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support.
- Modes of operation: wireless router; wireless access point; network bridge;
- Processor: dual core 1.8 GHz.
- Memory: 512 MB operational and 256 MB internal.
- Ports: 1 x RJ45 WAN (10/100/1000 BaseT), 4 x RJ45 LAN (10/100/1000 BaseT), 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0.
- Indicator lights: 1 × Power, 2 × Wi-Fi (2.4 / 5 GHz), 1 × Internet (WAN), 1 x WPS, 4 × Local Area Network (LAN).
- Keys: power, reset, WPS, Wi-Fi switch, turn off the lights.
- Dimensions: 220 × 160 × 83.3 mm.
- Weight: 872 g.
The router comes in large packaging. Under a colorful cover with a description of the device - a box of thick white cardboard. The first thing that meets the user is the booklet of the WTFast game VPN service. The router is located on a cardboard podium. Three detachable antennas are stacked in a separate compartment. Also included is a 19V / 1.75A power adapter, LAN cable, warranty card, and a quick guide, including in Russian. Thick cardboard packaging looks reliable and can withstand any transport without any problems.
ASUS RT-AC86U is a router focused on the gaming audience, which directly affected its appearance. The front panel is made of semi-gloss graphite plastic, decorated with two red metal inserts and a chrome ASUS logo. A noticeable game with lines, ASUS RT-AC86U looks gamer-like aggressive, the style reminds gaming gadgets ASUS ROG.
At the bottom of the front panel are LED indicators for power and status for each wired and wireless interfaces. In normal mode, the indicators are illuminated with a cool white light, in case of an error - red. The brightness of the glow can not be called excessive, the indicators do not attract too much attention even in a dark room. Despite this, the glow can be turned off by holding a special button on the back of the router.
At the upper end are three external removable antennas. The tilt and free rotation around its own axis allows you to freely change their position. The rest of the space is occupied by ventilation grilles.
On the right are two keys: WPS and enable / disable wireless networks.
On the rear panel - a scattering of interfaces and keys. The first thing that catches your eye is a gigabit WAN port and 4 gigabit LAN ports for wired devices. For the periphery 2 USB are provided: versions 3.0 and 2.0. The router works with external drives, printers, and cellular modems. Also on the rear panel is the on / off button, a reset button and a connector for the power adapter. All free space is reserved for ventilation openings.
On the table, the ASUS RT-AC86U is mounted vertically on a fixed stand with rubberized covers on the base. The possibility of horizontal installation is not provided, as well as mounting on the wall. In general, there are no complaints about the build quality and materials. Due to the use of not easily soiled plastics, the router looks neat, unlike glossy competitors, which are instantly covered with dust and fingerprints.
Immediately after the first connection, the configuration panel automatically opens at router.asus.com, the Russian language was set automatically. The system suggests changing the login and password from the control panel, setting up security keys for Wi-Fi networks.
First of all, I want to note the company's approach to updating software. The router independently notifies of new firmware, the update is performed "over the air" and does not require user participation. If necessary, you can manually specify the firmware file. The company quickly corrects errors: for example, the sample we tested offered an update with a patch for a recently discovered vulnerability
in the WPA2 protocol.
The appearance of the control panel is familiar to other ASUS routers. The default tab is “Network Map”, it shows the current configuration: information about the network and encryption, a list of connected devices. You can also immediately correct some parameters: network name and encryption.
Powerful hardware for your home router: a dual-core 1.8 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM - provides many additional features. For example, creating up to three independent guest networks in each band.
For security and filtering malicious traffic on the side of the router, AiProtection proprietary technology, developed jointly with Trend Micro, is responsible. A firmware firewall is built into the firmware for manually filtering traffic. Parental control will help protect children from suspicious information on the network. An unusual feature is the built-in traffic analyzer.
Particular attention is paid to network optimization and connection speed. The adaptive QoS monitor allows you to assign priority to each connected device. ASUS RT-AC86U is compatible with the WTFast service, which is designed to optimize the connection with game servers using the Gamers Private Network. The service supports: PC, XBOX One and PlayStation 4. The router is supplied with a subscription for one device to choose from. The list of compatible games includes titles such as: Dota 2, League of Legends, World of Tanks, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Ghost Recon, Destiny 2 and others. The list of compatible products is constantly expanding.
The hero of this review is equipped with two USB ports, one of them is version 3.0. The software corresponds to the binding! Based on the router, you can create a local file, media server and home cloud. AiDisk and AiCloud 2.0 are utilities for organizing and sharing files over the Internet. Out of the box, the Download Master torrent client is preinstalled. A drive connected to ASUS can act as a backup repository for Time Machine. The router also works with 3G / 4G USB modems, printers.
In general, the control panel has a friendly interface. No difficulties with setting up the network, each section is supplemented by a description and tips. Professionals will find options for fine-tuning the router and additional features, such as an integrated VPN client.
For smartphones based on iOS and Android, a companion application is available that duplicates the functionality of the web control panel in a convenient format.
The router easily implements a 100 Mbps tariff even in a Moscow apartment loaded with wireless networks. The connection speed through a 5 GHz network was at the level of 80/90 Mbit / s for loading / unloading data, which is quite expected, taking into account a small number of 5 GHz access points in the visibility zone. The 2.4 GHz network limit is at 50/70 Mbit / s for reception / transmission, while the speed is maintained even through two walls, in the farthest corners of the apartment. I think that after fine-tuning, taking into account the special features of all connected devices and access points around, it will be possible to achieve great results.
At first glance, it might seem that a router for gamers is just a marketing ploy. In fact, the RT-AC86U stands out not only for its striking appearance. ASUS has taken care of the advanced hardware that is laid on gaming gadgets and complemented the picture with the corresponding software features. Adaptive QoS monitor and subscription to WTFast in the kit will help to mitigate the shortcomings of the wireless connection in online games. AiProtection, a built-in firewall and VPN client provide security on the network. AiCloud 2.0, AiDisk and other multimedia applications allow you to create a home file center based on the router.
Users who are far from computer games will also not be disappointed. The hero of today's review is a good investment that will allow you to forget about upgrading your home network for more than one year. The router supports the most advanced communication standards, and an abundance of additional functions will help to create a convenient and secure home network.Pros:
Minuses:May not like:
- Not easily soiled materials.
- Detachable antennas.
- High-speed USB 3.0 on board.
- Rich functionality.
- Subscription to WTFast included.
- A large number of ventilation slots on the back of the case.
Final rating: 9 out of 10.