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ASUS RT-AX86S Review – Good For Modern Gaming?

What exactly is the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Router?

At its core, the ASUS RT-AX86S is a beacon of connectivity in the stormy seas of slow downloads and laggy gaming sessions. With WiFi 6 technology, it promises to deliver up to 5700 Mbps of ultrafast internet speed, making it a lighthouse for those navigating the choppy waters of the digital age. Its design is not just about speed; it’s about bringing a seamless and stable connection to every corner of your smart home, ensuring your devices play nice with each other without any tantrums.

Benefits of using a WiFi 6 Router

  1. Increased capacity: WiFi 6 allows more devices to connect and operate efficiently on the same network, perfect for gadget-packed homes.
  2. Improved speed: Experience blisteringly fast speeds, making everything from streaming ultra HD videos to gaming an absolute breeze.
  3. Better range: Say goodbye to dead zones. WiFi 6 extends your wireless range, keeping you connected further and more reliably.
  4. Enhanced battery life: Devices connected to a WiFi 6 network can conserve battery life thanks to more efficient data transmission.

Un-boxing & First Impressions

Upon unboxing the ASUS RT-AX86S, its sleek design and sturdy build immediately caught my eye. It’s clear this isn’t just any router; it’s a statement piece for your home network. The router’s size is manageable, not too bulky, making it easy to find a spot for it in your home. But what really piqued my interest was the promise of gaming optimisation and extensive smart home coverage. My first thought? “This could be the end of my WiFi woes.”

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Features: Quick overview of what you’re getting

  • Ultrafast WiFi 6 speeds: Up to 5700 Mbps for all your streaming, gaming, and downloading needs.
  • Extensive coverage: Say adieu to dead zones with stable connections across your home.
  • Gaming optimisation: Dedicated gaming port, QoS, and mobile game mode for uninterrupted play.
  • Exceptional hardware and UI: High-quality components paired with an intuitive user interface.
  • User-friendly setup: Easy installation with advanced customisation options.
  • Robust features: Offers mesh capabilities and comprehensive internet security filters.

However, it’s a real shame that the router requires initial security setup and manual channel adjustment, which might intimidate less tech-savvy users. Additionally, the lack of a wall mount feature slightly dampens the flexibility in positioning the router within your home.

My experience with the ASUS RT-AX86S has been a journey of highs and lows. The highs? Blazing fast internet speeds, extensive coverage that reached the furthest corners of my home, and gaming sessions so smooth they’d make butter jealous. The lows? The initial setup hurdles and the lack of a wall mount option. But, when weighed against the benefits, these are but minor inconveniences in what is otherwise a stellar router for the modern smart home.

We really liked the router’s gaming optimisation features, which made a noticeable difference in online gameplay – goodbye, lag spikes! The extensive coverage was also a game-changer, breathing life into WiFi dead zones that other routers had simply given up on.

So, is the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Router the knight in shining armour for your smart home? Based on my experience, if you’re after a router that can handle a heavy load while keeping your digital realm running smoothly, this might just be the champion you’ve been waiting for.

Smart Features

The ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) is not just a router; it’s a smart home hub that seamlessly integrates with your existing smart home ecosystem. Let’s dive into its smart features that make it stand out.

Compatibility with Alexa – The router’s integration with Alexa allows you to manage your network with voice commands. Imagine pausing the internet during dinner or activating guest Wi-Fi without lifting a finger. It’s not just convenient; it’s futuristic.

App Control – With the ASUS Router App, you’re not just controlling your Wi-Fi; you’re commanding your digital domain. From setting up to managing your network, everything is at the tip of your fingers. The app’s intuitive design and functionality are commendable.

Mesh Wi-Fi System – This feature is a game-changer for large homes. By enabling mesh capabilities, the ASUS RT-AX86S extends your Wi-Fi coverage without sacrificing speed or stability. It’s like having multiple routers, but without the hassle.

Adaptive QoS – Quality of Service (QoS) settings allow you to prioritize traffic for different applications. Whether it’s gaming, streaming, or video calls, you can ensure that your network serves your needs perfectly. It’s smart, it’s adaptive, and it’s incredibly useful.

What we liked about the ASUS RT-AX86S

Exceptional Hardware and UI

The heart of the ASUS RT-AX86S lies in its robust hardware and user-friendly interface. During my testing, the router’s performance was nothing short of stellar, handling multiple devices with ease. The intuitive UI made setup and management a breeze, which is a boon for both tech-savvy users and novices alike.

Unmatched WiFi Range

Living in a multi-storey house often presents challenges for Wi-Fi coverage. The ASUS RT-AX86S, however, covered every nook and cranny of my home with strong and stable Wi-Fi signals. This extensive coverage is a testament to its superior antenna design and Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Enhanced Gaming

As a casual gamer, I appreciated the dedicated gaming port and QoS settings that prioritized gaming traffic. This resulted in noticeably smoother online gaming experiences, free from frustrating lag or disconnections. It’s clear that ASUS has put thought into catering to the gaming community.

User-Friendly Setup

Setting up a router can often be a daunting task, but the ASUS RT-AX86S made it surprisingly simple. The app-guided setup process was straightforward, and the advanced customisation options were a delight to explore. It’s refreshing to see a router that combines power with ease of use.

What we were disappointed with

Security Setup Required

It’s a real shame that the router does not come secure by default. The initial user configuration for optimal security can be a bit of a hurdle, especially for those less familiar with network security settings. A more plug-and-play approach to security would have been appreciated.

Manual Channel Adjustment

While the ASUS RT-AX86S offers a plethora of customisation options, some settings, like channel 160, require manual tuning. This can be a bit of a nuisance, as automatic optimisation of such settings would make for a smoother user experience.

No Wall Mount

The lack of a wall mount feature is a minor gripe but worth mentioning. In a world where space is at a premium, the flexibility to mount the router on a wall would have been a welcome addition. Hopefully, future versions will address this oversight.

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Getting Set Up

Setting up the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router was an experience that ranged from delightfully simple to mildly frustrating. The initial unboxing and physical setup were straightforward, but the digital configuration had its moments. Let’s break it down:

  1. Unbox the router and connect it to your modem using the provided Ethernet cable.
  2. Power on the router and wait for the LED indicators to stabilise, indicating a successful boot.
  3. Connect a device to the router via WiFi or Ethernet and navigate to the router’s setup page as instructed in the manual.
  4. Follow the on-screen setup wizard to configure your network settings, including SSID and password.
  5. For advanced users, delve into the settings to configure gaming features, QoS, and security settings.
  6. Optionally, download the ASUS Router app for easy management and additional features.

While the majority of users found the setup process to be a breeze, some reported challenges with manual adjustments for optimal performance, such as enabling channel 160 for faster speeds. Additionally, the initial security setup is a must-do to ensure your network is protected from the get-go.

Build Quality and Extras

The ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) boasts a robust design that screams durability. Its hard plastic casing and hefty build suggest it can withstand the rigours of heavy usage. However, some users have noted the absence of a wall mount feature as a limitation in terms of placement flexibility.

On the warranty front, the router comes with a standard warranty that provides peace of mind, though the specifics can vary depending on the region. It’s always a good idea to check the warranty details upon purchase.

Who is this product best suited to?

Gamers Seeking Uninterrupted Play

With dedicated gaming ports and QoS settings, the ASUS RT-AX86S is a dream for gamers. These features ensure prioritised gaming connections, minimising lag and providing a smoother online gaming experience.

Smart Home Enthusiasts

The extensive coverage and stable connections make this router ideal for those with heavy smart home integration. Its WiFi 6 capabilities can handle multiple devices without congestion, from smart speakers to security cameras.

Advanced Users Looking for Customisation

With its advanced settings and customisation options, tech-savvy users will find the ASUS RT-AX86S a playground. Whether it’s setting up a VPN, configuring multiple guest networks, or tweaking the QoS, this router offers extensive versatility.

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Who should avoid this

Despite its many strengths, the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) might not be the perfect fit for everyone.

Those looking for a simple, plug-and-play solution might find the initial security setup and manual tuning for optimal performance a bit daunting. Furthermore, the lack of a wall mount feature could be a deal-breaker for users with limited space or specific placement needs.

Value for Money

Considering its premium features, extensive coverage, and exceptional performance, the ASUS RT-AX86S offers excellent value for money. While it may sit at a higher price point compared to average routers, its advanced capabilities and robust build quality justify the investment, especially for users who demand high-performance networking for gaming or smart home applications.

The verdict: Is the ASUS RT-AX86S worth a buy?

After thorough testing and consideration, it’s clear that the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router packs a punch. Its exceptional hardware and user interface, combined with unmatched WiFi range and enhanced gaming features, make it a standout choice. The easy setup and robust features cater to both novice and advanced users, offering something for everyone.

However, it’s not without its flaws. The need for an initial security setup and manual tuning for peak performance, coupled with the absence of a wall mount, may deter some potential buyers. But for those willing to navigate these minor hurdles, the ASUS RT-AX86S proves to be a powerful, versatile router that’s well worth the investment.

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Detailed Specs

Brand: ASUS
WiFi Speed: Up to 5700 Mbps
CPU: Not specified
Gaming Features: Dedicated gaming port, QoS, mobile game mode
WiFi 6 Technology: Yes
Mesh Capabilities: Yes
Internet Security Filters: Yes
User-Friendly Setup: Yes
Number of Reviews: 1319
User Feedback Score: 4.6
Warranty Score: 8.00
Quality Score: 9.00
Value for Money Score: 8.50
Ease of Use Score: 9.00
WiFi Speed Score: 9.50
CPU Score: 8.50
Security Setup Required: Yes
Manual Channel Adjustment: Yes
No Wall Mount: Yes
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Hello, thanks for reading my guide. My name is Tom and I am a tech blogger who loves everything about creating a smart home. I live with my wife and two children in the North East of England.