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Cool look, however, not a versatile design
The Asus RT-AC86U is quite sleek, showcasing a mostly black look with two red streaks over the front. It stands upright with three detachable antennas, a few status lights and a standard compact design. You can’t lay it down flat or mount it on a wall, but at 8.6 by 6.3 by 3.3 inches and 1.9 pounds, it might be hidden in the event that you really dislike to see it.
The back includes a power button, reset button, power adapter socket, USB 2.0 port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and a helpful LED on/off button. There is one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, among which works extremely well for dual-WAN to hook up a second web connection to your router for better Wi-Fi stability.
The medial side of the RT-AC86U includes a Wi-FI on/off button and a WPS button for quickly connecting new devices. Leading LEDs are small rather than very distracting. They represent LAN ports 1-4, internet connectivity, 2.4GHz band, 5GHz band and power.
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Overall the design is quite modern, but like the majority of routers, it will probably stand out in the event that you stick it in plain view. My advice, keep it out of sight in a central location of your property.
Intuitive menu that’s easily customizable, but only if you need to
I love it whenever a router menu has plenty of customizable features. What I love even more is whenever a router is easily navigable and even helpful sometimes. The Asus RT-AC86U is all of this and more.
Even the setup process is simple. All I had to accomplish was hook up it to a modem, hook up my notebook computer to the router, power on the router, enter a PIN, setup the login/password for the router and create the SSIDs/passwords. The firmware is upgraded automatically, and the complete process took about 5 minutes. Easy.
Mostly. The setup menu was in a spanish when I received it and I couldn’t sign in. All I had to accomplish was hold in the reset button for 10 seconds so when it rebooted, I was off and running in English. So, easy fix. Luckily I didn’t need to spend months learning a fresh language.
Bonus: if you join an Asus account through its website, you get 5GB of cloud storage free of charge. A nice extra in the event that you haven’t used Asus products previously.
The ASUSWRT interface is a beast to behold, as owners of other Asus routers ought to know. To greatly help out, Asus incorporated a functionality that, when you mouse over a setting, a question mark arises. When you click on the mouse, a dialog box arises, letting you know what the setting does. That is convenient and helpful.
The menu is simple to navigate and has options for just about everything you need to customize and more, including adaptive QoS for prioritizing devices, GameBoost to boosting your gaming experience, and AiProtection for increased network security.
Added security and gaming features certainly are a great bonus
In terms of specs, the Asus RT-AC86U only lacks tri-band capacities (that’s, not having a supplementary 5GHz band). The dual-band AC2900 router offers 750Mbps on 2.4GHz, 2,167Mbps on 5GHz and a 1.8GHz processor.
MU-MIMO technology allows it to hook up to multiple devices and simultaneously provide data streams to each at their top speed. Remember though, that your device will need MU-MIMO-capable hardware to take good thing about this feature, which is merely on the 5GHz band.
Fast, fast, fast on 5GHz
The performance of the Asus RT-AC86U was spectacular, especially on 5GHz. Remember though, that the speed you are spending money on from your internet provider will cap how fast you can download, stream and browse the net. If you don’t have a fiber connection, you are most likely limited to bandwidth well under 100 megabits per second (Mbps).
On the two 2.4GHz band, I was just a little unimpressed with speeds of only 142Mbps from 7 feet away, but at 25 feet, I saw the quantity jump to a good 169Mbps. I’m seeing this odd discrepancy of faster speeds farther away on the two 2.4GHz band a growing number of lately. This may be because of increased interference directly around a router, which is continually transmitting and acquiring signals. Also, beamforming technology focuses your Wi-Fi on a device since it moves farther away, potentially creating an improved signal. This will fall off eventually, so every router includes a sweet spot.
The 5GHz band didn’t show an identical discrepancy in speed. It had been the speediest I’ve tested to date at 938Mbps from 7 feet away. Needlessly to say on 5GHz, it dropped off substantially as more distance and obstacles were introduced, nonetheless it still hit practically 300Mbps from 50 feet away. A multilevel home ought to be no issue for the Asus RT-AC86U.