ASUS RT-AC88U router review - It's got the speed, it's got the looks!
ASUS RT-AC88U is a large wireless router, which features good looks and powerful hardware. It comes with lots of advanced features like parental controls, malware protection and options for boosting the speed of your online gaming sessions. We tested this impressive router for several weeks, on a daily basis, and we were very surprised by the sheer speed that it can offer. If you want to learn about our experience with the ASUS RT-AC88U WiFi router, read this review. There's quite a bit of information to share about this router, so let's get started:
Unboxing the ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 dual-band Wi-Fi Gigabit router
The box for the wireless router is quite large. On the front you will see a picture of the device, as well as some of its most important features: the total bandwidth of 3100 Mbps, its 500 square meters coverage, 8 Gigabit ports and so on.
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On the back you will find a comparison with other ASUS routers, including its predecessor - ASUS RT-AC87U, which we will include in today's performance comparison.
Inside the box you will find the following elements: the router itself, four detachable antennas, the power adapter, an Ethernet cable, a support disc, the Quick Start Manual in several languages, the warranty and other leaflets.
The unboxing experience of the ASUS RT-AC88U is quite nice. It offers what you would expect from a premium device like this one.
Design and hardware specifications
The looks of the ASUS RT-AC88U wireless router are inspired by the Republic of Gamers brand owned by ASUS, featuring some snazzy red accents on the antennas and the heatsink.
The router is powered by a dual-core Broadcom BCM47094 processor running at 1.4 GHz, 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of flash storage for the firmware and the apps that you activate on this router. As you can see in the picture below, ASUS RT-AC88U offers 8 Ethernet ports that are capable of 1 Gbps connections, alongside the port for the Internet connection. This makes it an ideal choice for small offices, LAN parties and other environments where cable connections are important. On the back of the device you will also find a USB 2.0 port and buttons for resetting the router, for the WPS feature and for turning the router On and Off.
On the front side of the device you will find the LED lights that light up to show you what the router is doing, a USB 3.0 port, a button for turning the LEDs on or off and one for turning on and off the WiFi signal. The positioning of the USB 3.0 port is a bit cumbersome for some users. We would have prefered to find it on the back of the router, alongside the USB 2.0 port.
Obviously, this wireless router offers support for all modern networking standards, including 802.11ac. The 2.4GHz band broadcast by it promises a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 1000 Mbps while the 5GHz band promises a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 2167 Mbps.
ASUS RT-AC88U is large and heavy. It weighs 4.71 pounds or 2.139 kg and it has a size of 11.8 x 7.4 x 2.38 inches or 29.97 x 18.79 x 6.04 cm. Unfortunately this router doesn't include a mechanism for mounting it on walls. It can only be placed on plane surfaces.
If you would like to learn more about the ASUS RT-AC88U wireless router and its official specifications, go to this page: ASUS RT-AC88U Specifications.
Overall, ASUS RT-AC88U is a powerful wireless router with lots of processing power, advanced features and a good looking design that's inspired by the Republic of Gamers brand.
Setting up and using the ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 dual-band Wi-Fi Gigabit router
The setup process for the ASUS RT-AC88U involves changing the default username and password for administering the router, detecting the type of Internet connection that is available, setting it up and then configuring the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. Once that is over, you can start connecting other devices to your network and access the Internet.
We advise you not to stop here though and go into more detail with your configuration. As you will see for yourself, the ASUSWRT user interface is very well organized and it offers plenty of customization options for you to consider.
In terms of multilingual support, ASUS does a great job by offering the user interface in 19 languages, which you can see below. Also, the help documentation is very well done and it explains almost everything you need to know. Therefore, both IT professionals and casual users should not have any issues in configuring the firmware of their ASUS RT-AC88U wireless router.
ASUS RT-AC88U is priced as a premium router and, as a result, it contains a wealth of extra features that you don't find on many other routers. We advise you to read our section about Extra features and then turn on those that you need. They will definitely increase the value you get from your router.
When we tested this router, we upgraded our firmware to the latest version available at the time: 126.96.36.199.380_2345. We did not encounter performance or stability issues and we were able to connect all our network devices to the router.
The setup process for the ASUS RT-AC88U wireless router is quick and painless, while the administration firmware offers many advanced features, configuration options and great multilingual support. Casual users and IT professionals won't be disappointed with what this router has to offer from an administration perspective.
If you want to learn more about the real-life performance offered by ASUS RT-AC88U, read the next page of this review.