ASUS RT-AX82U review: gaming meets Wi-Fi 6!

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ASUS RT-AX82U is a dual-band gaming router with support for Wi-Fi 6. It features RGB lighting, a more reasonable price than other Wi-Fi 6 routers, and interesting features that are useful for people that play games online. To make it even more appealing, you can also use it as part of a mesh Wi-Fi system, alongside another ASUS router. If you want to know more about the ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 wireless router and what it has to offer, read this detailed review:

ASUS RT-AX82U: Who is it good for?

This wireless router is a suitable choice for:

  • People who want to invest in the Wi-Fi 6 standard
  • Gamers who play online
  • Parents who desire efficient parental controls for their home network
  • Users who want a secure network, with proper antivirus and firewall protection
  • People who want to remotely control their router from anywhere on the internet using a mobile app
  • Users who want to control their home network using the Alexa voice assistant
  • People who want task automation services from their wireless router, through IFTTT (If This, Then That)

Pros and cons

There are plenty of things to like about this wireless router:

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  • Support for the newest wireless standard – Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax
  • Great performance when using the Wi-Fi 5 standard
  • RGB lighting and useful features for online gaming
  • Fast USB 3.0 port
  • Excellent security tools
  • Powerful hardware that can handle many clients and connections
  • You can remotely control it with a mobile app, from anywhere on the internet
  • Great multilingual support and easily accessible Help documentation

There are some downsides to consider as well:

  • Performance should be improved on the 2.4 GHz band, when using the Wi-Fi 4 standard
  • You may have to update the drivers of your Wi-Fi network cards to use Wi-Fi 6 in your network
Notă produs 4/5

Verdict

The ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 dual-band router is an interesting model that mixes an aggressive look with RGB lighting, features that are aimed at gamers, excellent security tools, and fast Wi-Fi on the 5 GHz band. If you are interested in buying a new router with support for the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard at a reasonable price, ASUS RT-AX82U is definitely a model that you should consider.

Unboxing the ASUS RT-AX82U wireless router

The dual-band ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 wireless router comes in a large black box, with a picture of the device on the top cover. The packaging looks good, and it is easy to open. On all the box sides, you find printed lots of information about this router, its hardware configuration, and features. We are dealing with a device designed with gamers in mind and that offers support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard.

The packaging used for ASUS RT-AX82U

When you open the box, you first see a leaflet with information about using Wi-Fi 6 on this router and the fact that you must update the network drivers on the computers that you plan to connect to the Wi-Fi. The problem with Wi-Fi 6 is that older devices might not detect the networks broadcast using this standard unless you use the latest drivers.

Unboxing the ASUS RT-AX82U

After unpacking everything, you find the following items inside the box: the router itself, its power adapter, a CAT5e network cable, the warranty, the quick start guide, and the leaflet mentioned earlier.

ASUS RT-AX82U – what you find inside the box

Unboxing the ASUS RT-AX82U wireless router is fast and easy. Inside the box, you find all the information and items you need to get started right away.

Hardware specifications and design

ASUS RT-AX82U is a dual-band gaming router with an aggressive look, inspired by military airplanes or Star Wars fighters. On the top cover, you see the LEDs signaling the status of the router and its features (top-left), a button for switching between the available RGB lighting modes (in the middle), and the ASUS logo (top-right). There are also some ventilation grids right in the middle of the top cover.

The RGB lighting on the front of the ASUS RT-AX82U

ASUS RT-AX82U uses four external antennas to emit its wireless signal on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. On its back, you find the power port and the On/Off button, a USB 3.0 port, four Ethernet ports working at 1 Gbps, the WAN port, the WPS button, and the Reset button. One neat feature is that the fourth Ethernet port on the back is a “gaming” port, meaning that any device connected to it is automatically prioritized in the network for minimal lag and maximum bandwidth.

The ports on the back of the ASUS RT-AX82U

On the bottom of the ASUS RT-AX82U, there are lots of ventilation grids that help keep the router cool, four rubber feet for holding it into place, and some stickers with information about the router, where it was manufactured, and when. Unfortunately, this router cannot be mounted on walls and can only be placed on flat surfaces.

The bottom side of the ASUS RT-AX82U

ASUS RT-AX82U is an AX5400 dual-band router, with a total maximum bandwidth split as follows: 574 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz band and 4804 Mbps for the 5 GHz band. The router is powered by a triple-core Broadcom BCM6750 SoC (System on a Chip), running at 1.5 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, and 256 MB of storage space for the firmware. It uses 4×4 MU-MIMO for wireless transfers on the 5 GHz band and 2×2 MU-MIMO for the 2.4 GHz band.

The external antennas on the ASUS RT-AX82U

ASUS RT-AX82U has a size of 10.8 x 7.2 x 6.5 inches or 275.5 x 184.4 x 165 mm in width x depth x height, and a weight of 1.6 lbs or 740 grams. As you can see, it is relatively light due to being constructed mostly from plastic materials.

If you would like to know more about this model’s specifications, go to: ASUS RT-AX82U Specifications.

Setting up and using the ASUS RT-AX82U wireless router

Setting up the ASUS RT-AX82U is done the same as any other ASUS router with Wi-Fi 6. The process involves detecting the type of internet connection that you use, providing the necessary connection details, choosing a name and password for the Wi-Fi, and deciding whether to enable Wi-Fi 6 or not. ASUS gives you a fair warning that some wireless network cards may have connectivity issues with this standard, and before enabling it, it is a good idea to update the drivers on all your laptops, computers, and devices.

Enabling Wi-Fi 6 on the ASUS RT-AX82U

NOTE: If you have an Xbox console or a PlayStation, and you want to know whether it works with ASUS gaming routers like ASUS RT-AX82U, read: Xbox and PlayStation consoles and ASUS Wi-Fi 6 gaming routers.

At the end of the quick setup guide, ASUS also checks for firmware updates. It is a good idea to install the latest firmware, to benefit from the latest bug-fixes and performance improvements. When the quick setup is over, you can connect your computers and devices to the network, and access the firmware for more fine-tuning. The user interface for managing this router is easy to use, well organized into logical sections, and available in 25 languages. You get to control everything you wish, and both casual and advanced users are going to be happy with the level of control they receive.

The ASUS RT-AX82U firmware

The user documentation is easily accessible: when you move the mouse cursor over a setting that you do not understand, a question mark is shown. Click the question mark, and you see information explaining that setting. Unfortunately, the help documentation has not been updated to include information about all the features included by ASUS in their latest firmware so this trick does not work for everything.

You can set up and manage ASUS RT-AX82U from any Android smartphone or iPhone, using the ASUS Router app. The app can be used from anywhere on the internet, at any time, and it includes plenty of configuration options, making it more useful than similar mobile apps for wireless routers.

The ASUS Router mobile app

You get access to plenty of advanced configuration options, including gaming-specific features like enabling the Mobile Game Mode or controlling the RGB lighting on the ASUS RT-AX82U.

Enabling Mobile Game Mode

Older laptops with outdated drivers had trouble detecting the Wi-Fi 6 network broadcast by ASUS RT-AX82U, but after we updated them, things worked smoothly even for those devices. Overall, our networking experience was positive, and we enjoyed fast network connections except for the 2.4 GHz band. When using the Wi-Fi 4 standard, we noticed that the upload speed was surprisingly low in some of the rooms from our test apartment. We discuss more on this subject on the second page of this review, in the “Wireless network performance” section.

To check the quality of the Wi-Fi broadcast by ASUS RT-AX82U, we took our laptop and moved to a room that is separated by one wall from the router. We made a wireless transfer on it, using a specialized app that measured the average speed and the variability of the network transfer. On the 2.4 GHz band and the Wi-Fi 4 standard, the average speed was not impressive. Also, the variability was relatively high, as you can see below.

ASUS RT-AX82U – wireless transfer using the Wi-Fi 4 standard

We switched to the 5 GHz band and the Wi-Fi 5 standard. We were very pleased with the average speed we measured. Also, the variability of the network standard was within normal limits. As you will see on the second page of this review, the Wi-Fi 5 standard represents a strength for the ASUS RT-AX82U wireless router.

ASUS RT-AX82U – wireless transfer using the Wi-Fi 5 standard

On the 5 GHz band with Wi-Fi 6, the average speed increased further, but the variability was not as great as when using the Wi-Fi 5 standard.

ASUS RT-AX82U – wireless transfer using the Wi-Fi 6 standard

ASUS RT-AX82U offers a positive user experience, especially when using the newer Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 standards. You get fast network connections and tons of features. However, its performance when using the Wi-Fi 4 standard is a bit underwhelming.

If you want to know more about the real-world performance offered by ASUS RT-AX82U, including comparisons with other wireless routers, go to the next page of this review.