ASUS RT-AX92U review: the first AiMesh WiFi system with Wi-Fi 6!
The Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax wireless networking standard is slowly gaining a foothold on the market of consumer WiFi products. We had a few premium wireless routers launched with support for this technology, and now we are seeing the first mesh WiFi systems with Wi-Fi 6. ASUS RT-AX92U is an interesting kit, that combines the best of ASUS wireless routers with the mesh WiFi technology, and the new Wi-Fi 6 networking standard. See what you get from the ASUS RT-AX92U, in this review:
ASUS RT-AX92U: Who is it good for?
This AiMesh WiFi system is a great choice for:
Where To Buy
- People who want to invest in the Wi-Fi 6 standard and plan to buy devices with support for it
- Users who want the best security for their smart home devices and have many diverse devices in their network
- People who desire an advanced mobile app from which they can remote control their network
- Owners of ASUS wireless routers who want to extend their network
- Knowledgeable users who want advanced firmware that offers complete control
- People who want task automation services from their network, through IFTT (If This, Then That)
- Users who want to control their home network using the Alexa voice assistant
Pros and cons
The ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh WiFi system has the following positives:
- It has support for the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard
- Excellent speed
- Advanced firmware with tons of features and settings
- Can be remote controlled from a mobile app
- It has two USB ports: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
- Plenty of Ethernet ports (four on each station)
- It offers LAN port aggregation and WAN port aggregation
- Excellent security features that secure your smart home
- Great multilingual support and easily accessible Help documentation
- It works with other ASUS networking devices that support AiMesh
There are also negatives to consider:
- The firmware updates should be installed on the entire system at once, not on each station individually
- To get the best experience, you must upgrade the firmware to newer versions
- If you have laptops and devices with Intel wireless adapters, you must update the drivers for the network card(s)
When you compare it with other mesh WiFi systems, ASUS RT-AX92U clearly stands out: it has powerful hardware, it has four Ethernet ports while other systems have two, and it has two USB ports while other systems have none. Also, the mobile app used to remote control it includes many tools and configuration options. It also stands out because it is the first of its kind to support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. If you want to invest in Wi-Fi 6, and you want the fastest mesh WiFi system that money can buy, ASUS RT-AX92U is a solution that you should take into consideration.
Unboxing the ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh WiFi system
The ASUS RT-AX92U AX6100 AiMesh WiFi system comes in a black box with a picture of the two devices that make up the kit, and a list of its most important characteristics. On the back and on the sides you find further information about the product you just bought.
When you open the box, you immediately see the two devices that make up the kit.
Beneath all the packaging, you find the following elements: the two stations in the kit, their power adapters, the quick start guide, the warranty, a leaflet with compatibility aspects that you should keep in mind when using the Wi-Fi 6 standard, and the user guide for using the WTFast VPN service for gamers that is bundled with ASUS RT-AX92U.
The unboxing experience offered by the ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh WiFi system is quick, and pleasant. Inside the box you find everything you need to get started.
Hardware specifications and design
ASUS RT-AX92U is a tri-band mesh WiFi system that uses ASUS's proprietary AiMesh technology. This means that you can use this kit in conjunction with other ASUS wireless routers and mesh WiFi systems. Its total theoretical bandwidth is split as follows: 400 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz band, 867 Mbps for the first 5 GHz band, and 4804 Mbps for the second 5 GHz band, if you are using the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard. However, if you are not using the Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard, the theoretical bandwidth of the second 5 GHz band lowers from 4804 Mbps to 867 Mbps.
Another important aspect is that one of the two 5 GHz bands acts as a backhaul, meaning that it is used exclusively by the stations in your AiMesh to communicate with each other, and exchange data as fast as possible. Therefore, you can use only two of the three wireless bands to connect your network devices. As you can see in the picture below, each station in this kit has four external antennas. They are not detachable but they are retractable. There are also two internal antennas. On the top of each station, there are the ventilation grids, and the ASUS logo.
On the back side of each station, you find one WAN port, four Ethernet ports that work at 1 Gbps, the Power button, and the Reset jack. One useful feature is that ASUS RT-AX92U offers port aggregation. Therefore, you can either use LAN port aggregation and connect a NAS (Network Attached System) to the network, or you can use WAN aggregation and enjoy an internet connection up to 2 Gbps, if your internet provider supports this feature.
On the front side of ASUS RT-AX92U there are several LEDs that display the status for the following: the internet connection, the WiFi on the three available bands, the Ethernet connections, and the power. The LEDs are small, discreet, and not annoying, not even during the night. If you do not like them, you can turn them off from the firmware.
On one of the sides, you find one USB 3.0 port, and another USB 2.0 port, as well as the button for the WPS function.
On the bottom of each ASUS RT-AX92U there are two holes for mounting it on walls, a sticker with information about the product, and further ventilation grids that help cool the hardware inside: a dual-core Broadcom BCM4906 processor, running at 1.8 GHz, with 512 MB of RAM and 256 MB of storage space for the firmware and the apps that you install. One interesting feature is that ASUS RT-AX92U offers 4x4 MU-MIMO transfers for the backhaul that exclusively transfers data between the nodes in your AiMesh, and 2x2 MU-MIMO for network clients.
Each ASUS RT-AX92U has the following dimensions: 15.5 x 15.5 x 5.26 inches or 39.4 x 39.4 x 13.3 cm in width x depth x height. It also weighs 651 grams or 22.9 ounces.
If you would like to learn more about the official specifications of this AiMesh WiFi system, go to this page: ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh AX6100 WiFi system Specifications.
Setting up and using the ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh WiFi system
You can set up the ASUS RT-AX92U AiMesh WiFi system from the ASUS Router mobile app for iOS and Android, or from a web browser on your PC. We went the browser route, and the steps involved are pretty standard: you provide the details of your internet connection, enter the name and password for the wireless network broadcast by this AiMesh system, enter the username and password used for managing the kit, and then you add the second node to the system.
When you are done with the quick setup wizard, you can access the administration user interface, and configure how everything works, in detail. With AiMesh, you configure the mesh system as if it were a wireless router, not two mesh WiFi devices. This is a positive for advanced users who appreciate the complete control offered by ASUS's firmware.
The user interface available for ASUS RT-AX92U is friendly, and easy to use. All the settings are organized logically, and easy to find. Also, if you are an advanced user, you are going to appreciate the complete control that you get.
The user documentation is accessible and well built. One neat trick is to move the mouse cursor over a setting that you do not understand, and a question mark is shown. Click on the question mark, and you will see information explaining that setting. One downside is that the documentation has not been updated to include information about the newest features included by ASUS in their firmware. Therefore, for a few settings, this trick does not work.
The firmware is available in 25 languages, which is something that you do not see often on mesh systems from other brands. ASUS has always stood out in this regard, offering excellent multi-lingual support in their firmware.
If you want to control your wireless network from a smartphone or tablet, including when you are not at home, you can use the ASUS router app. It offers many advanced customization options, including the ability to check on your children' devices, and set up rules for parental controls. The remote network diagnostics can be useful too when your family has problems with their WiFi, and you are not at home to help.
Regarding firmware - we noticed that the initial version that is shipped with ASUS RT-AX92U, tends to be buggy and unstable. We experienced random disconnects, and the WiFi was not always stable and fast. Luckily, we upgraded to the newest firmware version, and the situation improved a lot. However, we also found a downside to the firmware upgrade process: the firmware updates are handled separately for each device in the AiMesh, and this can become a complex task for home users who do not have a lot of technical knowledge. ASUS should simplify the firmware updates, so that they are handled globally, for the entire mesh system, not individually.
We connected more than a dozen devices to the network managed by ASUS RT-AX92U, including two desktop PCs, one laptop, one tablet, several smartphones, one wireless printer, two smart plugs, one smart bulb, an intelligent robot vacuum cleaner, and an Xbox One console. Then, we started sharing data and making data transfers. We enjoyed fast WiFi everywhere in our apartment. However, when making detailed measurements, we noticed quite a bit of variability. This is an area where ASUS should improve future firmware, so that WiFi transfers have a more stable throughput. To better understand this subject take a look at the transfer below, made in a room that was separated by one wall from the main station. If the transfer had been more stable, the average speed would have been even higher.
If you want to know more about the real-world performance offered by ASUS RT-AX92U, including comparisons with competing mesh WiFi systems, go to the next page of this review.