The school year is starting, and everyone is anxious about how it is going to be. The pandemic is far from over, and many of us have less positive memories about online learning and remote work. One way to navigate the uncertainty of the future is to make sure your home network is in top-notch condition, fast and secure. To help you out, ASUS asked us to recommend some of our favorite wireless routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems that provide you with everything you need:
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest wireless networking standard, and all manufacturers, including ASUS, have many models that compete for your budget and attention. While the company has many models worth considering, for the 2021 Back-to-School season, we recommend:
ASUS RT-AX56U is an excellent wireless router for people who want to join the Wi-Fi 6 ecosystem without spending a lot of money. For a reasonable price, you get a wireless router with a quad-core processor and 512 MB of RAM - enough to cover all the devices in your home network. This router offers an excellent experience for everything from 4K movie streaming, to video conferencing, to downloading or uploading large files from/to the internet.
Gamers will appreciate the new ASUS ROG STRIX GS-AX5400. It’s a Wi-Fi 6 wireless router with solid hardware and features optimized for online gaming. For example, it has a high-priority gaming port, an adaptive Quality of Service (QoS) feature that prioritizes gaming traffic, and an accelerator that prioritizes gaming devices like PS5 or Xbox consoles. Ohh, and there’s RGB lighting to consider as well.
ASUS is renowned for its premium wireless routers with incredible hardware and massive lists of features and tools. Their latest top-of-the-line Wi-Fi 6 router for consumers and small businesses is the ASUS RT-AX89X. Everything about this router is incredible, from the number of antennas to its design, the powerful hardware, and the extensive list of features that cater to the needs of everyone, from casual users to hardcore gamers, IT professionals, and small business users. One of its many standout features is that it can work with 10 Gigabit internet connections (yes, you read that right), and it has two 10 Gigabit ports. Therefore, you can also connect a high-speed NAS to your router and enjoy super-fast file transfers throughout your local network.
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are an excellent choice for people who live in large apartments or homes with one or more floors. They are straightforward to install, and having good Wi-Fi everywhere in your home is no longer a challenge. ASUS has recently launched some exciting models with Wi-Fi 6 that you should consider this “Back to School” season:
ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini XD4 is a reasonably-priced mesh Wi-Fi 6 system that looks great. It is available both in black and white versions to fit any living room. Depending on how large your home is, you can buy them in packs of one, two, or three stations. They have all the features you need alongside Wi-Fi 6, cloud-based antivirus and parental controls, and remote management from your smartphone.
For those interested in a premium model with high-end hardware and features, ASUS ZenWiFi XD6 is an excellent choice. As long as you’re not a gamer interested in specific features for this niche, ASUS ZenWiFi XD6 has you covered: top-notch security, plenty of Ethernet ports on the back of each station, excellent signal strength and coverage, and the possibility to choose what type of backhaul you want to use (Ethernet or Wi-Fi). For more information about why this choice matters, read our performance analysis.
Not everyone wants to start using the Wi-Fi 6 standard in their home network, and some prefer to stick to the old tried and tested Wi-Fi 5 standard. One reason is the generous number of options available, the mature firmware, and the affordable prices Wi-Fi 5 routers have had since the rise of Wi-Fi 6. However, even if ASUS wants its users to migrate to Wi-Fi 6 sooner rather than later, the company offers many Wi-Fi 5 wireless routers. Here are some models that you may want to consider:
This is the third revision of an affordable and popular model: ASUS RT-AC58U V3. This wireless router covers the basics people need for a two-room apartment, and it works very well for Full-HD movie streaming, browsing the web, and video conferencing. One of its best features is that it‘s compatible with AiMesh, meaning that you can easily add it as a node in a mesh Wi-Fi network with other ASUS routers. Therefore, if you have a large apartment or home, this router can be an affordable way to extend Wi-Fi coverage.
ASUS RT-AC88U is an older router that works great to this day. Back in 2015, when it was first launched, it was one of the most powerful wireless routers for gamers. People love it because it offers eight Ethernet ports (a feature you rarely see even on Wi-Fi 6 routers), excellent security tools, and powerful features for online gaming and LAN parties.
If you look up its online reviews, you will quickly understand why people prefer this model even six years after its initial release.
Take a look at the recommended models for this year’s Back-to-School season, and let us know which you prefer. Is it a Wi-Fi 6 router like the reasonably priced ASUS RT-AX56U? Or maybe a premium mesh Wi-Fi system like ASUS ZenWiFi XD6? Or would you rather not jump on the Wi-Fi 6 bandwagon and stick to a classic Wi-Fi 5 router like the mighty ASUS RT-AC88U? Comment below, and share your perspective.