ASUS BLUE-CAVE AC2600 DUAL BAND WIRELESS ROUTER [The best buck router you can get!!!] | REVIEW

Good day everyone.

I would like to thank ASUS MALAYSIA for supplying the review sample“, – TechCyn.


Today we are going to look on ASUS BLUE-CAVE AC2600 Dual-Band Wireless Router.

Brand: ASUS

Model: BLUE-CAVE AC2600

Firmware version3.0.1.4.383.19145 (Latest pre-loaded out of the box)

ISP Package: UniFi-Pro 100Mbps (100dl/50ul) (Thank you Surprise)

Start Date: 1 April 2018

End Date: 11 April 2018

Test Duration (Days): 10 Days

Distance from router (Wireless): 15m (upstairs), 19m (downstairs)

Device used: iPhone 7 Plus (2.4GHz & 5GHz), ASUS ROG752VT (2.4GHz & 5GHz), PC (LAN)

DNS Server: 1.1.1.1 & 1.0.0.1 (CloudFlare DNS) – Testing as well.

Video LinkYouTube [Only includes Setup & Wireless Test]


I will be highlighting the thing that, I personally like about the router here. This will be a useful post for those who wishing to buy a third party router brand such as ASUS to be the part of their home networking.

#1 PACKAGING

Before un-boxing:

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The overall description of the router was summarized in a simple and attractive way. I like the creativity of ASUS showing the initial perception of this router to their user. To support my statement here, the front looking box is plain without any information apart from the transparent plastics that gives the router’s look.

Most customers, in general, they won’t look at the back of the box of the router since most manufacturers put everything on the front. Most customers won’t be bothered to read other relevant information regarding the router.

However, I applaud the creativity of ASUS for attracting my attention to read the fonts in every inch of the box.

Verdict: Pass.

After un-boxing:

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I am amazed at how they perfectly arrange the items in that small box. Well done.

Verdict: Pass

#2 ROUTER SPECIFICATIONS

The router does come with the following specifications:

 

asus ac2600 spec
Figure 6: The specification of the router.

#3 SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE

The setting up process quite straight forward, however, you might find it quite new experience when you setup the router with its new interface. Don’t worry, once you successfully set-up the router, you will be greeted with ASUS’s stock firmware user interface.

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#4 ADMINISTRATION INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

Though the initial setup process of the router was quite new due to the new interface, however, once you finish setup the router successfully, you will be greeted with the stock ASUSWRT interface. Do note that, this router currently running on the latest firmware out of the box.

8. router login
Figure 13: The login interface.

#5 WIRED & WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

One. Wired Performance.

blueprint
Figure 14: The floor plan of my house (upstairs only).

I, personally, use a physical connection, LAN cable connected from the ASUS router to my TP-LINK 5 Port Gigabit Ethernet switch. However, the total wireless client connected to the router is 7 devices including 2 wireless printers. I can say, the wireless coverage from the router is excellent. To be precise, the dead-spots in my house, is now covered by the wireless signal from the router.

Speedtest result w/ CloudFlare DNS Service:

7202050270
Figure 15: The wired speedtest from my pc.

Two. Wireless Performance.

Now we will focus on the most important part, the wireless coverage of the router. The image below is the sample blueprint of my house. Note that, its 20×70 Square feet.

2.4 GHz Band

For both of this test, I would strongly suggest you to use the Wifi Analyzer (beta) to scan your home network to see which channel of yours is congested to allow you to choose the right channel for you.

I’ve set the channel width to 20MHz and let the router itself to broadcast the wireless signal in channel 11.

wireless
Figure 16: The 2.4GHz wireless settings.

Speedtest result w/ CloudFlare DNS Service:

  • Upstairs (Same level w/ ASUS BLUE CAVE router)
  • Downstairs:

Since this is a new router on the market, hence, I’ve done a unique test this time. I focus the wireless signal by testing both at upstairs where the router currently located in the downstairs.

Surprisingly, the device able to get above 80++Mbps for download and 45++Mbps for upload at downstairs which is good. My house is full of electrical appliances and I am amazed with a such result.

5GHz Band

I am amazed that, there are more standard wireless channels for Malaysian firmware. I’ve set the channel width to 40MHz and let the router itself to broadcast the wireless signal in auto mode.

Speedtest result w/ CloudFlare DNS Service:

  • Upstairs (Same level w/ ASUS BLUE CAVE router)
  • Downstairs:

As for the 5GHz test, I’ve done the same testing. What I find was, there is an increase in 1++Mbps speed at downstairs compared to the upstairs.

Overall, I am amazed that, the device able to hit solid 100Mbps at downstairs. This router does have a hidden “magic” in it.

Results:

I can fully utilize the wireless signal at upstairs and at downstairs. It is miraculously for a router that has a built-in antenna to broadcast the wireless signal for the device to fully utilize the subscribed bandwidth.

Verdict: Pass.

#6 USB READ & WRITE

One. Copy Process.

The copying process was smooth and the speed was consistent w/out any drops in terms of writing speed to the attached USB stick.

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Two. CPU Load during the copying process.

The CPU load was high when the writing speed happens, but, the router’s interface doesn’t seem to hang and I can access to other features.

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The most important question will be asked by the users are, can the video, image or audio be played without lag when copying process was done at the same time?

The answer is, Yes. You can play the video, image or audio without any lag. However, if you played a 4K video while copying the file, you will face the lag issue.

playing the file while copying the file via usb
Figure 32: Playing the video while copying the file over LAN.

The CPU load during the time of testing not static, it changes according to the “pressure” given to its processor.

Verdict: Pass

#7 Ai PROTECTION

One of my favorite crucial feature of a router is, what type of protection method does a router’s manufacture brand give to their loyal customer who choose their product to be as a part of their home network or office network.

This is by far, the first time, I came across with such details for the type of protection given by Trend Micro via ASUS’s networking products. I’ve been acknowledged that, the built-in antivirus licensed for life time. Which means, even if you use the router for 5 years or more, you will still be protected.

I must opt, the router does the job well for this part. Previously, I’ve tested other built-in antivirus, and there is no much detail was given, however, I like the way this router has been coded and the details given for each of the sub-protection.

27072400_325397751316657_2423800381873061888_o
Figure 37: The real-time block of an infected website.

This is the real time blocking by the built-in antivirus, preventing from visiting the website. The URL is given and perhaps, you can try testing your router’s built-in antivirus.

In other word, it protects you from accessing to a website that contains malware.

Verdict: Pass

#8 OPERATION MODE

This router does come with three operating modes, Router by default, access points and media bridge.

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#9 TRAFFIC MONITOR

As usual, this router does come with “Traffic Manager” encoded in the firmware, however, there are two major changes in this feature. Do note that, #9 and #10 are related. The standard feature of QOS was encoded in the “Traffic Monitor” section as usual, but we are going to look at an awesome feature here. Yes! Now, you can see your client’s web history here.

web history
Figure 40: Web history of the clients.

One of the best feature about this router is, it doesn’t only comes with awesome QOS features, but it also tracks the domain your clients (users) access to. In this way, you will get an exposure of what your clients (user) access to and can block that specific domain in future.

Via this awesome feature, you know what your child currently doing on online and block the access to the specific website.

Verdict: Pass.

#10 TRAFFIC ANALYZER 

analyzer vs manager
Figure 41: Traffic Manager vs Traffic Analyzer.

There new feature added to this router is, “Traffic Analyzer“. In this feature, you can view the client’s profile and apps used by the device.

Traffic Analyzer -> Statistic -> Clients:

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Traffic Analyzer -> Statistic -> Apps:

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Traffic Analyzer -> Traffic Monitor

traffic monitor daily
Figure 46: Traffic monitor stats (Daily).

This feature is common in ASUS routers. Three options were given to the user to view, either in real-time mode, last 24 hour mode and daily mode.

Remarks:

Do note that, the result has shown results for 3 days, this is due to I have to reboot to test the settings I changed.”

Verdict: Pass.

#11 ALEXA & IFTTT

One. Alexa

amazon alexa
Figure 47: ALEXA’s tutorial.

For more understanding, please watch this video.

Two. IFTTT

ifftt account
Figure 48: IFTTT Tutorial.

For more information on IFTTT, please pay a visit to this website.

#12 IPTV

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The hypptv experience using with this router is decent. I don’t use hypptv much, but, for the purpose of this test to deliver the pure review on the router, I do include this as the part of my review.

#13 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  1. Creative design.
  2. Excellent wireless coverage
  3. Only takes small space.
  4. Can be a decorative item if you are staying in a semi-D or bungalows.
  5. The built-in antivirus is by far, the most excellent security features a router company that has to offer to their end user.
  6. The router has a web history feature that tracks your clients (users) activity.
  7. Presence of ventilation holes at the rear of the router.
  8. LED controller given in the firmware for the cave surface.

Disadvantages:

  1. No LED indicator for LAN, WAN (Globe / “E” sign), USB & WPS.
  2. The router will get hot if the LED were at its maximum brightness (The cave alike surface).
  3. Color of the router. I prefer the standard black-blue combo. White is nice, perhaps, ASUS can supply both colors at the same time.
  4. No built-in speed-test.

#FINAL VERDICT#

As a conclusion of today’s review, I will use a new method of expressing my summary in a simple manner.

This router is light, able to fit even in a small place. The router doesn’t come with an external antenna compared with other ASUS router, but, the wireless coverage is great for this kind of router. Next, the router is stable and it can handle the heavy usage like a boss and the router suitable for small business enterprise.

Next, the router does come with built-in antivirus under AiProtection. If you are concerned about the internet attacks, don’t worry because this router not only can be your physical being (network layer in OSI) that connects you to the internet, but, it also acts as the “first” defender for your home network and devices. The built-in antivirus does a perfect job.

DSC_0263
Figure 51: The router setup ft. cable management

Finally, this router does track your browsing history, not only yours, but your clients (users) in your home. With this, you can actually monitor your children’s activity in online by looking at the web history. There is some good news. The IFTTT works well in this part where, it will notify the ASUS app installed in your phone if your children connect to the internet, and you can look at the activity they are doing.

DSC_0266
Figure 52: The router view in the dark environment mode.

Last but not least, this router, simply the best. Costing around RM990 at Viewnet, Lowyat, you can buy this router. You can get a discount if you have a membership card, if you don’t have, you can pay RM12 to buy the cards, and guess what, you can get free drinks too.

My Recommendations: 9 / 10


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2 thoughts on “ASUS BLUE-CAVE AC2600 DUAL BAND WIRELESS ROUTER [The best buck router you can get!!!] | REVIEW

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