ASUS BRT-AC828 Business Router – The best business router for Small & Big Organizations | REVIEW

When I used to visit the business premises or business organizations, the first thing I will look for is their server rack of what type of the router that, they are using currently. Most of the business organizations, tend to use the stock supplied ISP router, Archer C1200v1.

Well, dear bosses, do not worry as you can ditch away your stock router for a more powerful router for your organization, the ASUS BRT-AC828 Dual Band Wireless Router. A router, that fits in your organization, not only providing the converted digital signals from the modem to your devices connected to it, it also, provides many useful features as well.

Firmware Version3.0.0.4.380.7465 (Latest firmware)

The expected retail price: RM 1999.00

PACKAGING

Before Un-boxing:

This router comes with four removable dual band antenna’s, a power adapter, a Cat5e ethernet cable, a warranty card and manuals.

After Un-Boxing:

The router is pretty big and it is advisable to prepare a larger area for the router. It requires slightly larger space to place it. This router comes with four removable dual band antenna’s, a power adapter, a Cat5e ethernet cable, a warranty card and manuals.

The router comes with a dual WAN gigabit port, and 8 LAN gigabit ports, by default, LAN port 5 functioning as a default WAN port (it is changeable). This router does have 2 USB 3.0 ports which is a bonus if, there is any external hardisk, or a printer needed to be plugged into any of the USB ports to be used for printing through wireless (print server).

DSC_0661
Figure 8: The rear view of the router.

Overall, the router’s were well built with quality material. ASUS shows their perfection by improving the quality of the casing used, and the every detail was carefully built.

SPECIFICATIONS

spec
Figure 9: The specification of BRT-AC828.

The router runs on a powerful processor. For a business router, this processor quite overkill for small offices. By here, these are the list of products that using / shares the same processor as this router.

lamo
Figure 10: Devices that shares the same processors as BRT-AC828 – Wikidevi.

SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE

The router, similar to other ASUS router’s, is easy to set up. All you need is your business ISP’s account’s username and password as an important credential to be keyed in in order to successfully use the router. Most importantly, you still can use the hypptv feature with this router.

It is highly advisable, since this will be used in your business, organization, does assign a person who has network knowledge to maintain the router. A good router should have a heavy username and password as for its login credential. This is your first defense from getting hacked by other irresponsible person out there to get important files or information from your organization’s server (if your organizations have one).

ADMINISTRATION INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

Features Overview:

The router does come with an enterprise feature that doesn’t come with a normal consumer based router. I will further express my point of view on the router by the end of the review.

GUEST NETWORK

For this part, I will skip as, the information on the guest network feature was explained in the previous ASUS router review. If, you forget to read the review, please kindly refer here.

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Figure 25: The Free Wi-Fi panel.

Scenario:

Just imagine, you’re a boss. You own a startup company. You’re working hard on finding a potential investors for your organizations. The first impressions of the investors towards your company is, on how well you manage your company and the employees. As an example, you are going to make a business deal, but at the same time, you’re not well prepared, but, you’ve hired a good web developer to design your website to highlight the projects your company that, has successfully accomplished along with your company motto and vision, your list of employees that works on that particular projects, and their background of expertise in a particular skill. Although, you have everything on your website, how you will acknowledge your investors when you’re not well prepared for that particular deal? How you will face such situation?

The solution:

Fear not, my comrades, ASUS BRT-AC828 can solve that for you. When your investors are waiting for you in a room, most probably they will ask do your company provide free Wi-Fi. When they get connected to the wireless network of your company, they will be automatically directed to your company website, and they can browse your company’s profile, projects, employees and your motto and vision in the meantime you’re preparing. By when the meeting is about to start, they itself will ask you the question based on the projects you’ve worked before, by doing so, this will boost your confidence to present and this will boost up your professionalism towards your potential investors sight and thus, you can finalize the deal.

Free Wi-Fi:

Example of how a Free Wi-Fi works:

1
Figure 26: The Free Wi-Fi portal.

The Free Wi-Fi offers a direct access to a company’s profile (website) without the user needed to enter the credentials. You also can customize the access by providing the pins.

Captive Portal:

Example of how a Captive Portal works:

2
Figure 27: The captive portal.

This feature, similar with this router, where, you can customize the splash login page, the buttons, the background image as well, by which, is a boon for your organization to attract more stakeholders to collaborate with you more.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

Floor Plan of my house (Upstairs):

floor planning
Figure 28: The upstairs floor plan.

The upstairs of my house has more obstruction in terms of all compared to the downstairs. This will be the perfect “ground” to test the wireless performance of the router.

Floor Plan of my house (downstairs):

As for the downstairs, there are two rooms and most of the time, I will be sitting at the main living room and use wireless connectivity to go browse some social media platforms. There is no much obstruction compared to upstairs.

floor planning downstairs
Figure 29: The downstairs floor plan.

Wireless settings:

Below are the most recommended wireless settings from me.

For every router’s I test,I always use a Wi-Fi Analyzer tools, to scan my home network before choosing a suitable wireless channel.

Dual-band Analysis:

*Pardon for the mistake, It is supposed to be ASUS BRT-AC828, not AC878.*

download
Figure 32: The wireless analysis of downloads of both bands.

Analysis of Figure 32:

Due to the presence of obstructions, the speed does fluctuate as the number of distances increased. The speed fluctuation were understandable as, 5GHz couldn’t travel across multiple walls. Based on the result, I can say, the router performs well in terms of 2.4GHz wireless bands (longer distance).

upload
Figure 33: The wireless analysis of uploads of both bands.

Analysis of Figure 33:

Although, the upload bandwidth will be not used in common for normal user, but as for business organizations, this is a very important as the files will be shared through the networks, hence, based on this result, the upload speed fluctuates as the distance increased.

Iperf3 Test:

business router iperf3
Figure 34: The iperf3 analysis of ASUS BRT-AC828.

The ASUS BRT-AC828 able to achieve over 90 Mbit/s uniformly to my laptop.

USB SHARING

This router is a special router, whereby, the router comes with dual 3.0 USB ports, which instantaneously located on the back and the front of the router.

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Figure 35: The USB stick was attached at the back of the router.

Write:

32281057_339599803229785_1427508564955496448_n
Figure 36: The writing speed to the USB stick from my PC.

Read:

32169464_339602629896169_2797266514317672448_n
Figure 37: Watching Jurrasic Park 2015 from the attached USB stick.

One thing that mesmerizes me is, the CPU graph and the memory usage stay low when the reading and writing session occurs. Conventionally, other commercial router’s CPU and memory usage graph would shoot up higher. But, with the powerful processor, it minimizes the CPU performance of reading and writing the files to the attached USB stick.

I able to achieve a decent amount of read and write, well, it is the best of USB 3.0 performance.

M.2 SSD

The M2. SSD slot is accessible by removing the backplate cover of the router. Only one single slot of M.2 SSD was provided. A M.2 SSD at any capacity can be used as a NAS storage. This feature is a blessing to the entrepreneurs whose own a small business and the files in the SSD can be accessible by everyone in the organizations. This is the first time, I am looking at a router that comes with this awesome feature in it.

773858-761157-800
Figure 40: An example of M.2 SSD.

Ai PROTECTION

There is an important information that users should know, “ASUS’s built-in antivirus powered by Trend Micro is free for life-time”. In other word, you don’t need to pay for the service as per mentioned by other router manufacturers currently located in Malaysia.

The built-in antivirus performs well in terms of blocking malicious sites and incoming requests. I must say, ASUS did a good job here, especially when, this router was targeted to business organizations. ASUS, by far, the best when it comes their partnership with Trend Micro by providing their end user with the best service and protection against the internet world.

ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  1. Supports up to 250 users.
  2. Powerful processor
  3. Excellent wireless coverage.
  4. Router does not overheat.
  5. Free Guest wifi w/ optional to key in the password.
  6. The built-in antivirus works well.
  7. There is a M2 SSD slot under the router which can be used as a NAS (temporary storage).
  8. Captive portal (useful for your business organizations).
  9. This router can be mounted on the server rack
  10. This is the first router to provide not a single, but, a dual USB 3.0 Ports.

Disadvantages:

  1. Slightly confusing setup for normal users.
  2. Upon from its great features, the router is big, prepare a large space area for the router.
  3. For a business router, the router does come with 512 MiB of RAM.
  4. Not supported by Asus-Merlin firmware yet.
  5. Since it is a business router, when the reboot process occurs, other features as well does take time to make an effect.

#FINAL VERDICT#

A business router, should be able to provide a good feature (E.g: Captive Portal & M.2 SSD) and security (E.g: AiProtection) for their business users. The requirements for the business networking, was fulfilled by ASUS by, producing a business based router such as BRT-AC828. The router, able to handle up to 120 users at a time, it is a very powerful router that made specifically for the business organizations. A novice user able to configure this router well without even need to hire a network expert (zero-capital for hiring network experts). By doing so, your business organizations able to operate privately with your “own” configured settings.

The wireless coverage, simply the best in its range. I won’t complain much about that. However, it is highly advisable, to do a wireless channel analysis before setting your wireless configurations to optimize its full potential.

If you asked me, can this router be used for home users? My answer is, yes. You can. But, I would kindly give an advice that, this router might be overkill for home users as it provides “beast” feature that targets business organizations compared to home users. This router, definitely, worth for your penny.

My recommendations: 9.8/10.


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