ASUS recently had announced of their God of the Monitors and, now, ASUS gives a new overall design and performance improvement on their latest gaming beast tower, the all new STRIX GL12CX Tower PC’s. This build is specifically made for those who don’t wish to spend some of their busy schedule to look for parts and equipment’s to build their custom rig, as this tower offers everything that a gamer needs.
According to the official website, ROG Strix GL12CX pushes the maximum capability of extreme gaming performance of the user.
Now, let’s have a look at the specifications of the Tower PC.
The tower comes with three selections of processor ranging from the i7 8700 to i9 9900K (factory-overclocked to up to 4.9GHz full octa-core) along with the five selections of GPU’s ranging from NVIDIA RTX 1060 3GB & GTX 1060 6GB to NVIDIA RTX 2080Ti 11GB. The system’s main memory comes up to 32GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz.
“Only the very best processors are chosen to power ROG Strix GL12CX. It features new 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K and i7-9700K CPUs that have been factory-overclocked to speeds of up to 4.9GHz and 5.0GHz (full octa-core) respectively for a serious performance boost. Strix GL12CX is great for gaming, but it’s capable of so much more.” – Source.
In addition, the ROG Strix GL12CX features DIMM.2 Module encapsulated with the support for dual SSD’s at a time, by which further can be configured under the RAID feature, as well as with a tool-free expansion bays and an e-sports reading hot-swap SSD trays for easier upgrades in the future. If you’re worried about the heat, which might slow down the performance, do not worry as the DIMM.2 module comes with an integrated heat-sinks for each SSD. In addition, these two gentlemen act as an additional connection in order to allow for the dual NVMe® drives and RAID configurations, or one can be used for expansion while the other can be used for Intel Optane memory to accelerate a large hard-disk drive. As for the side panels, ASUS had designed it to be a transparent panel in order to fully utilize the Aura Sync Lightning Effects and for the user to fully enjoy their gaming sessions.
As for the thermal design, ROG Strix GL12CX provides robust cooling under extreme conditions. It’s equipped with an intelligent cooling system that features two highly dedicated isolated air chambers in order to further improve the heat dissipation. The intertwine HyperStream was designed in order to allow the efficiency of heat removal and better airflow into the chassis. As for the fans, there are three fans on the top and bottom of the chassis in order to maximize the airflow through the rig to minimize the heat deposit near the power supply and other sensitivity equipment’s in the chassis.
When it comes to high quality Tower such as ROG Strix GL12CX, the offered interfaces also in the same lives in the range of the “beast” title. The front IO option comes with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, two USB 2.0 Type-A port, a single port for microphone / headphone in and out and a single 2-in-1 card reader SD/MMC. As for the rear IO panel, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 ports, five ports of audio jacks, a single optical SPDIF out and a single RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
Last but not least, the ROG GL12CX and Aura Sync-compatible peripherals can react to in-game events in compatible games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. In other word, you can actually enjoy the lightning effects when playing CoD or Black Ops 4.
I was informed that, orders can be made by early December, however, do not be sad as, you still can pre-order the rig at the selected and certified Republic of Gamers stores. As for the price, kindly decide the specifications you will be needing as to ease the pricing to be finalized in the store.
cyn’s outlook: If you already own the famous God of Monitor, ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ, this will be a good addition to your gaming experience as both of the system will work like a charm. Do note that, this rig not only specially dedicated for gamers, but the content creators as well.
The USB AC68U Dual Band Wireless Adapter is the latest edition of USB series in ASUS’s networking family. According to ASUS’s official product website, the adapter supports 600 Mbps over 2.4 GHz wireless bands and 1.3 Gbps over 5 GHz wireless bands.
CHAPTER 2: PACKAGING’S
The box comes with pretty standard design and placement of details. Mind you, the unit I get to be reviewed, is not the unit from the retail store, it is a demo unit.
Now, let’s look at the items that comes with the wireless adapter.
As usual, you will receive the main item along with a setup guide, warranty member card and a setup CD.
CHAPTER 3: SPECIFICATIONS
The specifications of USB AC68U are as follows:
As for my remarks here, I personally feel that, this adapter comes with a pretty decent hardware features. No complains about it. For such pricey adapter, well, it is acceptable thou.
CHAPTER 4: SETTING UP FOR THE FIRST USE
In order to use this wireless adapter, first, go to ASUS’s official product page, select your current operating system, and the list of available drivers will be available for the newest to the oldest. Select the latest driver and download it.
Next, extract the zip file. I would personally recommend 7-zip tool for their stable and best compressing with the highest ratio at the moment.
Once the download was complete, then, kindly proceed to install it and by the end of the setup, you’ll be prompted to reboot your PC / Laptop in order to complete the setup.
Last but not least, once your PC / Laptop successfully rebooted, then, you can connect to your home wireless network.
“It is highly advisable to plug the wireless adapter to your PC’s USB 3.0 ports instead of 2.0 port as, you can’t fully utilize the speed through wireless although you’re having a beast wireless adapter.” ~ Arun.
The USB adapter comes with 3.0 USB cable along with the extended dock to place the adapter at the top of your desktop or PC.
Next, let’s see the adapter along with its extended dock.
The USB extended dock comes with a short cable length and, the cable seems to be stiff. The correct placement of the adapter dock along with wireless adapter will give the best wireless experience.
CHAPTER 5: WIRELESS PERFORMANCE
Since the adapter comes with 3×4 MIMO along, hence, the performance from it is decent. I’ve attached a quick speedtest, mind you, the obtained result was the best result I pick to be featured here.
Wireless Band Analysis
The distance between the client (PC) is 8 meters away from the main router.
Below is the iperf3 test conducted from my old PC. Do note that, the actual adapter can support up to 900Mbps via 5GHz.
CHAPTER 6: ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
Comes with USB 3.0 w/ faster transfer rate.
Easy to setup (straightforward setup).
Frequent driver update.
Expensive since it an AC1900 Adapter.
CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION
In a nutshell, pricing on the price of RM 450 in Malaysia currently, I feel, this USB adapter suits well for people who craving for wireless speed despite of having the existing device limitation that preventing from utilizing such speed.
In addition, I have a bad experience from past cheap wireless adapters from different manufactures such as instability, frequent disconnection and slow internet speed. By using the USB AC68U, I didn’t feel such feelings like in the past, instead, I have a good experience with this adapter.
Thirdly, based on the testing, the adapter seems can support up to 900Mbps, according to iperf3 test in general, as, if and only if, the adapter was plugged to the right USB type, in this case, USB 3.0 port.
Lastly, for the respective individuals who wish to opt out the physical connection to replace it with wireless, then, the USB AC68U is the answer to your cravings.
The AC58U is a mid-range level of ASUS router lineup specially made for high bandwidth subscribers. Despite for its look, the router shares the similar design along with AC1200G+ and AC1300UHP.
Despite of having shorter antennas compared to its elder brother, this router suitable for large houses for its great wireless coverage.
Nowadays, all ASUS routers are supported by the ASUS’s famous router app, where, you can actually monitor the real-time activity that happens in your network as well, for the purpose of security and monitor your family’s browsing activity.
Now, let’s move into the main agenda here. Shall we?
CHAPTER 2: PACKAGING’S
The box shares the similar design just like other ASUS routers.
The router wrapped in a good quality plastic. The necessary accessories were stored under the allocated space in the box.
These are the standard accessories that come with the router.
The accessories that come with the router are, the router, a power adapter, a member card, a CD, a guide brochure and a Cat5e Ethernet Cable (not present in the picture).
The router provides a single WAN Gigabit port, four Gigabit LAN port, a WPS button, an AC in port, power button and a reset button.
This router doesn’t come with a USB 2.0 port, to remind you, but, it does have a faster USB 3.0 port located at the front left of the router.
CHAPTER 3: SPECIFICATIONS
The specifications of the AC58U are as follows:
“It is highly recommended to pick a router that comes with 256MiB of RAM and above.”
CHAPTER 4: SETTING UP FOR THE FIRST USE
The setting up of the router are pretty straight-forward and easy to cope up by the novice users. This router does support UniFi, Maxis and TIME as well. The setting up process on this router for both UniFi users and TIME users might be similar, but differs for Maxis users.
CHAPTER 5: WALK-THROUGH
The router offers pretty standard feature as most ASUS’s low end routers. But, for 300 Mbps users, the features offered in this router is sufficient for normal use.
Although this router in the entry level of the mid-end routers from ASUS, this router lacks feature as ASUS’s most famous feature, AiProtection. However, this router does support OpenVPN as well. The only drawbacks is, this router does not support Asus Merlin firmware.
CHAPTER 6: WIRED PERFORMANCE
“I’ve used Dintek’s Cat 6 Ethernet cable to conduct the test for better accuracy than conventional Cat5e brand cable.” ~ Arun.
Since I am using 800Mbps package from UniFi currently, I’ve included the wired test as well to give the readers an outlook of the performance in wired as well for high bandwidth subscribers.
The images below shows three “best” result conducted via LAN connection:
Currently, I am not able to provide a detailed real live download test (via IDM), as, the current package (800 Mbps), unstable. I was informed by the TM staff, that, the turbo upgrade still in the pilot testing phase. However, if you wish to test your download speed (if and only if you’ve received your turbo upgrade), kindly visit to this website.
CHAPTER 7: WIRELESS PERFORMANCE
“For a better result, it is highly advisable to use physical connection (LAN connection) to get a solid result.” ~ Arun.
These are my recommended settings I am using after I received my turbo upgrade.
Before we move deeper into the wireless test conducted for wireless, do note that, your client (device) should be capable of transmit/receive the streams of/from the router. An example of the direct test conducted via my smartphone.
Once the testing of my smartphone was completed, I put my ROG G752VT to a test. Below, is the outcome of my test conducted from my laptop.
Based on the wireless test done from my laptop, I with its 2×2 antenna, I can definitely utilize fully the 300 Mbps (if I am 300Mbps subscriber) via wireless. Most new generation laptops come with minimum 2×2 and above as the wireless standards are increasing day by day.
“Since the 800 Mbps is not stable currently, I’ve to skip the wireless performance part, throughout my house and give the best three results obtained from the wireless test.” ~ Arun.
From the iperf3 test above, I can get over 200 Mbits/s over 5GHz wireless connection, by which, I feel decent enough for this router price range.
After three consecutive wireless connection test, it seems, what ASUS claimed is true, by default, this router able to support up until 400 Mbps through LAN and wireless as well. Since we don’t have any ISP’s offering 400Mbps in Malaysia currently, so, I will stick with 300 Mbps instead. I’m getting over 400Mbps currently via this router, although, at some point, the speed-test result is not stable generally. I will summarize the points in detail in the Chapter 9: Conclusion.
“A router’s true capability can be seen based on higher bandwidth” ~ Arun.
CHAPTER 8: ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
Decent offered features.
Suitable for UniFi 30, 100, 300 and 500Mbps users.
USB 3.0 ports (Fast read & write speed).
Receives monthly patch (updates).
Excellent RAM capacity (Good for heavy streamers and torrenters).
Excellent wireless coverage (Suitable for large houses).
Suitable for existing devices (my assumptions) to fully utilize the 300Mbps bandwidth via wireless.
Router does not overheat.
Able to support 20 and more clients at one time.
No AiMesh (in future, all ASUS router will support AiMesh).
In order to use the MU-MIMO feature, the client should support it as well (huge disadvantage).
Not suitable for UniFi 800Mbps users (for those rely on wireless than LAN).
CHAPTER 9: CONCLUSION
Now, allow me to conclude this router in a nutshell.
The AC58U is an entry level of the mid – end router from ASUS router lineup. Pricing at the price of RM415 in Jayacom (as far as I concern), this router does the job thrown at it. I, personally, didn’t face any disconnection at all, and the router handles it like a piece of cake when torrenting heavily. Mind you, I don’t have an MU-MIMO client device to test the MU-MIMO feature of this router.
Secondly, based on the wireless test, my client (device) able to support up to over 300Mbps wirelessly, especially in 5 GHz band. For 2.4 GHz band, the result may differ from the 5 GHz outcome.
Next, in order to use the full bandwidth from this router in terms of wireless, your client (device) should be capable to receive & transmit the data according to the router’s MIMO type. It is highly advisable to stick around 2X2 or 3X3 MIMO of your client if and only if you’re a 300Mbps user. Higher internet bandwidth users are highly advisable to move to 3X3 or more. Apparently, the only wireless client that able to support up to 1 Gbps via wireless is ASUS PCE-AC88 Wireless Adapter.
Last but not least, if you’re an 500 Mbps or 800 Mbps (fastest internet package offered in Malaysia currently), this router not for you, as, you can opt for ASUS AC68U (Highly recommended for 500Mbps user and AC86U and above for 800Mbps users. As for 30 Mbps to 300 Mbps users, this router, definitely made for you to have a good internet browsing / streaming experience.
My rating for this router for 300Mbps users: 8 / 10
ASUS invited me on July 20, 2018 to their office to showcase their latest monitor that focuses on productivity and gaming for their end users. They’ve two separate sections for their monitor display lineup, productivity and gaming.
Special Thanks: I would like to express my gratitude towards ASUS for calling a newcomer like me to join other respective tech reviewers in Malaysia such as Pokde-san, and Amanz.my, who welcomes me with a kind heart. Thank you for the support.
What amazed me is, this monitor comes with an awesome specification, and good news for productivity users, when you’re working in an office, or, you own an office, or, you own your own start-up company, well, you can give a try to this monitor as, this monitor has everything you need. From a good design to great audio experience. Basically, when we think of a frameless monitor, we often think that, the audio quality will be bad. Hence, we have to either opt for an aftermarket speaker or a headphone. But no worries dear readers, because, this monitor’s audio powered by a pair of 6W Harmon Kardon speakers along with ASUS’s own external 5W subwoofer, by which, the co-developed by ASUS and Harmon Kardon.
This monitor targets the users who involved in graphics and multimedia field. This monitor suitable for designers and video editior even, dear youtubers, this monitor will be suit for you well as you’re need a best display to co-operate with your GPU to give you the best display that cools your eyes.
Compared with MZ27AQ, this monitor doesn’t come with an external subwoofer. But, no worries, as, this monitor really produces a good audio output. The respected representative has played the sample audio, and, I really can feel the bass from the speaker of this monitor. I am pretty sure, that, you’ll may wonder what kind of speaker they’re using for this monitor, well, yes, this monitor comes with a pair of 8W Harmon Kardon speakers powered by ASUS’s Sonic Master technology. Ever wondered when we bought a TV or a new monitor, we often tempted with the given audio preset for the TV or monitor, but, when we powered it up, the audio quality seems….okay, we no need to go deep into it. Compared to other conventional monitors, this monitor comes with ASUS’s AudioWizard, by which, you’re given four choices of pre-set mode for your hearing experience. Believe me or not, as a person who be there to witness the audio quality, the sound really feels premium and the bass is solid.
Miscellaneous Productivity Monitor Collection:
Here is the collection of the monitors was put on display.
Next, let us look at the gaming monitors were put on showcases as well.
Previously, we’ve seen the monitor lineup for productivity users. Now, we’re going to see the monitor lineup specially dedicated for gamers out there.
I am not going to lie as, the price of ASUS’s gaming monitor is quite high compared to other conventional monitors.
Miscellaneous Gaming (ROG) Monitor Collection:
Here is the collection of the gaming monitors was put on display.
Now, we’ve come to an end of this chapter, we are going to look on the “God of the Monitors”, the ASUS PG27UQ.
The monitor comes with 4K UHD G-SYNC HDR gaming monitor with an overclockable 144Hz refresh rate for a smooth gaming experience.
Ever wondered why there are two ROG led’s at the rear. Allow me to show you why, there are two ROG leds. Before that, let us see, our God of the Monitor face-to-face.
The PG27UQ is the first monitor to fully run on the 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) content at a 144Hz refresh rate, providing the gamers with detailed ultra-high definition visuals at extremely smooth frame rates and a 4ms response time. This gaming monitor suitable for those who looking for such smooth display for their respective games, hence you can definitely opt for this monitor without any regrets.
The PG27UQ by far, the ONLY gaming monitor with DisplayHDR 1000 certification along with DCI-P3 color gamut, by which, the feature enables a wider color range than sRGB, resulting in more realistic color reproduction for the human eyes.
As shown on the image above, you can see the reflection of the led’s of the ROG logo at the top of the ceiling of the room from the projector at the top of the stand of the monitor. Yes. You can fully experience your “heroism” in the games by sitting in the dark room and activate the feature and think, yourself as a Batman (Bat logo), but you maybe can name yourself as, ASUS-man.
Currently, the price of the PG27UQ remains unknown. However, I am hoping this monitor will satisfy the cravings of the gamers out there to have a smooth gaming session with their favorite games with their friends or in a LAN party.
Today, I about to present the outcome of the review on the powerful router that, I’ve ever tested so far.
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Tri Band Wireless Router is the most powerful router that, available in our Malaysian market, currently. However, the comparable router with Rapture are, the TP-LINK Archer C5400X Gaming Tri Band wireless router, that comes same CPU as the Rapture.
The box is huge for a router. This is acceptable, though, as, it is the ultimate gaming router for gamers out there.
Figure 2: The front view of the box.
Figure 3: The general information of the router.
Figure 4: The rear view of the box.
Figure 5: The spec of the router.
The router comes with the standard items.
Kindly note that, this is a demo unit. Actual unit may vary from this.
The rear view of the router comes with a single on/off button, an ac in port, 2 ports of USB 3.0, a single gigabit WAN port and 8 gigabit LAN port with two of them are reserved for gaming and another two reserved for link aggregation.
Let’s see what is the term Gaming Port and Link Aggregation stands for.
ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 provides two gaming LAN ports that are optimized for gaming devices. All traffic on these ports is given top priority, so your gaming devices or any other devices you want to connect to these ports are always at the head of the internet queue.
The Link Aggregation feature that lets you team two LAN ports together into a single blisteringly fast 2Gbps connection. An additional information, Link aggregation requires a client with 802.3ad support.
On the right hand side of the router, there are three buttons given. A physical LED on/off button, a physical WPS button and a Wi-Fi on/off button.
This router comes with the most powerful CPU for a router itself in Malaysian market. Despite of being powered by a powerful processor, the router comes with 1 GiB RAM, by which, this is the first time, I’ve ever tested a router with such RAM capacity. As mentioned in the overview section, the Rapture can be compared with TP-LINK Archer C5400X. However, the Archer C5400X haven’t released yet in the market. But, do not worry as, the Rapture offers tons of awesome features for gamers and heaviest users.
SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE
The setting up process of the router is similar to AC68U.
Figure 10: The beginning of setup process.
Figure 11: General questions.
Figure 12: Internet Type.
Figure 13: ISP username and password.
Figure 14: IPTV setup.
Figure 15: Wireless Setup
Figure 16: Router login credentials.
Figure 17: Final setup information of the router.
Once your setup is completed, you will be automatically directed to the login screen.
I personally like this login screen, by which, it is unique compared with other typical ASUS router. However, I am not sure, if, the RT-AC5300 having the similar login screen or vice versa.
There are tons of features that, awaits to be fully explored. I must say, this is the first time in my life, I have to spend some time to browse through the unique feature that makes this router to be the ultimate router for gamers.
GAME IPS (AiProtection)
The Game IPS is the famous AiProtection itself. Hence, the functions are the same. It does well when it comes to protecting the connected devices to it, from getting infected by the hovering malware in a website.
Figure 23: The AiProtection (Main)
Figure 24: The AiProtection II
Figure 25: The AiProtection III
Figure 26: The AiProtection IV
I must say, all ASUS’s high end router does comes with an AiProtection feature. Some individuals always ask this question to me as, “Why Asus routers are expensive compared to other router brands?”. My answer is simple, you pay the money for the service they offer. In other word, when the user purchase the router, the user will get the firmware support until the router reaches its EOL (End of Life). Besides that, ASUS will introduce few new features in future for their upcoming routers. I do not make a marketing strategy as, I am using AC68U it-self. The router still has received firmware upgrades until now. This is very important as, whenever there is a breach in the firmware discovered by the hackers out there, the manufacturer should issue an update / patch to overcome the issue. Currently, only brands such as ASUS and Mikrotik are issuing an update for their routers.
This feature is something new for me, as, I’ve never seen a router that offers features like this. I am pretty sure gamers will like this feature a lot. You have to open the port (port forwarding) in order to do this. You can select the local IP which refers to, your current connected device.
Figure 27: The game profile.
Figure 28: The general information of selected game profile.
You can select the given the game profile, or, you can customize profile by entering the required fields.
The Game Boost feature is a feature to maximize the performance of your gaming sessions by giving more priorities for games in order to reduce the ping and ensures a stable gaming performance.
Figure 29: The bandwidth monitor
Figure 30: The profile of QoS
You can select the given profile of the usage type or, a custom option were given to be set by the user according to your network usage. You also can choose whether to use a traditional QoS or an Adaptive QoS.
GAME PRIVATE NETWORK
One of the best things for gamers is, the built-in WTFast technology. This is a special feature which will enable you to fully optimize your gaming performance.
However, when good things come, you will have to lose other things as well. For game boost feature, you will lose the LAN Boost.
Game radar scans your current game profile and displays the ping of the game according to their respective serves in a specific region. This is a very good feature as, whenever you wish to connect to the server, hence, you know which server to be used / picked.
By default, the LAN 1 or LAN 2 port was reserved for IPTV. You can change the IPTV port to LAN port 5 / 6.
Usually, the standard landing page of the most ASUS router will be the Network Map, an overall view of the activity of your router. But, mind you, this router, lands on the Dash Board instead of Network Map. So it is normal for gaming router.
The ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is a tri-band router. Hence, it comes with a single 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. Hereby, I attach the settings of each respective band.
2.4 GHz Wireless Band Settings:
For 2.4 GHz wireless band settings, I used the recommended way of my settings.
5 GHz Wireless Band Settings for both 5 GHz-1 and 5GHz-2:
Figure 36: The 5 GHz_1 settings.
Figure 37: The 5 GHz_2 settings.
For 5 GHz_1 wireless band settings, I used the recommended way of my settings. However, for the 5 GHz_2 wireless band settings, I kept the channel width to auto and the channel selection to be automatic. This was done purposely to test out if, there will be differences in terms of wireless performance of both 5 GHz_1 and 5 GHz_2.
Analysis of Download
Despite of the band having wide coverage compared to the newer 5 GHz band(s), it promises the delivery of the bandwidth right to the connected device. In other word, similar with Mesh Router before, I able to achieve over 80% subscribed bandwidth even when I was away from the router.
The 5 GHz band lives up to its name as, it gives full network bandwidth delivery, but, the speed of the subscribed bandwidth reduces once, the distance was increased. But, due to the settings were set as a custom settings, hence, there is different in terms of the reading of the speedtest of the connected 5 GHz and 5 GHz_2 band.
The outcome of the 5 GHz_2 band, shows the speedtest fluctuates due to, the settings were set to automatic mode for both, wireless channel and channel width.
Analysis of Upload
The upload speed seems to be stable and I able to achieve over 80% of subscribed upload bandwidth.
The result shows the upload speed test shows the speed remains constant at the upstairs until the veranda located in the upstairs. When it comes to downstairs, the upload speed fluctuates.
The upload speed seems to be slightly unstable compared to the customized settings done for 5 GHz wireless bands.
According to the Iperf3 test, I able to achieve over 95 MB/s.
ALEXA AND IFTTT
If you are planning to build a smart-home in the future, hence, this router does give the option to control the Alexa and IFTTT. Since, smart-home runs on the internet, this will be a useful feature.
Figure 41: The Alexa tutorial.
Figure 42: The IFTTT tutorial.
I’ve conducted two different tests on the writing speed of the file into the attached thumb-drive over a wireless connection.
For the first test, I attached a single USB stick to the USB 3.0 Port 1.
Analysis of Test 1
From the analysis 1, I able to achieve over 11 MB/s of writing speed.
For the second test, I’ve attached two USB stick to their respective USB 3.0 Ports.
Analysis of Test 2
From the analysis 2, I able to achieve over 12 MB/s each separated with priorities on writing on the attached USB stick.
Being the most high end router from ASUS, this router definitely supports AiMesh feature. For more information on the AiMesh, please refer here.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
High capacity of RAM, suitable for ultimate gaming performances.
Game profile given according to the pre-configured game (You also can add the game of your own.
Game IPS (commonly known as AiProtection).
Alexa & IFTTT.
Striking User Interface.
No Captive Portal (Should be an advantage for business organizations).
Overkill router in reality for normal home users whose, their main activity is browsing, streaming and file sharing.
I’ve been testing the router for the past 12 days. I must say, until now, I haven’t fully explore the entire feature available in this router. I wish to applause towards ASUS’s developers for developing such firmware that offers tons of features. This shows that, the creation of this router has undergone a proper requirement engineering process before released to the market.
The major plus point is the design of the router. At some point, the Rapture looks like a giant tarantula spider hovers on the table I allocate specially for the routers.
The antennas build quality is nice. To justify my points, the price of the router is expensive, so does the firmware that offers tons of features. In order to fully optimize this router, the wireless coverage and strength is the major plus point of the router. The wireless coverage was nice, so does the wireless strength. Although as the network bandwidth transfer to the device reduces when the distance was increased, it enlightened us that, this router not only were built for heavy users such as gamers, but, this router does reduce your cost by preventing you from buying a third party equipment such as a repeater or a power-line in order to extend your wireless coverage throughout your house.
Next, the Game IPS feature is similar to the AiProtection, and, they just renamed it. Good news for the gamers. You now can choose the game profile of your game or, customize the game that, is not offered in the profile for better gaming performance.
Finally, with tons of the feature, I am pretty sure that, this router will satisfy your cravings to have a LAN party at your home and a good gaming experience with your friends and family. In other word, this router, definitely….worth of your money.
The Mesh Wireless Routers aren’t considered as a new technology. Reason? When we used to visit the hospitals, universities, government offices used these technologies as well to enlarge their wireless access to the public.
Imagine, you’ve purchased a bungalow or a Semi-D houses, and you wish to cover your entire house with the wireless coverage, and in general, most of the consumer routers available couldn’t even do that. But, as the solution for the people with big houses, Mesh Routers was introduced. By using these routers, you actually can cover up your whole houses with wireless coverage, thus, enabling you to access to the internet no matter at which spot you’re currently located in your house. Mesh routers actually solves your Wi-Fi dead-zones. However, with many mesh routers currently in the market, the price plays an important role. Today, we are going to have a look at the ASUS Lyra Trio Wireless Mesh Router.
Figure 1: The router box.
Figure 2: The front view of the box.
Figure 3: The specification of the box.
Figure 4: The rear view of the box.
The packaging of the Mesh Wi-Fi router were of the best material quality. The box feels classy at its price.
Figure 5: The router in the box.
Figure 6: Closer look on the router.
Figure 7: The items in the box.
The Mesh nodes were arranged in a creative way and all the items were placed under the solid board that holds the router.
Final view of the mesh system
The front look of the router is awesome. It looks like a mini UFO spaceship landed on my table.
All the Mesh Wi-Fi system comes with a single gigabit WAN and a gigabit LAN port.
SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE
The setting up process is slightly similar to Blue-Cave and AC86U, but, with a green-white interface. The set-up process is easy and, all you have to do, is to follow the given instructions.
Disclaimer: It is highly advisable to upgrade the firmware before you set up this router.
Figure 15: Tick “Special ISP requirement checkbox” before proceed to click PPoE type.
Figure 16: Click on the next button.
Figure 17: Select your ISP profile.
Figure 18: Enter your ISP provided username and password.
Figure 19: Enter preferred SSID name and password.
Figure 20: Success message displayed.
Figure 21: Your wireless summary.
Figure 22: Tips 1 – Pairing other nodes.
Figure 23: Tips 2 – Successfully paired nodes.
How to connect the Mesh Nodes?.
Step 1: Turn on the secondary node and wait for 3 minutes.
Step 2: Press the “Pair” button on the main node and the secondary node. The “Blue” light will blink for a few minutes as the router’s are communicating with each other. After few moments, the dark “Blue” light will turn to solid “Blue light”, indicates that, the secondary node has successfully connected to the main node.
Step 3: Repeat the process for the third node. Always remember, the mesh pairing feature only works for main node.
Now you can fully access to each nearest node according to your location with fully subscribed bandwidth.
The interface seems normal as most ASUS router’s out there. This router does offer pretty basic feature of a router, in addition of AiProtection. For its small flash size, I am amazed that, this router does come with AiProtection, although it loses the CPU and Memory usage graph.
Figure 27: The landing page of the router.
Figure 28: The AiProtection.
Figure 29: Malicious Sites Blocking.
Figure 30: Infected Device and Prevention Blocking.
Figure 31: The Traffic Monitor.
Figure 32: The Alexa’s set-up.
Figure 33: Guest Network.
Mobile Version (IOS):
In this case, I used an Apple phone and I find the apps were well developed. I like the green-color theme here.
Go to AppStore and search for “ASUS Lyra” app. Install it.
Next, login to your apps by entering your router login access using the username and password you’ve set earlier during the router setting up process.
Figure 35: The landing page of the apps of the trio.
Figure 36: The real time traffic view.
Figure 37: The settings of the router in app.
Figure 38: The settings of the router (ii).
Figure 39: The operation mode of the router.
Figure 40: The smart-home feature.
Figure 41: The guest network.
Figure 42: Adding family members.
Figure 43: Traffic Manager (Set Bandwidth mode).
Figure 44: Main node’s interface.
Figure 45: The connected devices.
How do this Mesh actually router works? As an example:
The first node was located at the location of my previous router. The second node was located in the front room in the upstairs. The last node was placed at the downstairs where the three devices connected at the third node. You actually can see the number of devices connected at the each node(s). In a simpler term, your device will connect to the nearest node available for you.
Upstairs Floor Plan:
Downstairs Floor Plan:
There is no wireless setting in Mesh Wi-Fi router. Your device will be automatically assigned to the best bands available for your device.
Analysis of Downloads:
This is a different test compared to the other router’s I tested so far. The output of the download speed-test shows the best result for my entire house. Although, some of my previous tested routers, the dead-spots in the house seems to be covered, but, I only able to get 55% of the subscribed speed. With Lyra Trio, not only the dead-spot has been covered, but, I able to get over 95% subscribed bandwidth. From the graph, I able to achieve full speed with this Asus Lyra Trio.
Analysis of Uploads:
Similar to download speed, I able to achieve over 95% of subscribed bandwidth.
The wireless result was above 95% subscribed bandwidth as, the device connected to the nearest node w/out even lose any single connection.
I able to achieve over 90 Mbit/s through my laptop.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Great wireless coverage.
Suitable for large house.
Can be made as a deco.
Large amount of RAM
This Mesh router comes with its own smartphone applications.
Easy to understand setting up process.
Can be used as an access point (AP) of your main router for better performance.
Suitable for business organizations.
Not suitable for gamers.
Not suitable for heavy usage.
No CPU and Memory usage graph.
No wireless set-up interface (You can’t change the channel as it chose the band automatically).
Here is my summarized review on the Lyra Trio.
First of all, I physically prefer to use a physical connection due to its stability, less ping and security purposes. However, based on the testing of the mesh router, I can personally say, by far, Lyra Trio is a beast when comes to wireless coverage.
Next, the router comes with built-in AiProtection. It does its protection as usual by detecting the malware infected websites. However, due to its small flash size, this feature seems to have less “feeling” compared with the solid router that comes with AiProtection such as Blue-Cave, AC86U, AC68U and other high end ASUS router. As I said, the mesh router only functioned as to wider your wireless coverage throughout your home.
Last but not least, if you’re running a very high end router at your home, then, this Mesh Wi-Fi router can be used as an access point. Although it is not same as the AiMesh feature offered in other high end ASUS routers, but, I personally feel that, this Mesh Wi-Fi router worth of your pennies.
Living in a huge house, but less wireless coverage does really concern most users. Some, may, overcome the weak wireless coverage by purchasing a power line or a repeater as a solution. However, some, may not satisfy with the performance of the wireless, as the dead-spots still available at their houses. In order to overcome this, ASUS created an alternative way by making their own high-end routers to support AiMesh feature. An AiMesh is a feature to turn your ASUS router to become the nodes in addition to your main routers. AiMesh is an alternative to Mesh Wi-Fi routers.
The AC68U comes with the standard diamond pattern design like the most ASUS routers while, the AC86U comes with a futuristic cyber-looking design with two red stripes carved at the front cover.
The rear view of the both routers is identical except for the antenna’s used. The AC86U have more thicker solid antenna’s with “ASUS” leathering carved in each antenna’s while, AC68U comes with a standard dual band antenna’s.
SETTING UP AIMESH
Both of the router’s are running on the stock firmware(s).
Main Router: AC68U
Secondary AiMesh Node: AC87U
The setting up of the AiMesh is pretty straightforward. In order to use this feature, you have to turn on the WPS feature of your main router.
Step 1: Click on the AiMesh Node button. Click on the “Search” button on the given panel on the right.
Step 2: Turn on your WPS feature, or, the main router will turn on the feature automatically for you.
Figure 3 shows the WPS feature was turned on in order to use the AiMesh feature. If you disable the WPS, then you can’t use the AiMesh properly.
Step 3: Once your router identified the AiMesh node, the system will display the secondary router. Click on the given node (Just like in the picture below).
Step 4: The system will add the node in your router. This will take around 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 5: Once the process successfully, you will get the success message popup’s, indicating that, the secondary router successfully added as a node in your router system.
Step 6: You’ve added the AiMesh node in your router. Now you can place the secondary router at any place you wish to put.
Similar to Mesh Wi-Fi routers out there, AiMesh features an advance version of it.
The settings of the wireless only can be done with the main router, thus, the connected nodes will follow the rules defined in the main router.
For this test, I placed the AC86U at the downstairs while, the main router, AC68U at the upstairs.
Analysis of Downloads:
I able to achieve over 90% of subscribed bandwidth both on upstairs and the downstairs. By using a single router previously, I encounter problems such as slow wireless coverage, few attempts of failed wireless network test and some old devices couldn’t even get connected to the router. But, with the added AiMesh node, now, I able to access to the internet from anywhere in my house.
Analysis of Uploads:
The upload speed seems to be similar to the download analysis. However, during the test, not even a single test was failed. In other word, the test was done continuously.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Part 1: Compare with the other products.
Part 2: Within the AiMesh feature.
Easy to setup within the main router.
Less time taken to complete the setting up process.
Wireless settings can be changed in the main router.
Achievable subscribed bandwidth.
Nodes can be added up to 5 inclusive the router itself.
Excellent wireless coverage.
Stable wireless experience and wired (when get connected to the secondary mesh node).
Stable firmware and offered feature are awesome.
The wireless settings only can be done at the main router.
WPS feature has to be turned on (security).
Only high end ASUS router has this feature currently.
Although the technologies move fast as the newer technology were introduced, the manufacturer of the technology eases our task by minimizing the time taken by the consumer to setting the things up.
Figure 12: AiMesh message shown.
Figure 13: The number of available AiMesh nodes inclusive the main router.
Figure 14: The secondary node, AC86U information.
As for the AiMesh feature, you don’t really need to waste time, unlike setting the routers as a repeater or bridge in an old school way. The setting up process of this were pretty straightforward and easy to understand, even for novice users.
Next, the good thing about the AiMesh is, you get the subscribed bandwidth even if you place the router further than the main router. You also can plug your laptops or PC to the secondary nodes as well.
Finally, if you’re looking for a Mesh Wi-Fi router alternative, why not give a try to the ASUS router’s that supports AiMesh? I can say that, from my experience using this feature, I feel satisfied and it’s definitely worth for your pennies.
My Recommendations: 10/10
In case if you wanted to temporarily or permanently to remove the AiMesh, it is easy.
Step 1: Click on the AiMesh button.
Step 2: Click on the “Minus” button. The system will show a message.
Step 3: Click on the “Apply” button, thus, resulting the AiMesh node will be automatically set to the factory settings. By doing so, your current router settings won’t be affected.
Immediately turn off the WPS feature in your main router once you removed the AiMesh from your main router.