ASUS RT-AC86U AC2900 Dual Band Gaming Wireless Router – Good News for Gamers! | Review

OVERVIEW

In general, ASUS AC86 is an upgraded version of its smaller brother, ASUS AC68U. Maybe you can reverse the “68 to 86 or vice versa” for extra understandings. This router, has the similar design of Lamborghini sports cars along with my beloved, ASUS G752VT laptop. I personally like the design compared to its traditional looking small bro, AC68U. Despite for its price, this router suitable for gamers out there due to the built-in WTF feature, a dual core 1.8GHz processor, along with the beast alike 512MiB to handle the connected devices well.

PACKAGING

Disclaimer: This is a Malaysian demo unit. So the actual packaging will be much more “cool” compared to this.

Before un-boxing

After un-boxing

Final view of the router

DSC_0373
Figure 6: The content of the box.

This is a demo unit. So it may differ from the actual unit that comes with the router. The content that comes along with the router are, the AC adapter, three detachable antennas, a cat5e Ethernet cable, a manual and a warranty card.

The built quality of the router is excellent. The high quality casings were used, the fierce look of the front view of the router adds the impression to gamers out there, that, this is the savior of their smooth gaming experience over their existing router. The design of AC86U more like a Lamborghini’s rear view compared to the traditional diamond shape pattern of most of the ASUS routers.

DSC_0393
Figure 9: The branding of the “ASUS” carved on the each antennas.

The quality of the antenna’s is beyond perfect. Don’t mistaken me as, for such pricey router, the antenna’s also plays an important role to transmit the wireless coverage to your home device. When I tried to change the direction of the antennas, I feel that, it’s pretty solid compared to other previous router’s, I tested so far.

DSC_0386
Figure 10: The rear view of the router.

The rear view of the router is similar to its smaller brother, AC68U. The router comes with a single gigabit WAN port, 4 gigabit LAN port, a single USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports, an AC in port, a reset button, an LED on/off button and on/off button.

SPECIFICATIONS

The specifications of the AC86U are as follows:

ac86uspec
Figure 11: The specifications of AC86U.

SETTING UP FOR THE FIRST USE

The process of setting up the router for first use is slightly similar to Blue-Cave, with the dark version of the user interface.

I personally like this setup interface, as it shows how premium the router is. This gives the impression of “rough” of the router not only in terms of the outer design, as well as the firmware design.

INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

The interface of the web administration is similar to most of the ASUS routers. The attached image below is the a brief walk-through of the router.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

My standard wireless settings of both bands are as follows:

Wireless Analysis

download
Figure 27: The result of download speedtest.

Analysis of Download:

The download speed was awesome at upstairs. I able to achieve over 90% of subscribed bandwidth, however, as the distance were increased, the speed bandwidth seems to get fluctuated.

uploads
Figure 28: The result of upload speedtest.

Analysis of Upload:

As for upload result, the same principle was applied. However, I have to redo the wireless test at the Veranda (upstairs) as my phone tends to lose the 5GHz connection (not stable).

Analysis of the wireless for both, download and upload:

The more increase the distance is, the lesser bandwidth your device will receive.

Iperf3 Testing

34534773_349947945528304_1924119458545139712_n
Figure 29: The iperf3 analysis result.

I able to achieve over 90 Mbit/s on my laptop. Sweet.

USB PERFORMANCE

The router does come with two USB ports, each USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 respectively. In order to ease the comparison chart, I’ve renamed the path (folder) to the respective ports, they’re (USB sticks) currently connected to.

10
Figure 30: The attached USB sticks labeled to their respective ports.

USB 2.0

2.00
Figure 31: The write speed of USB 2.0.

USB 3.0

2.00
Figure 32: The write speed of USB 3.0.

Outcome of the analysis

The write speed (from my download folder to the USB stick attached) of USB 2.0 hovers around 7 – 9 MB/s while the write speed of 3.0 hovers around 10 – 11.5 MB/s.

WTFAST

In order to use the WTFast GPN, you need to register and subscribe to their plans. Below, I’ve attached the plans for your concern(s):

You can register to your account here and, you ONLY able to use this feature when you have the subscription.

7
Figure 35: Login to your WTFast account or you can register.

Secondly, you will be directed to the landing page once you’ve clicked to the “create account” link.

The url: WTFast

wtf
Figure 36: The landing page.

Next, let’s have a look at the plans available for the gamers.

The system requirements of your rig are as below:

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Figure 42: The system requirements.

Finally, the download link.

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Figure 43: The download button.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages

  1. Great design (Cyber looking router – futuristic look).
  2. Best material used for the case of the router (feels solid).
  3. Good quality of antennas.
  4. Good wireless coverage.
  5. Stable and able to handle large amount of clients connected to it.
  6. Comes with both (a) USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 port.
  7. A physical button to turn off the wireless functionality.
  8. A physical button to turn off the LED’s.
  9. ASUS WTF features did an excellent job.
  10. AiProtection.
  11. Router remains cool.
  12. Supports Asus-Merlin firmware.

Disadvantages

  1. Doesn’t come with Captive Portal or Free-WiFi.
  2. You need to register and have an active subscription to fully utilize the WTFast technology (Should provide a trial version to enable user to explore this feature).

FINAL VERDICT

DSC_0374
Figure 44: The router view w/out antenna.

ASUS RT-AC86U are one of the best wireless router ever produced by ASUS currently. The wireless coverage from this router are excellent, the USB read and write speed are good, and, the router seems to handle more than 10 connected devices with ease more devices can be handled well. The feature that comes with this router is great, however, I didn’t try the router with Asus-Merlin firmware as, for most home users, the stock Asuswrt is more than enough. The AiProtection scores well here. Definitely, if in the future, I am planning to get a new router for my house, definitely, Asus AC86U will be in my top list of router replacement.

My Recommendations: 9.5 / 10

Expected FAQ:

Eh boss, where is the AiMesh feature review?

Do not worry. I will make a separate post to explain it. 

Can this router be used in business organizations?

Yes. You can. This router comes with 512MiB of RAM, so handling multiple connected clients will be a piece of cake.

Does this router have Captive Portal despite being one of the high end routers of choice?

No. This router doesn’t come with Captive Portal.

Does this router can be used as an AiMesh to connect to other router’s that having similar feature?

Yes. You can.


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HUAWEI WS880 – The best router ever produced by Huawei Technologies | Review

A few years ago, a reputable brand released their own router to the Malaysian market, under the code-name of Huawei Media-Life WS880. This router considered as a boon for the user as, this router promises awesome features along with the customize (firmware) options.

PACKAGING’S

Before un-boxing

The box design was decent and simply the best from Huawei. One thing that attract me is, their color selection of the box, blue-white.

After un-boxing

The router were arranged in a perfect way, and only important items such as power supply, a cat5e ethernet cable, a manual and the router itself was in the box.

Final view of the router

This router was designed in a very professional way. The branding at the front of the router also functions as an on/off button. The router does come with a single gigabit WAN port, 4 gigabit LAN ports and a single USB 3.0 Port.

SPECIFICATIONS 

Internet access

  • One autonegotiation 10/100/1000M Base-T port
  • Auto-MDI/MDIX

Ethernet access

  • Four Ethernet ports
  • 10/100/1000M autonegotiation
  • IEEE 802.3u compliance
  • Auto-MDI/MDIX

Wi-Fi access

  • 802.11ac/a/n (5 GHz, 3×3 MIMO, up to1300 Mbps)
  • 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz, 3×3 MIMO, up to 450 Mbps)
  • One button control WLAN
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
  • Wireless Distribution System (WDS)
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM)
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), temporary key integrity protocol
    (TKIP), and 64/128-bit wired equivalent privacy (WEP) encryption
  • Shared Key authentication
  • Hiding the service set identifier (SSID)
  • Multiple SSIDs (up to eight)
  • Wi-Fi access rates up to 1750 Mbps
  • Security features
  • Password-protected web-based management pages
  • Parental control (website blocking and network access period control)
  • Firewall
  • MAC and IP address filtering
  • Access control lists (ACLs)
  • Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) (RFC 1334) and Challenge
  • Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) (RFC 1994)
  • Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
  • Protection against denial of service (DoS) attacks, including LAND and
    SYN Flooding attacks

Routing features

  • Network address translation (NAT) and network address and port
    translation (NAPT) (RFC 1631, RFC 2663, RFC 2766, and RFC 3022)
    DNS proxy
  • DHCP server and clients
  • Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) agent and snooping
  • Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) support

QoS features

  • Bandwidth control based on IP addresses, MAC addresses, physical
    ports, and applications in the LAN
  • Overall uplink/downlink bandwidth control for WAN devices
  • Uplink/downlink bandwidth control for individual WAN devices

Power supply specifications

  • Product power supply: 12 V DC􀀁 3 A
  • Product power consumption: < 36 W

Physical specifications

  • Router Dimensions (H x W x D, excluding the rack):
    270 mm x 150 mm x 34 mm (10.63 in. x 5.91 in. x 1.34 in.)
  • Router weight: < 360 g

Environmental specifications

  • Operating temperature: 0°C to 40°C
  • Operating humidity: 5% to 95% RH (non-condensing)

SETTING UP FOR THE FIRST USE

I flashed the router to Asus-Merlin firmware to enhance the performance of the router. The stock firmware does limit the features of the router. For a powerful router as this, the stock firmware really limits the user from using its full potential. This router does supports Tomato Shibby as well.

INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

The firmware has decent features, although it slightly higher compared with the Huawei stock firmware.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

Dual Band Analysis

huawei download
Figure 23: The Huawei WS880 wireless result for download.

Analysis of Figure x:

Based on the analysis, the greater the distance, the lower the wireless reading. However, for such router that comes with internal antenna’s, the router performs well in terms of wireless coverage. The flashed firmware really maximize the router’s wireless performance.

huawei upload
Figure 24: The Huawei WS880 wireless result for upload.

Analysis of Upload:

As the distance of the device increases, the upload result tends to fluctuate. The reason why, the reading of the upload of 5GHz greater than 2.4GHz is because, there is less interference with the signals of the same bands from the neighbor.

Iperf3 Testing

iperf3 huawei
Figure 25: The Iperf3 result.

USB PERFORMANCE

I able to achieve 11Mb/s over write and decent read speed.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages

  1. Creative design
  2. Wireless coverage is awesome (Wide coverage)
  3. Ability to flash to Asus-Merlin firmware and Tomato-Shibby firmware.
  4. Presence of USB 3.0 port (Fast Write & Read speed)
  5. The router does not overheat
  6. The router can fit in anywhere and also can be made as an “extra” decoration for your house.

Disadvantages

  1. The stock firmware limits features such as changing your preferred DNS, DDNS service (You need to pay to use it).
  2. You have to be good at flashing it to the third party firmware so that, the router does not get bricked during the process.

FINAL VERDICT

This router is a very special router. With such an awesome specification, this router pre-loaded with a firmware that locks down its performance. However, the good news is, this router can be flashed to the third party firmware, such as Asus-Merlin or Tomato Shibby firmware.

DSC_0395
Figure 26: The router is working over the merlin firmware.

The wireless coverage of the router is good for its range. Although the router comes with an internal antenna’s, the router seems to give out awesome wireless performance.

This router is already discontinued. Retailed at the price of RM199.00, this router is pretty overkill for such price.

As for finalize my statement, the router performs well, and it can be a good decorative item for your home, if and only if, you decided to place the router in an open place.


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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.

2
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.

1
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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D-LINK DIR-878 AC1900 Wireless Router – Does it worth for your bucks? | Review

D-LINK DIR 878 revision A1 is a router is an affordable dual band router that offers the most recent 802.11ac along with beam-forming feature that includes MU-MIMO data streaming from D-LINK. Currently, this router priced at a retailed of RM 475.00 at shopee.

I always recommend most of my readers to buy from OOKAS for their good services.

D-LINK DIR-878: Shopee

D-LINK DIR-878: 11street

So the question is, does this router deliver what it promises?

Disclaimer:

This is a used router and, I bought it from its previous owner to explore the features offered in this router.

Firmware(s):

D-LINK Firmware: Hardware A1 (Malaysia)

DDWRT Firmware: Factory image initial flash & Webflash image (not included in the test)

#1 PACKAGING

Before un-boxing:

The box comes with a decent design explaining to the user on the features that comes with the router. Frankly speaking, I kinda like the design of the rear part of the box. Good job D-LINK.

After un-boxing:

DSC_0385
Figure 4: The item comes with the router.

The router is pretty standard, as it comes with four non-detachable antenna’s, a power adapter, a Cat5e ethernet cable, a warranty card and a manual booklet.

DSC_0402
Figure 5: The rear view of the router.

At the rear of the router, a single gigabit WAN port, four gigabit LAN port, power port, an on/off button, a wps button and a wi-fi on/off button were present. This router doesn’t come with any USB port which lead to big disappointment as, for such a pricey router, not even a single USB 2.0 port were given.

#2 SPECIFICATIONS

D-LINK DIR-878 rev A Spec
Figure 6: The specifications of the router. You can refer the full spec here.

The router is powered by 880MHz dual core CPU from MediaTek. For such router, I would say, it is quite powerful CPU used to control the router.

#3 SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE

Once you finish setting up the router, the router will apply the credentials settings and direct you to the main interface. Once you have directed to it, go to Settings > Internet > VLAN.

12 (important)
Figure 7: The VLAN settings of the router.

Assign the respective VLAN ID’s for each LAN port. By default, LAN 4 should be reserved / addressed as an IPTV port.

I am pretty sure that, most of you will have a minor heart attack as, when you’re setting up your wireless SSID and password, you most probably didn’t encounter the settings for 5GHz wireless band. Do not worry. Once you set up the VLAN, hit to Settings > Wireless page and disable the “Smart Connect” feature.

smart connect
Figure 8: The wireless interface control panel of the router.

I disabled the WPS to enhance the security of the router. It is highly recommended you to, disable the WPS feature of your home router despite which router brand you’re using currently.

#4 INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

Smart Connect feature enabled:

“Smart Connect can intelligently identify the device, decide what band would provide it with the best possible connection, and connect it to that band.”D-LINK

4
Figure 17: The Smart Connect feature enabled.

When the Smart Connect feature were enabled, the 2.4GHz and 5GHz settings stay inactive and only one stream of a chosen band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) can be used by your device. By enabling this feature, you’re restricted to change your wireless mode, wireless channel or change your wireless channel width because this feature will adjust the best solution for you.

Smart Connect feature disabled:

18
Figure 18: The Smart Connect feature disabled.

Once the Smart Connect feature were disabled, the wireless settings for both bands can be customized according to your needs by clicking the “advance settings” button.

#5 WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

floor planning
Figure 19: The floor planning of my house (upstairs only).

The wireless settings for both bands are as below.

Standard wireless speedtest for both bands:

I summarized the performance in the form of a graph.

wireless download result
Figure 22: The download speed test result.

The download speed for both bands fluctuates as the distance increases.

wireless upload test
Figure 23: The upload speed test result.

The upload speed for both bands fluctuates as the distance increases. However, I have to redo the test for the veranda at the downstairs as the wireless test shows an error in the upload test.

Iperf3 Testing

iperf3 test
Figure 24: The iperf3 test result of D-LINK DIR-878 rev A.

The router able to achieve 95 Mbit/s of throughput to my laptop through wireless connectivity.

#6 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 

Advantages:

  • Supports DDWRT.
  • Decent wireless coverage.
  • Decent design.
  • Router able to handle more than 10 connected devices.
  • Presence of physical Wi-Fi on/off button.
  • Presence of ventilation holes to keep the router to stay cool.
  • More 5GHz channels provided.

Disadvantages:

  • No USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.
  • The antenna’s are non-removable.
  • Consume a large space.
  • Option for 40MHz channel width for 5GHz null.

#FINAL VERDICT#

The router has above average performance. Not the best router I tested so far, but, it does perform well to the test thrown at it. It has a decent wireless coverage, you can set up the reboot schedule, and this router able to handle up to 10 or more devices connected to it. This router most suitable for home use and for organizations, well, I for normal, non-professional use, then this router can be on your list.

DSC_0377
Figure 25: The router currently in use.

As to conclude this post, this router delivers what it promises. You can opt for flash to third party firmware such as DDWRT if wish for more features.

My recommendation: 6.5/10.


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ASUS 4G-AC68U – The Ultimate 4G Wireless Router | Review

Brand: ASUS

Model: 4G-AC68U (UniFi Compatible)

Router type: Dual Band (AC1900)

Firmware Version3.0.0.4.382.39942

Expected SRP Price: RM 1,400

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

Telco SIM Card: Maxis 4G

Wireless Test Distance 1: 3 and 15 meters (upstairs)

Wireless Test Distance 2: 25 meters (downstairs)

Device Used: iPhone 7 Plus (Wireless), ASUS ROG752VT (Wireless) and PC (LAN Connection)


We would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Malaysians, Ramadan Mubarak. May this holy month brings the goodness to all the Malaysians.

Good day everyone.

Today, we are going to look at the ASUS 4G-AC68U Dual Band Wireless Router. This router can be used for UniFi as well. This will be a long review.

#1 PACKAGING

Before un-boxing:

The ASUS 4G-AC68U comes with an awesome box design that similar with the other consumer based router for ASUS. All the important features of the router were highlighted on the box itself. 

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After un-boxing:

The box items were wrapped nicely in this wonderful cardboard made boxes. This proves ASUS commitment to giving the product in a perfect way for their user. 

Final view:

Once, all the items were taken out of the box, the following items, dual detachable antennas, by which, another two are non-detachable antennas, a power adapter, a cat5 Ethernet cable, the warranty card and a manual booklet.

Router Walkthrough:

DSC_0167
Figure 11: The front view of the router.

The LED indicator present for each feature.

Untitled-1
Figure 12: The rear view of the router.

I wish, there is a LED on/off button similar to ASUS RT-AC68U at the back of the router.

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Figure 13: The right-hand side view of the router.
DSC_0200
Figure 14: The bottom view of the router.

The SIM-card slot are located at the below of the router’s stand. However, I feel this is not an appropriate location to insert the SIM-card as it is quite hard to insert the SIM-card. In my opinion, the SIM-card slot should be located at the side of the router.

#2 SPECIFICATIONS 

4g-ac68u
Figure 15: The specification of ASUS 4G AC68U.

#3 SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE

LTE Setup

The setup for the LTE mode was a straightforward and, the router able to auto detect the 4G connection, thus, the only settings left is to finalize the wireless connection setup.

UniFi Setup

The setup for UniFi are pretty straight forward. It is easy to set-up and understandable for most users. It is highly recommended, that, before you setup your newly purchased Asus router and, you don’t have any experience using a third party router before, then, it is highly recommended to keep your ISP provided username and password as, most of the novice users tend to ignore this step before setting up their router. 

#4 ADMINISTRATION INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

LTE Walk-through

UniFi Walk-through

#5 GUEST NETWORK

Free Wi-Fi

Here is the most special highlighted feature of the router. It is located under Guest Network -> Free-WiFi.

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Figure 32: The Free-WiFi is available in this router, which is suitable of business organizations.

An Example on how a Free Wi-Fi works:

  1. Select your wireless SSID for Free Wi-Fi.
  2. For this, you don’t really have to enter any credentials as it is accessible by anyone in the range. 
  3. The directed website after the T&C checkbox was ticked and the button “continue” were pressed.

For the Free Wi-Fi for business organizations, password is optional. You can choose to add your own passcode to enhance your office access for the guest.

Captive Portal

It is a portal that provides a secure and user-customization, web authentication method for the user to protect their respective guest network. In other word, you can customize your own splash screen (page) and the policy for access. This is a straight forward process.

This is by, a suitable piece of technology that can be used for small business organizations that deals with their respective stakeholders. This, by chance, will show your professionalism on managing your organization in front of your stakeholder’s eyes.

An example on how Captive Portal Works:

Step 1: Set-up the Captive Portal under Guest Wi-Fi > Captive Portal

Once you finish setting up the captive portal, save the settings and reboot the router in order the setting to take effect effectively.

Step 2: Testing of the captive portal in iPhone 7 Plus.

  1. Select your captive portal SSID (I choose TechCyn_2C officially).
  2. Enter your required credentials before connecting to the network.
  3. Once you have entered credentials approved, you will be directed to the website.

Your guest, able to access to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to use the captive portal. 

#6 WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

For this test, I will use two devices, iPhone 7 Plus & ASUS ROG G752VT.

Before the wireless test were conducted, the above images are my current wireless settings for the router. Always use a free tool to scan your 2.4GHz wireless channels to avoid the congestion of the channel band.

LTE Wireless Experience

Laptop (Wireless) – Static Distance 2 Meters

The speedtest result for 2.4GHz wireless band:

The speedtest result for 5GHz wireless band:

Smartphone Test

Distance: 3 Meters

  • 2.4GHz
  • 5GHz

Distance: 10 Meters

  • 2.4GHz
  • 5GHz

Distance: 15 Meters (maximum distance)

  • 2.4GHz
  • 5GHz

The wireless speed is in LTE mode was above average. The received speed was inconsistent, but, most of the time, I able to achieve the subscribed bandwidth. It is slightly better compared to other LTE routers out there.

UniFi Wireless Experience

Laptop (Wireless) – Static Distance 5 Meters

2.4g
Figure 65: The speedtest result of 2.4GHz band.
5g
Figure 66: The speedtest result of 5GHz band.

Smartphone Test

Distance: 3 Meters

  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz

Distance: 15 Meters

  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz

Distance: 25 Meters

  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz

This router, by far one of the very best router in terms of providing a great wireless coverage. For an ac router like this, wireless performance plays an important role, in-fact, these are the main factors that attract the users to buy the router. I able to achieve full subscribed bandwidth with this router. 

#6 USB SHARING

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Figure 79: The USB stick attached to the USB 3.0 of the router.

When you are successfully setting up the USB stick, you will be prompted with a field box to access the files inside the USB stick which is good if you always wish to privatize your files.

safety
Figure 80: User credentials field.

The files in the USB stick only accessible if and only if, you used either, router login credentials or setting up your own account in the given field in the router’s admin interface.

Write:

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Figure 81: The writing process to the USB stick.

The write speed for this router is decent. With the USB 3.0, I don’t need to worry if I am in the rush of copying my files to my USB attached stick at the back of the router.

Read:

31960415_338343020022130_5545222204167290880_n
Figure 82: The read process of a 4K video from the USB stick.

Viewing 4K videos in the connected USB stick was no problem and the video playback was smooth without a single lag.

#7 IPERF3 TEST

iperf3
Figure 83: The iperf3 result from the router.

The ASUS 4G-AC68 able to achieve over 90 Mbit/s uniformly to my laptop. This is a good sign for a router at this price, providing a great wireless service to the devices connected to it. 

#8 Ai PROTECTION

1
Figure 84: ASUS AiProtection Powered by Trend Micro.

When it comes to protection, ASUS by far, provides the best protection for your home network and device from the internet. I’ve been informed, that, AiProtection for ASUS routers are licensed for a lifetime. This is a good bang for your bucks as, other reputable brands only provides limited duration on using their own built-in antivirus for a limited amount of time or, the service has been stopped and you need to pay for it (subscription).

Let’s get into the features further.

The feature, same as ASUS Blue-Cave, it did a great job of protecting your devices against the malware over the internet. As an idioms say, “once you switched to ASUS, there is no turning back”.

#9 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  • Awesome design.
  • Presence of LED indicators of each feature.
  • Presence of USB 3.0.
  • Awesome Wireless Coverage for both features (LTE & UniFi).
  • Captive Portal (an excellent feature) for business organizations.
  • Router always stay cool.
  • Physical Wi-Fi on/off button.
  • Great features are offered in this router
  • Frequent firmware updates are expected for this model as ASUS always give frequent updates to enhance the router’s performance.

Disadvantages:

  • The SIM-card slot located at the below of the router (Preferable at the side of the router).
  • No USB 2.0 port.
  • Slightly Slow Reboot Process (Approx. 3 minutes).
  • Only two detachable antenna’s while the other two is non-detachable antennas.
  • No Asus-Merlin support yet since the router is new.

#FINAL VERDICT#

Let’s summarize this review.

Firstly, the router retails at the price of RM 1,400 nationwide. For the price of the router, this router does promises awesome features.

The wireless coverage for this router is good, it covers, almost, the entire space in my house. I still able to achieve a decent amount of bandwidth if I am away from the router such as, resting on the couch, or resting in the bedroom. 

In addition, great features such as Captive Portals and Free-WiFi’s best for your business organizations. By doing so, you can provide your stakeholders to have a brief introduction about your company’s website and, this will ease your organization to gain a good reputation and a good income not only for the organizations, but for you as well.

ASUS’s AiProtection is not a new thing. In-fact, almost, all their high end router’s does have this feature. I’ve tested a router that has lesser features in terms of built-in antivirus compared to Blue-Cave and ASUS BRT-AC828 (upcoming), I would say, AiProtection scores 100 marks. Not only it provides a best protection, but, it is also always monitors the website you’re visiting (ed) and provides you the information on the type of malware that hides inside the website.

Finally, I would highly recommend this router, if, you’re looking for an excellent router, that provides a back-up in case if your main network fails, there will be another network whose, will provide you a temporary access to the internet in your home device. 

My Recommendations: 8.5 / 10


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Logitech Z313 – Cheap 2.1 Speaker for budget seekers | REVIEW

Happy Malaysia Day everyone.

Today, we are going to have a quick look at the Logitech Z313 2.1 Speaker System for budget users.

This speaker retails at the price of RM159.00 at Mines currently.

#1 PACKAGING’S

Before Un-boxing:

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After Un-boxing:

#2 SPEAKER OVERVIEW

Satellite Speaker

DSC_0698
Figure 8: The satellite speaker of Logitech Z313.

Remarks:

The satellite speaker comes with 2.5-inch driver with small porting for the airflow at the front of the speaker. It is a mystery, why there is a barrier located at the end of the porting hole. The fabric used to cover the satellite speaker were built with the highest quality material which makes these speakers to be a like a high end speaker.

Subwoofer

Remarks:

The 4-inch woofer driver seems cheap as it is very soft when a small amount of pressure were put on the diaphragm of the driver. Not the best woofer driver that I’ve seen so far, but acceptable for such price.

#3 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  1. Cheap
  2. Awesome design
  3. Decent bass and crystal audio
  4. Small design (can fit in a compact desktop).
  5. External volume and power control
  6. Presence of 3.5mm audio jack.
  7. High watt power (RMS).

Disadvantages:

  1. Doesn’t comes with a bass knob.
  2. At high volume, the bass seems to be giving distorted sound.

#FINAL VERDICT#

First of all, this speaker only meant to be for light usage and highly not recommended if you are a bass lover or a heavy gamer. But, if you’re a gamer and you are a budget user, then, you can consider this speaker as your primary audio speaker.

DSC_0695
Figure 11: The speaker in a complete view.

Secondly, this speaker is small and able to fit even in the most compact desktop. It is highly recommended, to place the woofer under your table as if you put on the table, you won’t feel much bass coming from the woofer.

Thirdly, this speaker doesn’t come with a bass knob, yes, this speaker don’t have a bass knob unlike its smaller brother, Logitech Z213, this speaker balances the bass and the treble within its amplifier, hence, it is highly advisable to tweak your on-board equalizer settings to fit the audio experience to your ears.

Finally, this despite from the cons, the speaker does have pros at it. The bass driver may look cheap, but it punches deep bass, although at some point, when the volume was raised up, the bass seems to be distorted. This speaker, worth for your bucks.


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EDIFIER E3100 – Best 2.1 Budget Speaker | REVIEW

Hello everyone.

For most music lovers, they tend to choose a good speaker, let it be 2.0 Bookshelf Speaker, or for bass lovers, 2.1 Speaker system. The common thing that differentiates for an audio quality from the speaker is, the price. In general, high end speaker tends to give out perfect audio quality both for movies, gaming and music. However, low end speakers tend to give out average audio quality for movies, gaming and music.

Today, let’s see one of the best budget 2.1 speaker from EDIFIER, the Edifier E3100. The speakers were one of the most successful speaker that still rocks for 11 years in the Malaysian market. According to the official website, there is no stock for both orange and blue version.

External Link: Youtube (Sound test)

E3100 Color: Orange

Price: RM229 (inclusive GST)

#1 PACKAGING 

Before Un-boxing

After Un-boxing

#2 SPEAKER OVERVIEW

For the price, you get what you paid for. In other word, the build quality of this speaker at its best.

Satellite Speaker

The satellite speaker does come with a 3-inch mid-range driver along with a 3/4 – inch tweeter.

DSC_0403
Figure 16: The “High Quality” audio cable.

I am amazed, for the price of the speaker, the given audio cable is a high quality cable at its class.

Sub-Woofer

The sub-woofer comes with a 5-inch woofer unit encased in a wooden enclosure for effectively preventing resonance.

Quick view on the specifications:

spec
Figure 19: The specification of the EDIFIER E3100.

 

#3 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  • Solid bass (suitable for high volume).
  • Crystal clear audio.
  • Suitable for gamers.
  • Suitable for movies.
  • Don’t need a sound-card to maximize its performance (major plus point).
  • High quality audio cable for such price.
  • The satellite speaker was wall-mountable.

Disadvantages:

  • Poor volume knob and power button quality
  • No audio jack for mp3 users.

#4 FAQ

Do you need sound-card to maximize the speaker audio quality performance?

No. Even an on-board sound-card is sufficient to maximize the audio quality. The important thing is, you should know on how to tweak the equalizer. I will further explain in the final verdict section.

#FINAL VERDICT#

Firstly, this speaker was well built. Most of the EDIFIER speakers do come with awesome design that not only serves as an audio pleasure, but as well as visual pleasure.

Secondly, when it comes to speaker, the main thing that concerned us is, the audio quality. I must say, the audio quality from this speaker is very awesome. In other word, the bass were solid and the clarity was crystal clear. Whenever I do my work, I always used to listen to A.R.Rahman songs. A.R.Rahman songs tend to make some people feel like they are in the “heaven” by listening to the melody. But, with EDIFIER E3100, you can fully experience the heaven in your room with such a nice crystal clear audio with solid bass.

Finally, if you are using an on-board soundcard, then, no worries, the speaker does perform well. If you’re using a sound-card, then it is a major plus point for you to fully experience the audio quality from the speaker.

As for my final word, you get what you paid for. EDIFIER not only concern for their audio quality, as well as their motto, “A passion for sound”, but, they make sure their motto delivered to the user that worth for their bucks.


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