ASUS ROG RAPTURE GT – AC5300 | Ultimate Gaming Router Currently Available in the Market | REVIEW

Today, I about to present the outcome of the review on the powerful router that, I’ve ever tested so far.

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Figure 1: The router from the top view. Love the ROG badge there.

OVERVIEW

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.

PACKAGING’S

The box is huge for a router. This is acceptable, though, as, it is the ultimate gaming router for gamers out there.

Before Unboxing

 

 

After Unboxing

The router comes with the standard items.

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Figure 6: The item that comes with the router.

Kindly note that, this is a demo unit. Actual unit may vary from this.

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Figure 7: The rear of the router.

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.

Gaming Port:

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.

Link Aggregation:

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.

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Figure 8: The right-hand side of the router.

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

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Figure 9: ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router Specifications.

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.

 

Once your setup is completed, you will be automatically directed to the login screen.

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Figure 18: The login page (Love the ROG fierce login page).

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.

INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

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.

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Figure 19: The dashboard view of the router.
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Figure 20: The Network Map of the router.
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Figure 21: The AiCloud.
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Figure 22: The Alexa and IFTTT feature.

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.

 

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.

GAME PROFILE

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.

 

You can select the given the game profile, or, you can customize profile by entering the required fields.

GAME BOOST

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.

 

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.

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Figure 31: The GPN of the router.

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

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.

game radar
Figure 32: The Game Radar.

IPTV

By default, the LAN 1 or LAN 2 port was reserved for IPTV. You can change the IPTV port to LAN port 5 / 6.

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Figure 33: The IPTV settings.

NETWORK MAP

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.

Capture
Figure 34: The Network Map of the router.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

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.

Wireless Settings

2.4 GHz Wireless Band Settings:

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Figure 35: The 2.4GHz wireless settings.

Remarks:

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:

 

Remarks:

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.

Wireless Analysis

download
Figure 38: The wireless speed of download test.

Analysis of Download

2.4 GHz

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.

5 GHz

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.

5 GHz_2

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.

uploads
Figure 39: The wireless speed of upload test.

Analysis of Upload

2.4 GHz

The upload speed seems to be stable and I able to achieve over 80% of subscribed upload bandwidth.

5 GHz

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.

5 GHz_2

The upload speed seems to be slightly  unstable compared to the customized settings done for 5 GHz wireless bands.

Iperf3 Test

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Figure 40: The iperf3 test.

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.

 

USB SHARING

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.

single
Figure 43: The single stick writing process.

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.

double
Figure 44: The dual stick writing process.

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.

AiMESH

aimesh
Figure 45: The AiMesh feature of the router.

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

Advantages

  1. Straight-forward setup.
  2. High capacity of RAM, suitable for ultimate gaming performances.
  3. Game profile given according to the pre-configured game (You also can add the game of your own.
  4. Game IPS (commonly known as AiProtection).
  5. Game Radar.
  6. Wi-Fi Radar.
  7. Alexa & IFTTT.
  8. Striking User Interface.
  9. AiMesh

Disadvantages

  1. No Captive Portal (Should be an advantage for business organizations).
  2. Overkill router in reality for normal home users whose, their main activity is browsing, streaming and file sharing.
  3. Expensive.

FINAL VERDICT

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.

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Figure 46: The antenna of the ROG Rapture.

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.

My Recommendations: 10 / 10


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Good News UniFi (TM) users! Existing subscriber gets 10X Free Speed Upgrade from Existing Plans

So, Thursday begins with a good news by our main ISP provider in our country, Telekom Malaysia in the name of UniFi. It is happily announced that, the existing customer will get free speed upgrade up to 10 times (10x) from their existing plans at zero cost.

The existing plans will be upgraded to a new speed upgrades as below:

  • 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps
  • 30 Mbps to 300 Mbps
  • 50 Mbps to 500 Mbps
  • 100 Mbps to 800 Mbps

All the given plans above are unlimited currently. Users able to enjoy their speed upgrade by August 15, 2018 (done in phases just like the Thank You Surprise event by TM).

Unifi1Gbps-t-roll
Figure 1: Beta testers tested the UniFi Turbo 800 Mbps plan. (The image doesn’t belong to me).

Added by Telekom Malaysia, newly registered users before 31 December 2018 only able to enjoy the speed upgrade done in phases in the year of 2019.

As for the SRP of the current price of UniFi packages, new user might/might not get the promotional price of the packages offered by TM. In addition, for B40 segment (household income < RM 4500/month), they able to enjoy UniFi Basic plan with 30 Mbps download and 10 Mbps of uploads, with 60GB monthly quota (huge disadvantage if you’re a student) at the subscription price of RM 79/month. As for current streamyx users, they also able to enjoy speed upgrades soon (to be announced by TM).

Remarks:

For UniFi Pro users, they might feel uncomfortable as their existing plans will be upgraded at the rate of 8 times to 800 Mbps and not 1 Gbps. Let us wait and see from TM for their future upgrade plans.


Respected readers, here is a friendly reminder from me. In order to fully enjoy the upgraded speed, your router should be capable to handle more than 100 Mbps connection. If you’re using the old generation 802.11n router (w/out gigabit port), then, it is time to upgrade your existing router to a new router.

unifi-router
Figure 2: The old generation router that comes with 802.11n generation along with Fast Ethernet Port.

By default, TM will provide a new router for the users whose in the package of UniFi Lite and Advance. For UniFi Pro users, perhaps, it is time to upgrade to better router that is capable of handling more than 500 Mbps connection.

ASUS Lyra Trio Mesh Wi-Fi System – Expand your network in equal subscribed bandwidth | REVIEW

OVERVIEW

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.

PACKAGING’S

Before un-boxing

 

The packaging of the Mesh Wi-Fi router were of the best material quality. The box feels classy at its price.

After un-boxing

 

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

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Figure 8: The front view of the router.

The front look of the router is awesome. It looks like a mini UFO spaceship landed on my table.

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Figure 9: The rear view of the router.

All the Mesh Wi-Fi system comes with a single gigabit WAN and a gigabit LAN port.

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Figure 10: The rear view of the router (closer look).

SPECIFICATIONS

spec
Figure 11: The specification of ASUS Lyra Trio.

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.

Firmware Version: 3.0.0.4.382.20096

It is easy to set up for most novice users.

 

How to connect the Mesh Nodes?.

Step 1: Turn on the secondary node and wait for 3 minutes.

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Figure 24: The “RED” led indicates that, the secondary node haven’t connected yet.

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.

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Figure 25: The blinking dark “BLUE” led will blink for 2 minutes before successfully connected.

Step 3: Repeat the process for the third node. Always remember, the mesh pairing feature only works for main node.

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Figure 26: The light “BLUE” stays solid indicating the secondary mesh node successfully connected.

Now you can fully access to each nearest node according to your location with fully subscribed bandwidth.

INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

Desktop Version:

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.

 

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.

AppStore:

Go to AppStore and search for “ASUS Lyra” app. Install it.

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Figure 34: The Asus Lyra Trio apps.

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.

 

How do this Mesh actually router works? As an example:

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Figure 46: The connected devices in each node(s).

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.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

Upstairs Floor Plan:

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Figure 47: Floor plan of upstairs.

Downstairs Floor Plan:

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Figure 48: Floor Plan of Downstairs.

Wireless Settings

There is no wireless setting in Mesh Wi-Fi router. Your device will be automatically assigned to the best bands available for your device.

Wireless Analysis

download
Figure 49: The download speedtest result.

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.

upload
Figure 50: The upload speedtest result.

Analysis of Uploads:

Similar to download speed, I able to achieve over 95% of subscribed bandwidth.

Remarks:

The wireless result was above 95% subscribed bandwidth as, the device connected to the nearest node w/out even lose any single connection.

Iperf3 Testing

iperf 3 test lyra
Figure 51: The iperf3 test result.

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

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  1. Great wireless coverage.
  2. Suitable for large house.
  3. Ceiling mountable.
  4. Can be made as a deco.
  5. AiProtection
  6. Large amount of RAM
  7. Excellent design.
  8. This Mesh router comes with its own smartphone applications.
  9. Easy to understand setting up process.
  10. Can be used as an access point (AP) of your main router for better performance.
  11. Suitable for business organizations.

Disadvantages:

  1. Not suitable for gamers.
  2. Not suitable for heavy usage.
  3. No CPU and Memory usage graph.
  4. No wireless set-up interface (You can’t change the channel as it chose the band automatically).

FINAL VERDICT

Here is my summarized review on the Lyra Trio.

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Figure 52: The main mesh node (router mode).

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.

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Figure 53: The mesh node were placed at the dining area (downstairs).

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.

aiprotection
Figure 54: An example of the AiProtection feature on the Lyra Trio.

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.

My Recommendations: 10/10


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ASUS AiMesh – Mesh Wi-Fi Router alternative | Review

OVERVIEW

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.

Supported AiMesh Models (Malaysia):

RT-AC68U, RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U, RT-AC5300 and ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

ROUTER’S USED

I used two router’s I tested previously. Their models are respective as below:

RT-AC68U and RT-AC86U

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Figure 1: AC68U (Right) and AC86U (Left) – Front View.

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.

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Figure 2: AC68U (Right) and AC86U (Left) – Rear View.

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

Disclaimer:

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.

mesh 5
Figure 3: WPS feature.

Remarks:

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).

mesh1
Figure 4: The AiMesh identified by main router.

Step 4: The system will add the node in your router. This will take around 2 to 3 minutes.

mesh 2
Figure 5: The system is adding a new Mesh node.

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.

mesh 3
Figure 6: The success message displayed.

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.

mesh 4
Figure 7: The AiMesh node in the displayed in the AC68U system.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

Similar to Mesh Wi-Fi routers out there, AiMesh features an advance version of it.

Wireless Settings

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.

download
Figure 8: The download analysis.

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.

upload
Figure 9: The upload analysis.

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.

Iperf3 Testing

iperf 3 test
Figure 10: The iperf3 test.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Part 1: Compare with the other products.

Comparison aimesh meshwifi
Figure 11: The comparison between AiMesh Router(s), O-Mesh Wi-Fi and Commercial Routers.

Part 2: Within the AiMesh feature.

Advantages:

  1. Easy to setup within the main router.
  2. Less time taken to complete the setting up process.
  3. Wireless settings can be changed in the main router.
  4. Achievable subscribed bandwidth.
  5. Nodes can be added up to 5 inclusive the router itself.
  6. Excellent wireless coverage.
  7. Stable wireless experience and wired (when get connected to the secondary mesh node).
  8. Stable firmware and offered feature are awesome.

Disadvantages:

  1. The wireless settings only can be done at the main router.
  2. WPS feature has to be turned on (security).
  3. Only high end ASUS router has this feature currently.

FINAL VERDICT

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.

 

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.

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Figure 15: The AC86U placed at the downstairs.

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.

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Figure 16: The removal process of the AiMesh nodes from the main router.

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.

dfsgfgfdg
Figure 17: The AiMesh node successfully removed.

Friendly Reminder:

Immediately turn off the WPS feature in your main router once you removed the AiMesh from your main router.


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ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 Wireless Router | Review

Before proceeding to the review:

“I would like to wish all the Muslims, a Happy Eid Mubarak.” – Arun, Founder of TechCyn.

Selamat-Hari-Raya-Aidilfitri-2017


OVERVIEW

Previously, I’ve reviewed the AC86U wireless router, which is, the big brother of our today’s hero, AC68U. In general, AC68 have a standard ASUS router’s design, while, AC86U appears to have more cyber-sporty look design. AC68U is the entry level of the high end router’s of ASUS. As for the test, I will be using the standard Asuswrt firmware. For most home users, the stock firmware is sufficient.

PACKAGING’S

Disclaimer: This is the original version of AC68U and please do not confuse with the TM-AC1900 version.

Before un-boxing:

After un-boxing:

Final view of the router:

IMG_0036
Figure 7: The front view of the router w/out antenna.

The router, comes with three detachable antenna’s.

IMG_0046
Figure 8: The front view of the router w/ antenna.

The router comes with the standard ASUS’s diamond shape cover along with the LED indicator of each physical feature. The LED’s can be turned off by clicking the button at the rear of the router.

IMG_0042
Figure 9: The rear view of the router.

As for the rear side of the router, this router comes with a single gigabit WAN port, four gigabit LAN port, an on/off LED button, a single USB 3.0 & 2.0 ports, an AC in port, an on/off button and a reset pin located at the above of the on/off button on the router.

SPECIFICATIONS

spec
Figure 10: The specifications of the ASUS AC68U.

SETTING UP FOR FIRST USE

The setting up process is pretty straight forward, just like most ASUS routers.

INTERFACE WALK-THROUGH

As for this router, it sames the similar traits of its family.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

The test was conducted under stock Asuswrt firmware.

Wireless settings

My standard wireless settings are as follows:

Wireless Analysis

download
Figure 17: The download speedtest result.

Analysis of Downloads:

At the upstairs, I always get over 90% of subscribed bandwidth. Well, most of the time, I able to achieve full speed on 5GHz wireless channel and through the LAN cable. As the distance increased, the wireless speed for 5GHz band tends to lesser compared to the 2.4GHz wireless band.

upload
Figure 18: The upload speedtest result.

Analysis of Uploads:

The upload speed seems to be fluctuates compared to its big brother even the distance was increased.

Iperf3 Testing

ac68u iperf3
Figure 19: The Iperf3 analysis result.

I able to achieve over 95 Mbit/s on my laptop, which, surprisingly, performs slightly better than its bigger bro. Nice.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages:

  1. Stylish look.
  2. Router stays cool.
  3. Stable stock firmware.
  4. Presence of two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
  5. Supports Asus-Merlin firmware.
  6. AiProtection.
  7. A physical button to turn off the wireless functionality.
  8. A physical button to turn off the LED’s.
  9. Excellent wireless coverage.
  10. Able to handle up to 10 devices at a time, if not, more.
  11. Stock firmware supports AiMesh (Can be paired with the routers that supports AiMesh from ASUS).

Disadvantages:

  1. Doesn’t comes with Captive Portal.

FINAL VERDICT

As a small brother of AC86U, the router cope up with the user’s need. As far as running on the stock firmware, the firmware seems to be stable, and the wireless coverage is excellent. Besides that, the router comes with halve RAM of AC86U, but, excel on handling multiple connected devices at a time. As an example, I’ve put a test on streaming to 4K videos at a time both on my PC (LAN cable) and my laptop (5GHz wireless band), the router seems to give equal amount of bandwidth to stream towards the same videos.

IMG_0112
Figure 20: The wireless router.

Finally, I am using this router currently, and, as for my needs, this router perfectly suits me well. It doesn’t just secure my house with its powerful AiProtection, it keeps me cool by working well for my needs. One thing I liked about this router is, this model still receives firmware upgrades, which is cool.

My Recommendations: 8.9 / 10


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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:

8
Figure 42: The system requirements.

Finally, the download link.

7
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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