ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review – Dual Band Wi-Fi 5 Router with NVIDIA’s GeForce Certified!

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900

$199.99 (RM 929)
9.6

Built Quality

9.5/10

Hardware Specification

9.0/10

Features

9.5/10

User Experience

10.0/10

Value

10.0/10

Advantages

  • Gaming router
  • Powerful features
  • VPN fusion
  • AiMesh & AiProtection Pro
  • IPv6 Support
  • Excellent USB 3.0 transfer speed
  • Great wireless coverage
  • 160MHz channel-width support
  • Customizable RGB lightnings

Disadvantages

  • Expensive

The ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 is a dual band Wi-Fi 5 gaming wireless router. This router was designed specifically for hardcore gamers for a smoother gameplay session. The GT-AC2900 utilizes MU-MIMO technology and powered by a dual-core 1.8GHz Broadcom processor. This processor also powers its counterpart, the RT-AC86U. Both of this router is a gaming router, however, the GT-AC2900 differs than the ordinary RT-AC86U with additional game-changing feature.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Gaming Router Introduction

Highlighted features:

  • Triple-level Game Accelerator
  • GeForce Now Recommended Router
  • AiMesh Compatible
  • Powerful AiProtection Pro Home Network Security Solution
  • RGB Lightning

With the Wi-Fi 6 routers already making its way to the market, is this GT-AC2900 is still worth to be considered as the next home network gear upgrade?

Specifications

The specification of the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 are as follows:

Product SegmentROG Rapture GT-AC2900
Targeted UsersConsumer (Gamers)
Wi-Fi TechnologyWi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
ProcessorsBroadcom BCM4906 (1.8GHz, Dual-Core)
MemoryFLA1: 256MiB

RAM1: 512MiB
Data Rate802.11a: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11b: 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11n: up to 450 Mbps
802.11ac: up to 1733 Mbps
1024QAM (2.4GHz): up to 750 Mbps
1024QAM (5GHz): up to 2167 Mbps
MIMO Technology2.4GHz: 3×3:3
5GHz: 4×4:4
Feature
VPN Support
Link Aggregation
Airtime Fairness
Smart Connect
AiMesh
AiProtection Pro
Traffic Analyzer
Adaptive QoS
IPv6
Operation ModeWireless Router (Default Mode)
AiMesh Router (Master /Slave)
Access Point
Media Bridge Mode

The ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 sharing the same hardware specifications with its counterpart, with an exception, providing more gaming-based feature for a smoother gaming experience. The most common difference in between those two models is, the GT-AC2900 supports 160MHz channel width and 1024QAM for gigabit Wi-Fi, RangeBoost for greater wireless coverage up to 120% and VPN fusion which will be further elaborated below.

Walkthrough

The packaging includes one unit of ROG Rapture GT-AC2900, a dual-purpose router stand, a power adapter, an RJ45 cable, a screwdriver and a quick start guide.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 design overview

The ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 has a unique design compared to its counterpart, with more striking LEDs strips and a fierce looking ROG logo. Personally, I liked this design over RT-AC86U. The stand offers dual-purpose function, in other word, the stand can be made as a router stand or can be made as a wall-mountable socket. In addition, the spacing in between the rear panel of the router and the wall is quite decent, thanks to its bulky stand design.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ROG Rapture GT-Ac2900 rear view of I/O panels

At the rear of the router, it offers a similar I/O panel similar to RT-AC68U and RT-AC86U. Describing further, a DC in port, a power button, a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, 1 Gigabit WAN port and 4 Gigabit ports. Another good thing about this router is, it offers a decent ventilation holes that allow a better airflow can take place for the purpose of the router’s longevity.

ASUSWRT Feature Walkthrough

The process of setting up the router is quite straightforward. With a proper PPPoE credential issued by your ISP to you, the router is good to go. Unlike its counterpart, the GT-AC2900 is not supported by ASUS-Merlin. However, the feature of offerings is certainly better in many aspects, especially for an expensive gaming router like the GT-AC2900.

Read More: How to setup ASUS Router for first use

There is a reason why ASUS makes the source code of their GT-revisions secret. By default, the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 is not supported by ASUS-Merlin firmware.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ASUSWRT Dashboard overview

The graphical user interface of this router is similar to other GT-lineup routers from ASUS. I personally liked the user interface that appears to be fierce and cool looking at the same time. From my experience of using several routers before this, the GT-AC2900 certainly wins by heart as the navigation panel were mapped on the left side. Additionally, the dashboard provides a real-time network statistic of your home network. As an example, for hardcore gamers, Game Radar feature reports the current ping status of the servers for that particular game. This certainly a good feature for the gamers to pick the right server before proceeding to game on their gaming device.

Next, the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 supports AiMesh feature by default. In other word, you can further expand your home wireless network even further by adding another compatible AiMesh router to the network.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - AiProtection Pro

Being a gaming router, it should be strong enough to defend your home network from outsiders. The AiProtection Pro feature embedded in this router is free and the engine is powered by Trend Micro in real-time. AiProtection offers four sub-features with three of them are non-customizable apart from turning them on or off. These are, Router Security Assessment, Malicious Sites Blocking, Two-Way IPS and Infected Device Prevention and Blocking. Also included, Parental Control features were included as standard. If you’re worried about data sharing to Trend Micro, you can turn off this feature off and the stock firewall embedded in this router, arguably one of the best in its class.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - IPv6 Testing

IPv6 protocol is a requirement these days. With IPv4 addresses running out, most ISP’s are starting to offer IPv6 now. I’ve used both IPv4 and IPv6 DNS address from Cloudflare. Based on the test conducted, the GT-AC2900 supports IPv6 and it is certainly the best in its class. If you’re a privacy driven individual, then Cloudflare offers three-DNS addresses for both IPv4 and IPv6.

Read More: ASUS RT-AX56U Review

ASUS introduces a feature called VPN fusion. It is a policy-based routing and similar to selective-routing that can be found in the routers (RT-XNNX) supported by ASUS-Merlin. Basically, VPN fusion allows you to setup multiple VPN profiles to allow a specific device to be routed through the VPN profiles. Also, you can enable multiple VPN profiles at one time. An advantages of this feature is, the settings takes effect immediately and it is recommended to reboot the router once the configuration has been made.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - VPN fusion using Surfshark

Despite of the negative feedback received, I have personally tried the feature with two .ovpn profiles from my preferred VPN provider, Surfshark. A total of three devices has been used for this test. According to the analysis, the router did pass test. I also found that, the two devices routed through the secure VPN server aren’t leaking any IP or DNS address. The ROG Rapture GT-2900 can be considered as the digital version of the Velociraptor, if it is configured well, it works well.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - Benchmark PC specification

The benchmark device used is a desktop PC, powered by an 8th Generation of Intel i5 processor with 8GB of RAM. My current internet subscription is 800Mbps down and 200Mbps up provided by unifi. A high quality Cat 7 RJ45 cable has been used.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - Speedtest Result

I’ve used a standard speedtest site. Based on the conducted test, I able to achieve solid speed over 800 Mbps down and 200 Mbps up. Downloading files from a test-hosting site gives a solid reading of 50MBit/s ~ 60MBit/s.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - LAN-to-LAN test

I also conduct iperf3 LAN-to-LAN test with two dedicated wired devices. Based on the test, I able to achieve 900Mbit/s without no problem.

Next, the wireless benchmark device used is a ROG G752VT laptop powered by a 7th Generation of Intel i7 processor with 16GB of RAM. Basically, in layman term, the further the client device from the wireless router, the weaker the signal would be. Right? Well, I’ve placed the router in a server rack and the benchmark was done in a room with the doors being shut. The wireless settings were optimized to fit the best analysis output result. Additionally, the wireless benchmark device utilizing a standard Intel 2×2 wireless card. The reason of this device is chosen to allow a better exposure to the people of the speed achievable over wireless for a standard device with a standard 2×2 wireless card.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Wireless Testing

Based on the test, I able to get a tremendous amount of speed despite using a standard wireless card. Results from iperf3 also showing a good result making this router, one of the best wireless routers out there.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - Game Acceleration of ROG Rapture GT-AC2900

Game acceleration is another feature embedded in the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900. This feature allows you to set or prioritize a particular device that you gamed on. Another interesting feature is called ROG first. The router detects if you’re using any ROG devices in order to successfully synchronize allow a better and latency-free game play. This feature often combined with the Open NAT feature. The Open NAT feature allows you to pick a specific game to bypass the firewall inspection to provide lag-free gaming experience. There are a few pre-coded game profile already offered as standard. Do note that, port-forwarding not really recommended by the cybersecurity experts due to the home network is being exposed to the outside world.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - Parental Control

For parents, parental control support is included. However, you can further customize the feature by setting up the access time, filtering sites that a client device should access and even allow only a specific device to access to the web-interface to alter the settings.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - Bandwidth Monitoring

Bandwidth monitoring is a feature that allows you to monitor which application that uses the bandwidth the most or the total bandwidth spent over a particular site. This feature is useful when you are conducting a basic maintenance on your home network, especially when you want to block an access to a certain site.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Review - ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 RGB effect controller

I am certainly sure the trend of having RGB-based setup will give a better experience especially during an intense gaming session. The GT-AC2900 offers customizable RGB effects that can be done via its web-interface. It also supports HEX-color code support, so you can put your own preferred color scheme needed to cope up with your setup. For non-RGB lovers or for the individuals whom owning a ‘traditional‘ server rack, the RGB effect can be turned off as well. Tech-enthusiasts who own a glass-door server rack, then this will be a great addition to your network setup.

Conclusion

The ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 certainly a good gaming wireless router. It offers almost everything a gamers needs, especially features such as Game Radar, port-forwarding and Open NAT for a better gameplay experience. In terms of security, the GT-AC2900 certainly one of its best consumer-based wireless router with a decent firewall protection and also an active real-time network protection. Powered by a dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz, the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 cable to handle an extensive gaming environment such as LAN party or any small e-sports tournament. Since the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) routers already been in the market for quite some time, the GT-AC2900 still one of the recommended routers by me especially for its superior features that not even a gaming router that costs below than RM1000, offers. Overall, I can recommend this router for the users who are seeking a good router since this router can be utilized fully by non-gamers as well.



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