Asus is known for its outstanding gaming hardware and if you are an avid computer user, then you should know them pretty well. Furthermore, they are also in the business of creating top-notch routers. Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band Router is the newest addition to their line of routers and undoubtedly the best router Asus has to offer.
RT-AC88U is a dual band 802.11ac router with blazing speed. It’s a perfect router for passionate gamers because RT-AC88U has the capacity to boost Wi-Fi router speed up to 3167 Mbps for low-latency online gaming. Furthermore, Asus RT-AC88U router is packed with exciting features which is discussed in the Asus RT-AC88U router review below.
Asus RT-AC88U Router – Design
When it comes to design, Asus never disappoints its loyal customers. Asus users will find the design of new RT-AC88U almost similar to that of RT-AC87U. Asus RT-AC87U has a stylish and sleek design with four detachable antennas. The RT-AC88U comes in matte black color, chamfered top and angular sides. The design is complimented further by red highlights alongside the antennas.
The RT-AC88U measures 30 x 6.5 x 18.8 inches (LWH) and weighs 2.6 pounds. It is an AC3100 router and has a whopping eight Gigabit LAN ports, which makes it the first home router to be equipped with so many LAN ports. It also has a WAN port, one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. The LAN, WAN and USB 2.0 ports are located at the back of the router whereas the USB 3.0 port is located in the front. Power, reset and WPS buttons are also located at the back.
Asus RT-AC88U Router – Features
As said earlier, Asus RT-AC88U wireless router is packed with a number of features. It has all the features found on Asus RT-AC3200 and Asus RT-AC87U in addition to new features of its own. Prominent features worth highlighting are:
- NitroQAM Technology
- Adaptive QoS (quality of service)
- Powerful Processor & Faster Transfers
- Multiple Capacity Wi-Fi
- Adaptable USB ports
- Link Aggregation
- ASUSWRT Interface
- Managing router through smartphone
The Asus RT- AC88U dual band router performs on both 2.4 gigahertz and the 5 gigahertz frequency and delivers up to 3167 Mbps Wi-Fi speed (combined) with its NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology. 5 gigahertz frequency delivers 2167 Mbps Wi-Fi speed whereas 2.4 gigaheartz delivers 1000 Mbps Wi-Fi speed. It is a dual band router, so it can act as a NAS as well. The blazing speed helps in smooth streaming and also provides great online gaming experience with its own gaming boost & GPN (Gamers Private Network) from WTFast.
Adaptive QoS also known as Adaptive quality of service allows prioritizing the bandwidth according to activities such as media streaming, gaming, internet browsing, file transfers, messaging etc. All you need to do is arrange the activities according to your priority; the router will handle the rest. There is another option Traditional QoS, where you have to set the rules manually. Additionally, there is an app named “apps analysis” which allows real-time monitoring of internet activity and connected devices. It is a very helpful app to prevent abuse of internet connection.
ASUS AiProtection is a network protective feature and is powered by Trend Micro. It checks for network vulnerability and ensures that the network is safe and secure from any virus and malware threat. On a side note, turning this feature on will make certain settings and features off such as remote access, port-forwarding, UPnP etc. which are prone to network vulnerability.
Asus RT-AC88U wireless router is powered by 1.4 GHz dual-core processor which accelerates its computing capabilities and also provides faster data transfer speed. Furthermore, you can get up to 100 MB/s speed USB data transfer speed and up to 1800 Mbps router speed (WAN-LAN).
The RT-AC88U has the capability to connect to MU-MIMO compatible clients ensuring each device is performing at its maximum speed simultaneously.
USB ports on Asus RT-AC88U router has multiple functions. External hard drives, printers or dongle modems can be hosted and shared conveniently through Wi-Fi. In addition, the USB 3.0 will provide 10X faster data transfer speed.
The link aggregation feature of Asus RT-AC88U allows joining of two LAN ports into one super-fast wired connection for up to 2 Gbps with the help of two Ethernet LAN cables. When link aggregation is enabled on NAS, clients will get very good transfer speed.
The ASUS RT-AC88U also has a built-in PPTP VPN server. So it can host up to 10 remote clients at a time. On top of that, RT-AC88U also has the ability to use its LAN port as secondary WAN port. Such features are not available in most of the routers.
Asus has given great deal of significance to its web based interface and therefore has included its enhanced and intuitive ASUSWRT user interface in RT-AC88U which is very easy to use. It also has a very easy to install set up wizard.
Finally, to make life easy and to help users control and manage their network through smartphones, Asus has built “Asus Router App”. You can setup your router, manage it, diagnose connection and can also update ASUS RT-AC88U firmware all through this smartphone router app.
Overall, Asus RT-AC88U has more to offer than any other wireless router in its category and, so far, the best in Asus product-line.
Asus RT-AC88U Router – Performance & Installation
Installation of Asus RT-AC88U is a child’s play and anybody can do it as it is so easy. All credit goes to ASUSWRT intuitive interface. When you connect the router to internet via PC and power it on, the Asus Web-console launches automatically. It gives you two choices, either to use the wizard or configure it manually. The wizard will automatically check your current internet connection and will set up your router according to your connection type. After that, the wizard prompts to name SSID (name both the bands) and then you have to create network encryption key (one for each band). That’s it, click the finish button and you are all set.
Performance wise, Asus RT-AC88U router provides the fastest speed on both frequencies; especially 5 GHz speed is a beast in itself. In addition, file data transfer speed is excellent. Asus RT-AC88U router’s MU-MIMO performance is excellent too and performs at a close proximity with other routers having same features. RT-AC88U NAS is, however, low performer. It’s not that bad but little low as compared to other routers. It can still provide enough bandwidth for live streaming or file sharing.
Asus RT-AC88U Comparison with Other Routers
Asus RT-AC88U VS NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 VS TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750
|Asus RT-AC88U||NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000||TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750|
|Dimension(LxWxH in Inches)||30 x 6.5 x 18.8 inches||13.7 x 10.08 x 3.11 inches||6.4 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches|
|Weight||2.6 pounds||3.5 pounds||1.9 pounds|
|Antenna||4 detachable antennas||3 detachable antennas||3 detachable antennas|
|Ethernet Ports||1 x Gigabits BaseT WAN Port 8 x Gigabits BaseT LAN Ports||1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps WAN Port 4 x 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN Ports||1 x 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port 4 x 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports|
|USB Ports||USB 2.0 x 1 USB 3.0 x 1||USB 2.0 x 1 USB 3.0 x 1||USB 2.0 x 2 No USB 3.0 Port|
|Band Type||Dual Band||Dual Band||Dual Band|
|Wireless Comm Standard||801 11 AC||802 11 AC||802 11 AC|
|Operating Frequency||2.4 GHz / 5 GHz||2.4 GHz / 5 GHz||2.4 GHz / 5 GHz|
|Signal Rate||5GHz: Up to 2167 Mbps 2.4GHz: Up to 1000 Mbps||5GHz: Up to 1300 Mbps 2.4GHz: Up to 600 Mbps||5GHz: Up to 1300 Mbps 2.4GHz: Up to 450 Mbps|
|MU-MIMO Technology||2.4 GHz 4 x 4 5 GHz 4 x 4||No MU-MIMO technology||No MU-MIMO technology|
|Processor||1.4 GHz dual-core processor||1 GHz dual-core processor||Single Core Processor|
|Memory||128 MB Flash 512 MB RAM||128 MB Flash 256 MB RAM||16 MB Flash DDR3 SDRAM|
|OS Support||Windows 10 86x64, Windows 8 86x64, Windows 7 86x64, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.7, Mac OS X 10.8||Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS, UNIX or Linux||Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1/10, MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux|
|Price (At the time of review)||$ 287.89||$ 173.99||$ 94.32|
Asus RT-AC88U Router – Pros & Cons
Asus RT-AC88U dual band router has everything you would look out in any wireless router. It is packed with many useful features, provides speedy throughout performance and supports multi-client MU-MIMO data transfer simultaneously. Overall, it’s a great router for any home network, streams 4k UHD video smoothly at low latency internet connection along with file-sharing. It is perfectly suited for gamers because of its game accelerator from WTFast for smooth gaming experience, which makes it worthy of its price. It’s the best router in Asus product line so far and the best router you can get with as many features as it has to offer. In conclusion, it is a beast.