Asus RT-AC87U Wi-Fi router assessment: Sure, it’s fast

The RT-AC87U is supremely fast—when it's paired with a succeeding RT-AC87U configured to the same degree a wireless viaduct. You ought to concoct reliable its skin texture and performance fits your needs ahead of plunking down your coins.

We’ve turn up to crown the new to the job queen of Wi-Fi routers: The Asus RT-AC87U is by far the fastest wireless router PCWorld has still tested.

But ahead of you run banned and bad deal single, know with the aim of our decree includes caveats. The RT-AC87U is blistering fast whilst paired with a succeeding RT-AC87U configured to the same degree a wireless viaduct, but its performance is somewhat excluding impressive in the sphere of other scenarios.

The at the outset factor you’ll notice with reference to the new to the job Asus RT-AC87U is with the aim of it has four antennas. It's the at the outset 4x4 router, consequence it ropes four spatial streams to bring a top figure pure link rate of 1734Mbps on the 5GHz frequency stripe (in 802.11ac mode). It ropes three spatial streams on the 2.4GHz frequency stripe and delivers a top figure pure link rate of 600Mbps—thanks to 256QAM, which the minority client adapters support. You can expect a additional ordinary link rate of 450Mbps with nearly everyone equipment.

To the same degree has turn into questionable industry practice, Asus sums these records and generously rounds up to illustrate the RT-AC87U to the same degree an AC2400 router. Ignore such labels: They’re meaningless.

The Asus RT-87U boasts two firsts: It's the at the outset 4x4 router, and the at the outset router to support Multi-user MIMO.

But projection count doesn’t necessarily correlate to rate. The Linksys WRT1900AC has four antennas, but just three are used on behalf of streaming by the side of in the least single instant. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 has six antennas, but that’s for the reason that it can drive two autonomous 5GHz networks all together. The Nighthawk X6 and the WRT1900AC—as well to the same degree the D-Link DIR-880L, the creative Netgear Nighthawk, and the elder Asus RT-AC68U—all support three spatial streams and bring top figure link duty of 1300Mbps on the 5GHz stripe. To the same degree you’ll envision in the sphere of the performance section of this assessment, both of folks routers is earlier than the RT-AC87U in the sphere of a little scenarios and slower in the sphere of others.

IEEE wireless networking values often contain a mix of mandatory and elective elements. With 802.11n, on behalf of demand, support on behalf of MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) is obligatory, but beamforming support is elective. Policy based on the 802.11ac standard ought to support beamforming and provide channels with up to 80MHz of bandwidth; support on behalf of additional than single spatial run, channels with the aim of bring 160MHz of bandwidth, and MU-MIMO (Multi-user MIMO) are all elective skin texture.
Asus A32-X401      
Asus A31-X401     
Asus A42-X401      
Asus A32-K93       

Asus A42-K93        
Many users yearn for in no way function all of the RT-AC87U’s bells and whistles.
MU-MIMO allows the router to transmit to multiple clients by the side of the same instant. With the SU-MIMO (Single-user MIMO) machinery with the aim of Asus’s competitors rely on, the router can transmit to just single client by the side of a instant. These routers support additional than single client by the side of previously, but they ought to function instant division to accomplish it: Folks routers dedicate a slice of instant to both client and transmit to them in the sphere of round-robin form.

To the same degree is so often the container with next-gen skin texture (see 256QAM, above), MU-MIMO is useless if not the client additionally ropes it. I don’t know of in the least Wi-Fi adapters with the aim of accomplish. Asus’s approaching EA-AC87 wireless media viaduct yearn for, but until with the aim of artifact ships, you’ll need to bad deal a succeeding RT-AC87U and configure it to the same degree a wireless media viaduct.

Due to the RT-AC87U’s support on behalf of four spatial streams and its MU-MIMO capabilities, a little are describing it to the same degree the at the outset “wave 2” router. “Wave 2.5” is additional like it, for the reason that the Quantenna QSR1000 chipset Asus uses remains physically narrow to delivering 80MHz of bandwidth on the 5GHz stripe. The RT-AC87U is outfitted with a succeeding CPU—Broadcom’s BMC4709—to touch its USB ports and drive its 2.4GHz make contacts. The RT-AC87U is equipped with 128MB of flicker remembrance and 256MB of DDR3 RAM.

Bring forward hard
At present with the aim of you understand the RT-AC87U’s place in the sphere of the marketplace, let’s die in excess of the put your feet up of its bring forward hard. The router is enclosed in the sphere of a black plastic container with the aim of slopes from front to back. It can survive operated on a dreary break the surface or else mounted to a side. Ventilation slits are located on the sides and the right- and left-hand sides of its substructure. The rear panel houses a gigabit ineffectual docks, a four-port gigabit switch, a USB 2.0 docks, a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button, a reset button, and a power switch. The router’s four not fixed antennas are additionally mounted at this point.

Apart from the four antennas, the back of the Asus RT-AC87U looks definitely like in the least other high-end router.

LEDs indicating the status of power, the 2.4- and 5GHz radios, the ethernet ports, Internet connection, and WPS are located on the front panel. They’re fractious to envision if you’re looking by the side of the router from beyond. Power buttons the LEDs and the Wi-Fi radios are on the gone wall of the front panel. Removing a panel on the righthand wall reveals a USB 3.0 docks.

This isn’t a physically opportune location, but Asus’s engineers were probably seeking wearisome to prevent interference concerning USB 3.0 and the router’s 2.4GHz data lines. (USB 3.0 ports generate blare in the sphere of the 2.4GHz range with the aim of can suppress a router’s performance in the sphere of with the aim of spectrum. If you really absence to dig into this phenomenon, Intel has an in-depth ashen paper on the branch of learning.)

The USB ports can survive used to share both a laser copier and a network-attached luggage compartment device by the side of the same instant, or else you can plug a 3G/4G dongle into single to share a cell broadband connection. The router comes with both iTunes and UPnP servers on behalf of media streaming, and FTP and SAMBA servers on behalf of store sharing via the Internet or else in excess of your neighborhood make contacts.

While not aesthetically appealing, locating the USB 3.0 in the sphere of the front of the device prevents it from interfering with the RT-AC87U's 2.4GHz data lines.

Asus’s Smart Sync bring forward lets you synchronize an attached USB tough drive with Asus’s Webstorage cloud-storage service. This bring forward would survive much additional functional if it additionally supported other cloud-storage services, such to the same degree Google Drive, Dropbox, or else Microsoft's OneDrive).

Asus says its adaptive quality of service (QoS) bring forward can recognize the type of client with the aim of connects to the router and prioritize make contacts traffic accordingly. A gaming console or else a VoIP device, on behalf of demand, yearn for mechanically survive assigned advanced priority than a PC’s Torrent session, on behalf of demand. The RT-AC87U’s AiProtection bring forward —developed by AV vendor Trend Micro—promises to prevent make contacts clients from being infected by malicious servers, and offers a little necessary parental controls.

Rebuff other router provides to the same degree many tools on behalf of using an attached USB luggage compartment device.

Measured by breadth of skin texture, rebuff other router manufacturer comes close to what did you say? Asus offers. Whether you’ll benefit from all folks skin texture is an alternative question. Many users yearn for in no way function all of the RT-AC87U’s bells and whistles. With the aim of thought, let’s look by the side of this router’s performance.