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Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band Wireless Router Review

ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security

Last update was on: July 21, 2017 9:34 am

The ASUS RT-AC88U is the latest true dual band router of ASSUS. It is the first home router that supports eight Gigabit LAN ports along with Dual-WAN which means one of the ports can be converted into a WAN port and port aggregation meaning two LAN ports can be combined to create a single super fast connection.

On top of that, the Asus ART-AC88U wireless router offers a robust and fun to use Web interface, a built-in VPN server, a slew of outstanding network monitoring features and the ability to protect your home from intruders and malwares. The router also supports MU-MIMO and includes unique features for game lovers. In short, it includes all bells and whistles one would expect from a $300 price point.

Design:

The RT-AC88U looks almost same as the RT-AC87U and is a decent-looking router. It measures 3.3 × 11.8 × 7.4 inches (HWD) and comes in a matte-black housing with angular sides and a beveled top. The front of the router holds LED indicators for internet WAN connectivity, power, wireless activity for both bands, Wi-Fi Protected Setup WPS, USB port activity and LAN connectivity.

It features four detachable external antennas (two at the rear and one on each side). It has its USB 2.0 port on the back and USB 3.0 port on the front which is not an ideal place because the USB 3.0 port is capable of offering much faster speed, it is preferred for hosting a permanent storage device. So placing this port in front results into clutter when you want the router to also serve as network storage server.

The big difference the RT-AC88U has from RT-AC87U is that it now comes with eight Gigabit LAN ports making it the first home router with such a number of LAN ports. Considering the same physical size as the RT-AC87U, this is a huge improvement. More LAN ports means you can connect more wired clients such as a printer or a server that you can connect without turning to use a switch.

There is more you can do with the RT-AC88U’s LAN ports. You can cumulate first two ports to deliver a superfast 2Gbps connection which is a bonus for those having a high end NAS server and can use any of the first four ports as an alternative of a second WAN (internet) port. It means that if you have two broadband connections such as one DSL and one cable connection, you can use them both with router to make sure your network is always online. Above that, you can also use the router’s USB ports to host a USB cellular dongle if you want to share a cellular broadband connection with rest of the network.

Features:

The Asus RT-AC88U is the most feature rich router having all the features that were previously found on older Asus routers as well as few more of its own. The main features that it shares with other Asus wireless routers include Adaptive QoS (quality of service), AiProtection, VPN server, versatile USB ports and the multiple guest networks.

Specification: ASUS RT-AC88U Dual Band Wireless Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security

Ports & interfaces
USB port Y
Ethernet LAN (RJ-45) ports 9
USB 2.0 ports quantity 1
DC-in jack Y
USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) Type-A ports quantity 1
Weight & dimensions
Width 299.7 mm
Depth 188 mm
Height 83.8 mm
Power
Power source type AC
AC input voltage 110-240 V
AC input frequency 50/60 Hz
Output voltage 19 V
Output current 2.37 A
Protocols
DHCP client Y
DHCP server Y
DMZ support Y
Security
Security algorithms 64-bit WEP,128-bit WEP,WEP,WPA,WPA-PSK,WPA2,WPA2-PSK,WPS
Firewall Y
Filtering Y
System event log Y
URL filtering Y
VPN support VPN server : IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server\nVPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client
Wireless LAN features
Wi-Fi band Dual-band (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz)
Top Wi-Fi standard IEEE 802.11ac
Wi-Fi standards IEEE 802.11a,IEEE 802.11ac,IEEE 802.11g,IEEE 802.11n
Modulation 1024-QAM
Management features
Web-based management Y
Reset button Y
Quality of Service (QoS) support Y
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Y
WPS push button Y
Ethernet LAN features
Ethernet LAN Y
Ethernet LAN interface type Gigabit Ethernet
Ethernet LAN data rates 1000 Mbit/s
Cabling technology 10/100/1000Base-T(X)
Antenna
Antenna type MIMO
Antennas quantity 4
Other features
Bandwidth (first) 2.4 GHz
Bandwidth (second) 5 GHz
Data transfer rate (max) 3167 Mbit/s
Internal memory 512 MB
Flash memory 128 MB
Design
Colour of product Black
LED indicators Activity, LAN, Link, WAN, WPS
Performance
Built-in processor Y
Processor frequency 1400 MHz
Processor cores 2
WAN connection
Ethernet WAN Y

AiProtection is powered by Trend Micro and is designed to protect entire home network against malware and viruses from the internet. If a client has been infected already, this feature also stops it from sending out personal information.

Adaptive QoS prioritizes the internet bandwidth according to the type of traffic such as gaming video, web surfing, audio streaming, file transferring, VoIP/instant messaging and others. you can arrange these categories by priority using the mouse and the router will take care of the rest.

Apart from two main Wi-Fi networks, the Asus RT-AC88U wireless router also supports another six guest networks three for each band. All of these networks are disabled by default but you can turn on each via a click. A guest network allows client connected to access the internet without accessing other local resources such as printer or files.

The router has a built-in PPTP VPN server that is capable of hosting up to 10 remote clients. This feature and the ability to use one of its LAN ports as second WAN port, render the router a great fit as a gateway for a small office. Another amazing feature it holds is that it can also work as a client for WTFast which is also known as gamer private network GPN.

Web Interface:

The Asus RT-AC88U router has a typical setup process like every other router with a Web interface. You just have to simply plug the router and from a connected computer point the browser to the router’s default IP address which is 192.168.1.1. First time, the interface will provide you a Web based wizard, which takes you through few steps such as creating a password for interface itself and the Wi-Fi networks.

After the initial setup, you will be able to manage the router by using the interface. The interface it provides is self-explanatory, well organized and among the best. It provides an interactive network map that shows the connected devices in real time and each device is spotted by it name as well as its vendor.

If you want to interact with a device, you can click on a connected device, view information about it or even you can rename it to your liking. It is a huge improvement from earlier version that was used in older Asus wireless routers. Previously, connected clients were identified by their Mac address which is a string of letters and numbers. But now you can easily find out which client is which when there are any clients connected to the router.

Using this map, you can also quickly access the router’s other settings such as Wi-Fi settings, Dynamic DNS, settings of the WAN (internet) connection and so on. Also you can access other settings by utilizing different section of the interface. Everything is very self-explanatory or clearly explained for the most part. Apart from routers settings, the Web interface can be used to manage the router’s other features.

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ASUS RT-AC88U Dual Band Wireless Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete...

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Last update was in: July 21, 2017 9:34 am

$269.99 $299.99

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8.6 Total Score
ASUS RT-AC88U

SETUP
8
FEATURES
9
PERFORMANCE
9.5
SUPPORT
8
PROS
  • Speedy Wi-Fi performance
  • Smartly designed interface
  • Eight Gigabit LAN ports
CONS
  • Awkward placement of USB 3.0 port
  • Average NAS performance
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