The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a tri-band 802.11ax router with blazing fast speeds
Wi-Fi networking is on the cusp of its next major update. The move from 802.11ac to 802.11ax promises a surge in bandwidth and theoretical throughput that can better cope with increasingly crowded networks and a sprawling variety of wireless devices.
This potentially means several gigabits per second of throughput to tens of devices simultaneously on a single channel. The benefits of this aren’t hard to imagine, especially if you’re transferring huge files or streaming 4K HDR video.
But while widespread adoption of the 802.11ax standard is still at least a couple of years away, ASUS is looking to get its foot in the door early with a new range of 802.11ax routers.
The star of the show is probably the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, which the company claims is the world’s first tri-band 802.11ax router. It’s built for the most demanding of users, with peak aggregate throughput of nearly 11,000Mbps.
This amounts to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 4,804Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands. ASUS says the additional 5GHz band can be reserved for gaming devices to prevent activity from other wireless devices from interfering with your main system.
In addition, it features a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port for faster wired connections, although you’ll need a sufficiently speedy internet plan to take full advantage of it.
The extra bandwidth will also allow a single system to talk to multiple Gigabit-class devices at higher speeds, or even enable NAS devices that support teaming across multiple ports to achieve higher throughput.
On top of that, ASUS has prepared a more modest solution for those who don’t need all that the ROG Rapture offers. The ASUS RT-AX88U router shares most of the same underlying hardware as the Rapture, but it utilizes a dual-channel design instead.
This is to the tune of a peak total bandwidth of around 6,000Mbps, comprising up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4,804Mbps on 5GHz.
The router is equipped with a total of four antennas and a whopping eight Gigabit LAN ports for local devices, so it’s particularly suited for scenarios where there are many wired clients in close proximity.
It’s a good fit for small businesses running several desktop PCs, and it even has dual USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports for shared peripherals such as a printer. Furthermore, you can add a 4G dongle for a backup WAN connection if your regular internet service is disrupted.
Finally, ASUS also announced a new mesh Wi-Fi system with the AiMesh AX6100, which comprises two RT-AX92U routers. While all of ASUS’ new 802.11ax routers also support AiMesh, a technology that allows the mixing of multiple routers to create a mesh network, the company says you can still add nodes using other AiMesh-compatible 802.11ac routers.
The AiMesh AX6100 Wi-Fi system is a tri-band design capable of a peak aggregate throughput of up to 6,100Mbps.
One of the 5GHz bands provides up to 4,804Mbps on its own, but this band is used for backhaul communications by default to provide a fast link between different nodes. The second 5GHz band offers 866Mbps of bandwidth for compatibility with 802.11ac hardware, while the 2.4GHz band provides up to 400Mbps of 802.11n connectivity for legacy devices.
The new routers use the ASUSWRT web interface, but the companion ASUS Router App lets you configure and monitor your network on Android and iOS devices as well.
All of ASUS’ new 802.11ax routers are expected to be available in Q3 2018.