Best ASUS Routers to Buy in 2021 For Multimedia and Productivity

ASUS is known not just for its high-quality PC components but also for its catalog of wireless routers. ASUS routers cater to most budgets and requirements, although most of them have a gamer-esque appeal due to their focus on high-end gaming products. That said, non-gamers will also find plenty of value in ASUS’s offerings.

ASUS has its gamer-focused approach to most of its offerings. This is primarily because gamers have a higher need for quality networking to ensure smooth performance in multiplayer games. These features translate to reduced latency and built-in protection features commonly not found in other brands for a normal user. This results in a better streaming and multimedia experience at almost similar price points of other competing brands. ASUS has also embraced the custom firmware community, and most routers below, except the OnHub, can actually be flashed to a compatible DD-WRT or OpenWRT firmware. Another noteworthy feature is that most ASUS routers support AiMesh functionality for combining multiple ASUS routers for increased range and throughput.

For this article, several factors were considered for narrowing down the best ASUS router options. These include the maximum potential throughput, number of bands supported, maximum coverage offered, connectivity options, software UI, etc. The popularity of these routers with buyers was also taken into account.

So, with that information, here are the 14 best ASUS routers available in the market currently.

1. ASUS RT-AX88U

$
$349.99
268.01
Save $81.98
Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); ASUS Router App; AiProtection;
AiMesh support; 1 GB RAM; 4 antennas; Wi-Fi 6 support
Wireless Protocols 802.11ax
Data Transfer Rate 6 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 9 / 2 (1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 11.8 x 2.4 x 7.4 in

Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax is a relatively new Wi-Fi standard that promises speeds up to 4.8 Gbps and less network congestion. The ASUS RT-AX88U is one of the very few Wi-Fi 6 routers available. It is a must-buy for serious performance enthusiasts even if there aren’t too many wireless-AX devices available in the market. The RT-AX88U offers everything that power users need in a networking device. Internally, the device is powered by a 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 1 GB RAM, and 256 MB of flash memory. This ASUS dual-band router offers speeds up to 1.2 Gbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 4.8 Gbps on the 5 GHz band. True to its power-user nature, ASUS offers advanced router control and monitoring via the web client. You can also use the mobile app on your phone or tablet for configuring the most common functions.

Installation and setup are fairly easy, and so is updating the firmware. The performance is better than most routers in the market, and if your client device uses the 160 MHz channel, you get impressive speeds. You can also use the built-in USB 3.0 port to host file servers and share content across the network. The ASUS RT-AX88U is best for those looking to future-proof their homes or offices for the 802.11ax standard. The speed advantage of this router over others becomes evident only if you use compatible Wi-Fi 6 devices.

  • Pros: Excellent speeds; Support for Wi-Fi 6; Thorough web client
  • Cons: Need a Wi-Fi 6 device to take full advantage

2. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

$
$449.99
405.00
Save $44.99
Features Tri-band (2.4 + 5 + 5); ASUS Router App; 
AiProtection; AiMesh support; 1 GB RAM;
8 antennas; Wi-Fi 6 support
Wireless Protocols 802.11ax
Data Transfer Rate 10.8 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 6 / 2 (1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 9.5 x 2.4 x 9.5 in

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is one of the first 802.11ax routers to hit the market when the standard was announced. The GT-AX11000 looks big and has the specs to match. It is a tri-band router with one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz bands that can theoretically offer a maximum throughput of up to 11 Gbps. The GT-AX11000 is built with gamers in mind and has the looks to match. The router sports a total of eight antennas so that you can direct the signal anywhere across the house. Since this is an ASUS router, it supports AiMesh, so you can form a mesh network with other ASUS routers so that there are no weak signal spots anywhere on the premises. Gaming-focused features such as low network latency and data prioritization can be configured in the extensive software setup. The router also offers 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports to hook up wired devices. The software setup also allows you to choose pre-configured profiles for popular multiplayer games such as League of Legends.

The performance of the router is excellent. This router easily trumps any competition in the market but has some difficulties in penetrating thick walls. The offered range is about 95 feet, which should suffice for most homes. You can further extend the signal using AiMesh, but there are routers that offer a better range as well. Overall, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is one of the best gaming routers on the market today if you can afford the price.

  • Pros: Excellent throughput; Vast configuration options; Decent range
  • Cons: Expensive; Bulky

3. ASUS GT-AC5300

Features Tri-Band (2.4 + 5 + 5); 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU; VPN Fusion;
Built-in Trend-Micro protection; AiMesh; ROG Gaming Dashboard
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 5.3 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 8 / 2 (2x USB 3.0)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 11.46 x 4.72 x 14.88 in

The ASUS GT-AC5300 has consistently featured in most of our best router picks, including picks for the gaming and long-range routers. The GT-AC5300 is styled like a typical gaming router and may even seem intimidating to some. But under the hood, there is some serious power. The GT-AC5300 has a Game Intrusion Prevention System (Game IPS) that acts as a built-in firewall against external attacks. The inbuilt Trend Micro AiProtection system acts as a firewall and prevents most DDoS attacks. Gamers out there can get access to the WTFast Gamers Private Network for faster pings and secure connections. For users looking at security then this is one of the secure routers from asus.

While the GT-AC5300 supports AiMesh, you might have to manually force update the first time you turn this on to enable the functionality if you have other ASUS routers in your place. The GT-AC5300 also supports band steering and beamforming, so the router automatically moves your devices to other bands depending on the client’s bandwidth requirement and physical distance.

  • Pros: Full loaded; Game IPS; Access to WTFast Gamers Private Network
  • Cons: Expensive; Design not up to everyone’s taste

4. ASUS RT-AC88U

$
$219.99
209.99
Save $10
Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU;
AiProtection; AiMesh; Smart connect;
4 antennas with 4T4R design; 1024-QAM
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 3.1 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 8 / 1 (1x USB 2.0)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 30 x 6.5 x 18.8 in

The ASUS RT-AC88U is one of the best Wi-Fi routers for long-range applications, and it also comes with a good dose of security options. The RT-AC88U offers enhanced throughput in the 2.4 GHz band, offering up to 1000 Mbps and a 2100 Mbps throughput in the 5 GHz band, giving some of the triple-band routers a run for their money. The powerful 4-transmit 4-receive (4T4R) antennas promise a wide coverage of up to 5000 sq. ft. Those wishing to go the wired route can take advantage of the 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports. A 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU keeps things ticking and helps in ensuring all traffic flows freely without bottlenecks.

The RT-AC88U offers Trend Micro’s AiProtection and AiMesh functionality, just like many other ASUS routers. While AiMesh can daisy-chain multiple Asus routers for enhanced coverage and speeds, you might need to manually flash the latest firmware to enable it. The RT-AC88U won’t turn any heads for its looks, but it makes that up with great performance. Also, when you first buy this router, do a hard reset to resolve any connectivity issues. Decreasing the frequency of some of the operating bands also helps to ensure a stable connection.

  • Pros: Powerful antennas; Wide coverage; Great throughput
  • Cons: Buggy firmware; Wi-Fi band frequencies need to be manually adjusted in some cases.

5. ASUS Dual-Band AC1300

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 4 Antennas;
ASUSWRT and ASUS Router app; Quad-core 717 MHz CPU
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 1.2 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 1 (1x USB 3.0)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.1 in

If a no-frills router is all you need, the ASUS Dual-Band AC1300 is one of the best routers under $100 that you can find. The AC1300 is perfect for those who prefer to have a router that can take on most networking needs for fewer connected devices. The availability of both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands ensures that both range and bandwidth are taken care of. Additionally, the MU-MIMO and Beamforming abilities add to its coverage and signal strength.

The router’s overall performance is great, and the included LAN ports support full Gigabit LAN connections. The interface is easy to use and does not require any custom firmware flashing, as it is already feature-rich. This router can also be used as a repeater if needed. Properly setting up IPv6 configurations, however, might need some tinkering around.

  • Pros: Dual-band; ASUS apps; quad-core CPU
  • Cons: IPv6 configuration can seem a bit tedious.

6. ASUS RT-AC66U

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 3 Antennas;
AiMesh; AiProtection; 1 GHz dual-core CPU
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 1.7 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 2 (1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0).
Dimensions (W x D x H) 5.8 x 1.7 x 8.5 in

The ASUS RT-AC66U is another great option to consider under $100. The 1 GHz dual-core CPU eliminates bottlenecks while surfing and simultaneously using the USB 3.0 port for media sharing. You most likely wouldn’t have to resort to custom firmware as the built-in ASUS Router app allows controlling most parameters. It also comes with AiProtection powered by Trend Micro for preventing DDoS attacks.

You can connect multiple ASUS routers via AiMesh to increase the overall throughput and range. However, this router does not allow USB tethering. You can still install DD-WRT firmware to enable that feature if needed, though. That said, if you need a high bandwidth router that has a wide coverage area, the ASUS RT-AC66U should top your list.

  • Pros: Dual-band; ASUS apps; AiMesh compatible
  • Cons: No USB tethering

7. ASUS RT-N12

$
$29.99
26.99
Save $3
Features Single-band (2.4); Router/AP/Range Extender;
Support for up to 4 SSIDs; 2 antennas with 2T2R
Wireless Protocols 802.11n
Data Transfer Rate 300 Mbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 0
Dimensions (W x D x H) 3.1 x 7.7 x 11.1 in

The ASUS RT-N12 is one of the best budget routers you can get your hands on. It does not boast any gimmicks and works only on the 2.4 GHz band, but if your ISP speeds are below the 300 Mbps mark, you should not have any issues with this router. In fact, you can very well stream Netflix, game, or even connect multiple clients as long as the bandwidth limitations are kept in mind. The ASUS Wireless N300 can also function as a router, access point, or a range extender if needed.

The RT-N12 offers great performance and reliability at a bargain price. Setting up the software is also extremely simple, and there’s always the option to flash custom DD-WRT firmware for unlocking even more additional functionality. However, before flashing custom firmware, look up if there’s an updated version from ASUS. If you are experiencing slower speeds than normal, increasing the bandwidth of a particular channel can help.

  • Pros: Budget-friendly; Good software
  • Cons: Supports only wireless N

8. ASUS Whole Home Dual-Band AC1300

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); TurboQAM Wi-Fi acceleration;
1 GHz dual-core CPU; 3 Antennas;
Built-in Trend Micro AiProtection; ASUS AiMesh
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 1.9 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 5 / 2 (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 6.3 x 3.3 x 8.6 in

The ASUS Whole Home can work either as a standalone router or as a dual-band AiMesh Router. AiMesh can link multiple ASUS routers together to create a much more powerful Wi-Fi network hence the name, ‘Whole Home’. The Whole Home RT-AC68U supports a throughput of 1.9 Gbps, which can be further enhanced by daisy-chaining multiple routers together. The router has 5 Ethernet slots and 2 USB ports, which is more than adequate for general home use. You can plug in a 3G/4G dongle in one of the USB ports and share it via Wi-Fi with other devices.

The ASUS Whole Home can easily tackle demanding streaming and multimedia applications. The QoS scheduling can be turned off if you don’t need it, and the CPU usage is pretty minimal despite heavy usage. Remember to ensure that the latest firmware is installed on all devices if you plan to pick up more than one of them for using AiMESH.

  • Pros: Easy long-range coverage thanks to AiMesh
  • Cons: Initial configuration might be a bit tricky

9. ASUS RT-AC87U

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); ; 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU;
AiProtection; AiMesh; Smart connect; 4 antennas
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 2.4 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 2 (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 15.28 x 3.7 x 9.25 in

The ASUS RT-AC87U sits right in between the RT-AC86U and the RT-AC-AC88U in terms of pricing and features. The RT-AC87U performs multiple roles as a good gaming router as well as a good long-range router. With a combined theoretical bandwidth of 2.4 Gbps, the RT-AC87U has enough speed to cover the most demanding needs. The 4×4 MU-MIMO antenna design supports beamforming to ensure most devices in the range can receive the signal irrespective of their location. Similar to other ASUS routers, the RT-AC87U is well-equipped on the software side of things. The familiar Trend Micro AiProtection and the user-friendly ASUSWRT interface ensure a hassle-free networking experience.

The router setup is pretty straightforward, and you won’t be running into any major issues in that process. However, some users have reported issues with the 2.4 GHz band dropping speeds. ASUS is yet to rectify this, but if you’re inclined, try flashing OpenWRT firmware to see if it resolves the problem.

  • Pros: Good feature set; Easy setup
  • Cons: Speed drops in the 2.4 GHz band

10. ASUS RT-AC86U

$
$169.99
139.99
Save $30
Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU;
AiProtection; AiMesh; Smart connect; 3 antennas
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 2.9 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 2 (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 6.2 x 3.3 x 8.7 in

The ASUS RT-AC86U is one of the best gaming routers available under $200, and it comes with a host of advanced features. The RT-AC86U sports advanced QoS settings for bandwidth prioritization for games and multimedia apps. It also comes with limited access to WTFast — a private network optimized for gamers. Trend Micro’s AiProtection is built-in to safeguard against DDoS attacks. You can also connect the RT-AC86U to other ASUS routers to create a mesh network via AiMesh.

The RT-AC68U can cover most houses close to 3000 sq.ft. easily. That said, there are some issues with the 2.4 GHz band along with some IPv6 auto-config issues. These are isolated reports but something to definitely keep in mind while purchasing this router.

  • Pros: Gamer-focused; Good range and speeds
  • Cons: Issues with 2.4 GHz band and IPv6 autoconfiguration

11. ASUS OnHub

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); Easy network management via Android and iOS apps;
Automatic firmware updates; Wave Control for hands-free traffic prioritization; Internal antennas with power amplifiers;
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 1.9 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 1 / 1 (1x USB 3.0)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 5 x 7.87 x 5.19 in

Google has licensed its OnHub design to major OEMs, and the ASUS OnHub one such offering. It comes in smart speaker design, and while it does not sport external antennas, its internal omnidirectional antennas help in better coverage even in larger homes. The Google On app available for Android and iOS allows for easy interaction with the router. Bandwidth can be prioritized with just a wave of the hand over the speaker.

While the OnHub offers an easy setup interface, it lacks some of the more advanced customization options found in other ASUS routers. You also cannot install custom DD-WRT firmware thanks to the built-in TPM module. About performance, the ASUS OnHub does not disappoint and offers great speeds and coverage. Although the OnHub sports a USB port, it does not support file sharing, so it is of little use to home users.

  • Pros: Great design; Trusted Google security; easy setup and administration
  • Cons: No option to install custom firmware; the USB port cannot be used for media sharing

12. ASUS Blue Cave AC2600

$
$129.99
105.99
Save $24
Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); ASUS Router App; Amazon Alexa integration; AiProtection; AiMesh
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 2.6 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 4 / 1 (1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 7.52 x 7.44 x 7.52 in

On the first look, the ASUS Blue Cave does not come across a conventional router. There are no visible antennas, and the LED ring in the middle makes it look very futuristic and aesthetic-friendly. Although it sports a radically different design, the Blue Cave has all the features that ASUS routers are typically known for. Setup for beginners is very easy, and with the built-in Amazon Echo/Alexa integration, controlling clients via voice commands is very easy. The LED lighting can be adjusted to offer some cool effects as well.

Like many other ASUS routers in this list, the Blue Cave supports AiMesh, but it requires a manual firmware update to get enabled. Also, users have reported issues in getting the IFTTT and Alexa functions working, so we’d advise not to base your purchase on this aspect alone.

  • Pros: Unique design; Good speeds; Easy setup
  • Cons: Not the greatest range; Alexa and IFTTT functions need improvement

13. ASUS Lyra Trio

Features Dual-band (2.4 + 5); ASUS Router App;
AiProtection; AiMesh support; 3 internal antennas
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 1.8 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 2 / 0 (per hub)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 5.31 x 3.07 x 4.84 in

The ASUS Lyra Trio is a Wi-Fi mesh network. You get three Lyra units that can be networked together to create a mesh. You can add additional units as well if you have a larger area. The design of the Lyra Trio will suit modern homes. It also helps in better signal distribution as the antennas are internally located. Similar to other ASUS routers in this list, the Lyra Trio also offers extensive software configuration features via the web interface or the app. You can also configure things such as turning off your smart home appliances directly from the app.

The Lyra Trio works fine for the most part, but you will encounter some bad spots. You may also notice some issues when the signal hands-off from one unit to the other. These can be resolved over time via firmware updates, so we would not easily write off the Lyra trio. It offers a good feature set and enough configuration options and can easily complement today’s smart homes.

  • Pros: Good design; Extensive software features
  • Cons: Inconsistent performance

14. ASUS Lyra Voice

$
$179.99
108.49
Save $71.5
Features Tri-band (2.4 + 5 + 5); ASUS Router App; AiProtection Pro;
AiMesh support; 4 antennas;
Amazon Alexa support; 8W stereo speakers;
Wireless Protocols 802.11ac
Data Transfer Rate 2.2 Gbps
No. of Ethernet / USB Ports 9 / 2 (1x USB 3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 10.6 x 2.95 x 2.95 in

The ASUS Lyra Voice offers a unique combination of a router and a smart speaker with a built-in voice assistant. The Lyra Voice combines all the features of Amazon’s Echo products into one mesh router. The Lyra Voice design might not work for every setup, but it works great as a Wi-Fi extender. If you are well into the Amazon ecosystem, you will find the implementation of Alexa and Echo features useful. However, the Bluetooth speaker quality can use some improvements.

If you plan to use this router-speaker combo, make sure to update the firmware first as there have been reports of issues in the initial configuration steps. That being said, the software is relatively easy to use and can be configured easily. Performance is as expected, and you will have no issues with the throughput. Alexa voice recognition works great, too. Speaker quality is fine for most general purposes. If you are looking for a unique combination of a router and smart speaker, the ASUS Lyra Voice is the one to opt for.

  • Pros: Combines router and smart speaker features; Good performance; Good sound quality
  • Cons: Initial configuration can be a hassle

Dear readers also check out our guide on the best routers to find which of these best ASUS routers made our list. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We will do our best to provide a timely response.

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