Skip to main content

Asus launches a blazing fast wireless router that will set you back $350

A router that Asus introduced at last year's Consumer Electronics Show is now available to purchase, right as this year's CES comes into view. The only thing that has changed, as far is we can tell, is that it's now marketed as a Wi-Fi 6 router.

The Wi-Fi Alliance introduced new nomenclature in October of last year in an attempt to make shopping for a router less confusing for the average consumer. So instead of 802.11ax and 802.11ac, we now have Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5, respectively.

Whether you want to call Asus's new RT-AX88U a Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax router doesn't matter—it's fast either way. Really fast, actually. In terms of raw, unadulterated speed, it's rated to deliver speeds of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.

What's the point in having those kinds of speeds? The average user isn't likely to benefit from these fat wireless pipes. However, for busy households that at any given time might be streaming multiple 4K video feeds, downloading content, and playing games, the added bandwidth can come in handy. The same is true for supercharging your home network for file transfers.

For wired connections, the RT-AX88U boasts eight gigabit LAN ports on the back. Most wireless routers offer up four LAN ports, though we're starting to see more higher end models emerge with eight, like this one.

Asus is also touting network prioritization schemes with adaptive QoS and support for Gamers Private Network (GPN) powered by wtfast, which is supposed to route gaming packets through the shortest possible path between the gaming device and server.

While Asus is just now getting around to announcing the RT-AX88U's availability, user reviews on Amazon show that it's actually been on sale since at least November of last year. It's expensive though—the asking price is $349.99.