Hands-on review: Asus AC3100 RT-AC88U Router & WiFi Access Point for gamers
First things first: you need to understand that this isn’t a modem router but a router access point. So if you’re using ADSL or Fibre for your connection to the internet you’ll still need a modem. This device plugs into the modem and provides wireless connectivity to your WiFi devices.
In addition, this device has eight gigabit networking ports which allow you to plug in wired computers and devices. This is impressive as most access points don’t have networking ports at all.
For wireless access the unit supports the fastest and latest WiFi standard called 802.11ac as well as the older more common standards like 802.11n.
It has four antennas and supports up to 3,167 Mbps - that’s more than three gigabytes per second of data streaming through to your devices or back.
It also employs a technology called AiRadar to beamform you WiFi signals. This essentially focuses the WiFi signals and offers greater performance.
Utilising the latest technology is important as our houses explode with many WiFi connected devices, such as smartphones, smart TV’s, tablets, gaming consoles, and NAS drives, not to mention a whole new breed of fridges, weight scales, lightbulbs, speakers and surveillance cameras.
The router access point is a strikingly designed device with a shiny jet black finish. Each of the four antennas face upwards and have a red flash of colour, making the whole device look beautiful, angular and almost like a futuristic robot.
Asus is aiming this device at gamers and as such has added some clever new features into the package.
For one, it includes a free subscription to WTFast, a service that optimises your WAN (wide-area network) routes via dedicated servers to reduce ping time and packet loss.
Asus has integrated the WTFast software into the device's hardware, which eliminates the need to run the software on connected computers like it normally requires.
The device can also be set to load balance your internet connectivity between the wireless and wired connections to achieve the fastest possible connection and low latency. It can even combine two one gigabyte wired connections from your computer to the device into a two gigabyte connection.
On top of this, with the built in USB ports you could plug in a USB 3G/4G stick and also have that setup to takeover if your ADSL or Fibre internet goes down.
The whole this is also future proofed with Windows 10 and IPv6 support built in.
While everything is ultimately going to come down to the speed of your internet connection for online gaming, this devices ensures that none of the delays are on your own home network. Plus, if you’re playing someone else on the local network, the speeds will be screamingly fast.
Well done Asus, this is a superb device and I can see gamers or those watching 4K video getting superior performance right out of the box.