The Asus claimed the most notable spot, with the TP-Link Talon being another closest contender. The Talon isn’t quite as easy as the Asus to use and has fewer features, nonetheless it does have hook edge in terms of throughput using its 5 GHz. network. However, the Talon was outmatched by the Asus when it found 2.4 GHz. throughput testing and the Talon includes a list price about $80 a lot more than the Asus.

The ASUS RT-AC88U.

Performance Comparison
To determine which router arrived at the top, we bought the very best available and tested them side-by-side, ranking and scoring their performance in five weighted metrics. These metrics are Simplicity, Features, 2.4 GHz. Throughput, 5 GHz. Throughput, and Range, with the next sections describing the way the Asus performed against its peers.

There are 2 buttons on leading of the RT-AC88U, one turns on / off the LEDs and the other turns on / off the WiFi.

Features
Comprising the most weight out out of all the testing metrics, our Features metric takes credit for 25% of the entire score. We awarded points predicated on if the router had certain features, notably the occurrence of MU-MIMO, beamforming, the opportunity to turn the indicator LEDs on / off, the quantity of LAN and USB ports, and when there is the capability to wirelessly reset the router. The Asus did perfectly, meriting it an 8 out of 10 for his or her performance, which compared quite favorably with all of those other pack.

To begin with, the Asus earned some immediate points by having both MU-MIMO and beamforming capabilities. These features are explained more in-depth inside our Buying Advice article, but these features act to drastically raise the overall speed of your network, particularly if there are multiple devices on your own network.

The RT-AC88U is with the capacity of making both 2.4 GHz. and 5 GHz. frequencies.

The Asus is dual-band, having both 2.4 GHz. and 5 GHz. functions and conforms to the 802.11ac wireless specification, in addition to supports IPv6. In conditions of security, this router supports WPA/WPA2 Personal, WPA/ WPA2 Enterprise, WEP, TKIP and AES Encryptions and has 512 MB of DDR3 RAM. You may also create an unsecured guest network should you have company over and the Asus includes a built-in VPN network.

Next, we viewed if you are in a position to remotely reset the router. That is particularly useful if you’re planning on stashing the product in an taken care of location, as cycling the energy is the first step to solving most connectivity issues and carrying it out remotely permits you to leave the router in its concealed location. We also tested the opportunity to control the brightness of the indicator LEDs, discovering that you can turn all of them off, or on, with the press of a button on leading of the router.

The LED indicator lights on the RT-AC88U.

Most of these features could be managed from the browser interface or from its companion smartphone app. The Asus includes a whopping 8 LAN ports, enabling you to have various wired connections.

The RT-AC88U has 8 LAN ports!

In addition, additionally, there are two USB ports – one 2.0 and one 3.0.

To make things just a little easier the RT-AC88U includes a color coded internet port which means you know where you can plug in from your own modem.

Ease of Use
For our next metric, we evaluated how easy it really is to use each product. We unboxed each product, judging the issue of updating the firmware – if necessary – and your time and effort required to feel the initial network setup. We also viewed how intuitive and user-friendly the interface is, how easy it really is to implement parental controls, and if the router had QoS capabilities. The Asus earned a 9 out of 10 because of its stellar performance, absolutely dominating the field.

As the Asus did need a software update out from the box, this was a comparatively painless process. It had been also very simple to feel the initial network setup process, though we did face an intermittent issue with the computerized wizard. We discovered that we had a far greater experience using the browser-based interface when compared to wizard, which means this is something to consider in the event that you do come across difficulties configuring it.

The setup home screen of the RT-AC88U.

We did find this interface to be very straightforward and simple to use – definitely one of the better of the complete group. The Asus also offers parental controls, that have been relatively simple to create, though it did take us a small amount of extra time to find this feature in the menus.

A great way to create parental controls on the RT-AC88U is by blocking categories.

We particularly like this this content controls gave you a great deal of versatility, letting you restrict content by genre, instead of needing to try the accomplish the somewhat impossible task of entering the net address of each site that you would like to block usage of. You can even limit access to the internet by time and you will set specific devices for these controls to use to, instead of applying them to everyone on the network.

The Asus also offers you the option to create guest networks because of this router. You can permit up to six networks, three per bandwidth. You additionally have the choice of setting a password for every single one or leaving them unsecured, and setting a period limit for how long the web will be accessible through these networks.

Finally, this product does support QoS, or Quality of Service, and has among the easiest to use implementations of the that we have observed. You can select between adaptive, traditional, or bandwidth limiter.

The Adaptive QoS of the RT-AC88U where one can choose which categories get the best priority.

For adaptive, you decide on what mode best suits your uses, such as for example gaming, media streaming, or web surfing, and the router will automatically prioritize devices to optimize your network for your uses. Traditional enables you to manually set these devices priority and bandwidth limiter permits you to limit the utmost upload and download speed for each and every device.

2.4 GHz. Throughput
This metric makes up about 20% of the entire score and evaluates the Asus how quickly it could transmit data over the two 2.4 GHz. band. The Asus earned a 5 out of 10 because of its performance – while this might appear on the reduced side, it actually tied for the second-highest score of the group.

Value
In general, the Asus is not a great value option. Although it is an excellent router, this is a little very costly and probably includes a large amount of features and functions its not necessary when shopping on a budget.

Conclusion
In general, the Asus RT-AC88U may be the top performing router that people have tested, earning the title of Best Overall Router and an Editors’ Choice award. While this model didn’t collect the top spot inside our throughput or range tests, it will provide plenty of performance for most of the people and is extremely simple to use.