Asus RT-AC5300 – Performance
So does all that bulk and those aerials deliver excellent performance? Thankfully, it can – but with some caveats.

You start with the first 5GHz band, this router became the speediest I’ve tested yet, delivering 82.7MB/sec inside our 1m test between your router and a PC built with the Asus PCE-AC68 Wi-Fi receiver. The Netgear Nighthawk X4 also hits over 80MB/sec but all the routers I’ve tested remain 70MB/sec or less.

This trend continues within my 5m range test, where there are two brick walls between your router and PC. Here the RT-AC5300 hit 45MB/sec, which comes even close to around 30-35MB/sec for some competitors. The closest alternative may be the ASRock G10, which manages 39MB/sec.

At 10m and down a floor, the AC5300 still managed 33MB/sec, as the next best router – the Linksys WRT1900ACS – hit 25.6MB/sec. Most couldn’t even reach 20MB/sec.

Unfortunately, this stellar performance didn’t carry to the next 5GHz channel. Try as I would, I couldn’t obtain it to hook up at above 20MB/sec. I attempted by using a different USB-based Wi-Fi receiver but received the same result, suggesting a fault of the router, or at least the fault of a setting on the router. Nothing I tried improved matters – not swapping round all of the aerials. Further investigation will be asked to determine what is certainly going on here.

Otherwise, at 2.4GHz the RT-AC5300 again proved immense – though it didn’t quite have the ability to claim top spot. That honour would go to the Linksys WRT1900ACS, which hit speeds of 19.2MB/sec, 11.4MB/sec and 14.7MB/sec when compared to AC5300’s 17MB/sec, 9.8MB/sec and 7MB/sec. Still, it comfortably takes second place overall.

With regards to USB performance, the Asus RT-AC5300 again does not blow away your competition. Disappointingly, it comes mid-table for both read and write speeds to the attached USB 3.0 hard disk drive.

Related: Five best wireless routers
Should I choose the Asus RT-AC5300?
It’s clear that the RT-AC5300 is an authentic powerhouse, which will there be or thereabouts in terms of claiming to be the most effective router you can purchase. However, it isn’t that clear a lead and there are many areas where I’d have expected more your money can buy Asus is charging.

In particular, the utilization of only four Ethernet ports on a router that’s near twice the cost of most alternatives appears miserly, specially when Asus’ own dual-band RT-AC88U offers eight ports and in addition boasts NitroQAM technology.

As ever, you will have some for whom the very best is necessary – but those could be better off looking at some truly professional-level solutions, or using multiple access points rather than one mammoth router.

For typical households, the RT-AC5300 is overkill. There are simply just too many alternatives which come close regarding performance and features and cost literally half the purchase price.

In particular, in terms of tri-band routers, the D-Link DIR-890L offers near the same performance for £260. Or, if you’re wanting something that’s intended for the enthusiast then your dual-band Linksys WRT1900ACS is an improved bet, because of great efficiency and OpenWRT compatibility – and yes it costs only £170. Finally, there’s the Asus RT-AC87U. Although I haven’t yet tested this router, it reportedly supplies the same NitroQAM speed however in a dual-band design and with eight Ethernet ports, again for about £300.

Verdict
The Asus RT-AC5300 is arguably the the speediest router you can purchase right now. Nonetheless it isn’t doubly good as your competition, which is disappointing {considering tha