Asus RT-AC88U AC3100 MU-MIMO Router Review

Our Summary of the Asus RT-AC88U Router

The previous two MU-MIMO routers we tested were both very good, but each one was missing a key ingredient that would have elevated it to Editor's Choice status. For the Netgear router we disliked its software interface, and for the Linksys router its performance was just a smidge too low (in comparison to the Netgear router) to earn that distinction. This Asus router, however, is the whole package. It combines class-leading performance with a very good software interface (both mobile and desktop) that is loaded with features and adjustability. Asus routers have long been held in high regard among the enthusiast crowd for this exact reason, and the RT-AC88U upholds that tradition quite nicely. It's one of the fastest routers we've seen, and its interface has enough advanced features to satisfy even the most hardcore network admin.

The only major downside, if you can call it that, is that this is an expensive router at $299, which makes it more expensive than its competitors. That extra cash gets you outstanding performance along with double the number of LAN ports you normally have, which may or may not be useful to you. The same goes for Link Aggregation, which is a feature the vast majority of home users would never use simply because they don't have a NAS or switch that supports it. It's a cool feature to have though, and certainly gives you options for future expansion. The addition of MU-MIMO also helps future-proof this router a bit, so the extra cost does seem justified, all things considered.

As far as small gripes go, we occasionally lost the Wi-Fi signal on our phone and had to reconnect, which is something we've seen on previous Asus routers, but haven't been able to nail down the cause. We also don't like the placement of the USB 3.0 port, which is in the front of the router. It seems so awkward to have to have a cable and drive sticking out from the beautiful angled face of the router, and we'd much prefer Asus move it to the back of the router where the USB 2.0 port is located. These aren't deal breakers of course, but just small things that annoyed us in testing.

Overall, the Asus RT-AC88U is the new benchmark for 4x4 MU-MIMO routers. Its package of chart-topping performance, next-gen features, eight LAN ports, and a full-featured software package for both the desktop and mobile is going to be tough to beat. It's certainly a bit pricey, but the price is just a reflection of its flagship features and performance. 

  • Class leading performance
  • Great software
  • Lot of advanced adjustability
  • Eight LAN ports
  • MU-MIMO support
  • Expensive
  • Occasionally lost Wi-Fi connectivity on iPhone
  • USB 3.0 port placement is annoying

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