REVIEW: ASUS RT-AC86U, a powerful gamer router for Brazil

Have you ever thought about playing video games without lag in matches? The Asus RT-AC86U gamer router guarantees this connection with peaks of up to 2971 megabits per second

With the emergence of gamer routers like the ASUS RT-AC86U, we can understand how necessary a product dedicated to fast data exchange functions becomes. The hardware from the renowned Taiwanese manufacturer has as its main highlight the possibility of beating more than 2900 megabits per second (mbps), a surreal rate for the Brazilian consumer – according to the Speedtest website, which measures the connection speed of its users, the average fixed connection speed in Brazil in August/2020 is 66.73 mbps.

in times where games Mobile multiplayer can pass the billions of downloads (CoD Mobile and Pokemon Go so say!), console and PC gamers have been dealing with heavier games with every major release. With this, the reliability of the connection — not only from the internet provider, but also between the devices and the router — becomes extremely important for gamers on duty.

To let you know the importance of powerful routers for fluid gaming, we’ve tested the RT-AC86U in different settings and settings. We tell you everything in full with this review, in addition to contextualizing the ways to recognize connection problems in popular games today.

ASUS RT-AC86U gamer router highlights

The router has the highest technology of today’s routers: it’s a router WiFi 5 AC2900 — that is, 750 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 2167 Mbps at 5 GHz — with dual core processor 1.8GHz (64 bits), 4 gigabit ethernet and 2 USB ports (2.0 and 3.1) to transform the RT-AC86U on a particular file server or include a 4G backup connection. As the manufacturer informs, you can “Connect USB-enabled devices such as external storage drives, printers or a 3G/4G dongle to your ASUS router and conveniently share them with other users via Wi-Fi.

Through the system MU-MIMO, we have another key point. If you are downloading a game and simultaneously playing another title on your computer, for example, none will lose download performance. Consoles like the Playstation 4 don’t do this by default (you need to manually pause a game download if you want to play games online smoothly). Remembering that the Asus RT-AC86U still has security technologies, such as the GPN (a VPN gamer).

In the practicality of mobile devices connected in your home, you can enjoy the spectacular technology AiMesh, which automatically switches between compatible mesh routers without losing your connection – prioritizing the closest one – and also not worrying about migrating from SSID (the name of your connection), a common problem in those who have more than one access point at home.

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Speaking of configuration, we have the system ASUSWRT, a very interactive user interface. Whether customizing or configuring, by browser or (smartphone) app, ASUS interfaces are great for anyone who wants to learn about online connections in an intuitive way.

Finally, another highlight is the QoS (Quality of Service, or quality of service, in free translation), where you can have control of router connection priorities with your devices. For example, if in your access you prioritize games more than anything else, you can put your video game or PC gamer at the top of the list, and the router will direct the highest connection priority.

Test complexity

The speed of almost 3000 Mbps of this router may surprise any Brazilian who is used to the commercial standard of a maximum of 500 Mbps. The fact is that one of the comprehensive surveys carried out by ANATEL (National Telecommunications Agency) a year ago reports: “In July 2019 almost a third of internet connections in Brazil were above 34 Megabits per Second (Mbps), 10.53 million households (33.23% of the total)”. That is, an average value much lower than the maximum connections around here.

From my own experience, I’ve been through cases of instability with three different operators, in three districts of the city of São Paulo. In my current test connection with the ASUS router I used a 240 Mbps plan, from which I get peaks of 180 Mbps (option 2.4 or 5GHz).

When we talk about games, we deal with the variable of servers of each title. Sometimes these are local servers where one of the players serves as a host, such as first person shooters (franchise Call of Duty), and other times the servers are data centers from a specific region, controlled by the game company itself, such as e-sports and/or MMORPG hits (League of Legends). In this way, a game can depend both on the internet of another gamer, as on the distance from the headquarters of the game in question – the data centers in Apex Legends and FIFA 20 are in São Paulo, for example.

Directly: data is sent to the network by you when you control your character, at the same time as you download action data from other players. Because of that, the games use download and upload, which forces you to have a consistent rate between them. With this reference, we can understand how complex it is to measure where a problem of latency, that is, what can cause the delay in the exchange of information between the server and you.

Thus, the connection tests of a gamer router are more transparent, as we follow in the practical explanation below.

performance results

The differential mentioned above, about such WTFast, has a preset dedicated to a series of games – check out the complete list of games supported on the site. For those who have the router, it’s free. For other interested parties, it costs US$9.99 per month (about R$50 in direct conversion). Activation, however, is done directly through ASUS’ own configuration login.

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Even though I played a lot the newly released Fall Guys, a game that was free for anyone who subscribes to PlayStation Plus, I understand that its requirement is much lower than shooting games (and the graphics performance too). Anyway, as far as good online performance goes, everything went well in dozens of hours of play.

A game that requires the use of the connection, as it is 100% online, is the The Division 2 – third person shooting game. Even when loading multiplayer scenarios (in game, this happens at specific points on the map) the loading happened without rough transitions. Other demanding games to consider are those from the Call of Duty franchise, being them WW2 it’s the Modern Warfare. In some matches the ping wavered, but I believe it was the game: the monitoring via ASUS app was in constant flow, without showing router connection errors.

That said, in most cases I didn’t notice a difference between WTFast on or off. There were peaks and moments of total fluidity in both test scenarios. These last three games mentioned have their own profiles on WTFast, which in theory would help to prioritize the connection and data exchange, but whether it really worked was not a factor that weighed much.

Now what in practice took effect, was controlling the QoS to prioritize games. The difference was noticeable and configuration is simple: just drag an item into the app. Otherwise, even if WTFast has a simple interface, you need to leave the page open and intersperse your selections each time you want to change the game. The gamer looking for practicality will rarely opt for this platform.

Another way to test the connection was to abuse the flow from another device: I downloaded files via computer (torrent) while playing the above mentioned shooting titles on the console. In which in another scenario (with another router) there would be lags Frequently in the game, in tests with Asus everything went well. It is important to note that I kept the QoS configuration to prioritize games, with “Transferring file” and “Web browsing” in the background.

On one CPU (wired) and two other devices (wireless), simultaneous download tests were performed and split performance was slightly better than connecting to the modem itself. Without the need to detail technical points (types of files and services where I downloaded it), I estimate that the download of the two wireless devices sometimes arrived double of Mbps compared to setup alternative without the router.

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What we can assess apart from the stability of the connection is the signal strength. At this point, the Asus RT-AC86U stands out from the rest. In particular, it was better than all the routers I’ve used. In my home, the signal strength between the router in the living room and the smartphone in the bedroom (5 walls, about 8 meters in a straight line) remained at maximum. Also, even outside, at what I estimate to be 30 meters and at least 10 walls, she still remained high/medium – albeit much slower.

After all, who is the ASUS RT-AC86U for?

Due to the design and dedicated functions, the ASUS RT-AC86U it’s not afraid to hide its main target audience: the gamer who needs a reliable connection, 24 hours a day. However, because of the interface facilities, long range, high-end configurations and “smart” functions that common routers don’t have, it can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences.

Since in 2020 the home office has become more popular for multiple professional areas, the router can handle a house full of notebooks while simultaneously accessing and downloading content online. So if more than one person in your home uses the internet to the full, on multiple devices, the ASUS RT-AC86U will manage to divide these connections intelligently, without isolating anyone’s performance.

who live in a big house and have other routers that support AiMesh can only connect to a single network, without worrying about loss of strength, because this switch between routers is done automatically. If you now rely on repeaters or more than one signal point (modem) at home, consider this purchase. Those who share a home with colleagues and have shared internet spending can even take advantage of the router’s more “democratic” network division.

The excellent router ASUS RT-AC86U it exceeds any expectation of testing, but it can weigh a lot on the pocket of anyone considering purchasing it: it can be found for BRL 1,820 in the Americans. It is worth mentioning that the device with a very similar name, gamer router RT-AC68U, has similar specifications (some are lower) and a slightly more affordable price. BRL 1200. However, this second has a peak of only 1900 Mbps, being unnecessary for those who want the maximum performance – that only the RT-AC86U tested by us is able to bring.

So, you liked our review of ASUS RT-AC86U and will you switch to a respectable gamer router? Let us know in the comments!

Technical Specifications – ASUS RT AC86U

Manufacturer ASUS
Model RT-AC86U
data rate 2900 Mbps (2.4GHz: 750Mbps/5GHz: 2167Mbps)
antennas 1x Internal
3x Detachable Externals
Transmission / Receiving MIMO Technology
2.4GHz 3×3
5GHz 4×4
doors 1 x RJ45 for Gigabit BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabit BaseT for LAN
USB 2.0 x 1
USB 3.0 x 1
Power supply AC input: 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC output: 19 V with maximum current of 1.75
DC Output: 12 V with max. 3 Current
Dimensions / weight 220 x 160 x 83.3 mm (width x height x depth)
872 g
Wi-Fi technology Beamforming: standard-based and universal
1024-QAM high data rate
20/40/80 MHz bandwidth
Resources MU-MIMO
traffic analyzer
adaptive QoS
WTFast Private Network for Gamers
parental control
Visitor Network: 2.4GHz x 3.5GHz x 3
Mac OS Backup
Improved Media Server (Compatible with AiPlayer app)
AiCloud personal cloud service
3G/4G data sharing
Printer Server
Download Master
file server AiDisk
IPTV Support
Roaming Assistant

Source: Anatel

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