TRENDING NOW: NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope photographs UFOs

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review

ASUS doubles down on mesh networking with its best platform yet in the solid ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 wireless mesh system.

@TylerBernath
Published Jul 26, 2022 11:40 AM CDT
Manufacturer: ASUS (ET12 (B-2-PK))
TweakTown's Rating: 90%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The ET12 from ASUS is one of the better AXE platforms available, but its also one of the most expensive routers we have tested and will end up costing you a pretty penny.

ZenWiFi was a platform ASUS introduced a few years back and is now their purpose-built mesh solution that encompasses a few models, including the CT8 we reviewed at launch. With the emergence of WiFi6e, ZenWiFi has been updated with several models, and one of those is the ET12, the new flagship of the portfolio.

The ET12 is a tri-band platform like its cousin XT12, though unlike the XT12, which offers two 5GHz bands alongside its 2.4GHz band, the ET12 opts for a 6GHz band next to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands but is powered by the same 2GHz quad-core SoC that's paired with 1GB of RAM and 256MB of flash.

On the radio side, the 2.4GHz band on the ET12 offers peak throughput of 1148Mbps, while the 5GHz and 6GHz bands both offer 4800Mbps peak throughput. On the wired side, we have multiple gigabit LAN ports alongside a 2.5Gbe LAN and dedicated 2.5Gbe WAN.

The ET12 is available as a two-pack mesh platform with an MSRP of $899.99 and a single router solution that retails for $479.99.

Packaging and the Hardware

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 05 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 19 IMAGES

Packaging for the ET12 offers an image of the platform alongside coverage, listed at 6000 sq ft.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 06 | TweakTown.com

On the backside, we have features outlined along the bottom.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Unboxing, the ET12 takes a different shape when compared to the XT8 and CT8. We have the power adapter and ethernet cable in the box.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Rear I/O on the ET12 includes the two gigabit LAN ports and 2.5Gbe LAN split by the WAN port and a 2.5Gbe port. We find the WPS, reset, and on/off switch to the right.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Turning on the ET12, it offers an OLED screen inside the clear top that glows blue.

Linksys App and Setup

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 20 | TweakTown.com

The ASUS Router app has been used on nearly every ASUS router platform for the last few years, and the ET12 is no different.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Diving into the app, we start the setup, as seen above.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 22 | TweakTown.com

The app supports all standalone router platforms, alongside the Lyra series and now ZenWiFi platforms.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 23 | TweakTown.com

Initializing setup, the app connects to the router.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 24 | TweakTown.com

Following the setup wizard, you can choose in this step to use a common SSID and password for the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, while the 6GHz band has its own. Optionally, you can choose at the bottom to separate all the bands with their own SSIDs.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 25 | TweakTown.com

The Home screen for the app shows real-time traffic information, while down below, we have the menu system and up top current network name and IP.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Scrolling through the tabs, you can change the network names.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 27 | TweakTown.com

In the family menu, you can manage device profiles with presets set by age.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 28 | TweakTown.com

The settings menu is quite involved on this platform and includes all the basics alongside advanced menus for VPN, diagnostics, and AI systems.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 29 | TweakTown.com

As seen above, the ET12 offers prioritization with several presets along with the advanced items.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 30 | TweakTown.com

The ET12, alongside its standard theme, offers more gaming-oriented themes too.

Test System and Results

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 31 | TweakTown.com

Testing used our Lenovo Yoga 9 notebook because of the need for its WiFi6e chipset. At 10-15ft, we get the best performance from the ET12 and the 2.4GHz band. In this scenario, we saw 382Mbps, and at 30Ft, that was diminished to 201Mbps.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 32 | TweakTown.com

5GHz did well at 10Ft, pulling in 1491Mbps, while at 30Ft, that number was pulled down to 1210Mbps.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System Review 33 | TweakTown.com

The 6GHz band had a much cleaner signal and was devoid of all surrounding traffic. We saw a massive 1686Mbps at 10ft, down to 1523 at 30ft.

Final Thoughts

Like most everything in the current market, the ZenWiFi ET12 suffers from one of the highest price tags I've seen personally for a mesh platform. Even for the single standalone unit, the $499 price tag seems almost insane for something so trivial yet important to our home networks, and when you tag on that second unit, the price tag hits $899!

With this in mind, ASUS does offer one of the better platforms available with the app and WebGUI and, in my personal experience, one of the most stable and reliable.

On the hardware side, ASUS does try to butter you up with legit hardware, and they do this very well by offering one of the better underlying platforms - a platform that provides dual 2.5Gbe connections for WAN and LAN alongside its 1Gbe connections.

In fact, the only thing the ET12 lacks is USB, which will remove features we typically see on ASUS's platforms, like USB dongle support for 3G/4G and storage/media server.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

95%

Quality

95%

Features

90%

Value

80%

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

The ET12 from ASUS is one of the better AXE platforms available, but its also one of the most expensive routers we have tested and will end up costing you a pretty penny.

TweakTown award
90%

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 Wireless Mesh System

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$899.99$899.99-
* Prices last scanned on 8/12/2022 at 4:01 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles