ASUS has a gem of a router with the RT-AC86U, like I mentioned earlier in the article I used this solution for nearly two months in my home network and it's perhaps the most solid platform I've ever used.
To me that says a lot, because every solution that you see reviewed here does go through at least two weeks as my main home network router. I do this to get a feel for how these solutions perform on a daily basis and sometimes to help the vendors iron out any quirks they may have.
That said the ASUS enjoys solid build quality as do many of their platforms, with durable plastics and of course the "gamer" red and black theme from their ROG lineup. The only downfall of the 86U is its vertical only orientation, there is no option to wall mount or remove the base to lay it horizontally on a desk.
The performance was great for the 86U, we have top-notch wired throughput with Lan to Lan and WAN. Wireless performance had this unit top 10 for 2.4GHz and top five for 5GHz performance. With our mobile device, we reached the highest 5GHz throughput we have seen at 559Mbps on the 5GHz band.
Range testing showed average performance for the 2.4GHz band losing 10Mbps going from 10 to 30Ft from the router while 5GHz was rock solid 559Mbps at 10Ft and 540Mbps at 30Ft.
File Transfer performance was above average for modern consumer routers. We reached 87 MB/s read and 78 MB/s write with our SanDisk Extreme Pro flash drive.
In closing, for the consumer on a budget that wants a little more than an entry-level router can provide, the ASUS RT-86U is fantastic. To me it's the best mid-range router ASUS has in its current portfolio, it's a solid upgrade for users of the 66 or 68U and it's not overkill like the RT-AC5300 or ROG Rapture.
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: The AC86U is a fantastic solution from ASUS offering consumers an extremely powerful platform with a plethora of advanced features.
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