ASUS recently added to and updated its mesh platform lineup with their second iteration of Lyra. While the original platform offered three nodes all tri-band capable, vendors recently have been moving away from 2x2 Tri-Band Mesh getting back into the 3x3 Dual-Band model, the Lyra Trio is just that for ASUS.
Lyra Trio is a tri-node dual-band platform. Each node offers 450Mbps over 2.4GHz 802.11n and 1300Mbps over 5GHz 802.11ac. ASUS is pushing this platform to large homes up to 5400 sq. ft taking advantage of its 3x3 MIMO antennas and unique pyramid design, a throwback to the EA-N66, that allows minimal interference transmitting Wi-Fi both vertically and horizontally for better reception.
The Lyra app enables a more streamlined, PC-free setup of the Trio along with management and diagnostics. AiProtection comes standard for parental controls including website filtering and is powered by Trend Micro.
MSRP of the ASUS Lyra Trio comes in at $279.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging for the Trio offers us an image of the nodes on the front, branding at the top left.
The back offers more detail on the antenna design, AiProtection, and performance.
The scope of delivery includes three nodes, ethernet cable, and power adapters.
Each node takes from the design of the EA-N66, this time in classic white and blue. A small bit of venting along the edges and branding on the right.
On the backside, we have LAN, WAN and power input.
On the bottom of the node, we have a center hole for mounting to a wall and pairing button on the left.
The Lyra Trio takes full advantage of the Lyra Family app. For this article, we are using it on iOS.
We start setup by connecting to the main node in which you connected your modem.
We setup the SSID and password
After completing setup of the initial node, we move on to adding more nodes to the mesh. ASUS includes a signal strength tool within the setup wizard, to aide in locating each node within your home.
Once you have all the nodes setup, we arrive at the dashboard. This gives us a look of the entire network with the number of devices connected to each node. Down below the application will alert you to any issues it finds.
The traffic manager is a simplified QoS implementation. This allows you to control traffic and throughput according to your actual up and down speed.
Here we have the entire settings menu. As you can see we have the system username at the top followed by SSID and password. You can control the WAN type along with DNS and port settings from this menu and towards the bottom, firmware updates, remote access and parental controls via AiProtection.
Multiple node systems, don't always have the full complement of ethernet ports, eliminating a portion of what I would typically test. In these situations, I test Wi-Fi performance for both 2.4 and 5GHz but also the backhaul between nodes.
ASUS changed things slightly with the Trio, we no longer have the option of separate SSIDs for the 2.4 and 5GHz bands so we are left to testing just 5G and backhaul. At our normal distance of ~15 ft the Lyra Trio offered 711 Mbps. In addition, the backhaul reached 529Mbps a significant boost over Gen 1 Lyra.
Mobile throughput with our iPhone X topped out at 291Mbps.
The Lyra Trio is a great improvement over the original "Hive" designed platform. With this latest platform, ASUS was able to improve range and throughput for the end-user and backhaul by moving to a 3x3 MIMO platform. This new Trio system is even more compact than the last with each node taking up 135mm x 123mm.
The Lyra Family application allows for a streamlined approach to setup and the included signal tool helps greatly in the placement of the secondary nodes. Management functions are limited to the basics but ASUS does offer AiProtection for Parental controls and a minimalized QoS setup along with the standard SSID control and port setup.
The performance was above average, possibly top 5 for all mesh platform I have tested. We found a peak real-world rate of 711Mbps while our iPhone X captured 291 Mbps in mobile testing.
With the WiFI market starting to cool before the eventual launch of 802.11ax, ASUS has done a great job making one last push to refine its mesh platform and go out on top of this generation offering one of the best 802.11ac mesh systems available.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: If you have decided on mesh, The Trio is top 5 for best platforms available and Top 3 for real-world performance.
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