Hardware

Asus AiMesh: Make Your Home Wi-Fi More Faster Today!

asus aimesh review

Asus Amish Overview

Built for gaming with high speed & Gigabit ISP services, the GT-AX11000 offers that fastest Wi-Fi for current 802.11AC devices as well as next Gen 802.11ax devices. The GT-AX11000 produces Gigabit speeds while providing an extensive range for devices that demand Fast & consistent gaming, uploading, and streaming all at the same time. Power supply – AC Input – 110V~240V(50~60H

The main network equipment manufacturers have Wi-Fi Mesh devices, and thanks to said devices there is Wi-Fi roaming in our homes, therefore the user never gets disconnected when changing from one node to another.

Normally, high-end routers do not have the Wi-Fi Mesh feature because they have special devices, such as the ASUS Lyra and the ASUS Lyra Mini, to get said feature. ASUS has now launched ASUS AiMesh, a technology that has been built into the brand’s high-end routers to allow them to have Wi-Fi Mesh.

asus aimesh review

asus aimesh

 

Connectivity Technology: USB, Wired, Wireless | Data Transfer Rate: 11,000 Mb per second | Frequency Bands Supported: Tri-Band | Range: best | Number of ethernet ports: 4

✔️The most flexible way to build a robust, scalable home Wi-Fi mesh system
✔️Excellent performance, top-notch feature set Built-in online protection
✔️No vendor login required or other privacy risks
✔️Certified from the military test
❌Hardware units can be bulky
❌No auto firmware update

What is ASUS AiMesh and what does it do?

All of ASUS’ high-end routers feature the ASUS AiRadar technology, also known as Beamforming, capable of focusing the wireless signal to wherever we have a Wi-Fi client, providing greater wireless coverage and speed. Although in most cases only one router is enough to have a fast, reliable connection and to provide coverage for our entire home, it is possibly not enough for very large homes or for those with several floors.

ASUS AiMesh will give us the possibility to connect multiple ASUS routers and create a Wi-Fi Mesh network, therefore when we move around our home we can always establish a connection to the closest one, and the transition between one device and the other is made without noticing any type of issue. Thanks to this technology, we can take advantage of the ASUS routers that we already have, so even if we upgrade the main router, we can continue taking advantage of the old one to expand the coverage at home.

Up until now, ASUS allowed activating a “roaming assistant” based on RSSI, meaning that when a Wi-Fi client had an RSSI (signal) below a certain threshold, the router “ejected” it so that the device would connect to the closest access point. In this case, although the transition was quite fast, we always had a small cut in the wireless connection, but with ASUS AiMesh this disappears as the routers “talk” to each other to make the transition completely smooth for the user.

Other features of ASUS AiMesh is that it allows you to set up a wired backbone or “trunk” connection with a 2.4 GHz band or a 5 GHz band. The system chooses the best combination automatically, always aiming to provide the best possible performance. The simultaneous tri-band routers will use a 5 GHz band for their connection. In the hypothetical case that one of the routers fails, the system allows to exclude a said device from the AiMesh network and keep using the other wireless routers’ connections.

ASUS AiMesh allows us to use the same SSID for all frequency bands and routers, as well as different network names for each frequency band. In this way, we make sure that we are always connected to the frequency band that we want, preventing the router from choosing it, as it happens with other Wi-Fi Mesh systems.

ASUS AiMesh vs. Mesh systems

The main difference between ASUS AiMesh and Mesh systems from ASUS (Lyra and Lyra Mini) and other manufacturers lies in their setup options and performance. Wi-Fi Mesh systems are only compatible with the devices for that model. Usually, they come in predefined packages, although later on, we will be able to buy more nodes of the same model; they allow us to create only one SSID, and customizing the Wi-Fi Mesh system is quite limited because it does not support many features in terms of the router.

How to manage the routers with ASUS AiMesh

Although the system is very easy to set up, AiMesh allows us to use and control all of the routers’ functions directly with the ASUS Router app or with the PC by opening the ASUSWRT interface. Thanks to ASUS AiMesh, we will have the best features of high-end routers (adaptive QoS, VPN, advanced parental control, AiProtection, IPTV, DMZ, Game Boost, etc.) and of Wi-Fi Mesh systems (Wi-Fi roaming).

The first thing that we will have to do to set up our AiMesh system is to download and update our router’s firmware, as we must install a special firmware. Next, we set up the most powerful router in our network as usual, and later, on the main screen, we click “Search” other routers to add them to the Wi-Fi Mesh network.

What routers are currently compatible with ASUS AiMesh?

In Spain, we currently have two models that are compatible with ASUS AiMesh: the first one is the popular ASUS RT-AC86U, one of the best routers in the market in terms of its quality-price ratio. The second one that is currently available is the ASUS RT-AC68U, of which we have a full review in RedZone.

According to ASUS, soon we will have a special firmware with ASUS AiMesh for these high-end Wi-Fi routers:

  • ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
  • ASUS RT-AC5300
  • ASUS RT-AC88U

You can access ASUS AiMesh’s official webpage to find the firmware of the routers that are currently compatible.

Will we see this ASUS AiMesh technology on the brand’s Wi-Fi repeaters? It is very likely that the high-end Wi-Fi repeaters will feature it in the coming months, as all of them currently have “roaming assistance” but lack Wi-Fi Mesh. It is clear that Wi-Fi Mesh is here to stay, and being able to switch from one “node” to another without a connection cut is something to take into account.

AiMesh Unboxing

Antennas. So many antennas. Eight of them, in fact. I suppose you could attach fewer than the maximum number of antennas, but why? Also, at full antenna complement, your router can cosplay as a robot-spider.

(This is not an actually supported method of displaying your router and you should not do it. Don’t follow my bad example, kids).

The rest of the boxed items are as expected: a power supply, an ethernet cable, a quick installation guide, and a help sheet for updating the wireless drivers of your various devices. To be honest, the help sheet instilled a foreboding sense of incompatibility.

Set up and configuration

I tend to put off-network changes until everyone is out of the house and I can swear and cry with impunity. To my surprise, the set up for the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router was ridiculously painless. It was up and running in the place of my usual router within seconds, thanks to the easy configuration wizard. And even more surprising, I had no connectivity issues. Even the embarrassingly old devices in my house had no problem connecting to the newly installed Wi-Fi.

The admin page is a welcome change of pace from the less than forthcoming one that my usual router has. The graphical display of your network map is a small but nice touch. The overall design goal seems to be to give you the user as much information as you could need, presented in a visually appealing way.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router Features

Port Forwarding made easy.

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router has an easy 3-step process for setting up port forwarding, as long as the game you’re playing is in their pre-set list. The default list is a bit out of date, but software updates will fix that.

I was glad to see that the pre-sets include settings for PS4 and Xbox One games as well.

Network security and Parental controls

ASUS ROG RaptureYou expect your router to have some basic security features, but the ASUS ROG Rapture exceeds your modest expectations. If it detects that a new device is trying to connect to a malicious website, it will block the connection and isolate the infected device from the rest of your network.

And the inclusion of parental controls is a very nice surprise. You can group devices and associate them with a user profile, so switching from iPad to phone won’t give young Johnny any additional screen time.

Managing your internet traffic


Above and beyond the raw speed offered by the router, the ASUS ROG Rapture is designed to manage a device-rich environment. Here’s the thing you probably haven’t thought about: your home network is cluttered. You might be living the life of a Wi-Fi ascetic, using one solitary device to connect to your network and the internet.

ASUS ROG RaptureBut in the age of the Internet of Things, your house is full of internet-connected devices all asking for their share of the Wi-Fi bandwidth. Each device may only be asking for a tiny slice of the pie, but the traffic adds up. The ASUS ROG Rapture is designed to manage communications from a multitude of devices while allowing you to prioritize your gaming traffic. And the ASUS ROG Rapture makes it astoundingly easy to set up a guest network (or three) when the situation dictates it.

Keep Your Gaming Band Clean

Tri-band networking lets you dedicate one 5GHz band to gaming only, so you can avoid competing for bandwidth with other devices on your home network. With dynamic frequency selection (DFS), ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 also unlocks 15 channels in the least-congested 5GHz bands.

A network of networks


Another feature of the ASUS Rapture Router is AiMesh. The standard mesh network uses a number of matching network hubs to provide better Wi-Fi coverage to your home. If your home has Wi-Fi dead spots and pockets of surprisingly weak signal, a mesh network can help fix your wireless situation.

The drawback is that you need to purchase the set of hubs and your existing network devices can’t be a part of the mesh. The AiMesh improves on the standard by allowing any ASUS router to join a mesh network. The AiMesh also allows you to set up multiple SSIDs, instead of lumping all your devices into one crowded network.

Wired for speed

Personally, the 2.5 GB ethernet port is the feature I’m excited about. I don’t trust wireless networks to perform at top speed without hiccups. The world is a noisy place, from a wireless signal perspective. But no amount of wireless noise will impede on a good old-fashioned wired connection. If I want a completely stable and reliable high-speed connection between my main gaming setup and the internet, this is the port I dream of.

Shared storage and so much more

I don’t take advantage of router storage as much as I should. The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router has 2 USB 3.0 ports, so you can pop a pair of USB drives in and have a low-cost network storage solution. But that is just one us for the USB ports. The Rapture also supports printer sharing via USB, media server functionality, and direct downloading.

A touch of color
Like all the ASUS ROG devices, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router has a customizable light display that can work in synchronization with your other ROG pieces. The Rapture’s lights are constrained to the logo on the top and the boost button on the side, so don’t expect a dazzling light-show from your router. That’s for the best since a router covered in bright, wildly fluctuating lights would be a bit distracting.

Waiting for the future
The one drawback to adopting cutting edge technology is the waiting. The potential high-speed wireless networks using the 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard is only hypothetical if the rest of your devices can’t use 802.11ax. The router works great, especially the WiFi, but you won’t see the top speeds until your devices are 802.11ax compliant. It will take a number of months before 802.11ax is fully adopted, so you’ll need a bit of patience.

Overall Impression
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router is a router ready for heavy use in a multi-device household. The admin page gives you a clear understanding of what your router is doing, and easy control over it. You may not be able to get the full benefits of the increased speed and power until your devices are 802.11ax compliant, but the advantages are still worth the investment now. And if you already own an ASUS router, the ability to make a mesh network makes it an easy purchasing decision.