Our Verdict
That is a supremely fast and powerful router that may broadcast Wi-Fi to all or any corners of even the major house or office – but its give attention to gamers and media streaming may put persons off.

For
Very fast
Strong Wi-Fi coverage
Link aggregation for 2Gbps speeds
Easy setup
Against
Expensive
Only 1 USB 3.0 port
Design isn’t for everybody
USB speeds disappointing
Without even opening the box you can tell that the Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router is aimed more at gamers than office at home, professional and enterprise users. This isn’t an unobtrusive beige box that quietly and competently controls your network. Instead it includes a bold and brash design that’s either striking or horribly garish, according to your personal preference.

It’s a sizable router with eight bulky antennas which make it appear to be an upturned spider straight from Darth Vader’s nightmares. You can wall mount it – not that you’d particularly want to – or hide it away and hope the effectiveness of its tri-band networks can still reach your entire devices.

However, just because that is a router that’s targeted at gamers and those folks who wish to stream movies and music, should it be overlooked by pro users? Definitely not, as Asus has crammed some impressive specs in to the RT-AC5300, and its own promise of ‘fast, easy, stable’ performance will certainly appeal to numerous network administrators.

However, at £382 ($360, around AU$490), that is an extremely expensive router, so you’ll want to be sure that the features and specifications of the device align with the needs you have before putting that sort of money down. If it doesn’t, in that case your money will be better allocated to a far more straightforward, business-orientated, router.

Features
For a router with this type of price, you’d expect an extended set of features, and for the reason that regard the Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router certainly doesn’t disappoint. The headline feature (as it’s contained in the name) is that the RT-AC5300 broadcasts three wireless bands, where almost every other routers adhere to two.

Which means you get one 2.4GHz band at 1000 Mbps for older legacy devices, along with two 5GHz bands at 2167Mbps 802.11ac. The theory with multiple bands is that you might have older devices on the two 2.4GHz band, freeing up 5GHz bands for new devices.

Now that there can be an increasing number of 5GHz-capable devices, the 5GHz band may become crowded, with an increase of traffic leading to slower – or less reliable – connections.

This is there the next 5GHz band will come in, assisting to spread the traffic, with the next band centered on gaming and 4K media streaming. Of course, within an enterprise situation, gaming and 4K streaming isn’t a concern, nevertheless, you can still employ these three separate wireless networks in a office at home or enterprise setting, and the eight large antennas, gives the Asus RT-AC5300 such a unique look, are there to greatly help beam the networks around a building. These could be adjusted to point in a variety of directions, assisting to boost network coverage.

It includes a 1.4GHz dual-core processor from Broadcom and 512MB of RAM. Other features include WPA-Enterprise and WAP2-Enterprise encryption, MU-MIMO, adaptive QoS (remember that is a router mostly geared at gamers, so gaming and media traffic could be given higher priority), guest network functionality, VPN servers, 3G and 4G data sharing and link aggregation, which combines multiple network connections to improve throughput.

It includes five Gigabit Ethernet ports – however as that is a router only, rather than a modem, it signifies that among these ports is a dedicated WAN port allowing you to connect up to your existing modem. It could have already been nice for a modem to have already been built in aswell, reducing the amount of boxes you have to be plugged in, nonetheless it does supply the Asus RT-AC5300 somewhat more versatility aswell. It also includes one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports aswell.

This is in no way an exhaustive set of the Asus RT-AC5300’s features – listing all of them here will be too time consuming, nevertheless, you could be assured that for your cash you are getting a remarkably robust and feature-rich router.

Performance
The installation process for the Asus RT-AC5300 is fast and straightforward. All we’d to accomplish was plug it in, then hook up our notebook computer to the open Asus network that people discovered. Connecting to the opens up your browser and takes you right to the Quick Internet Setup wizard, which goes through the procedure of checking you connection and configuring your web.

If you would like complete control of the setup process, there’s a manual mode aswell gives you the possibility to add or remove features. That is useful if you need to turn off a number of the more gaming and streaming-orientated features. Otherwise, the Quick Internet Setup wizard does an excellent job of quickly configuring the router for your network, creating the three new wireless networks and applying security measures to them.

Once that’s been create you may easily access the router’s settings interface by typing in router.asus.com – this means no more needing to try to remember an Ip.

This interface is simple to understand and provides you all the details you have to know about your network. I was very amazed with the interface, as before I’ve encountered router software that is drab, clunky and sometimes overly complex, but here it really is presented stylishly without having to be overly flamboyant (a worry with some gaming-orientated devices that try too much to be stylish). You can’t install your own firmware, such as for example OpenWRT, so you’ll never quite get full control over your router, which might be an issue for a few network admins.

To test out the number of the Wi-Fi we first used the Broadband Speed Checker tool to measure our download speeds with this device next to the Asus RT-AC5300 using among the 5GHz networks.

It recorded 151.19Mb/s. We moved to the area next door inside our large office, and the results was a still impressive 134.2Mb/s. To essentially test the number we then experienced another two sets side, and tried it again. This time around the speeds dropped to 55.81Mb/s. While this is pretty a substantial drop, we were now standing around 60 feet from the router, with several doors and walls between us.

With somewhat of tweaking of the antennas in order that they pointed inside our direction, we were able to boost the boosts to 68.24MB/s. While still a drop, they are still correctly acceptable speeds. Finally we visited the ground below and stood roughly under the Asus RT-AC5300. There, we recorded speeds of 140.26MB/s.