At CES 2020, ASUS presents not only gaming monitors, but also devices for a stable Internet connection. Thus, the company announced at the fair the mesh network routers ZenWiFi AX (XT8) and ZenWiFi AC (CT8) and the brand new router ZenWiFi Voice. The latter even comes with Amazon Alexa integration.
Those who live in a large apartment or even a house benefit massively from the range and performance of a mesh network. In such a mesh network, compatible WLAN nodes work together to ensure the best WLAN performance in every room. However, you still have a WLAN and a password to log in.
Each of the new ZenWiFi products uses the so-called ASUS AiMesh technology. This is how the company advertises the best possible network performance and other useful new features. These include the ability to conveniently use separate WiFi network names for each band when using each ZenWiFi device, and a voice-activated interface with Amazon Alexa in ZenWiFi Voice.
The ZenWiFi AX (XT8) package for ubiquitous Internet
The new mesh set ZenWiFi AX (XT8) contains two WiFi 6 routers. The set achieves a throughput of up to 6,600 Mbps over the 2.4 GHz band as well as the two 5 GHz bands. The two simple ZenWiFi nodes transmit data via a dedicated 4×4 WiFi 6 backhaul at speeds of up to 4,804 Mbps, while the connected clients are also expected to achieve extremely high transfer rates. In fact, the manufacturer specifies them to be so fast that they are expected to break the gigabit sound barrier.
Full support for WiFi 6 features, including MU-MIMO and OFDMA, ensures that every WiFi 6-compatible device on the network gets its share of the bandwidth. Even in heavily congested network environments such as large apartments, dormitories and densely populated neighborhoods, the devices should have no problems. A special antenna design provides the necessary large WLAN coverage and a strong signal to each connected device.
The ZenWiFi AC (CT8) package extends the home network
The ZenWiFi AC (CT8) mesh WiFi system also has two AC3000 routers that operate at data rates of up to 3000 Mbps. They were inspired by the ZenBook family and are thus particularly elegantly designed. Four vertical and two diagonal internal antennas are located on the housing of the two routers. The ZenWiFi AC goes through a three-step setup process and automatically synchronizes configured settings across all nodes.
ASUS RT-AX89X: Router with eight antennas and Wifi 6 support
In addition to the ZenWifi packages, ASUS has introduced two more powerful WLAN routers with support for the latest Wifi 6 standard. For example, the RT-AX89X is an 8×8 dual-band WiFi router that provides 1024-QAM for high-speed wireless connections. With a total network speed of approximately 6000 Mbps (1148 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 4804 Mbps in the 5 GHz band), the RT-AX89X is up to 2.8 times faster than an 802.11ac 4×4 dual-band router.
For fast wired connections, the router also has two 10G Ethernet ports. The RT-AX89X comes with the free lifetime AiProtection Pro powered by Trend Micro with automatic, regularly updated security signatures to protect devices and personal data from Internet threats. In addition to this security package, the RT-AX89X offers advanced parental controls, including the ability to block specific websites and mobile applications.
ASUS RT-AX86U: Wifi-6 router for demanding gamers
The RT-AX86U router has taken over the gaming genes of the popular RT-AC86U, but has been extended. By supporting WiFi 6 technology, the RT-AX86U enables network speeds of up to 5700 Mbps, more network capacity, better energy efficiency for connected devices and much greater signal coverage.
Other features include, for example, a Mobile Game Boost, which allows users to give their smartphone top network priority for faster online gaming experiences. The RT-AX86U can also accelerate game data packets over wired connections – with speeds of up to 2 Gigabit over WAN/LAN aggregation and a 2.5G Base-T port. This can be configured as a WAN or LAN port via the router’s web interface.
Availability and prices
The recommended retail price for ZenWiFi AX (XT8) with WiFi 6 support as a set of 2 is 509.95 euro; for the WiFi 5 variant (CT8) in a set with two nodes, it’s 439.95 euro. The latest ZenWiFi AX and ZenWiFi AC routers are available in two color options: white and graphite black.