ASUS RT-AC58U Wi-Fi Router Review. Today we explore a budget friendly router from ASUS, and to clarify right off the bat, it’s solely a router, and has no modem. Pricing on the day of review is in the 75 – 80-pound region, and as always, we urge you to shop around, checking for deals and promotions first!
Four external antennae offer high-gain connectivity via multi-user MIMO technology, so that multiple devices can connect without impact throughput. The antennae also help reduce wi-fi deadspots around the home.
|Network Standard||IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6|
|Product Segment||AC1300 enhanced AC performance : 400+867 Mbps|
|Data Rate||802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps|
|802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps|
|802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps|
|802.11n TurboQAM : up to 400 Mbps|
|802.11ac : up to 867 Mbps|
|Antenna||External antenna x 4|
|2.4 GHz 2 x 2|
|5 GHz 2 x 2|
|Memory||128 MB Flash|
|Operating Frequency||2.4 GHz / 5 GHz|
|Encryption||64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise , WPS support|
|Ports||RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 4|
|USB 3.0 x 1|
|– User definable rules for IP/MAC/Port|
|– Upload and download bandwidth management|
|– ACK/SYN/FIN/RST/ICMP with highest priority|
|Guest Network :|
|VPN server : L2TP Pass-Through, PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server|
|VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client|
|AiCloud personal cloud service|
|3G/4G data sharing|
|AiDisk file server|
|– Samba and FTP server with account management|
|Button||WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Button|
|LED Indicator||LAN x 1|
|WAN x 1|
|Wi-Fi x 2|
|USB x 1|
|AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)|
|DC Output : 12 V with max. 1.5 A current|
|OS Support||Windows® 10|
|Mac OS X 10.1|
|Mac OS X 10.4|
|Mac OS X 10.4|
|Mac OS X 10.5|
|Mac OS X 10.6|
|Mac OS X 10.7|
|Mac OS X 10.8|
|Dimensions||207 x 148.8 x 35.5 ~ mm (LxWxH)|
The ASUS RT-AC58U arrives in a generic ASUS style box, and that’s not a dig so let me clarify. Style and design are similar to other ASUS boxes; they’re super clean, minimal and direct with only useful information, something we rarely see elsewhere.
|•Network cable (RJ-45)|
|•Quick Start Guide|
|•Support CD (User Manual)|
We start our tour from the front side, and ASUS have opted to keep the LED’s on the top side of the product, and you might be thinking so what? This is a wise move, as it removes the irritation of flashing and blinking lights, from eye level!
Instead, all you’ll see is the dedicated front mounted USB 3.0 port, a decision I understand, this reduces the frustration of moving the router frequently, and trying to line up a USB pen/drive. Perhaps a side mounted option would have suited others, but I don’t mind at all.
The bulk of the product is finished in a crisscross like pattern, which reacts well to light but certainly does not cause any annoyance to the eyes. These four large antennas will surely catch your attention; each is highly poseable
A no-nonsense approach on the reverse side, with a single WAN and 4x GIGABIT LAN ports, for your home network devices. While some high-end models do offer more, 4 ought to suit the average home. Failing that the cost of a switch in the UK, is extremely low so expanding is an option for little outlay.[nextpage title=”UI + Experience”]
GUI- SETUP – EXPERIENCE
[GENERAL – NETWORK MAP]
Much like the default page on an- ASUS UEFI Bios, we’re presented with a clean and logical GUI. Down the left side, each option is sectioned. The first page that loads, provide key info such as connection status, amount of clients, USB, MAC and IP addresses
A nice touch is a readout for core and RAM usage, a pleasant addition to monitor load.
Ah yes…something every home should have, if you have more than one user. The implementation from ASUS is far more robust that I expected. You can set a limit for bandwidth control with QOS, or choose to independently specify a limit for any connected device. Finally much like the status monitor for the Cores/RAM, we find a robust log for ingoing/outgoing traffic
A simple but effective set of tools to limit the amount of internet connectivity to any device on the network, simply set a time limit for each day.
That front mounted USB port, is able to offer a fair few features. Namely dongle support for 3G/4G networks, as a media device for an internal networking use, printer support and with the AIDisk feature, you can access your media files from outside of the network (across the internet)
[AI Cloud 2.0]
So then with a plethora of tools in its arsenal, and enough settings to keep busy for a weekend, how long did it take it setup? The answer…. less than a minute, yes really. Upon first connection, via my browser, the ASUS quick setup (optional) had us up and running with a wired and Wi-Fi connection all under a minute. Now if you wanted to know how long I actually played around after, and annoyed the kids, I don’t have the figure, but I’m informed it was far too long…
As shown earlier, parental control and filtering were two elements that I explored foremost. These are essential to me and most users, and despite the gray area of who, what and why, when it comes to parenting the internet… these settings are a blessing. As was the actual setup of each. Not only was I able to filter specific sites and keywords, to protect my youngest children, but I was able to set fair (not at all according to them!) usage limits, to cut back on late night browsing! Unlike some routers on the market, these settings can be applied to independent devices, allowing me more control to suit the age of each child.
Wi-Fi testing is something we’ve avoiding in the past, as we found it to be erratic. That said, I just wanted the show huge gains achieved on a smartphone. Comparing 5Ghz on this product to a now retired SKY router, with a download/upload test
It’s a simple test, and yes a million and one variables need to be considered before shouting from the rooftops. Using the ever popular speedtest.net
For reference sake max speed from wired devices = 74Mbps
Which added a significant amount of bandwidth both to upload and download, That alone is a huge gain, but when you consider a busy network with many wireless devices, The extra bandwidth really matters.
Especially in a home like a mine which consists of 3 Wired desktops, 2X Smart TV’s, Xbox 360/Xbox One (WIFI) 2x Android phones, 3X Apple iPhone, 2x Ipads…yeah I’ll take all the extra speed, I can have thank you very much![nextpage title=”Conclusion – TL:DR”]
I’m not trying to bend any truth or exaggerate, the following is 100% genuine, and of course each users reason for upgrading, or changing router will vary. Here’s my experience…The product delivered more than I expected, and after rigorous testing, I’d highly recommend one!
Why? You may be asking, well we have a very active household, with the internet at the core driving our tech, On paper, it would seem, with a large number of wireless devices, and consistent usage we’d be better suited with something from the top of the market right?
Before the review, we’d used a bunch of routers and had mixed experiences. Troubleshooting seemed to be a frequent occurrence, the free modems supplied via my ISP had long since been retired, and I’d experimented with others models from TP-Link, while better than the freebies, I still had issues especially with WIFI. What I really lacked was control on these other routers (all similarly priced) they just seemed restricted and dumbed down.
For some consumers that would be perfect! It avoids misconfigurations, but in 2017, with three children i need control of my own home network. The ASUS RT-AC58U provided just that. The GUI is a delight to work with, and any one that has a recent ASUS motherboard, will understand my comparison between this and the UEFI seen on them, the layout, the feel, its top notch
Connection types vary, but most of the UK will already be using a separate modem to feed the internet into a router, that as supplied by their ISP, if not… I repeat once again, unlike other ASUS models, this does not feature a modem. With that in mind, if you have a wonky connection, that drops often, don’t assume this or another router will fix that. Be sure to investigate the issues before purchase. What it will grant however, is a robust and consistent internal home network. With a stable Wi-Fi connection, and some brilliant security features. Sure you might not make use of them all on day one, but knowing they’re available is great (VPN for example)
Like all ASUS products we’ve reviewed in the past, it looks great and our overall experience was fantastic. Break free of the shackles imposed by other hardware, with this… you can fine tune any home network, making it work the way it should...your way!