Gadgets Info

ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Specs

Mesh systems simplify your own network in that they offer a way to improve the coverage of the WLAN without having to pull cables through the apartment. Mesh systems are now established and interested buyers are offered numerous alternatives. Today we’re looking at the ASUS ZenWiFi AX. ASUS promises a coverage of over 500 m² and this with high transfer rates.

The ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) is available as a starter set with two mesh points and as a single device if additional expansion is necessary. In terms of design, there is a choice between the housing color white and black. We have prepared a detailed article for those who want to deal with the subject of WiFi 6 and the other network standards in more detail . We have also dealt extensively with a mesh setup, what expectations can be attached to it and what questions should be asked before purchasing such a system .

The technical specifications of the ASUS ZenWiFi AX are hardly noticeable. The mesh system is connected to an existing router or a corresponding modem via WAN. This Internet connection is then passed on to the entire network via WLAN and Ethernet.

For most of them, invisible inside, routers also work with SoCs, and there is often a lot of memory built into them. The ZenWiFi AX uses a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor. The SoC is supported by 512 MB of RAM. The firmware runs on a 256 MB flash memory.

Everything that is needed for the initial installation is included in the scope of delivery. A network cable is also included so that nothing stands in the way of setting up the mesh system. We will go into the individual details of the various network functions in more detail below.

In comparison, for example to the Orbi system from Netgear, the components of the ASUS ZenWiFi AX are quite compact at 160 x 75 x 162 mm. They are set up as shown above. The weight of 716 g does not matter as the routers cannot be wall-mounted.

In contrast to other mesh systems, ASUS does not have any routers or satellites – all components are identical. With the starter set, any mesh router can be set up on the Internet router and another mesh end node is distributed in the household. Anyone who already uses an ASUS WLAN router that has the AI ​​mesh function can integrate the ZenWiFi AX via mesh.

In contrast to other mesh systems, ASUS does not have any routers or satellites – all components are identical. With the starter set, any mesh router can be set up on the Internet router and another mesh end node is distributed in the household. Anyone who already uses an ASUS WLAN router that has the AI ​​mesh function can integrate the ZenWiFi AX via mesh.

While the older network standards hardly play a role anymore, let’s focus on 802.11ac and 802.11ax. In addition to a 2.4 GHz network, ASUS also spans two 5 GHz networks with the ZenWiFi AX. However, these support different fast WLAN standards or modulations. Hence the differences in theoretical performance: 867 vs. 3,466 MBit / s in AC mode and 1,201 vs. 4,804 MBit / s in AX mode.

There are also some openings on the two sides of the mesh router. However, we could not determine any major heat development that was produced by the WLAN hardware during operation. Certainly, the routers get warm under load, but we don’t see a cooling problem (probably because of the openings).

We still have to say a few words about the dimensions: The approximately 160 x 75 x 160 mm can be described as compact. The dimensions of WLAN routers are determined by the number and size of the antennas. If no external antennas are used (we remember numerous “spider routers”), then the antennas are built in internally.

The ZenWiFi-AX routers use six antennas that can be found in the edges of the rectangular housing and thus cover all directions. The WLAN signal can be directed accordingly via beamforming. This beamforming is one of the functions that are important for a fast and long-range WLAN. In addition, multiple antennas enable simultaneous transmission and reception on multiple channels.

Since the ZenWiFi-AX routers are always identical and there is no router / satellite function in the structure, this also applies to the connections. Looking from left to right we find the power supply connection, an on / off switch, three Gigabit Ethernet, one Gigabit / 2.5GbE WAN and USB 3.0.

Having an uplink via 2.5GbE is a nice option that is offered here. In practice, of course, there is usually very little left of this theoretical 2,500 Mbit / s at the mesh endpoints. Due to the increasingly affordable prices and the corresponding interfaces on mainboards and NAS systems, a 2.5GbE is now becoming a conceivable option in the home network area for many users.

External storage media or a printer can be connected to the USB 3.0 port. The releases are controlled by the software, which we will go into later.

A single LED on the front provides information about the state of the mesh system. During operation, the LED simply lights up green. During the installation of new firmware it flashes white and if another mesh end node is set up and connected, it flashes blue very quickly. This means that you can see at a glance what is happening with the ZenWiFi-AX routers.

Software

The ZenWiFi-AX routers can be set up and configured in several ways. We set up one of the routers, connected it to the network and turned it on. Shortly afterwards we were able to access the WLAN (the SSID is on the base of the router) and take the first steps of the setup.

In these first steps, the basics are first determined and the user explained how he can also integrate any other devices that may be available. We left the two ZenWiFi AX routers in close proximity as described and proceeded step by step.

Before activating the Wi-Fi or 802.11ax, the software warns that this can also lead to problems, depending on the client. Even with older devices, we couldn’t find any problems in the tests. After updating the firmware, we switched from the mobile device to the desktop.

the ASUS user interface has not been dynamically adjusted in terms of its display. Egel whether on the smartphone in portrait or on the desktop browser in landscape format: the display is always identical. This means that ASUS software lags behind the competition in terms of development and user guidance. Even if the user interface tries to have a modern look, the details and drop-down menus show the burdens of the past of user guidance that is actually no longer seen today.

The second and all subsequent ZenWiFi AX routers are simply integrated into the user interface at the push of a button. The software briefly searches for hardware that is not yet connected and adds it to the mesh.

With the selection of the SSID and the password at the beginning and now the integration of the second router, the initial work is already completed. In most cases, the mesh systems are operated in this way and no further settings are made. Now the satellites can be placed wherever you want – just as you want for the best possible coverage of the WLAN. The uplink between the mesh nodes can easily be checked using the software.

All the options to be expected can be found in the menus of the user interface. This starts with the WLAN settings, such as the 2.4 GHz network and the 5 GHz networks can be individually controlled. One of the networks can be used as a guest network, which has only limited access rights. AiProtection can be used to block certain websites and content. In an intersection with child safety, further restrictions must also be made. In this way, certain devices can be assigned a time window in which they can go online. The AiProtection should as far as possible automatically recognize if there are abnormalities in the home network. Devices and access should then be automatically blocked.

A bandwidth monitor provides information about the utilization of the network or the Internet connection. Certain applications can be prioritized via a QoS. For example, gaming or streaming videos so that they can always be delivered with the highest resolution. In times of home office and home schooling, this also includes video and audio conference systems and e-learning platforms.

AiDisk can be used to share USB data carriers that are located on the USB ports of the router. This can also be used to control backups or a download ends up directly on the stick and no computer has to be running to download a larger file. Certain content can be synchronized via AiCloud Sync.

In addition, the advanced settings offer numerous other options in the various areas. So you can’t complain about the lack of administration options with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button