ASUS never fails to deliver industry-leading hardware and software packages whether it’s their wide range of PC hardware, laptops, motherboards or networking products. Today in particular, we are going to break down one of their popular mid-range routers that brings WiFi 6 and high-end networking features to the table, but at a pocket friendly price point.
In this ASUS RT-AX82U review, we are going to look at the various aspects of this gaming router and find out how well it stands up when put to real-life usage scenarios. We will be breaking it down in terms of performance, features and overall versatility. Well, there’s a lot to cover so without wasting any more time, let’s begin with the ASUS AX5400 review!
|Wi-Fi Technology||Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax|
|Number of Bands||Dual-Band (2.4GHz 4×4 and 5GHz 8×8)|
|Processor||1.5GHz 64 bit Tri-Core processor|
|Speed||5400 Mbps (574Mbps @2.4GHz & 4804Mbps @5GHz)|
|Coverage||Up to 2000 sq.ft|
|USB Ports||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Ethernet Ports||3 x LAN port + 1 x Gaming port|
- Excellent WiFi speed and coverage
- Gorgeous design
- Customisable RGB LED Lighting
- Dedicated Mobile Gaming Mode for smartphones
- Very intuitive and refined user interface
- Competitive pricing
- Cannot wall-mount
- Only a single USB port
Sure it looks fantastic on paper, but it’s important to know about the actual performance before you make a decision. Let’s dive into the detailed review and see what you can expect from the ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 wireless router.
The ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 is clearly designed to adorn your next gaming build. Starting with a sleek trapezoidal body with a matte-black finish, four adjustable antennas and on the front are located two sections on color-changing LED lights. The LED panels feature customisable controls via ASUS Aura Sync Lighting, but more on that later.
On the back panel, you’ll find the power DC-IN port, a power ON/OFF switch, a single USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, WPS and Reset buttons. Besides that, there are also four Ethernet ports with the fourth one doubling up as a “Gaming port”. Well, that means no multi-gig port but you have Link Aggregation and Dual WAN support.
But there’s a minor flaw in its design. It’s not wall-mount ready like some of the competitors. Nonetheless, it’s not too large and as long as you place it on a flat surface, you’ll be very impressed by its overall appeal.
2. WiFi 6
Similar to the flagship Tp-Link Archer AX11000 and ASUS RT-AX89X, the ASUS RT-AX82U gaming router comes with the latest WiFi 6 802.11ax standard, which significantly boosts the overall speeds, coverage and reduces energy consumption and latency. The latest iteration is supposed to give you 25% more speed and range, and 7-times more energy efficiency. Good thing to know is that it’s backwards compatible, which means you’ll be able to use any old WiFi device with this router.
As far as wireless technology is concerned, the ASUS RT-AX82U offers 1024-QAM, MU-MIMO data streaming, OFDMA and Beamforming which make it future-proof and help in providing a reliable WiFi network. The new advancements are extremely beneficial if you are in a crowded area and want better connectivity across a greater number of devices.
When it comes to wireless throughputs and range, the ASUS RT-AX82U delivers! With a total bandwidth of 160MHz and all the benefits of WiFi 6, it is rated to reach theoretical speeds of 4804Mbps on the 5GHz channel and 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel. These are some solid results, and more than enough for any streaming tasks or online gaming.
Talking about the range, ASUS doesn’t give you a fixed number, however we found that users were able to cover their 1800-2000 sq. ft. homes without any issues. There were no signal drops or connectivity issues and it’s safe to say that the router is ideal for large homes. It also supports AiMesh out-of-the-box, which is a good news if you’re planning to install a whole-home mesh system.
4. ASUS Aura RGB Lighting
RGB has been one of the strong points of ASUS, both in the hardware and software department. As we touched upon earlier, the front panel on the RT-AX82U gaming router sports two Aura Sync RGB panels which are user-customisable and offer hundreds of colors and lighting effects to suit everyone’s needs.
Aura Sync is one of the most user-friendly and refined RGB technologies out there. Apart from changing the color modes, you can set it to pulse, flash or roll like a rainbow (similar to breathing effect but in a wavy motion). The mobile app makes it easy to control the Aura RGB to fit your mood.
One thing you should know is that the RGB can’t be controlled when you use it in a mesh system, and you will have to disconnect it and change it as a standalone router. Apart from that, the RGB on this router is just perfect, versatile enough to pair with a wide range of gaming setups but still not overly flashy.
5. Gaming Features
This ASUS AX5400 review won’t be complete without mentioning some of its exclusive gaming-enhancement features. This includes the Mobile Game Mode that can be activated through the mobile app and the Gear Accelerator designed to prioritize bandwidth usage among the connected devices or PCs. If you’re an online streamer or a mobile gamer, then you’ll love the addition of these technologies.
> Mobile Gaming Mode
The ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 comes with a dedicated Mobile Game Mode that can be set up with a single click in the mobile app. It lets you prioritize mobile devices and also works together with Adaptive QoS to prioritize other functions like web browsing or streaming.
This mode helps in reducing ping and minimizing packet data loss so you can have an interrupted and latency-free gaming experience. Only thing you have to remember is that the Gaming Mode requires you to have the ASUS Router app to run and it cannot be turned on via the web interface.
> Gear Accelerator
Besides the Game Mode, the router also features an in-built Gear Accelerator which can be accessed via the online control panel. It allows you to set device priority in a high-traffic environment in order to get the most speed and network strength for your device.
The ASUS RT-AX82U also comes with a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), which is claimed to give you up to 8.4x faster bandwidth on the 5GHz channel, provided your network supports DFS. Overall, it offers plenty of controls and versatile features and it’s hard to go wrong with the performance of the router even if you are a gamer or non-gamer.
6. Number of Ports
Although we wished the router came with more than four LAN ports, what’s great is that the fourth Ethernet port is designated as a “Gaming Port”. This port automatically takes priority over the wired devices connected through the other LAN ports. This essentially means that as long as you have the gaming PC connected to the Gaming port, you can be assured to have a stable and faster connection.
Not only that, the router’s USB 3.2 1×1 port is capable of a wide range of functionality. You can use it together with the WAN port (Dual WAN) to support two separate broadband connections. The USB port can also be used to host devices like NAS, printers or compatible USB cellular modems. The new USB generation 3.2 has been significantly improved and can support data transfer speeds of 100Mbps and even more.
7. Adaptive QoS
QoS stands for Quality of Service and is designed to deliver proper bandwidth to each connected device. The ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 comes with Adaptive QoS, which lets you switch between modes and select specific services or applications to be prioritized in an intuitive drag-and-drop fashion.
For example, you can set the modes among gaming, web surfing, media streaming, VoIP and file transferring. It also lets you monitor the bandwidth in case you want to know which device is consuming the most amount of bandwidth. This might be very helpful if you have a lot of users of wireless gadgets in your home.
Now if you have a much larger home or just want to ensure there are no WiFi dead zones left in your building, you get the native support for ASUS AiMesh whole-home WiFi system. This lets you combine multiple ASUS routers into a single mesh network that can be controlled from one centralized management interface.
We believe that AiMesh is one of the better mesh technologies in the market being extremely cost-effective and easy to set up. It doesn’t limit you to select one specific model of router, and you can use any compatible ASUS router with it. This way you can have one large blanket of WiFi without sacrificing on any of the functionality and security while giving boost to the range.
Setting up AiMesh is super simple: Create the WiFi using a primary router (usually the highest spec’d one), then turn on the other routers to be used as nodes. Now simply use ASUSWRT or the ASUS Router app to find and add it to the AiMesh network. You can also set either a single SSID or multiple SSIDs which is again an obvious upside to this mesh system.
This brings our ASUS RT-AX82U review to a close. We think it’s a solid well-rounded router in the upper mid-range segment that offers plenty of performance with a special gaming-centric feature-set. It’s one of the few routers that offer RGB without compromising on the internals and real-world wireless performance.
The few areas that could be better are more LAN/USB ports, no WTFast support and it’s not wall-mountable. However, the excellent performance and the slew of advanced features more than make up for it. The stylish looks and customisable RGB will fit most gaming setups well, but it’s an equally great option for casual users as well.
So, did we convince you enough to buy the ASUS RT-AX82U AX5400 gaming router? Or if you already own one, how’s your experience been? Feel free to drop us a comment and share your thoughts on the router.