Meet the Wi-Fi 6 routers that support 802.11ax

Asus RT-AX88U Wi-Fi 6 Router

Let’s start with the ASUS RT-AX88U. First teased at CES 2018, the AX88U went on sale in October of that year, and it’s available now for a princely sum of about $289. It looks just like the AC88U that came before it, albeit with gold accents instead of red this time around.

More important than how it looks: the next-gen specs. As the “AX” in the name suggests, this is a Wi-Fi 6 router, and that means it supports key Wi-Fi 6 upgrades like OFDMA, which lets it transmit data to multiple devices at once on a single channel, as well as 1024-QAM, which lets it pack about 25% more data into each of those transmissions than previous-gen, 256-QAM routers (read more about 1024-QAM here).

Specifically, the AX88U and its four antennas promise combined wireless speeds of up to 6,000 megabits per second across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, which is up from 2,600Mbps with the previous generation (and remember that you can only connect to one band at a time — the speedier 5GHz band clocks a top speed of just under 5,000Mbps). It’s also compatible with the Asus AiMesh system if you want to add some extenders throughout your home to maximize coverage.

Like with other Wi-Fi 6 routers, your existing Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 devices will still be able to connect just fine, but don’t expect them to be much faster, if at all. You’ll need Wi-Fi 6 devices in order to take advantage of everything that a Wi-Fi 6 router like this one has to offer.

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Published:Caption:Ry CristPhoto:Asus