Thursday, October 25th 2018

ASUS Announces Availability of RT-AX88U 802.11ax Router

ASUS today announced that the RT-AX88U WiFi router is now available. Featuring the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard, which includes a variety of new technologies that improve Wi-Fi speed and network capacity, RT-AX88U enables users to get cutting edge, future-proof performance from their home Wi-Fi network.

In addition to the latest Wi-Fi technologies, RT-AX88U features a powerful 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core processor to ensure smooth and responsive performance as well as two USB ports and eight Gigabit LAN parts to provide users the flexibility to expand and configure their network the way they want.
RT-AX88U also features powerful built-in software, including adaptive QoS and Gamers Private Network (GPN) powered by wtfast to accelerate online gaming, AiMesh for creating a whole-home mesh Wi-Fi system simply by adding compatible routers, and AiProtection Pro, commercial-grade network security powered by TrendMicro to keep users and all their connected devices safe from online threats. Many households and small businesses upgrade their Wi-Fi router infrequently, so current purchasing decisions can affect network performance for years to come. By upgrading to a new Wi-Fi router, such as RT-AX88U, when a new network standard becomes available, users can maximize network performance now and get the longest lifespan out of their Wi-Fi network.

With the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi, ASUS RT-AX88U supports 160 MHz bandwidth and 1024-QAM to provide ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds of up 6000Mbps - 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804Mbps on the 5GHz band - 2.3X faster than 802.11ac 4x4 dual-band routers. In addition to boosting Wi-Fi speeds, the 802.11ax standard offers a number of other improvements and optimizations that address the massive increase in the number of connected devices in recent years. RT-AX88U features a revolutionary combination of OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology that provides up to 4X better network efficiency and capacity.

With OFDMA, the data channel is separated into smaller sub channels, so data from different devices can be bundled together to ensure no bandwidth is wasted. This means that one channel can transmit data to several devices at the same time, improving efficiency and reducing latency. These smaller sub channels also enable RT-AX88U to provide up to 80% greater coverage than previous-generation routers. The 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard also helps to improve battery life of connected devices. A new technology called Target Wait Time (TWT) allows transmissions to be scheduled, so connected devices can sleep for longer periods, delivering up to 7X better battery life. 802.11ax is fully backwards compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards, so users can connect any Wi-Fi device to RT-AX88U and enjoy a seamless networking experience.

ASUS RT-AX88U comes with eight Gigabit LAN ports to provide maximum flexibility for users who need or prefer wired connections. Additionally, two USB ports enable connection of an external hard drive or printer to create network storage or wireless backups and printing. One of the USB ports is located on the front of the router for easier connectivity. To handle the data from the increased number of connected devices supported by 802.11ax as well as from the eight LAN ports and two USB ports, RT-AX88U comes with a 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core CPU that provides enough processing power to keep even the busiest networks running smoothly.
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24 Comments on ASUS Announces Availability of RT-AX88U 802.11ax Router

#1
bonehead123
for $350, this thing claims "latest & greatest" blah blah blah, you would have thought they could have included at least 1x USB-C port, or even USB 3.1 gen 2......geesh... :mad: :shadedshu: :cry:
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#4
TheLostSwede
bonehead123for $350, this thing claims "latest & greatest" blah blah blah, you would have thought they could have included at least 1x USB-C port, or even USB 3.1 gen 2......geesh... :mad::shadedshu::cry:
Sorry, but what do you need a USB-C port on a router for? I'm honestly quite curious to hear the answer, as I have not idea what it would be for.

Faster than 1Gbps Ethernet is a must on 802.11ax routers though, as the Ethernet is going to be a major bottleneck on these type of devices, at least if you intend to try and get the most out of them.
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#5
bonehead123
TheLostSwedeSorry, but what do you need a USB-C port on a router for? I'm honestly quite curious to hear the answer, as I have not idea what it would be for.

Faster than 1Gbps Ethernet is a must on 802.11ax routers though, as the Ethernet is going to be a major bottleneck on these type of devices, at least if you intend to try and get the most out of them.
Not so much a "need" but rather a "should be there" on a so-called "top end/latest & greatest" device....

At that price point, I tend to expect the very best of everything to be included...

plus I could attach an m.2 array to it for really fast data storage/transfers....
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#6
TheLostSwede
bonehead123Not so much a "need" but rather a "should be there" on a so-called "top end/latest & greatest" device....

At that price point, I tend to expect the very best of everything to be included...

plus I could attach an m.2 array to it for really fast data storage/transfers....
But why? You want something, but can't explain why. I'm trying to understand why, but I can't. There's really no reason for it.

Also, why would you attach an M.2 array (I presume you mean that this would be in some kind of nonexistent external enclosure with RAID support?) to a router?

Your logic escapes me and it feels like you're just trolling.
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#7
AnarchoPrimitiv
Yeah, that's pretty stupid that they didn't include a 10GBase-T port on this thing....and I'm specifying 10GBase-T, not 10GSFP+Cu, 10GBASE-CR, 10GBASE-CX1, or any other form of SFP+. I never understood why anyone would suggest SFP+ other than for the MOST limited use case....10GBase-T NICs and Switches are just as cheap as SFP+ now, and here's the major thing, you CANNOT wire a building (home or business) with SFP+ DAC cables....well, not in any reasonable, neat, or easy way...and it'd be ridiculous to wire your home with SMF or MMF over CAT6a. Hell, I've got a 10GBase-T network in my home, and I did it before there were $100 NICs available from Asus or Aquantia....I had to buy $350 Intel X550/X540-T1's and T2's
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#8
VulkanBros
Got a Mercku M2 and 4 Bee's a week ago.
Best wireless throughput and coverage ever experienced. Only downsize is the lack of LAN ports, had to use a 8 port Cisco switch for covering that. For $234 that's the best wireless system I ever bought.....
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#9
remixedcat
bonehead123for $350, this thing claims "latest & greatest" blah blah blah, you would have thought they could have included at least 1x USB-C port, or even USB 3.1 gen 2......geesh... :mad::shadedshu::cry:
or PoE!
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
TheLostSwedeBut why? You want something, but can't explain why. I'm trying to understand why, but I can't. There's really no reason for it.
Exactly this. There is literally no reason to include USB-C in a router. You can maybe make the argument for faster USB 3.1 ports, but why? USB3.0 is already 5.0Gb/s, faster than any other connection this router will ever see, so it would just be completely wasted.
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#12
metalfiber
remixedcatPoE is most needed.
PoE?...Poe's law? :)

"Poe" as a noun has been coined from Poe's Law. In this context, a Poe refers to either a person, post, or news story that could cause Poe's Law to be invoked. In most cases, this is specifically in the sense of posts and people who are taken as legitimate, but are probably parody.
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#13
remixedcat
Power Over Ethernet silly goose .. LOL
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcatPoE is most needed.
Not really, I don't see a need for it in a consumer grade router either. Consumers aren't generally dropping in PoE access points, and ASUS doesn't really want to encourage that anyway, they want people to use their AiMesh tech.
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#15
remixedcat
Lots of security cameras even targeted for home users like ring (which is far from enterprise) have PoE though.
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcatLots of security cameras even targeted for home users like ring (which is far from enterprise) have PoE though.
Sure, but do you want to plug your security cameras into your router that likely can't even supply the power necessary to run them? To add PoE, you need to add a beefier power supply. Even if you just go with the base PoE standard, and not PoE+, and only provide 4-ports, you're looking at 60w more of power draw. If they included PoE+ to support the more modern products, it would need 120w more power.

Add to that the heat associated with PoE and it won't play well with a wireless router. That's why you don't tend to see Wireless routers with PoE, the wireless radios don't like heat, they get hot enough themselves.

Finally, there is the standards issues. You mention the Ring devices, well, they don't work with standard PoE equipment. You have to use their PoE injectors, because the devices don't use the PoE standards, instead they run off 12v only. Believe it or not, a lot of PoE equipment is like that, especially the stuff aimed at consumers. Even some of the less expensive Ubiquiti stuff was like that.I put in a lot of UAP-AC-LITE access points, and until recently they only supported the Ubiquiti 24v PoE, they would not work with a standard PoE adapter. Their older N APs still don't support standard PoE, not that anyone should be putting in N APs anymore. I use an Engenius outdoor access point in my garage that is PoE, and it also uses its own PoE injector and will not work with standardized PoE. I'm sure ASUS does not want to have to deal with the support associated with people calling and complaining that their device doesn't work with the PoE of the router, when the reason is the device they are trying to plug into the router actually doesn't actually properly support PoE despite claiming it uses PoE.
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#17
remixedcat
I think it can be done... My poE devices don't get that hot. No hotter with 3 PoE devices on a switch than it does without them. my poE draw itself is currently really low like 4-5W. Not bad.

Also for the segment this targets I don't think they will care about a few more watts extra usage... Gamers already have tons of systems that use a lot so...
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#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcatI think it can be done... My poE devices don't get that hot. No hotter with 3 PoE devices on a switch than it does without them. my poE draw itself is currently really low like 4-5W. Not bad.

Also for the segment this targets I don't think they will care about a few more watts extra usage... Gamers already have tons of systems that use a lot so...
It isn't about the consumer caring about the extra power draw. The thing is, even if you're devices only use 4-5w, ASUS would still have to design the router to be able to supply 30w per port and deal with the heat from that. If they want to include the standard, they have to design it to meet the specs of the standard. And then there is the chance that someone will actually try to use the 30w per port, because that is what PoE says they should be able to supply. Hell, the Ring doorbell uses 15w, not that it would work with with this router if it had PoE anyway. Just because your PoE devices only use a small amount of power doesn't mean all PoE devices are like that, there are plenty out there that use way more power.
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#19
remixedcat
thing is I would rather have more companies focus on stuff like PoE rather tham USB sharing. yah think it'd be standard by now on everything.
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#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcatthing is I would rather have more companies focus on stuff like PoE rather tham USB sharing. yah think it'd be standard by now on everything.
To me, PoE isn't something I even want on a router, they already have enough crap combined together these days. If I want PoE, I'd prefer a dedicated PoE switch. It isn't like they are expensive anymore. But the more crap you put on one device, the more stops working when that one device fails. I don't use the sharing built into the routers either, to me that isn't a function of a router either. I have one thing plugged into my router on the LAN side, a network switch, that's it. My router is used as a router, not as a PoE switch, not as a network switch, not as a NAS, not as a print server. Heck, if I had a bigger house, the router wouldn't even be used for wireless, I'd have wireless APs for that.

This need to try to centralize every network device into a single unit is insane to me. I would prefer that eveything on my entire network didn't stop working just because my router takes a shit.
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#21
remixedcat
the need is simple really though. one device to connect to a UPS and supply power and networking to security cameras. this is less complicated thsn injectors and 2 cables per camera.

This isn't about Ring's epecific implementation. Other vendors have PoE af/AT as well. A relative has one that's PoE AT.
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#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcatthe need is simple really though. one device to connect to a UPS and supply power and networking to security cameras. this is less complicated thsn injectors and 2 cables per camera.

This isn't about Ring's epecific implementation. Other vendors have PoE af/AT as well. A relative has one that's PoE AT.
I'm not arguing the need for PoE isn't there, but not on a consumer router. Yes, one device to plug in to a UPS is certainly nice, and if it is your security camera's that device should be a PoE switch that is designed to handle the load, not a consumer router that is designed with form over function.

You're right, this isn't about Ring's specific implementation, it is about all the different companies that have their own implementation. Netgear, Trendnet, Ubiquiti, EnGenius, just to list a few, all have put out non-standard PoE devices. And the devices that don't follow the established PoE standard are usually the products aimed at consumers. So the result of adding PoE to a consumer router would be a bunch of people plugging their devices into the router and then wondering why they don't work. Consumers don't know that just because the box for a product says PoE, that doesn't mean it actually follows the standards and will work with 802.3af/at. The extra support that ASUS, or any company that releases consumer routers, would have to provide to these people would be far too high.

PoE Switches, and routers, are still something that just isn't ready for the consumer market and is best left to enthusiasts and professionals.
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#23
Vlada011
ASUS made best routers but price is not worth for regular home users.
In our town start to build optical network and before few days they work in my building.
Now my 20/2Mb/s will become 50/8 or 100/10Mb/s.....:roll:
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#24
trumanhw
AnarchoPrimitiv...stupid they didn't include a 10GBase-T port. ...why anyone would suggest SFP+ ...
You CAN adapt SFP+ to a 10Gbase-T interface. That makes it a pretty UNIVERSAL interconnect.
10Gbase-T ... is exclusive.
Amazon -- is.gd/CrkC6l
www.amazon.com/10Gtek-SFP-10G-T-S-Compatible-10GBase-T-Transceiver/dp/B01KFBFL16

Strengths of SFP+ -- and -- Weaknesses of 10GBASE-T:
  • 10Gbase-T is Less efficient.
  • SFP+ is very high cable quality and incredibly diverse (there are SFP+ cables that work 20kM !!)
  • 10GbaseT has no path to extend beyond 100m
  • Latency of 10GbaseT is 26x that of SFP+
  • A single 40GbE port can supply 4x SFP+ 10GbE cables.
  • Cheaper Switches / NIC adapters via the purchase of used Enterprise gear.
SFP+ is only superior in these categories:
  • Superb performance
  • The Lowest latency
  • Superior energy efficiency
(To quote websites...)

10GBASE-T vs SFP+: Latency
Low latency is paramount to ensure fast response time and reduce CPU idle cycles. That increases data center efficiency and ROI. With the increasing of using private cloud applications, the need for low latency is growing fast in large scale data centers.

When it comes to 10GBase-T, the PHY standard uses block encoding to transport data across the cable without errors. The standard specifies 2.6 microseconds for the transmit-receive pair, and the size of the block requires that latency to be less that 2 microseconds. SFP+ uses simplified electronics without encoding, and typical latency is around 300 nanoseconds (ns) per link. You can further compare them in the below table.

Basically, there are only slight differences between 10GBASE-T and SFP+ in terms of application latency. Relatively speaking, 10G SFP+ has lower latency than 10GBASE-T. High latency would exert negative influence on CPU and therefore limiting data center efficiency and increasing operational costs.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+: Power Consumption
10GBase-T components today require anywhere from 2 to 5 watts per port at each end of the cable (depending on the distance of the cable) while SFP+ requires approximately 0.7 watt (regardless of distance). The difference is clearly shown in the below chart.
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