ASUS RT-AC87U & RT-AC3200 Routers Review


ASUS RT-AC3200 Conclusion

The ASUS RT-AC3200 is a study in contrasts. On the one hand it is easily the fastest router we have tested to date. On the other, it is only really fast at short distances and only when taking advantage of its multiple networks. If all that was not enough to muddy the waters, the ASUS RT-AC3200 also has the most potential we have seen in a long while, but only if its underlying tech XStream ‘wins’ the war. Otherwise it will be simply a very fast router but one that will be always on the wrong side of history. This makes for a solution which will not be right for everyone, and one that may be hard to justify for those who do fall within its obvious design goals it does offer a lot, and maybe even more in the future.

Some of the reasons the ASUS RT-AC3200 is not able to be a slam dunk success for home users is not because we found it wanting in the performance or features department. Rather any areas left wanting are due to the fact that it is not really intended for the typical home consumer environment. Instead this router is geared towards SOHO users and homes with a lot of networked devices. Basically it is a tailor made solution for heavily congested networks, regardless of if XStream becomes widely accepted or not. This means for the average home consumer the ASUS RT-AC3200 will be overkill in the worst possible sense of the word. In fact, most users may not even notice any difference between it and a lower priced “AC1900” solution.

What ASUS has here is a router capable of blowing the doors of the competition but one that is also hampered by its relatively narrow target audience. This is no fault of ASUS since they had to work within the current network standards, of which a faster solution hasn’t been ratified yet. That means unless you have an insanely congested 5GHz network that will benefit from a second seamlessly integrated sibling network, the benefits brought to the table by the AC3200 will be minimal.

As time goes by this situation will change and the ASUS RT-AC3200 will start to shine, but until then its performance will never be as great as its large model number would suggest. This does however explain why ASUS does not consider the AC3200 to be above the AC87U in their product stack. Instead they are meant to coexist and are aimed at slightly different markets.

Thankfully, for those ASUS is hoping to court with this router, it is a stunning success. The RT-AC3200 has an onboard SoC powerful enough to handle multiple heavily used networks, software features that now actually work like they are supposed to and a user-friendly interface that’s literally second to none. Overkill or not the end result is a model with a lot going for it. As long as you can afford it, and think you would benefit from its unique abilities, you will be impressed with what the AC3200 has to offer.

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