ASUS RT-AC87U & RT-AC3200 Routers Review


ASUS RT-AC87U Conclusion

We must admit that the ASUS RT-AC87U impressed us more than we thought it would. On the surface, the it would seem to be nothing more than an “also ran”, always in the shadow of the AC3200. After all it is missing two external antennas, a third network, and has seemingly lower potential performance. More importantly this unit shows the inherent weakness in the way router performance is classified.

While right now the ASUS RT-AC87U cannot actually meet the performance levels of its sibling nor even meet its own AC2400 rating it consistently posted some of the best numbers we have seen, and actually outperformed the RT-AC3200 at longer distances. Of course if you have heavily congested networks the more expensive of these two solutions will provide better performance thanks to its second 5GHz link, but of if Wave 2 takes off this router may someday actually outperform the AC3200 for the typical home user at alldistances.

With that being said the chances of XStream beating Wave 2 are 50/50 and one beating the other before the next generation of routers is out are slim. It will ultimately come down to how fast 4×4 networking adapters can be brought to market, as this is the ace in the hole that Wave 2 has yet to play. Either way we would not choose one over the other based solely on possible future abilities. Basically we have a Beta vs VHS war brewing…and no way of knowing which is Beta and which is VHS until it is all over.

If you need to make a purchase right now the technical abilities of the AC87U are somewhat pared back compared to the tri-band AC3200. However the ASUS RT-AC87U is still one heck of a router even without the razzle dazzle of the 4×4 configuration and at a lower price to boot. That to us makes the ASUS RT-AC87U one heck of a value.

For those who really have to think long and hard about the asking price of the RT-AC3200, the ASUS RT-AC87U makes much more economical sense as it is one of the better values on the market today….and may even get better if 4×4 devices land soon.

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