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 $300. 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. Like 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 (again, click here for more on how all of that actually works).

Specifically, the AX88U and its four antennas promise combined wireless speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, which is up from 2,600 Mbps with the previous generation (and remember that you can only connect to one band at a time — the speedier 5 GHz band is clocked at just under 5,000 Mbps). 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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