ASUS RT-AC88U Router In Depth Review

Buy it on Amazon – (affiliate link) – Asus makes some of the best routers on the market and this one continues that lineage. It is fast, feature rich, and offers simplified configuration options for many of its complex features.

00:24 – Hardware overview
04:19 – Control panel
05:00 – OpenVPN VPN options
06:06 – Network analysis tools
07:49 – Gaming and QOS prioritization
10:55 – USB port options including using a 3G / 4G fallback modem
12:37 – NAS / external storage option and speed test
14:48 – AC Wireless speed test / benchmark
17:09 – Firmware update issues
17:28 – Conclusion and final thoughts

DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Amazon Vine program and received this product to review on Amazon’s site.

But do not be distracted by all of its antennas. This router, like some of its competitors, supports a new 4×4 1024 QAM mode that promises 2 gigabit per second theoretical wireless speeds. But the reality is that there isn’t currently a laptop, tablet, or phone on the market that actually supports these new speeds. In fact many devices on the market are only first implementing AC wireless speeds that started popping up on routers two years ago!

So if you have an 802.11ac router already and are not pleased with your wireless performance this one likely won’t solve your problem. But if you are not yet currently on AC technology this will be an excellent entry point. Wireless AC devices will operate faster and more reliably on this router than they will on an older non-AC router.

It’s loaded with features and has plenty of RAM and processor power to support what it touts. It has 8 full gigabit ethernet ports as part of its built in switch and two of them can be link aggregated to support higher speed network attached storage devices.

Of note is the traffic analysis feature that can identify not only the biggest consumers of bandwidth on your network but also what it is they’re doing while consuming it. It can also sort traffic logs based on specific applications (Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, etc) across all devices.

It also has a simplified traffic prioritization (QOS) feature to allow games,streaming media, voice over IP, etc. to take a higher priority on the network for lower latency. These priorities can be set by a simple point and click interface or configured manually. It also has an OpenVPN server for connecting to a network remotely as well as a client to link two remote networks together.

Its USB 3.0 port is faster than prior Asus routers and is suitable for light file sharing. I was able to use its USB 2.0 port as a fallback for my main internet connection by having it seamlessly shift to a cellular modem when the main connection went down.

I could go on but this is really the cream of the crop for enthusiast routers. Having looked at a lot of them over the last year or so this one really is the best one out there at the moment.

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CaipirinhaDr says:

Can I use this a behind a modem so only for the wifi?

Zachary Case says:

I love it, I just wish it wasn’t $300

Uncle-Gamer Martinx says:

For Gaming & Streaming it me AMAZING…

Pie Crust says:

thank for this bro.. was deciding between this and the ac3200
Im sold. this thing is a beast!!
Gonna order on monday

nirvgorilla says:

Oh look what talking gets you! Better reviews and more USEFULNESS. Finally a video that doesn’t instantly piss me off.

amazoner0cks says:

Can you please help me, I’m looking for a new good router for gaming and to have a good wireless coverage and stable connection.

I’ll be using more than one device, so should it support MU-MIMO? I don’t know anything about that :/

We are 4 people using more than 6/7 devices, please let me know what do you think.

Gustavo Saito says:

Missed the part where you should discuss the Dual WAN load balancing feature. What are the load balancing algorithms?

wolfpackflt670 says:

Im sitting here waiting for a 10 gigabit router to show up but nothing….why have they not come out with one yet?

4:26 Studios says:

I current have the Asus RT-N14UHP and a 100Mbit Fibr connection but the average speed that I could get would only be around 30-70Mbit… The distance between the router and my desktop is around 25-30ft. If I get this router, will the connection improve?

George PS Mouyios says:

Megabytes per second??? Megabits per second as far as I know.

In any case I just started my search for a sexy router and this is looking sexy and is the gigabit router I may just get. Specs are great and I appreciate you taking the time to review this :).

Subscribed and liked 🙂

Justin Segovia says:

Hello. I was planning on buying this router, but i have a question. Do i have to use a special wifi adapter to fully utilize this router? I am currently using a TP-LINK TL-WN781ND. Thanks!

Psychlone says:

Just lost the 5Ghz on this router. Was on YouTube at the time and it just dropped out. Reset, reboot, unplug, factory reset, firmware upgrade…nothing works. Everything in the setup says it should be on. The only thing I could notice different on the setup page is that the mac address from the 5Ghz channel is no longer showing up. Doing a search on line for this problem shows quite a few people are having this problem on different 5Ghz routers from Asus.

Brent.2017 says:

Asus definitely has the best designed firmware. The Rmerlin firmware adds even more features.

Ronnie Evans says:

When you use the firmware is it free? Do I need pay a services fee for the VPN features?

Redemands says:

Lon is legit

Jesse says:

Short answer: This router is the most absolute fastest wifi router on the market. But only way to use this so called fastest wifi,
is by pairing 2x of these as Bridged connection, and have nothing else but these two connecting eacother.

Before the christmas day ill give 2x of these as gift to myself. To link internet room with my other room.

Henry Realegeno says:

hey lon, i have the rt ac66u and my speeds are still the same(dsl btw). i was wondering if you have any ideas how to fix. also ive tried to use my phone as a backup but it didn’t work

JayzBeerz says:

MU-MIMO doesn’t work on this router and broadcom has given up working on it. They made a new MU-MMO chip that works and now it is in the V2 model. So if you have a V1 you have nothing better than an AC1900 router.

Jason Spradlin says:

This is a phenomenally done review. I’m super interested in the QoS settings, this might be my next router!

Gilson Santos says:

Which NAS you said it got you 100 MB/s data transfer?

Nitsan Ns says:

!יפה לון

sabertoooth06 says:

God damn this is a good review. So many router reviews are garbage, and the reviewer doesn’t understand the functions. Sounds like you know what you’re talking about. Thanks mate.

Nicholas Bell says:

I have a router from 2004 and i think it needs an upgrade.

lowrider06 says:

Great Review

Dennis says:

Great review Great video. Any other recent 8 Lan connection routers you would recommend. I want something new that is still supported by the MFG.

Shark Tooth says:

Fantastic review and Lon gets right to the important details of this router. Thank you. I have made this purchase with better buyers confidence.

BuckeyeBlitzTV says:

I just returned my Nighthawk for this router! Newegg had a promotion going on and I was able to get it for a really good price! The Asus just seems to be a higher quality product. Nothing terribly wrong with the Nighthawk but the router configuration portal is not appealing at all and the overall build of Asus routers just seem to be a bit better than Netgears offerings.

rolan manalo says:

so which is better? this rt ac88u or rt ac3100?

carl hendrix says:

Which routers do you recommend for non-gamers non enthusiasts? I need a simple to set up router for a larger house.

J F says:

Thank you for your review of the router, it was very helpful. I upgraded from the 56u recently and while comfortable with the GUI, was impressed by the additional features that you explained so well.

Mr Turtle says:

I’m a gamer but I live with my parents and brother but my computer takes up the Internet should I get this

ulrich kavin Yapi says:

I noticed that you use the verizon MIFI as a modem.
I would like to do the same with my TP-Link M7350 and my asus RT-AC5300.
What settings do I need to activate in the ASUS router to take advantage of the connection?
Help me please.

amazoner0cks says:

Great review, should i get this one or the Asus AC-5300? I don’t use so many devices at the same time, have a big home so need a great coverage range, a gamer so need a very good gaming router, don’t need the extra 5 ghz band in the AC 5300 I think since I don’t have that many devices. What do you recommend?

hitardo says:

Excellent review!
Thank you 🙂

I am thinking on buying this router due to its 8 port LAN built-in switch, to avoid complex networking and cable management in my apartment.
Also, ASUS software looks really good and customazible.

But I confess the price – specially in Europe – makes me rethink this solution.

ThePanamanianMike says:

good review

edupstv says:

How many mb/s?

solidsn2011 says:

Wow I just found your channel and this is a great review! You seem to know a lot about routers so I wanted to ask your opinion on something. I am currently on a 100Mbit fibre optic internet connection and I have a business router installed with more than 50 devices connected and everything runs really smoothly. However, next week I am moving to a new house and unfortunately there is no fibre optic line in the area yet 🙁

I ordered an ADSL connection of 20Mbit (technician came to install telephone line and he did a testing and told me that I won’t get more than 11Mbit). In my place I will be using about 15 devices that use wireless network (from laptops and tablets to printers and kitchen devices). I know for a fact that my ISP’s router will be really crappy and won’t manage to handle all these devices together so I was thinking of purchasing the ASUS RT-AC88U.

I am not really doing online gaming (probably a few times a month as I am busy) but I am currently doing really heavy HD streaming in both laptops all day. Do you think even with such a slow connection this router worths the money? I guess it’s still a good investment for the future as when fibre optic arrives it will be more useful but my question is: will I see any difference with my current slow internet speed?

Thanks a lot and keep up the great work!

bigbangnone says:

Great review. Nice to have the 8 Gigabit ports and is this NOT the best home router graphics interface that you have seen?
Kinda fun to mess around with. Not sure if you have to have something extra setup to use the VPN function…. Might be nice to view your girlfriend or wife’s internet activities and files while you are away on business 🙂

Police can now locate drug dealers with a radar that can image the items in your home from the street. If they see any expensive items like an expensive router, they might get a search warrant…thinking that you must be a drug dealer to afford such a nice router 🙁 But this router has a stealthy shape which will prevent the radar signals from bouncing back to the street – which makes it invisible to police 🙂 Now if I can just get my other electronics manufacturers to go stealthy also 🙂

Dion Parchment says:

Very useful review! Thank you

Promoagent says:

I have this and I keep getting the “please wait for internet connnection RT-AC88U” with a animation connection, it just never connects to the net despite changing cables and all the rest.

[Insert Name Here] says:

That Game Boost bloatware crap is the reason I didn’t buy this device.

Monica Kishore says:

This is an awesome review. Is this router VDSL2 compatible? I’m about to get fibre and want to make sure!

hawkn7 says:

GREAT REVIEW AND THAN YOU. I have all my cat5 drops in the basement and use a Dlink 655 router. My modem is also in the basement. I had an access point hard wired up stairs so I could extend my wifi and it never really worked well. SO I moved the modem and router upstairs to my office and used the original basement cat5 feed back down to the basement from the office and into an 8 port switch. That way I could pick up all my original network drops. I also have a 4 port switch in the living room that feeds from the 8 port basement switch. I would love to put this unit back down into the basement like I original had as its pretty big.Then I could move the 8 port switch in the basement to the living room and replace the 4 port since my muti media system is growing and I like hardwired stuff better that wifi. Then buy one of the Asus access points to place upstairs to extend my wifi in and out of the house as we live on 5 acres. QUESTIONS, Will this router provide better range and signal than my current Dlink 655 if they where sitting side by side regardless of where they are located? Does the Asus access points provide the same wifi coverage range as the router if they where sitting side by side?

razorseal says:

How does this compare to the AC5300? you say this is the best one you can get at the moment, so I ask 🙂

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