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ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Review

This is an awesome router that performs very well all around and isn't pricey — a definite recommendation from our team
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ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Review (The ASUS RT-AX86S is great all-around.)
The ASUS RT-AX86S is great all-around.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $250 List
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Manufacturer:   ASUS
By Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Dec 9, 2022
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • 2.4 GHz Throughput - 35% 6.0
  • 5 GHz Throughput - 35% 9.4
  • Range - 20% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 7.5

Our Verdict

The ASUS RT-AX86S is the best all-around dual-band router we tested, offering exceptional performance where it matters, providing incredible 5 GHz throughput at a reasonable price. The only thing this model is lacking is Tri-Band support for 6G, but most homes are unlikely to feel the impact as most of the common household devices still heavily depend on dual-band technology. This model also offers a great quality of service (QoS) to support high-priority devices and robust parental controls that allow you to easily safeguard the children in your home. Check out how it compares to the competition in our article on the best WiFi routers.
REASONS TO BUY
Top 5 GHz speeds
Awesome QoS options
Excellent range
REASONS TO AVOID
Average 2.4 GHz performance
Not wall mountable

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $250 List
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$120 List
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$100 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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57
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Bottom Line We highly recommend this router for its excellent overall performanceA good router overall, and it isn't too expensiveThis middling router is great for those who don't want to break the bankThis average router is meant for those in small householdsThis middling router doesn't offer a good enough performance to justify its high price
Rating Categories ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) TP-Link Archer AX55... Netgear RAX20 (AX1800) Netgear Nighthawk R... TP-Link Archer AX21...
2.4 GHz Throughput (35%)
6.0
7.2
5.4
4.8
6.2
5 GHz Throughput (35%)
9.4
7.4
7.2
6.8
5.4
Range (20%)
9.0
5.0
5.5
6.5
4.5
Ease of Use (10%)
7.5
7.3
4.3
4.3
7.3
Specs ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) TP-Link Archer AX55... Netgear RAX20 (AX1800) Netgear Nighthawk R... TP-Link Archer AX21...
WiFi Version WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6
Wireless Specification Dual Band Dual Band Dual Band Dual Band Dual Band
Frequency 5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
Processor 1.8GHz Dual-core Dual-Core 1.5GHz Quad-core 1.5GHz Quad-core 1.5GHz Quad-core
Memory 256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
512 MB RAM 256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
256 MB flash
512 MB RAM
16 MB flash
256 MB RAM
MU-MIMO Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OFDMA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Beamforming Implicit
Explicit
Explicit only Implicit
Explicit
Implicit
Explicit
Explicit only
Security WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
WPA/WPA2/WPA3 - Personal
WPA/WPA2 - Enterprise
LAN Ports Available 4 4 4 4 4
USB Ports 2
USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.0
1
USB-A 3.0
1
USB-A 3.0
None 1
USB-A 2.0
Antenna 3 4 2 3 4
Wall Mountable No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wireless On/off button No Yes No No Yes
Led on/off Yes No No No Yes
2.4 GHz 9 ft Unobstructed 91 Mbps 94 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 110 Mbps
2.4 GHz 9 ft Obstructed 92 Mbps 107 Mbps 90 Mbps 83 Mbps 101 Mbps
2.4 GHz 35 ft Unobstructed 89 Mbps 115 Mbps 82 Mbps 66 Mbps 84 Mbps
2.4 GHz 35 ft Obstructed 85 Mbps 96 Mbps 70 Mbps 72 Mbps 72 Mbps
2.4 GHz 70 ft Obstructed 26 Mbps 23 Mbps 21 Mbps 21 Mbps 27 Mbps
5.0 GHz 9 ft Unobstructed 405 Mbps 345 Mbps 364 Mbps 343 Mbps 317 Mbps
5.0 GHz 9 ft Obstructed 416 Mbps 342 Mbps 363 Mbps 354 Mbps 323 Mbps
5.0 GHz 35 ft Unobstructed 399 Mbps 332 Mbps 328 Mbps 342 Mbps 325 Mbps
5.0 GHz 35 ft Obstructed 369 Mbps 325 Mbps 310 Mbps 328 Mbps 319 Mbps
5.0 GHz 70 ft Obstructed 77 Mbps 90 Mbps 71 Mbps 56 Mbps 83 Mbps

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our team tested the ASUS RT-AX86S alongside several other top models, and the ASUS proved to be one of the best overall. See where this model excelled and how it performed across each test metric below.

Performance Comparison


asus rt-ax86s (ax5700) - the asus rt-ax86s is great all-around.
The ASUS RT-AX86S is great all-around.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

2.4 GHz Throughput


While 2.4 GHz is no longer the gold standard for WiFi connections at home, it offers some range and obstruction penetration benefits that are intrinsic to the 2.4 GHz frequency and is supported by nearly all modern routers.


The ASUS RT-AX86S offered mostly average performances in our unobstructed range tests compared to the other models in our test group. However, it did perform better than the average when objects blocked signals in our test room.

In our 9 and 35-foot unobstructed tests, the AX86S maintained 91 to 89 Mbits per second speeds, respectively. More impressively, the Mbit speeds hardly seemed impacted by the obstructions, doing a nearly indiscernible job of providing data transfer from the same unobstructed distances. At 70 feet, with obstacles, the AX86S managed to maintain speeds of 26 Mbits.

If you have a home with a decent number of obstructions and 2.4 GHz connected devices, but the obstructions aren't bad enough to consider a mesh network, then the RT-AX86S is worth your consideration.

5 GHz Throughput


While the ASUS RT-AX86S is pretty great all-around, it really shines as an exceptional router in its 5 GHz throughput. The high data throughput shamed almost every other model our team tested.


We conducted short and long-range tests and confirmed that you can reasonably expect wireless data rates of at least 405 within the 9-foot range of the router, whether obstructed or unobstructed.

In the more typical 35-foot scenario, normal for the orientation of many smart TVs, home offices, and gaming consoles, the ASUS can transfer 369 bits of data obstructed and an impressive 399 bits of data unobstructed.

At the longest ranges we tested, both obstructed and unobstructed, the ASUS RT-AX86S did a better job than the most expensive models tested. At 70 feet, the RT-AX86S maintained a steady 77.3 with obstructions. So, if you are trying to stream a movie to the back patio for your kid's birthday party or the big game, you'll be able to do it at great resolution with the RT-AX86S.

Range


The ASUS did an excellent job in our 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range tests and was one of the best performers in our range test overall.


In the 2.4 GHz range, we were able to stream our 1080p test video out to 140 feet before encountering any buffering issues. We repeated our test, streaming the test video, moving in 10-foot increments, and checking our video streaming status for the 5GHz bandwidth. This model was able to stream a 1080p video on the 5GHz channel out to an impressive 150ft before buffering.

Ease of Use


The ASUS earned one of the top overall scores in our test group, alongside the rest of the ASUS models we tested, for ease of use. Our ease of use test measured, evaluated, and scored startup, mobile interface, PC interface, parental controls, and quality of service (QoS).


Setting up the AX86S with the app setup is as easy as it gets. You simply download the 'ASUS Router' app and follow the minimal steps. To start, you tap a button that says 'Set up a new router' on the app and scan a QR code on the back of the router. The app then guides you through very short and easy step-by-step prompts. After setup, you have either a mobile interface or a pc interface to dive into any additional configurations and settings.

Our test team found the mobile interface for the ASUS RT-AX86S to be fairly easy to navigate, with lots of settings. However, if you aren't exactly sure what you're looking for, it could be less than intuitive and a bit confusing. In general, though, we think the average person could figure it out and get by just fine.

asus rt-ax86s (ax5700) - setting up an asus router is easily done with the mobile app.
Setting up an ASUS router is easily done with the mobile app.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

PC friendliness was a slight improvement to the mobile app. It is similar in that it is easy enough to navigate and includes lots of settings but could be a bit confusing for those who struggle with computers. Again, we feel the average person will ultimately be able to figure it out and get by without too much turmoil.

Our test team found the parental controls of the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) to be above-average, better than all the Netgear products we tested, but a little behind the TP-Link products we tested. You can block all devices with a slider and set schedules from the parental controls page in settings. If you want to block a single device, you can at any time. You simply navigate to the devices tab and click on the client you want to block, then press the block button. It is simple and robust enough, but not the best.

asus rt-ax86s (ax5700) - there are plenty of useful ports included with this router.
There are plenty of useful ports included with this router.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

ASUS describes QoS as “Allows users to choose prioritized applications and tasks, such as gaming, media streaming, work-from-home, learn-from-home, web surfing, and file transferring via preset or drag-and-drop settings.”, and they nailed it. QoS on this ASUS device is great and allows you to easily prioritize what you want through the app by dragging and dropping where you want the most bandwidth to go. You will not be disappointed with ASUS's QoS!

Should You Buy the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700)?


If you are looking for the best all-around performance from a dual-band WiFi router that you can go out and purchase right now, then ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) is the best option for you. You can expect incredible obstructed 2.4 GHz, some of the highest 5 GHz data rates, great range, parental control features, and exceptional QoS.

asus rt-ax86s (ax5700) - this model is one of the best overall wifi routers you can buy.
This model is one of the best overall WiFi routers you can buy.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other WiFi Routers Should You Consider?


The RT-AX86S is the best dual-band router we tested that also has good value. It does everything most people want and need, so it's hard to recommend another router. However, if you are looking for a slightly more affordable unit than the RT-AX86S, the TP-Link Archer AX55 is worth considering. It offers good overall performance and does so for a lower cost.

If Tri-Band support on a 6 GHz frequency is more to your tune, then the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 (AXE7800) might be more in sync with your wavelength but will cost a significant amount more than the AX86S. This unit will also underperform in the 5GHz department and require an additional paid subscription service for parental controls. So be mindful of the drawbacks that come with those 6GHz benefits.

Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok