I was given an ASUS Router to review. Which is weird because, I don’t really care about my Router. I mean, I lost my mind a few weeks back when it wasn’t working and I had no internet but, for the most part, it is just an ugly looking flashing light device that has ruined our clean cabinet design (that had nothing to do with the Star Wars figurines or weird pottery I purchased). As far as I’m concerned it is just a router and I really don’t care how it works, so long as it does.
I’ve also never had to set up a Router before
Mine arrived with my fibre and it worked. So that was good enough for me. I didn’t do a proper set up. Truth is, we’re still using the key on the sticker on the bottom of the router as our password because, well, we had fibre and more important things to do than run through password changes. We’re efficient like that (by we’re I’m referring to my bestie/housemate and I).
When the ASUS RT-AC5300 Wireless Router arrived for me to review I was nervous. For starters it looks like a spaceship or a Spider that died and rolled over. It has 8 antenna (hello Spider legs) and is a large beast. I actually think you could try pull it off as a piece of weird contemporary art on your shelf over a router. But everyone I’ve told this to has looked at me like I’m an idiot. The Republic of Gamers styling that ASUS employed on this Router appeals to me. It has that future type finish that I think is sexy. So I suppose it comes down to personal taste (disclaimer: the 7th person, who just read this review, has told me that this cannot be fobbed off as a conversational art piece. So I might need to kill this dream.)
It is a big piece of tech but I do think it looks better than our current router. I also prefer the black finish with red and silver detailing, because long term the black doesn’t pick up dirt smudges the way white plastic does.
I was worried for nothing
The truth is, I found it more frustrating attaching all the spider legs to the Router than I did actual set up. Go figure. Setting this baby up was easy. First, I downloaded an app. The ASUS Router App, to be specific. Then I plugged in all the cables. For guidance, I just copied where the cables were plugged in my original Router into this one. Copy paste really. Once you’re plugged in you can use the app to scan for nearby routers. It picked up the ASUS RT-AC5300 quickly (seriously, can we call in the Spider from here on out? That name is a mouthful). From there I just followed the instructions on the app. It was the quickest and most straightforward process ever.
Look a Router review
It works. I’m not actually sure how you review a router. I’m presuming hardcore tech youtubers have fancy tests they’ll film with graphs and lots of oohing, aahing and disappointment. I don’t do that. I plugged it in and it worked. I’m happy. However, I did notice that I was able to get faster uploads on my YouTube videos. There was a definite speed increase there. Also, if I go to my room in my house and close the passage door and my bedroom door I lose a bar of WiFi connection on my phone – this didn’t happen when using the ASUS Spider (yes, I’m making this a thing).
Is this a very techie way to review a Router? No. But as far as I’m concerned, faster YouTube upload speeds are a giant plus in my books. I also found my Nintendo Switch to benefit hugely from this baby. Usually if I wanted to play online with the Switch I’d need to come into the lounge where the Router was before the console would let me get online. When using the ASUS it happily connected in my bedroom. This made me happy.
All in the management
While I can’t give you fancy test speed graphs I can tell you I saw a difference. But most importantly I found it so easy to actually customise and set this Router up to suit me. The best feature for me, hands down, is the ability to use the app to create a custom password for guests wanting to connect. I have a lot of friends popping past and they all jump on the WiFi. By using the temporary WiFi option you can also limit how much they use. So no giant app downloads at my house any more.
There are a few other options on the Router App you can use including GameBoost (so you can prioritise your gaming device over all others). There is also the options to monitor network traffic and connected devices, limit Mbps on certain devices or just block them completely (which I only do when I’m trying to upload videos). The app is really easy to use and allows you to tweak stuff effortlessly. I have an app for my own Router and I’ve never really used it because the interface was no where near as simple as this ASUS one.
I’m a fan
If you were looking for a serious Router review this probably wasn’t what you wanted. If you’re a big data user and game a lot, watch videos and upload content but aren’t all that interested in the tech talk – I can tell you that this router is pretty rad. It will cost you around 5k though, so you need to decide if making your life a trillion times easier is worth the price. I’m still on the fence.
Disclosure: I was sent the ASUS Router on loan. It goes back now that the review is done.