In the lab: Asus’ RT-AC88U wireless router and RP-AC68U repeater

TR BBQ fans will know that I have a new plan for live streaming the event this year. In order to truly capture the essence of the TR BBQ, though, I need to address the pathetic Wi-Fi situation at the cottage so I can move the camera freely without dropping the stream. We asked our friends at Asus to help us out, and they delivered by sending us an RT-AC88U router and an RP-AC68U wireless repeater.

It's been a personal goal of mine for a number of years now to get Wi-Fi all the way down to the beach at the BBQ site. Cell service, especially data, is notoriously bad on the coast of Lake Michigan, and the cottage's ancient 802.11g router doesn't help matters much. We'll be putting this new hardware to the test to see whether it can serve up a reliable video stream from anywhere in the yard while casting a wide enough net to let beachgoing gerbils get online, too. Stay tuned for our report.

Colton Westrate

I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • MarkG509
    • 4 years ago

    These new routers look like me when I need a shave.

    I run an RT AC-68P that’s been great and is faster than my IPS connection. Beyond that, it’s just physics. At the beach, bring a cooler of Margaritas (or beer), leave the electronics at home, and enjoy the environment.

    • Welch
    • 4 years ago

    Hoooooowwww, did you not upgrade at least away from 802.11G to even N?

    Will be interested to see how much further of a range the new router will provide. Perhaps you should do a “Geeky Easter Egg Hunt” type thing where BBQ participants test your wifi range by taking a picture with location turned on and use EXIF info to determine who was able to go further away from the router. Furthest away who manages to reliable upload an image of their location… wins one of these routers.

    I know I’d have a blast playing that game 🙂

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      Well, generally speaking, I probably don’t spend much more than 100 hours at the cottage in any given year. The last few BBQs I’ve brought my old D-Link DIR-655 to handle things but it has some demons of it’s own so I never left it out there full time.

      I like your WiFi challenge idea but the neighbors probably won’t given my initial testing results. 😉

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      I spent day testing, turns out the old router was a Netgear WNR1000v3 – so the situation wasn’t quite as dire as I recalled.

    • shank15217
    • 4 years ago

    For proper outdoors wifi you need a good AP meant for outdoors, I suggest ubiquiti aps for outdoors.

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve heard that recommendation from others. In this case though I have multiple buildings on a property so nothing needs to stay outdoors, the router and extender will be in different houses and between the two of them I want to cover as much as possible.

        • Captain Ned
        • 4 years ago

        Ah, so you’re putting the extender in the front cabin, no?

          • drfish
          • 4 years ago

          Yep!

            • designerfx
            • 4 years ago

            Are you going to look at the Merlin firmware for the device (I’d suggest it) 🙂 See : [url<]https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin[/url<] Adds some nice features. See: [url<]https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin/blob/master/README-merlin.txt[/url<]

            • drfish
            • 4 years ago

            I’m afraid that timing constraints will mean that custom firmware won’t be part of the review but thanks for the link, I’ll read up on it at least.

            • designerfx
            • 4 years ago

            Aww. I’d definitely look, they have not only a: great stuff but tend to be b: rock solid. Oh well!

            Not sure if I’ll make BBQ, but if I do maybe I’ll geek with you about it.

      • designerfx
      • 4 years ago

      I recognize the desire for ubiquiti but Asus ACXX routers have had best in class AP range and speed. Check smallnetbuilder and you’ll find they lead the charts along with stuff like nighthawks and archer c7s. See: [url<]http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32910-asus-rt-ac88u-dual-band-wireless-ac3100-gigabit-router-reviewed?showall=&start=3[/url<]

    • Starfalcon
    • 4 years ago

    I bought that router 6 months ago, been very pleased with its performance. can not say how well the wireless works, but the wired has been fast and problem free.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    is it waterproof?

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      More important: is it alcohol proof? Particularly when a large amount of alcohol is involved, already inside a geek?

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 4 years ago

    Look forward to it! I’ve been eyeing the AC88U recently so I’m very interested to see how it performs.

    • idchafee
    • 4 years ago

    Maybe we should make a TRBBQ instagram account or something, if we’re gonna be able to upload pics and video live.

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      That may just be an option, this setup will give me good QoS control so I can make sure we don’t starve the stream. As long as the stream doesn’t choke then I think we can open the floodgates. 🙂

    • UberGerbil
    • 4 years ago

    The title says “In the Lab”; the picture suggests “At the Beach.” Perhaps we now know the real reason for the backlog in reviews: sun, sand, bikinis, and unending Mai Tai and Pina Colada “benchmarks”

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      Huh, what? Who said anything about me drinking pineapple-coconut water [i<]right now[/i<].

      • Flying Fox
      • 4 years ago

      The Beach [i<]is[/i<] the Lab. This is how TR gets its "real world" testing done.

    • UberGerbil
    • 4 years ago

    Important safety tip: [url=https://youtu.be/jyaLZHiJJnE<]Don't Cross the Streams![/url<]

      • Captain Ned
      • 4 years ago

      Cross the streams …

      I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! Let’s do it!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This