Just a couple weeks ago, I was deep into the weeds of finding a replacement for my trusty Asus RT-AC66U. I couldn't help but focus my attention on the burgeoning world of mesh Wi-Fi gear for the home. I read up on Eero, Plume, Amplifi, Google Wifi, and Netgear's Orbi before deciding to wait a bit longer and see what other options came out of CES.
We covered Linksys' Velop system on Tuesday, and yesterday Asus joined the mesh Wi-Fi party with its HiveSpot and HiveDot mesh Wi-Fi system. As a fan of Asus networking products, I'm glad to see the company's entries into this arena officially announced. Let's take a look at the details.
The HiveSpot is the higher-end device of the two. It sports seven antennas and tri-band AC2134 Wi-Fi with a dedicated 5GHz channel for inter-node communication. That should help it avoid the performance penalty typically associated with bog-standard Wi-Fi network extenders. The HiveDot is a dual-band AC1300 device that makes do without that extra radio. Both devices require at least a three-node system to function, but can be scaled up to five nodes. It isn't clear if the HiveSpot and HiveDot can be combined on the same network. Both systems can be configured with the Asus Hive mobile app.
Each device sports gigabit WAN and LAN ports, and every node has the ability to act as the router for the whole network. The nodes can also be used with an existing router if you're only looking to augment its reach, instead of replacing it completely. Rounding out the feature list are beamforming support and a built-in Trend Micro security suite to help keep the nasty bits of the interwebs away from your precious IoT devices.
The HiveSpot and HiveDot will be available sometime in the second quarter of 2017. A three-pack of HiveDots will go for $299, while three HiveSpots will set you back $399.