Asus RT-AC86U router has gamers in its sights

When Asus designs a product with gamers in mind, it usually slaps a Republic of Gamers logo and branding on it. Now, though, the company is looking to bring a bit of gaming flair to its standard product lineup with the Asus RT-AC86U router.

As far as standard specs go, the AC86U is an 802.11ac MU-MIMO router with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor in the platic casing, coupled with 512 MB of RAM and 256 MB of flash storage. The AC86U offers up to 2167 Mbps on the 5 GHz band with a 4×4 antenna arrangement, and up to 750 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band in a 3×3 setup.

Aside from the Decepticon-like face of the router, the AC86U looks to be an upgraded version of the AC1900P, a router we quite liked. The form factor is the same, and so is the port loadout on the back of the box. You'll get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one each of USB 2.0 and 3.0 connectors, an LED on/off button, and buttons to toggle Wi-Fi and WPS functionality.

Like Asus' AC1900P, the router comes with drag-and-drop adaptive QoS, a feature that lets users prioritize services like file transferring, gaming, and media streaming just by ordering icons in a list in the router interface. The red accents on the front of the AC86U might scream "gamer" all on their own, but there's game-specific QoS on tap to court a low-ping, high-frag crowd. Asus has partnered with WTFast and added support for the Gamers Private Network, a service that promises to drop game ping times by 30% to 60% by optimizing routes between players and servers.

The AC86U has a built-in WTFast client and comes with a subscription that supports one device at a time with a limited traffic cap. Currently-supported games include popular titles like Dota 2, League of Legends, Diablo III, World of Tanks, World of Warships, World of Warcraft, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Asus and WTFast say that list will grow in time. Gamers that want to connect more devices to WTFast's service or raise the transfer cap can subscribe to the service directly.

The Asus RT-AC86U router isn't available just yet, but Amazon has it listed for $200.

Comments closed
    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Routers that can’t be wallmounted are unacceptable.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 2 years ago

      Ducktape?

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 2 years ago

        Unfortunately, the heat from a router would eventually cause most duct tape to leave a bit of residue.

        Fortunately, that can be solved with more duct tape.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 2 years ago

      Make your own wall mount, not that hard.

        • tsk
        • 2 years ago

        With the cables coming out at 90 degrees it would be an ugly affair.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like a better gaming solution than the recent Linksys/ Killer announcement, with a free single device vpn service to lower pings, assuming you play the games listed. That would, in theory, be better for lowering latency than QoS alone.

    QoS really only helps if you have a bunch of people in your house using WiFi, which is admittedly quite common nowadays. However, pretty much all non-“gaming” routers have this feature baked in in one form or another.

    The only thing that could make a “gaming” router better in that regard is the default settings. It looks like ASUS has found a way to set itself apart and provide more value to gamers. Of course, you’d have to test out WTFast’s servers to be sure.

    In my experience ASUS has had some of the best firmware with one of the best interfaces to work in. For $200, I think it could be worth the asking price for a niche of consumers.

    • tanker27
    • 2 years ago

    Wait wut?

    A service that supposed to cut latency? Sounds more like Dinker Juice or Tiger Balm to me.

    Sure nevermind the fact that your ISP is most likely the problem child here. But sure I’ll give you my hard earned money. /snark

    Disclosure: I can’t read the promises that the website promises because its blocked at work.

      • shank15217
      • 2 years ago

      Yea there is such a thing, look into QoS features in advanced routers. This router probably implements fq_codel or something similar to improve latency in asymmetric broadband for latency sensitive applications.

        • tanker27
        • 2 years ago

        I know what QoS is. And its shaping your own traffic after the ISP connection.

        This is talking (and wishing) for QoS before the ISP. And unless they are greasing the grimey palms of the ISP its all for naught. e.g. its a reason why Netflix is paying Comcast .

          • shank15217
          • 2 years ago

          you assume the ISP is doing some shaping, but you can’t make a product with that assumption. most isps don’t do traffic shaping beyond bandwidth limiting, that’s usually left up to the customer

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 2 years ago

      If they are actually running their own network, then they can deliver better pings than you’ll get on the generic internet. It would be a huge undertaking to do this effectively though.

      I am skeptical, and I need to some proof. That could take the form of side-by-side metrics from PCs on the same router, one with their client and one without. Or, at bare minimum, plausible documentation of their facilities that shows the equipment delivering this service.

      If core networking engineers had to pick their Four Horsemen, transient congestion would be one of them. A gamer-oriented network could avoid most of that due to the relatively lightweight, predictable, and consistent requirements for online games (as compared to torrents, streaming, etc).

      So, in conclusion, I see a way that this could work—but I have no idea what this company is actually selling to its customers.

        • shank15217
        • 2 years ago

        It’s probably a private mpls network or piggy backs off one, there are several mpls backbones that they can ride off of. People think the internet is a large web but it’s actually a layered cake.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 2 years ago

        Probably a partial VPN implemented in conjunction with QoS. Weird voodoo to say the least, and there is no guarantee it works with any games outside of it’s officially supported list. In all likelihood, it doesn’t, so completely worthless unless you play those games and are currently having issues with your isp.

    • cegras
    • 2 years ago

    I recently purchased an EdgeRouter X + Unifi AP-AC-Lite combo for $130, as the WDR3600 in our home bricked on DDWRT. I can’t say much regarding stability, but enterprise software is definitely better than continuously flashing new ddwrt builds (or rolling back), and the freedom of placing the AP separately from the router is nice.

      • tanker27
      • 2 years ago

      OT: Is there someplace where I can get one stop shop diagrams/insructions for settings things up using these?

        • cegras
        • 2 years ago

        For my case, the setup was easy. The Unifi AP comes with a POE (power over ethernet) injector. You use that to power the ERX, then pass the power through to the Unifi AP.

        Cable modem –> Injector –> ERX –(POE passthrough)–> Unifi AP

          • tanker27
          • 2 years ago

          Awesome thanks

    • rwburnham
    • 2 years ago

    They really nailed the angry Transformer look.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    Great, so ceiling cat won’t be the only thing watching me.

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