Dive into the deep end of Wi-Fi with the Asus Blue Cave router

It seems like most high-performance wireless routers we talk about around here have styling that can be described as somewhere between edgy and threatening. Asus' Blue Cave router takes a different approach with a white-and-blue color scheme and a design free of an arachnoid array of external antennas. The box-with-a-hole-in-it promises to deliver up to 1733 Mbps of 802.11ac bandwidth. To increase the user-friendliness factor, the Blue Cave is compatible with Asus' Router App on iOS and Android, Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, and If This Then That (IFTTT).

Asus says the Blue Cave has an unspecified dual-core processor and a wireless chip from Intel paired with 128 MB of flash storage and 512 MB of DDR3 memory. The device packs four internal antennas into its 6.3" square and 3.1" deep enclosure (16 cm x 16 cm x 8 cm). The back of the box has a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and four Gigabit Ethernet LAN jacks.

Security is more of a concern than ever on wireless networks, and Asus says the AiProtection suite it developed in conjunction with Trend Micro is the first "commercial-grade" security offering for home routers. A lifetime subscription to the service is included with the Blue Cave.

Since it can hook into Amazon's Alexa ecosystem, Asus says the Blue Cave can use voice commands to disable Wi-Fi during dinner. The IFTTT integration can be used to send parents an email when the router detects the arrival of children in the home. 

Asus' Blue Cave is available now for $180 from Amazon and Newegg. The manufacturer backs the router with a two-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • johnsmith26
    • 1 year ago
    • pogsnet1
    • 2 years ago

    Kids will insert their hands into it…

    And jerks will insert something too. ^_^

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    It kind of looks like the mutant offspring of a subwoofer from a 2.1 PC speaker system and a Dyson fan.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 2 years ago

    But can you use Alexa to turn the wireless back on after dinner? It runs on WiFi too doesn’t it?

      • euricog
      • 2 years ago

      It would be funny, but they haven’t overlooked that.

      Instead of actually switching off WiFi, the router just enables a rule that blocks all traffic except for alexa’s.

    • jts888
    • 2 years ago

    I think TR could generate some more interesting content by focusing less on these sorts of AIW routers and more on discrete components, or at least be more involved in covering claimed specs.

    I have yet to see any 802.11ac AP approach 1700 Mbps to a client device sitting 4 feet away with unobstructed line of sight, and routers seem to frequently come nowhere close.

    Maybe the knowledge fueling my bias is stale, but it would be nice to read about whether these manufacturers’ claims are good or garbage.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    That seems to be 10x larger than it needs to be.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      There’s a 0.6 inch square and 0.3 inch deep router?

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        I said 10x larger, not 1000x larger (you buffoon).

        If I actually look at it more seriously, finding a similarly-capable router 10x smaller than that is hard. Typical routers are probably closer to 4x smaller than that, and whilst something like [url=http://www.tp-link.com/uk/products/details/cat-9_TL-WR802N.html<]this[/url<] is actually 25x smaller, it's definitely not similarly-capable 😛

          • just brew it!
          • 2 years ago

          Most people don’t think in terms of volume when evaluating the size of something like this, they think in terms of linear dimensions. Since this isn’t intended to be a portable device, I don’t have an issue with the size. I assume they’ve used most of that interior volume to hide the antennas.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      Disclaimer: I’m not saying it’s particularly small compared to other antenna-less routers, because it’s still about 50% larger than those, but I’m willing to accept that size difference if signal strength is better. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a fair amount of empty space inside that housing.

      How do you prefer to define volume of a traditional router? Are you ignoring the antennas?

      Take the [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAB275GY3178<]Linksys WRT54GL[/url<] as probably one of the most common routers out there. 7.32"x6.06"x1.89" (1.4L) for the unit, but if the antennae are perpendicular to the unit, it's almost 6" tall. So you can either calculate that as an "L" shape (~1.9L) or a full cube (4.4L) depending on where/how you're storing the device. The Asus Blue Cave is about 2L.

    • caconym
    • 2 years ago

    It’s an MRI for hamsters.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 2 years ago

      You mean gerbils, right?

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        If not, he’s so wrong.

        • caconym
        • 2 years ago

        D’oh! Thanks for the assist.

          • Wirko
          • 2 years ago

          You mean open air microwave oven, right?

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    Where are the RGB LEDs? WHERE?!

    • Canuckistani
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<] Security is more of a concern than ever[/quote<] [quote<]Since it can hook into Amazon's Alexa ecosystem[/quote<] Hmm...

    • euricog
    • 2 years ago

    Will there be a brown cave version?

    (shame on you if you see where I’m going with this…)

      • cheddarlump
      • 2 years ago

      Even goats see where you’re going with that. 🙂

        • kvndoom
        • 2 years ago

        Sick minds think alike…

      • euricog
      • 2 years ago

      Dudes, I get the downvotes, not classy at all and certainly does not contribute to the discussion.

      But that shape…

        • bthylafh
        • 2 years ago

        Maybe a special Goatse Edition.

    • TREE
    • 2 years ago

    I think these are the specs: [url<]https://wikidevi.com/wiki/ASUS_Blue_Cave[/url<]

    • RickyTick
    • 2 years ago

    Why do almost all consumer routers only have 4 ethernet lan ports on the back? I really need 6 but just don’t want to add something like a 8-port unmanaged switch to my network (because k.i.s.s.)

      • pogsnet1
      • 2 years ago

      Because it becomes too big if they make 8 ports or 16. 4 port routers only common on home consumer routers, probably they are up to making the product more affordable.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        Typically that’s all that’s supported for the SoC (or switch if it’s a separate component). Switching more than four (plus the uplink) gets progressively more expensive and four is already more than most consumers use. The components generally step up from 4 to 8, and for most manufacturers the added cost for more ports most of their customers already don’t use simply doesn’t make sense.

        It sounds like what you need to do is turn your requirements around: what you want is a good router with an eight port switch, and a cheap WiFi access point you use in bridged mode to extend that router into the aether (which is what I recommend anyway). But if you really don’t want two devices, consumer 8-wired-port Wifi routers [i<]do[/i<] exist -- see the ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless AC3100

          • RickyTick
          • 2 years ago

          Cool, thanks.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Guessing it’s more of a cost thing than anything.

          • RickyTick
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah, that’s kinda what everyone is saying, but an 8-port switch is less than $30. It doesn’t seem like it would be much to add to a router. Just my speculation, of course.

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            Yeah, but if the BOM is say, 20 bucks to ASUS, they’re gonna charge you at least 40. At least.

      • Cuhulin
      • 2 years ago

      The Netgear Nighthawk line also includes some with more than 4 ports. For example, the Nighthawk X8 and x10 have ports, plus the input.

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      Unmanaged switches are about as simple as it gets, no?

        • RickyTick
        • 2 years ago

        I suppose, but the average consumer just wants to plug in a router and then plug the ethernet into it so they can have internet in the bonus room.

      • just brew it!
      • 2 years ago

      What percentage of consumers have more than 4 wired devices in the same room as their router, or have multiple Cat6 runs through their walls from the router to the other rooms in their house?

      I suspect that the intersection of “people who need more than 4 wired LAN ports on the broadband router” and “people who really don’t want to deal with a separate switch” is close to a null set.

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