Asus rides first consumer Wave 2 802.11ac router to shore


July 23, 2014

The RT-AC87 home router from Asus

The RT-AC87 home router from Asus

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At CES 2014 in January, Quantenna Communications revealed that the first consumer product to include its new QSR1000 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) chipset would be the Asus RT-AC87 home router. The second generation (or Wave 2) 802.11ac Wi-Fi device, which promises potential throughput of up to 1.73 Gbps, is now being readied for shipping.

Asus says that, as well as being a good fit for HD resolution (or better) video streams, low-latency gaming and large file sharing, the RT-AC87 is able to use the MU-MIMO chipset to serve different wireless devices simultaneously. This will allow for more efficient use of the available bandwidth than was possible with Wireless-N or Wave 1 routers. The router's four external antennas and advanced spatial streaming should also reduce the transmission's signal-to-noise ratio and improve the Wi-Fi signal's reliability.

The company promises quick setup via a pre-installed, web-based user interface. An exclusive application called AiCloud 2.0 that can transform the router into a personal cloud server has been included, which caters for syncing, sharing and streaming of content stored on the network, attached USB storage devices or Asus WebStorage via a web-based interface.

The RT-AC87 will also include real-time protection from external attacks from malware and other intrusions in the form of AiProtection with Trend Micro.

Asus says that the new router will be available shortly for a suggested retail price of US$269.99.

Sources: Asus, Quantenna

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

The only thing I don't like about 802.11ac is that its only for the 5 GHz band which can be fairly short range at times. Any 2Ghz communication still has to fall back to 802.11n.

Since the bottleneck in my home is mostly upstream through my ISP rather than reaching my router I don't have a lot to gain from faster PC to router throughput. I would much prefer improved range for WiFi over improved throughput as sometimes just reaching upstairs or just outside is a challenge.

I still find myself relying on ethernet and homeplug and I'm just about to dig a trench to lay conduit out to the garage for ethernet and cable instead of reaching it wirelessly over a handful of meshed APs. The problems with WiFi are mostly outside the control of ASUS but something else that is surprising is that even with a ~$300 router they still have 4 just LAN ports.

I know the world is shifting to be more wireless but most the people I know who would be interested in something like this still have more than 4 ethernet connected devices. Switches are cheap but it adds to the cabling mess and if you add a 4 port switch you only get 6 usable ports as 2 are used to wire between the router and switch.

A nearly $300 home router with that many bells and whistles should probably just come with 8 ethernet ports instead of 4.


That would take a hell of a connection to potentiate. In 5-10 years though perhaps. We got google fibers 1gb+ connection in my town but finding that rate of output is pretty rare for the average user. I'm still impressed by anything over 5mb/s download wise. Once google completes it's 14billion dollar server project by me, maybe I'll see the practicallity in such an advance, that'll be a few years still though. I also wonder, with that much throughput could the signal be dense enough to 'feel' if stepped through. There are people whom get nauscious around too many signals, with a 4-5x signal strength gain might this further effect them.


Yeah. Its worthless for Americans. But its great for us in Europe and Asia. I get 10 MBps+ (that is a B not a b, MB is 8 times Mb. My speed is always limited by the remote server, not by my ISP.

In my University, they place these superpowered routers everywhere. Also in labs and research institutes, and many companies.

Ahh, we are so lucky here. But the Asians (Korea and Japan) are even luckier. They have the world's fastest speeds.

I seriously have not hit the upper limit of my bandwidth yet. I usually have to manufacture a situation with 10 different FTP downloads, http downloads etc all going on at the same time.

I think this router would sell very well here in Europe and Korea and Japan.

Tanmay Pradhan
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