Updated 12 Feb 2019

ASUS

RT-AC86U

Bottom line: It has excellent security and the second-best score for fibre speeds. The router is good at channel switching and its 5GHz network is excellent. Its built-in software is geared towards high-speed online gaming, so will easily handle day-to-day home traffic.

RT-AC86U
Consumer recommended
77
Avg price

$419

Price comparison
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Test results

Overall score
Good
77
WiFi performance
Good
73%
Ease of use and setup
Good
77%
Security
Excellent
90%

Good points

  • Good WiFi performance.
  • Excellent 5GHz WiFi performance.
  • Easy to use.
  • Very good fibre speed.
  • Only some interference on 2.4GHz signal.
  • Good for channel switching.

But

  • Only OK 2.4GHz WiFi performance.

How we test

Overall score includes:

WiFi performance (60%) – measured at 4m and 10m from the router. We calculated the speeds, in megabits per second (Mbps), using online speed testing apps. We repeated the test 3 times on each band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and at each distance. The speeds from both distances were averaged and scored compared to the speeds expected for the WiFi standards they were using.

Ease of use and setup (20%) – based on an assessment of set up and how easy the device is to use including monitoring and managing network access and changing default settings (service set identifier (SSID), network key/password, encryption and WiFi protected set-up (WPS) settings). We also looked at the ease of accessing advanced functions such as guest networks, virtual private network (VPN), attached external media and parental control tools.

Security (20%) – looked at whether the networks were encrypted, how easy it was to identify them by SSID, and the security of the network key/password.

If a USB storage device can be connected to the router so that media is shared on the network. Also called Media Server and ReadyShare.

DLNA is a certification that guides how media can be shared amongst devices over a network. It is often used with media sharing.

Where a 3g or 4G USB dongle is connected through a USB port. The router can then route the 3G/4G signal through the WiFi network.

Price is based on a December 2018 online price survey.

Key data

Model

Avg price
$419

Speed test results

Fibre
8.9/10
WiFi performance 2.4GHz
5.5/10
WiFi performance 5GHz
9.0/10
Obstruction 2.4GHz
Moderate interference from obstruction
Obstruction 5GHz
Noticeable interference from obstruction
Channel switching ability
Good at channel switching

Specifications

Fibre
Yes
WiFi bands (GHz)
2.4 & 5
Antennas
4
Antenna placement
One internal, three external on the top
Dimensions (WxDxH) [mm]
220 x 160 x 83
Weight (g)
500

Features

Mesh
×
MIMO
Yes
Beamforming support
Ethernet LAN ports
4
USB ports
2
Media sharing via USB
DLNA
Installation wizard
Quality of Service
Parental controls
Parental control features
Time scheduling on devices, website filter, app and keyword filter
Firewall
Guest network WiFi
Yes
WPS support
3G/4G passthrough
VOIP
×
Wall mountable
×