Asus RT-AX55 Review
The year is 2021, and the WiFi 6 cat has been let out of the bag in terms of consumer electronics. With each passing year, a growing number of smartphones and laptops, from the Apple iPhone 12 Pro to the Dell XPS 13 9310, are being equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi 6 antennas hidden behind their gleaming metal and plastic casings.
However, in order to take advantage of the faster and more consistent rates that the Wi-Fi 6 standard provides, you’ll need to invest in a Wi-Fi 6-compatible router. While these gadgets haven’t always been the most cost-effective option, that is beginning to change as well.
The Asus RX-AX55 is one of the most affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers currently available on the market. In addition to functioning as a standalone device, this router may be configured to serve as the primary node in a mesh network, allowing you to connect other devices if you do not yet have the funds to invest in a fully featured mesh Wi-Fi network system.
Because the Asus RX-AX55 does not come with an integrated modem, you’ll still need to connect your network to the internet using your current modem or modem/router, as you would with most other routers in this price range.
The Asus RT-AX55 is similar in size and weight to the TP-Link AX50 Archer, with dimensions of 56 230 134mm and a weight of 374g.
Four adjustable antennas, which can be pushed back and adjusted side-to-side, protrude from the rear of the router and are visible from the front. The antennas are located above four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one WAN port, as well as the standard reset button, WPS switch, and a connection for the mains power supply.
Because there is no USB connector, you will be unable to connect items like external hard drives to the RT-AX55. At this price, that’s tolerable, and not everyone wants or requires this feature in the first place – especially if you already have a NAS drive in your possession.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the RT-AX55 is a rather standard-looking router, consisting of a flattened trapezoid with a little aggressive insectile appearance. The presence of air vents on the front, back, sides, and bottom ensures that any heated air created by the components may be quickly expelled.
The RT-AX55 does not have the option of being wall mounted, which may be a problem for some people. However, considering the RT-compact AX55’s size and lightweight, you should have no trouble finding a suitable location for it in your house.
The majority of home networking manufacturers worth their salt will have spent considerable time making the setup process as simple and straightforward for newcomers as possible. Typically, this has been accomplished through the development of well-designed mobile apps, but Asus has taken things one step further with its Asus Router app (available on iOS and Android).
When it comes to the app UI, dare I say it’s rather attractive – which is maybe unsurprising considering that Asus produces some of the greatest gaming laptops money can buy.
I used the WiFi Speed Pro Android app to run a series of speed tests on a Huawei Mate 10 Pro (an older phone with Wi-Fi 5 radios) and a Realme X50 Pro (a newer phone with Wi-Fi 6 radios) to demonstrate how well the Asus RT-AX55 performed with different generations of devices and, more broadly, the difference between Wi-Fi 5 (11.ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (11.ax).
The resulting averages of the tests, which were conducted at various distances throughout a two-story terraced house, are shown in the table below.
I placed the RT-AX55 in close proximity to my Virgin Media Super Hub 3, which I had configured to operate in Modem Mode. This modem, like the majority of others, is located near the master socket, which is located at the entrance of the home.
During testing and regular usage, I discovered that the Asus RT-AX55 provided excellent performance in terms of speed – particularly on Wi-Fi 6 devices – as well as coverage. The 5GHz band in particular, which normally fails when I walk two or more rooms away on any device, stayed strong on the Wi-Fi 6 gadget, but stepping out into the yard forced me to switch to the slower but more widely-reaching 2.4GHz frequency, which was significantly slower but more reliable.
I wasn’t having much luck with the Huawei up in the loft, but with the Realme phone, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was able to make use of a respectable 5GHz connection.
In any case, it seems like I’d be able to hardly get any work done upstairs on such a connection, and as with the Linksys MR7350 and TP-Link AX50 Archer, I’d really want to acquire a Powerline adapter or, better yet, an AiMesh satellite so that I could make the Asus RT-AX55 part of a mesh Wi-Fi network.
When it comes to the TP-Link AX50 Archer, it’s important to note that the device supports 160MHz-wide channels, which means it’s theoretically capable of offering far higher speeds than the Asus RT-AX55, which only supports 80MHz channels.
This is unlikely to be a problem for the vast majority of consumers, as the figures above indicate the kinds of speeds that can be expected on the majority of devices in use today.
The ability to discuss the pairing of two or more RT-AX55 access points and the handover between them would be fantastic, but at this time it is not feasible for me to comment on how easy or effective this is to do.
- RT-AX56U V2
- IEEE 802.11a
- IEEE 802.11b
- IEEE 802.11g
- WiFi 4 (802.11n)
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
- AX1800 ultimate AX performance : 1201 Mbps+ 574 Mbps
- 802.11a : up to 54 Mbps
- 802.11b : up to 11 Mbps
- 802.11g : up to 54 Mbps
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 300 Mbps
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) : up to 867 Mbps
- 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
- 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 1201 Mbps
- External antenna x 4
- 2.4 GHz 2 x 2
- 5 GHz 2 x 2
- 1.5GHz quad-core processor
- 128 MB Flash
- 256 MB RAM
- OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access)
- Beamforming: standard-based and universal
- 1024-QAM high data rate
- 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth
- 2.4G Hz / 5 GHz
- RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 4
- WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Switch
- Power x 1
- 2.4G x 1
- 5G x 1
- LAN x 1
- WAN x 1
- AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
- DC Output : 12 V with max. 1 A current
- RJ45 x1
- Adapter x1
- QSG x1
- Warranty Card x1
Product Weight (g)
- AiMesh : Yes
- Primary AiMesh router : Yes
- AiMesh node : Yes
- ASUS Router APP : Yes
- Game Boost/acceleration : No
- WTFast : No
- Support Alexa skil : Yes
- Support IFTTT : No
- AiProtection : AiProtection Classic
- Malicious site blocking : Yes
- Two-Way IPS : No
- Infected Device Prevention and Blocking ; Yes
- Parental Control : Yes
- Parental Control Customized Internet schedule : Yes
- Adaptive QoS : No
- Bandwidth limiter : Yes
- Traditional QoS : Yes
- Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Real-time traffic monitor : Yes
- Wired Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Wireless Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Website history : Yes
- IPv6 : Yes
- MU-MIMO : Yes
- Wi-Fi Encryption : Open system, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, WPA3-Personal
- UTF-8 SSID : Yes
- Guest Network : Yes
- WPS : Yes
- Wi-Fi MAC address filter : Yes
- Wireless scheduler : Yes
- Airtime fairness : Yes
- RADIUS Server : Yes
- Universal beamforming : Yes
- Explicit beamforming : Yes
- IGMP snooping : Yes
- Internet connection Type : PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Automatic IP, Static IP
- Dual WAN : Yes
- WAN Aggregation : No
- 3G/4G LTE dongle : No
- Port triggering : Yes
- DMZ : Yes
- DDNS : Yes
- Let’s Encrypt : Yes
- DHCP Server : Yes
- IPTV : Yes
- LAN Link Aggregation : No
- Manually assign IP address : Yes
- VPN Client L2PT : Yes
- VPN Client OVPN : Yes
- VPN Client PPTP : Yes
- VPN Server IPSec : Yes
- VPN Server OVPN : Yes
- VPN Server PPTP : Yes
- 3G/4G LTE dongle : No
- HDD hibernation : No
- Safely Remove disk : No
- AiCloud : No
- Download master : No
- AiDisk : No
- Media Server : No
- Time Machine : No
- Samba Server : No
- FTP Server : No
- Shared Folder privileges : No
As an entry-level router that is also capable of acting as a standalone device, the Asus RT-AX55 may be intelligently combined with other devices to form a mesh network. It is available for as little as $80 on Amazon.
The result is that it competes very well on price with more established mesh Wi-Fi systems such as Eero, Netgear Orbi, and Asus’s own ZenWiFi devices, although some buyers looking for a complete solution that works right out of the box may prefer to spend more money on a larger (and more expensive) model.
The negative aspects of this device are quite minor, with the absence of a USB port being the most notable.
If you’re searching for a low-cost Wi-Fi 6 networking solution, you’ll probably be content to ignore shortcomings like the lack of a wall mount and support for just 160MHz; the Asus RT-AX55 will suffice.