We just got our hands on the ASUS RT-AX1800HP, a high-power Wi-Fi 6 router that we’re excited to test out! With four high-gain antennas and a powerful Wi-Fi amplifier, this router promises extensive coverage and performance. Let’s see how the dual-core processor handles bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming HD gaming content on mobile, connecting multiple devices, and stable connectivity throughout our home/office.
For those of you who are new to Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). It offers faster speeds, lower latency, and improved efficiency in dense network environments. With support for OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and MU-MIMO where it can better manage network traffic like concurrent communication with multiple devices. Additionally, its enhanced security protocol, WPA3, provides stronger encryption, protection against potential cyber threats and many more. The ASUS RT-AX1800HP router promises a network speeds of about 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,201 Mbps on the 5GHz band. Plus, a boost features of MU-MIMO, OFDMA technologies and 1024-QAM which dramatically improves wireless connections.
And of course, it is extendable router that is compatible with other ASUS AiMesh router. The ASUS RT-AX1800HP is priced in the Philippines for PHP 4,099.
Read on to discover our in-depth review of the ASUS RT-AX1800HP and its key features and performance!
The packaging of the ASUS RT-AX1800HP features an all-black box with a touch of gold and white text, which gives it a sophisticated appearance. The sealed plastic has this QR code that allows you to read an instruction on how to setup its mesh system. As for the box, it is packed in a sturdy carton.
It carries the ASUS brand rather than their ROG or TUF Gaming lines, the Wi-Fi 6 logo is prominently displayed on the box, emphasizing the router’s compatibility with the latest wireless standard. The packaging also provides an overview of the router’s key features and includes an image of the device itself, giving potential buyer an idea of what they can expect with this Wi-Fi 6 router.
Upon opening the box, we were greeted with the contents and some accompanying paperwork. The router itself is nestled in a protective paper tray, along with other essential items like the charger and everything you need to get started.
As for the router itself, it features an all-black design with a unique pattern. The top view, which is typically the most visible part, showcases horizontal shiny straight lines on the left and right sides, while the center has a contrasting vertical shiny line pattern. The Wi-Fi 6 and ASUS logos on the side, both in gold, contribute to the router’s classy and premium appearance.
The router comes with four very long antennas that can be positioned in any direction. The considerable length of the antennas is likely to contribute to the router’s promised extended coverage due to their higher gain potential.
In terms of connectivity options, the router features the standard array of ports. These include a WAN (Internet) port, four LAN ports, a power switch, a WPS button, a Power (DCIN) port, and a reset button. Regarding indicators, it has clear visual for the 5GHz, 2.4GHz, LAN, WAN, and Power LEDs.
The main feature of this router is the Wi-Fi 6, which offers faster speeds, improved network efficiency, and better range. In addition to that, the router itself is equipped with a powerful dual-core (4 VPE) processor, 256 MB of RAM, and 128 MB of flash storage. This hardware configuration provides sufficient resources to power the device and run its internal programs and features efficiently, in addition of MU-MIMO (Serving multiple devices at once) and OFDMA technology (Enables multiple devices to transmit and receive data in parallel). It ensures a smooth user experience while minimally affecting its network performance where it can manage and connect more device, easier and smoother network traffic.
Just a heads-up though, to fully experience Wi-Fi 6, both the router and connected devices should support the 802.11ax standard. However, even non-Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices can still enjoy some of the improvements offered by this cutting-edge technology.
When it comes to the software side, the router is powered by the ASUSWRT firmware, which offers a user-friendly interface and features to enhance your network. The setup process is straightforward and can be done using the ASUS Router app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app allows users to monitor and manage their network remotely and provides an intuitive way to configure settings, manage connected devices, and even set up parental controls.
ASUSWRT also includes AiProtection from Trend Micro, a security feature that shield connected device from malicious threat outside your network, and basic parental controls that allow you to set usage time limits and schedules for devices on the network. Additionally, the firmware supports advanced features such as device speed limitation, guest Wi-Fi speed limitation, VPN server and client integration, repeater mode, wireless bridge mode, network traffic monitoring and other usual stuff.
Extending Wi-Fi Coverage with AiMesh
For those who have larger properties or are looking to expand their Wi-Fi coverage – especially concrete, the ASUS RT-AX1800HP comes with AiMesh technology. This feature enables you to effortlessly link several AiMesh-compatible routers wirelessly, creating a mesh Wi-Fi network that harnesses the power of multiple routers to deliver stronger Wi-Fi coverage across your space, minimizing blind spots and wires.
One of the key benefits of a mesh Wi-Fi network is that you won’t need to reconnect to a new network while moving around your property. You’ll enjoy seamless connectivity under the same SSID, regardless of which part of the mesh Wi-Fi network you are connected to. If you’re planning to expand your network, simply look for an ASUS router that supports AiMesh, and connect to the existing one.
Setting up the AiMesh with the ASUS RT-AX1800HP as a node can be a bit more challenging than expected. To begin, you’ll need to update all of your existing routers to the latest firmware version. For this router, we had to access the router settings, download the firmware, and reset the router before setting it up as a node. This process took us about an hour, and we wish there were a simpler way to update the firmware without going through all these steps.
However, once everything is updated, the setup becomes much more straightforward. In our case, we used the TUF AX5400 as our primary mesh router and the RT-AX1800HP as a node. After connecting the routers and configuring the settings, it’s quite exciting to see how easily additional mesh nodes can be added to the network, even though the initial setup can be somewhat tedious. (The image below is the admin setup from the main mesh TUF AX5400, which is connected directly from the ISP modem)
It’s fascinating to witness routers connecting wirelessly without the need for physical wires. Traditional routers simply cannot extend your network wirelessly in the same way. Despite the challenging initial setup, the end result is an efficient and seamless Wi-Fi network that covers your entire space.
Performance – Speed Testing
Next is the performance of the ASUS RT-AX1800HP, focusing on speed testing. We conducted tests using a 500Mbps plan from PLDT to determine if the router could deliver the expected speeds efficiently. This time, we will be using the ASUS RT-AX1800HP as our main router and the TUF AX5400 as our node.
When testing the 5GHz band with several Ookla speed tests, we managed to achieve a download speed of 610.03Mbps and an upload speed of 188.01Mbps. These results demonstrate that the router is capable of utilizing the full potential of our internet bandwidth at this frequency.
As for the 2.4GHz band, we were pleasantly surprised to achieve high results. Ookla Speedtest showed a download speed of 121.19Mbps and an upload speed of 102.78Mbps. This is quite impressive, as many routers struggle to deliver such sealing speeds on the 2.4GHz band.
Lastly, we tested the LAN connection, which is typically the fastest option. We obtained a download speed of 583.09Mbps and an upload speed of 190.22Mbps, confirming that the router can deliver the expected performance across various connection types.
As for the distance and wall speed tests, we decided to use our TUF AX5400 router as an extendable router or node to assess the Wi-Fi coverage in various scenarios. We placed the TUF AX5400 in our dining area behind one wall to provide coverage to a dead spot that was behind two walls outside from our main router. We conducted speed tests from the main router at different distances and with varying numbers of walls between the router and the testing device: 1 meter apart with no walls, in the dining area behind one wall (5 meters), in another room behind two walls (10 meters), and outside behind three walls (15 meters).
Our test results for the 5GHz connection showed a significant boost in performance when the signal passed through two and three walls. Interestingly, there was no discernible difference in speed between the 1-meter distance with no walls and the 5-meter distance with one wall. This demonstrates the effectiveness of adding another mesh router to provide coverage in dead spots outside behind 3 walls, ensuring a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the area.
For our 2.4GHz speed test, the results were almost identical with or without extendable. However, we observed a substantial boost in performance when the signal had to pass through three walls outside.
Performance – Local Remote Playing/Streaming
We will also check the performance of the ASUS RT-AX1800HP in the context of local streaming, specifically focusing on gaming via Steam Link (A local network remote play). When playing games wirelessly from your game console or PC and streaming to your mobile phone, a reliable and fast Wi-Fi network is crucial for maintaining clear graphics without any blurring or degradation during gameplay.
We tested the router by playing Resident Evil 4 – Chainsaw Demo on our PC and streaming them directly to our mobile phone using the router’s Wi-Fi 6 network. The results were impressive: we enjoyed crisp, HD visuals without any stuttering or blurred images. Here’s a screenshot taken from the phone to demonstrate the quality:
The ASUS RT-AX1800HP delivered outstanding performance in this test, making it feel as if the game was running natively on the phone. We were able to play the game seamlessly while moving around behind concrete 2 walls from main network without affecting the performance or being disconnected.
After thoroughly testing the ASUS RT-AX1800HP router, we can confidently say that it delivers on its promises. With its Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, powerful hardware, and AiMesh support, it provides an impressive combination of speed, coverage, and reliability. The router excelled in both speed tests and local streaming scenarios, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for various applications, from streaming video game from PC to mobile.
In conclusion, the ASUS RT-AX1800HP is a strong contender in the Wi-Fi 6 router market. Its performance, features, and design make it a solid choice for users seeking to upgrade their home network and take advantage of the latest advancements in wireless technology. Whether you have a large property or just want to ensure seamless connectivity across all your devices, this router has you covered.
The price of the ASUS RT-AX1800HP is also quite appealing, with a retail price of just PHP 4,099. This makes it an even more attractive option for users seeking to upgrade their home network and take advantage of the latest advancements in wireless technology.