Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi router review

NETWORK STANDARDS
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IPv4, IPv6
PORTS
1 x RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN1X 2.5Gbps Mbps and auto cross-over function (MDI-X) port, 2x USB 3.1
PRICE
R7,999
SUPPLIER
www.evetech.co.za

The Wi-Fi router is an often-forgotten piece of hardware – that is until the day your Wi-Fi stops working. Your run of the mill router that bundles with your fibre or ADSL connection serves its purpose in small spaces, but as soon as you need broader coverage or faster throughput speeds with multiple users, they tend to fall over.

This year’s ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) line-up has already shown us some impressive hardware but truth be told, this is the one product in the ROG range that had me really excited at launch. Now if you’re thinking that this is just another router with some fancy antennae, you are sorely mistaken – Asus has upped the game with this beast. Just to show you how bad-ass it is, it features Wi-Fi tech 6 that’s not even launching on other consumer hardware for a few more months (unless you own a Samsung Galaxy S10, one of the first phones to support Wi-Fi 6 thanks to its Snapdragon 855 processor).

It’s this rating and the fact that the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 features an impressive UI and user controllable RGB logo that has geeks like me excited. Indeed, this is not your average router, it’s aimed at serious gamers and techies who want to squeeze as much juice out of their network as possible and tinker with everything along the way.

Let’s start with the basic tech specs. The GT-AX11000 features four Gigabit ethernet ports, a WAN port, and a 2.5 Gbps LAN port. As is to be expected, there are also two USB 3.1 ports for network attached storage. Not expected, however, is the 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core CPU that’s built into this router. That’s right, a quad-core CPU! The ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 requires this much power to manage an insane amount of gamer traffic and all the software features that this router provides.

You’ll also notice the arachnid looking antennae which are designed to provide higher data throughputs and speeds. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) can deliver up to 3.5Gbps but with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, this throughput capacity is pushed up to 9.6Gbps. While these speeds are not quite attainable on notebooks or other peripherals yet, we should start seeing more hardware with support for this new Wi-Fi standard later this year. It should also be noted that Wi-Fi 6 was not designed for maximum throughputs – although it has an impressive rating. Rather, this new standard was designed to cater to the increasing number of devices that are connecting to a home Wi-Fi router, thus ensuring that multiple streaming or gaming devices have the same user experience.

For now, using our trusty Wi-Fi 5 enabled devices will have to do, but this doesn’t mean you’ll get any less functionality out of this device. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a home network administrator’s dream. The custom operating system is easy to master and thanks to an intuitive user interface called the ROG Game dashboard, even novice gamers will be able to optimise their gaming experience easily.

Most of the features on this device centre around optimising gaming priority on your network, or anything that requires dedicated bandwidth, like game streaming. But it’s the way in which the Rapture GT-AX11000 manages these task that blew me away. A great example of this is how they managed port forwarding on this router. It’s now an easy to understand process with a visual interface to easily setup and configure. The network features run much deeper than that, though. There’s a Game IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) firewall by Trend Micro called AiProtection Pro that will keep your network secure, and a bunch of cool parental controls that will take care of what certain users can access and when.

As you would expect from such a high-end Wi-Fi router, this one also supports Mesh networking technology called ASUS AiMesh. Mesh technology improves Wi-Fi reception by making use of various nodes that all communicate with each other. These nodes are essentially AiMesh supported routers that work together to offer you a bigger and better wireless range with fewer dropped connections.

There’s no doubt that this monstrous Wi-Fi router ticks all the boxes when it comes to a complete feature set, but its daily performance is where things really matter. Covering a relatively large house and property, I experienced no dead spots anywhere. This was a first for me, as most routers I’ve used to date don’t reach close to 70% of the coverage area. Of course, should you require even larger coverage footprints, a few more Mesh nodes will certainly do the trick.

As a fibre user at home, the data capacity coming into the property was never a problem. It’s connecting a large number of wireless devices with capable throughput, while preserving the best bits of bandwidth capacity for my gaming rig, that caused some issue. Flipping a few switches in the ROG Game dashboard allowed me to ensure upload and gaming speeds from my main machine will always be prioritised.

Another feature I found particularly interesting is VPN Fusion, a handy feature for gamers who use a VPN service. With VPN Fusion you can set all gaming traffic to bypass your VPN thus ensuring you get the lowest response rates to local gaming servers.

Like I’ve mentioned before, this is a high-end router for enthusiasts who need control and gamers who need to maintain a usually congested network. As you know, control and performance usually comes at a price and the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 does not come cheap. At around R8,000 this won’t be a frivolous gaming purchase, but if you have a need for an easy to use yet powerful gaming router, there’s not much else on the market today that can compete with this one.

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a specialist gaming product but if you have a fast fibre connection and multiple users connecting via Wi-Fi, you should be looking at something like this if you need more control and better data throughputs on your network.

BOTTOM LINE
We live in a world with gaming traffic trumps all on a home network. It’s thus no surprise that Asus has launched a ROG branded Wi-Fi router that is designed to look after the gaming traffic on your network. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 puts you in control of every aspect of your network thanks to the beautifully designed the ROG Game dashboard.
PROS
Intuitive operating system
Impressive Wi-Fi reach and throughput speeds
Supports Wi-Fi 6 and Mesh networking
Looks insanely cool
CONS
Price
More ethernet ports would be welcome
85
LOL SO RANDOM
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