Best ASUS Home Streaming Routers in 2022

For gaming, family or rural media use we've rounded up the best ASUS has to offer

Best Asus Home Streaming Routers - RT-AX86U
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There are thousands of routers on the market, and working out what’s right for you and your own circumstances can be tricky. You’ll undoubtedly come across a few Asus router options on any hunt for your next device, and that’s for a very good reason: the brand provides a great range of devices to fit the niches consumer demand dictates – be they simple to set up, reliable models designed to fit with home décor, speed-focused models or feature-rich options.

Given its many options, Asus’ catalog caters to users shopping with family use in mind, just as much as it does for users who need a gaming-focused solution or bleeding-edge technology. Of course, there’s usually more than one aspect a router actually needs to excel into a coveted jewel of a network, and Asus’ devices live on a spectrum where price, performance, and features are all considered key – which will make the brand a good starting point.

Products at a Glance

Best overall

How we picked the best ASUS home streaming routers

Whether you’re upgrading, expanding, or looking to connect a new home network where streaming will be commonplace, this best Asus home streaming routers selection is the place to start. But how have we managed to pick the five models here from the wide variety Asus offers?

We’ve already looked at the best ASUS routers available. For this guide, we’ve kept true to our previous approach while bringing you recommendations based on routers’ overall ability to effectively support streaming as a network priority. The balance of lightning speeds, stability, and connectivity features are still important. But where streaming is concerned, mesh capabilities, network priority, and security also factor in. Not to mention, location and household requirements too.

To bring this guide together, we’ve considered all of the above and a range of budgets to decide on the five best Asus home streaming routers you need to know about if you’re in the market. Each has its own pros and cons to bear in mind, and we’ve reviewed each to help you make up your mind. Let’s go.

Our Recommended

Best ASUS Home Streaming Routers in 2022

Best overall
PROS

Strong throughput speeds

GeForce Now recommended

2.5G gaming port

CONS

Lacks some gaming features

The Asus RT-AX86U is the successor to Asus’ AC86U – with the benefit of WiFi 6. Smartly priced and blessed with a simple set-up, you can get going quickly with a router capable of speeds up to 5700Mbps, supporting dual-band access and excellent connectivity options. It’s not just a gaming router either.

The rear of the RT-AX86U offers a 2.5G port ideal for console connectivity, four Gigabit LAN ports, a single WAN port and three USB 3.0 ports. Not only is connectivity of the AX86U strong though, so is its customizability, proven by the depth of options in its UI for anyone wanting to control the specifics of their WiFi network – even offering a ‘Professional’ tab for optimizations of things like Tx bursting to lower data overheads.

For gamers, the Gaming Accelerator and Mobile Game modes are good inclusions – as is the knowledge the AX86U is GeForce Now recommended. This router does lack other gaming-specific options like ping heat maps and geo-fencing, but its wider flexibility more than makes up for the absence. AiMesh and AiProtection are both included, meaning this has the flexibility and security to make it an essential buy not only for gamers, and a great Asus home streaming router.

Best family option
PROS

Excellent mesh delivery

2.5G ports

Sleek design

CONS

Bit fiddly to set up

A little pricey

Routers that fit your home just as much as they do your networking requirements aren’t hard to come by in Asus’ product categories. Its ZenWiFi range is designed to bring productive peace of mind to your home network, and not stand out too much either.

The ZenWiFi XT8 is a sleek twin option with two routers, now offering tri-band WiFi 6 performance and a huge maximum of 6.6gbps speeds across its one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz bands. One of those 5GHz bands is available for backhaul too, which means the ZenWifi XT8 can deliver crisp router-to router transfer and provide a snappy mesh set-up ideal for maximum coverage in, say, a family home.

Need potential to expand later? The XT8 features AiMesh for dynamic compatibility with other supporting routers, each router in the two-pack features 3x Gigabit LAN and one 2.5G port for the flexibility of wired connections to, say…a console. Essentially, anyone shopping for a family-centered network solution should take note – especially where swift WiFi and stable performance across a mesh setup faced with multiple devices streaming is needed.

Asus’ ZenWiFi XT8 is more involved than some to set up, and it sits at a high price point unless you find a deal. But the XT8 two-pack is a great family solution, primed for coverage across 4400sqft or about six rooms, and comes with plenty of features like parental controls and free lifetime security. The routers are even available in black or white.

Best for gamers
PROS

Good for gamers

Dedicated gaming port

AiMesh

CONS

No multi-gigabit port

Should general media streaming and having a future mesh network be something you may consider, while needing to prioritize gaming, then Asus’ GS-AX5400 is a strong choice. This WiFi 6 router is technically part of the Asus ‘ROG Strix’ range and provides speeds of up to 4.8Gbps on its 5GHz band with 574Mbps on its 2.5GHz. That’s in line with the cheaper TUF-AX5400 we cover below, and the specs of each system are fairly equal.

The GS-AX5400 also shares a dedicated gaming port and Gear Accelerator options with the TUF model, and offers a very similar picture of external connectivity, with three Gigabit LAN ports and a WAN port alongside the gaming port and a single USB 3.2 port.

There’s more besides though, with the inclusion of more gaming-specific features such as Asus’ ROG First and OpenNat options – for better network optimization and easier port opening respectively. There’s also the fact that that despite its Asus Aura RGB and ROG design, we think this is a rather smart looking Asus home streaming router which, while gamer-centric, isn’t exactly garish should it need to find a place around the house.  

PROS

Up to 300Mbps WiFi

80MHz provision

CONS

No external antenna connections

Home streaming routers aren’t just for those with broadband access, as 4G routers like Asus’ dual-band 4G-AX56 demonstrates. Dependable 4G streaming can be more easily enjoyed with this router’s WiFi 6 standard technology, offering a theoretical 1.5x performance over WiFi 5 with network speeds of up to 1.8Gbps (1.2Gbps 5GHz, 574Mbps 2.4GHz) and 300Mbps download speeds thanks to LTE Cat.6, reportedly 2x the speed of Cat.4.

For those in rural settings or broadband blackspots, where 4G connectivity is reliable and essential, Asus’ 4G-AX56 makes for a strong choice. The router is placed at a respectable price for home or business users needing a stable 4G router capable of connecting mobile devices, and provides essential traffic control features, parental controls and lifetime free security.

The 4G-AX56’s External ports feature an unlocked Nano SIM card tray slot, four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port, providing as flexible a 4G router as you could ask for at this price. The antenna array is one external fixed LTE antenna and two external fixed WiFi antennas, although you should consider there are no additional antenna connections should you wish to add an external antenna for more reliable 4G signal strength.

If that’s something you can get without, the 4G-AX56 looks a solid router option for connectivity and media streaming at a new level of 4G performance.

PROS

Good price

Lots of features

CONS

No automatic gaming optimization

Divisive design

TUF products have a long-established history at ASUS, so the design and feature-set of the TUF-AX5400 isn’t too surprising. Designed with particular (80s sci-fi?) aesthetic tastes in mind, the router is clearly suited towards a particular need: gaming priority on a budget.

You’ll get a maximum 5400Mbps performance from this router, with Asus claiming up to 4.8Gbps on the 5Ghz band. That’s none too shabby considering the AX5400 can be found for less than $200 and shouldn’t be expected to match the performance or feature-set of more expensive ROG routers.

That said, you can expect it to deliver stable and solid performance and provide decent option on its TUF-themed web console. Specifically, port forwarding options and Game Boost and Gear Accelerator allow you to prioritize gaming should you wish, while VPN and AiProtection features are good to have.

Externally, things are a little simpler than more pricy routers which is to be expected. There’s no 2.5G port, although there is a ‘Gaming Port’ which will prioritize any device connected to it, alongside three other Gigabit LAN ports a WAN port and a single USB 3.2 port. A fun and punchy Asus home streaming router this then, with less features and less fanfare.

 

 

Things To Consider

What speed and range do I need?

We’ve said it before, but as much as it looks good to spend money on the fastest theoretical speeds a router can offer, it’s unlikely you’ll need to use it. Ultimately you only need a router that can handle the maximum speed of your Internet connection.

The other priority is to make sure that the router you choose has the range to cover the area you need connecting, and whether you’ll need a mesh solution or be served by a single router at the center of things. Check the range of any product you’re looking to buy.

What ports do I need?

As standard, most routers should come with Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port (if you have a separate modem), and USB ports for connecting media like NAS devices. Ensure you have enough Gigabit LAN ports for any devices you want to be connected by wire to your router. Also, consider that 2.5G ports or ‘Gaming Ports’ which are prioritized can offer more speed to specific devices.

Do I need a gaming router?

A gaming router isn’t essential even if your primary use is gaming. Gaming routers can provide additional features in terms of connectivity and on the web console – and they can look pretty cool too. But unless you need these features, you may want to opt for a router that better suits your primary needs of speed, range, and functionality.

Our Verdict

Best overall

How do you pick the best Asus home streaming router when there are so many options to consider? It’s tricky enough to streamline Asus’s varied offering to five products, let alone choose the best overall. We’ve gone for the RT-AX86U as the best pick, ultimately because it offers a little bit of everything that you may need if you’re looking to buy the perfect router as the fulcrum of your home streaming network. It’s not the best gaming router here in our eyes, and nor is it the best family-oriented, but it ticks the best of both box in a few ways.

There’s no picking apart in terms of tech, as each of the routers here provides the WiFi 6 standard, so we’ve looked at speed, and the RT-AX86U offers great maximum performance of up to 5.7Gbps. That doesn’t match the XT8’s 6.6Gbps, but it should be plenty fast enough for most, particularly if there’s a requirement for gaming on the network. It’s here where we really appreciate the additional features the AX68U provides because while we think the router would perform excellently in a general setting, the GeForce Now recommendation alongside the 2.5G LAN port really earns it extra marks. The additional connectivity elements of the AX86U also earn it points, with three Gigabit LAN ports, its WAN and three USB 3.0 ports.

It’s that mix of reliability, performance, flexibility, and…to some degree style we’ve opted for here, while we realize there are specific use-cases where other products would be better suited. For a family mesh setup, the ZenWiFi XT8 is an easy pick. For pure gaming, we’d opt for the GS-AX5400 despite its lack of a 2.5G port, and for a gaming router on a budget, we’d opt for the TUF-AX5400. The only 4G router here speaks for itself!

So, there you have our picks for the best Asus home streaming router and our best overall. Hopefully, it helps to make some tricky decisions easier and get you on your way to a new or upgraded setup in the near future.

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Kevin has been a technophile since he first owned a Commodore 64. Then an Amiga….progressing to Gameboy, self-built systems, consoles, and a 15-year career in and around computing and technology. Kevin is an all-around tech and gadget enthusiast. He was previously found at such places as Micro Mart, Custom PC, Bit-tech, and PC PRO, then Which? Computing, Den of Geek, and Daily Telegraph. Also WIRED, Hardware Heaven, and KitGuru.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.

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