In a previous post, I was running into overheating issues with the router that came with my new fiber system; after installing some fans, it helped, but was rather loud, looked horrible, and was located in an area that my three-year-old son could easily mess around with. So, since I was also less than pleased with the original router’s performance, I felt that an upgrade was due.
After researching my options, I decided to go for an ASUS AX5400 RT-AX82U, which offers tons of features that impressed me. The RT-AX82U includes Wi-Fi 6- which my PC and Google Pixel 6’s use, 5400Mpbs max speeds, offers 160MHz channels, has some cool RGB (if you are into that), and comes with a lifetime of free ASUS AIProtection Pro.
Not wanting to just place the new router on the ground so it is unprotected against my son, I rigged up a not-so-pretty old PC case with some spare mismatched fans, then placed the new router, power strip, and ONT device into it. Currently, it houses 3 120mm intake fans, 1 140mm intake fan, and a 140mm exhaust fan on top. There are two fans directly under the new router blowing cold air from the bottom of the case, two fans blowing cold air into the case in front (cooling the ONT device), then the single 140mm fan exhausting hot air at the top. Please ignore the RGB and messy cables; this case was built with old parts I had lying around and the whole thing will be hidden behind a couch, so looks do not matter much to me. Eventually, I will most likely include a firewall and a NAS, so I will probably opt for a small network cabinet then.
I wasn’t really expecting too much of a speed/signal boost but saw a huge improvement wherever I am in the house. Setup was simple enough, yet required some changes in the web GUI regarding VLAN ports and enabling PPPoE.
Overall, I haven’t really had a chance to play around with the settings and such, but my wireless connections increased significantly, even when located inside the case. I was getting around 300Mps in the room with the router, now, I am at a solid 500Mpbs up/down regardless of where I am in the house. My hardwired speeds didn’t improve much, hovering at around 800Mbps down, but it is more constant.
The ASUS app is excellent and easy to use, allowing me to have some game options, secure everything, and even limit what my son has access to. I can quickly add mesh nodes, see and assign devices to a specific individual which allows me to fine-tune security settings, and provides malicious site blocking, two-way IPS, and infected device prevention and blocking.
One feature that interested me is the QoS setting, which allows me to prioritize which devices can have greater bandwidth than all of the others, for example, when gaming. I tried playing around with the setting but didn’t notice an improvement to my gaming rig, but all other wireless speeds dropped significantly; this may be due to using the ‘game port’ connection attached to a small switch.
This section of the network will be for personal use, my home lab will be another animal entirely. Overall, I feel that the upgrade was worth it, providing better connections, speeds, and reliability. While I may have gone overboard with the cooling, I have yet to see any drop in speeds due to thermal throttling. Now that this is complete, my home lab’s construction will begin.