Asus has been on a roll with recent router releases. The Asus ZenWiFiAX offered a compelling Wi-Fi 6 mesh solution, and now the RT-AX89X AX6000 boasts impressive performance and features to meet even the mos demanding WI-Fi home needs. With a slew of features and one of the more unique visuals aesthetics, the RT-AX89X AX6000 is putting other routers to shame, both in price and value.
Looking at the hardware, the RT-AX89X AX6000 feels like a mix between a spaceship and a spider. The eight antennae moving and pivoting into the centre of the unit, give the router an otherworldly look at first glance. The router features all the ports you have come to expect from modern high-end routers. Boasting eight 1GB ethernet ports, a 2X USB 3.2 (5Gbps) Type-A ports, along with a WAN port. Additionally, the RT-AX89X also features a 10GB Base-T port, along with a 10GB SFP+ port to ensure you have the connections when the consumer hardware comes available at a reasonable price.
In terms of hardware, the RT-AX89X is no slouch, boasting a four-core 2.2GHz IPQ8078 processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage. The two WiFi Qualcomm QCN5054 radios — one for an 8-stream interface managing the WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 connections, and the dealing with the 4-stream interface for the 2.4GHz band — deliver impressive results even in larger testing environments. The Wireless speeds reach up to 4800Mbps on the 5G band, and 1150 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band making the RT-AX89X one of the faster consumer routers we have tested to date.
Out of the box, the RT-AX89X looks impressive. The unique design and solid construction give it a sense of quality throughout the unboxing. From the way the antenna pivot to the overall placement of ports and buttons, Asus has outdone themselves with this router, making the cheap, plastic construction of many competing routers feel even worse by comparison.
The RT-AX89X is also one of the more user-friendly routers to set up and get running on a network. Once you open the box and take everything out, the RT-AX89X simply needs you to connect all the needed cables, position it so it is not blocked by anything, and launch the Asus Router app, and within a few minutes, you will have everything up and running.
Once everything is set-up you can configure the RT-AX89X using either the web-admin panel or the above-mentioned app. Thankfully Asus has made the interface simple to use, but powerful enough should you need to access features or settings. While I am more a fan of simple clean interfaces, the firmware of the RT-AX89X does what it needs to, and is easy enough to use that I had no issues with its sense of style.
In terms of range, the RT-AX89X was on par, if not a bit better than the TP-Link Archer AX1100. It managed to blanket our full 6000SQF office space in signal, with computers even on the edge of our testing area showing strong, to good connection. Using our modern test devices, including a Wi-Fi 6 enabled laptop, and a selection of modern smartphones, the RT-AX89X did not lose signal until around 20 or so feet outside our office, and that was though our brick and stone walls.
In terms of speeds, the RT-AX89X also did not disappoint. Within our testing area, the router maintained a solid 800Mbps download stream within the walls of the office, with this only starting to degrade when we moved outside or pushed the limits on positioning indoors.
The wired connections worked as expected, delivering solid 1Gbs performance for the devices we tested. Sadly we did not have any 10Gbs devices on hand for testing due to availability and location at the time of the review, although with the limit of our 1Gps internet on-site at the office, it is hard to imagine seeing much beyond the results shown above, especially for internet-based applications.
Even the mobile phone performance was exemplary, never losing connection even though brick walls, or due to interference from other devices. To put it simply, the RT-AX89X is a powerhouse, delivering a signal that should cover most offices or large homes.
If that were not enough, the RT-AX89X offers Ai Mesh that allows this router to be a part of a more elaborate mash network. That being said, it is hard to see a need for such a case, but with internet needs only becoming more dominant in society, this ensures there is expandability far beyond what the competition has on offer.
Throughout our tests, the RT-AX89X has met or exceeded our expectations, delivering one of the more solid, and robust Wi-Fi-based experiences to date. It flawlessly dealt with a slew of devices connected simultaneously, including various smart devices, and never during testing did we experience any lag or slowdown during online gaming or other tests.
With one of the more impressive build qualities I have seen on a consumer router and a set of features that should meet or surpass even the most discerning consumer, the RT-AX89X is a fantastic Wi-Fi 6 offering that delivers on performance and features, offering enough future-proofing to keep this in use for years to come.