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Asus Wi-Fi antenna setup. Asus Wi-Fi antenna setup

dBi: Wi-Fi Broadcasting Power and Antenna Explained — There’s no “High-Gain”

This post is a supplement to my other piece on dBm. I’ll explain here how a router’s antennas work and another specification relating to Wi-Fi coverage, the dBi, of which the values generally indicate the so-called high-gain antennas.

As it turns out, by itself, dBi generally doesn’t mean much as far as Wi-Fi is concerned. It’s something you shouldn’t pay a lot of attention to, if at all.

That is why most networking vendors don’t list this value in their home products, and those that do, do so solely for marketing purposes.

The bottom line is this: Don’t use dBi as a factor in choosing a home router or access point. Also, leave those antennas alone.- other than keeping them open up when possible, there’s not much else you should do with them.

You can keep that knowledge and move on. Or better yet, stay and continue with the rest.- this post can be a fun read on a slow news day.

On home networking, Wi-Fi, and the Internet

  • Home networking
  • Everything you need to know: The basics (modems, routers, switches, etc.) | Router setup and maintenance | Tips on running network cables | Wi-Fi troubleshooting | Wi-Fi/Internet speed testing | Multi-Gig explained | Dual-WAN vs Link Aggregation | Your router and online privacy risks
  • Replacement: The right time to get a new Wi-Fi router
  • Home away from home: Best alternative to a travel router
  • Wi-Fi standards: Wi-Fi HaLow | Wi-Fi 7 | Wi-Fi 6E | 5.9GHz Wi-Fi 6 (a.k.a UNII-4) | Wi-Fi 6 | What is Wi-Fi? | Wi-Fi antennas (dBi) | W-Fi broadcasting/signal power (dBm)
  • Wi-Fi 6E upgrade: The best options
  • Wi-Fi hardware: Dual-Band vs Tri-Band vs Quad-Band | Airtime fairness and IoT devices | Common home Wi-Fi settings
  • How to best use multiple Wi-Fi broadcasters: Wi-Fi mesh systems explained | Tips on getting extenders | Access point buying guide
  • Best mesh Wi-Fi systems: Wi-Fi 6E | Wi-Fi 6 | Wi-Fi 5
  • Wi-Fi routers explained: How to pick that perfect one
  • Best Wi-Fi routers: Wi-Fi 6E | Wi-Fi 6 | Wi-Fi 5
  • All Wi-Fi best lists
  • Broadband: Fiber-optic ONT vs Cable modem (DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1) | How to activate a Cable modem | Broadband troubleshooting | 10Gbps Internet | Tips for an ISP-provided gateway
  • Best Cable modems: For Comcast Xfinity (and possibly other ISPs)

What is dBi

To understand dBi, we first need to understand dB or decibels. Again, I detailed it in this post on dBm and Wi-Fi signal strength, but here’s the gist:

  • dB is a logarithmic measurement. It doesn’t increase or decrease consistently but spirally.
  • Other than the level of sound, dB is a logarithmic way to convey other material properties.
  • dBm (decimal milliwatt) is an example where dB is used to measure power level or signal sensitivity.
  • In the US, per regulations, each Wi-Fi radio Band has a max power level of 30 dBm (or 1 watt).

With that, dBi is decibel isotropic. It’s a logarithmic way to convey an object’s physical property measured in different directions.

Specifically, 0 dBi means the object emits radio waves equally in all directions. That’s like a sphere with the emitter right in the center.

Since we can’t see radio waves, you can imagine 0 dBi as how lights are emitted from a single source, like the sun or a light bulb. It goes out equally in all directions or omnidirectionally.

Theoretically, when you increase the dBi to higher than zero, the signal sphere starts to change its shape.- it’s no longer a perfect orb. In reality, that depends.

That’s because, in our case, the object is a Wi-Fi antenna, and the property is the radio signals it pushes out. And the whole thing is very complicated.

High-gain antennas: It’s about directional FOCUS

Antennas are not exclusive to Wi-Fi. All radio-based applications require these little poles to broadcast and receive signals.

In telecommunication, we often want to talk to a party in a specific direction.

asus, wi-fi, antenna, setup

For example, if you’re off-roading in a caravan, the first car generally wants to talk via radio to those behind it, and the last wants to talk only to those in front of it.

And in this case, it makes sense to FOCUS the antennas in two specific directions, behind and front, respectively. So, chances are the cars will use directional antennas.

With this type of antenna, the signals go farther in one direction (gain) at the expense of other (often opposite) directions (loss).

The higher the dBi value, the more focused the signals in the gain direction.- the farther it can go.- and the larger the area where there’s no signal.

Generally, directional antennas use 9 dBi or higher values, up to 24 dBi. But the number varies depending on the specific device or application.

You can think of directional antennas as your flashlight. The more you FOCUS the light, the narrower the beam and the farther it goes, but the less bright the area outside the beam is.

And when you use a flashlight, there’s no light behind you. Still, the flashlight has the same light output as when you remove the reflector and let the bulb emit omnidirectionally.

The gist of this is that there’s no gain in signals. You only take them from one direction to concentrate on another. The total signal output remains the same. Almost.

In reality, using focused signals always cause some loss of total output due to overheads. (A flashlight’s reflector doesn’t reflect 100% of the amount of light that hits it.- it absorbs some and turns that into heat.)

But in large-area coverage, directional (a.k.a high-gain) antennas are practical for specific applications like FM radio or cellular signals.- depending on where you place the antennas, chances are you need to cover more in one direction than others.

OK, and that brings us back to Wi-Fi and its antennas.

Wi-Fi and antennas: There’s no gain

All home Wi-Fi broadcasters.- routers and access points.- are omnidirectional (no gain) for good reasons.

First, that’s because Wi-Fi signals are short in range due to the high frequencies.- we’re talking about 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz here. Omnidirectional allows the hardware to work most efficiently.

And secondly, omnidirectional is the best and safest design since it will fit all homes.

If you get a directional broadcaster, you need a professional to find out where and how to mount it in a particular place so that nobody will use the area where there’s no signal. The idea is impractical for vendors and even risky in customer satisfaction. (Imagine standing right next to your router and getting no signal at all because you pick the wrong side.)

That said, all networking vendors generally try to make their home Wi-Fi broadcaster emit signals generically as a sphere. But this is no easy task.- it’s virtually impossible.

FEM: Antennas, dBi, and the max Wi-Fi broadcasting power

The dBi value generally applies only to the antennas and doesn’t work the same in all vendors. That’s because how the signals come out of a router (or an access point) depends on the device’s Front-End Module (FEM).

Typically, a FEM includes a few power and low-noise amplifiers, an acoustic filter, and a handful of other hardware components. It’s a complicated and technically proprietary device.

You can understand FEM as part of the Wi-Fi System on a chip (SoC) that works with the router’s firmware to determine how Wi-Fi signals emit from the hardware’s antennas.

The goal of a home Wi-Fi broadcaster is always to have the best combo of three elements: the most extensive Wi-Fi coverage (perfect sphere), the highest Wi-Fi signal strength, and the best compatibility.- the support on the side of the clients is essential. All are equally important.

And how FEM works with a particular antenna design within the constraint of the max broadcasting power allowed.- 30 dBm in the US.- to deliver that goal is a well-guarded secret of each vendor. That’s what makes one networking brand or specific router better or worse than others.

Wi-Fi broadcasting power limit

In the US, the 30 dBm (1 watt) max broadcasting power applies to all existing Wi-Fi standards, including Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. That’s the highest in the world.- the allowed Wi-Fi power levels in the EU and Japan are 20 dBm and 10 dBm, respectively.

Newer Wi-Fi standards, such as Wi-Fi 7, might have a new level of allowed broadcasting power thanks to AFC.

This power level is not to be confused with hardware power consumption in terms of electricity, which depends on the processing power (CPU, RAM, Flash) and other hardware components, such as USB ports, network ports, PoE features, etc. There’s generally no regulated limit on a device’s power consumption, but lower is always better.

Some broadcasters allow users to adjust Wi-Fi broadcasting power. In this case, the maximum level is the top allowed by the region.

That said, the antennas are just part of the equation. But all home Wi-Fi broadcaster comes with their own set of antennas, explicitly designed for the particular FEM.

Generally, none of the home Wi-Fi routers broadcasts signals as a perfect sphere.- that’s not possible. Most of the time, the signal outputs are in the shape of an egg or a distorted orb.

Wi-Fi broadcasters: Size matters

A common thing among Wi-Fi routers: using firmware to manipulate FEM and antennas requires a lot of processing power. That’s where a router’s CPU and system memory (RAM) comes into play.

And that’s also why if you want a powerful router with extensive coverage, you must find one of the certain physical sizes.- larger is generally more powerful.

Some routers have so much processing power that they even have internal fans.- like the Asus RT-AX89X, Netgear RAX120, or Ubiquiti UDM.

In short, compact, cute, quiet, extensive coverage, and fast connection speeds are an impossible combo in Wi-Fi hardware.

Common dBi values of home routers: It’s rather meaningless

A Wi-Fi broadcaster uses between 2 dBi and 6 dBi. Its FEM will work within those values to deliver the best signal output.- as close to a sphere as possible. Again, the algorithm is a secret.

What’s not a secret is that there is no situation where we have a broadcaster that uses the perfect zero dBi value. The reason is other elements of its FEM are not perfect, either. That’s not to mention the whole system has to adjust for hardware interference and overhead.

That said, revealing the dBi value in a home Wi-Fi router is meaningless. That’s purely for marketing purposes or as a comparison baseline for similar hardware. For the number to make sense individually, the vendor must disclose how its FEM works, too.- none does.

And that’s the reason why you shouldn’t care about dBi when it comes to picking a home Wi-Fi broadcaster.

Home networking vendors that FOCUS on the broadcasting power via high dBi value tend not to do well in business.- they often fail to deliver real-world performance to match the bogus antenna gain.

Amped Wireless is an example. The company made a big splash a few years ago, advertising tens of thousands of square feet of coverage for its Wi-Fi 5 routers. It hasn’t done well since, not surprisingly.

There are high-gain antennas for Wi-Fi, but they apply only to specific enterprise applications. They are used mainly to deliver broadband over long distances in rural areas. In this case, particular broadcasters and receivers are used, and at each endpoint, the signals need to be converted by a home router to support regular clients.

If you deliberately turn a standard Wi-Fi router’s signals directional, you’ll risk distorting them from the intended patterns created by its FEM, rendering them useless on the receiving end.

Common questions relating to Wi-Fi antennas

And that brings us to a few frequently asked questions about Wi-Fi antennas.

Do more antennas mean better Wi-Fi speeds?

Not necessarily. Generally, a router needs one antenna for each Band. So, a dual-Band router will have at least two antennas. After that, additional antennas are for extra features, such as MU-MIMO, Beamforming, etc.

But even then, more antennas don’t necessarily mean more features. Also, the number of antennas doesn’t change the range of a router.

In other words, they change the type of coverage but not the range itself. So more antennas might mean faster speed grades, but not always so.

That’s because, ultimately, it’s how the router’s FEM and firmware handle its antennas that matters. And a Wi-Fi connection’s speed takes two; the client also needs to support the feature and speed grade of the router for the goodness to happen.

In short, there’s no need to get too hung up on the number of the little poles sticking out of our Wi-Fi box.

My home is sprawling. Is it wise to use third-party or directional antennas on my router?

The general answer is no. That’s because most vendors don’t make directional antennas for their broadcasters, and third-party ones don’t usually work as you might hope. if at all.

On the other hand, you can use generic antennas at the receiving end.- they are just passive pieces of metal. For example, if you get a TP-Link Wi-Fi adapter, you can use the antennas of an Asus on it.- most of the time, they fit.

Again, there are directional Wi-Fi antennas, but most a made for outdoor applications. So, if you have a specific broadcaster that includes its purpose-built directional antennas, and specific receiver, you can give that a try.

Keep in mind that, in this case, you might not get any signal from the device in some directions, even when you’re next to it.

How do I angle the antennas for the best performance?

You can’t. At most, you can only make different performances.

Routers with external antennas generally have a section in their user manual about how they should be handled. But generally, they are supposed to stay vertical to deliver the intended coverage and performance.

If you’ve read some tech websites or watched YouTube videos that gave you special tricks to angle a particular router’s or an access point’s antennas or use tin foil to better the coverage, keep in mind that all of that is bullcrap. If at all, only the hardware vendor has authority on this front, and they almost certainly never reveal the specifics.

Sure, you can change their positions (when possible) to manipulate the shape of the coverage sphere mentioned above a bit. Still, the result is generally unpredictable and varies from one router to another.

On top of that, the effect would occur at the end of the router’s range, where the signal is already too weak.- the slight fluctuation will likely produce no meaningful Wi-Fi experience. often than not, messing around with the antennas will make things worse.

Many routers with external antennas, like the TP-Link Archer GX90, don’t allow you to swivel them around. That’s not to mention that there are more routers with internal antennas.

That said, when it comes to antennas, don’t remove or collapse them.- keep them extended. After that, feel free to put them at any angle you’d like. When unsure, leave them all vertical.

What’s more important is to place your Wi-Fi broadcaster in an elevated, open place.

The takeaway

There you go. There’s no need to get too hung up on the dBi when shopping for a new home Wi-Fi broadcaster. In most, if not all, cases, it’s insignificant. High-gain (directional) antennas are more relevant to non-Wi-Fi radio applications.

If you want to go with directional antennas with Wi-Fi, then dBi is essential, but in this case, you need to hire a professional and use specialized equipment.

However, in Wi-Fi, size does matter. You can’t pack a lot of algorithms into a small box without causing heat issues. So it’s unrealistic to expect a Wi-Fi router to be compact and good-looking yet delivers top Wi-Fi speeds and extensive coverage. Not gonna happen.

Something has to give. It’s a matter of physics (and cost).

ASRock

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X670E Steel Legend

This model may not be sold worldwide. Please contact your local dealer for the availability of this model in your region.

Optimized VRM Design

Dr.MOS design features the latest SPS (Smart Power Stage) technology. It’s optimized for monitoring current and temperature of each phase, thus delivering smoother and neater power to the CPU with enhanced performance and OC capability.

Featuring sturdy components and completely smooth power delivery to the CPU. Plus, it offers unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature for advanced gamers as well.

Premium PCB Design

The server grade low loss PCB improves signal integrity, allowing motherboard to support PCIe 5.0 for both graphics card and M.2 SSD, it also improves memory OC potential to deliver the most extreme memory performance.

The 8 Layer PCB provides stable signal traces and power shapes delivering lower temperature and higher energy efficiency, ensures a reliable and long-lasting system while delivering ultimate performance without any compromise.

Extreme Overclocking Performance

Derived from the “built for stable and reliable” designing concept, ASRock does not compromise on any details. All X670E motherboards are built with 8-Layer and premium low-loss materials, enthusiasts are able to enjoy the boost of DDR5 memory overclocking performance up to 6600MHz and beyond by enabling the pre-tested profiles. Make sure the memory modules are AMD EXPO™/ Intel ® XMP capable and overclocking can be made so affordable, satisfying and absolutely no sweat at all.

There are certain risks involved with memory overclocking and may affect your system’s stability. Please realize that overclocking should be done at your own risk and expense. EXPO/XMP profile support may vary by different system configuration, memory modules and motherboard models. Please refer to Memory QVL for the completed support list.

The Blazing OC Tuner allows AM5 CPU to switch between OC mode and PBO(Precision Boost Overdrive) mode when the CPU current hits threshold. Anything above current threshold will engage manual OC mode; if below current threshold then will engage Precision Boost Overdrive mode. This idea is to combine overclocking on all cores and automatic boost on a single core to get the best performance out of your CPU. There is no need to enter BIOS to setup up, you can modify all the settings on time under OS.

PBO(Precision Boost Overdrive) is an automatic performance-maximizing technology that is able to improve your PC’s performance by raising clock speeds based on the conditions inside your PC, AMD’s processors is equipped with intelligent thermal sensors designed to analyze conditions inside your PC and make the “go faster” decision as often as possible, please ensure system cooling is sufficient before enabling PBO.

DDR5 Memory with Protection Circuit

The reinforced DIMM slot is surfaced mounted onto the motherboard to give better physical strength as well as a more stable memory signal, with this superior revolutionary design, it is able to dramatically overclock DRAM module up to insane frequency.

Due to the unique electrical architecture of DDR5 DIMM, there’s a high risk of damaging the memory module if AC power isn’t disconnected properly during removal or installation. To prevent this, ASRock has implemented a trouble free protection circuit on every DDR5 motherboard, lowers the risk of damaging your memory module.

High Speed M.2 Solution

The Blazing M.2 accommodates the latest PCI Express 5.0 standard to perform twice the bandwidth compared to previous generation, with a breathtaking 128GB/s transfer speed, it is ready to unleash the full potential of future ultrafast SSDs.

The extra large aluminum alloy M.2 heatsink effectively improves heat dissipation to keep those high speed M.2 SSDs as cool as possible, it is able to give better stability while maintaining top performance.

Tired of dropping screws or screws missing inside chassis?The enhanced M.2 heatsink with anti-drop screw design that make sure installation process more easily.

Nahimic Audio

Whether you are using headphones, a headset, external or internal speakers, via USB, Wi-Fi, analog output or even HDMI, Nahimic Audio offers you the most engaging listening experience, vibrant and rich with details.

The Powerful algorithms to ensure the best noise-free conversation, giving a constant vocal level no matter the distance from your mic. The Nahimic audio engine dynamically clear the sound and remove interference noise and lower the voice variation. Result is a better comprehension and less fatigue.Static Noise SuppressionEcho CancellationLateral Sound CancellationVoice Stabilizer

Sound Tracker The Sound Tracker is a visual indicator that points out the directions from which predominant sounds are coming. Each sound is properly positioned in 360° on a radar for a full immersion during the game.

Works on any devices! Enjoy the vibrant and high-quality Surround Sound on all your favorite audio devices: Jack, USB, Bluetooth, HDMI, S/PDIF. Nahimic is compatible with all of your favorite audio tools and ensures the best sound with any of them. Nahimic measure and improve to optimize our technology and offer you the best experience.

ASRock Graphics Card Holder

Install your heavy graphics card on the holder; connect it to your motherboard and chassis with screws. Flexibly slide up and down to perfectly adjust the height required for your graphics card in place.

POLYCHROME RGB

In addition to the built-in RGB illumination, it also features onboard RGB headers and an addressable RGB header that allow motherboard to be connected to compatible LED devices such as strip, CPU fans, coolers, chassis and so on. Users may also synchronize RGB LED devices across the Polychrome RGB Sync-certified accessories to create their own unique lighting effects.

The addressable RGB LED header supports WS2812B addressable RGB LED strip (5V/Data/GND), with a maximum power rating of 3A (5V), a max of 80 LEDs and length within 2 meters.The RGB LED header supports standard 5050 RGB LED strip (12V/G/R/B), with a maximum power rating of 3A (12V) and length within 2 meters.A Group=Addressable RGB Header, B Group=RGB Header

How to Download Asus Wi-Fi Driver

If the Wi-Fi connection of your Asus computer is not working properly, or if you want to keep it in good condition, you should update your wireless adapter driver.

To update your Asus Wi-Fi driver

The following are two methods that can help you update the driver for the wireless adapter on your Asus computer.

Method 1: Download the driver from the official Asus website

You can get the driver for your wireless adapter from the official Asus website. To do so:

1) Go to the official Asus website, then search your computer model.

2) Go to the driver download page for your computer, then download the correct and latest driver for your wireless adapter.

Download the driver that’s suitable for your variant of Windows system. You should know what system is running on your computer — whether it’s Windows 7, 8 or 10, 32-bit or 64-bit version, etc.

3) Open the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your computer.

Method 2: Update your wireless adapter driver automatically

If you don’t have the time, patience or skills to update your wireless driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can download and install your drivers by using either Free or Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes only 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee ):

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

3) Click the Update button next to your wireless adapter to download the latest and correct driver for it, then you can manually install it. You can also click the Update All button at the bottom right to automatically update all outdated or missing drivers on your computer (this requires the Pro version — you will be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

If you have any issue with Driver Easy, please contact Driver Easy’s support team at support@drivereasy.com for advice. You should attach the URL of this article so they can help you better.

Unboxing Review: Asus RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual-Band Gigabit Router

Asus has set foot in the networking product market for quite a while now and from what we can see, they’ve been doing surprisingly well despite being a newcomer in the industry during that period of time.

Just today, Asus announces the availability of its new RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual-Band Gigabit Router in Malaysia, aimed to provide a better gaming experience for gamers who needs that smooth and low-latency connection for their games.

We’re lucky enough to get our hands on the RT-AC88U before the launch and we’ve already had a pretty good time using it for the past few weeks. With no further adieu, let’s check out what we’ve been experiencing with the RT-AC88U.

(The RT-AC88U will retail at RM1,799 as according to Asus Malaysia)

Specifications

The front of the box, you’ll find some highlighted features of the RT-AC88U such as 5400 square feet coverage, AiProtection, Gaming optimized, 8 x Gigabit port, 3-year warranty coverage etc.

At the back of the box, you’ll find some of the prominent features briefly described, as well as a labeled diagram of the I/O at the back of the RT-AC88U.

A brief specification of the RT-AC88U, as well as the package contents, can be found on the side of the box.

Other than the router itself, you’ll find these accessories included in the box – user’s guide, 4 x wireless antenna, driver CD, power cord, power brick, Warranty notice card, Ethernet cable.

A fierce looking beast, the RT-AC88U is. How often do you come across a network product that looks this badass? Any bigger than it could be mistaken for am ROG notebook save for the antennas.

At the front-left of the RT-AC88U, you’ll find a USB 3.0 port that allows you to attach your USB storage devices, which then can be shared throughout the entire network.

The LED button allows you to toggle on/off the indicator LED while the Wi-Fi button allows you to disable Wi-Fi feature if you don’t feel like having this feature at your place – take that you Wi-Fi thief!

Each indicator LED represents the features of each icon label so that you know which feature isn’t functioning so you can perform a quick recovery from disaster in the shortest mean time.

A powerful network device is always associated with heat dissipation issue, something that doesn’t apply to the RT-AC88U. The meshed base allows plenty amount of air to flow through the internal of the RT-AC88U so it’s very unlikely for you to experience an overheating issue with it.

The back of the RT-AC88U is straightforward and functional.

Starting from the left is the reset button that restores everything to factory default, WPS button makes connections between a router and wireless devices faster and easier, another USB 2.0 port in case if you need just another one to share data on your USB storage device.

The mainstream router with 4 Ethernet port isn’t enough to satisfy your needs? How about 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports?

Last but not least, the Ethernet port that connects to your modem or optical network terminal, the DC-in port to power up the RT-AC88U and the power switch.

ASUSWRT GUI Overview

The enhanced ASUSWRT graphical user interface gives you easy access to the 30-second, 3-step web-based installation process. It’s also where you can configure AiCloud 2.0 and all advanced options. ASUSWRT is web-based, so it doesn’t need a separate app, or restrict what you can change via mobile devices — you get full access to everything, from any device that can run a web browser.

Setup Wizard

A setup wizard is an essential tool for network devices nowadays to make setup experience as easy as possible for the end users.

Network Map

The network map allows you to manage the basic necessity, monitor resource usage with ease.

Guest Network

On a mainstream Wi-Fi router, sharing your network with guest poses a security threat to your local network. That can be eliminated on the RT-AC88U as it allows you to configure limited access to your network for guests so they can access to the internet but not your local network.

AiProtection

An additional security feature from Asus’ partnering company, Trend Micro that further enhances the security of your local network with features such as security assessment, malicious sites blocking, vulnerability protection and infected device prevention and blocking.

Adaptive QoS

Adaptive QoS optimizes inbound and outbound bandwidth on both wired and wireless connections. Applications and tasks can be prioritized easily using drag-and-drop presets for gaming, media streaming, VoIP, web browsing and file transfers.

Game Boost

Prioritizing the traffic for your games, connect to gamer private network (GPN) powered by WTFast to the best route for your game packets to minimize that latency which makes you goes crazy. Everything for your needs, as a gamer.

Traffic Analyzer gives you an at-a-glance view of what’s happening on your network on a daily, weekly or monthly time scale. It lets you see immediately how much bandwidth each user, device or application has used, helping you to reduce bottlenecks in your internet connection. It’s also great for parents who want to keep an eye on their children’s internet usage, or for small businesses who need to monitor employees’ internet activity.

USB Application

Need to manage your USB devices connected to the RT-AC88U? Be it USB storage devices, network printer server, 3G/4G USB dongle, Asus got it covered with the USB Applications.

AiCloud 2.0

Asus AiCloud keeps you connected to your data wherever and whenever you have an internet connection. It links your home network and online web storage services, giving you access to your files using the AiCloud mobile app on your iOS, Android smartphones or via a personalized browser URL. You can share photos instantly with services like. Flickr and Dropbox directly from the AiCloud app. It’s your expandable and unlimited personal Cloud — and it’s completely free!

Advanced Settings

Wireless settings

Everything related to the wireless configuration can be done right here – the wireless Band, WPS configuration, wireless MAC filter, RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) Setting which provides an extra layer of security when you choose WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, or Radius with 802.1x as your Authentication Mode can be configured here.

LAN Settings

LAN (Local Area Network) settings such as the IP of the RT-AC88U, DHCP server configuration, network route configuration, IPTV and switch control can be done here.

WAN Settings

There are a few awesome features which you can configure here at the WAN settings; Dual WAN for backup network access that allows you to switch to the secondary connection if your primary connection went down, Virtual Server / Port Forwarding for routing the traffic to the correct machine if you’re hosting a dedicated server for your games, NAT passthrough for Virtual Private Network (VPN) to pass through the router.

IPV6 Settings

IPV6 isn’t that commonly used just yet, but here’s where you can configure for it if you’re already into the cult of IPV6.

Firewall Settings

Already a parent yourself? You want to keep your children away from all the harmful content on the internet! Url filter, keyword filter network services filter, IPV6 firewall, pretty much all the security filters you need is available here on the RT-AC88U.

Administration Settings

Configure the operation mode – wireless router mode, AP mode, media bridge, perform the firmware upgrade, backup/restore/save your desired configuration all here at the administration settings.

System Log

Need more information to troubleshoot network connection issues but the current router you own isn’t capable of capturing the details you need? The RT-AC88U comes with advanced log features that keep details of general event, DHCP leases, wireless connection event, routing table, connection and port forwarding

Network Tools

Last but not least, the network tools. Network analysis feature such as the commonly used ping command can be executed here, net stat to display active connection and ports, as well as activating your machine over LAN can be performed via the network tools.

Connection Speed Test

We’ve executed numbers of internet connection speed test via www.speedtest.net and glad to report that we have no problem in hitting the promised connection speed that we’ve subscribed from TM Unifi.

Ping Test

We did a ping test on both TM modem and the RT-AC88U and here’s the result. The minor fluctuation between 4ms to 9ms is observed on the TM modem, whilst the RT-AC88U stays low at 3ms to 4ms.

Signal Strength Test

Signal strength comparison (left: on PC, right: on a mobile phone).

Copying Files From / To NAS

We’ve done a quick test on copying movie files from our PC to our Network Attached Storage (NAS) and the other way round, both yields a result of a constant transfer speed of 11 MB/s.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing much we can complain on the RT-AC88U except for the price itself and in fact, the RT-AC88U did a pretty good job in overall. No compromise in terms of the internet connection speed, excellent wireless signal strength as well as coverage, Significant improvement in latency during ping test, decent file transfer speed over the network.The Asus RT-AC88U is one heck of a router that packs a lot of powerful features that you’ll normally find on an expensive enthusiast grade router. It’s not necessary for one to be a networking enthusiast to use these features, as Asus have already made easier with its simplified GUI ASUWRT. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a gamer or a networking guru, you can grab yourself one of these if you really need the features for your personal use / business – would totally recommend this router for who have a large Home/Business networking as with this router you can control your network with ease. Well, given that you have that extra RM1,799 to spend of course.

asus, wi-fi, antenna, setup
  • Easy to setup
  • Dual Band support
  • Excellent wireless signal strength
  • Excellent features
  • Looks great
  • Able to support more devices connected via wireless connection
  • USB storage sharing that act like a NAS for quick and easy file sharing

Verizon 5G Home Internet: The Good and the Bad. My Full Review in 2023

If you’re using cable internet and paying more than you’d like, you may be able to drastically reduce your internet bill by switching to newer technologies like fiber or 5G wireless home Internet.

In this article, I’ll talk about my experience with Verizon 5G Home Internet, a wireless solution for home Internet access. Note, this is NOT the same as Verizon FIOS, which is a fiber optic cable solution.

I want to stress that THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST! I paid for Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service myself because I wanted to find a cheaper, more reliable alternative to cable Internet and share the experience with y’all!

What Is Verizon 5G Home Internet?

With Verizon 5G Home Internet, you get your Internet access through an Internet gateway box that communicates with the nearest Verizon cell tower wirelessly. It’s very much like using a cell phone as an Internet hotspot. The Verizon Internet Gateway box even has a phone number assigned to it! If this sounds disconcerting to you, it did to me also. Could this even have half as much bandwidth as a direct cable connection? Keep reading.

Cost

Regular cost is 60 a month, but if you set up automatic billing, you get a 10 per month discount. They also offer a price freeze for varying numbers of years, usually two.

If you have a Verizon phone, the monthly cost can be as low as 25/month!

I was paying 80/month for my cable Internet access in the Los Angeles area, so this will save me 360 per year! Not bad!

Setup and Installation

A few days after I ordered the service, I received the Verizon Home Internet Gateway, a clean white cube with a power jack and two Ethernet ports… and no cable going to Verizon!

I wasn’t even aware of this when I ordered the service, but the unit includes a built-in Wi-Fi router! I also love the fact that the box has two Ethernet ports. That should make it unnecessary for a good number of people to have to buy an additional router.

Setup was stupidly easy. I plugged in power and waited for it to boot up and configure. When it was done, I connected an Ethernet cable from the gateway to my computer and used the web app to set up my Wi-Fi network name and password. Voila! I was up and running in minutes! Wow!

You can also set up the box via Wi-Fi using the settings printed at the bottom of the unit.

Aside from the quick start card, no manual was included with the unit. But, you can download it here.

My Download Speed

I immediately measured download speeds of 300mbps! I was amazed to be getting this from basically a cell phone signal!

I’ve been using the service for over a month now and the download speed has stabilized to 220 to 240mbps. Still much better than cable for me.

Over the past year, my cable download speed had been around 90mbps, probably due to deteriorating coax cabling in my home. That was one of the things that made a wireless Internet solution appealing to me.

I must stress though that your mileage may vary depending on how far away you live from your closest cell phone towers and how many other people are using that tower at that time.

And, not everyone can get 5G Home Internet. Check the Verizon website to see if you’re in range.

The Built-In Wi-Fi Router: Understanding Its Limits

Because the Verizon Home Internet Gateway box includes a built-in Wi-Fi router, I went ahead and tried it out. For the first month, it worked great, with good signal strength that reached throughout my two-story home and even into my garage below that. After a month though, my signal strength inexplicably fell off a cliff. I noticed it when my outdoor Ring cameras went dead due to low Wi-Fi signal. Inside my home the signal strength was fine.

I can’t explain the sudden dropoff. Perhaps there was some new signal interference from a neighbor?

In any case, I’m not really counting this against Verizon, because I wouldn’t expect a built-in Wi-Fi router with no external antennas to have as good a range in a two-story home as a dedicated Netgear router with three external antennas!

If you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a single-story home, the built-in Wi-Fi router probably will be just fine for you. It will probably work in a lot of two-story homes as well.

But, a lot of the low online ratings for Verizon Home Internet stem from complaints about the Wi-Fi range. Well, the built-in gateway router is not intended to be as good as a dedicated Wi-Fi router with external antennas that you can get at Best Buy. If you live in a large multi-level home you’ll probably want to use a dedicated router made by Netgear, Asus, or other reputable manufacturers.

In addition, I’ve read that the onboard Wi-Fi router is limited to 10 devices at 2.4GHz and 30 devices at 5.0GHz. Again, the solution is to hook up your own Wi-Fi router as described next.

Using an External Wi-Fi Router

Connecting an external Wi-Fi router to your Verizon Home Internet gateway is pretty easy.

You’ll want to do this using a device with an Ethernet port (i.e., don’t rely on Wi-Fi to do these settings). The reason is that you’ll be shutting off Wi-Fi on your gateway, and if anything goes wrong and you need to turn it back on, the only way to do that is to use Ethernet.

On the Verizon Gateway web portal, go to Network. LAN. IP Passthrough and turn it on. Once you do that, Wi-Fi will be turned off and Internet access will be routed out of the LAN2 port of the gateway. Plug in your router into that port and you should be good to go! Read my full instructions here.

The Bad: Creating My Account

As soon as I submitted my order for the service, I got an email prompting me to create a Verizon account online. When I tried to do so, the website didn’t recognize my device phone number or my account number. I called Verizon customer service and they advised me to wait for the gateway to arrive and set that up first before setting up an account.

So, I did that but got the same error. I tried logging in so many times that my account got locked, so I called again and they reset my account. Unfortunately, the reset code had to be sent by regular U.S. Mail because the phone number on file was that of my gateway, which of course is unable to receive text messages. Agh!

After that, I could finally log into the website and set up automatic billing (which you need to do to get the 10 monthly discount on the service). But, I still couldn’t log into the iPhone app. I called again, and they reset my account yet again, which meant waiting for another code in the mail.

That didn’t solve the problem either. At this point, I resigned to just using the website. There are also some settings that just time out when I try to change them, like the contact phone number. I was only able to change this by calling customer service yet again.

This was just my experience; I know others have had a seamless account creation experience. My issues might be due to the fact that I used to have a Verizon wireless cell phone account a long time ago because I saw this message on the site: “This email is linked to another line on this account. You’ll need to login to that line to manage preferences.” I’m guessing it’s getting confused with my old account.

To their credit, it was always pretty easy to get a Verizon customer service agent on the phone, something that can’t be said for all Internet providers.

Reliability vs. Coax Cable Internet

Despite the account creation headaches, I still like Verizon’s actual 5G Internet service overall. So far, it’s been fast, reliable, and trouble-free.

I believe that using CATV coax cable to send high-speed data is going to go obsolete, kind of like DSL. With DSL, data was being sent over analog phone lines, something not intended for that purpose. Similarly, with cable, high-speed data is being sent over coax originally intended for analog TV signals. I believe the current ideal methods for sending high-speed data are either fiber or 5G wireless.

We’ll see what happens, but I’m hoping that 5G will be more reliable than cable Internet. My cable Internet would go down at least a few times a year, for a few hours at a time. I don’t actually blame the cable company for that though; it’s just the nature of physical cables that they are prone to breakage if a tree knocks down a telephone pole, or whatever. And It takes time for the cable company to find the fault, and send a truck out to fix it. A few hours of downtime is actually pretty good.

asus, wi-fi, antenna, setup

I’m hoping that cell towers will be more resistant to interruptions due to high winds, Earthquakes, and so on. Only time will tell.

Perks?

Finally, Verizon offers various perks for signing up. When I signed up, they offered a 50 food delivery service gift card and a 50 Verizon gift card. Note that you have to sign up to get these perks after you create your account, or else you won’t get these. It’s unfortunate that they don’t come automatically.

My Door Dash gift card (actually, it is an email with a discount code) arrived very quickly, within a few days if I remember correctly.

The Verizon “gift card” took over thirty days to arrive by email, but there is a portal where you can check status. I was hoping I could use this “gift card” on anything, like a debit card, but it really is just a 50 discount code for the Verizon store. I used it to buy a phone charger and cable since I’m always using those. But again, the Verizon store website was terrible, and it was hard to find where to enter the code, and even after I did, the site eventually “lost” my gift card balance. I got on chat and completed the order manually through them, but it was a hassle.

Verizon 5G Home Internet – Should You Get It?

In spite of these website issues, the bottom line is that Verizon 5G was still a good deal for me. If you’re sick of the rising cost of Internet access, and you’re getting your Internet from a cable TV provider, I would recommend checking to see if you can get 5G Internet access from Verizon or T-Mobile, or fiber from companies like Frontier. If one of these services is available in your area, you could save a bundle. These companies are eager to roll out these new services and are offering good prices. It’s still early, but so far, Verizon 5G Home Internet has been working well for me. I’ll keep this article updated with any new developments!

Pros

  • Cheaper than cable Internet (in my area of Los Angeles at least).
  • No cost increases for 2 years (depending on current promotions).
  • Faster download speed than my cable Internet service (your speeds may vary).
  • Easy to set up Internet gateway.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet router are sufficient for small homes.

Cons

  • Not available in all locations; speed may vary according to your cell reception.
  • Verizon’s account creation process didn’t work well for me. Website and app are terrible.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi router is not intended for larger homes or crowded network environments. Use a stand-alone router for that.
  • Advertising is deceptive. 25 cost is only if you have a Verizon cell phone plan. Real cost is more like 50/month with auto pay.
  • 50 “gift card” signup bonus is only usable at the Verizon store. Not super useful.

How much are you paying for Internet access? Any questions or Комментарии и мнения владельцев? Leave a comment below! – Brian

If You’re Really Crazy About Speed (ADVANCED)

A commenter on my YouTube video turned me on to this company that sells products that get you the fastest cellular speeds, including on home 5G gateways.

asus, wi-fi, antenna, setup

If you have the ARC-XCI55AX gateway, it turns out that you can hack it to add an external antenna! That would really maximize your data rates.

If, like me, you have the ASK-NCQ1338/FA/E gateway, you can’t attach an external antenna. However, you can put your SIM card into a different router that can handle an external antenna.

Needless to say, do these at your own risk! I’m sure these would invalidate any kind of warranty on the device. I’m way too scared to try these because I work from home and can’t afford to have my Internet go down. But, these are some pretty cool ideas!

Oh, and here’s an article from that same company on how to tell where your 4G and 5G cell towers are.

Verizon 5G Home Internet 90 Days Later

Wondering how Verizon 5G Internet is holding up after 90 days? Watch the video below:

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dakus

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