Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Asus’ latest router is the ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000, and it says it’s “the world’s first quad-band WiFi 6E gaming router.” That doesn’t quite make it the world’s first quad-band Wi-Fi 6E router overall (Netgear announced a quad-band Orbi system last October that you can already purchase), but this is the first system specifically aimed at gamers, and as a standalone router, the starting price is cheaper than comparable mesh systems.

Quad-band routers, as their name suggests, broadcast a total of four wireless bands for connectivity. Asus’ latest router has a 2.4GHz band, two 5GHz bands and a beautiful new 6GHz band. The three highest frequency bands each offer a theoretical maximum speed of 4,804 Mbps, dropping to 1,148 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz band for up to 16 Gbps of total throughput (although, as always, real-world speeds will be significantly slower) . You have the choice of using the old 5GHz band or the new 6GHz band as backhaul if you want to set up a whole-home mesh network with another compatible Asus AiMesh router.

Of course, you also have the option of going wired, and when you do, you have the choice of two fast 10Gbps LAN ports or four 1Gbps LAN ports. The WAN port is rated at 2.5 Gbps and there are also a few USB ports for good measure. Did I mention it also looks like a scary spider robot? Because of course it does.

Considering how rare quad-band 6E routers still are, perhaps the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 is perhaps unsurprisingly on the pricey side, and will cost $649 when it goes on sale later this quarter. But compared to Netgear’s quad-band Orbi system, which costs the bulk of $1,500 for a trio of mesh routers, Asus’ router looks almost affordable.

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