Asus claimed a “world’s first” on Tuesday with the introduction of its RT-AC87 Wave 2 Wireless AC consumer networking router. This upcoming device will be capable of providing speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps on the 5 GHz band, the fastest we’ve seen yet since Wireless AC routers began springing up on store shelves last year.
The upcoming router will use Quantenna’s QSR1000 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) chipset. There will also be four external antennas and Universal Beamforming, providing a wide range and focused network connectivity. Ideal for low-latency gaming and HD video streaming, the router will even form groups of multiple devices that can be served simultaneously, where different connections are assigned to different spatial streams, thereby speeding up connectivity -- but that's only if the devices support Wave 2 technology.
“MU-MIMO greatly increases the efficiency of the Wi-Fi network, mitigating potential bottlenecks as more devices are connected to the access point,” the press release stated. “Furthermore, the RT-AC87’s multiple antennas, coupled with its advanced Beamforming, reduce the transmission’s signal-to-noise ratio and improve the reliability of the Wi-Fi signal, providing a better overall wireless experience.”
This new router will have AiProtection with Trend Micro pre-installed, which will use real-time network monitoring to keep the network free from unwanted bugs and hackers. There will also be parental controls to keep the kids safe from questionable websites, an enhanced ASUSWRT user interface, and AiCloud 2.0, which allows users to share and stream files stored on the network, on attached external drives, or on Asus WebStorage.
Unfortunately, Asus didn’t provide a list of specifications although it’s probably a given that the router will provide a few Gigabit Ethernet ports and one or two USB ports. The device will be made available in North America “shortly” for $269.99.
Currently, one of the closest competitors is TRENDnet’s AC1900 dual-band router, the TEW-818DRU. This Wireless AC router is slower on the 5 GHz band, providing speeds up to 1300 Mbps, and 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. The router provides five Gigabit ports, a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port, support for isolated guest networking, high power amplifiers, parental controls and more. This router is available now and retails for $232.99.