Since the announcement of the IEEE802.11ax wireless data transfer standard, which took place in October 2018, enough time has passed for the market to be saturated with devices supporting Wi-Fi 6. Today, most modern smartphones, tablets and laptops of medium and large size have 802.11ax compatibility. upper price ranges, and most importantly, the market is rapidly saturated with a variety of wireless routers. Undoubtedly, flagship products such as ASUS RT-AX88U or RT-AX86U have the highest performance and offer the maximum set of additional features, but pragmatic users often choose models with basic functionality and an affordable price. This is exactly what the ASUS RT-AX55 AX1800 class wireless router is, which became today’s guest of our test lab.
Of course, the affordable price of the device is achieved by a number of simplifications compared to the older ASUS models, however, the newcomer can offer support for Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 and much more. We will talk about all this during today’s review, but right now let’s get acquainted with the technical characteristics of the RT-AX55.
|Operating modes||Wireless Router, Access Point, Media Bridge, Repeater, AiMesh Node|
|WAN connection||Dynamic IP, Static IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP|
|Network standards||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, IPv4, IPv6|
|Transfer rate||802.11a: 6; 9; 12; eighteen; 24; 36; 48; 54 Mbps
802.11b: 1; 2; 5.5; 11 Mbps
802.11g: 6; 9; 12; eighteen; 24; 36; 48; 54 Mbps
802.11ax (2.4 GHz): 574 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHz): 1201Mbps
|Antennas||External, 4 pcs.|
|Operating frequency range||1 x 2.4GHz, 1 x 5GHz|
|The width of the line||20/40 MHz (2.4 GHz band)? 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz band)|
|MIMO technology||2 x 2|
|Firewall and access control||Firewall: SPI, DDoS protection
Access control: Network service filter, URL filter, Port filter
|VPN server||PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec|
|VPN client||L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN|
|System functions||UPnP, IGMP v1/v2/v3, DNS Proxy, DHCP, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, DMZ, System Event Log|
|Processor||1500 MHz, 4 cores, ARM-A7 architecture|
|Memory||RAM: DDR3 256 MБ, Flash: 128 MБ|
|Port||1 x RJ45 10/100/1000BaseT for WAN
4 x RJ45 10/100/1000BaseT for LAN
|Buttons||Power, Reset, WPS|
|Additional functions||Primary AiMesh router/AiMesh node, ASUS Router APP, Support Alexa skill, AiProtection Classic, Parental Control, Bandwidth/Traffic Monitor, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, Universal beamforming, Wireless scheduler, RADIUS Server, Dual WAN, NAT Passthrough (PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, RTSP, H.323, SIP Passthrough, PPPoE relay)|
|LED indicators||1 x Power, 1 x Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, 1 x Wi-Fi 5GHz, 1 x LAN, 1 x WAN|
|Power supply, W||12 (external)|
|Dimensions (WxDxH), mm||153 x 235 x 205|
|Cost in Ukrainian retail||UAH 2599|
Contents of delivery
The cardboard box in which ASUS RT-AX55 is supplied is relatively small, while the manufacturer did not save on the quality of printing. On the front side of the package, you can see the product image and model name, as well as logos of proprietary technologies such as AiMesh, which allows you to combine compatible devices into a mesh network to increase coverage, and the AiProtection cyber protection complex. In addition to Wi-Fi 6 support, the newcomer also boasts a fast quad-core processor and a three-year warranty period.
On the back of the box, the benefits of the 802.11ax wireless networking standard are listed, including increased transmission speed compared to 802.11ac and OFDMA support to improve the efficiency of multiple clients at the same time. Here you can also find out that ASUS RT-AX55 fully supports AiMesh proprietary mesh networking technology, where the device can serve as both a master and slave node, as well as get information about the support of the AiProtection Classic cyber protection function by the wireless router.
The RT-AX55 accessory set is not much different from other ASUS wireless routers, it includes:
- quick start guide and international warranty card;
- Cat 5e patch cord with RJ-45 connectors, about 1 meter long;
- 12 W power supply (12 V, 1A).
The network adapter S12A13-120A100-PT manufactured by Shenzhen Gongjin Electronics Co is compact and relatively low-power – only 12 W, which in practice turned out to be enough for normal operation of the device. According to measurements at maximum load, consumption did not exceed 9 W, while in idle power consumption was about 5 W, and due to the lack of USB ports, external consumers simply have nowhere to take.
Recently, ASUSTek designers have been quite boldly experimenting with the appearance of their wireless routers, and RT-AX55 is no exception, although it looks much more restrained in comparison with older models. The device received a rather large body with dimensions of 235x153x55 mm, while the antennas in the working position increase the height to 205 mm. The top cover has a glossy surface covered with a pattern of parallel shallow grooves. Closer to the center, the case is crossed by two decorative notches painted red. The front panel is flanked by a pair of ventilation grilles, and in its center are five blue LEDs that indicate the presence of power, the operation of the WAN and LAN interfaces, as well as the activity of Wi-Fi networks in each of the two 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. . If necessary, the indication can be turned off completely by assigning the appropriate action to the WPS button in the setup menu.
On the rear panel of the RT-AX55 there are four wireless network antennas – non-removable, but with hinges that give two degrees of freedom, buttons for resetting the firmware settings and activating the WPS function for quickly connecting clients, a power button and a socket for connecting a power supply, as well as five ports 10/100/1000 BaseT with RJ45 connectors. The WAN port is used to connect the wireless router to an ISP, and the remaining four are for LAN clients. Aggregation of LAN ports to combine their bandwidth, which older models offer, is not here, but there is a Dual WAN mode that allows you to connect two Internet providers at once in channel reservation or load balancing mode. It should be noted that ASUS RT-AX55 lacks USB interfaces, which are an indispensable attribute of devices in the middle and upper price ranges. However, not all buyers require their presence, but their absence had the most positive effect on the cost of the hero of today’s review.
A plastic sticker with service information is located in the center of the bottom cover of the case, and the remaining surface is occupied by ventilation grilles. There are large rubber feet in the corners to prevent slipping on glossy surfaces, while wall mounting is not provided.
Inside the case is a printed circuit board, which occupies barely half of the usable area. Most of the PCB surface is hidden under a metal plate that acts as a cooling system. Looking ahead, I note that the effectiveness of such a solution turned out to be expectedly low. During prolonged heavy load, the SoC temperature rose to 80°C, while in idle, values \u200b\u200bof ~60°C were observed. The wireless router is based on the Broadcom BCM6755 28nm single-chip system, by the way, exactly the same SoC is used in the much more expensive ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8). It includes four ARM-A7 cores clocked at 1500 MHz, Gigabit Ethernet physical layer controllers, a high-speed RGMII/HSGMII interface, and two USB channels, but the latter, as we have already said, are not implemented in RT-AX55. The amount of DDR3 RAM is 256 MB, and the SLC NAND chip with a capacity of 128 MB is used to store the firmware. The BCM6755’s built-in IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ax wireless transceiver can operate simultaneously on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and supports 20MHz to 80MHz bandwidth and 2T2R MIMO. As a result, the transmission rate in Wi-Fi 6 mode is 574 Mbps and 1201 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, respectively, which in total determines the device class as AX1800. As already mentioned, the PHY controller built into the single-chip system is responsible for the operation of the WAN port, and the remaining four LAN ports are served by the Broadcom BCM53134 switch, which protects against overheating … a miniature ceramic radiator.