The introduction of the IEEE802.11ax wireless networking standard, also known as Wi-Fi 6, has brought previously unattainable data transfer speeds without wires. And although the number of client devices compatible with Wi-Fi 6 is still small, nevertheless, many modern high-performance smartphones and laptops are equipped with network adapters that support IEEE 802.11ax. When it comes to wireless routers, there are more and more such products on the market, but, as a rule, the first models to enter the market are the upper price range, aimed at wealthy enthusiasts. Not so long ago, we had a chance to get acquainted with ASUS RT-AX88U, which combines maximum functionality and productivity, but by no means claims to be a mass device due to its rather high cost. To the delight of users who want to get a wireless router with Wi-Fi 6 support at an affordable price, the Taiwanese company ASUSTek introduced a mid-range product – RT-AX58U, and today our readers are invited to its detailed review.
Despite the lower cost than the older model, the newcomer offers an impressive set of features and decent performance. We’ll talk about the design features, firmware options and performance level a little later, but for now, let’s take a look at the specifications of ASUS RT-AX58U.
|Operating modes||Wireless Router, Access Point, Media Bridge, Repeater, AiMesh Node|
|WAN connection||Dynamic IP, Static IP, PPPoE (MPPE enabled), PPTP, L2TP, USB 3G/4G|
|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
802.11n: up to 300 Mbps
802.11ac: up to 867 Mbps
802.11ax (2.4GHz): up to 574Mbps
802.11ax (5 GHz): up to 2402 Mbps
|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)
20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz band)
|MIMO technology||2 x 2|
|Firewall and access control||Firewall: SPI intrusion detection, DoS protection
Access control: Parental control, Network service filter, URL filter, Port filter
|VPN server||L2TP/ PPTP/IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP, OpenVPN|
|VPN client||PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN|
|System functions||UPnP, IGMP v1/v2/v3, DNS Proxy, DHCP, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, DMZ, System Event Log|
|Processor||1500MHz, 3 cores, ARM-A7 architecture|
|Memory||RAM: DDR3 512 MБ, Flash: 256 MБ|
|Port||1 x RJ45 10/100/1000/1000+ BaseT for WAN
4 x RJ45 10/100/1000/1000+ BaseT for LAN
1 x USB 3.1 Type A
|Buttons||Power, Reset, WPS|
|Additional functions||MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro, Parental Control Mac OS Backup, Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible), AiCloud personal cloud service, 3G/4G data sharing, Printer Server, Download Master, AiDisk file server, Dual WAN, IPTV support, Roaming Assist, OFDMA, Beamforming|
|LED indicators||1 x WAN, 4 x LAN, 2 x Wi-Fi, 1 x power|
|Power supply, W||33.25 (AD2088020 010LF, external)|
|Dimensions (WxDxH), mm||224 x 154 x 160|
|Recommended cost, $||223|
Contents of delivery
The packaging design of ASUS RT-AX58U can be described as discreet, there is not even a hint of lurid boxes, typical for many manufacturers from Southeast Asia. The central theme in the design of the front side is the image of the device, in addition, the model name and its key features are indicated, such as support for ASUS AiMesh and AiProtection proprietary technologies, which we will talk about while studying the firmware, compatibility with the Wi-Fi 6 wireless network standard, as well as the ability to work with the latest WPA3 security technology.
On the back of the package, there is information about the device’s bandwidth – up to 3000 Mbps, support for MU-MIMO technology, which increases the speed of simultaneous operation of several clients, which in the latest revision of Wi-Fi 802.11ax works both for receiving and transmitting. Separately, it should be noted that the new product has advanced cyber protection functions, developed jointly with TrendMicro experts, as well as the ability to work with the ASUS Router APP mobile application for basic device setup.
As for the package, it is very modest and consists of a set of paper documentation, a meter patch cord with a pair of RJ-45 connectors and a network adapter. The external power supply marked AD2088020 010LF is designed to operate in AC networks with a voltage of 100–240 V at a frequency of 50/60 Hz.
At the output, the adapter provides 19 V at a current of 1.75 A, which gives a power of 33.25 W, which means that the wireless router will not lack power regardless of the connected peripherals.
It seems that the times when mass models of ASUS routers, such as RT-AC1300G PLUS, looked like faceless rectangular boxes, have passed, in any case, the novelty has an interesting memorable case design, somewhat reminiscent of the older model RT-AX88U in miniature. The device weighs 538 g, and its dimensions are 224x154x160 mm, and the height is clearly indicated taking into account the antennas in the working position. As for the antennas themselves, there are four of them and they are attached to the body with the help of swivel hinges without the possibility of detachment. The top cover carries the manufacturer’s logo, and closer to the side faces there is a pair of ventilation grilles. Matte black plastic is used as a material for the case, on which dust and fingerprints are practically not visible.
Along the front edge of the top cover ASUS RT-AX58U lined up a line of LEDs that are responsible for indicating the connection to the Internet, the activity of four LAN ports and two wireless network transmitters, as well as the presence of power. The indicators have a soft milky-white backlight, which, if desired, can be completely turned off in the setup menu.
On the rear panel of the product, in addition to four wireless antennas and a pair of barred slots for ventilation, there is an external network adapter connection port, a power button, a USB3.1 connector and five RJ-45 gigabit ports – four LANs for connecting LAN clients and one WAN for connecting to internet provider. Also, there are two buttons on the back panel: WPS and Reset. The first is to activate the Wi-Fi Protected Setup function, and the second is to reset the firmware settings.
The bottom cover of the router is almost completely given over to the ventilation grills through which the metal structures of the cooling system are visible. There are massive rubber feet in the corners, and a plastic sticker with service information is located near the back panel. It should be noted that there are slots for screw heads for mounting the device on the wall, and there are two positions: network ports up or down.
Inside the case is a printed circuit board, most of which is occupied by a metal plate and a heat sink designed to remove heat. The efficiency of the cooling system is difficult to quantify, since the firmware does not provide a temperature monitoring function, however, there were no problems with stability or performance during the entire testing period, even in the most difficult modes.
After dismantling the radiators, it becomes possible to get acquainted with the elemental base of the novelty. The “heart” of the RT-AX58U is the Broadcom BCM6750 SoC, which includes three ARM-A7 computing cores operating at a frequency of 1500 MHz, a switch for five Gigabit Ethernet ports and a controller for three USB interfaces: one version 3.1 and a pair of revision 2.0. As for the RAM subsystem, the device is equipped with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM, and the firmware storage functions are performed by a 256 MB flash memory chip. The transceiver built into the SoC supports IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless networks, the bandwidth can be 20 MHz, 40 MHz or 80 MHz, and MIMO has a 2T2R configuration, that is, they work for transmission and reception two streams at the same time.
The maximum transfer rate in Wi-Fi 6 mode at 5 GHz is 1201 Mbps due to the signal bandwidth limit of 80 MHz, therefore, to achieve maximum performance, the router is equipped with an additional Broadcom BCM43684 radio module that supports 160 MHz channel width and MIMO 4T4R, but in case of RT-AX58U, the number of transmit/receive threads is limited by 2T2R mode. As a result, at a frequency of 5 GHz in Wi-Fi 6 mode, the router develops a speed of 2402 Mbps, which, together with 574 Mbps provided by the IEEE802.11ax standard in the 2.4 GHz band, gives a total of 2976 Mbps over air. This allows us to attribute ASUS RT-AX58U to the class of AX3000 devices.