The Asus AC2400 Wireless Dual Band Router, model # RT-AC87R, has proven to be a plenty-adequate replacement / upgrade from the Netgear router that we’d been using since 2012. In this asus wireless router review, we discuss our experiences with buying and setting up the RT-AC87R, and how pleased we are with it.
That access point (WAP) has reached its end-of-life status (Netgear does not support it anymore), and stability problems on our local network surfaced, when we added streaming video to our ever growing list of home network activities. So it was time for a router upgrade, to bring our wireless networks up to current state-of-the-art standards. We chose this Asus RT-AC87R wireless AC2400 dual band gigabit router. Then, our WiFi network performance soared. The comments below reflect the behavior of this device as of firmware release 188.8.131.52.376.2769.
Asus AC2400 RT-AC87R Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features
As a very large part of our Asus RT-AC87 review, we cover many, but clearly not all benefits of using this Asus 2400 WiFi router.
Vastly improved Wireless Performance
Our streaming video devices work markedly better using this Asus RT-AC87R Extreme router.
The access point portion of this inclusive router has been certified to conform to existing wifi standards.
The Asus RT-AC87R Can function in an IPv6 network environment. You’ll be ready when the Internet migrates to IPv6; even though this has been, and will likely continue being, a very slow migration.
Dual Band WiFi
2.4 and 5 Ghz. 802.11 AC provided. Plus, the Asus RT AC87 can broadcast on both at the same time (each network has its own SSID).
The Asus RT-AC87R actually aims its signals at each client wireless device that connects to it, greatly increasing useable range, and data rates, and greatly reducing dropped connections and other transmission errors. The signal literally follows you around as you move about with your wifi device.
Ultra Fast Data Rates
Up to 1734 Mbps throughput on 5 Ghz., and simultaneous 600 Mbps on 2.4 Ghz. Speedier than many of the tri-band 3X3 access points.
Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO) Support
Multiple antennas, transceivers, and ultra-fast internal processors enable the Asus AC87R to support numerous simultaneous users, without hiccups.
Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) allows quick connection of WPS-enabled devices to your network, without having to choose the host network or enter network passwords.
In preps for this Asus AC2400 review, we played around with the guest network offered here. It allows people to access other devices on your network, but restricts Internet access if so desired. Used for printing to local printers or accessing files on local media devices.
Print Server Support
The RT AC87R can act as a print server, and make an attached USB printer available for printing from wireless devices connected to its networks.
WiFi ON / OFF Button
If you wish to temporarily disable wireless operations, you can quickly do so on the Asus AC2400 RT-AC87R router by pressing this front-panel button.
Power Button on Rear
The location of the power ON OFF button on the rear of the unit, helps ensure that you don’t accidently press it and bring down your network.
Four External Removable Antennas
This 4X4 MU-MIMO areal design helps maximize range of the Asus router 2400 speed and link reliability; particularly on devices that are moving around within the Wifi network “bubble.” Provides useful wifi connectivity in up to 5000 square feet of coverage area on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. bands.
Both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Ports
Provides network accessibility to any attached USB hard drives, thumb drives, flash drives, or other USB interfaced storage devices, making them available through its wireless networks, without the need for any additional hosting computers for them.
Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports
The quality built-in gigabit switch in the Asus RT AC87 provides four ports of connectivity to other network components and user devices.
One Gigabit WAN Port
Use this port if you have a single WAN connection.
Dual WAN Support
You can also use the first LAN port as a second WAN port, if you have a second WAN connection. Doing so gives faster Internet connectivity by load-balancing you Internet traffic between the two ports, and handling concurrent transmission of data across both WAN ports.
4K Ultra HD Video Streaming Capable
We tested this Asus router with HD video and it worked flawlessly. Will report when we test on a 4K device.
AiProtection with TrendMicro
Monitors network for any incoming or outgoing viruses or malware in general.
Adaptive Quality of Service (QoS)
Helps reduce or eliminate freezes, stalls, jitters, and slow-frame playback when streaming video either from the Internet, or within the local network.
Designed for Maximal Gaming Experience
Has built-in optimization options for X-Box, PlayStation, and other gaming platforms.
Two Dual Core Processors
Any data bog downs in the network would probably not reside within the Asus RT-AC87R, because these lightning fast microprocessors really keep things moving, even with several connected devices downloading and uploading data at the same time.
Hardware Network Address Translation (NAT)
The NAT facility in this Asus WiFi router offers low WAN to LAN latency. Ultra fast routing into your local network.
Our experiences setting up this Asus 2400 Gigabit WAP and router are detailed in our Boost Wifi Reliability with the Asus RT-AC87R Router article. Can be set up with default parameter values in less than a minute.
Hefty Switching Power Supply Adapter
The included 19-volt power supply does not sag, even during high-rate, long duration data bursts.
There’s no fan inside to draw in dust; accumulation inside of which can degrade router performance. The heat-generating components seem to be heat synced quite effectively. Only moderate lukewarm temps are noticeable on the plastic case.
Simplified Firmware Updates
This unit can download its own firmware directly into its memory, without the need for saving a flash update file to a computer first. That step of downloading to a computer, and then upgrading to the device had been eliminated. However, you can still upload new firmware update files from your computer if so desired. You may wish to do this if downgrading to a previous version.
In the web interface, this page provides an at-a-glance overview of system status, showing LAN, wireless 2 Ghz., and 5 Ghz. networks it hosts. Processor and memory utilization real time monitoring within the RT-AC87R can be viewed as well.
Save and Restore System Configuration
You can save the current router configuration parameters to a file on your computer, and restore it if you subsequently make changes to the router that “break” it.
System Recovery Option
Should a firmware upgrade operation fail, you can restore the RT-AC87R with included software on the CD. Incidents of “bricking” the router are therefore, reduced. Good thing too, as expensive as this router is.
Several Router Operation Modes
This Asus 2400 router can be set as a wireless router (the default configuration), a wireless access point (which is how we use it currently), and as a media bridge. The router function provides network address translation (NAT) between your local network and the wide area network (WAN) as well as a WAP and firewall, working altogether as one device. The Asus AC 2400 access point mode turns off the NAT, DHCP, and firewall functionality, and provides you a very high quality dedicated WAP when you already have firewall and DHCP services running elsewhere on your local network.
Both MAC address and IP address filtering available for restrictive and permissive security control over just which devices can or cannot access your network. You can either deny all devices except for the IP addresses / MAC addresses of the ones you list specifically, or you may allow all devices except for the listed ones.
The Asus RT-87R keeps a log of routine and error conditions encountered in its memory, that you can access via its web interface. Or, it can email you the log info periodically. Maintains both a general log as well as a wireless system log.
The Asus RT-AC87R Has Received Many Accolades
Has been awarded the Reader’s Choice Award from PC Magazine for three years running, according to the box.
Asus RT87R Two Year Limited Warranty
Asus RT-AC87R Problems, Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, and Concerns
At over $300 total (including sales tax), the RT-AC87R is perhaps the most pricey residential / small office wireless router we’ve seen to date. It’s probably well worth the money given how well it performs and its stability. But it definitely takes a lot of shekels to own one of these.
Long Boot Up Time
Takes just over two minutes from initial power on, until the unit is fully up-and-running and able to accept WiFi traffic. We expected a much shorter boot time, given the two dual-core processors herein.
No Scheduled Rebooting Option
Some of the high-end routers allow you to set a time of the day and day of the week, when they would automatically reboot themselves. This clears any slow-growing memory and handle leaks that might be present in the firmware, and generally improves reliability during the up times. We found no such option in the RT-AC87R however.
May Need Rebooting if Attached WAN Equipment is Restarted
To consistently restore full performance to our network, we’ve found that if we reboot our cable modem, then it’s best to also reboot this Asus router. Sometimes the RT-AC87R wifi connection after a modem restart is slow and erratic until this equipment is also cold started. This situation however, will likely improve with subsequent firmware updates to this router.
The Asus RT-87AC is by far the best wireless router we’ve ever owned. Very pleased with the purchase, even though our wallets will be empty for a little while because of it. We particularly love the reliability from the beamforming and the four antennas, as well ad the extensive web-based administration interface, which gives you highly granular control over hundreds of operational parameters, regulating overall behavior and function. The accomplished IT network professional will truly appreciate the Asus RT-AC87 “techy” attributes. Best of all, our wireless devices perform significantly better on the RT-AC87R. So to wrap up this Asus RT-AC87R review, we’d rate this router at 95 out of 100. Hopefully as the technology matures, they’ll do better on the price.
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- How to Choose the Best Home Wifi Routers
- Asus Web Site
- Asus AC2400 Manual, Asus RT-AC87R Manual,
- RT-AC87R Official Product Page
- Where to buy the Asus AC2400 RT-AC87 Wireless Router
Asus RT-AC87R Firmware Versions Tested
- 2018-04-28: Formatted text for easier reading.
- 2017-02-05: Revised tags list.
- 2015-12-23: Added more appropriate tags.
- 2015-10-04: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-06-07: Upgraded to firmware version 184.108.40.206.378.5134. No problems found so far.
- 2015-01-10: Extended content. Added disadvantage of requiring rebooting when attached cable modem is restarted. Added front view of original packaging picture.
- 2015-01-03: Tweaked content.
- 2014-12-08: Added mention of MAC address and IP address access control lists security feature, along with print sever, UPnP, and WPS support.
- 2014-12-05: Originally published.