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.
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 the RT-87R, and network performance soared. The comments below reflect the behavior of this device as of firmware release 184.108.40.206.376.2769.
Asus AC2400 RT-AC87R Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features
Vastly improved wireless performance. Our streaming video devices work markedly better using this Asus Extreme router.
Wifi Certified. The access point portion of this inclusive router has been certified to conform to existing wifi standards.
IPv6 Support. 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 Bands. 2.4 and 5 Ghz. 802.11 AC provided, and it can broadcast on both at the same time (each network has its own SSID).
AiRadar Beamforming. The 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-user MIMO. Multiple antennas, transceivers, and ultra-fast internal processors enable this router to support numerous simultaneous users, without hiccups.
WPS Support. Wifi Protected Setup allows quick connection of WPS-enabled devices to your network, without having to choose the host network or enter network passwords.
Guest networks. Features a guest network that allows people to access other devices on your network, but restricts Internet access. Used for printing to local printers or accessing files on local media devices.
Print Server support. 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 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, 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 provides four ports of connectivity to other network components and user devices.
One dedicated 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. Have tested it 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 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), for minimal WAN to LAN latency. Ultra fast routing into your local network.
Easy Deployment. Our experiences deploying and setting up this 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 Adapter. The included 19-volt power supply does not sag, even during high-rate, long duration data bursts.
Fanless Operation. 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.
Network Map. 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 / 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. Can be configured 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. 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.
Access Lists. 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.
System Logs. The unit 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.
Received numerous accolades. Has been awarded the Reader’s Choice Award from PC Magazine for three years running, according to the box.
Two-year limited warranty.
Asus AC2400 RT-AC87R Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, Problems and Concerns
Expensive. 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 require 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-AT87R 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 this router’s “techy” attributes. Best of all, our wireless devices perform significantly better on the RT-AC87R. So we’d rate this router at 95 out of 100. Hopefully as the technology matures, they’ll do better on the price.
Firmware Versions Tested
- 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 220.127.116.11.378.5134. 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.