Before we bought the Asus RT-AC87R router, we saw many lockups, freezes, and errors. They said something like, “an unknown error”. These showed up while streaming HD video from our Tivo DVR (digital video recorder) to an iPad Air tablet.
So, to improve the reliability of our wireless network, we spent some money. We bought the Asus RT-AC87 router, wireless gigabit model. We only need the WAP option currently, as other equipment here already covers the routing function.
The home Wifi network was rock solid. That was until we added the extra heavy wireless network demand from streaming video and gaming. The WAP before was older (2011 technology). It had very small antennas. Plus, it offered only single-band WiFi. Likely, they did not intend that WAP for our heavy network use. No, not with the Tivo and several internet radios playing at the same time. We simply had more network demand than that old router met. Thus, this was indeed the right time to upgrade.
Asus RT-AC87R Router Introduction
The RT-AC87R conforms to AC2400 standards. It also has four external, detachable antennas, as shown next. These swivel around to many positions, for the best WiFi signal. More antennas it seems, means better wireless reliability.
The Asus RT-AT87R router also has much faster dual-core CPUs. Plus, it offers adaptive quality-of-service (QoS), which helps with video streaming issues.
Further, this gem provides plenty of wireless coverage in areas up to 5000 square feet. More than enough to cover our 2000 square foot living space.
Below is a picture of the router / access point combo. We unpacked and set it up. Here’ it’s hosting several wireless devices.
Wireless Reliability Problems the Asus RT-AC87R Router Fixed
Reduced Connect Times
WiFi connections that before took many seconds to make, now occur in less than three seconds. The AC2400 responds quickly to new WiFi sign ins. This faster link up occurred on ALL of our wireless tablets, internet radios, thermostats, and smart phones.
Lower Failed Connections Rates
Way reduced failed connect attempts. Several of our devices saw spotty connecting to the old WAP, even when close by. But now, they connect quickly every time. That’s even from way across the apartment, through two or three walls.
More Robust Wireless Signal Coverage
All wireless network dead spots round the fringes of our space have gone away since this upgrade. Our WiFi devices quickly connect now, and STAY connected besides. We can now find no spot in this two-bedroom abode, where the WiFi does not work. Videos and streamed music now plays everywhere here. No fear of signal fading, freezing, or dropping.
Device Positioning No Longer as Important
Before, our internet radios would disconnect from the currently playing station if moved around. They often cut out when carried to a new room. But we have not seen this happen yet, with this Asus WiFi router.
Smoother Video and Audio Stream Playback
With the Asus AC2400 class router, like the RT-AC87R, our Tivo programs play perfectly now throughout our Asus based WiFi network. No freezes, jitters, “unknown error” messages, or lost stream sessions. Whether viewing in the bedroom, bathroom, office, kitchen, or living room, we get stable streaming. The adaptive quality of service included, greatly boosts enjoyment.
Less Interference from Other Devices
Not Bluetooth mice. Microwave ovens? Nope. Not even another WiFi access point sitting right beside the RT-AC87R. It seems that NOTHING degrades wireless signals from this router. Even near to noisy (radio noise) appliances, reliability stayed high. Not even fluorescent lights, cordless phones, cell phones, switching power supplies, or PCs interfere.
Faster Overall Link Speed
We saw a nearly two-fold boost in link data rates on our Android tablets. Overall data throughput went up too. Certainly, the 5 Ghz. second band in which this access point runs is largely why. This along with the beamforming built into the RT-AC87R. This router focuses its signals right at each WiFi client, instead of simply blanketing a large living space. This improves signal reliability at each device. Plus, it seems to present a higher quality network service.
Less Interference from this Router with Other Devices
Even at full power, this WAP does not appear to disturb our other wifi network. It has no impact that we can see on phones or Bluetooth headsets and speakers nearby. The beamforming makes this a better device thus. How so? It directs more of the WiFi signal where you need it, and away from where you don’t.
More Efficient Gigabit Switching
Even our wired devices appear to download and upload files to other computers more quickly. The two dual-core processors in the Asus RT-AC87R router create a virtually transparent data pipe. Really high speeds with quite small error rates.
We thought though, that we had this already on other routers. At least that is, on the Ethernet ports. But the Asus RT-AC87R router passes data between these ports with greater efficiency than older routers / switches.
Configurable as a Straight WiFi Access Point
Thus, we could keep using the cable modem. After all, it offered things like NAT, DHCP, and device specific routing functions. True, we’re not using the routing features in this quality Asus router. But the improvements made spending the ~$292 total for this WAP well worth it. So nice to kiss that old router goodbye.
This upgrade pleased us a lot. Why? Because it gave us everything we hoped for. It provided some other network upgrades that we never dreamed of prior. And now that we have them, we’re quite thankful we got to try them out. Setup was a cinch with the included Quick Start Guide too. There’s also the web-based interface (router.asus.com) Quick Internet Setup (QIS) interface, which simplified the whole setup process. Took less than five minutes.
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- 2019-02-22: Added key phrase targeting, more tags, and more subheadings. Also shortened sentences and increased active voice.
- 2015-11-24: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-11-22: Initially published this article.