Saturday, December 4, 2021

Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Review

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Wi-fi Specification802.11ax with 6E
Variety of Bands3
AC VelocityAXE6600
Variety of Antennas12
Variety of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port)3
High quality of Service (QoS)Sure
SafetyWPA2, WPA3
Parental ControlsSure
IPv6 AppropriateSure
Protection Space for {Hardware} as Examined5500 sq ft
Variety of Nodes2
Wired BackhaulSure
Anti-Malware InstrumentsSure
Variety of USB ports1
Separate BandsSure
DD-WRT / Tomato-AppropriateNo

The latest addition to the Asus ZenWiFi household of mesh techniques, the ZenWiFi ET8 ($529.99), is the corporate’s most superior mesh system thus far. Designed to ship seamless house-wide wi-fi connectivity, this method affords the most recent Wi-Fi 6E know-how, which permits suitable purchasers to connect with it through the 6GHz radio band. The ET8 delivered superb all through and sign efficiency in our checks, was a breeze to put in, and comes with free lifetime anti-malware and parental management instruments. It’s our new Editors’ Alternative decision for Wi-Fi mesh systems. 

Blanket 5,500 Sq. Ft With Wi-Fi 6E Sign

The ET8 is a Wi-Fi 6E system, which implies it not solely helps 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) applied sciences; however, it will possibly additionally use the 6GHz radio band to ship quicker throughput speeds, decrease latency, and extra bandwidth than what you’ll get with the extra crowded 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Nevertheless, solely consumer gadgets that assist Wi-Fi 6E can hook up with the 6GHz band. With Wi-Fi 6, you get 160MHz channel bandwidth, 1024 QAM, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Several Entry (OFDMA) knowledge transmissions, MU-MIMO simultaneous knowledge streaming, WPA3 encryption, and direct-to-client sign beamforming. 

The ET8 is a two-piece mesh system that protects houses of as much as 5,500 sq. toes. It consists of two nodes that look identical to the nodes used within the previous-generation ZenWiFi AX XT8 system. They measure 6. Three by 6.2 by 2.9 inches (HWD) and sport a white end with grilles on both aspects for airflow.

A small LED indicator on the node entrance glows blue through the setup course and is white when the satellite tv for the pc node has a robust wi-fi sign. A yellow gentle signifies a weak signal, and a delicate crimson means the movement to the router node is misplaced. The panel is host to a 2.5Gbps WAN port, three 1Gbps LAN ports, a USB 3.1 port, an influence port, and an influence swap. You should utilize a LAN port for wired backhaul or let the huge 6GHz band deal with it wirelessly. 

Asus ZenWiFi AXE6600 ET8 Mesh back ports

Every node accommodates six inner antennas and is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 256MB of flash reminiscence. The ET8 is an AXE6600 system, which implies it can hit prime knowledge charges of 574Mbps on the two.4GHz band, 1,201Mbps on the 5GHz band, and 4,804Mbps on the 6GHz band. 

As with the ZenWiFi AX XT8 and ZenWiFi AC CT8 mesh techniques, the ET8 system comes with an AIProtection Professional software program. Powered by Pattern Micro, AI Safety provides you free lifetime safety towards malicious assaults. It makes use of a proprietary Intrusion Prevention System to scan incoming and outgoing knowledge, block Denial of Service (DDoS) assaults, stop entry to malicious websites, and block community entry to any consumer gadgets which might be contaminated with malware. 

The ET8’s parental controls supply customizable age-based net filtering, entry scheduling, and utilization monitoring. You possibly can robotically deny entry to websites that comprise grownup content material comparable to playing, pornography, and violence, in addition, to limiting access to buying, gaming, prompt messaging, and media streaming websites. Moreover, you may immediately block web entry with the contact of a button.

Do It (Virtually) All within the App

The Asus Router cellular app for iOS and Android gadgets provides you with many administration instruments and affords a user-friendly interface. The app’s Residence display shows a community map with every related node, the LAN IP, and the community identity. There’s additionally a button that lets you choose a QoS preset and a button that may optimize the community primarily based on the situation of every node.

On the backside of the Residence, the display is Residence, Gadgets, Perception, Household, and Settings buttons. The Residence button returns you to the Residence display from wherever you might be within the app. The Gadgets button opens a show with all related consumer gadgets and mesh elements (nodes). Right here, you may see which node every consumer is connected to. Faucet any consumer to dam entry for that consumer or to optimize its connection. You can, too, give the consumer bandwidth precedence for gaming or streaming purposes or restrict bandwidth utilization.

Asus Router mobile app screens settings for Asus ZenWiFi ET8
Asus Router cellular app, left to proper: the principle display, the QoS panel, and Household controls.

The Perception display permits you to do issues like share Wi-Fi entry utilizing a QR code, verify your password power, and seek out their mesh nodes. The Household display is where you go to create profiles for family members and assign parental controls. Utilizing the Settings display, you may carry out community scans and allow AIProtection options because of the Intrusion mentioned above Prevention System and blocking of malicious websites.

The app is kind of successful; however, it will possibly regulate the entire ET8’s settings. You’ll have to use the online console to create VPN profiles and enter different superior settings comparable to port triggering and firewall settings.

The ET8 helps Amazon Alexa instructions that assist you to use your voice to do issues like allow the visitor community, pause web entry, reboot the router, and replace the firmware.

Testing the ZenWiFi ET8: Simple Setup, Speedy Throughput

Configuring the ET8 for first-time use was straightforward. I plugged in one of many nodes, related it to my modem, downloaded the Asus Router cellular app, and tapped Setup on the opening display.  I have chosen “Asus ZenWiFi Sequence” from the checklist and chose the ET8, and it was instantly acknowledged by way of Bluetooth. Subsequently, I tapped the ET8 tab and adopted the directions to put each node shut to one another for setup. I powered up the second node and was prompted to create brand new community identity and password. (You possibly can select to separate the two.4GHz and 5GHz bands if you happen to favor, or let the smart-connect characteristic select one of the best bands for optimum efficiency.)

I created an account and tapped after having the app arrange the community. A couple of minutes later, the community optimization course was completed. The final step is to put the satellite tv for the pc node in a room about 30 toes away from the router.

The ET8 system turned in superb scores on our throughput efficiency checks. We use a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra telephone geared up with a Wi-Fi 6E radio to test speeds on the two.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz radio bands. On the two.4GHz close-proximity (similar room) test, the router node delivered 121Mbps, matching the Linksys Atlas Max 6E router, and at a distance of 30 toes, it beat the Atlas by 11Mbps. The ET8 satellite tv for pc node’s scores of 119Mbps on the close-proximity test and 60Mbps on the 30-foot test had been almost identical to the Atlas node’s scores (120Mbps and 61Mbps, respectively). These 2.4GHz outcomes should not be charted; however, the extra vital 5GHz and 6GHz ones are…

The ET8’s 5GHz efficiency was additionally robust: It managed 869Mbps on the close-proximity test versus the Atlas Max’s rating of 806Mbps. On the 30-foot test, the ET8 garnered 350Mbps, whereas the Atlas scored 300Mbps. The ET8 satellite tv for pc node (787Mbps) was slightly slower than the Atlas node (792Mbps) on the close-proximity test; however, it’s a rating of 531Mbps on the 30-foot test beat the Atlas node by 16Mbps. 

The efficiency of the 6GHz band was strong. The ET8 router’s rating of 918Mbps was barely slower than the Atlas (929Mbps), but it indeed confirmed significantly better vary, with a rating of 371Mbps on the 30-foot test in comparison with 258Mbps for the Atlas. Outcomes had been related for the satellite tv for pc nodes: The ET8 node’s rating of 580Mbps on the close-proximity test couldn’t somewhat match the Atlas Max node’s rating of 598Mbps, but it indeed got here out forward on the 30-foot test with a rating of 333Mbps. (The Atlas Max scored 218Mbps on this test.)

To test wi-fi sign power, we use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic gadget and Ekahau’s Survey cellular app to generate a warmth map that shows the router and satellite tv for pc nodes sign power all through our test residence. (Editors’ Word: Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s dad or mum firm.)

Ekahau signal strength map for Asus ZenWiFi ET8
Ekahau sign power map for Asus ZenWiFi ET8

The circles on the maps symbolize the situation of the router and the node, and the colors indicate sign power. Darkish inexperienced represents the most potent sign, yellow is weaker, and grey signifies no measurable sign reception. As proven on the map, the two nodes don’t bother delivering robust 2.4GHz and 5GHz wi-fi indicators to all corners of the home. (Ekahau doesn’t assist 6GHz measurements.)

Verdict: The Finest Mesh System So Far With Wi-Fi 6E

Should you’re trying to future-proof your house community with the most recent Wi-Fi 6E know-how, look no additional than the Asus ZenWi-Fi ET8. This two-piece mesh system permits you to join by the 6GHz radio band, is straightforward to put in and handle, and delivers quick throughput and robust sign efficiency.

Asus ZenWi-Fi ET8 AXE6600 on table

Furthermore, it’s geared up with a multi-gig WAN port and a USB port, and it comes with protection, which supplies you free lifetime community safety and parental management instruments. All this makes it a shoo-in as our Editors’ Alternative decides for Wi-Fi mesh techniques. 

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