Asus RT-AC3200 review: It’s fast, very fast

£230
Price when reviewed

The RT-AC3200 is built for speed. It features six removable, positional antennae and two 3×3-MIMO-stream 802.11ac wireless networks, giving a maximum link speed of 1,300Mbits/sec on each 5GHz band.The tri-band router also uses Smart Connect to steer wireless clients automatically to one of the three radios, maximising the total wireless throughput, although all three networks must broadcast under the same SSID to use it.

Asus RT-AC3200 review: It's fast, very fast

The tri-band router also uses Smart Connect to steer wireless clients automatically to one of the three radios, maximising the total wireless throughput, although all three networks must broadcast under the same SSID to use it.

Finding and configuring features such as this is a breeze, thanks to the delightfully simple ASUSWRT web interface. It has a straightforward layout, with a network map giving at-a-glance information on the number of connected clients. Widgets and graphs simplify more complex features such as QoS and traffic analysis, but you can also drill down into individual advanced settings such as VPN access, web- content filtering and access scheduling.

In common with most tri-band routers, the RT-AC3200 is massive, with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a Gigabit WAN port and a USB 2 port on the rear. It supports dual WAN, letting you assign one of the LAN ports or a 3G/4G mobile broadband dongle as a backup in case your primary connection goes down.

The USB 3 port on the side is hidden behind a removable panel and supports Time Machine backups, network printers and storage sharing. However, file-transfer speeds weren’t outstanding at 62.4MB/sec.

The same can’t be said of wireless performance, as the RT-AC3200 is one of the fastest routers around over 802.11ac. At close range, it managed fantastic 84.3MB/sec file transfers, with 17.1MB/sec speeds over 802.11n putting other routers to shame.Performance over 2.4GHz with a 2×2-stream iPad mini wasn’t perfect at 9.6MB/sec, but this is still above average. At

Performance over 2.4GHz with a 2×2-stream iPad mini wasn’t perfect at 9.6MB/sec, but this is still above average. At range, the RT-AC3200 picks up the pace again, with 30.8MB/ sec transfers over 802.11ac, hot on the heels of the D-Link DIR-890L.

The RT-AC3200 is incredibly fast over all distances, with Smart Connect tri-band wireless coming into its own when several clients use the network at once. If this is your priority, then it’s an excellent choice.

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