Review: ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 Gaming Router

I will say right up front that if you want the best performing router possible, the router that you are about to read about is the one to get. And that router is the ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300. I’ll get the elephant in the room out of the way and address the looks:

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Now it looks like the RT-5300 that I tested last year with an ROG logo added onto it. Thus that means that like the RT-5300 it takes up a lot of real estate and looks like something out of a Transformers movie. Which means it will be polarizing to potential buyers. But besides that and one other piece of criticism that I will share later, this review will be overwhelmingly positive. Starting with this:

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The front panel is pretty low key and doesn’t attract that much attention. Which given the overall looks of the router is kind of surprising.

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There are three buttons on the side that turn off the front panel LEDs, allows you to use WPS to pair devices to the router, or a button that kills WiFi entirely which would be handy for parents who want to get their kids to bed. But here’s one of the reasons why this router is extremely cool:

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There are EIGHT gigabit Ethernet ports on this thing (compared to the four that come with the RT-5300). The first two you can set up to have priority over all other ports, or you can bond them together to get 2 gigabits of throughput. Only a handful of routers have this many ports and your next LAN party will benefit from that. The two USB ports that you see are USB 3.0 which again is a rarity. You can use them for storage like USB hard drives or even for an 4G Internet dongle.

Another reason why this router is cool is what is under the hood:

  • 1.8GHz Quad-Core Processor

  • One 2.4GHz 1000 Mbps band

  • Two 5GHz 2167 Mbps band

  • 256 MB Flash

  • 1024 MB RAM

  • MIMO support

All of this conspires to make this one fast router. How fast? I have gigabit Internet access at home and it’s predecessor which was the Linksys WRT32X only managed to get a top speed of 798 Mbps over 802.11ac WiFi when I was five feet from the router. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at. But the ROG Rapture AC5300 beat that with a average speed 841 Mbps which is the fastest 802.11ac score that I have ever seen. Plus, it’s range is impressive. I was able to get a decent quality signal in areas of my condo where most routers struggle to get to. On top of that, throwing every device at this router from my Roku to my security cameras to all the computers didn’t slow things down all that much, if at all. YouTube, Netflix, whatever I threw at it worked without stuttering or buffering.

But things don’t stop there. Unlike the aforementioned WRT32X which to some degree relies on you having networking hardware from Killer to get the best performance, the ROG Rapture does this without that reliance in three ways:

  • Game Boost: This is a a quality of service (QoS) system for prioritising gaming traffic.
  • Game Radar: This provides server locations and ping status for a number of different game servers, allowing you to see which is the best to connect to so that you can get the best performance.
  • WTFast: This is a worldwide game network service that aims to optimize your connection to game servers. Usually you install their software on your PC. But because the router has this feature, everything on your network can leverage this.

On top of all that you get the protection of Game IPS which is powered by Trend Micro. It can stop external attacks from reaching into your network. That way you don’t get pwned by hackers while pwning your competition. And from my testing, I didn’t notice any slowdown in terms of playing any online game while using it.

Gripes? The only gripe that I have is the user interface. While the router is insanely easy to configure via one of the best wizards that I’ve seen in a router lately, once it’s configured, all the options that the user interface presents to you can be daunting. Though all those same options allow you to tweak this router to death. The only people who are going to love this user interface are nerds like me, control enthusiasts, and gamers. Joe Average user however will be heavily intimidated by this user interface. But then, this isn’t the router that Joe Average will be buying. Although they should be for reasons that I will get to in a moment.

Now all of this doesn’t come cheap. The ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 is $500 CDN which makes it expensive. But, here’s why you want to spend $500 for one:

  1. It’s fast for everyone.
  2. It’s highly secure.
  3. You can plug lots of devices into it.
  4. It’s highly configurable.

Quite simply, this is currently the best performing router that money can buy. Some would argue that this router is complete overkill for most people. I would disagree. Given the four points above, I would say that it is the best value out there when it comes to routers that are designed for performance. If you have a house that has lots of devices with a thirst for data, this is the router that has to be at the top of your list.

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2 Responses to “Review: ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 Gaming Router”

  1. […] pretty bad for Linksys. But it gets worse for them. ASUS and Netgear read my posts and sent me the ROG Rapture AC5300 and the Nighthawk X8 respectively. The review of the latter is due to be posted tomorrow. And […]

  2. […] beats the ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 Gaming Router which clocked a speed of 841 Mbps when I tested it on my gigabit Internet connection. Not only […]

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