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  • Customer reviews

on 10 May 2016
I attached the ASUS RT-AC87U to a DrayTek Vigor Modem and removed my ISPs (PlusNet) supplied Router/Modem unit from my network (and their cables!). Took about 10mins start to finish to set them both up and 'Oh Boy' what a fantastic home WAN/Wireless setup (Simple/Idiot Proof Startup GUI on the Asus, all you need is your ISPs Broadband User Name and Password).

Great speeds and great coverage (achieving a good wireless 2.4GHz signal 40 yards away in the garden through Brick walls!). Running SmartTVs / FireTV / Humax's / NAS / Xbox / PS and numerous other Lappys / Tablets / Phones etc. with dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz links (not all wireless, some through an attached NETGEAR Gigabit Switch with Gigabit Powerline LAN Extenders, with CAT 7 RJ45s and Quality RJ11 Modem Cables), all handled seamlessly (a lot concurrently in the evenings), on my Maximum ISPs permitted 76Mbps/20Mbps VDSL Up/Down pipe.

I'm acheiving on average speeds of 70-75Mbps/18-19Mbps wired, and 66-68Mbps/17-18Mbps 5GHz wireless, depending on the time of day. I estimate this setup to be at least 25%+ quicker than my ISPs standard hardware offering... Not to Shoddy at all! (Top Tip - Use good quality cables everywhere from the wall out!). At the moment I have only tinkered with the Asus QOS settings as nothing appears to be suffering, but I've reviewed and it's all simple enough to do.

I love isolating 'Sprogs' to their own SSIDs! (SSID - The wireless network (broadcasting name), you log onto). As well as the standard 2.4GHz & 5GHz Main SSIDs, the Asus has up to six additional 'Guest' SSIDs available for you to easily configure, 3x2.4GHz and 3x5GHz. So I have set up duplicate SSIDs on both frequencies for HOST(Main SSIDs), PARASITES(Kidz Guest SSIDs) and GUEST(Guest SSIDs!), for which all the Guest SSIDs (including the Kidz), have no access to my Intranet. This with MAC (by device) access time restrictions, parental category controls and DNS Filtering (I'm using the free 'Norton Connect Safe' for children that's pre-setup in the AC87U!). Logs can also be setup to monitor every site visited, again, all with a simple GUI interfaces on the Asus to setup and control these.

So for kidz; no access to my intranet, no access to any adult content on the internet, log files, and best of all; the internet is 'Closed' at 9PM automatically for all their devices, Xbox included... Game Over... I Love it :) ) (Tip. Keep all the Kidz devices wireless not cabled for easier access control!). And for those wishing to have secure and 'anonymous' (kind of), internet access using a VPN 'Client' (you need VPN 'Client' not VPN 'Server' on your router), setup for this service is available on the AC87U as standard, though a bit tricky (I can recommend PIA for the VPN Client service, UK and near continent connections eat less than 5Mbps of your connection speed and is relatively cheap), and the kidz have geographic web anonymity.

The only 'Cons' I've noticed so far on the Asus is the stupid location of the USB3 port (at the front... Really?) and the "AUTO" select for the 2.4GHz wireless broadcasting channel seems to make some 'suspect' choices occasionally. I've done my own local wireless survey (free software to do this also available, NetSurveyor etc.), and fixed my preferred static channel. This has improved my wireless link connection quality (maybe because I've forced my neighbours off my chosen 2.4GHz wireless 40MHz channel!). And as bonus the Asus also allows you to extended the broadcast channel up or down, so I'm covering two!

OK I do work in IT, but honestly the AC87U is 'easy as' to setup. And though I can't say I've used/tested the 'switch' side of the unit (still using my existing Netgear unit), the rest does exactly what it should, not cheap but worth every penny, and contrary to some reviews, my setup is 'very' stable...

Conclusion, AC87U.... No Brainer :)


Update 13/05/16 : I've upgraded FOC the Asus stock firmware to Merlin 380.59_0.... Where do I give this product SIX Stars.....? (Simple upgrade from Asuswrt-Merlin website, 10 minuets total time start to finish).... GREAT got even better.... :)
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11 Comment| 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 10 December 2016
I chose the RT-AC87U to solve a very specific issue and give me greater network control.

I'll describe the position I was in as it might help others if they're facing the same problem.

I am VirginMedia customer on the HomeWorks+ 300mbps service so I want to get the most out of what is a very fast connection if you're hard-wired or very close to the standard Virgin SuperHub. Unfortunately, I found that the WiFi signal on the SuperHub 3.0 was poorer than on the 2.0 (and that was never brilliant).

If I was in the same room as the Virgin router I'd get the full bandwidth. However, the rate of connection dropped at a vicious rate when you moved out of the room. I needed a steadier and stronger signal.

From reviews, after a solid week of looking and reading third party reports, I decided on the RT-AC87U. I could have bought a higher end model but the middle-of-the-range router seemed to offer just as good a WiFi signal and a decent mix of features.

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and have given it 5 stars with one reservation on my recommendation (I'll come to that shortly).

The unit is a fairly meaty sized thing. It certainly isn't something you'll be able to hide under a TV unit or similar unless it is much larger than a normal sized cabinet and you're not bothered about hindered the signal broadcast from the router. I have set mine to the side of the TV in order to get the optimum signal strength.

There is a christmas-like array of blue lights on the front of the router. Frankly, it is rather over the top but if you like flashing lights then you'll love this. Fortunately, Asus have thought of people like me and there is a single button on the front edge of the router that lets you switch all the lights off without any loss of service or features.

The router feels well made and the fixing of the WiFi aerials is easy. I haven't had any issues with them moving post-installation. Setting the router up, in terms of connecting it to my VirginMedia SuperHub 3.0, was very easy indeed. The router and Virgin modem were working together in no time at all. Attaching a hard drive to the USB 2.0 port as network attached storage was also very easy indeed.

I have had a few issues using the USB 3.0 port in conjunction with a Maxtor 1Tb drive as a TimeMachine drive for an Apple MacBook Pro. The drive kept dropping off the network or the Mac wouldn't see it. However, this wasn't something I really needed anyway so I didn't persevere with the set-up and it may well be something I could have resolved had I done so.

Upon testing the WiFi signal for the first time I found I was receiving about 75% of what I knew I could get in the room in which the router was installed. A little experimenting with the angle of aerials and a slight movement of the router soon changed that - it was flying at 312mb within minutes.

I then tested the speed in the parts of the house, and outside the house, where I had experienced the biggest problems with the Virgin router.

The change was dramatic. In an area where I had previously received 70mbps at best, I was seeing 170-180mbps. In another room where speed had dropped to 28-30mbps, it had increased to 110-120mbps.

Switching between the 2G and 5G bandwidths (I opted for isolated network names so I knew precisely which I was connected to), the range of the 2G network was impressive. However, I was also pleased to see the extended reach of 5G on the router. I can get far better connectivity in areas I previously couldn't use the network.

Whether the router has extended the total reach of WiFi is something altogether different. Instead, it appears to have a similar, perhaps slightly longer, range but within that area it offers far superior speeds. In other words, I can't really get onto the network further away from the router than I used to be able to. But, where I can receive the signal is at a far greater speed. That was the ultimate goal of buying the router so I can't complain.

What I hadn't quite expected was the superb range of features offered by the Asus software. I've included a few screenshots of what it offers, from bandwidth monitoring per device, upload/download graphs, parental controls, network tools and so on, but the reality is that there is a lot more that I simply don't have time to go into. If you are looking for a router that comes with feature packed software to control your home network, allocate bandwidth (albeit crudely), monitor what your kids are doing, even control what times and devices can be used on the network, then I can't recommend this more highly.

The software is also impressively intuitive and not at all complex to use. Whilst I have a lot of IT experience I don't think anyone would have too many issues getting to grips with what the software can do.

So, what is my one reservation about the router?

The WiFi signal has a desperately annoying habit of dropping out for 60-90 seconds on a daily basis. It is very unpredictable (random) in terms of when it does it and it'll occasionally do it twice a day. It means that both the 2G and 5G signals disappear and with no apparent cause. The router has the latest firmware/software updates, I've checked the system log, and I just cannot fathom why it does it. Devices connected by ethernet cable are unaffected. It is purely the WiFi signal that drops out and then comes back. It does come back though, without intervention.

There is a function to set the router to auto reboot on a daily basis at a time you can specify and I may do that. However, I am reluctant to do so as it controls multiple CCTV cameras connected via ethernet, so a reboot will disconnect them temporarily and I'm not even sure if it'll resolve the WiFi issue.

Overall though, the WiFi blip would not stop me from buying this product again.

The combination of strong signal and the stable strength of that signal, software features and ports are enough for me to recommend it to anyone.
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44 Comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 February 2016
My reason for this purchase was based around the security and connection problems that can be inherent in the Home Hubs provided by BT, along with the lack of flexibility that they offer in customising a network to your requirements.

The RT-AC87U combined with a Draytek Vigor 130 modem DrayTek Vigor 130 ADSL/VDSL Ethernet Modem work flawlessly together;the modem is already configured to function in bridge mode with the majority of UK ISPs, so the only configuration that needs to be done is in the router.

The user interface for this router is very slick; it is well laid out with masses of functionality and customisation.

It does take quite some time to work through the customisable options once you have completed the initial setup wizard, but it is time well spent.

Tip: Go to the ASUS website and download the latest Firmware before you start your customisation, as the latest version does have quite a few updates on the functionality and available options.

A great feature of this modem is that you can have a main network setup for 2.4G and 5G, but it then allows you to configure seperate guest networks - 3 more for 2.4G and 3 more for 5G. If you have kids at various ages and you want to place any time restrictions on their browsing habits you can assign them their own guest network and customise the restrictions.

As you can see from my attached speed test, the combination of the router with the Draytek modem is allowing me to almost max-out at 74Mbps down and 18Mbps up (my package limits are 76Mbps down and 19Mbps up).

Tip: selling your unwanted new BT home hub will part-fund this router :)
22 Comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 January 2018
I was fed up with continual drop outs and fluctuations with using the Virgin Media Superhub 3, so after some research decided to buy the RT-ac3200 and put the Superb into modem mode.
Very easy to set up and there is a lot of other settings within the hub that you can set up, such as add a VPN client, security controls and parental controls.
I have mine set for 3 separate SSID's. I use the 2.4ghz for my Ring Doorbell and most of the smart home devices. One of the 5ghz is set for the family to use with the consoles, phones and laptops and I have the other 5ghz set for myself to use for my personal and work laptops and phones, my PS4 and other smart home devices. Everyone can connect to the 2.4 or 5ghz-1 if they need to change for connection issues.
This suits my needs for now, but I may end up changing the settings if any issues arise (more than I could do with the VM Superhub).

The only issue that I have and the reason for 4 stars is with the 2.4ghz wireless range, It seems weaker than the Superhubs (the 5ghz is stronger) I have had to buy a wifi extender to allow me to get my Ring Doorbell 2 to receive a decent signal.I think the wireless range issue has been mentioned a few times on various reviews.
Initially I was using the stock firmware and was suffering with intermittent wifi dropouts. I found that installing the Merlin firmware instead removed any issues and seem more stable.
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on 19 November 2015
Install the "Merlin" firmware and this unit provides the functionality that I was looking for;
+ client device time control to ensure my kids are not playing at 2:00AM
+ DNS control to ensure use of OPENDNS for all devices (parental content control that works....including google images!!)
+ OpenVPN for secure remote access to my network
+ Guest network for friends to get internet access only.
+ Good wireless coverage (better than ISP device, but still need wifi extenders to reach part of house)
+ Excellent speeds (5G) and performance (30 wireless devices and counting....)
+ Merlin firmware is a MUST.

- Does require regular reboot (1 per month) to keep gremlins at bay.
- To get the best out of this router you must have some technical skills, be able to load firmware, do some basic command line functions. There is loads of good content to advise you through this though.

I've been using this for over a year now and completly thrilled with it.
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on 19 November 2017
Wow, bought this Asus AC87U router to replace an old Netgear Wireless N one which was starting to show its age. After weeks of research into various routers, I narrowed it down to this one and the Asus AC3200. In the end, I chose this one because it was in the black friday sale, reduced by £44.
Setting it up was really simple and only took a total of about 2-3 minutes after connecting it up to my ISP's DSL modem.
The speed and wireless range of this router is amazing, I would estimate that my wireless range is about 2 to 3 times more than I was getting with my old router.
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on 27 December 2017
I have had the ASUS RT-N66U "Dark Knight" for well over 5 years now and its been great. The fact that there's been 3rd party firmware for it has helped but actually the original firmware is really good and updated regularly. So I was a fan of this brand before purchasing this, although I am well aware there are good and bad devices in any brands catalogue and the reviews will tell you this.

We had an extension built on the house with a small office where my server, switch and router now live. I should say I work in IT and my system is more elaborate the a regular home user. Maybe its that foil back insulation in the new extension, or the fact its now in the furthest corner of our house but the old N66U never quite performed the same. It has also been getting slower lately with the updates and I knew things had moved on with wifi standards so when the Black Friday sales came I knew what to look for. After carefully picking out the reviews for each model this seemed a good bet and it has been.

Coming from the old router. this thing is massive, overall twice the size of the old one I would say. Those 6 aerials seem bigger too ( although I assume internally they're a set length for the frequency etc ) and its an imposing looking beast. I decided to wall mount it which took a bit of searching for the right screw heads but its not heavy, so its solidly placed as high as I could reasonably get it with clearance for the aerials etc. So this is dual core and 3 separate bands covering 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, and it gets just as warm as the old one, which is pretty hot, but I think they are all like this. Despite being dual core it takes longer to initially boot and issue DHCP than the old one, however once its running its noticeably more responsive especially in navigating the interface. Also turning on extra features (like QOS etc) doesn't seem to stress it or make it laggy like it did on the old router, it seems to take more stuff in its stride.

It also has a much improved reporting and monitoring section where you can see which PC and even which app is using the most bandwidth in your house. It really is pretty enlightening and will be useful for tracking down issues and secret bandwidth hogs. My biggest LAN bandwidth usage is my IP cam recording to my server, which makes perfect sense with hindsight but I never really thought about it.

As I had an ASUS previously which ran the same firmware. Guess what? I just restored a backup of my settings and it worked! I had to go in tweak a few things like the device name was restored as RT-N66U etc... That saved me a massive job of manually reentering NAT virtual server ports, VPN details etc. it also comes with new features like the built in Trend Micro threat monitoring which is great for peace of mind, and it does spot stuff...Sometimes legitimate stuff, it blocked my VDSL stats monitoring program which, to be fair was directly accessing my modem over telnet to read stats out. I can see WHY it blocked it but you don't get a whitelist option, so you either turn it on and it works for you or turn it off and do with out. There are several levels of protection though that can be tweaked but I would have liked more control here.

The built in ASUS apps like the media server and downloader are pretty woeful like they were on the old one, but I don't really use them as I have a server, but if you want to use this as a stand alone storage appliance/server then the file sharing, ftp and DLNA stuff works OK. USB 2 or USB 3 I get transfer rates of around 30-40MB/s over gigabit Ethernet which is not fast but is useable. The downloader and more esoteric functions are pretty flakey though.

So what about the Wifi? Well the amazing AC3200 is twice as fast but still a bit underwhelming. Testing with nperf3 between my phone and a Windows server i.e. real world file transfer rates up from circa 100MB/s (Megabyte) to 200MB/s. However, that is only if you're on TOP of it! It drops off pretty rapidly once you get a wall in the way or you're over the far side of a fairly modest sized 70's bungalow. Also, the range and signal strength is only slightly better than the old N class Wifi router, but I think it is hampered by the foil lined walls. The speed overall at any range is better though. I left the band selection in auto magic intelligent mode where you had a single SSID and the router decides which band you go on. That seems to work OK.

Did it stop the kids moaning about the Wifi? No, not really, due the range they are not really seeing the performance increase. You know what I think? All wifi is rubbish you should just hard wire gigabit everywhere and if you can't do that, connect your PC with Cat 6 and buy some earplugs to block out the moaning from everyone else :-)

Was it worth the upgrade? Yep, I think so the overall performance is improved even if it is not a stellar jump. Most notable thing is, the old router would be reset twice a week as needed, its been well over a fortnight and I still haven't needed to reset this once!
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on 11 September 2015
Fist time owning an asus router very easy set up if you get stuck there are lots of how to do videos on YouTube. Wifi range isn't much better than Virgin super hub 2 but faster speeds probably down to my settings. Overall I'm happy with it . Another note I got open nat on Xbox one without having to port forward or alter any settings (wired connection). I'm on 100mb fibre from Virgin and got 112mb download and 7.5 mb upload on 5ghz wifi and 53mb download and 6.7upload on 2.5ghz with a ping of 16 and 26.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2018
Previously, we had a Virgin SH3 providing wireless coverage in the house. It's coverage wasn't that great and as for maintaining a stable signal - both TIVO boxes could not maintain a stable connection. I had read that other Virgin Media subscribers had experienced plenty of problems. When my missus finally snapped, I knew we had to do something.

A friend recommended this ASUS router as they had used it to provide wireless coverage around their house and for their TIVO set-up - no disconnection issues (except when the VM signal went down). I was a bit miffed that the price had gone up by £30 in the space of a month - probably because other VM users were having the same issue.

The RT-AC3200 is a light unit but quite big so you need to make some room for it. Six antennas, plug and adaptor along with a network cable come supplied with it. You'll need it to feed the signal from the VM SH hub to the Asus. The front of the unit is adorned with status lights. The rear has 4 LAN ports, a main LAN input from another modem, power switch and a USB port which can be used to attach a NAS device or memory device. I need to look at the last option as it could open up some interesting options.

Configuration can be as simple or as complex as you want. This has some advanced settings that I can't get my head round. As the TIVO V6 boxes stream media, I decided to dedicate one of the 5ghz bands to each box and keep the 2.4 network for laptops, phones and other devices.Streaming was flawless and internet speeds were significantly faster meaning that the VM SH3 isn't performing well in many areas.

Within the settings, you can run a traffic analyzer along with usage stats for devices. You can limit access times and speed for specific devices as well. Could be useful when kids come round to the house. There is an app you can download onto a smartphone or tablet to control the router remotely.

The icing on the cake are updates. Even though this unit was released in 2014, Asus are still supporting it and it comes with a 3 year warranty. If you register your product, you will get 5GB of cloud storage for life (until they decide to relinquish the offer).

If you need a stable router with extensive features and to replace the networking capabilities of your VM Super hub, I would wholly recommend this.
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on 31 August 2017
If I had written a review when I first started using this it would not have received 4 stars. I intended to use it in combination with a BT home hub 5, but the two devices wouldn't play nice together. This was compounded by the fact that the Asus need a firmware update and I had a catch 22 of not being able to update unless it was properly connect and not being able to connect properly because of the issues with working with the BT hub.

Fortunately, the ASUS support was good and they talked me through how to get around that issue. They also advised that if using it with the BT hub I should only use the ASUS as an access point - which seems to defeat the point of having bought the router. I therefore had to buy a BT Openreach modem on ebay for about £20 to get the situation working in the way it should.

Once up and running, the router proved unreliable initially. It was re-booting itself often and occasionally dropping its connection. That was disappointing in what is not a particularly complex home set-up and I was tempted to send it back and return to the Home Hub. However, I have persevered and it has proved worthwhile. The router is stable and reliable and at the time of writing has been up continuously for 103 days.

I've deducted 1 star because of all the initial problems - particularly the catch 22 I had to get telephone support to resolve. I would also say that the wireless reach is not as good as I expected and I still have to use extenders in my house to ensure the signal can be picked up from every room in what is a fairly small house.
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