The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000. | Image: Asus
Asus’ latest router is the ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000, and it says it’s the “world’s first quad-band Wi-Fi 6E gaming router.” That doesn’t quite make it the world’s first quad-band Wi-Fi 6E router overall (Netgear announced a quad-band Orbi system last October which you can already buy), but this is the first such system to specifically target gamers, and as a standalone router its starting price is cheaper than comparable mesh systems.
Quad-band routers, as their name suggests, broadcast a total of four wireless bands for connectivity. Asus’ latest router has a 2.4GHz band, two 5GHz bands, and a fancy new 6GHz band. The three highest frequency bands each offer a theoretical maximum speed of 4,804Mbps, which drops to 1,148Mbps for the 2.4GHz band for up to 16Gbps of aggregate throughput (though, as always, real-world speeds will be significantly slower). You have the choice of either using the legacy 5GHz or new 6GHz bands as a backhaul if you want to set up a whole-home mesh network with another compatible Asus AiMesh router.
Of course, you also have the option of going wired, and if you do so you have the choice of two speedy 10Gbps LAN ports or four 1Gbps LAN ports. Its WAN port is rated at 2.5Gbps, and there are also a couple of USB ports for good measure. Did I mention it also looks like a creepy spider robot? Because of course it does.
Given how rare quad-band 6E routers still are, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 is perhaps unsurprisingly on the expensive side, and is set to cost $649 when it goes on sale later this quarter. But compared to Netgear’s quad-band Orbi system, which costs the better part of $1,500 for a three-pack of the mesh routers, Asus’ router looks almost affordable.