Are you currently planning to get yourself a reliable router that you can use for gaming or streaming? If you have prepared yourself for quite some time, you are most probably considering to get either Asus RT-AC5300 or Asus RT-AC88U. These two routers from Asus are both immensely popular on the market, especially among gamers, as each of them both coincidentally comes with the game accelerator feature. Even so, Asus RT-AC5300 and Asus RT-AC88U are being priced quite differently from each other. Asus RT-AC5300 is a little bit more expensive than Asus RT-AC88U. So, which is the router that you should get for the best bang out of your bucks? (see also: TP-Link Archer C7 vs. C8)
Tri-Band versus Dual-Band
One of the most crucial differences between Asus RT-AC5300 and Asus RT-AC88U is the numbers of wireless signal channels available. Asus RT-AC5300 is a tri-band router, which means that it comes with one 2.4 GHz signal channel and two 5 GHz signal channels. It has a total bandwidth of 5334 Mbps, consisting of 1000 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz frequency and 2167 Mbps for the 5 GHz signals.
At the contrast, Asus RT-AC88U is a dual-band router, which means that there are a single 2.4 GHz and a single 5 GHz signal channels. The total bandwidth is 3167 Mbps, which is divided into 1000 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz signal and 2167 Mbps for the 5 GHz signal.
Do you need the extra wireless signal channel? If you have quite a lot of devices that need to be connected to your network wirelessly, and they can use the 5 GHz frequency, then you can benefit from a tri-band router. Asus RT-AC5300 can provide you with more bandwidth for the wireless signals, effectively enhancing the network performance by making sure that each connected device can have sufficient speed. However, if most of your devices don’t support the 5 GHz frequency yet, then having the extra channel is pointless.
Asus RT-AC88U is not without advantage. It actually boasts extensive wired connectivity, as it features a bunch of Ethernet ports. It has one WAN and eight LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports with link aggregation support, as well as one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 jacks.
On the other hand, Asus RT-AC5300 has one WAN and four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports only, also with one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. It also supports link aggregation.
Asus RT-AC5300 and Asus RT-AC88U comes with many similar additional features. As mentioned briefly before, they both support link aggregation, a feature that allows you to connect a device to the router by using two Ethernet ports, effectively increasing the aggregated data transfer rate. They each also possesses the game accelerator feature, with built-in access to WTFast Gamers Private Network, a group of route-optimized servers that can provide you extremely stable and low ping times. They also offer various network control, management, and security features.
Asus RT-AC5300 vs. Asus RT-AC88U
Both Asus RT-AC5300 and Asus RT-AC88U can give you the ultimate network performance. However, you should pick Asus RT-AC5300 only if you have a lot of devices that can utilize the 5 GHz wireless signal channel. Otherwise, you should opt for Asus RT-AC88U for the fullest value out of your money!