ASUS RT-AX59U Review: AX4200 with a sleek design

If you’re used to routers with boring designs, ASUS’ latest RT-AX59U is finally something refreshing. As their latest Wi-Fi 6 router, it features a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 AX4200 radio and a robust 2.0GHz CPU, designed to deliver high-performance networking for the demands of a modern home. Additionally, it includes ASUS’ class-leading AiProtection Pro security suite for advanced network security and family protection.

The sleek design of the RT-AX59U stands out from other wireless routers on the market, offering both aesthetic appeal and practicality. Its compact size at only 20cm in height, allows for easy placement on a bookshelf or TV cabinet, fitting seamlessly into any room. Additionally, I appreciate the clean look of routers without visible antennas, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the device.

Despite not having any visible antennas, the Wi-Fi signal on the RT-AX59U is excellent. In fact, the Wi-Fi range outperforms the ASUS RT-AX57 which is a Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 wireless router with 4 external antennas. The RT-AX59U serves as a good example of how good engineering can achieve superior performance while maintaining a sleek, unobtrusive appearance without antennas.

The design of the router is really clever as well. The base on the router can be removed and reused as the wall-mounting hardware for the router. It’s a really clever and well thought out design choice that I wish more routers can do this. The mounting points are covered with rubber tabs and they are barely noticeable when closed. You can refer to ASUS’ own mounting guide here for the wall-mounting procedure.

With this minimalistic design and smaller footprint, the RT-AX59U is also a perfect choice as a mesh wireless system. By utilizing ASUS’ AiMesh extendable router feature, it’s able to link multiple units of the RT-AX59U as a single Wi-Fi network to cover a larger property with stronger signal. The wall-mount feature is also really helpful, eliminating the need for a shelf or a physical rack to place the router.

RT-AX59U Hardware and Specs

ASUS RT-AX59U is powered by the exact same Wi-Fi 6 radio on the TUF-AX4200. It comes with the same Mediatek Filogic 830 SoC which includes a high performance Quad-Core 2.0GHz CPU and 512MB RAM. ASUS used this CPU on their TUF-AX6000 product as well. We’ve tested this CPU in the past and it can deliver an excellent performance while handle a high amount of simultaneous connections.

Wi-Fi 6 will be here to stay considering Wi-Fi 7 main focus is the 6GHz band. While there’s some improvements on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, it’s really not a giant leap like what Wi-Fi 6 did to Wireless AC. Moreover, the 6GHz band has a really limited range and will require more routers to ensure sufficient coverage. Hence, Wi-Fi 6 is here to stay and will remain relevant for many years to come.

Despite it not being a Wi-Fi 7 or Wi-Fi 6E wireless router, it really doesn’t matter for a vast majority of people as Wi-Fi 7 will take some time to be main stream since it’s only available on flagship devices now. However, the RT-AX59U offers performance that’s almost as good as a flagship Wi-Fi 6 product that’s used to be really expensive many years ago at a very competitive price.

On the rear of the product, there’s 3 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a single Gigabit Ethernet WAN port.  The ASUS RT-AX59U also comes with 2 USB 3.1 ports which can be used for printer sharing and USB file sharing. It can even share a 4G/5G connection directly from a mobile phone as backup WiFi connection or via a USB 5G modem.

Wi-Fi Performance Test

The router excels in short-distance performance tests, achieving speeds slightly over 800Mbps. This makes it an ideal choice for users with 800Mbps or Gigabit internet connections, as it is capable of supporting full performance, particularly when conducting speed tests within the same room. This ensures that users can fully leverage their internet service for optimal performance.

The performance of the RT-AX59U remains excellent even at longer distances from the wireless router. This speed is significantly faster than ASUS’s entry-level products, such as the RT-AX57 and RT-AX1800HP. While the RT-AX59U is a more budget-friendly option, it naturally performs slightly slower than the higher-priced TUF-AX4200, yet still offers exceptional value for its price point.

Part of the reasons why the coverage is so strong on the RT-AX59U is due to a feature known as Xtra Range 2.0. It’s actually a feature developed by MediaTek for Wi-Fi 7 but it’s also backported to their Wi-Fi 6 routers as well. Mediatek claims this feature can improve indoor range by up to 4.5 meters under ideal conditions. This could be substantial, as even a small improvement might eliminate dead spots for some properties.

In a long-distance 160MHz Wi-Fi 6 performance test, the RT-AX59U’s performance falls squarely between that of the RT-AX57 and the TUF-AX4200 model, aligning well with its price and market positioning. This router is ideal for users with a 500Mbps internet subscription, as it is capable of delivering performance close to this speed even at extended distances from the router.

USB File Sharing Performance

The USB file sharing performance of the RT-AX59U is excellent, with read speeds that match those of the more expensive TUF-AX6000 model. This impressive performance isn’t surprising, considering both routers are equipped with the same 2.0GHz Quad Core CPU. This feature highlights the RT-AX59U’s ability to offer premium capabilities at a more accessible price point.

AiMesh Extendable Router

As previously mentioned, the RT-AX59U supports the powerful AiMesh feature, allowing it to seamlessly integrate with other ASUS AiMesh routers for enhanced coverage. This capability also makes it possible to repurpose older ASUS routers which can help reduce waste and breathe new life into older hardware.

Unlike traditional WiFi extenders, AiMesh enables the routers to communicate with each other, forming a single network with unified WiFi settings. Users can enjoy stable and consistent WiFi coverage across different areas of their home, eliminating dead zones without the need to switch networks manually as they move around.

Firmware and Features

The RT-AX59U is powered by the powerful ASUSWRT firmware offering an endless list of customizations. It’s not a surprise since ASUSWRT is known as the most customizable consumer router firmware out there. However, it’s still really user friendly especially with the ASUS Router apps. I highly recommend using the app to setup the router as it’s a lot easier compared to the web interface.

Unlike entry-level ASUS routers which may lack certain features, the RT-AX59U offers the complete ASUSWRT experience with AiProtection Pro, AdaptiveQoS and VPN Fusion included. Since it’s not a gaming router, it doesn’t come with the triple level game acceleration feature. However, the gaming profile on AdaptiveQoS feature will prioritize gaming traffic, ensuring a smooth and lag-free gaming experience.

The ASUS Router app is really powerful, providing detailed information such as the link speed of connected devices. My favorite feature is the AdaptiveQoS which can prioritize Internet usage for applications based on their categories. This is really useful if you have a slower Internet plan and you want to ensure critical apps such as conference calls and work are not interrupted.

While the app can work remotely while not connected to the WiFi network, it will require the DDNS service and port forwarding to function. However, if your ISP doesn’t provide a routable public IP address, it’s not possible to manage your router remotely. That’s because ASUS opted not to use a cloud service for their product and taken a more conventional, self-hosted approach.

ASUS has given plenty of attention to the VPN feature on their routers. The RT-AX59U can support running several VPN simultaneously and even manually routing selected devices on specific VPNs. As for the VPN protocol, the RT-AX59U comes with support for WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec and PPTP VPN protocol. The Surfshark VPN brand is natively supported on ASUS router as well.

Since my TV and gaming console do not support the faster WireGuard-based VPN protocol, I can configure it on the RT-AX59U to apply exclusively to those devices. This feature is particularly useful for bypassing regional restrictions or enhancing connectivity by using a VPN with better routing. It’s a practical solution, optimizing the network without impacting the performance of other devices on the network.

The included AiProtection Pro security features is really helpful in this era where the Internet is filled with threats. It comes with free lifetime security database update powered by TrendMicro to help identify these harmful webpages. I’ve tested some malware infected webpages and all were successfully blocked by the comprehensive AiProtection Pro feature.

Another part of the AiProtection Pro feature would be the parental control software. It can block access to selected categories of apps or webpages to selected devices. There’s also a really comprehensive time scheduling function which is really helpful if you wish to limit Internet usage time for children.

The AiProtection Pro features are included for free for lifetime without requiring any additional subscriptions. This is something that’s getting incredibly special these days as many other brands have opted for a subscription based model. It’s good to see ASUS is still including everything right out of the box without requiring additional payments just to access some features.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, the ASUS RT-AX59U stands out as a versatile and powerful router, offering robust features that cater to both general users and those with specific needs like advanced VPN support and comprehensive security via AiProtection Pro. Its ability to handle multiple VPN configurations and the flexibility to apply these settings to selected devices makes it exceptionally practical. 

Additionally, the router’s performance in enhancing network coverage and its compatibility with ASUS’s AiMesh system for expanded coverage ensure it meets the demands of various home and small office setups. With its strong performance and future-proof features, the RT-AX59U represents a wise investment for anyone looking to upgrade their home network.

ASUS RT-AX59U

8.2

Tubi Rating

pros

  • Subscription-free network security and parental control feature included
  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance
  • Easy network expansion with AiMesh

cons

  • Public IP is needed for the remote access feature
  • Only 3 LAN ports instead of the usual 4
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How would you compare the ASUS RT-AX59U AX4200 with the Tp-Link Deco X60 AX5400?
Which mesh system would you prefer?

RT-AX59U AX4200 compare between TUF AX4200 and RT-AX57 AX3000,which one far coverage and these all model can support 800mbps internet speed fibre?

Hello, I have a question I found this and the tuf gaming rt-ax4200 at my retailer and they have basically similar price (around 90$) , which one should I buy to use as an access point? (for context I have 1gbps connection)

thank you very much.

Hello, how does this compare with the older RT-AX82U?

I cant seem to judge as your testing results chart has changed since your review of the 82U

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