The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 is a wifi 6 mesh system with a cumulative throughput of 6600 Mbps and a 2.5G Ethernet port. Although it doesn’t claim to match the performance of the more expensive models, it is a powerful and versatile solution thanks to its USB 3.0 port.
- Comprehensive settings
- Built-in parental control
- USB3.0 port
- Lacks a 2.5G port for LAN
The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 is a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system sold in packs or individually. It allows you to extend the Wi-Fi coverage of a home by connecting to the internet box. This model is close to the top of the range without displaying the characteristics of the ZenWiFi Pro ET12, which offers almost the best on the market. Thus we find Wi-Fi 6 with a cumulative speed of 6600 Mb/s and an RJ45 port with 2.5G standard.
In detail, the wireless part of the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 supports the 802.11ax standard, i.e. Wi-Fi 6 with a speed of 574 Mb/s on the 2.4 GHz frequency band, 1200 Mb/s on a 5 GHz frequency band and 4801 Mb/s on a second 5 GHz frequency band. A small hitch is that, by default, the backhaul (communication between modules) is carried out on this frequency band. This is a sensible choice on the part of Asus, which prefers to ensure the reliability of the connection between the modules rather than pure speed. However, it is possible to deactivate this feature so that each frequency band provides its backhaul.
There are four RJ45 ports for connecting a wired network. The first blue port (2.5G standard) is reserved for the connection to the internet box (WAN port), while three Gigabit Ethernet ports provide the connection to local devices (LAN). Carrying out the backhaul in 2.5G will not be possible since the router module port is reserved exclusively for the WAN.
It should be noted that the connectivity is completed by a USB 3.0 port that allows a storage unit to be connected and accessed from the local network.
Regarding user interaction, a power button is located between the RJ45 ports and the power socket, while the reset and WPS (Wi-Fi pairing) buttons are located under the module; we’ve seen more practical.
Asus has kept the design of the ZenWiFi AX XT8 relatively simple. The modules are all identical and form a white block with rounded ends. Within this curvature, the grooves are perforated for ventilation. A gold “Asus” logo is placed on the front of the module, along with a customisable status light.
Each XT8 module is 16.5 cm high and 16 cm wide, with a thickness of 7.5 cm. The weight is 735g, which is in the upper mid-range, far from the 200g of the Mercusys Halo H80x modules, but still much lighter than the record weight of the Asus ZenWiFi ET12 (1.2kg).
As usual with Asus, the user is expected to know the basics of setting up a Wi-Fi mesh system. The application, therefore, skips over the connections to be made and goes straight to the configuration.
As a reminder, connect the first module (blue plug) directly to your box with an Ethernet cable. Then, you have to place the second module halfway between the area to be covered and the first module. Connecting the second module by cable is unnecessary as the two modules communicate via Wi-Fi.
The configuration can be done via the Asus Router application or via the web administration interface, the first being the easiest to handle for an uninformed user.
The procedure is exactly the same as for the ZenWiFi Pro ET12: you have to enter the model, then define the credentials to access the settings and finally name the Wi-Fi network that will be created. At this stage, you have two options:
A single Wi-Fi name (SSID) that groups all frequency bands. The devices automatically connect to the fastest band. The communication between the modules occurs on the 5 GHz bands at 4200 Mb/s, which is, therefore, inaccessible to the devices.
The second possibility separates the three frequency bands. Therefore, you have 3 SSID names, and communication between the modules takes place on each frequency band. The first option has the advantage of being simple, but some connected objects may be incompatible with this type of operation.
The number of settings available in the application is simply enormous. Nothing is missing: VPN, port forwarding, DHCP… everything is there, and even more. A tour of the web administration interface (192.168.50.1) will make your head spin. It is also possible to configure the USB port for a printer, a 3G/4G key, etc. In short, enough to occupy long winter evenings.
The parental control allows you to create profiles and assign devices to them. Then, depending on the type of profile selected, it is possible to set time slots and restrict access to certain types of sites (online betting, pornography, violence, etc.). A good starting point that will need to be refined with parental controls in the device.
To evaluate the performance of the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 mesh system, we connected the router to our provider’s box and connected a laptop via an adapter to the 2.5 Gb/s socket. We transfer a file (a disk image) of 4.73 GB from the first laptop to a second one equipped with an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E chip, but also to a fixed desktop PC located upstairs and connected to a Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 PCIe card equipped with an external antenna, and updated with the Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip.
The performance on the 5 GHz frequency band is satisfactory. As close as we can get to the router module, we reach almost 800 Mb/s download (point 1). Connected to the satellite module (point 2), the throughput remains high despite the backhaul and reaches more than 650 Mb/s, which reflects the efficiency of having a frequency band dedicated to this use. As we move further away, the data rates remain very good and drop to around 350 Mb/s at our furthest measurement point (point 5).
On the 2.4 GHz frequency band, the data rates are far from spectacular. At the closest point, the data rates are almost 200 Mb/s. As you move further away, the data rates decrease reasonably; at our furthest point (point 5), the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 maintains 135 Mb/s in download. This is enough to fully enjoy SVOD services.
The Asus Zenwifi AX XT8 is relatively economical. The router module consumes 8 watts when idle and 10 watts when in use. The module that acts as a satellite consumes 1 watt less. Therefore, for a pair of XT8s, you should expect 15 watts at rest and 19 watts under load.
The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 offers high data rates and more than complete settings. The possibilities the USB 3.0 port offers and the possibility of managing an internet connection higher than Gigabit, thanks to its multi-gig WAN socket, are particularly noteworthy.
ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System(XT8), Coverage Up to 5500 sq ft or 510 m or 6+ Rooms, 6.6 Gbps WiFi, 3 SSIDs, 2.5G Port, White
|Current Price||£399.99||September 23, 2023|
|Highest Price||£475.48||February 25, 2023|
|Lowest Price||£261.68||July 4, 2023|
Last price changes
|£399.99||September 13, 2023|
|£403.99||September 11, 2023|
|£399.99||September 6, 2023|
|£339.99||September 4, 2023|
|£273.84||September 2, 2023|
ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8 2PK) - Whole Home Coverage up to 5500 sq.ft & 6+ rooms, AiMesh, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Easy Setup, 3 SSID, Parental Control, Black
|Current Price||$349.99||September 23, 2023|
|Highest Price||$399.99||August 16, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$298.52||September 6, 2023|
Last price changes
|$349.99||September 19, 2023|
|$348.99||September 18, 2023|
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|$349.96||September 12, 2023|