Check Out My New ASUS RT-AC3200 Router: Unboxing, Setup, and Features Overview
I got myself a new router. It’s faster, has some sweet parental controls, and looks like a spider when you turn it upside down. What’s not to love?
Hey, everyone, I just bought myself a new router. It’s the ASUS RT-AC3200 Wireless-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security ($187 on Amazon). I bought it for three reasons:
- Faster network speeds by upgrading from wireless 802.11n to 802.11ac. Wireless N hit the market in 2007 with theoretical speeds up to 450 Mbps. Wireless AC hit the streets in 2013 and has theoretical speeds up to 1300 Mbps. That’s three times fasters than 802.11n. Now, for the money I pay to Comcast/XFINITY, I’m never going to get close to either of those speeds. But where it matters is on my home network, where I’ve got big photo backups, streaming videos, and other data flying back and forth between my router and my NAS, my Apple TV, and my computers. So, I’m pretty jazzed for wireless AC.
- Awesome built-in parental controls from AiProtection with Trend Micro. Earlier, I covered rudimentary ways to keep an eye on kids with your Netgear router and block websites using OpenDNS. ASUS’s AiProtection with Trend Micro takes it to the next level. I’ll write a few articles on that soon.
- Built-in network protection against malware, viruses, and other security threats. Similar to OpenDNS, AiProtection with Trend Micro also intelligently protect your home network from known malicious activity on the web. It not only protects you from being infected, but it also stops your machines from infecting and attacking others.
This is an updated version of the model that Steve has been using for years. In the next few weeks, I will take a closer look at some of the parental controls and threat protection features. But for now, I’ll give you a brief overview of the router and show you how easy it is to set it up and why it’s currently our favorite wireless router.
Note: These steps are specific to my ASUS RT-AC3200 router, but they’ll be virtually the same for other ASUS routers, too.
Unboxing the ASUS RT-AC3200 Router
Unboxing and assembling the ASUS RT-AC32000 router is easy. Inside, you’ll find:
- The ASUS RT-AC3200 router itself
- Five antennas
- ASUS RT-AC3200 power supply with a nice Velcro cord wrap
- An Ethernet cable
- ASUS RT-AC3200 support CD (not required for installation)
- ASUS RT-AC3200 Quick Start Guide
- ASUS VIP Member Warranty Notice
The first step is to screw on all the Wi-Fi antennas. They go on the gold male antenna connectors. It doesn’t matter which one goes where—they are all the same.
The ASUS RT-AC3200 kind of looks foreboding with all those antennas poking out. But if you flip it upside down and apply some googly eyes (not included), it totally looks like a spider.
Anyway, the next step is to connect your router to your modem and then connect your computer to your router using the supplied Ethernet cable.
Here it is connecting to my modem:
Note: You can theoretically set up your ASUS router from your phone by connecting to the ASUS WiFI network. You’ll be taken to the router.asus.com Log In page, where you can complete the same steps below. However, things can get a little sketchy over WiFi, so it might be easier to do this on a computer.
If you are using a computer, connect to your ASUS router using the Ethernet cable. Open up your web browser. You should automatically be redirected to the router setup page. If not, go to http://router.asus.com.
The first time you go to router.asus.com, you’ll see the Quick Internet Setup wizard. On the Check Connection page, you’ll be able to change your login information. Absolutely change your Router Login Name away from the default “admin.” Give yourself a strong but memorable password, too. On the one hand, if someone gets your administrator credentials for your router, it’s game over. On the other hand, if you forget your password, the only way to access your router’s configuration is to reset it (there’s a small reset button on the back that you press and hold for 10 seconds). Not huge to set it up again but, just something to keep in mind.
Note also that this is not the username and password you use to connect your wireless network. We’ll set that up later.
Next, follow the steps for setting up your internet connection. For a home setup, you’ll most likely answer “No” to this first question.
The Router Setup page is where you choose your passwords. This is a tri-band router, so there will be three different wireless networks you can connect to. The 5 GHz ones are for wireless AC. They are faster if you have a wireless AC network adapter, but they have a shorter range. If in doubt, use the 2.4 GHz network for your main devices. All the clients will “see” each other regardless of what band they are on.
You don’t have to choose a unique password for each network. But you can, for example, if you want to restrict the bands to certain users. For example, perhaps you want to put all the kids on the slower 2.4 GHz band and reserve the speedy 5 GHz network for yourself. That’s all very simple by setting up unique Network Names (SSID) and passwords.
After that, you should be good to go! You can go ahead and unplug your router from your computer now and connect over WiFi.
Here’s my setup. The white box in the middle is my cable modem. The white box on the right is my old Airport Extreme, which I’m replacing.
Once you’re up and running, there’s one last thing you should do before you start: update the firmware. I’ll cover that in another post very, very soon.
ASUS Router Articles Sneak Preview and Screen Shots
I’m working on some more articles about all the awesome features this ASUS router has. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come:
AiProtection – Parental Controls – Web & Apps Filters and Time Scheduling
USB Application – Media Server – Network Place (Samba Share) / Cloud Disk – FTP Share – My router has a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port (speedy!)
Adaptive QoS – Bandwidth Monitor – QoS – Web History
Traffic Analyzer – Statistic – Traffic Monitor
Honestly, it’s not very often I get this excited about a new purchase; however, as more and more IoT gadgets thirst for wireless access to the Internet, having a solid Wi-fi router is a must-have as it’s the foundation of your network. This ASUS router is by far the best router I’ve reviewed…. ever!
Do you have an ASUS router? Considering one? Which features do you like the most? Which features have you been meaning to try but haven’t yet? Let me know in the comments. We’ll cover everything there is to cover about ASUS routers in future posts.
Thank you for the review on the ASUS router. Those of us who are not techy, need information in detail and simple. You hit a home run!!
Does it have a guest network option – where users (such as grandchildren and their buddies) CANNOT see any other device on the network. They just get access to the Internet. My Asus router, RT-AC66U, has this valuable feature.
I can confirm that’s a YES. You can setup multiple GUEST networks actually and even lock them down with time limits so they vanish after a certain amount of time.
I upgraded to the ASUS RT-AC3200 from the RT-AC68U. Really happy with the upgrade AND, you can link them together so add even more coverage in your house.
Really love ASUS gear.
Anyway – @Jack, nice review. Long-time groovy reader. Thnx for confirming I bought the right modem. ;)
I just bought the TP Link Archer C-1900 and it was an absolute bear to setup! It wanted to know if my ISP was “dynamic or static” (like I would know), but it would determine this for me if I allowed it. It said I was “static”, then I hit the brick wall with the dam-ed thing. In desperation I called Comcast and got a very nice lady from the Philippine’s who told me I was a “dynamic”. Then she told me she would help me finish the set up as she gets this same kind of desperation call all the time. She patiently got me setup shortly, and I gotta tell you that I could not have done it by myself.
What I like is that all the Youtube stuff on electronics are always showing you how to unbox the devices. Duhhhh! Show me how to set it up, wood-ja!?! This latest ordeal confirms my belief that all nerds are like Sheldon, Wolowitz, Leonard, and Raj. Long on technical expertise but painfully shallow in common sense, and the ability to communicate their thoughts w/o missing vital steps, over and over.
Hey cooper – I know what you mean, man, sometimes you just want step by step instructions! That’s what we usually do here but this was just a quick overview of the router.
Anyway, the thing about static vs. dynamic is that it varies depending on your setup. If you’ll notice in my screenshot of the ASUS setup page, they tell you to call your ISP if you don’t know since they are really the only ones who can tell you definitively if you don’t know. 99% of the time it’s dynamic, but in your case you did the absolute right thing calling Comcast.
As much as I complain about Comcast and cable companies in general, I’ve had very good experiences calling tech support.
Nice, I love my RT-AC68U.
Also for ASUS router owners there is a custom firmware available that is based on the original Asus firmware but includes bug fixes and some enhancements. Check it out at https://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/about
Is this your software Paul or are you just a user?
No it’s an individual developer Eric Sauvageau, I just use the firmware.
Jack, the ASUS Router is great. But if you want the best, look for a Fritz!Box with full German technology. They there just great and the daily printouts to your mailbox are just the best for monitoring daily activity. I respect your choice Jack but there is no doubt the Fritz!Box 7490 or later model are certainly worth a look.
I recently purchased a Google On Hub router, and am fairly pleased with it. The set-up was very simple, and I love that I can see every device that is accessing the internet, and how much bandwidth each is using. Our internet is VERY slow, so keeping an eye on this, especially when there can be as many as 13 devices sharing a 110/kbs connection, is critical.
I do wish their were parental filters that would allow me to not only restrict the amount of time individual profiles are allowed to be online, but also that would block adult websites, and log the websites visited. I would also like to be able to shut down/pause someone’s internet at a moment’s notice.
The On Hub router is supposed to be able to set a particular device as priority, meaning it should get all of the bandwidth it needs, and then everything else can have what is left over, but this feature doesn’t seem to be working.
Anyway, that’s my wish list and thoughts on the Google On Hub. I am not especially techy, so the On Hub’s simplicity is one of it’s strengths in my opinion.
The 3200 will do that. You can set up any kind of restriction you like.
Just wondering how important the wi-fi router is when i live out in the country about 20 miles from nowhere. Our connection speed is 9m download and .8m upload. We use a belkin router that i know nothing about. Would getting a new router help us we have lots of users in our family so overloaded a lot. Thanks for all the great help on this site. Its the only help site i use most of the time!
So, I own this ASUS router so I’m speaking from experience. One thing the ASUS has is QOS. QOS = Quality of Service. What it does is allow your to prioritize one type of traffic vs. another.
For example, you can put web surfing or gaming at the bottom of the list so those users will have slower speeds vs. video users. QOS might be the way to go for you.
Another nice thing about this Router is the ability to lock out WHO can use the internet and WHEN they can use it. Really simple menus also.
Hope this helps?
Thanks Ill do some comparing but I truly value your advice so will probably try the ASUS solution.