With the release of two asus zenwifi wifi 6e product series asus et8 and et12, it doesn’t mean that the previous asus zenwifi ax series have become less popular. At least above the flagship product asus zenwifi xt8 there are still other ultimate products, so is netgear with its flagship orbi rbk852 you can find new ultimate one with its rbke963. See also asus zenwifi et12 vs orbi rbke962.
So which one is more valueable between the popular asus zenwifi xt8 and orbi rbk852?
Asus zenwifi xt8 vs orbi
Before the release of the Asus Zenwifi Ax series, which its debut is asus zenwifi xt8, Asus had released rt-ax92u Aimesh which turned out to be less popular than the Zenwifi series. On the other hand, netgear with orbi rbk852 is the mesh wifi-6 debut product and is still popular to date even though the ultimate Orbi rbke963 has been released to the market.
Asus zenwifi ax series
Besides asus zenwifi xt8 that is the first model of asus zenwifi ax series, asus released two more other lower model series: asus zenwifi xd4 mini and asus zenwifi xd6 series. What is the differences between these three series of asus zenwifi ax?
You can refer to table 1 below for spec comparison between these three zenwifi ax series. Xt8 is the flagship product for asus zenwifi ax series, and the other two series come later to compete with other lower segment products available in the market including deco x60 and deco x20.
You have three options of asus zenwifi ax products you can choose, for the top notch in ax asus xt8 is the choice. In the middle tier asus xd6 would be the option, while the entry level tier asus xd4 is the option.
Note: so far Asus showcases few models of zenwifi series including asus zenwifi xt9, asus zenwifi xd5 and the top notch one is asus zenwifi pro xt12. All of the last products are based on wifi 6 technology. However, they are not available in some of online stores so far. When they are available in the market you will have more options of asus zenwifi ax series you may select which one is to meet your business.
Table 1. asus zenwifi ax series
|Signal rates||574 2×2 1,201 2×2 4804 4×4||574 2×2 4804 Mbps 4×4||1,201 2×2 574 Mbps 2×2|
|Antennas||6x internal antennas||6x internal antennas||2x dual band internal antennas|
|Processor||Quad core 1.5GHz CPU||1.5GHz tri-core CPU|
|Memory||256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM||256 MB Flash + 512 MB RAM||256 MB Flash + 256 MB RAM|
|Ethernet Ports||1x 2.5Gbps WAN; 3x 1.0Gbps||1x 1.0 Gbps WAN; 3x 1.0 Gbps||1x 1.0 Gbps WAN/LAN 1x 1.0 LAN|
|USB Ports||1x USB 3.1 Gen 1||N/A||N/A|
|Dimension and weight||160 x 75 x 161.5 mm / weight 716 g||126.4 x 59.05 x 129.7 mm Weight: 435 g||90 x 90 x 80 mm Weight: 295 g|
|Aiprotection||Aiprotection pro||Aiprotection pro||Airpotetcion classic|
All the three asus zenwifi ax series come with free asus aiprotection either pro or classic version.
Probably you don’t realize that while surfing the internet you click on sites that can download files that turn out to be dangerous malware and can steal your personal data information such as banking data, credit card or identity card. That’s why asus aiprotection works to protect the network and all connected devices from all internet threats.
What is the difference between aiprotection pro and classic?
In general, AIProtection Classic is only installed on Asus entry level routers, including asus ax1800 zenwifi xd4 mini. The aiprotection pro version is available on all middle to upper class asus routers including the asus zenwifi xd6 and xt8. What missing in aiprotection classic are ips (intrusion prevention system), content filter and internet activity dashboard.
Both aiprotection pro and classic are powered by trend micro cloud database and they will update automatically into your routers whenever security patch is available to update.
Now, we’ll take xt8 the ultimate model of asus zenwifi ax series and compare it with ultimate model of orbi mesh wifi ax series (orbi rbk852).
Asus zenwifi xt8 vs Orbi rbk852
One of most popular model offered by netgear in mesh wifi 6 technology is orbi rbk852 that consists of orbi rbr850 router and one orbi rbs850 satellite. Orbi products are not like other mesh wifi routers in general that each node can work either as router or satellite. Today you can find newer model offered by netgear, the orbi rbke963 based on wifi 6e with the addition of new 6ghz radio band.
The asus xt8 could be a blow for orbi rbk852 in the competition for a mid-range router model given the huge price difference between these two products. Which one gives the better value between these two products? The following table 2 below shows you spec and feature comparison between the two products you can use as reference in seeing the comparison between the two products.
If you expect a wifi system that can accommodate larger number of wifi devices, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz based devices, these two products provide almost the same bandwidth. Although there are differences in the bandwidth capacity of each radio band. Orbi offers @2.4ghz band bandwidth twice as wide as xt8. However, the total bandwidth @5ghz band xt8 offers wider bandwidth capacity.
However, not all the total bandwidth is used for connected devices. There is few slice of the bandwidth used for communication between nodes, either dedicated or share bandwidth. Both products use dedicated wifi backhaul approach. However, there is slightly different method. With asus zenwifi xt8 you can select which @5ghz radio band is used as dedicated backhaul, either 1,200Mbps @5ghz or 4,800Mbps @5ghz. If number of xt8 nodes is three or more, it’s better to choose 4,800mbps @5GHz as the backhaul. So, total bandwidth for connected devices is only 1,800Mbps. And when you select @1,200mbps as backhaul, you have up to 4,800Mbps for connected devices @5ghz band. It is better if you have two nodes xt8.
When you compare with orbi rbk852, orbi uses 2,400mbps as dedicated backhaul and leaves the other two bands for clients connections up to 3,600mbps (2,400 + 1,200) both bands. If you choose orbi rbk852 (two nodes), you have wider bandwidth capacity for backhaul and for connected devices @5ghz up to 2,400mbps.
Besides wifi backhaul, both asus zenwifi ax and orbi rbk852 give you wired Ethernet backhaul option using Ethernet ports with wired connection between nodes. Wired backhaul is more reliable than wifi backhaul since it is not affected by signal interference like wifi backhaul that is prone to signal interference.
Both Asus and Orbi come with more Ethernet ports instead of two like most mesh wifi in generals such as deco x90 or eero, you can configure the wired backhaul by using star topology or daisy chain wired backhaul.
You can configure wired backhaul only if you have configured them using wifi backhaul.
Although there are some minor differences between asus zenwifi xt8 and Orbi rbk852, in principle they use the same wifi 6 technology. However, because the embedded processor is slightly different, technically the performance of the two products is also different.
Take a look at table 2 on processor row see that each of them is embedded with a similar quad core processor but the clock speed is different, so is the capacity of Flash memory and RAM that comes with the processor is also different. And technically the performance of each product will also be different; moreover the memory capacity embedded is also different.
One thing that makes these products either xt8 or Orbi rbk852 very useful is the presence of the super fast 2.5Gbps WAN port so you can take advantage of the new DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem Surfboard s33 or Netgear cm2000 which are also equipped with 2.5Gbps port. If your internet provider supports gigabit internet services up to 2Gbps, your modem and mesh router are ready to work with multi-gig internet network.
We have discussed above that asus aiprotection pro is a free lifetime network protection offered by asus powered by trend micro with its cloud database and updated seamlessly and automatically to the asus gears. This lifetime built-in aiprotection is advantageous in protecting our network against any threats.
Similar product is also offered by Orbi with its netgear armour services, however it is not a free option. However, it is one year free. Regarding network protection software, asus zenwifi ax is more valuable than orbi. Even though most customers in general will consider network security is the last thing to take care of, too sad.
So here is spec comparison table you may read more details.
Table 1 Asus Zenwifi vs Orbi
|Model||Asus XT8 Zenwifi (2pk)||Orbi rbk852 (2pk)|
|Wifi technology||Simultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6600 with 8 steams||Simultaneous Tri-band mesh ax6000 wifi 6 with 8-streams|
Up to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz 2×2;
up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1 2×2;
up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2 4×4;
Up to 1200Mbps @2.4GHz 4×4;
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1 2×2;
up to 2,400 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2 2×2
|Coverage||Up to 5,500 sq ft (2pack) / 2,750 sq ft / unit||Up to 5,000 sq ft / 2,500 sq ft /unit|
|Backhaul link||You can configure which 5GHz band is used as backhaul link, or optional wired Ethernet backhaul||2,400 Mbps @5GHz band is used as dedicated backhaul link and optional wired backhaul|
|Antennas||6x internal antennas||Eight (8) high performance internal antennas with high-powered ampliﬁers|
|SSID||Single network name or one name each band||Single network name|
|Ethernet Ports||1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN x 1,|
3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 3
|1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN x 1,|
3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 3
|USB Port||1x USB 3.1 gen 1||N/A|
|Processor||1.5GHz quad core processor with 256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM||Powerful Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor with 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM|
|Protection||Free Commercial Grade Security & Advanced Parental Controls powered by Trend Micro||Netgear armour network protection. One year free subscription.|
See that orbi rbk852 is tagged with more expensive price than asus zenwifi xt8. To read more details click the product’s link below and see current price, and in certain events you may find some deals with better prices to shop in Amazon (#ads).
The new TP-link Deco x90 was released Apr 2021 at a cheaper price than the two competitors Orbi rbk852 and Asus zenwifi xt8. Will the Deco x90 manage to match the previous Deco x60? We will see later. Note that the prices above may not be the same as the current prices.