Asus has recently introduced two new product lines for wifi 6e, the Asus ET8 and ET12 Zenwifi series. However, this does not indicate a decrease in popularity for the previous Asus Zenwifi AX series. Above the flagship Asus Zenwifi XT8, there are still other high-end products available. Similarly, Netgear’s Orbi RBK852, while still popular, now has a new ultimate option with the RBKE963. See also asus zenwifi et12 vs orbi rbke962.
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So, which of the two popular options, Asus Zenwifi XT8 and Orbi RBK852, offers more value?
Asus zenwifi xt8 vs orbi
Prior to the release of the Asus Zenwifi AX series, which debuted with the Asus Zenwifi XT8, Asus had already released the RT-AX92U Aimesh. However, the Zenwifi series has gained more popularity than the Aimesh. Netgear’s Orbi RBK852, on the other hand, was the first mesh wifi-6 product and remains popular despite the release of the ultimate Orbi RBKE963 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.
A newer and faster model of the Asus Zenwifi XT8 is now available, called the Asus Zenwifi XT9. This updated version boasts a higher bandwidth (ax7800) and faster speed compared to the XT8, which only has ax6600. The XT9 is also equipped with a slightly faster processor than the XT8. To compare the Asus XT9 with other mesh wifi systems, refer to the Asus XT9 vs Deco X75 Pro comparison.
Asus Zenwifi AX Series Comparison
What are the differences between the three series of Asus Zenwifi AX?
Table 1 below provides a spec comparison between the three series. The XT8 is the flagship product of the Asus Zenwifi AX series, while the other two series were introduced later to compete with lower segment products such as the Deco X60 and Deco X20. You have three options to choose from in the Asus Zenwifi AX product line: for the top-notch AX performance, the Asus XT8 is the best option; the Asus XD6 falls in the middle tier, and the entry-level option is the Asus XD4.
Please note that Asus currently offers a limited number of models in its Zenwifi series, which include the Asus Zenwifi XT9, Asus Zenwifi XD5, and the top-of-the-line Asus Zenwifi Pro XT12, all of which are based on wifi 6 technology. These products are available for purchase on various online stores such as Amazon and Best Buy. With the addition of these new models, you now have more options to choose from in the Asus Zenwifi AX series that can best suit your business needs.
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.
All three Asus Zenwifi AX series come with free Asus Aiprotection, either in its Pro or Classic version. It is important to note that when surfing the internet, clicking on certain sites can result in downloading files that can turn out to be dangerous malware, which can steal personal data such as banking and credit card information or identity card details. This is why Asus Aiprotection works to protect the network and all connected devices from potential internet threats.
What is the difference between aiprotection pro and classic?
So, what is the difference between Aiprotection Pro and Classic? Generally, AIProtection Classic is only installed on entry-level Asus routers, including the Asus AX1800 Zenwifi XD4 Mini. The Aiprotection Pro version, on the other hand, is available on all middle to upper-class Asus routers, such as the Asus Zenwifi XD6, XT8 and XT9. What are 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 automatically update into your routers whenever security patches are available.
Now, let’s take the XT8, the ultimate model of the Asus Zenwifi AX series, and compare it to the ultimate model of the Orbi Mesh Wifi AX series, the Orbi RBK852.
Asus zenwifi xt8 vs Orbi rbk852
Netgear offers a popular mesh wifi 6 technology model known as Orbi RBK852, comprising of the Orbi RBR850 router and an Orbi RBS850 satellite. Unlike other mesh wifi routers, Orbi products have nodes that can only operate as a router or satellite. The update model for Rbk850 is the Orbi Rbk860 which comes with multi-gig 10Gbps WAN port.
Netgear has also released an ultimate model, the Orbi RBKE963, based on wifi 6e technology with a new 6GHz radio band.
Given the significant price difference between the Asus XT8 and Orbi RBK852 mid-range router models, the former may pose a threat to the latter in terms of competition. To determine which of these products offers better value, refer to table 2 below for a comprehensive comparison of their specifications and features.
If you require a wifi system that can support a larger number of devices operating on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, both products offer comparable bandwidth. However, there are differences in the bandwidth capacity of each radio band. Orbi provides twice the bandwidth capacity for the @2.4GHz band compared to the XT8. Conversely, the XT8 offers a wider bandwidth capacity for the @5GHz band.
It’s important to note that not all of the total bandwidth available is utilized for connected devices, as a portion of it is reserved for communication between nodes, either as dedicated or shared bandwidth. Both the Asus ZenWifi XT8 and Orbi RBK852 use a dedicated wifi backhaul approach, but with slightly different methods.
The Asus ZenWifi XT8 allows you to select which @5GHz radio band is used as the dedicated backhaul, either 1,200Mbps @5GHz or 4,800Mbps @5GHz. If you have three or more nodes of the XT8, it’s advisable to choose 4,800Mbps @5GHz as the backhaul for a total bandwidth of 1,800Mbps for connected devices. However, if you opt for the @1,200Mbps backhaul, you can get up to 4,800Mbps for connected devices @5GHz, which is ideal for two nodes of the XT8.
Comparatively, the Orbi RBK852 uses 2,400Mbps as the dedicated backhaul, leaving the other two bands for client connections up to 3,600Mbps (2,400 + 1,200) for both bands. If you choose the Orbi RBK852 with two nodes, you can enjoy wider bandwidth capacity for backhaul and connected devices @5GHz up to 2,400Mbps.
In addition to wifi backhaul, both the Asus ZenWifi AX and Orbi RBK852 also offer the option of wired Ethernet backhaul using Ethernet ports with a wired connection between nodes. Wired backhaul is considered more reliable than wifi backhaul as it is not susceptible to signal interference like wifi backhaul is.
Asus and Orbi both provide more Ethernet ports than most mesh wifi systems, which typically only have two ports. You can set up the wired backhaul using a star topology or daisy chain wired backhaul. However, it’s important to note that you can only configure the wired backhaul if you have previously set up the nodes using wifi backhaul.
While the Asus ZenWifi XT8 and Orbi RBK852 use the same wifi 6 technology, there are some minor differences between them. This is due to the fact that they use slightly different embedded processors, which affects their performance.
If you look at Table 2, you’ll notice that both products are equipped with similar quad-core processors, but with different clock speeds. Additionally, the Flash memory and RAM capacity that come with the processor are also different. As a result, the performance of each product will differ from the other, and the embedded memory capacity will also be different.
The presence of a super fast 2.5Gbps WAN port makes the XT8 and Orbi RBK852 products highly useful. This allows you to take advantage of new DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems such as the Surfboard S33 or Netgear CM2000, which are also equipped with 2.5Gbps ports. If your internet provider supports gigabit internet services up to 2Gbps, your modem and mesh router can work together to create a multi-gig internet network.
Asus AiProtection Pro is a free lifetime network protection service offered by Asus. It is powered by Trend Micro’s cloud database and is seamlessly and automatically updated to Asus devices. This built-in network protection is highly advantageous in protecting against any threats. Orbi also offers a similar product with its Netgear Armour services, although it is not free. However, it is available for free for one year. In terms of network protection software, Asus ZenWiFi AX is more valuable than Orbi. While most customers may not prioritize network security, it is important to take care of it.
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).
- Click here to SHOP Asus zenwifi xt8 (#ad)
- Or Click here to SHOP Orbi rbk852 (#ad) Or Click here to see it in Best Buy
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.
See Asus debut in wifi 7 technology applied to Asus RT-BE96U BE19000 wifi 7 router, see also how this product perform compared to TP-Link Archer BE800.