Ac5300 asus: ASUS WiFi Routers|WiFi Routers|ASUS USA

ASUS RT-AC5300 Wireless-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router Reviewed

At a glance
Product ASUS Wireless-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router (RT-AC5300) [Website]
Summary Broadcom-based three-radio AC5300 4×4 router
Pros • 900+ Mbps throughput when bridged to RT-AC88U
Cons • MU-MIMO not supported
• Wireless bridge not supported
• Slow USB 3.0 performance

Typical Price: $173 Buy From Amazon


ASUS’ RT-AC5300 Wireless-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router is the second AC5300 router I’ve tested and ASUS’ second based on Broadcom’s new 4×4 radio (the RT-AC88U / RT-AC3100 was the first). The AC5300 has two 5 GHz radios vs. the AC88U’s two and uses Broadcom’s XStream technology.

Broadcom’s 4×4 routers are supposed to support MU-MIMO, but none announced so far have shipped with this feature enabled, including the AC5300. As I was writing up this review. ASUS sorta released alpha firmware enabling MU-MIMO. If you click on the posted link, you get a PDF with this message:

Wi-Fi Alliance MU-MIMO certification standard is not final and MU-MIMO have compatibility issues between different chipset in this stage.
We will continually release new firmware to improve MU-MIMO performance.
If you want to get the alpha firmware for early stage testing, please send mail to [email protected] and use “RT-AC5300 MU-MIMO firmware” as mail title.

I don’t waste my time with alpha firmware, so MU-MIMO testing will wait until ASUS ponies up at least a beta quality release for MU-MIMO. By the way, I’ve never seen Wi-Fi Certification used as an excuse for a wireless product maker not releasing something, so I don’t buy ASUS’ explanation. I think the real reason is Broadcom hasn’t fully baked MU-MIMO yet.


The AC5300 is big in both size and price. Both it and the R8500 list for $400. Size-wise, the AC5300 actually has a smaller footprint than the R8500 (photo below), even with its eight removable external antennas. There is a lot of plastic in those antennas, mainly for the sake of design coolness. But their weight made about half the antennas in my two review samples easily flop over if they were not set straight up or the router moved. This got really annoying during testing.

ASUS RT-AC5300 on top of NETGEAR R8500

For cooling, the bottom of the router is mostly open except for a 2.75″ x 2.75″ solid square for the serial number label smack in the middle and triangular feet in four corners. The top has much narrower ventilation slits hidden in the maze-like design. There are no screw slots for wall / ceiling mounting.

The meager set of indicators lights sits on the front panel with tiny grey icons to indicate function. I really wish designers would use high contrast markings and larger print; I can hardly read the damned things, even using a flashlight! Note there’s only one indicator for all four LAN ports. For $400 and the target audience, I’d expect link / activity lights on each port.

ASUS RT-AC5300 callouts


Short term confidentiality expired, so I was able to use the FCC photos for most component identification. The photos are from the original May 2015 filing; photos for the November 2015 Class II Permissive change have not been released yet.

ASUS RT-AC88U FCC Class II changes

The photo below shows the innards with the top cover removed. The Ethernet connector slot in the cover indicates it is vertically flipped 180°. It looks like the fan was positioned over the left side hole in the heatsink. According to the Class II change, the fan has been removed.

RT-AC5300 inside

All key components are summarized in Table 1 and compared to the R8500 and ASUS’ RT-AC88U, which has only one 5 GHz radio. Note the Realtek switch is clearly in the FCC filing photos and the Class II change letter doesn’t mention removing it. But I’m puzzled why it would be included, given the Broadcom BCM4709C0 has its own built-in switch supporting aggregation.

CPU Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG dual-core @ 1.4 GHz Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG dual-core @ 1.4 GHz Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG dual-core @ 1.4 GHz
Switch Realtek RTL8365MB or in BCM4709C0KFEBG in BCM4709C0KFEBG & BCM53125 4 ports in BCM4709C0KFEBG + four ports in Realtek RTL8365MB
RAM 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB
Flash 128 MB 128 MB 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio – BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x4)
– BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x4)
– BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– Skyworks SE2623L 2. 4 GHz power amp (x4)
– Skyworks SKY85201-11 2.4 GHz SPDT switch w/ LNA (x4)
5 GHz radio 1 – BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
– BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
– BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
– Skyworks SKY85605-11 5 GHz SPDT switch w/ LNA (x4)
5 GHz radio 2 – BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
– BCM4366 4×4 2.4/5G single chip 802.11ac SoC
– RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
PCIe ASMedia ASM1182e PLX Technology PEX8603 3-lane, 3-port PCIe switch N/A
Table 1: Component summary and comparison

The gallery contains more photos and commentary.

Top of board with heatsinks and RF can tops removed. Components visible are the Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG CPU, two BCM4366 radio SoCs, 512 MB RAM and ASMedia ASM1182e PCIe switch to connect the second 5 GHz radio

Bottom of board with heatsinks covering the two radio modules. The exposed device is 128 MB flash.

Bottom with heatsinks and RF can tops removed. The upper, separate 5 GHz radio gets its own four antennas. That’s the Realtek RTL8365MB switch to the right of the radio. The third BCM4366 radio sits above the interleaved 2.4 and 5 GHz amplifier sections.

Closeup of the 5 GHz radio components. Those are RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA modules

Closeup of one of four 2.4 / 5 GHz radio chains that share the four other antennas. You can more clearly see the RFMD 5 GHz power amps and Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amps.


The RT-AC5300 runs ASUSWRT OS and includes the Game Boost section that includes the new WTFast feature. I covered this in the RT-AC88U review, so won’t repeat myself.

Since this is basically an RT-AC88U with a second 5 GHz radio, the wireless professional settings are also the same. So I again refer you to the AC88U’s review for the details.

One thing the AC5300 has that the AC88U doesn’t is SmartConnect. So here’s what the default settings look like in the Network Tools > Smart Connect Rule screen.

RT-AC5300 Smart Connect Rule

The Smart Connect rules have evolved from those in the RT-AC3200 firmware version I reviewed.

RT-AC3200 Smart Connect Rule

If you look closely, you can see changes in the RSSI levels, PHY Rate and Target Band settings. The latest SmartConnect firmware also adds a VHT selector to the Interface Select and Qualify Procedures section.

SmartConnect remains a neat idea that may or may not work for you. If it doesn’t work, it’s not all SmartConnect’s fault; some devices just don’t like being told which band to connect to and resist efforts to steer them.

Another thing the AC5300 doesn’t have is support for wireless bridging. If you want a 4×4 ASUS router on the other end of a wireless bridge with the AC5300, you’ll need to use an RT-AC3100 or RT-AC88U.

Like the AC88U, the AC5300 supports link aggregation on LAN ports 1 and 2.

RT-AC5300 switch control

Storage Performance

The Router Charts graphs below show the top end of the storage benchmark write and read charts using our standard procedure with USB 3.0 connections and NTFS drive format. I disabled the Reducing USB 3.0 interference setting in the 2.4 GHz Wireless Professional settings tab and also disabled iTunes, DLNA and FTP servers before running the tests.

There is obviously something wrong with the RT-AC5300’s USB 3.0 connection, given it yielded only 31 MB/s write and 34 MB/s read. But I got the same result on multiple attempts, so there is likely something at the driver level that needs tweaking. If you check the other benchmarks, you’ll see similar throughput.

Storage Performance Comparison – USB 3.0 / NTFS

Routing Performance

Routing throughput was measured using our standard router test process with the router loaded with firmware. Table 2 summarizes the results and includes the NETGEAR R8500 and RT-AC88U for comparison. All three routers have similar performance as you would expect from such similar hardware platforms.

Test Description ASUS RT-AC5300 ASUS RT-AC88U NETGEAR R8500
WAN-LAN (Mbps) 751 802 761
LAN-WAN (Mbps) 795 791 809
Total Simultaneous (Mbps) 1362 1406 1546
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 36,468 35,938 38,424
Firmware Version V1.0.0.56_1.0.28
Table 2: Comparative routing performance

For the unidirectional tests, the IxChariot chart below is typical of what we see with other current-generation routers. Uplink throughput is slightly higher than downlink.

ASUS RT-AC5300 routing throughput unidirectional summary

The start of the simultaneous bidirectional test shows the usual IxChariot quirk.

ASUS RT-AC5300 routing throughput bidirectional summary

The drop in WAN > LAN throughput within the one minute test period for both the AC5300 and AC88U is certainly interesting. Note LAN > WAN (uplink) is unaffected in both cases.

ASUS RT-AC88U routing throughput bidirectional summary

Wireless Performance

The ASUS RT-AC88U was tested using our Version 8 Wireless test process with firmware loaded. Our standard practice centers the router’s antennas on the turntable, both front-to-back and side-to-side in the chamber. This method is intended to keep maximum distance between the router under test and chamber antennas as the router rotates during test. All eight antennas were pointed straight up for testing.

I filtered the charts to show 2.4 and 5 GHz down and uplink profile benchmarks for all 4×4 router classes, i.e. AC2350, AC2600, AC3100 and AC5300. The plots show total average throughput for all measurements.

2.4 GHz average throughput comparison – all 4×4 router classes

Keep in mind these results are with AC1900 class (3×3) client with 20 MHz bandwidth mode used in 2.4 GHz. Note that higher router class doesn’t necessarily mean higher performance, even with our 3×3 test client.

5 GHz average throughput comparison – all 4×4 router classes

For a more detailed look at wireless performance using throughput vs. attenuation plots, let’s compare the AC5300 with the only other Broadcom-based 4×4 product tested so far, NETGEAR’s R8500. I also included the ASUS RT-AC88U since it has basically the same radios, but only one 5 GHz.

For 2.4 GHz downlink, the NETGEAR starts out with the highest throughput, but moves below the two ASUSes from 36 dB attenuation onward. The two ASUS routers track pretty closely.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 2.4 GHz Uplink, the AC88U and R8500 both start out significantly above the AC5300. But from the mid 20’s onward, the three track pretty closely.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz downlink has the AC88U tracking below the AC5300 and R8500, which track pretty closely.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 5 GHz uplink, the AC5300 finally wins one!

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Aside from strong signal 2.4 GHz, these three routers seem to have very similar performance.

Four Stream Performance

ASUS supplied two RT-AC5300’s so 4×4 thoughput could be tested. But the AC5300 doesn’t support wireless bridging, so I had to use an RT-AC88U as the bridge partner. It was loaded with firmware.

For the test, the AC5300 and AC88U were set up in open air, eight feet apart, the AC5300 as a router and the AC88U in wireless bridge mode. The in-house 5 GHz network was idle and only beaconing (no traffic). Channel was set to 153, bandwidth mode to 80 MHz and everything else set to defaults.

Only one computer was connected via Gigabit Ethernet at each end of the bridge. Baseline tests using Ethernet between the two computers (both equipped with TP-LINK TG-3468 NICs) show the Ethernet link capable of a bit over 940 Mbps in both directions with each direction run separately. So the hardwired part of the link shouldn’t be a limiting factor.

Running four simultaneous IxChariot connections downlink, yielded 911 Mbps total downlink throughput. The IxChariot plot below shows very stable and equal throughput for all four connections once things settle down after 15 seconds into the test run; the same as seen in AC88U 4×4 testing. The maximum 2165 Mbps link rate was nowhere to be found. 1733 Mbps was the highest reported link (by the RT-AC88U) during this tests.

Four stream throughput – 5 GHz downlink

5 GHz uplink produced an even higher 925 Mbps total throughput, again with very low variation and even distribution among connections.

Four stream throughput – 5 GHz uplink

Since 1024-QAM is supposed to increase the maximum 2.4 GHz link rate to 1000 Mbps, the tests were run again with the 2.4 GHz radio set to Channel 6 and 40 MHz bandwidth mode. The reported link rate was 750 Mbps and the test yielded 444 Mbps of total downlink throughput. Throughput distribution isn’t quite as even as 5 GHz.

Four stream throughput – 2.4 GHz downlink

The 2.4 GHz uplink test produced 513 Mbps. The four connections appear to cluster in two groups.

Four stream throughput – 2.4 GHz uplink

The summary table shows similar performance for the two ASUS routers, with both doing better than the NETGEAR R8500. 5 GHz uplink in particular was poor for the NETGEAR.

Test Description ASUS RT-AC5300 ASUS RT-AC88U NETGEAR R8500
5 GHz downlink 911 912 708
5 GHz uplink 925 896 181
2. 4 GHz downlink 444 580 433
2.4 GHz uplink 513 541 421
Table 3: Four stream wireless throughput comparison (Mbps)

Smart Connect

For Smart Connect testing, the AC5300 was located in the wireless testbed upper test chamber with the door open. The bridge mode R7000 was in the lower chamber with the door closed. This allowed using the testbed programmable attenuators to control the signal and therefore the link rate of the R7000. 20 dB of attenuation was set so the R7000 throughput wouldn’t dominate the other AC devices. All other devices were located within 6 feet of the AC5300 outside the test chamber and all received a nice, strong signal.

ASUS made it really easy to see what was connected where during Smart Connect testing. The screenshot below shows connections for the first of three tests.

ASUS RT-AC5300 device connection table

Since ASUS’ Smart Connect implementation handles 2. 4 / 5 GHz band steering, a single SSID was used for all three radios. This lets the router, device or both figure out what connects to what. Because the NETGEAR R7000 bridge has to be assigned to a band, I set it to 5 GHz, as I have for all Smart Connect testing.

Three trials were run, with the router power-cycled between each. Before each test was run, device connections were checked and IP addresses changed as needed in the IxChariot test file. Devices were not moved to other locations between tests. Connections compiled into Table 4, show only the Moto X smartphone and NETGEAR R7000 bridge changed connection. The Moto X was also the only device connected to 2.4 GHz.

Device Type Network Map ID 1 2 3
Moto X smartphone 1×1 AC android-d4c097 2.4G 2.4G 5G-2
NETGEAR R7000 in client bridge mode 3×3 AC WLANTEST-STA 5G-2 5G-1 5G-2
Laptop with NETGEAR A6200 USB adapter 2×2 AC x220i 5G-2 5G-2 5G-2
iPad 2nd gen 1×1 N SNB – iPad 2 5G-1 5G-1 5G-1
iPod Touch 5th gen 1×1 N Tim-Touch-G5 5G-1 5G-1 5G-1
Table 4: Smart Connect Test devices

Total downlink throughput results for the AC5300, NETGEAR R8500 and a selection of AC3200 class routers are compiled in Table 5…

ASUS RT-AC5300 NETGEAR R8500 D-Link DIR-890L/R ASUS RT-AC3200 TP-LINK Archer C3200
Trial 1 435 451 171 205 282
Trial 2 423 519 322 184 268
Trial 3 357 523 146
Table 5: Smart Connect total downlink throughput (Mbps)

…and uplink in Table 6. This is a fair comparison, because none of the test devices can take advantage of 4×4 link rates. The ASUS and TP-LINK had only two test trials, hence the missing third trial results.

ASUS RT-AC5300 NETGEAR R8500 D-Link DIR-890L/R ASUS RT-AC3200 TP-LINK Archer C3200
Trial 1 319 265 287 353 235
Trial 2 318 328 277 93 232
Trial 3 192 329 268
Table 6: Smart Connect total uplink throughput

The NETGEAR R8500 produced consistently higher total downlink throughput, but the AC5300 was a close second. Both did pretty well for uplink, too, at least for two out of three runs.

All the AC5300’s Smart Connect test IxChariot plots are in the gallery below, so you can see how individual devices behaved.

Top of board with heatsinks and RF can tops removed. Components visible are the Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG CPU, two BCM4366 radio SoCs, 512 MB RAM and ASMedia ASM1182e PCIe switch to connect the second 5 GHz radio

Bottom of board with heatsinks covering the two radio modules. The exposed device is 128 MB flash.

Bottom with heatsinks and RF can tops removed. The upper, separate 5 GHz radio gets its own four antennas. That’s the Realtek RTL8365MB switch to the right of the radio. The third BCM4366 radio sits above the interleaved 2.4 and 5 GHz amplifier sections.

Closeup of the 5 GHz radio components. Those are RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA modules

Closeup of one of four 2.4 / 5 GHz radio chains that share the four other antennas. You can more clearly see the RFMD 5 GHz power amps and Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amps.

Closing Thoughts

Perhaps Wi-Fi router makers have finally jumped the shark with this latest class of “kitchen sink” routers and their too-big-to-be-believed numbers on the box. The 1×1 and 2×2 devices most of us have get no benefit from the two extra transmit / receive chains, no benefit from Broadcom’s “Nitro-QAM” non-standard modulation and no benefit from the MU-MIMO that even ASUS admits won’t be properly baked until sometime this summer. And unless you have a lot of dual-band devices in simultaneous use, you’ll get no benefit from the second 5 GHz radio, either.

But assuming you’re convinced spending $400+ on a AC5300 class router will somehow solve a real Wi-Fi problem you have, the question comes down to NETGEAR or ASUS? Starting with performance; it’s a toss-up. Both have similar performance for wired routing, general Wi-Fi, 4×4 bridge and Smart Connect. Both have flawed USB 3.0 storage performance, although at least the NETGEAR produced decent read throughput.

If MU-MIMO is the itch you need to scratch, NETGEAR at least lets you download its R8500 alpha MU-MIMO firmware vs. asking ASUS for theirs via email. But neither ASUS nor NETGEAR has MU-MIMO for any of its Broadcom-based routers right now they’ll even call beta quality. And ASUS is making noises like it won’t have decent MU-MIMO until this summer.

No matter. ASUS fans in search of the next “future proofing” solution for their Wi-Fi woes will snap up the RT-AC5300 anyway. They’ll even pay above list price, which frankly, is nuts. For everyone else, my advice remains to give this latest round of wallet-emptying Wi-Fi technology a pass, especially if you already have an AC1900 class router. If you have $400+ lying around to try on Wi-Fi experiments, wait another month or so to see if eero’s mesh solution delivers on its promises.

Buy Wireless-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router from Amazon

Discuss this in the Forums

Asus RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router Review

Designed for large homes that require maximum bandwidth for online gaming and 4K video streaming, the Asus RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router ($399.99) uses the latest 802.11ac technology and three individual radio bands to deliver game-worthy throughput to multiple clients. This oversized router is packed with features, including game-enhancement options, Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming, 4X4 data transmissions, and a wealth of management settings. It turned in very respectable scores in our throughput tests, but couldn’t quite match the overall performance of our top pick for high-end routers, the D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R)($349.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window).

Design and Features
Measuring 2.6 by 9.6 by 9.6 inches (HWD), the RT-AC5300 ($299.99 at Newegg)(Opens in a new window) requires a good deal of desktop space, but not as much as the D-Link DIR-895L/R, which measures 5.8 by 16.4 by 10.3 inches. The router uses a matte-black enclosure with red trim and beveled edges, and has eight removable and adjustable antennas. The front edge contains small LED indicators for Power, 2.4GHz and 5GHz band connectivity, WAN and Internet activity, and WPS activity. On the left side is a USB 2. 0 port, as well as buttons for enabling and disabling the LEDs and the Wi-Fi bands and for initializing the WPS security feature. Around back are four Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, and a Power button.

A 1.4GHz dual-core processor powers the RT-AC5300, and the router uses 802.11ac circuitry with three individual radio bands (one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands). It’s an AC5300 device that delivers theoretical throughput speeds of up to 1,000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 2,167Mbps on each of the 5GHz bands. As with the D-Link DIR-895L/R, the RT-AC5300 is a 4X4 router, which means it uses four individual streams to deliver and receive data. It also supports beamforming, sending signals directly to clients, Smart Connect, which automatically chooses the best band for optimal throughput, and MU-MIMO technology for simultaneous rather than sequential streaming.

Asus RT-AC5300 Wireless Tri-Band Router

Similar Products



D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R)

4. 5


TP-Link Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi Router



Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router



Zyxel AC2200 MU-MIMO Dual-Band Wireless Gigabit Router (NBG6815)



Netgear Nighthawk X4S Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800)



D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R)



Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band Router



Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router



Synology Router RT1900ac



Tenda F3 N300 Wireless Router



D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-842)



Netgear AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R6220)

The router is loaded with basic and advanced management settings. The Web-based ASUSWRT management console opens to a home page that displays a list of settings on the left, a network map in the middle, and a system-status synopsis on the right. General settings include Guest Network, AiProtection (which includes Trend Micro malware protection and a full set of Parental Controls), Adaptive QoS (which features a bandwidth monitor, Quality of Service prioritization, and a history of Web-surfing activity), a Traffic Analyzer that displays daily and current network-traffic statistics, USB-peripheral management, and AiCloud 2.0, which allows you to access your USB-attached storage devices from anywhere via the Internet. If you’re a gamer, you’ll appreciate the Game Boost feature, which offers one-click QoS settings that give gaming applications traffic-network priority, and provides you with a free subscription to WTFast, an online game-acceleration service that automatically routes game data to achieve optimal bandwidth.

In the Advanced Settings menu, you can configure Wireless MAC Filter and Radius Server settings, and use the Professional settings to enable MU-MIMO, beamforming, Smart Connect, and wireless scheduling. Here, you can also change channel settings, hide the SSID, and choose an authentication (security) method, such as WPA2 Personal and Auto-Personal or WPA2 Enterprise and Auto-Enterprise. Other Advanced settings include LAN routing, WAN configuration, Port Forwarding and Port Triggering, URL and Keyword Filtering, and VPN Server and Client settings. The Administrative menu has settings that configure the RT-AC5300 as a router, a bridge, or an access point, as well as system settings (name, password, and time zone) and a firmware upgrade option.

Installation and Performance
The Setup Wizard makes it easy to set up the router for first-time use. After connecting the router to my PC, I opened a browser, entered in the address bar, and followed the on-screen instructions to configure basic Internet DHCP and wireless security settings.

An excellent performer in our tests, the router’s score of 101Mbps in our 2.4GHz close-proximity (same-room) throughput test was second only to the Netgear Nighthawk X4S Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800)($139.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) (105Mbps), and a bit faster than the Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router ($499. 99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) (98.9Mbps), the TP-Link Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi Router ($299.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) (98.4Mbps), and the D-Link DIR-895L/R (98.4Mbps). At a distance of 30 feet, the RT-AC5300 scored 80Mbps, just beating the Linksys EA9500 (79.1Mbps), the TP-Link Talon (79.8Mbps), and the D-Link DIR-895L/R (71Mbps). The Netgear R7800 trailed with a score of 52.3Mbps.

See How We Test Wireless Routers

5GHz performance was also solid. Its score of 515Mbps in the close-proximity (same-room) test was identical to the D-Link DIR-895L/R and faster than the Linksys EA9500 (450Mbps), the Netgear R7800 (491Mbps), and the TP-Link Talon (440Mbps). In the 5GHz 30-foot test, its throughput of 320Mbps was a close second to the D-Link DIR-895L/R (324Mbps) and a good deal faster than the TP-Link Talon (237Mbps), the Netgear R7800 (247Mbps), and the Linksys EA9500 (258Mbps).

We tested MU-MIMO throughput using three identical Acer Aspire R13 laptops equipped with Qualcomm’s QCA61x4A MU-MIMO circuitry. In our close-proximity (same-room) test, the RT-AC5300 averaged a total throughput speed of 188Mbps across the three clients. That beat the Zyxel AC2200 MU-MIMO Dual-Band Wireless Gigabit Router (NBG6815) ($138.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) (148Mbps), but trailed the D-Link DIR-895L/R (264.6Mbps), the TP-Link Talon (226Mbps), and the Linksys EA9500 (210.3Mbps). The RT-AC5300’s score of 141Mbps in the 30-foot MU-MIMO test bested the D-Link DIR-895L/R (134.5Mbps), the TP-Link Talon (113Mbps), and the ZyXel NBG6815 (87.3Mbps), but not the Linksys EA9500 (162.3Mbps).

To test file-transfer speeds, we use a 1.5GB folder containing a mix of photo, music, video, and document files and a USB drive. The RT-AC5300 measured a speed of 26.2MBps in the write test and 33.3MBps in the read test. The D-Link DIR-895L/R was much faster, with a write speed of 39.5MBps and a read speed of 78.3MBps. The Linksys EA9500 delivered scores of 35.3MBps (write) and 38.5MBps (read).

The Asus RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router is a smart choice if you require the throughput needed for online gaming and high-resolution video streaming. It’s physically large and carries a hefty price tag, but it delivered very fast 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput scores in our tests, and turned in respectable MU-MIMO throughput scores as well. It offers a generous array of management settings, including Game Boost, which lets you prioritize network traffic for optimal gaming performance, and it’s packed with the latest 802.11ac features, including beamforming and Smart Connect. However, its file-transfer speeds are mediocre. The RT-AC5300 is fast, but the similarly configured D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R), which is $20 less expensive, delivered slightly faster overall performance in our tests and remains our Editors’ Choice for high-end routers.

Asus RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router


  • Very fast 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput in testing.

  • Numerous management settings.

  • MU-MIMO enabled.

The Bottom Line

If you frequently game online or stream 4K video, the Asus RT-AC5300 is a tri-band router that delivers speedy 2. 4GHz and 5GHz throughput and offers an abundance of management settings, as well as Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming.

Like What You’re Reading?

Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Thanks for signing up!

Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Sign up for other newsletters

Comparison of CISCO and Clarent equipment for IP telephony operators / Networks and communications

3DNews Networks and communications IP telephony Comparison of CISCO and Clarent equipment for …

The most interesting news

⇣ Contents

Summing up

Perhaps the reader has an opinion about my negative attitude towards Clarent products and sympathy for CISCO products. Anticipating this, I note that I paid a little more attention to the shortcomings identified in Clarent equipment only because this information is not as popularized as, for example, official periodic CISCO bug reports (CISCO Bug Reports). Clarent, in my opinion, is not too willing to share information about its shortcomings and access to such information is difficult for a simple user.

It is also interesting to note the fact of tacit competition between CISCO AS5300 and Clarent Carrier Gateway in a 4-path T1/E1 configuration. Having approximately the same cost with equal capacity, these two products have gained great popularity among the world’s leading IP telephony operators. Often, a novice IP-telephony operator, when requesting a connection to their networks, is given a technical recommendation: either you use CISCO AS5300 or Clarent Gateway 1200. This clearly specifies the hardware configuration and software version. I will try to consider these two devices in a general comparative table.

Feature name


Clarent Carrier Gateway 1200

Number of digital paths

4 E1 PRI (up to 8) (also R2 declared)

4 E1 PRI (up to 12) (R2, SS7 available)

Voice-data integration capability

Yes + Integration on the same chassis of the dial-up access server and voice gateway


H.323 version 2 support



Number of simultaneous voice ports



RSVP support

Yes (depending on IOS type)

None (only external devices with RSVP)

Fax and data transmission using voice modems



Processor type

Motorola RISC R4700 150 MHz

Intel Pentium II 600 MHz

Operating system

Custom CISCO IOS 12. xxx

Windows NT 4.0 Server + Service Pack 6.a

RAM capacity

128 MB (Initially set to 64 MB)

128 MB

Operating system loading

Flash memory 16 to 32 MB

EIDE hard drive with NTFS

Additional software

CISCO VFCWare version 6.08

Natural Microsystems E1 and DSP card drivers

Types of codecs used

G.711, G.729 , G.726, G.723.1 , G.728 (with IOS version 12.1 and VFC Ware version 6.08)

G.723.1, G.729 , G.711 A-law , G.726 (32 bit), G.727 (32 bit), G.728 (32 bit), Audio Codes Net Coder 4.8 , Audio Codes Net Coder 9. 6 (with Clarent Gateway v 3.1 + Service Pack 3)

LAN interfaces

Built-in interfaces:

1-port ethernet 100 BaseT

1-port ethernet 10/100 BaseT

10/100 BaseT ethernet adapter

Graphic interface

Optional (CISCO View, CISCO Voice Manager) Basic mode – text command line.

Convenient, Clarent Gateway View, Clarent Configuration Tool. (Of known at a reasonable price)

Remote control and configuration

Telnet, RS 232 console port, SNMP.

PcANYWERE – default,

Declared SNMP, Telnet

Interactive voice menu IVR A set of non-editable scripts is used (edited only by means of OS Solaris J) TCLWare 1. 1.1 However, the set is quite extensive and debugged. It is possible to bypass the voice menu depending on the attributes of the incoming call. It is possible to use different scripts on different ports of the device and depending on the attributes of the incoming call *.lpd – Line Port Director script files are used. You can modify existing scripts and create your own scripts using the Clarent Service Editor utility. It is possible to bypass the voice menu depending on the attributes of the incoming call, but with limitations. One lpd script for all ports.

Audio files for IVR

8 kHz ´ 8 bit – m law Extension au. Edited by most sound editors (eg Sound Forge 4.5, Cool Edit)

8 kHz ´ 16 bit – m law Extension wav. Edited by most audio editors, but requires conversion to AudioCodes 9.6 using Clarent Prompt Convertor.

Loading modified parameters, binding scripts to ports, loading IVR audio files Via tftp from an external computer or from Flash, all changes are made “on the fly”, without stopping the gateway From hard disk, gateway needs to stop with local reboot



Authorization and authentication of subscribers External Radius or TACACS+ server with billing system Clarent Command Center H. 323
Call Routing By domain name and/or H.323 gateway ID using CISCO Gatekeeper according to H.323 v 2 based on a separate CISCO 26xx or CISCO 36xx router with custom IOS By domain name and/or H.323 gateway ID using Clarent Command Center or Clarent Gatekeeper according to H.323 v. 2
Tariff plans for various groups of subscribers By means of an external billing system. Via Clarent Command Center
“Twist” – Hairpin of incoming calls back to PSTN to save service Yes, but depending on the type of IOS used and traffic intensity, up to 40% of incoming calls may be lost Yes, 100%, (according to Clarent with the possibility of a separate tariff plan).
Software update support

Yes, beta available at

Yes (for now J) ftp://ftp.

Redundant power supply




In the table above, the most important, in my opinion, characteristics of IP gateways are presented. With all the ambiguity with which readers may perceive this material, it should be noted that today both Clarent and Cisco are recognized leaders in the market for solutions for IP telephony operators, and this circumstance is far from accidental. Subjectively, the quality of compression used in Clarent and CISCO gateways is very high. When transmitting voice traffic in real time over dedicated channels with guaranteed constant bandwidth, the signal quality is indistinguishable from the signal quality of a traditional switched telephone network. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, I will refrain from any specific advice, limiting myself to a small personal observation:

In my opinion, CISCO equipment is interesting for Internet service providers and data transmission companies that already use CISCO products and already have experience in billing their subscribers using the Radius or TACACS+ protocols. In this case, the specific configuration and operation will not create difficulties and will allow you to start commercial provision of services as soon as possible.

Clarent Gateway and Clarent Command Center equipment will appeal to local, long-distance and international telephony operators who do not have extensive experience in operating CISCO devices as well as Radius & TACACS +. With a friendly graphical interface, a large number of supported telephone signaling protocols, Clarent products will undoubtedly win a lot of fans here.

As for the compatibility of CISCO and Clarent gateways with each other, this is a topic for a separate article, as well as the topic of platform compatibility in general. I will only note that today compatibility between CISCO and Clarent gateways is possible only in terms of exchanging voice traffic, but not faxes.

← Previous page

⇣ Contents

If you notice an error, select it with the mouse and press CTRL+ENTER.