Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router Review
A well priced, but fast entry-level router
A straightforward router, the Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router has lots of features and it’s available for a great price, too. Despite its more entry-level price, I found this router very fast in my tests, making it a great choice for either smaller homes or for those that want to extend an existing Asus router using AiMesh.
- Wall mountable
- Can be used in a mesh
- Not ideal for larger homes
- UKRRP: £162
- Ethernet portsThree Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Wi-Fi standardWi-Fi 6: 2×2 574Mbit/s, 3×3 5GHz 3603Mbit/s
If there’s one issue with Wi-Fi routers and mesh systems, it’s that they’re often big, ugly and hard to place.
Not so with the Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router, which is smaller than most rivals and can even be wall mounted thanks to its clever stand.
Design and features
- Desk or wall mount option
- Can be part of an AiMesh System
- App or web control
Tall and thin, the Asus RT-AX59U bucks the trend of increasingly large routers. In fact, externally it looks similar to the Netgear EAX80 extender, although the main difference is that the Asus RT-AX59U is a full router.
Not only that, but as its ‘Extendable Router’ moniker suggests, this is a router that can take part in a mesh system. You can either pair this with another AiMesh router, or extend this router’s coverage with another AiMesh device.
It’s nice to have these options, as you can start with a simple router and then can add range with a simple upgrade later on.
As the Asus RT-AX59U is such a small product, it has less in the way of ports than many regular routers. At the back there are just three Gigabit Ethernet ports and one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. True, this should be enough for most people, but if you have more wired devices, you’ll want to buy a separate switch.
There are two USB ports at the rear, too. One USB 2.0 and one faster USB 3.0. These can be used for sharing printers or storage, if needed.
Although the Asus RT-AX59U doesn’t take up much room on a desk, this router is not limited to desktop position. Instead, the stand can be removed, and clipped onto the back, acting as a wall mount. It’s nice to see a router with this option, as wall mounting makes it more likely that the Asus RT-AX59U can be placed in its ideal location.
Setup can be performed using the web interface or Asus Router app. I prefer the latter, as it makes life slightly easier, and I find that it makes it quicker to install, too.
Once the router was found, the app took me through configuring the wireless networks. The default option is to combine the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands together under one network name, letting the router guide devices as they connect. However, the network can also be split into 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, which can be a good choice if you want to choose where devices will connect.
The router also has built-in parental controls, too, giving full control over profiles in your house, letting you control who can use the internet when.
The Asus RT-AX59U supports Wi-Fi 6, running a 2×2 2.4GHz network at speeds of up to 574Mbit/s and a 3×3 5GHz network, running at speeds of up to 3603Mbit/s.
The router supports 160MHz wide channels on the 5GHz band, although these are limited and interference can force the router to drop down to 80MHz channels. Indeed, I found that this happened in my home, and I could only connect at 80MHz.
- Very fast
- Does well at range
I started off by testing the Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router’s 5GHz performance. At close range, throughputs of 633.68Mbit/s were close to that of the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1600. Moving to 5m away on the first floor of my house, speeds dipped, but 469.75Mbit/s is good; on the second floor, 10m away from the router, speeds of 457.06Mbit/s are fantastic.
2.4GHz performance is a little slower, but that’s to be expected given how congested this networking band is. I measured throughputs of 107.58Mbit/s at close range, which is fast; at 5m speeds dropped to 52.44Mbit/s; at 10m speeds of 31.35Mbit/s are fine for basic uses.
Overall, this router is very fast for the price. It’s likely to top out a bit faster than a router with more channels and bands, particularly in homes with a large number of devices. However, as a mesh extender or for less congested households, this router is very fast.
Should you buy it?
You want good speeds at a great price:
If you have more modest networking requirements, then this router is great value and very fast.
You have a lot of networking devices:
You will find that a router with more streams and more channels will cope better with busier households.
A great entry-level router, the Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router shows that it can deliver speeds that compete with the best routers. For less congested houses or as an AIMesh upgrade, this router is great value. If you fancy a dedicated mesh system or more powerful router, check out our guide to the best routers.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every wireless router we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as our main wireless router for the review period
We throughput test all wireless devices using the same equipment in the same locations so that we have accurate comparisons
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This lets the router become a mesh satellite, or to connect another AiMesh router to extend this one’s range.
Yes, the stand can be removed and attached to the side of the router.
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