Today, we are connected to the internet 24/7. I’m sure every household will somehow have a connection to the internet whether from the phone’s data subscription or home broadband services. Having an internet connection is one thing, but having a stable and wide WiFi coverage can be a challenge especially when you’re staying in a double storey house.
Facing problems with WiFi dead zones? Your service provider gives you a low end router to use at home? If you are facing these problems, then you will appreciate this article. This is why you deserve a super steady, wide area WiFi coverage with added security that will only incur cost once, but will benefit you for a very long time.
“But I can just get a WiFi 6 router”. Yes you can. Although it is awesome in speed, it’s still limited in terms of coverage area. I know because I have tried this at home. I have tested a WiFi 6 router at my house which is a double storey terrace house and the router is placed in the living room. My “home office” is located upstairs in the back room.
Not much coverage there. So I need something better.
And many thanks to ASUS for lending me the newly announced ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 Router/Mesh to be tested at home. It’s a mesh device but known as AiMesh as what ASUS called it. I know some of you may have heard of a mesh hardware system from your service providers. It will actually cost a lot more when you subscribe and billed monthly by the service providers. So I figured why not invest once in a good mesh system like the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4.
I am absolutely loving the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4. In the box, you will get two identical AiMesh devices. I believe both can be configured as a router and AiMesh node. But I was having problems setting it up initially until I used the other node to connect to my modem and that worked. And soon after that I realised why I can’t configure one of it to run as a router. Turns out, it has been configured to connect to another ISP by another tester before me and forgot to reset the AiMesh node. After I did a quick reset, setting it up was so easy.
Along with the router and node, you will also get two power cables to power up both the devices and also some documentation for manuals and warranty.
As I said, the two nodes look identical. The review unit I received comes in white colour which I personally think is elegant. It can be a nice piece of artsy device when placed in your living room near the router. It has a minimalist design to it and that made it look good.
There are two LAN ports and one WAN port around the lower back. The power socket is on the left side while a USB 3.0 port on the right. There’s also a front button near the bottom with a ring light to indicate the current connection status. The device itself is quite light and nice to look at. So it will display nicely no matter where you place it.
There are also air vents on either sides of the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid. This will allow air to move around freely to keep the device cool. On the underside, there’s the name and QR code for scanning to get it up and running quickly.
Usage and Experience
Setting up the router to connect to my modem (and my Unifi account) is pretty simple. You can download the ASUS Router app on your phone for easy configuration or you can connect the router to your laptop for a more pro approach. Once you’re connected to the internet, you can place the “satellite” AiMesh nearby for it to be auto configured before you can place the second AiMesh anywhere else in your house.
My broadband modem is placed downstairs in my living room. The first main ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 is now connected directly to my modem. It is quite near to my TV but without any obstructions.
I placed the second one in my home office, which is on the upper floor at the back. The powerful signal that is transmitted by the main ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 router is picked up by the second one to further push the wireless coverage. The second node is connected to my PC via a LAN cable so that I can have maximum speed and stability.
Previously I was using the standard router provided by Unifi and supported by a WiFi extender that I placed in my home office for a boost in signal coverage. That helps but the connection is rather unstable. I’m using the 100mbps Unifi service and normally I will get about 50-60mbps download speed and 20-30mbps upload speed at around 12ms ping latency from my upstairs PC.
As soon as I started using the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid and done with all the setups, I made a test with the speed and reliability. First test showed a huge difference. I got 105mbps download speed (I got extra 5 there) and close to 90mbps upload speed while using the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid. I mean that is a huge jump. And I tested it many times just to make sure. And in all the tests I’ve done, it never went anywhere below 100mbps download speed and a good 80mbps average upload speed.
I’m totally loving this new ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid.
Recently I started game streaming. And by all means I do need a fast and stable internet connection. I used to have streaming problems like lagging and server disconnections. I don’t have high-end hardware to begin with. But I know having a fast and stable internet connection can make a huge difference. With my standard Unifi router, I don’t get to stream as much. But since I have the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 with me for review, I stream every day.
When streaming on Twitch, we can see the connection status. Right now with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid, the connection status reads as “Excellent” as opposed as “Fair” when I was using the normal router + WiFi extender. See the difference?
WiFi coverage for mobile devices is also enhanced. I used to connect to 2.5Ghz WiFi connection when I’m upstairs but switch to 5Ghz when I’m downstairs and near the router. Not the case with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid at all. I can be anywhere in the house and still have a strong full coverage at full speed. Hence it’s one of the reasons why I can stream often because I now have a fast and stable connection in my home office.
Gaming with the standard TM issued router? Nope. The usual ping latency was always above 50ms but with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid, I always get it as low as 20ms on average in PUBG Mobile. So don’t limit your internet connection and speed potential. With a little extra one time investment, you can have peace of mind for a very long time.
Another advantage you can get with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 is the ability for it to use your available electrical wiring to transmit data to the node. The HomePlug AV2 MIMO technology enables speeds over electrical wiring of up to 1300 Mbps, up to 2X faster than the previous standard.
Yes, that means you can use your electrical power sockets for your internet connection. But on the downside, you need to connect the router and the node directly to the main socket, not attached to any extension plugs.
You will also get a lifetime free ASUS AiProtection Pro that secures all connected devices and the ASUS Instant Guard protects public WiFi connections.
If you’re looking for a huge upgrade to your existing internet connection setup, invest a little bit on this ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 AiMesh. If you’re staying in a double (or triple) storey house with large space, you definitely need better WiFi coverage. With the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4, you will extend the overall coverage for your WiFi that gives you a fast and stable connection wherever you are at home.
I am not sponsored by ASUS in any way. I’m not saying all the good things to make you buy the product. I am only reviewing the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 as it is being loaned to me for a full test. But I’m telling you that this is probably the best investment that you can get to fully upgrade your home broadband connection.
And I’m speaking this based on what I experienced.
All I can say is, I’m in love with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 AiMesh. I know there are many mesh systems out there but based on my own testing and experience, this is currently at the top of my favourite list. Don’t waste your time looking for anything else. I assure you that you will love the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 too.
And the good news is that the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 AiMesh has been launched here in Malaysia and it is priced at RM1298.00. You can head over to ASUS’s official marketplace from the links below to make your purchase:
ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid XP4 Specifications
- IEEE 802.11a
- IEEE 802.11b
- IEEE 802.11g
- WiFi 4 (802.11n)
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
- HomePlug AV2 MIMO
- IEEE 1901
- IEEE 1905.1
- IEEE 802.3ab
- IEEE 802.3z
- 802.11a : up to 54 Mbps
- 802.11b : up to 11 Mbps
- 802.11g : up to 54 Mbps
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 300 Mbps
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) TurboQAM : up to 400 Mbps
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) : up to 867 Mbps
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 1201 Mbps
- 64bit 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
- 256 MB Flash
- 512 MB RAM
- 2.4G Hz / 5 GHz
- RJ45 for Gigabit BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 2
- USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1
- AC Power Jack with PLC x 1
- Router (XP4)
- RJ45 Ethernet cable
- Power core
- Quick start guide
- Warranty Card
- AiMesh : Yes
- Primary AiMesh router : Yes
- AiMesh node : Yes
- AiProtection : AiProtection Pro
- Router Security Assessment : Yes
- Malicious site blocking : Yes
- Two-Way IPS : Yes
- Infected Device Prevention and Blocking : Yes
- Parental Control : Yes
- Parental Control Customized Internet schedule : Yes
- Maximum Parental Control profile : Max 16 rules
- Maximum Parental Control content filter rule : Max 16 rules
- Adaptive QoS : Yes
- Bandwidth Monitor : Yes
- Bandwidth limiter : Yes
- Maximum Bandwidth limiter rule : Max 32 rules
- Traditional QoS : Yes
- Maximum Traditional QoS rule : Max 32 rules
- Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Real-time traffic monitor : Yes
- Wired Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Wireless Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Traffic Analyzer : Yes
- Website history : Yes
- IPv6 : Yes
- MU-MIMO : Yes
- Wi-Fi Encryption : WPA3-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support
- UTF-8 SSID : Yes
- Guest Network : Yes
- Maximum Guest Network rule : Max 6 rules
- Guest Network Connection time limit : Yes
- Guest Network Encryption : Max 6 rules
- WPS : Yes
- Wi-Fi MAC address filter : Yes
- Maximum MAC filters : Max 64 rules
- Wireless scheduler : Yes
- Airtime fairness : Yes
- RADIUS Server : Yes
- Universal beamforming : Yes
- Explicit beamforming : Yes
- Internet connection Type : PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Automatic IP, Static IP
- Dual WAN : Yes
- WAN Aggregation : No
- 3G/4G LTE dongle : Yes
- Android tethering : Yes
- Port forwarding : Yes
- Port triggering : Yes
- DMZ : Yes
- DDNS : Yes
- NAT Passthrough : PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, RTSP, H.323, SIP Passthrough
- Let’s Encrypt : Yes
- File System : FS_Tuxera_HFS+, FS_Tuxera_NTFS, FS_Tuxera_vFAT, FS_ext2, FS_ext3, FS_ext4
- HDD hibernation : Yes
- Safely Remove disk : Yes
- AiCloud : Yes
- Download master : Yes
- AiDisk : Yes
- Media Server : Yes
- Time Machine : Yes
- Samba Server : Yes
- FTP Server : Yes
- Shared Folder privileges : Yes
- Operating mode : Wireless router mode ,Range extender mode, Access point mode, Media bridge mode
- Free OS upgrade : Yes
- Firewall : Yes
- Maximum Firewall keyword filter : Max 64 rules
- Maximum Firewall network service filter : Max 32 rules
- Maximum Firewall URL filter : Max 64 rules
- Wake on LAN (WOL) : Yes
- SSH : Yes
- Configuration backup and restore : Yes
- Diagnosis tools : Yes
- Feedback system : Yes
- System log : Yes