The pandemic has forced some people to start working from home and I was one of those people. Thank God that I am now back at the office as usual since we are now entering the endemic phase here in Malaysia. But I still need reliable WiFi connectivity at home to maintain this website and to work from home when it’s necessary. Not forgetting my weekly game streaming on Twitch and FB Gaming too.
Therefore I need to look for a better, more reliable and most importantly, fast WiFi connection at home that is stable with minimal lags and low latency.
I subscribed to Unifi Home Fibre with 100mbps max speed. I feel that this is more than enough to support my internet connection requirements, for now. And since the recommended download/upload speed that is needed to stream on Twitch or FB Gaming is 30mbps, I have more than enough bandwidth to use.
And to support my internet connection requirement, I have with me the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) with WiFi 6 as my router/mesh system. I received the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini a few weeks back and I’ve been having an awesome time speeding through the internet without any problems. So how does this Mini mesh system perform during those times and even at this present moment? Well, here’s my review on the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini.
Unboxing and Setting Up The ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini
The ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini comes in a quite large and long box despite its mini size. But with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini, you won’t get one, not even two, but three nodes (or satellites) to fully “blanket” your home with zero dead zones.
I live in a landed house, not in an apartment. I have a bigger space as it’s a double storey house. Hence why my standard Unifi router was unable to obtain full coverage throughout the house. There was always a WiFi dead zone somewhere and I find this rather irritating. My PC and other IoT stuff are located upstairs in the back room while the router is downstairs in the living room up front. So the internet speed in my home office was very bad.
So having three nodes, as what they would be called, I now have 100% full coverage no matter I am in the house. Having just one main node, which also acts as the main router, is quite good and performs much better than the standard Unifi router. Having two, it works even better with high speed anywhere in the house. But having all three nodes set up, it’s just superb. I can even get a full bar outside my house on the street.
The ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini itself has a very minimalistic design. You won’t get any protruding antennas around the device. It has a very simple cube design, like a Rubik Cube but without all the colours on the sides. There is also an LED light at the bottom of each node to emit different colours depending on its current status. White light means it’s fully connected and is running well. Blue light means it’s connecting, green light means it’s configuring/pairing and red means bad. We don’t want red lights.
Initial configuration for the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini is pretty simple. You can immediately scan the QR code on the main node that works as a router to download the ASUS Router app on your phone. Once you turn the node on, it will start its pairing mode and from there, you need to connect it with the ASUS Router app. Once it is connected, you can then fill in your login details for your Unifi. After that you can set up your WiFi SSID and password as well. Everything else will be done automatically from here onwards.
And to connect the other nodes to work as the satellites, you need to turn them on so that the main node can detect the rest of them to begin the pairing and configuration. You can just sit back and relax from here. Just make sure that all the nodes are nearby to each other during this process. And when the lights on all the nodes turned white, it means everything is working and you’re connected to the internet.
All those steps took me less than 10 minutes. I didn’t waste any time to test the speed and reliability. As I said earlier, I am subscribed to Unifi’s 100mbps package, right? I can only get up to 80mbps with my old router from the living room and 50mbps when I’m upstairs in my home office. Now with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini, I get 250mbps no matter where I am in the house. Wait what? But my max speed is supposed to be 100mbps. Why do I get more now?
I don’t have an answer to that. Bottom line is, I’m happy with the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini’s performance. Also to take note that I turned off one of the nodes and used only two of them. I didn’t want any WiFi overlaps that can also create bad and unstable connections. So the two are the ones in the living room and in my home office.
Here’s why. A single node can cover up to 2200sq/ft area. That is good enough to use in an apartment. When you have two nodes working, it can cover up to 3300sq/ft area. That is about the size of a semi-D house here in Malaysia. And when you use all three nodes, it covers up to 4800sq/ft area. That is a lot of space. Hence why I don’t need to use all three nodes. Two is more than good in my house. In fact, it’s excellent.
Now I have full WiFi coverage at home and I’m happy. My PC doesn’t have WiFi so I connect it directly to the node via LAN cable. All the nodes have a LAN port, so I can even connect one of the nodes to a network switch, to connect to more PCs and laptops at home, if I want to.
In terms of performance, the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini doesn’t disappoint. The entire 3 weeks or so that I use it at home, I have never once experienced any internet dropouts or interruptions. The WiFi signal is strong with this one. Not only is it able to hit the max 100mbps, but it went beyond that. I’m just as surprised as you are.
Previously I don’t usually stream my games due to the bad connection and high ping. I often get disconnected from the router whenever I play games in my home office. I don’t have that problem now. I even stream regularly every weekend. My iPad works great with zero interruptions when gaming. I connect the iPad to my PC and stream from my PC to Twitch or FB Gaming via OBS. Everything runs smoothly here.
If you’re a gamer, you will understand why I need low latency and stable internet connection. The ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini delivers that. Although it is one of the ZenWiFi’s basic mesh series, the performance I get from it makes it worth every penny.
With the ASUS Router app, you can set up a few other useful features such as Parental Control where you can turn off the internet at a specific time and the AIProtection feature that is powered by Trend Micro to scan your network for devices that have been infected by malicious software on a regular basis. But the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini is lacking in security features such as DDOS protection. You will have to get a better ZenWiFi mesh series for that.
You can also monitor the real-time network traffic from the app and remove/block any devices that have previously connected to your network. You can also check the status on each node whether it is currently connected or not. Also, you can update the firmware directly from the app.
There are many other features and settings that you can do from the ASUS Router app. I will periodically run a diagnostic scan at night to keep my home connection at its optimum condition. This is probably the cutest and most minimalistic WiFi router and mesh system you can have in your home.
If you’re looking to upgrade your home WiFi connection, get a mesh system. Better yet, get an AIMesh system by ASUS. I have previously reviewed the ASUS ZenWiFi AX Hybrid system and I absolutely love it. It has better functions and more powerful wireless connectivity but with a heftier price tag. If you’re on a budget but still want to get something just as good and worth the money, you will not be disappointed with this ASUS ZenWiFi AX Mini.
It’s compact, cute and doesn’t take up much space on the table. Best of all, it comes with an option to purchase with two or three nodes packages. Yes, there is a two nodes variant but might as well you go for the max of three. It’s better to have more. You never know when you’ll need it.
- IEEE 802.11a
- IEEE 802.11b
- IEEE 802.11g
- WiFi 4 (802.11n)
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
- AX1800 ultimate AX performance : 1201 Mbps+ 574 Mbps
- 802.11a : up to 54 Mbps
- 802.11b : up to 11 Mbps
- 802.11g : up to 54 Mbps
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 150 Mbps
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 300 Mbps
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) : up to 433 Mbps
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) : up to 867 Mbps
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) (1024QAM) : up to 4808 Mbps
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 433 Mbps
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 1201 Mbps
- MIMO technology
- 2.4 GHz 2 x 2
- 5 GHz 2 x 2
- 256 MB Flash, 256 MB RAM
- MIMO technology
- 2.4 G Hz / 5 GHz
- RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for WAN/LAN x 1, RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x1
- WPS Button, Reset Button
- AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
- DC Output : 12 V with max. 1.5 A current”
- Router (XD4R)
- RJ45 Ethernet cable
- Power adapter
- Quick start guide
- Warranty Card
- Router (XD4R)
- Node (XD4N)
- RJ45 Ethernet cable
- Power adapter
- Quick start guide
- Warranty Card
- 3-pack router*1+node*2
- 2-pack router*1+node*1
- 1-pack router*1
- Content may vary in different regions and packages.
- AiMesh : Yes
- Primary AiMesh router : Yes
- AiMesh node : Yes
- ASUS Router APP : Yes
- Game Boost/acceleration : No
- WTFast : No
- AiProtection : AiProtection Classic
- Router Security Assessment : No
- Malicious site blocking : Yes
- Two-Way IPS : No
- Infected Device Prevention and Blocking : Yes
- Parental Control : Yes
- Parental Control Customized Internet schedule : Yes
- Adaptive QoS : No
- Bandwidth Monitor : Yes
- Bandwidth limiter : Yes
- Traditional QoS : Yes
- Maximum Traditional QoS rule : 32
- Traffic Monitor : No
- Real-time traffic monitor : Yes
- Wired Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Wireless Traffic Monitor : Yes
- Traffic Analyzer : No
- Website history : Yes
- IPv6 : Yes
- MU-MIMO : Yes
- Wi-Fi Encryption : WPA3-Personal, WPA/WPA2/WPA3-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support
- Wi-Fi Encryption : WPA3-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support
- UTF-8 SSID : Yes
- Guest Network : Yes
- Maximum Guest Network rule : 9
- Guest Network Connection time limit : Yes
- WPS : Yes
- Wi-Fi MAC address filter : No
- Wireless scheduler : No
- Airtime fairness : No
- RADIUS Server : No
- Universal beamforming : No
- Explicit beamforming : No
- Internet connection Type : PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Automatic IP, Static IP
- Dual WAN : No
- WAN Aggregation : No
- 3G/4G LTE dongle : No
- Android tethering : Yes
- Port forwarding : Yes
- Port triggering : Yes
- DMZ : Yes
- DDNS : Yes
- NAT Passthrough : Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP, L2TP
- Let’s Encrypt : Yes
- DHCP Server : Yes
- IGMP snooping : Yes
- IPTV : Yes
- LAN Link Aggregation : No
- Manually assign IP address : Yes
- Maximum manually assign IP address rule : 64
- VPN Client L2PT : Yes
- VPN Client OVPN : Yes
- VPN Client PPTP : Yes
- VPN Server IPSec : Yes
- VPN Server OVPN : Yes
- VPN Server PPTP : Yes
- VPN Fusion : No
- HDD hibernation : No
- Safely Remove disk : No
- AiCloud : No
- Download master : No
- AiDisk : No
- Media Server : No
- Time Machine : No
- Samba Server : No
- FTP Server : No
- Shared Folder privileges : No