ASUS RT-AC1200G+ is the newest addition in ASUS’s portfolio of affordable wireless routers that cost 100 USD or less. If you look at its specs, it doesn’t seem spectacular and its looks are ordinary too. But, for people on a budget, these factors are anything but important. What’s more important is what you get in terms of networking performance and features. And boy, we were in for a great surprise: ASUS RT-AC1200G+ delivered a lot more than what we expected and it clearly demonstrated that it is one of the best affordable routers on the market. Read this review to learn more about what this product has to offer:
As this is a mid-range router, I do not expect top of the range specifications. However, the performance of Asus RT-AC1200G+ is rather decent despite being a mid-range router. Mid-range routers are getting better and good routers are getting cheaper. I have no issues getting the full performance of my 100Mbps internet connection with this router. Besides, I do not face any wireless disconnections throughout my testing period as well. The wireless range is decent and you shouldn’t have issues with the range. Both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz perform fine in term of signal strength. I recommend this router for users with 10 or lesser wireless devices at home. A quick benchmark with iPerf3 displays an actual performance of 300Mbit/s over the 5Ghz band on Wireless-AC, not bad for an RM400 router. I love the fact that this router has separated antennas for different bands.
Asus RT-AC1200G+ is Asus’ contender to the extremely competitive mid-range router market. It is a dual band wireless router with wireless AC1200 capability. The router comes with 4 unremovable external antennas. As such, the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz will be having their own antennas. Moving on, the design is rather simple with a matte black look. The footprint of this router is rather small and you will be able to wall mount this router as well. We shall see if this router is able to shine in this extremely competitive market.
Key Features and Specifications:
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 1 USB 2.0 port
- Wireless AC1200
- 16MB Flash and 128MB RAM
- Operation mode: Wireless Router, Access Point and Media Bridge ( wireless bridge)
Features: SmartQoS, Parental Control, Guest Network, USB File Sharing, USB Printer Sharing, VPN client
Setting up & using the ASUS RT-AC1200G Plus dual-band wireless router
Connect the ASUS RT-AC1200G+ wireless router to your computer using the bundled network cable. Plug in its power adapter, then the Internet connection cable from your Internet service provider and start your favorite browser. Go to 192.168.1.1 or http://router.asus.com and follow the setup wizard.
The setup wizard is quick and easy to go through. Once you press Go, it starts with asking you to change the default login name and password for the router, which is a very good security precaution.
Then, it detcts the type of Internet connection that you have available and it asks for the appropriate connection details, depending on its type. At the end of the setup wizard, you get to set the two wireless networks that are broadcast by ASUS RT-AC1200G+. The initial setup should not take more than a minute to complete.
Once that is over, we recommend that you to cntinue by configuring your wireless router in detail. The user interface is available in 16 languages, which you can see below.
The user interface is also well organized and easy to use, both for advanced users and beginners. Another upside is the fact that almost every setting is explained well by the documentation made available by ASUS. When you hover the mouse over most settings, a question mark is shown. If you then click on that setting, an explanation is shown for that setting, letting you know what it does. This is a good approach, that will be appreciated by many users.
During our testing, we have used the latest firmware version that was available at the time: 126.96.36.199.380.1234. ASUS has the good habit of releasing regular firmware updates for its routers. Therefore, when you purchase an ASUS RT-AC1200G+, check for new firmware. It’s possible that a new version is available, which fixes some bugs or improves performance.
Regarding the user interface, we have only one small downside to report: if you use the Opera web browser to access it, the default settings are not prepopulated. All the drop-down lists are shown without any values. If you access the administration interface in other browsers, like Firefox or Chrome, there’s no problem. This is a bit weird and ASUS should be able to fix this problem quite quickly, in a future firmware update.
After setting up the router, we started connecting all our devices from the network: desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, consoles, smartphones and wireless printers. We had no issues connecting any of them and network sharing, media streaming and other networking-related tasks worked smoothly, without any issues.
During our one week of use, we noticed that the ASUS RT-AC1200G+ got quite hot after a while. In our test apartment, this caused no issues but, if you place this router in very warm environments, heat might become an issue. Also, another minor aspect that we would like to report is that there is no button to turn off the status LEDs shown on the top of the router. This may be an issue for some users.
User Interface and Features
Asus RT-AC1200G+ come with Asus’s ASUSWRT firmware. ASUSWRT is consistently rated as the best router firmware in the market. The user interface is simple, powerful and stable. From the homepage, you are able to monitor the status of the router such as the connected clients and USB port status. It comes with a good amount of value added features as well. I like the SmartQoS feature as it is able to prevent users from hogging the bandwidth. The firmware is stable, the bootup time is decent and I do not face any bugs when using the router. Some features such as Asus Adaptive QoS and AiProtection are not present as those require a lot of CPU power and thus, only reserved for the high-end Asus routers. In short, the router comes with a decent amount of features and it is more than enough for normal users. Router firmware is still Asus’ core strength and it is no different on the RT-AC1200G+, it is very far ahead than the competitors.
The router is compatible with Asus Router mobile application as well. You can use the app to monitor the status of your router. Besides, a lot of configurations can be done via the app. You can block users or even configure the wireless guest network via the mobile application. I always recommend it for the owners of Asus routers.