Never as in this period it has become clear that having a good connection at home is essential not only for streaming e online games, But also for school e work. And with "good connection" we don't just mean pure connection speed, which often depends more on tech used (copper or fiber) than on the other, but also the coverage of the whole house. For this reason today we offer you our review of the extension system ASUS ZenWifi AX Mini, capable of really getting the signal to every corner of the house
The review of ASUS ZenWifi AX Mini
Before going into the details regarding the product, a premise is necessary to frame the type of technology used. When using a normal WiFi extender, this is limited to picking up and retransmitting the signal received from the central modem or from other repeaters. In the case of Asus' system, however, we are talking about one Mesh network, or where the various nodes work actively communicating with each other in order to guarantee coverage extended e uniform.
In the case of ASUS ZenWifi AX Mini, we are faced with a kit consisting of three units XD4 virtually identical to each other. Only one of these, destined for the role of central hub, it differs from the others by connecting directly to the home modem via Ethernet. Once the setup procedure has been completed, we can then position the other two units where the signal needs to arrive. At any time it is possible to add other nodes, which may not be of the same type, as long as they are compatible with the standard AiMesh by ASUS.
An easy management app
The installation and management of the system all go through the dedicated application of Asus, that is ASUS Router. The configuration procedure is theoretically very easy to perform: the first time the modules are turned on and connected, just open the app and select them from the available devices to set network name e Password. In our case the procedure was a bit more complicated, since, being test units, they had already been configured previously, and were therefore not detected by the app as configurable units. Nothing however that a factory reset didn't fix fast enough.
The app deserves a speech in itself also as regards the daily management. In fact, in a few taps it allows you to see the traffic, network conditions e the connection of repeaters and devices. It then makes it very easy adding more nodes, the assignment of names e of labels to devices e firmware update. All this even from outside the home, thanks toremote access via internet, configurable with a tap the first time you open the app.
Also from the app it is then possible to control the integrated safety option AiProtection. In fact, if a firewall optional, in the case of Asus advanced protection is made available from malicious sites e infected devices, developed together with the security company Trend Micro.
Our user experience
Once configured, the system usage experience is impeccable. The signal is strong everywhere, and even moving around the house there are no points where the connection becomes weak or unstable. It is possible, for example, if you want to connect via cable to the computer, to move the nodes at any time: after having disconnected and reconnected them, after a short time they will restore communication with the rest of the network and will be ready for use.
Going into a little more detail, the house where the test was carried out has a ground floor and a first floor, and has an area (garden excluded) of just over 145 square meters. This tends to be more extreme than most apartments and or also CASE, but still nowhere near the theoretical coverage of more than 440 square meters declared by ASUS.
Given the size of the house, there was already a system of network extenders, which specifically uses the technology Powerline di TP-Link. This system allows you to pass the internet connection through the electrical network, with theoretically less losses than a wireless communication and the possibility of installing a signal re-emitter wherever there is an outlet. Despite the theoretical advantage, however, Asus' wireless system turned out to be equal or even top to the present one, in particular in the speeds of download.
During the trial period it was possible, through this network, hold online lessons, watch streaming content, play online or even in cloud gaming ed make video calls.
Moreover, the network has not been exploited to its full potential: the connectivity present is in fact of type FTTC (Fiber To The Cabinet), instead of the most performing FTTH (Fiber To The Home). We refer you to this article for a more complete explanation of the differences, but suffice it to say that, while the latter can theoretically reach the Gigabits per second, the first is basically limited to 100 Megabits per second. Asus' system would be more than capable of fully exploiting the FTTH speeds (unlike, for example, the existing extender system, limited to 500 Megabits per second). This would then be even more true in the case of devices equipped with the new standard 6 WiFi, supported by the ZenWifi AX Mini and capable of reaching up to 1800 Megabits per second.
A premium experience, but not for everyone
The Asus ZenWifi AX Mini system is definitely of quality and able to offer the best of the best. Its support for higher fiber speeds and WiFi 6 also make it a “future-proof” device, capable of adapting to connection and device updates. This quality, however, does not come at a cheap price. The kit with three XD4 devices is in fact positioned around the €370, therefore not at the top of the list, but still higher than other available solutions.
The value of this product also depends a lot on your needs. For an apartment, even a large one, this solution could turn out wasted, even in the presence of fiber connectivity. The situation is different for a medium-large house, especially on several floors. Even here, however, if the connection technology is ADSL or FWA (mixed fiber radio), it will probably not be worth spending so much for a kit of this type, and it will be better to move towards a cheaper product. But even if you decide to spend a little more money to purchase this specific kit, we can guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Asus ZenWifi AX Mini (XD4)
- Stable and fast connection
- Extended coverage
- Simple setup procedure
- Intuitive and complete management app
- Fair price but still high