ASUS excels in producing tough, durable and reliable hardware to meet the insatiable needs of today’s demanding gamers.
Did someone mention that there is a dearth of acronyms in our lives at present? I hope so because navigating through a maelstrom of facts and figures as you decide what to spend your hard-earned money on can be challenging for many. My daily acronym usage is usually limited to LOL and ROFLMAO! However, when we delve into the seemingly perplexing world of routers and related devices (or rather IoT devices), there is an assumption that we ought to know our WANs, LANs, RJ45s, BSSs, OFDMAs, MU-MIMOs, Mbps, Gigabits, Gbps, VPNs and so on and so forth… In this article, I shall aim to provide a demystified, (mostly) technobabble-free review of the superb ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200 Dual Band WiFi 6 Gaming Router.
Back in the early days, gaming used to be a mostly solitary activity. I remember when powering up my Commodore 64 and playing Chuckie Egg for hours was one of the perks of my adolescent years. How times have changed!? Now we can play hugely fun, immersive and engaging games with friends and relatives in the next room, next door, across the street, across the city, country or planet! In order to do this, you need to be equipped with the correct hardware. The advantages of a gaming router are manyfold. They offer better connection, faster, stable transfer speeds, and robust security features among many other benefits, some of which I’ll come to in a while…
We all know that “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” and I’m sure the young, gamers out there will want to be holding this fabulous piece of tech. The AX4200 has a striking silhouette and in my opinion resembles an Autobot or Decepticon, especially with its four antennae standing aloft. Being devoid of curves, you would be forgiven for believing the sharp, angular aesthetics of the AX4200 were created with a Katana blade. The grown-up and pragmatic person in me however immediately wonders “With all those recesses, how easy will it be to keep dust-free and clean?” It has to be noted though, that the recesses and angular lines of this router all perform a function and are not purely aesthetic. This feature-laden router obviously generates heat to make your gaming experience pleasurable, so these vents allow air to efficiently circulate around and through the device, keeping it cool. There are LED lights aplenty on the top face that provide a visual indication of what’s happening. There are also buttons and ports at the rear providing (ACRONYM WARNING!) USB 3.2 connectivity, a Factory Reset button, WPS button, 2.5 G/1G WAN, four LAN ports, a Power (DC–in) port and a Power button. The ports are all protected furthermore against wear & tear with durable, metal surrounds.
The ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200 router is a more than capable piece of hardware to keep your gaming free from interruptions. The router can handle multiple users around the home so nobody can be blamed for hogging the internet. If somebody is transferring files in one room, another could be simultaneously streaming media while another is web browsing, gaming or Messaging. The AX4200 optimises its performance to deliver maximum WiFi to every corner of the building.
The ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200 router can utilise AiMesh Networking. AiMesh connects multiple compatible ASUS routers to create a whole-home mesh WiFi network. This effectively boosts the strength of the WiFi signal to cover a greater area by independently adding more routers as and when you need them. By combining many routers into an AiMesh, a single network name ensures seamless functionality so that you don’t have to keep switching networks as you move around the house or building. It auto-selects the best WiFi signal according to where you are. It’s not any old WiFi signal either. We’re talking WiFi–6 which is capable of a theoretical speed increase of up to 9.6Gbps up from the meagre 3.5Gbps found in its previous incarnation, quite aptly called WiFi–5. However, it’s not just about speed. The main advantage of WiFi–6 is that it has been designed to be future-ready allowing more devices to run on the same network than before.
The ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200 gaming router is like the Swiss Army knife of gaming routers. It’s richly feature-laden and allows you to customise its options to the finest details. If you’re just venturing into online gaming, you may find it a bit daunting at first but perseverance will eventually pay off. The Quick Setup Guide that comes in the box, will provide all of the information you need to get up & running in next to no time. Though if you’re so inclined, you could spend hours configuring the router to meet your exacting needs.
The AX4200 provides security features to ensure a safe and secure experience for everyone on the network whether they’re gaming, streaming, transferring data, messaging etc… With advance Parental controls younger audiences are also shielded from explicit and unsuitable content. The router comes with FREE lifetime AiProtection Pro including the latest (ACRONYM WARNING!) WPA3 security protocol. AiProtection includes 24/7 Auto-Updating provided by Trend Micro whose database is constantly kept up-to-date and identifies & protects against malicious URLs and nefarious links. The Parental controls are neatly categorised into four groups of settings; 1. Preschooler 0-6years old; 2. School aged child 6-13 years old; 3. Teen 13-18 years old and 4. Adult 18+ years old. You can then create and apply profiles for each category as you see fit.
I must admit that I was a bit ambivalent about the validity of gaming routers until I came across the ASUS TUF Gaming AX4200. My naivety prevented me from inquiring if there was a better solution to the basic, bog-standard router my broadband provider supplied me with. Heaven knows I need a better, more reliable router just for everyday needs let alone recreation! The use of quality components, solid construction and a reputable manufacturer together with powerful software, makes this a thoroughly capable router that will meet the needs of novice and experienced gamers, tiny tots, mums & dads and the Silver Surfers out there. Although I’m not a hardcore gamer of any calibre, I will definitely consider this router for my general broadband needs.
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