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Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen
Great for gamers
No built-in wall mount
The Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 is designed with gamers in mind, but this massive Wi-Fi 6 router is ready for both work and plays even in very large homes.
The Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router with eight antennas and a massive footprint. It’s billed as a gaming router, and it has some great features for gamers, but hardware like this is also perfectly suited to large houses with tons of devices, streaming media, working, and just about anything else you might want to throw at it.
I recently unplugged my trusty Eero and slotted in a ROG Rapture AX11000 for a five day trial by fire. I tested wired and wireless speeds, overall performance at a variety of ranges, and how well it works for general use while being hammered on all sides by a variety of devices. I also squeezed in as much gaming as I could around the edges, all to answer this question: is the ROG Rapture AX11000 worth its price tag and the sheer amount of space it will take up in your house?
The Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 is a massive piece of hardware. It tips the scales at nearly 4 pounds and has a wingspan nearly as long as my arm with the antennas aimed straight out. The overall body is more or less a square, but the entire thing is twisted and turned like the designers were allergic to right angles. On the top, set into a grille that bears a passing resemblance to alien hieroglyphics, the ROG emblem pulses like an ominous heartbeat.
With its squat body and eight two-tone antennas, the ROG Rapture AX11000 is somewhat evocative of a crown roast, or of an alien spider if you flip it upside down. It’s far from plain, so good luck finding a place large enough to accommodate it where it won’t stand out.
Each side of the ROG Rapture AX11000 hosts two screw connectors for antennas. The front features a slate of tiny indicator LEDs, and the ports are all located on the back. There is no built-in wall mount option, and if you did wall mount this beast you’d want to make sure to drill straight into the studs. This isn’t a router you want to drop on your foot, especially if you aren’t wearing steel-toed boots.
When you unpack the ROG Rapture AX11000, you’re faced with a set of eight antennas, all wrapped up for protection against damage in shipping. There really isn’t any getting around it with a router like this, but it’s still important to note that it does take a fair amount of time to unwrap each antenna and then screw each antenna onto the router. Even then, the screw attachments were a bit loose, resulting in floppy antennas after a few days.
With the antennas all connected, the setup process is fairly standard. I was forced to reboot my modem for the ROG Rapture AX11000 to properly connect to the internet, but that isn’t unheard of. It’s nice and saves time when a router doesn’t require such a reboot, but it really only adds a couple of minutes to the overall process.
After I rebooted the router and loaded up the web portal, I was able to initiate the setup wizard, which took me through the entire process. I set up all three wireless networks and had everything ready to go in a few minutes.
I set up all three wireless networks and had everything ready to go in a few minutes.
The Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 is a tri-band AX11000 router, which means it broadcasts one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands, and that it can handle speeds of up to 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 4804Mbps on each of the two 5Ghz bands. Actual per-device speeds will naturally be much lower, but this is clearly a router that’s built to deliver speed to a lot of devices at once.
This router is also MU-MIMO compatible, which means it’s able to deliver simultaneous streams to multiple devices at once. Specifically, it can connect to four devices per band at any one time without anything having to wait in line to transfer data to or from the router. It also features beamforming, which helps with maintaining solid, fast connections at the range.
For physical connectivity, the ROG Rapture AX11000 is actually a bit lacking for a device in this price range and of such a prodigious size. You get one Ethernet port to connect your modem, four-gigabit ports to connect your gaming computer and consoles, and a single 2.5G fast wired connection. This port is forward-looking, so be on the lookout for gaming hardware that supports this type of connection if you do decide to invest in a ROG Rapture AX11000.
Aside from the Ethernet ports, the ROG Rapture AX11000 also includes two USB 3.1 ports for network storage. File transfer speeds for devices connected to these ports is extremely fast, making this option for a network-attached storage system.
I tested the ROG Rapture AX11000 on a 1Gbps Mediacom cable internet connection, testing both wired and wireless speeds. When connected via wired Ethernet cable, I measured top download speed of 383Mbps. That’s down from 627Mbps I measured at the same time from my Eero, but that’s easily explained away by QoS settings, as the ROG Rapture AX11000 is heavily optimized for gaming traffic.
For my wireless testing, I first used the Ookla Speed Test app to check the download speed on my mobile device in close proximity to the router. That gave me a reading of 587Mbps down and 65Mbps up, which was the best speed I was able to measure at that time. For comparison, my Eero notched a top speed of 542Mbps at the same time.
On the few occasions, I was able to claw back some free time for gaming, I was impressed by the built-in gamer-centric quality of service (QoS) features.
Next up, I moved my mobile device about 10 feet away behind a door. That gave me a slightly diminished speed of 467Mbps. Then at 50 feet, with a couple of walls, furniture, and appliances in the way, I measured top download speed of 395Mbps and upload of 64Mbps on a very strong connection.
For my last test, I took my mobile device down to my garage, about 100 feet from the router in a direct line, with a ton of interference, including metal, in the way. At that extended range, I was able to achieve a top download speed of 54Mbps, still plenty of speed for streaming and gaming, although I wouldn’t fire up a competitive game like Valorant or Fortnite under such conditions.
Looking beyond pure numbers, the ROG Rapture AX11000 worked almost flawlessly in the five days I spent with it. Even with multiple devices hitting it from every direction for high-bandwidth streams, it never failed to provide what was needed.
Even with multiple devices hitting it from every direction for high-bandwidth streams, it never failed to provide what was needed.
On the few occasions, I was able to claw back some free time for gaming, I was impressed by the built-in gamer-centric quality of service (QoS) features, although I wasn’t impressed by the handful of games they chose to feature for their performance boost feature. They have added a few since the router first released, but my favorites are all missing.
The ROG Rapture AX11000 uses a web interface that’s fairly self-explanatory and easy to understand. It also puts the aforementioned gamer-centric QoS features front and center. When you load the web interface, the first thing you’re greeted with is a large internet status icon, a network traffic map, and information about ping speed and deviation.
Start scrolling, and you’re immediately presented with the Gamers Private Network feature that I briefly touched on in the previous section. This feature allows you to select the game you want to play, from a fairly limited selection, and access a customized private network managed by WTFast that’s optimized specifically for that game.
Beyond the gamer-centric QoS features that prioritize your gaming traffic over everything else, the web interface provides you with a variety of other QoS and parental settings. For example, you can change up the QoS settings to prioritize different traffic under different circumstances, and prevent your kids from accessing the internet when they’re supposed to be studying or asleep.
The web interface also gives you access to some decent security features provided by Trend Micro. It isn’t the most robust built-in router security suite I’ve seen, but it is capable of blocking malicious sites at the router level.
This router is powerful enough to cover even very large homes, but it’s also mesh-ready, and the web interface allows you to slot in a compatible router as an access point. Dead spot somewhere in your house? Pick up one of about a dozen routers that work with AiMesh, and the ROG Rapture’s web interface allows you to get it up and running in a couple of minutes.
With an MSRP of $450, and a street price that’s typically closer to $400, this is an expensive router. If you don’t need the range, speed, Wi-Fi 6, tri-band functionality, or gamer-centric QoS features, there are definitely more affordable options out there. That’s an impressive list of features though, and the ROG Rapture AX11000 is definitely worth the price tag. It performs exceedingly well right now, both as a gaming router and a general-purpose router, and the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 means it will continue to perform in the future.
With an MSRP of $599, the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 RAX200 (see on Amazon) costs even more than the already pricey ROG Rapture AX11000. It has an aesthetic advantage over the Rapture, hiding its eight antennas inside sleek wings, but the two routers go head to head on all of the most important specifications and features. They’re both AX11000 tri-band routers, and they both support Wi-Fi 6.
In the end, I have to give the edge to the ROG Rapture AX11000. It’s typically available at a slightly lower price point, and has very similar specifications and capabilities, but it also has some features that the Nighthawk RAX200 doesn’t, like parental controls and a built-in security suite. The ROG Rapture AX11000 is the better choice even if you aren’t a hardcore gamer, but the game-focused QoS features tip the scales in a big way if you are.
This is a fantastic Wi-Fi 6 router if you have the room in your budget.
If you do a lot of gaming, or if you just have a lot of data-hungry devices connected to your wireless network on a daily basis, then the ROG Rapture AX11000 won’t disappoint. The second 5GHz network included with this tri-band router really helps free up bandwidth for mission-critical situations, the range and overall performance are fantastic, and Wi-Fi 6 is an absolute must-have if you’re buying a router in this price range.