Review: ASUS RT-AC88U

What can I say, it’s a router, it routes your internet between your internet enabled devices… at speed! The ASUS RT-AC88U offers so much more than just the “bog standard” router you get free from your ISP, or even one you’ve spent a little bit of money on.

First you have to ask yourself what you need in a router, for me, WiFi range, lots of ports, gigabit preferably, and a USB port for my external hard drive. This has all of that, and more. Let’s start with connectivity. Eight gigabit LAN ports including two for Link Aggregation, which combines ports 1 and 2 to create a super fast wired connection with speeds up to 2 Gbps for your NAS drive. Two USB ports one of which is a USB 3.0 port, either can be used for printers, hard drives, or even a 3G/4G dongle. Ultra-fast 802.11ac wireless speeds, up to 2167 Mbps on the 5GHz (1024QAM) band.

Here’s my network map, there’s a few other devices in my household that don’t get much use. Such as a printer and a Mac mini, because I don’t have that much room for them to be set up permanently The speeds between WOTAN (the wife’s PC with a Linksys AC1200) and the RT-AC88U allow the same download speeds in Steam as HAL9000 (my PC). This router is limited by my Superhub 2. I use the USB 2 port on the back of the RT-AC88U due to the horrible placement of the USB 3.0 port at the front. Not sure if it was an oversight, but keeping the USB 3.0 under a little flap on the front really kills it for me.

Another design flaw for me is the inability to mount it on a wall or under a desk. It has a rather large footprint, my desk is big, but could really do with the extra space. Where the design is awesome, the look. Peaking through the vent on the top you can see a lovely red anodised heatsink. This thing makes my mancave look a tad bit boring. My first loud thoughts when I lifted it out of the box was “It’s a like an Aventador! It’s so pretty! Mannnnnn, look at it”. I’m not a Lamborghini fan, but a matte black Aventador LP 700-4…

The ASUS RT-AC88U in everyday use, well you don’t actually notice it. Previously I was shouting at my WiFi devices because the signal was terrible, distancing my device beyond arm’s length putting my shoulder out. WiFi strength is more than enough, I can actually go to the shop across the road and still use my own WiFi. Watching videos, looking at pictures and backing up via phone and computer couldn’t be easier. I just the attached Hitachi 1TB and mounted it in Windows 7, and on Android I use ES File Explorer. It also uses AiCloud 2.0 which means I can browse, download, and upload on the go. I’ve just remembered another gripe, the lack of Google Cloud Print support. I don’t have that much space to set up my printer permanently, but I’d make room for Cloud Print. It does have its own way of enabling printer support, just it’s not Google’s way, which would make it much easier to use.

All these words and I’ve not even scraped the surface of the features. There’s probably too many to mention. So I’m only really talking about the ones I use. VPN Server – PPTP, what is this you may ask. It allows you, wherever you may be to connect to your actual internet connection securely via tunneling. So when you’re out and about and you see some free WiFi, you can use the VPN feature to allow you to surf safe and securely. Adaptive QoS, you can set the bandwidth priority for things like gaming, file sharing, video streaming etc. So which ever is set at the highest priority will be get better bandwidth over than the lowest.

Gaming > Video/Audio > VoIP > General Browsing > File Transfer

If you are struggling for speed you can always check out the QoS – WAN/LAN Bandwidth Monitor or use the ASUS Router app (available on Android and iOS) which allows you to monitor and limit bandwidth if you need to… or if someone is annoying you!

Overall this router could remove all the hassle of ISP routers and make your life easier. It’s one less thing to worry about, it’s a computer in itself, it has a job and it knows how to do it well. The price maybe a let down to most, but it’s something that upgrades part of your life. Like when I bought a Chromecast, it was so nice to get rid of the cable, the cable that you had to step over every time you needed to go to the loo. My wingback armchair, it’s comfortable and it makes coming home from work great. Sitting back with a glass of whisky in one hand and my phone in the other, connected to WiFi. These days everything connects to WiFi, I have a light bulb that is connected to the internet, speakers that are connected to the internet, we all are connected to the internet. For me it is worth it.

Amazon – ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router



Publisher:  Atari
Developer: Atari, Inc./Carla Meninsky
Platform: Atari 2600
Release: 1981


The game was ported over from the arcade by Carla Meninsky, one of two female game designers to work for Atari in the early 80s, she also worked on an unreleased prototype of Tempest. While not graphically superior, Warlords offers a massive amount of fun, especially when playing with friends. The game supports up to four players with the use of two sets of paddles, you control one of the four sons (Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo) of the king apparently… Here’s what it says in the manual “Once long ago in a distant land lived a king named Frederick.  He took very good care of his subjects and pretty much let the kingdom run itself.  One day King Frederick and his wife, Queen Christina, decided to start a family. To their surprise, Queen Christina soon gave birth to quadruplets.  Four healthy sons, all at once.  The King and Queen were overwhelmed.” There is actually quite a bit more, essentially they’re four dudes trying to destroy their brothers castle.


If you’ve not played Warlords its a bit like a four player version of breakout where you can play against the AI or human players. Each player sits in a corner with two walls and you control a shield to protect them. Once your wall is penetrated and a good aimed lightning ball (fast)/fireball (slow) hits your warlord its game over for you.


Warlords features twenty-three game modes for one, two, three and four players. The game ends when all of the human players have been eliminated.  The four warlords have their own colours, orange, green, turquoise blue, and purple. The graphics are very simple like most 2600 games, and it makes it easy to just pick up and play. The controls are just a twist of a knob… and a press (and hold in some game modes) of the button. The sound, while it could be better the three sounds it does have are used effectively. Overall Warlords is fun to play on your own, and even more fun when played in a group.


My Top 10 Games I’ve Played This Year – 2013

I’m usually pretty late at playing games, so this list will be a mix of new and older games that I’ve played this year. There’s not really an order, but the ones closer to the top remain fresh in my memory.


Far Cry 3 (PC)

First up its Far Cry 3, I’ve not really played any of the Far Cry series before. Well tell a lie, I played Far Cry 2 for about 5 minutes on the Xbox 360 and hated it. I picked up the third installment during a sale not expecting to like it much, but was really surprised when I looked at my clock and I’d been playing it for about 8 hours straight. I quite like the hunting and the assassin side missions, I did most of them before I completed the story so I could unlock the special weapons and things like the upgraded wallet. I don’t usually like developers releasing a shit ton of DLC, but it would be nice to get rid of that $10k in my wallet.

Lego Marvel Super Heros (PC)

I’ve owned this game a few days, and I love it. I’ve played most if not all of the Lego games before. But this is my favorite film related one, my favourite lego game being either Lego Rock Raiders, or Lego Racers 2. I’m a Marvel fan, I grew up watching X-Men, Spider-Man among other Marvel favourites, so I was expecting to like this game. I love all the little details, the cool animations when the characters transform and the humour is amazing as usual. I’ve enjoyed it so far, more than the Star Wars series of Lego games and I love Star Wars. The open world of Lego Marvel Super Heros just makes it the super hero game that everyones been asking for.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 (PC)

First of all I’m not entirely sure why I like this game as much as I do. I’ve found myself wanting to put up little scented trees around my desk for that “realistic experience”. I enjoy racing games but it wasn’t until I got Euro Truck Simulator 2 I bought a steering wheel for my computer. At the time of writing this I’ve spent 51 hours trying not to crash, 51 hours of learning to drive, 51 hours of delivering virtual goods, 51 hours trying to remember where the best fuel prices are, 51 hours trying to remember if I’m on the correct side of the road, 51 hours creating my perfect big purple truck, 51 hours…

Just Cause 2: Multiplayer Mod (PC)

I know its not a game its a mod, but it’s still stupidly fun! Spawning the largest aircraft and hoping to keep it in flight, zooming around in sports cars with people attached to your roof, among other things. Anything Just Cause 2 can do, JC2: MP can do better! The only let down to the game is that it’s attracted a mass amount of racist and homophobic people using the chat function which ruins the game a bit for me.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC)

I quite like this, its like free money after you’ve bought the game. Team Fortress 2 as lost its fun due to the people who just buy to win. Unlike CS:GO where the weapon doesn’t actually change, I find it’s a better model. I don’t understand the whole “Ooo there’s an almost unique skin that about 19 people at once can see, I better pay £20+ for it.” mentality. I guess that’s good for those who just sell the skins to buy more games like myself. Its a good game, but I feel the sound is a bit off. Judging where people are can be harder compared to the older Counter Strike games.

Cybermorph (Jaguar)

Received an Atari Jaguar earlier this year with two games, Doom and Cybermorph. I’m going to compare it to Star Fox due it similar graphics without the rails. It’s like Star Fox meets Star Wars: Rogue Squadron made in ’93. It’s a fun, challenging and it’s definitely worth a play if you have access to a Jaguar.


Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PC)

This game shocked me, I wasn’t expecting to have so much fun while playing this. I found myself enjoying it more than most of the Mario Kart games I’ve ever played, and I grew up as a Nintendo Kid. The switch between kart, aircraft and boats is amazing, and the small learning curve makes it a perfect pick up and play game when you’re friends are around. I couldn’t recommend this game enough.

Animal Crossing (3DS)

Another game series  that people were and are raving about that I’ve never played until this one. It’s like a Facebook game in your pocket. Unlike Facebook, it’s real… I found myself feeling sad when one of my villagers moved away, now I just hope and play pretty much everyday just so I get to keep my little friends who live inside my 3DS .


Pokémon X (3DS)

The Pokémon games have been the games that pretty much everyone my age have played. I own X, which I’ve not come across that many people via Streepass playing. Not sure why that is, Xerneas is definitely cooler! The story it good, and I love the new features such as Wonder Trade and the ability to take picture, even if its just in selected spots. But I feel if you play as a male you don’t get much choice of clothing, but then again I hardly wear anything different in real life.


Tennnes (PC)

This is a game I don’t actually own, I played it at a friends house earlier this year. The controls were a little different most games, the controls kinda reminded me of Warlords (Atari 2600), but lacking the ability the hold the squa.. I mean the ball. Great game which I really hope that they release one day so I can own it.