Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 28, 2022
Over the weekend I took delivery of the new Asus Zenwifi 6E (ET8) system. I replaced the (unwanted love child) Linksys MX5300 wifi 6 system I've fought with for the last two years. The overall rating is minus a star for the TERRIBLE customer support and documentation.

Pros of the ET8 system:

• Setup of the main router was not very painful. I plugged it in and used the mobile app to configure.
• Coverage (as measured by me) is way better than the Linksys system it replaced. The six Router and mesh units I have working now replaced seven Linksys units. The Linksys still had weak connections even with 7 nodes.
• For the most part the plug and play of the mesh worked (more on this later).
• Speed is basically ~20% faster than the Linksys system for wifi 6 devices.
• The mobile and especially the Web app are outstanding, very configurable.
• Price

Cons of the ET8 System

- Documentation, phone support, Asus product specific web site is horrendous
- One of the units I received with DOA

I am an OLD networking type having worked at two networking companies, so YMMV. In my installation I have to cover (including the garage) four levels and more than 5000 sq feet. I received the 4 units on Saturday afternoon and tore into the packaging. I looked at the quick start documentation supplied and it was useless. Downloaded the mobile app and got started. For the most part the app was very good and I had the router up and running in under 10 minutes. OK cool, the first part is done. Then I tried to optimize the first unit (there's a button on the GUI mobile page), it brought my cable modem down, which I thought was strange. After bring everything back up, I tried it again with the same results. Note to self, stay away from that function for now. Next was to get the mesh up. I plugged the other three devices in and only two showed up in the app. I configured the two that were discovered and it went well. I struggled with the other unit for the rest of the evening. I updated the firmware of the existing mesh and had a great time with the outstanding web app. One of the things I really like about the Asus is almost everything is configurable (especially look under the professional tab in wifi), a far cry from the Linksys where you can't do much of anything.

Next morning I exhausted every option, reset the device (three times), linked the main router through a cable to the DOA unit etc. So I called support, ARG. Support ran me through their checklist, everything I had already done. They had me update the firmware manually didn’t fix the problem. BTW I read the release notes on the firmware update and it had nothing about the problem I was having. Long story short, they said I should send it in for repair. I told them it was new out of the box and to send a replacement, but they don't have stock on hand? They're the manufacturer!. I called Amazon and they sent out a replacement that arrives today.

I’ve been living with it for two days and so far so good (of course except for the DOA device and the coverage needed.). I will post an update when I get the new device and the updated mesh up and running.

Update:

I received the replacement ET8 and plugged it in, it was immediately recognized and was added to the mesh. However things aren't so rosy. When adding the additional node, it brought down the router and when restarting I had to go through part of the initial set up again. I've had one outage in the two days it's been up, a random reboot happened but since then it has been for the most part solid. I have also decided to add the ZenWiFi Pro AXE11000 as the main router. I've noticed some weak spots and poorer coverage in areas of the house especially the garage and think the additional antennas of the AXE11000 will help. My next update will be when those arrive and I have them installed.

Last update.

I received the ZenWifi Pro ET12 two pack yesterday. Having previously installed the ET8 I had a good idea what I was in for. Actually the installation was easier than the ET8, these units are beasts. Used the phone app (and later the web app) to configure. Both the router and node came up easy. I repurposed the ET8s as mesh nodes and they joined easily.. No more dead spots in the house and after the firmware updates it so far has been rock solid. I have 40 various devices connected. I did a speed test, for reference, I have a gigabit coming into the house and tested at the router, and getting the full Gig. The mesh under my Linksys wifi 6 was ~300 megabits at the nodes, under the ET8 ~600 and change. With the new ET12s I'm getting constantly over 700 megabits. I plan on stressing the system today but so far I'm happy with the results. BTW, I should have bought the ET12s out of the gate but thought I could get away with the ET8s, my mistake. Also for reference I am running a router and 5 node mesh with again a mix of ET8s and ET12s.
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