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Asus Adds a Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Gaming Router to the ROG Rapture Lineup

With an eye-catching design and enhanced backhaul connections, Asus' first multipiece mesh gaming router is coming to stores at the end of 2022.

The ROG Rapture GT6 sits against a blue backdrop.
Asus

Asus already makes some of our favorite gaming routers, and the company also sells a couple of top-recommended mesh systems. Now, Asus aims to appeal to both categories with a new, distinctive-looking mesh router for the ROG Rapture gaming lineup. 

Called the ROG Rapture GT6, the multidevice mesh gaming setup made its debut today at the Gamescom video game trade fair in Germany and is set to arrive in North America by the end of 2022. With a fancy, tri-band build, full support for the fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds and an eyebrow-raising design to boot, the system won't come cheap, with an expected retail price of $600 for a two-piece setup.

The Asus ROG Rapture GT6
Asus

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For your money, you'll get a tri-band system with two 5GHz bands, each supporting speeds of up to 4,800 megabits per second (4.8 gigabits per second) and a 2.4GHz band supporting speeds of up to 574Mbps. The system will use one of those 5GHz bands as the dedicated wireless backhaul between the main router and its satellite. However, you can wire the two devices together with an Ethernet cable for better performance. 

That might be a particularly good idea with the GT6, as each device includes a multigig WAN jack capable of supporting incoming internet speeds of up to 2.5Gbps, while also supporting LAN aggregation, which lets you use multiple Ethernet jacks at once for faster combined speeds. So, if you were living with a blazingly fast, multigig internet connection, you could opt for a double-wired backhaul that would pass those multigig speeds on to the satellite and then onto your wireless devices trying to connect at range.

The system also looks utterly unlike any other mesh router I've tested, with a spacey design available in your choice of black or white and a pixelated ROG logo on the front. The build looks more like a small gaming PC than a traditional access point to me, so it might fit in especially well if you've already bought into the sort of flashy-looking gaming setup that the ROG lineup is known for. Then again, if you're just looking for home networking hardware that doesn't stand out or clash with your living room decor, you'll probably want to consider something else.

You'll set the GT6 up and manage its features using the Asus Router app, which features a nice mix of advanced tricks designed to monitor performance and optimize online gaming.

Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

As for the features and specs, you can expect the usual strong slate of gaming-centric tricks in the Asus Router app, where you'll be able to optimize your connection to specific gaming servers, manage lag and port-forwarding settings and a lot more. The GT6 also boasts support for 160MHz channel width, which is key to taking full advantage of Wi-Fi 6 and its ability to move huge amounts of data faster and more efficiently than previous-gen Wi-Fi devices. It isn't a Wi-Fi 6E system with support for the recently opened 6GHz band, though. If you want that from an Asus gaming router, you'll still need to spring for the ROG Rapture GTE-AXE11000, which costs $700. 

That said, the GT6 does feature an additional 160MHz channel in the 5.9GHz band that the system can use to expand the backhaul capacity, which could improve mesh performance and speeds at range in bandwidth-hungry households or help stave off interference from nearby networks.

"The 5.9GHz band has been set aside exclusively for newer wireless routers, so users with compatible Wi-Fi devices can enjoy less connection interference than before, especially in office or apartment environments where many nearby Wi-Fi 5 networks may be competing for signal delivery," the Asus release explains.

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Other features of note include Asus Instant Guard, which lets you connect to your home network through a VPN while you're traveling, as well as security scans and parental controls. GT6 users will get lifetime access to all of that, Asus says.

Look for the Asus ROG Rapture GT6 mesh gaming router to arrive in the US sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. When we can get our hands on it to see how it performs, we'll update this piece with our first impressions.