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Asus Blue Cave Smart Wi-Fi router review: This stylish router blue away the competition

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The Good Asus' Blue Cave offers top speeds at an affordable price. The menu gives you access to almost every setting imaginable. Free security from Trend Micro provides added peace of mind. Alexa and IFTTT are supported.

The Bad Network storage transfer speeds were slow. Constantly explaining to friends that it’s actually a router might be annoying.

The Bottom Line It's a cool looking router with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle. It has lots of speed, features and security for an affordable price. The menu and app give you as much control over your network as you want.

8.8 Overall
  • Setup 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 8.5

If you want a router that has style, speed, security and great Wi-Fi coverage, the Asus Blue Cave AC2600 router is the one you want. At $175 or £180 (which converts to about AU$320), it's affordable and has all the latest 802.11ac features. 

It's not average in any way -- especially with a gaping blue hole that lights up in the middle, making it look kind of like a speaker or subwoofer. You'll love the in-depth web interface if you really want to customize your settings, or you can use the Asus Router app to quickly establish a set-it-and-forget-it home network.

Yes, I'll say it: The Blue Cave is the hole package. Oh, there's more where that came from.

This router's design just blue my mind

The Blue Cave is a small white box with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle that lights up. It's a far cry from the alien bug robot designs we've seen throughout the history of routers, but this weird-looking device is interesting enough to be a conversation piece.

It's lightweight and you can place it just about anywhere in your home (especially since you can see right through it). The back is populated with lots of ventilation holes, further adding to its eye-catching nature.

As for function, you get one gigabit WAN port for internet, four gigabit LAN ports for your wired devices and one USB 3.0 port for printers, network storage or charging your mobile devices. There's also a few smaller buttons for WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup), reset and power. Asus did a great job designing a cool-looking device while incorporating all the ports and buttons you need.

The menu is its ace in the hole

Setting up the Blue Cave was easy from either the Asus Router app or its web interface. Just use an Ethernet cable to connect the router to your modem and you're ready to go. Setup should only take a few minutes with either method.

asus-blue-cave-setup-screen

The web interface makes the setup process super easy and the menu has just about every setting you could want.

Asus/Screenshot by Dan Dziedzic/CNET

Now the real fun begins -- that is, if you like to customize every single one of your router settings. The Asus web interface gives you access to all the standard settings, such as changing your Wi-Fi password, setting up a guest Wi-Fi network and rebooting your router, but the advanced settings are insane. If you've used Asus routers before, you should be familiar with the interface. For newbies, get ready to take full control over your home network.

The Blue Cave offers in-depth quality of service (QoS) to prioritize which devices on your network can use the most bandwidth. It has both manual and automatic options for getting the most speed out of everything you own.

There's also AiProtection, which provides easy-to-use parental controls and bonus network security powered by Trend Micro. This free lifetime service detects malware and viruses, conducts a router security assessment, and prevents spam and DDoS attacks. Asus also offers a free one-year subscription for additional antivirus software, which you can install on up to four devices. Look for a postcard included in the retail box.

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