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I love fast hardware and exploring the bleeding edge of what’s possible in computing with some of the fastest Wi-Fi routers in the world, but that gets expensive fast. Most people just want their internet connection to work reliably without wasting a bunch of money on hardware they don’t really need. That’s where the Asus RT-AX57 comes in with its modest AX3000 connection and simple software, making it easy to get set up in minutes. This router looks like a good fit for a lot of families, but can it really keep up with a fast connection and a demanding household?

The RT-AX57 router kept up with two weeks of fairly strenuous work powering multiple TV streams at once, some large game downloads, and even a bit of streaming. While I found myself missing some of the more premium ASUSWRT features included with more expensive routers, the RT-AX57 was a strong performer overall and has proven to be a good middle-of-the-road option for those with a gigabit internet connection. If you're looking for a router fast enough to keep up with a small family and don't want to spend a fortune on unneeded features, the RT-AX57 is a strong option.

About this review: This review was written after two weeks of testing the Asus RT-AX57 purchased by XDA. Asus had no input into the contents of this review.

Best Budget Routers in 2023
Source: Asus
Asus RT-AX57
Good for a small family
8 / 10
$101 $140 Save $39

The Asus RT-AX57 is a mid-range AX3000 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with gigabit networking. With 160MHz support, this Wi-Fi 6 router supports fast wireless connection, so you can make the most of a gigabit internet connection.

Wi-Fi Bands
2.4GHz, 5GHz
Ethernet Ports
5x 1Gbps
USB Ports
Mesh Network Compatible
Supported standards
Wi-Fi 6
AX3000 (574Mbps + 2402Mbps)
1.7GHz quad-core 256MB RAM
App requirements
Asus Router app or web browser setup
5x RJ45 Ethernet
  • Solid AX3000 connection with 160MHz support
  • AiProtection Classic parental controls are plenty for most people
  • Mesh coverage expansion supported with AiMesh
  • Solid gigabit speeds
  • No multi-gig Ethernet
  • Fewer AiProtection features than higher-end Asus routers
  • Materials fee cheap
  • Coverage could be better

Asus RT-AX57: Price and availability

The Asus RT-AX57 isn’t the cheapest router at $140, but it can often be found around $110 or even lower on sale. It can be found at numerous retailers including Amazon, B&H, Newegg, Micro Center, and many more, and has been available since early 2023. You can also pick it up directly from the Asus web store.

This router was used primarily on firmware version with the update to applied before testing. The firmware notes for this latest release mainly focus on AiMesh issues, and no issues were observed after the latest update.

Design and hardware

Fit for purpose but undeniably plastic

Asus RT-AX57 from the left side

From a hardware perspective, it’s clear that the Asus RT-AX57 is a cheap router. It’s made mostly of light plastics, and it’s so lightweight that it tends to slide around every time I adjust the cables despite having rubber feet. Between those feet are mounting points if you want to put your RT-AX57 on the wall. There are four open gigabit Ethernet ports on the back with another one for the incoming connection. There’s no USB port, so you can't connect a flash drive or use USB for a backup internet connection like you can on more expensive Asus routers.

Visually, the router looks decent with dark gray plastic making up the majority of the house with a couple of gold lines in the center. I was a bit disappointed to see the plastics are much glossier than the pictures online made it seem, which I think looks cheaper. Cooling is handled passively with vents on the front and back of the unit. That being said, the router never made it past slightly warm to the touch, so I’m not worried at all about cooling.

Five status lights are front and center, so you can see in a second if your network is up and running. The four antennas on the back are also fully adjustable, so you have a few options in orienting the router.

Setup and software

Easy setup with the app or in a web browser

Like all Asus routers, setup was a breeze using the Asus Router app. Using the app, you’ll be guided through basic Wi-Fi setup, so you can get all of your devices back online as soon as possible using the same SSID as your old network. Be sure to disconnect your old router if you’re using the same Wi-Fi name, however.

Once your network is set up, you’ll be able to change the most common settings using the app as well as see your network status and current usage on the home tab. The devices tab shows you all the connected devices and allows you to see your connection quality and adjust settings like Safe Browsing and family assignments. An insight tab gives you security advice as well as suggests more features.

The family tab is your one-stop shop for parental controls, and despite not having the full AiProteciton package onboard, there are still nice options for parents. You start by creating profiles for your family members and assigning devices to them. You can choose a safe browsing preset including Security for blocking malicious content, Family for also blocking adult content, and Ad Block to stop advertisements. You can also do Ad Block + Family if you want to really stay in control of what your kids see online.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the blocks aren’t always 100%, and some crafty kids will find their way around them, but it’s nice for some extra peace of mind. Another thing to consider is that many websites pay the bills with ads and won’t work properly if you block them. I’ve blocked my fair share of ads, so I won’t lecture anyone, but if you’re noticing websites not loading all elements properly or buy links not showing up, this is a good setting to remember on your router.

The final settings tab lets you sink your teeth into the inner workings of your router a bit more. For most people, these settings are all they really want. Here, you'll find Wi-Fi settings, LAN and WAN options, the ability to add VPNs, smart home integration, and more. This is also where you’ll find the firmware update page if you haven’t enabled automatic updates, which I recommend enabling.

Speaking of VPNs, VPN Client mode is supported, meaning you can add one of the best VPN providers to your router, so all of your devices connect through the VPN. Unfortunately, there is no way to pick which devices use the VPN and which don’t, so it’s either on or off.

For most people, the app has all the settings they could ever want for their router. Asus, however, allows advanced users to connect through a web browser for much more in-depth settings. For example, you can adjust the power level and modulation settings of your Wi-Fi connection. You can even adjust the thresholds for Smart Connect if you want. Of course, most of the settings from the app are also available.

Finally, AiMesh gives this router the ability to work as part of a mesh system with other Asus routers. With two or more routers from Asus, including the ROG brand, you can create a mesh using the RT-AX57 as the primary router or a node. You could even get compact ZenWiFi nodes for a mesh with a smaller footprint.

Wireless performance

Remember to turn on 160MHz

Asus RT-AX57 logo and Wi-Fi 6 marks on the router

While its wireless speeds aren’t a match for a higher-end router like the Asus RT-AX88U Pro, the RT-AX57 is generally impressive, with solid speeds around the house and a reliable connection. Its coverage is decent but not a match for the RT-AX88U Pro either. In my bedroom, for example, my laptop on 5GHz reports only a 408Mbps link, but a speed test easily exceeds 600Mbps. If my area were more congested, however, I have no doubt this router would be struggling a lot more.

I enabled 160MHz in the router’s settings, but unfortunately, the router never kicked over to the full bandwidth. It makes sense for a router like this to prefer an 80MHz connection since it can operate at a higher power level for better coverage, but I would have liked to have seen it enable 160MHz by default. By the way, an 80MHz Wi-Fi 6 connection supports up to a 1201Mbps link while 160MHz takes that up to 2402Mbps with a compatible device.

I tested this router using a symmetrical gigabit internet connection. With only gigabit Ethernet onboard, this router peaks at 1Gbps, which is fine since that’s close to the fastest speeds offered by most cable and fiber internet service providers (ISPs). Some ISPs are making the move to multi-gig speeds, but the rollout has been slow, and the majority of fiber customers are looking at gigabit speeds at the top.

Speed test results: 5GHz at 80MHz (download/upload)

Living room (router)



LG G8 (Wi-Fi 5)

550/526Mbps, 604/572Mbps

161/131Mbps, 133/129Mbps

467/436Mbps, 587/325Mbps

Galaxy S20 (Wi-Fi 6)

664/585Mbps, 677/638Mbps

400/204Mbps, 475/216Mbps

555/313Mbps, 551/309Mbps

Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

624/592Mbps, 624/537Mbps

347/123Mbps, 427/139MBps

655/473Mbps, 601/495Mbps

Speeds at 5GHz aren’t incredible, but more than quick enough for streaming at 4K or browsing through social media. The results in the bedroom, the most challenging location, tell a story more about coverage than Wi-Fi speed. The coverage on this router isn’t great and falls short of more expensive models at 5GHz. This router isn’t suitable for a large house unless you’re putting together a mesh system.

My laptop with a better Wi-Fi antenna easily gets over 600Mbps in the bedroom location. Needless to say, the day-to-day experience on this computer has been solid.

Since this is a dual-band router, it also uses 2.4GHz for 574Mbps of its capacity. This band is important for older devices without 5GHz support as well as a lot of smart home tech that sticks to this slower band. This lower frequency has better coverage than 5GHz, especially at 20MHz or 40MHz, so I expect to see usable speeds in all locations.

Speed test results: 2.4GHz at 40MHz (download/upload)

Living room (router)



LG G8 (Wi-Fi 5)

106/55.2Mbps, 88.6/54.6Mbps

67.7/43.7Mbps, 55.8/54.5Mbps

83.1/62.6Mbps, 90.1/57.5Mbps

Galaxy S20 (Wi-Fi 6)

136/121Mbps, 142/132Mbps

108/120Mbps, 106/98.7Mbps

50.6/54.7Mbps, 101/51.6Mbps

Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

80.2/106Mbps, 246/223Mbps

121/92.0Mbps, 136/125Mbps

195/143Mbps, 210/154Mbps

These speeds were right in line with what I expected and should have no trouble driving dozens of smart home devices like smart switches and speakers. Even upload speeds were solid for the tech and should be fine for cameras and video calls.

While I think it's important to understand the default behavior of a router since many people won’t be interested in messing with Wi-Fi settings, I wanted to see how well 160MHz performed on the Asus RT-AX57. I forced the router to switch to 160MHz mode and reran the same speed tests on the Zenfone 8. I found speeds to be generally higher, especially upload speeds. With 160MHz enabled, the Asus RT-AX57 is a solid gigabit router.

Speed test results: 5GHz at 160MHz (download/upload)

Living room (router)



Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

903/902Mbps, 882/858Mbps

464/246Mbps, 434/223Mbps

757/607Mbps, 784/599Mbps

I believe 160MHz should have been enabled by default or should have been automatically enabled after a few days of use. If there was a lot of congestion in my area, I’d be fine with the router sticking to 80MHz, but in my house, 160MHz makes more sense.

Should you buy it?

Asus RT-AX57 Ethernet ports and antennas from an angle

You should buy it if:

  • You want to stop renting routers from your ISP.
  • You want reliable Wi-Fi 6 speeds.
  • You need basic parental controls for free.
  • You might need a mesh network in the future.

You shouldn't buy it if:

  • You want true gigabit speeds in every room.
  • You want to be ready for multi-gig internet connections.
  • You need advanced parental controls and security.

The Asus RT-AX57 is a strong performer given its size and relative hardware weakness. This router is obviously built to a cost with premium materials swapped for cheap plastics, but when it comes to performance, it’s all there. The AX3000 connection is quick enough for most people and feels snappy, even with a gigabit connection. With 160MHz enabled, near-gigabit speeds are even possible if the signal quality is high enough.

If you have a larger home and aren’t interested in building a mesh, however, you’ll find the RT-AX57 to be a bit lacking in coverage compared to some of the other best Wi-Fi routers or one of the best mesh systems. This router also isn’t terribly powerful when it comes to wired networking with no multi-gig ports included. It’s not surprising on a router this cheap, but could put a damper on someone using a plan like Xfinity’s 1200Mbps/35Mbps plan since they won’t get the full download speed. For most other people, the RT-AX57 offers plenty of performance with effortless 4K streaming and fast downloads working like a charm. Just be sure to manually select 160MHz for a gigabit connection.

Best Budget Routers in 2023
Source: Asus
Asus RT-AX57
A strong performer
8 / 10
$101 $140 Save $39

The Asus RT-AX57 is a mid-range AX3000 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with gigabit networking. With 160MHz support, this Wi-Fi 6 router supports fast wireless connection, so you can make the most of a gigabit internet connection.