GT-AX11000 Pro Review: Asus’s Best Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 Router

In many ways, the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Pro is the upgrade to Asus’s GT-AX11000 that came out more than three years ago.

If the latter is Asus’s first step into Wi-Fi 6, the new router is its final hardware in this Wi-Fi standard. It seems that way, anyway.

And to add another angle to the “final” notion, the GT-AX11000 Pro supports the last portion of the 5GHz spectrum, the UNII-4 section.

However, it’s still very much the previous version at heart, albeit with some significant changes. This brief review will highlight those. You can think of this piece as the GT-AX11000 vs GT-AX1100 matchup.

Here’s the bottom line: The new GT-AX11000 Pro has everything to earn its “Pro” badge, worth its current street price of $450. In fact, it even has enough for you to pick it as the GT-AX11000’s immediate replacement.

But considering Wi-Fi 6E is ubiquitous, Wi-Fi 7 is around the corner, and 5.9GHz-enabled clients are nonexistent, I’m not sure if it makes the best sense to do this router today.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on January 4, 2022, as a new piece and updated it on December 17 to an in-depth review after hands-on testing. The router becomes available for purchase in late 2020.

The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro is another powerful gaming router.
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro is another powerful gaming router.

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro: Everything you’d want in a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router

The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro is a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router — as opposed to a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, which is quite different. As such, it has everything you’d look for in one. Well, almost.

But one thing is clear, it’s much better than the non-Pro older cousin. Let’s take a closer look.

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000: The UNII-4 support

In terms of Wi-Fi, the GT-AX11000 Pro joins a short list of Wi-Fi 6 routers that feature the 5.9GHz UNII-4 portion.

Consequently, it will have three 160MHz channels, with the last being DFS-free. In other words, it can use this third 160MHz channel without dealing with RADAR signals.

Without this 5.9GHz portion, both existing 160MHz channels on the 5GHz frequency band need to include at least one DFS sub-channel, which shares airspace with radar signals and, therefore, can cause intermittent disconnections.

UNII4: Why the 5.9GHz portion is exciting

The use of the 5.9GHz only removes the need for these potentially problematic sub-channels in delivering Wi-Fi 6’s top performance (160MHz).

And that means the GT-AX11000 Pro’s 5GHz band can deliver the same speed (4.8Gbps) and reliability as the 6GHz band of a Wi-Fi 6E router, but likely at a better range.

But, on the flip side, that doesn’t mean much since this portion of the band is not currently supported by any clients. Until supported clients are available — and they might never be — the UNII-4 portion is only useful when you use multiple GT-AX11000 Pro in a fully wireless AiMesh configuration.

The list: Current Wi-Fi 6 solutions that support UNII-4

And the wireless mesh front, Asus currently offers the most combo options with most of the hardware that features UNII-4, as shown in the list above.

You can use a mix of any of them to form an AiMesh system. Generally, if you pick the GT-AX11000 Pro, use it as the primary router of your mesh.

Asus’s AiMesh: Everything you’d need to know

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000: A more powerful router with multiple Multi-Gig ports

Other than the support for the 5.9GHz band, the GT-AX11000 Pro is also an all-around more powerful router. Compared to the original GT-AX11000, it has a better 2.0GHz quad-core CPU.

But there’s one thing you can’t put don’t the old router: The new GT-AX11000 Pro now has an additional 10Gbps LAN port. And that makes a huge difference for those wanting to go full Multi-Gig. (It would be much better, though, if it has two 10GbE ports, like the case of the GT-AXE1600.)

The hardware specification table below will show more of the similarity and differences between the new router and its older cousin. For comparison, I also put the GT-AXE11000 in the mix.

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000: Hadware speciciations

Hardware specifications: Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000: A more sensible design

The new GT-AXE11000 Pro shares the same square design as the GT-AX11000 and GT-AXE11000 and improves over the two.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro vs GT AXE11000Asus GT AX11000 Pro vs GT AXE11000 Ports
Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AXE11000: The former (top) shares the same shape as the latter but now with a different top design and port arrangement. It also has an additional 10Gbps port. Note how the new router’s antennas can’t be open all the way outward.

Specifically, it uses non-removable antennas that can rotate around but can only open about 300 outward. Its Aura RGB light on top now has more exciting and eye-catching patterns.

And finally, it has its ports and button moved around a bit to be more practical.

Asus GT AX1100 Pro Wi Fi 6 RouterAsus GT AX11000 Router
Asus GT-AX11000 Pro vs GT-AX11000: The former (left) is totally different from the latter in terms of design. Note that the GT-AX11000’s antennas are removable.

Overall, I like the GT-AX1100 Pro’s design much better than the GT-AX11000. The antennas alone are enough to make things easier to deal with. (It was a pain to keep the little poles of the previous model stay in their place.)

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro: Detail photos

Out of the box, the Asus GT-AX11000 Pro includes a large power adapter and a network cable.
Out of the box, the Asus GT-AX11000 Pro includes a large power adapter and a network cable.

The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro is massive and has a good heft.
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro is massive and has a good heft. The router has eight external antennas that only open about 30 degrees outward, but you can swivel them around 360 degrees.

The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro has eight external antennas that only open about 30 degrees outward, but you can swivel them around 360 degrees.The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro has one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port.
The front and back of the Asus GT-AX11000 Pro. Note its USB ports.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro 1 2
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro has a 10Gbps port, in addition to its 2.5Gbps WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro UndersideAsus GT AX1100 Pro Wi Fi 6 Router Power Adapter
The Asus GT AX1100 Pro is not wall-mountable (as seen on its underside) and comes with a relatively large power adapter.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro Status LEDsAsus GT AX11000 Pro Aura RGB Lights
Here’s the Asus GT AX1100 Pro’s Aura RBG lighting during day time and when it’s lit up at night.

A familiar Asus experience

The GT-AX11000 Pro shares the same firmware and, therefore, the feature set as the rest of the Asus routers.

I detailed all of these features in the primer post on Asus routers. But overall, if you have an Asus router before, you’ll find yourself right at home with this one.

As for a gaming router, it supports every features collectively available in the Asus router, as you’ll note in the table below.

Model/Name Multi-Gig
Port
Gaming Private Network Game First/ROG First VPN
Fusion
Game Boost Gaming Port Open NAT Mobile Game Boost Gear Accelerator GeForce Now Aura RGB LED Lights
GT-AXE16000 1×2.5Gbps
2x10Gbps
WTFast Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GT-AX11000 Pro 1×2.5Gbps
1x10Gbps
WTFast Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GT-AXE11000 1×2.5Gbps Outfox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GT-AX11000 1×2.5Gbps WTFast Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GT-AX6000 2×2.5Gbps No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GT-AC5300 None WTFast Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
GS-AX5400 None No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GS-AX3000 None No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
RT-AX88U None WTFast No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
RT-AX89X 1x10Gbps
1xSFP+
No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
RT-AC88U None WTFast No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
RT-AX86U 1×2.5Gbps No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
RT-AX86S None No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
RT-AX82U None No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
RT-AX92U None WTFast No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
RT-AC86U None No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
RT-AC68U None No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
TUF-AX5400 None No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
The gamering of Asus’ existing gaming routers

In other words, the GT-AX11000 Pro is essentially the GT-AXE11000 plus a 10Gbps LAN port and the support for the 5.9GHz portion of the 5GHz spectrum.

On top of that, it uses the look of the GT-AXE11000 with minor esthetical improvements. And it has all the good stuff afforded by the Asuswrt firmware. And for advanced users and geeks, the router also supports Merlin firmware.

Speaking of firmware, the router also supports the latest 388 firmware release. I tested it mostly with the version but also tried it out with the previous 386 version — both Asuswrt. With either, the GT-AX11000 proved to be reliable as a single router. In a mesh setup, things can be tricky depending on the combo.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro VPN x.386.xfirmawreAsus GT AX11000 Pro VPN x.388.xfirmawre
With the 388 firmware (right), the GT-AX11000 Pro has additional features, such as WireGuard VPN support. However, this version might be buggy in an AiMesh setup.

Asus GT-AX11000 Pro: Excellent performance (as a standalone router)

As mentioned, I tested the Asus GT-AX11000 Pro extensively as a standalone router, and it performed well. The router proved to be fast and reliable with no random disconnection.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi AX Performance Long RangeAsus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi AX Performance Short Range
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro’s Wi-Fi performance with a 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 client

It’s worth noting that the UNII-4 portion of its 5GHz-2 band was useless in my trial since there was no supported client.

That band will come in handy, though, if you couple the router with other supported broadcasters, such as the ZenWifi XT8 or XT9, to form a fully wireless AiMesh.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi AC Performance Long RangeAsus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi AC Performance Close Range
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro’s Wi-Fi performance with 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 clients

However, considering the 388 firmware is relatively new — and it has shown to be buggy in my experience in other non-UNII-4 mesh setups — I’d not recommend using this router in such a setup just yet. It’s a good idea to wait for a few minor updates first.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi 2.4GHz Performance Long RangeAsus GT AX11000 Pro Wi Fi 2.4GHz Performance Short Range
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro’s Wi-Fi performance with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 6 client

Regarding range, the GT-AX11000 Pro shared the same excellent coverage as other high-end Wi-Fi 6 routers I’ve tested.

It’s impossible to put this in numbers, but I’d say if you live in a home of 2000 ft2 (186 m2) or 2500 ft2 (232 m2), place it in the center, and chances are your game. Keep in mind that your mileage will vary depending on the layout of your home.

Good NAS performance when hosting a portable drive

The GT-AX1100 Pro worked well as a mini NAS server when hosting a portable SSD — the WD My Passport, in my case.

Its performance wasn’t the fastest, nor as fast as I’d hoped, from a 10GbE connect, but it was speedy enough nonetheless, as shown in the charts below.

Asus GT AX11000 Pro NAS Write PerformanceAsus GT AX11000 Pro NAS Read Performance
The Asus GT-AX11000 Pro’s Network storage performance when hosting a USB portable SSD

If you’re serious about network storage, I’d always recommend getting a real NAS server. But until then, couple this router with a decent portable drive, and you’ll have a viable solution for everyday needs, including as a Time Capsule alternative.

Pros

Excellent Wi-F performance; UNII-4 support

Lots of free and useful networking features and settings, including all gaming features collectively found in Asus routers

Two Multi-Gig ports with excelling port configuration; supports LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

No vendor required login account; improved design

Cons

UNII-4 clients are nonexistent; no 6GHz band

Bulky design, not wall-mountable

Conclusion

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Pro is an excellent router and a clear winner if your other option is the older GT-AX11000.

However, remember that it’s still a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router — it doesn’t have a 6GHz band. And while the support for UNII-4 doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t mean much, considering there’s no supported client.

So if you’re comfortable with Wi-Fi 6 for the foreseeable future, the GT-AX11000 Pro is an easy recommendation — it’s among the best of its type and will work well, at least for those needing a single broadcaster at home.

But if you’re looking to the future, it might already be a bit dated at the release time. So, to buy or not to buy is the question.