RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U – Which Asus Router?

It’s comparison time – and on this occasion we will compare two of Asus’s biggest routers. The Asus RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U.

Let’s be clear, neither are cheap. So you want to make sure you have your facts right before parting with your hard-earned cash.

Best way to go about this is to run through which features the Asus routers have in common, and which features separate one from the other…

RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC87U Router

Asus RT-AC87U Router

Launched at the back-end of last year, the Asus RT-AC87U has become very popular with consumers. Features MU-MIMO technology amongst others.

>>>Full Asus RT-AC87U Review<<<

RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC3200 Router

Asus RT-AC3200 Router

The RT-AC3200U was released earlier this year. It’s main feature is Tri-Band wireless, which is balanced over 3 frequency bands.

>>>Full Asus RT-AC3200 Review<<<

List of Asus Routers

Bottom Line
Asus RT-AC88U AC3100
Asus RT-AC88U Main
Asus RT-AC88U Main
ACMU-MIMO router. Great for multiple clients
Asus RT-AC3200
AC3.2Gbps Tri Band router from Asus
Asus RT-AC68U AC1900
ACSimilar to the 66U, but has more grunt
Asus RT-AC66U
Asus RT-AC66U Main
Asus RT-AC66U Main
ACBeen around for a few years and still very popular
Asus RT-AC5300U
ACStill good for gaming

Asus RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U – Shared Features

What features do these AC heavyweights share? Well, quite a few actually…

Lightning Fast .11ac
Of course, both routers are Wireless AC, and pretty powerful ones too.

RT-AC87U – Theoretical speeds of 2.4Gbps over its 2 bands.

RT-AC3200 – Speeds, theoretical, of up to 3.2Gbps, over its 3 bands.

So it looks like the AC3200 is the faster of the two, right? Well, yes, but there is very little in it. As we are about to find out, the AC3200 actually balances its speeds out over its two AC bands. The 2 bands are designed to balance out the Wi-Fi traffic over your network rather than giving raw speed.
Expect both routers to offer between 520Mbps and 570Mbps throughput speed on Wireless AC at their peak.

Dual Core Processors
In order to take advantage of all the latest technology available to them, these Asus routers need to have sufficient power under the hood.
Asus have given both routers the same chipset (Broadcom BCM4709A0), so plenty of power is available to carry out all tasks.

View of the RT-AC3200 Rear Ports

RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC3200 Rear Ports

Both have 2 USB Ports
With a USB 3.0 port, you can stream 4k video and fling files around the home without having to hang around too long. Either router can be used as a centralized storage unit, by plugging in a flash drive into the USB 3.0 port. No need to go out and buy a NAS box, unless you want some resilience for your files of course.
There’s a second USB 2.0 port. Again, it can be used for storage and/or a USB printer.

QoS – Adaptive Style
Both the 87U & the AC3200 ship with Adaptive QoS, helping to streamline efficiency and stopping bandwidth hoggers from ruining your Internet experience.

6 Guest Networks
How many guest networks do you need? How about 6, is that enough? LOL. Yes, you can never have too many guest networks! Asus have made sure you never complain about not having enough. Both routers come with 6 guest networks for you to set up, should you need them.

The ‘Ai’ Suite
Asus have ‘Ai’ marketing as part of their portfolio. The routers both share:

AiCloud – Access and sync home documents and files securely from anywhere.

AiProtection – Protects your network from any potential vulnerabilities. AiProtection will help stop threats from outside, stop your clients from sending viruses from the inside, and also filters web access as and when you want it.

Asus RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U – What’s The Difference?

The only real difference between these two is the fact that one is the number of Wi-Fi bands and a little thing called ‘MU-MIMO’.

Asus RT-87U AC2400 Router

RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC87U Main
RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC87U Buy Button

RT-AC87U – To make up for the fact that it doesn’t have Tri-Band, the 87U uses MU-MIMO technology. In fact it’s the first router to be released that features 4×4 AC MU-MIMO.

This means that multiple clients can benefit the luxuries of MIMO at the same time, rather than having only a single client use MIMO at any one given moment.

In case you didn’t know, MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) takes out-of-sync signals and reprocesses them into order which improves efficiency greatly.

MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple In Multiple Out) means that several clients can be efficient…all at the same time. It’s a win-win for your network.

Asus RT-AC3200 Router

RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC3200 Main
RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U - Asus RT-AC3200 Buy Button

RT-AC3200 – Ok, so the AC3200 doesn’t have the benefits of MU-MIMO, but it does have one massive trick up its sleeve…. it has Tri-Band. That’s 3 bands in total (our math is fantastic, isn’t it?). There’s a single band on the old school 2.4GHz band, and two on the 5GHz range.

Where the RT-AC3200 really excels is on the 5GHz bands. As new wireless clients are added to the network, the AC3200 balances the clients appropriately over each band, so that no single band is overloaded with multiple clients.

This helps stop congestion and gives more clients a fair piece of the cake, when it comes to accessing the network, particularly when it’s busy.

Smart Connect – Smart Connect works in conjunction with Tri Band. It intelligently works out how wireless clients should be balanced over the Wi-Fi bands. This ensures that the available Wi-Fi bands don’t become unevenly under or over-congested.

Who Wins The RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U Battle?

Well, it’s not an easy one, and it depends on your requirements (you can tell we are shirking the onus of responsibility here, lol).

Unless you have a lot of clients, who are very active on your network, it’s probably best to grab the RT-AC87U.

Why? Well, for raw speed, it’s only marginally slower than its counterpart when it comes to the “all important” 5GHz range tests. And it shares pretty much all of the features of the RT-AC3200.
Where the RT-AC3200 really comes into its own is under those congestion conditions on 5GHz AC.
Balancing the clients over two 5GHz bands (both 1.3Gbps theoretical), is almost a Quality of Service feature in itself.

The Smart Connect really does its job in balancing nodes evenly. There is the option to disable this feature and have 3 completely separate networks, should you prefer it.

So, in the RT-AC3200 vs RT-AC87U battle, unless you have a ton of clients on your network all the time, you are perhaps better off with the RT-AC87U. It’s a little slower than its counterpart, but it’s quite a bit cheaper…

But if raw power and performance is all, and money is no object – go for the RT-AC3200.

Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…

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3 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. ASUS AC3200 sucks in 6000 sqft home. The AT &T Netgear 300N router has better range. Had to replace It with w APs and Power line adapters.

  2. Grammar

    RT-AC87U – Theoretical speeds of 2.4Gbps over it’s 2 bands.
    RT-AC3200 – Speeds, theoretical, of up to 3.2Gbps, over it’s 3 bands.

    should be

    RT-AC87U – Theoretical speeds of 2.4Gbps over its 2 bands.
    RT-AC3200 – Speeds, theoretical, of up to 3.2Gbps, over its 3 bands.

    Apart from that, thanks for the article.

    1. · Edit

      You are absolutely correct! Fixed…

      Apostrophes are the bane of my life 🙁


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