We recently had the opportunity to interview ASUS’ Senior Country Product Manager, Eric Lim on WiFi trends. ASUS has been well known for its router, especially ASUS WRT in the prosumer category.
Here’s how the interview went:
Can You Give Us A Brief Background on ASUS Networking?
We were officially founded in 2009, to much people’s surprise, it was also the year where we launched the legendary award-winning router RT-N56U which was the very first router to receive CNET Editor’s Choice Award.
In 2013, we launched a famous router that gained more than 100 awards worldwide. It is one of the most well-known router, serving more than millions of users worldwide – yes, you’d probably guess it right – it’s the RT-AC68U.
In 2018 we launched the very first WiFi 6 Router in the world – RT-AX88U.
We’ve also won Readers’ Choice Award from PC Magazine for straight 8 years since 2012, gaining the highest overall satisfaction among all vendors.
[OOKAS] Those are some crazy achievements! I believe we’ve seen a lot of ASUS advocates even within WiFi community.
What Are Your Thoughts on WiFi 6?
It’s just a matter of time that it will replace WiFi 5.
With so many devices such as motherboards, laptops and smartphones are adopting WiFi 6, it will be the de-facto next standard of wireless devices.
Even CPU vendor such as Intel is investing a lot of time and resources to push WiFi 6, so really, it’s just a matter of time that it will replace WiFi 5.
We’re Starting To See The Blend of Network Security Into Networking Devices, Why is This Important?
According to recent research by FBI, cyber-crime profit has soared to USD 3.5 billion, while the crimes remain similar, it’s just the techniques and technology that are getting sophisticated.
Things that seemed safe could be a disguised cyber threat that sneaks in to steal your private data. If you have kids, they might even accidentally encounter inappropriate content during their ever-growing screen time.
This is why ASUS mainstream & high-end routers come with a function called AiProtection which is meant to block cyber-attacks, zombies, and access to malicious websites.
What is The Mega-Trend For Networking Devices? What Can We Do To Future Proof Our Home?
WiFi 6 will become a de-facto WiFi standard for networking devices in the near future.
As of now we’re seeing devices such as iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or equivalent devices come in WiFi 6, there will only be more WiFi 6-enabled devices in near future.
As more devices are introduced, eventually it will come to a point where it’s much more affordable, hence it’s really just a matter of time.
What you’d really consider is to upgrade your wireless router into WiFi 6 enabled router which can provide decent coverage for your house. It should come with network protection to protect your devices from cyber-attacks.
We’ve Heard A Lot of Good Stuff on RT-AC68U and RT-AC86U, What’s The Secret Behind Them?
To be honest with you, there isn’t any secret behind this. Our R&D team spent countless hours optimizing WiFi coverage and speed.
All routers are fine-tuned based on user’s feedback such as stability, smoother connection, lesser latency, and cybersecurity.
We genuinely believe that as long as we can solve the pain points of using a WiFi and do it better than others, we will win the market.
Why is ASUSWRT so Famous Among Networking Enthusiasts?
We believe there are 3 key reasons:
- ASUSWRT provides tons of features that prosumers need and they are highly customizable.
- ASUSWRT follows the GPL policy, we release the full source code to the public.
- ASUSWRT source code can be built and customized by users themselves, truly making their own router OS.
What Is Unique About ASUS Ai Mesh?
For those who didn’t know, ASUS’ mesh devices come in AiMesh, and in my humble opinion, there are 3 key differences between us and traditional mesh systems:
You can mix different ASUS routers which are AiMesh compatible. For instance, when it’s time to upgrade your network, there is no need to get rid of your existing router.
All you need to do is to get another compatible router and they will form a mesh WiFi network.
Each AiMesh compatible routers are like avengers in Marvel comics when they are working together in AiMesh WiFi network, they are unbeatable.
[OOKAS] Spec-wise, ASUS AiMesh routers start from AC1750 which is pretty powerful, it is also worth noting that only mid to premium range ASUS routers come with AiMesh
AiProtection is built into AiMesh routers, hence you can stay safe while browsing. It will protect your personal data across the entire AiMesh network, making sure your Internet safety is not compromised.
Last Question – What’s ASUS’ Networking Plan For The Year?
We will introduce more WiFi 6 devices with better performance and useful in 2020. So stay tuned for more exciting news!
Since it’s inception, ASUS’ products have always been labeled as “expensive” or “pricey” especially in networking devices, this is probably the main reason why they aren’t getting enough market share in Malaysia.
But in recent months, we can observe that they changed their strategy, especially on WiFi 6 products, where the pricing is really really aggressive (AX series starting from RM4XX).
We can’t help but ask – will ASUS compromise the build quality at such price?
No. We will never compromise on build quality and customer experience. Customers are always at the very core of our research.ASUS’ Senior Country Product Manager, Eric Lim
We can’t help but look forward to seeing ASUS grow, especially in WiFi 6 devices!