Wi-Fi is one of the best known cryptids of the tech world: We’ve all heard of it, none of us have seen it, most of us don’t even know how it works, and its name means literally nothing (opens in new tab).
Recently peak Wi-Fi has become even more elusive, because shortly after the Wi-Fi 6E standard was introduced Wi-Fi 7 started bustling through (opens in new tab), with the first router released even before the platform was certified (opens in new tab). CES this year felt like the final nail in the Wi-Fi 6 coffin as we saw more 7 routers introduced, and that included some beastly looking models from Asus (opens in new tab).
The first is a gaming router if I’ve ever seen one. I know that because for a moment I thought it was a scary shadow ship from Babylon 5. The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 has a full complement of eight spider leg antennae and a black finish to complete the image. This is then emblazoned with plenty of ROG angry eyes. It looks like it’s ready to down a Monster and get headshots with you all night long.
The Rapture GT-BE98 supports two 5GHz bands that can push 5,762 Mbps and one 6GHz that can get up to 11,525 Mbps for your more serious internet business. There’s also a 1,376 Mbps 2.4GHz band if you need to run something on that (2.4GHz still trumps the higher frequencies for range). This adds up to the quad-band router delivering 25,00 Mbps bandwidth all up, which I’d say should do just about any gamer.
Your next machine
(Image credit: Future)
If you’re after something a bit more toned down you can go for the tri-band Asus RT-BE96U. This looks pretty similar to its hardcore counterpart but ditches the angry eye decals in favour of more black with a circuit Wi-Fi 7 design. Similarly this router can get the same speeds on its 6GHz, 5GHz, and 2.4GHz bands as the previous one, but lacks that extra band clearly provided by angry eyes. This adds up to an aggregate bandwidth up to 19,000 Mbps on this tri-band router.
Other than that, both these routers offer similar specs, likely featuring the same quad-core 2.6 GHz processors. The GT-BE98 has one extra 10 GB LAN ports over the RT-BE96U and features game acceleration feature that aims to give a better connection for gaming. So if you’re after a hardcore router for gaming, the GT-BE98 is going to be the best choice out of this pair. That’s if the price doesn’t wind up giving us all angry eyes. We don’t yet know when they’ll be out or what they’ll cost, but it should be sometime this year.