If you have been looking for a brand-new router that offers a unique and conversation-provoking sense of style, great speeds, and all the security options you need for a home with internet-users of all ages, then you should definitely read on for my review of the ASUS Blue Cave Wireless AC2600 Dual-Band Router.
ASUS Blue Cave Out of the Box
Okay, this looks different. You know how pretty much the majority of good routers out there on the market resemble crazy, alien mechanical spiders or something? They have six or more antenna sticking up out of the main box, just screaming “hey, look at me, I’m a router!” Yeah, you know what I mean. Usually, you need to find someplace to stow that sucker away from sight, or else your wife is going to complain about the thing making the room look junkie or a Star Trek bridge.
Well, you won’t have that problem with the ASUS Blue Cave. Pull the dual-band Wi-Fi router out of the box and you’ll immediately think, “is this a speaker or a router?” The little white box with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle that lights up sure looks like a speaker. It doesn’t scream “router” at all. In fact, I am willing to bet that if you had one of these AC2600s in your home on a table or shelf, it’d actually be somewhat of a conversation piece. “Is that a newfangled ionizer? An air purifier? A speaker? Just what is that little white box with the glowing blue hole? I have to know!”
The back of the unit has plenty of ventilation holes, plus one Gigabit WAN port for internet, four Gigabit LAN ports for your wired devices and one USB 3.0 port for printers, network storage or charging your mobile devices, as well as a reset/power and WPS buttons. Inside the box with the router, you’ll find the usual suspects; a power cord, connecting cable, warranty, quick-start guide, and documentation.
Setting up the ASUS AC2600 Blue Cave
As with the majority of Smart Home devices out there today, the ASUS Blue Cave is pretty easy to set up. You get the choice of either using the ASUS Router app on your smartphone, or the ASUS Router interface. Either way, it is a three-step process.
The first step is to unplug your modem and then connect the ASUS Blue Cave Wi-Fi router to it using the provided network cable. Next, power up your modem and make sure the connection is active. Next, power on the router, and connect your PC to it, if you will be using the web interface to set up the network. Then it is just a matter of logging in, connecting and using the setup wizard to complete the process. It takes less than five minutes.
Once you are all set up, then the real fun begins, because the ASUS router interface gives you tons of options for customizing pretty much everything about your router, from setting up a guest network to prioritizing which devices get the most internet speed, and more.
ASUS Blue Cave Features
In addition to the ability for infinite customization of your home network, the ASUS Blue Cave is also chock full of convenient features. It offers Ai Protection, which provides easy-to-use parental controls and bonus network security powered by Trend Micro. This free lifetime service detects malware and viruses, conducts a router security assessment, and prevents spam and DDoS attacks.
The Wi-Fi router also works with Amazon Alexa and IFTT (If This, Then That), a service that automates tasks that might otherwise be repetitive. So, for instance, you can do all sorts of neat things like ask Alexa to have the router upgrade its firmware, or to alert you with an email when a particular person gets home and accesses the network with one of their devices. You can totally monitor your kids remotely to see if they are jumping online to play Fortnite as soon as they get home or are offline doing their homework like you asked.
The Blue Cave smart router also offers hefty parental controls, as well as a Traffic Analyzer that offers visual traffic statistics which give you a clear picture of how your network is being used and by what devices. Another neat feature is you can also set the router to work as a VPN server, and also use it to turn your network-connected devices into VPN-enabled clients, and all without any additional VPN software required.
ASUS Blue Cave Performance
For something that looks nothing at all like a router, the ASUS Blue Cave provided excellent speeds and coverage of my modestly sized home. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical that this little white box/square donut, was going to perform as well as my gangly, alien robot spider gaming router. However, as I said, the performance was quite good. But again, this is a product from ASUS, which always seems to deliver the goods, so I shouldn’t have been all that surprised.
The Blue Cave gave me a reliable, stable internet connection (both 2.4ghz and 5ghz) everywhere in my three-bedroom home. Well, the signal was strong everywhere, except for my office under the stairs, which never gets full signal strength from any router I’ve used yet anyway. I think a medium to large home would be served quite nicely by this router.
The Final Word
With a unique design aesthetic, and blistering speeds, why wouldn’t you want this router? Add in the almost overwhelming customization available through the web interface, plus the extra security from Ai Protection, and the Alexa functionality, and you have a smart Wi-Fi router that I would certainly recommend to anyone who wants style, speed and security from their home network. And, your wife will let you keep this one out in the open.
So, do you think you would buy the ASUS Blue Cave AC2600 Dual-Band Router? Why or why not? Give me your explanation in the comment section, and don’t forget to check out the selection of wireless routers available online at Best Buy.