Asus Blue Cave
Stalac-tight security and design
$180 From Asus, asus.com Features AC2600 radios, Gigabit Ethernet, Asus AiProtection device security, parental controls, file and print server
The Blue Cave, with its toroidal cavern gouged through the middle, is a pretty unique router. As far as we can tell there’s no practical reason for this design, but it does give the Blue Cave a visual edge.
Around the back, thankfully, the design isn’t as radical. There’s a Gigabit ethernet port to hook up to your modem, four Gigabit ports for other connected devices, and a USB 3.0 port used for additional expansion. You’ll also find a physical off switch and a hidden WPS button for easy device connection.
In terms of performance, we’ve tested routers with more powerful distance coverage, but its dual radios, which broadcast on distinct 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels rather than meshing the two together, are notably snappy. We had no trouble streaming 4K video over Wi-Fi, nor with gaming.
Blue Cave has the edge over its competitors with its straightforward setup process via an iOS app. Family management is another strong point, with Asus’ AiProtection enabling you to collect devices into groups, then apply usage restrictions to manage what those groups are able to access and when. You can also add per-device bandwidth limiting, if someone’s hogging all the data. In addition, there’s security built in from TrendMicro which adds a layer of protection to everything on your network, and the Blue Cave makes the most of the various functions of that aforementioned USB port with built-in FTP and Samba file sharing, and its own print server. Neat.
the bottom line. All the extra gimmicks are a nice touch, and make the Blue Cave more than the sum of its parts.
Asus Blue Cave is an aesthetic marvel, it’s also extremely secure.