Asus RP-AX58 Quick Take (vs RP-AX56) A Minor Improvement

Asus RP-AX58 Quick Take (vs RP-AX56) A Minor Improvement

Some two years after the release of the RP-AX56U range extender, Asus finally made available the better version, the RT-AX58U.

This brief take will compare the two and help you decide which to get. But if you are in a hurry, the RP-AX58U is an easy pick, considering it comes with the same affordable price tag of $100.

However, if you live in areas where DFS channels are not reliably available, the new Wi-Fi broadcaster has no advantage over the previous model — in this case, the two are essentially the same.

Asus RP AX5x Extender is Compact
The Asus RP-AX58 shares the same design as the RP-AX56. Both are compact Wi-Fi 6 extenders that can work as AiMesh satellite nodes.

Asus RP-AX58 vs RP-AX56: The same range extenders for the most part

These two Wi-Fi extenders look exactly the same and are actually so, with one exception: The latter features twice the bandwidth on the 5GHz band on a good day, thanks to the support for Wi-Fi 6’s 160MHz channel width.

On the inside, both are modest 2×2 Wi-Fi broadcasters with a single Gigabit port. They share the Asuswrt firmware with identical web user interfaces and feature sets. Either can work as a Wi-Fi repeater (extender), media bridge, access point (for a wired home), or an AiMesh satellite node.

That said, if you want to find out what the RP-AX58 can do, my review of the RT-AX56 explains it all.

Ultimately, how much better a broadcaster the RP-AX58 is versus the RP-AX56 depends on if you can count on the former’s 160MHz support. And the way Wi-Fi 6 works, chances are you can’t every day, or more precisely, everywhere. We’ll get there in a bit.

In the meantime, what you sure can count on is that the new broadcaster will at least be the same as its older cousin, as shown in the table below. There’s no situation where it’s worse.

Asus RP-AX58 vs RP-AX56: Hardware specficications

Full Name Asus RP-AX56 AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Repeater Asus RP-AX56 AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Repeater
Model RP-AX58 RP-AX56
Dimensions 5.91 x 3.43 x 2.83 in
(15 x 8.71 x 7.18 cm)
5.91 x 3.43 x 2.83 in
(15 x 8.71 x 7.18 cm)
Weight 6.7 oz (190 g) 6.7 oz (190 g)
Wi-Fi Bandwidth Dual-band AX3000 Dual-band AX1800
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel with)
2×2 AX: Up to 2.4Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 1.2Gbps
(20/40/80MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel with)
2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
(20/40 MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
(20/40 MHz)
Backward Compatibility 802.11a/b/g/n/ac  802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
Wireless Security WPA, WPA2, WPA3 WPA, WPA2, WPA3
Mobile App Asus Router Asus Router
Web User Interface Yes Yes
Available Operating Mode Access Point (AP)
Repeater (Extender)
Media Bridge
AiMesh Node
Access Point (AP)
Repeater (Extender)
Media Bridge
AiMesh Node
Mesh-Ready Yes (AiMesh 2.0) with wireless or wired backhaul Yes (AiMesh 2.0) with wireless or wired backhaul
Gigabit Port 1x LAN 1x LAN
Multi-Gig Port None None
Release Date February 2023 February 2021
Price (at Launch) $99.99 $99.99
Asus RP-AX58 vs RP-AX56: Hardware specifications

Asus RP-AX58 vs RP-AX56: The nuanced differences

On the surface, with the support for the 160MHz, the RP-AX58 is clearly better than the RP-AX56. In reality, that depends. The devil is in the details.

For one, if you live in an area where DFS channels can’t be used reliably, such as near an airport, the two are the same broadcasters. The RP-AX58 would use an 80MHz channel with a ceiling Wi-Fi bandwidth on the 5GHz band of 1.2Gbps anyway.

Secondly, if you use them via wired backhauling, which is recommended, their Gigabit port is the bottleneck. You’ll get the sustained rates of sub-Gigabit at most out of either, regardless of how fast their Wi-Fi speeds are.

Asus RP AX58 Extender working as a wireless mesh satellite
Asus RP-AX58 extender working as a wireless mesh satellite.

So, the only situation where the RP-AX58 is clearly better than the RP-AX56 is when:

  • You use it as a wireless extender / AiMesh satellite node or a media bridge. And
  • The use of the DFS channels is reliably available. And
  • The original broadcaster (router or AiMesh primary router) also supports 160MHz

So, it’s quite narrow the area where the RP-AX58 is better. But it never hurt to get it over the older model.

Pros

Reliable and relatively fast Wi-Fi (for the specs) with good coverage

Can work as an Access Point, a Media Bridge, an Extender, or an AiMesh node (via wireless or wired backhaul)

Convenient design, excellent web interface

Cons

Modest 2×2 specs; only one Gigabit port; no Mulit-Gig support

Bulky for a snap-on device

Conclusion

The Asus AX3000 Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender is a compact, convenient Wi-Fi broadcaster for those needing to scale up Wi-Fi coverage with modest bandwidth needs.

It works especially well for homes with an existing Asus AiMesh router and is worth its current $100 price tag.

If you’re pondering between it and the older RP-AX56 model, there’s no situation where the RP-AX58 would hurt, and in relatively rare cases, it can be significantly better.

But it seems Asus has made it easier for everyone by discontinuing the RP-AX56 — it still works and gets support but is no longer readily available for purchase. In other words, the RP-AX58 is meant to be the replacement instead of an alternative. And in that context, it’s excellent.