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ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) vs. AC (CT8) Whole-Home Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Systems

ASUS recently released two versions of the ZenWiFi Whole-Home Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh System, the AX (XT8) and AC (CT8). So how do these two stack up against each other? You can find out in our comparison guide below.

Quick Summary

The XT8 has a vast majority of advantages over the CT8, including a wider Wi-Fi coverage area, faster speed options and more features. With that said, the CT8 still holds up pretty well for being the cheaper model. If you have a house with less than 6 rooms where you want to set up a wireless network to and/or don’t plan on using some of the extras XT8 features, then you might want to get the CT8 instead.

You can purchase either one with the following links on Amazon:

Comparison Chart

 ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8)ASUS ZenWiFi AC (CT8)
PricingCheck price on Amazon.Check price on Amazon.
Color OptionsWhite and Charcoal White and Charcoal
Dimensions 16 cm x 7.5 cm x 16.15 cm16 cm x 7.5 cm x 16.15 cm
Weight719 g730 g
Power SupplyAC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current
AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current
What's in the boxASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
Quick Start Guide
Power Adapter
RJ-45 Cable
Warranty Card
ASUS ZenWiFi AC (CT8)
Quick Start Guide
Power Adapter
RJ-45 Cable
Warranty Card
Antenna 6x6x
Wireless Coverage5,500 square feet across 6 or more rooms5,400 square feet across 4 or more rooms
Data Rates802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11n : up to 300 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-1):up to 867 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-2):up to 3466 Mbps
802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHZ-1):up to 1201 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHZ-2):up to 4804 Mbps
802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11n : up to 300 Mbps
802.11n 256-QAM : up to 400 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-1):up to 867 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-2):up to 1733 Mbps
Wi-Fi FeaturesBeamforming: standards-based and universal Range Boost
1024-QAM high data rate
20/40/80/160MHz channel bandwidth
Beamforming: standards-based and universal Range Boost
20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
MU-MIMO technology2.4GHz: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
5GHz-1: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
5GHz-2: 4 x 4 MU-MIMO OFDMA
2.4GHz: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
5GHz-1: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
5GHz-2: 4 x 4 MU-MIMO
Processor1.5 GHz quad-core processor1.5 GHz quad-core processor
Memory256 MB Flash
512 MB RAM
128 MB Flash
256 MB RAM
Ports1 x 10/100/1000/2500 Gigabit WAN
3 x 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
1 x 10/100/1000 Gigabit WAN
3 x 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
WAN Connection TypeAutomatic IP
Static IP
PPPoE(MPPE supported)
PPTP
L2TP
Automatic IP
Static IP
PPPoE(MPPE supported)
PPTP
L2TP
OS SupportWindows 10
Windows 8
Windows 7
Mac OS X 10.6
Mac OS X 10.7
Mac OS X 10.8
Windows 10 64-bit
Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7
Mac OS X 10.6
Mac OS X 10.7
Mac OS X 10.8
Linux
EncryptionWPA2-PSK
WPA-PSK
WPA-Enterprise
WPA2-Enterprise
WPS support
WPA2-PSK
WPA-PSK
WPA-Enterprise
WPA2-Enterprise
WPS support
VPN FeaturesIPSec Pass-Through
PPTP Pass-Through
L2TP Pass-Through
PPTP server
OpenVPN server
PPTP client
L2TP client
OpenVPN client
IPSec Pass-Through
PPTP Pass-Through
L2TP Pass-Through
PPTP server
OpenVPN server
PPTP client
L2TP client
OpenVPN client
FirewallSPI intrusion detection
DoS protection
SPI intrusion detection
DoS protection
Access ControlParental controls
Network service filter
URL filter
Port filter
Parental controls
Network service filter
URL filter
Port filter
ManagementUPnP
IGMP v1/v2/v3
DNS Proxy
DHCP
NTP Client
DDNS
Port Trigger
Port Forwarding
DMZ
System Event Log
UPnP
IGMP v1/v2/v3
DNS Proxy
DHCP
NTP Client
DDNS
Port Trigger
Port Forwarding
DMZ
System Event Log
Other FeaturesRange Boost
Router app
MU-MIMO
Smart Connect
Traffic Analyzer
Adaptive QoS
AiProtection Pro
Parental Control
Guest Network : 2.4 GHz x 3, 5 GHz-1 x 3, 5 GHz-2 x 3
VPN server : PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server, IPSec server
VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client
NAT Pass-Through :PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, IPSec Pass-Through, RTSP Pass-Through, H.323 Pass-Through, SIP Pass-Through, PPPoE relay
Mac OS Backup
Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible)
- Image : Jpeg
- Audio : mp3, wma, wav, pcm, mp4, lpcm, ogg
- Video : asf, avi, divx, mpeg, mpg, ts, vob, wmv, mkv, mov
AiCloud personal cloud service
3G/4G data sharing
Printer Server
- Multifunctional printer support (Windows only)
- LPR protocol support
Download Master
- Support bt, nzb, http, ed2k
- Support encryption, DHT, PEX and magnet link
- Upload and download bandwidth control
- Download scheduling
AiDisk file server
- Samba and FTP server with account management
IPTV support
Roaming Assist
OFDMA
Beamforming
Range Boost
Router app
MU-MIMO
Traffic Analyzer
Adaptive QoS
AiProtection Pro
Parental Control
Guest Network :
VPN server : IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server
VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client
VPN Pass-Though :IPSec, PPTP, L2TP
NAT Pass-Through :
Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible)
AiCloud personal cloud service
3G/4G data sharing
Printer Server
- Multifunctional printer support (Windows only)
- LPR protocol support
Download Master
- Support bt, nzb, http, ed2k
- Support encryption, DHT, PEX and magnet link
- Upload and download bandwidth control
- Download scheduling
AiDisk file server
- Samba and FTP server with account management
IPTV support
Roaming Assist
Beamforming

Weight and Dimensions

The dimensions for both models are the exact same with measurements of 16 cm by 7.5 cm by 16.15 cm. The CT8 does outweigh the XT8 by 730 g to 719 g.

Power Supply

The same power supply is used for both Wi-Fi systems with an AC Input of 110V~240V(50~60Hz) in addition to a DC Output of 19 V with max. 1.75 A current.

What’s included in the package

Aside from the main hardware, both packages come with the same contents as you get a Quick Start Guide, Power Adapter, RJ-45 Cable and Warranty Card.

Antenna

Both ZenWiFi Whole-Home Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Systems have 6 antennas.

Wireless Coverage

The XT8 has a bigger coverage range as it can encompass at least up to 5,500 square feet through at least 6 rooms in your building. The CT8 is slightly behind with a coverage of 5,400 square feet through at least 4 rooms.

Data Rate

The AX and AC support the same data rates for 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, and 802.11ac (5GHZ-1). The AX model features a faster 802.11ac (5GHZ-2) rate (up to 3466 Mbps compared to the maximum of the 1733 Mbps from AC) in addition to supporting the 802.11ax (2.4GHz), 802.11ax (5GHZ-1) and 802.11ax (5GHZ-2). The 802.11n 256-QAM data rate is only limited to the AC model. You can find the full list of data rates for both products below:

AX (XT8) Data Rates:

  • 802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
  • 802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
  • 802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
  • 802.11n : up to 300 Mbps
  • 802.11ac (5GHZ-1):up to 867 Mbps
  • 802.11ac (5GHZ-2):up to 3466 Mbps
  • 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
  • 802.11ax (5GHZ-1):up to 1201 Mbps
  • 802.11ax (5GHZ-2):up to 4804 Mbps

AC (CT8) Data Rates:

  • 802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
  • 802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
  • 802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
  • 802.11n : up to 300 Mbps
  • 802.11n 256-QAM : up to 400 Mbps
  • 802.11ac (5GHZ-1):up to 867 Mbps
  • 802.11ac (5GHZ-2):up to 1733 Mbps

Wi-Fi Features

The beamforming of the XT8 is better as it offers standards-based and universal range boost at 1024-QAM high data rate 20/40/80/160MHz channel bandwidth. In comparison, the beamforming of the CT8 uses offers standards-based and universal range boost at 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth.

The MU-MIMO tech is also slightly different in both system with the XT8 supporting:

  • 2.4GHz: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
  • 5GHz-1: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
  • 5GHz-2: 4 x 4 MU-MIMO OFDMA

On the other hand the CT8 supports:

  • 2.4GHz: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
  • 5GHz-1: 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
  • 5GHz-2: 4 x 4 MU-MIMO

Processor and Memory

Both models use the same CPU with the 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. The XT8 does double the amount of memory, however, with 256 MB Flash and 512 MB RAM when compared to the CT8’s 128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM.

The ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8) – 2 Pack on Amazon.

Ports

When it comes to ports, both models come with 1X RJ45 for 2.5G BaseT for WAN (although the XT8 supports 10/100/1000/2500 as opposed to the CT8’s 10/100/1000), 3X RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN as well as 1X USB 3.1 Gen 1.

WAN Connections

Both Wi-Fi systems also support the following WAN Connection Types: Automatic IP, L2TP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP and Static IP.

OS Support

Surprisingly, the XT8 supports less operating systems when compared to the CT8. You can find the full list of OS support for each model below:

AX (XT8):

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Mac OS X 10.8

AC (CT8):

  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Mac OS X 10.8
  • Linux
The ASUS ZenWiFi AC Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (CT8) – 2 Pack on Amazon.

Encryption

Both versions of the ASUS ZenWiFi Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System offer the same encryption support. You will be able to use WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise and WPS.

VPN

The two models also have the identical VPN features: IPSec Pass-Through, L2TP Client, L2TP Pass-Through, OpenVPN Client, OpenVPN Server, PPTP Client, PPTP Pass-Through and PPTP Server.

Firewall and Access Control

Furthermore, both have the exact firewall and access control features. In terms of firewall, you will get DoS protection and SPI intrusion detection. For access control, the Wi-Fi systems offer network service filter, port filter, parental controls and URL filter.

Management

The two also have the same management options as you will have access to DDNS, DHCP, DMZ, DNS Proxy, IGMP v1/v2/v3, NTP Client, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, System Event Log in addition to UPnP.

Other Features

The two also share a lot of common features such as 3G/4G data sharing, Adapter QoS, AiCloud, AiDisk (Samba and FTP server with account management), AiPlayer-compatible enhanced media server with NAT Pass-Through, AiProtection Pro, IPTV support, Printer Server (with Windows-only multifunctional support and LPR protocol support) and Roaming Assist. Both also features Download Master, which supports bt, ed2k, http, nzb, DHT, encryption magnet link, PEX, download scheduling as well as upload/download bandwidth control.

The XT8 does have a few other exclusive features, such as Mac OS Back and Smart Connect, when compared to the CT8.

References:

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