ASUS Lyra Home WiFi System 2020 Detailed Review.
ASUS Lyra Home WiFi System: Mesh networking technology has put an end to flakey network connections. It’s done away with the point to point connections produced by a standard router, and enabled consumers to enjoy a reliable network connection across their entire property. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the ASUS Lyra Home WiFi System.
Although it’s not the first mesh networking system available, it’s been designed by a company that has a proven track record in consumer electronics. Does this package offer value you can’t find in other routers? Or is this simply a “me too” product designed to help ASUS keep up with their competitors? We went hands-on to find out.
The Lyra Home Wi-Fi System ($399.99) marks Asus’s entry into the mesh network arena, joining companies such as Eero, Linksys, Netgear, and TP-Link. It’s a three-piece AC2200 system that delivers good throughput performance and offers easy-to-use parental controls and other management settings, and it comes with free lifetime malware and virus protection powered by Trend Micro. Like the Linksys Velop, Lyra is a breeze to install and covers homes of up to 6,000 square feet.
From the packaging alone, you can tell that this isn’t your ordinary router. It comes in a very large box, featuring a photo of the three Lyra routers inside. All three of the components of the Lyra system are identical. Other models opted for a base station and repeater combination, but this design offers a lot more flexibility. The rest of the packaging is fairly sparse. There are three power supplies, and a small getting started manual.
Simple-Looking and Easy to Use
The Lyra system ( at Amazon) consists of three identical round white routers that look similar to the TP-Link Deco M5 ($299.99 at Best Buy) components but lack the Deco’s swirly pattern. One router acts as the main connection to your home gateway while the other two act as satellites.
The routers measure 5.5 inches in diameter and are 1.5 inches high. They have LED lighting embedded in the top that pulse various colors when the router is booting up, glow white during setup, glow red and orange when there’s a connection error, and glow cyan when everything is working correctly. Each router has two gigabit LAN ports and a power jack, but one of the LAN ports for the main router (the one that connects to your home gateway/router) is used as a WAN port. There’s a reset button on the bottom and a pairing button on the side, but USB connectivity is not supported.
There are many mesh network systems out there. Only by comparing them are you able to find the best one for your home. The first thing we looked at are the specifications.
All of the client-facing networking is handled by a quad-core Qualcomm chipset. This chipset is commonly found in consumer routers and provides 802.11ac connectivity across the 2.4 and 5 GHz channels. What’s interesting is that the specific chipset used is only rated for AC1200 (1267 Mbps) while the Lyra is rated for AC2200.
While their rating isn’t incorrect, consumers will only have access to 1267 Mbps of theoretical bandwidth. The missing 800 Mbps of bandwidth is provided by a second chipset and is used exclusively for internal communication between the Lyra units.
Setup Procedure & Control Panel
Creating an interface for a router can be challenging. Mesh networking systems are commonly sold to enthusiasts – requiring powerful configuration panels and control over advanced features. Another major market segment is consumers with large homes. This group doesn’t necessarily want to have access to lots of features, instead preferring a simple and easy to understand the way to get their router setup.
ASUS did a pretty good job of meeting the needs of both markets. Setup is done by downloading the free app. The app walks you through the entire setup procedure step by step. The first thing you do is take your first Lyra unit and plug it into your modem, then connect the power. Once done, your phone will search for it while it connects. You’ll be asked to name your network, and label the room where you placed the Lyra.
Next, you take a second unit and place it somewhere in your home. After connecting it to the power, you press the “Sync” button on the back. The app will then detect it, allowing you to once again select the location of the unit. It will tell you how good the signal is. If it’s poor, you can walk around with the router until you find a better location for it.
Overall, the Lyra system does well in performance testing, but it doesn’t lead the pack. Lyra uses automatic band steering, my throughput test results are based on the system’s ability to select the best radio band for optimal performance, which in this case was the 5GHz band. The system performed well in our throughput tests but was not as fast as the competition. The main router’s score of 338Mbps in our close-proximity (same room) SU-MIMO test trailed the Eero Gen 2 router and the TP-Link Deco M5 router, and the Linksys Velop router led the pack.
- Solid throughput in testing.
- MU-MIMO support.
- Free lifetime malware protection.
- Robust parental controls.
- Easy to install.
- Lacks individual band control.
- No USB ports.
Overall, the ASUS Lyra is a very competent whole-home WiFi system. The bandwidth is excellent, and the setup procedure is easy.
The key advantage that the Lyra has is the advanced options. If you’re the type that wants to set up custom access requirements, traffic shaping, or use custom DNS settings, then this is the router you’ll want. Many other models are simplified, reducing available functionality.
If you’re just looking for a way to cover a large area, you might not find this router to be that much better than other models. You certainly won’t be disappointed with it, but it may be worthwhile to look at other options to see if one has a feature you’d prefer.