Asus Lyra Home Wi-Fi System Review: Do We Need Another Mesh Router?By - 08/08/2017
The Wi-Fi router industry had been stagnant for many years. There were too many options with little innovation. That was until a new breed of Wi-Fi routers came to life: mesh routers.
As mesh routers rose to popularity, existing companies and startups jumped into the game. Unfortunately, there are now so many mesh routers that innovations are again running thin. To me, it seems like the router industry is reverting to its overcrowded and stagnant state. Not to be detoured, Asus is joining the party with the Lyra Home Wi-Fi system. Will it bring new features to the table or is it just more of the same?
What Is the Lyra Home Wi-Fi System?
Lyra’s main objective is to provide a strong Wi-Fi signal in every corner of your home. The system consists of three puck-shaped mesh routers (called Lyra Hubs). One of the routers must connect to your modem via an Ethernet cable. This router is the Main Hub. The two other Hubs can be placed freely within the Main Hub’s Wi-Fi range. They receive a Wi-Fi signal from the Main Hub and in turn extend your coverage. The extra Hubs don’t work like signal repeaters, however. As all the routers belong to one network, you don’t need to switch between multiple Wi-Fi access points. As you roam around your house, your devices will automatically connect to the router offering the strongest signal.
Currently, Asus only sells the Lyra Hub in a pack of at least three hubs. According to Asus, a Lyra system with three hubs can cover a 6,000-square-foot home. If you need greater coverage, Asus offers up to two additional Lyra Hubs for each system.
Lyra System Network Specifications
Each Lyra Hub uses a dual-band network (2.4GHz and 5GHz), but the routers are tri-band. The third band, operating in 5GHz, is exclusively used to connect the Lyra Hubs. This distinction allows the system to optimize the performance of the dual-band network for your internet use. Lyra also uses MIMO technology (multiple input, multiple output), an antenna technology that optimizes the speed in which the data travels and minimizes errors. Each hub has four antennas, and when you connect a new hub, it automatically tests all four antennas and chooses the two offering the best signal.
Unlike other mesh routers that only provide a Wi-Fi signal, Lyra has two 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT Ethernet ports. With the Main Hub, the port marked WAN must be connected to your modem. The port marked LAN can be used to provide wired internet connection to computers, IP cameras, printers, or DVR/NVRs. For your secondary Lyra Hubs, you can use both ports as LAN Ethernet ports. If you own three Hubs, you can connect up to five wired devices.
For Wi-Fi, the router supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac as well as IPv4 and IPv6. Lyra also supports 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, and WPS.
Besides providing wider Wi-Fi coverage, Lyra also promises to protect your devices from cyber threats using Asus’ AiProtection technology, a technology found in all Asus routers.
AiProtection uses three techniques to protect you from cyber threats. First, it performs a daily 14-point network inspection that checks your most critical network settings. If it finds possible holes, it will offer suggestions via the Asus Lyra app. You can also manually initiate the scan via the app. Second, it protects you from common internet-based attacks, such as malware and viruses. AiProtection is regularly updated to prevent even the newest threats. Finally, AiProtection uses a massive database to block malicious websites.
AiProtection is offered for free. However, it’s also limited, so I recommend purchasing a full-fledged internet security device.
Lyra Parental Control
The Asus Lyra app features multiple parental control settings.
For one, you can use Wi-Fi Pause to cut internet access to connected devices.
You can also block specific users from connecting to Lyra temporarily or permanently. You can even schedule Lyra to block and unblock different devices at different times of the day.
Finally, you can block certain devices or all devices from gaining access to websites and apps.
Lyra vs. Other Mesh Router Options
|Connect Home||Connect Home Pro||Google Wi-Fi||Eero||Lyra||Lyra Mini|
|Price for One||Unknown||Unknown||$129||$199||NA||TBD|
|Price for Multi-Pack||Unknown||Unknown||$299 for 3 routers||$299 for 2 routers, or $399 for 3 routers||$399.99 (set of 3)||TBD|
|Wi-Fi Standard||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
|Wi-Fi Speed||Up to 867Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 1.7 Gbps on 5GHz||Up to 867Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 600 Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 867 Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 867 Mbps on 5GHz|
|Wi-Fi Speed||Up to 400 Mbps on 2.4 GHz||Up to 800 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 300 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 240 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 400 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 400 Mbps on 2.4GHz|
|Range||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,000 sq. ft./router||6,000 sq. ft/3 routers||TBD|
|Processor, Memory, Storage||710 MHz Quad Core
512 MB RAM
4GB Flash Storage
|1.7GHz Dual Core
512 MB RAM
4GB Flash Storage
|710 MHz Quad Core
512 MB RAM
|1.0GHz Dual Core
512 MB RAM
4GB Flash Storage
|Smartphone App||Coming Soon||Coming Soon||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|Where to Buy||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Coming Soon|
Asus will also soon release a mini version of Lyra. Lyra Mini is similar to Lyra in many ways, but there are a few subtle differences. For one, Lyra Mini is dual-band. It doesn’t have a third frequency band for connecting with other Lyra Mini hubs. Two, it also has MIMO technology, but it only has three smart antennas instead of four. Finally, it’s slightly smaller than Lyra.
Lyra Mini’s price and availability are still TBD.
While Asus makes their Lyra Home Wi-Fi System sound impressive, it doesn’t bring anything new. It’s still a mesh router similar to existing solutions. Though in all fairness, they are offering AiProtection for free. If you want a router that will protect your network without a subscription, Asus Lyra is probably for you. But if you’re willing to spend more money on a standalone internet security service, then you’re probably better off with tried and tested mesh routers.
A pack of three Lyra Hubs is now available for purchase on Amazon for $399.99.