Asus unleashes Google Wifi rival specializing in security

Asus has just launched a new Google WiFi rival in the US priced at $400 (around £305, AU$505).

Asus Lyra is a Wi-Fi mesh network system joining a number of offerings such as as the Google Wifi and Netgear’s Orbi. As with all these products, the idea is to use several devices dotted throughout the home to extend Wi-Fi coverage, ensuring you don’t just have a strong signal where your router is located (say, in the living room).

Just like Google WiFi, Lyra’s base package consists of three hubs, which are compact and unobtrusive white cylinders. One primary hub acts as a router which is connected directly to the internet. The others, meanwhile, are satellite hubs extend the wireless signal to the dead spots in your house (where you might not have had a signal when using just a traditional router).

As with Google’s product, Lyra utilizes a tri-band Wi-Fi mesh network to ensure fast connections for all your devices – whether PCs, consoles, phones or smart home gadgets.

A mobile app helps make it easy to set the system up, which is also used to manage Lyra, so you can set limits on data usage for individual users, and adjust other parameters like app permissions.

Smart protection

And on the security front, there’s a major boon with Asus AiProtection, which the company describes as a commercial-grade network security system. This is powered by Trend Micro’s Smart Home Network, and is capable of defending Internet of Things devices (known for their security issues) against being exploited.

The security system analyzes both incoming and outgoing data packets looking for anything suspicious, offering a full intrusion prevention system. Even if a device does get infected, Asus promises that AiProtection can detect personal data being sent to malicious servers and block that transmission.

The base package of three hubs costs $400 (around £305, AU$505) as mentioned, and that’s unfortunately more expensive than Google WiFi, which retails at $299 (that’s AU$499 for three units – or £229 in the UK for a pair of hubs).

Asus Lyra is on sale at US retailers including Amazon, B&H Photo, Fry’s, and Newegg, although they don’t all appear to have stock at the moment (Amazon, for instance, is showing a two to four week wait for shipping).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).