Setup & Features
Since Lyra has both Android and iOS apps and a web interface, you can use either to set it up. Once you get the first node up, you can add more nodes via the app or by what appears to be a pushbutton Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) session using a button on the bottom of each node. The only catch is you must pair each new node to the root (internet connected) node to add it. After that, however, you can move the node where you want it and it will change connection if needed.
Note the pushbutton can't be used to connect devices to the Lyra Trio network via WPS; I tried. The Windows 10 notebook I used said I could connect by pushing a button on the router—the usual indicator of support for a WPS pushbutton session. But when I tried, Windows told me it couldn't connect and that I'd have to enter the password instead.
Lyra does not rely on any cloud services to operate.
As noted earlier, Lyra Trio can use Ethernet as backhaul. Just set everything up first using wireless backhaul, then connect the desired nodes to Ethernet. You can also bypass Trio' NAT router and run the system as APs by choosing that mode in the Lyra App's Operation Mode screen (shown center below).
Lyra app screens
The other setting of note in the Lyra App is Remote Connection. This was there in the original review, but I didn't pay much attention to it. But with the number of router security exploits continuing to grow, I had to ask ASUS about it this time. They said it allows the app and app only to access the router remotely. To confirm, I used my trusty Fing app to scan the Trio's WAN connection for open ports and it did indeed come up with no ports exposed.
The Lyra review says there are no wireless controls in the web GUI found at 192.168.72.1 or router.asus.com if local DNS resolution is working correctly. But on a hunch, I tried the same URL used on all ASUSWRT routers and voila!
Lyra Trio hidden wireless settings
Mess with this stuff at your own risk. Remember, you're supposed to leave the Wi-Fi driving to the System in Wi-Fi systems.
The Trio's feature set is summarized in the tables below. The short story is Lyra Trio supports the same features as the original Lyra. More feature details can be found in the original Lyra review. Note there is no user manual, just a quick start guide.
All performance tests were done with Android app 220.127.116.11.62 and 18.104.22.168.382_20096-g2296ee7 firmware using select tests from the Version 10 Router process.
The iperf3 WAN to LAN and LAN to WAN throughput tests came in at 817 and 919 Mbps, respectively, highlighted in the charts below. This was much better than the original Lyra (523 WAN>LAN, 541 LAN> WAN) in both directions.
Routing throughput - iperf3 method
I'll be comparing Lyra Trio with TP-Link Deco M5 and original Lyra from here on. I chose the TP-Link because it's cheaper and ranks higher than the Trio, even though it's a two-radio two stream design.
WAN to LAN testing using the tougher HTTP method benchmarks shows the Trio significantly outperforming the other two products with smaller filesizes, but the TP-Link jumping ahead with the two larger filesizes.
Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - WAN to LAN
Plot key file size: [A] 2 KB, [B] 10 KB, [C] 108 KB and [D] 759 KB file
LAN to WAN shows a similar pattern, except the original Lyra outperforms the Deco in the largest filesize benchmark.
Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - LAN to WAN
Lyra Trio was run through our Wi-Fi System test process, letting it use whichever channels and bandwidth it chose. It used 2.4 GHz channel 5 and 5 GHz channel 149 for all three nodes. 80 MHz bandwidth was always used for 5 GHz, but the system appeared to alternate between using 20 and 40 MHz bandwidth for 2.4 GHz. This caused me to retest a few times, with the charted results reflecting 2.4 GHz 40 MHz bandwidth.
Here's what Lyra Trio looked like in the octoBox 18" test chamber.
Lyra Trio in test chamber
Throughput vs. Attenuation (RvR)
The Rate vs. Range or RvR benchmarks look at how throughput varies with decreasing signal. This test is done on the root node, so is a best-case view and does not include any effects from backhaul links.
I sometimes have to add 9 dB of attenuation when running 2.4 GHz tests so that the octoScope Pal reference client's -30 dBm maximum recommended input level is not exceeded. This was the case with Lyra Trio, so 0 dB plotted for the Trio actually represents 9 dB attenuation. The other two products didn't require the additional 9dB.
The 2.4 GHz downlink plot shows original Lyra (MAP-AC2200) as the best of the group, with a curve significantly above the Trio. These rates reflect 40 MHz bandwidth use for all three products.
Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz downlink
2.4 GHz uplink show Deco and Lyra starting out equally with Trio tracking well below. But as we move into mid to low signal levels after 24 dB of attenuation, the three track pretty closely.
Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz uplink
5 GHz downlink shows Trio with the lowest peak throughput at the start of the curve. But Trio's throughput decline is less steep than the other two products' and it stays connected the longest.
Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz downlink
Trio's throughput improved for 5 GHz uplink, easily beating the other two products. In all, the range of each Trio node shouldn't be too bad.