ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 review



ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 review

If you search the news about the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router, you see journalists and bloggers saying things like: "world's first tri-band 802.11ax router," "ASUS wants to supercharge your home network with this ultra-fast router," or "we wouldn't want to encounter one of these in a dark alley." When you see its picture, it is clear that you are dealing with a "beast" and not your regular wireless router. If you want to know about the real-life experience you get when using the new Rapture GT-AX11000, read this detailed review:


ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000: Who is it good for?

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a great choice for the following types of users:

Where To Buy

  • People who want to invest in the Wi-Fi 6 standard and plan to buy devices with support for it
  • Gamers who want the best possible tools for online gaming
  • Gamers who are interested in RGB lighting and ASUS' Aura Sync ecosystem
  • Users who want the best security for their smart home devices and have many diverse devices in their network
  • People who want task automation services from their wireless router, through IFTT (If This, Then That)
  • Users who want to control their home network using the Alexa voice assistant
  • Users who want advanced firmware that offers complete control
  • People who desire an advanced mobile app from which they can personalize almost everything the router has to offer

Pros and cons

There are many positives about the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000:
  • Support for the newest wireless standard - 802.11ax
  • Useful features for gamers who play multiplayer games online
  • Very fast WiFi on the 2.4 GHz band
  • Excellent security features that secure your smart home
  • Powerful hardware that can handle many clients and simultaneous connections
  • Super-fast USB 3.0 ports
  • It features 2.5 Gbps Ethernet/Internet connectivity
  • RGB lighting that looks good
  • Advanced smartphone app for administering your wireless router
  • Great multilingual support and easily accessible Help documentation
There are some downsides to consider:
  • If you have laptops and devices with Intel wireless adapters, you must update your drivers; otherwise, your WiFi connection does not work with this router
  • The wireless coverage on the 5 GHz band is not that reliable in locations with two or more walls separating the network clients from the router
  • The price is not for everyone
PRODUCT RATED
4/5

Verdict

ASUS RoG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the kind of wireless router the redefines what it means to be "over-the-top." It's huge, and it is powerful. Also, it is the first wireless router to feature RGB lighting on it. RGB lighting… on a wireless router! To top things off, it packs a user interface and many features that are designed with gamers in mind. Also, it comes with a new wireless standard that, in 2019, represents mostly an investment in the future of technology. It does not end here: the list of built-in features and tools is incredibly long, and its price is "over-the-top" too. If you can afford it, you will be investing in one of the most ambitious wireless routers ever built by ASUS.

Unboxing the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 comes in a large black box, with a big picture of the device on the top. You see the Republic of Gamers logo, as well as a sticker that mentions Aura Sync, signaling that we are dealing with a wireless router that features RGB lighting, a feature that is popular with PC gamers. On the sides, you see technical information about the router and its specifications, while on the bottom, you ASUS goes into detail about the most distinctive features of the Rapture GT-AX11000.

The packaging of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The packaging of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

When you open the box, you immediately see the router, nicely packaged, and the RoG logo on top, looking back at you. All the accessories and the contents are carefully packaged and hidden beneath the router. Inside the box, you find the following: the router itself, eight external detachable antennas, the power adapter, an Ethernet cable, the Quick Setup guide, troubleshooting information for laptops with Intel wireless network cards, a guide for connecting to the WTFast service, the warranty and other legal information.

Unboxing the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Unboxing the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Unboxing everything is a pleasant experience worthy of a premium product. You feel like you are dealing with a beast of a device.


Hardware specifications and design

As you can see in the pictures, everything about this router is massive. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 looks similar to its predecessor ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. The antennas have a slightly different design, featuring a discreet accent color and empty spaces that were not present on the previous model. Also, the RoG logo on the top has RGB lighting. Some people would consider this overkill, but I'm sure that many gamers appreciate it.

The RGB lighting on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The RGB lighting on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

This wireless router is powered by a 64-bit Broadcom BCM49408 quad-core System on a Chip (SoC) running at 1.8 GHz, 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, and 256 MB of storage space for the firmware. This SoC introduces two new important features: support for the latest Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax wireless standard) and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connectivity.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard aims to improve the speed of wireless connections, the number of clients it can serve simultaneously, and the power consumption of network clients. It also improves the useful MU-MIMO transfer technology. Now it is more efficient, and also handles uploads, not only downloads, like it did in its first incarnation. The problem with the Wi-Fi 6 standard is that it is not finalized yet. The final approval is expected for late 2019, and there are no client devices on the market. The only thing that we know is that the iPhone is rumored to enable support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard sometime in 2019. However, this router incorporates support for all the existing wireless networking standards 802.11ac Wave 2, and 802.11 b/g/n.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a tri-band wireless router with a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804Mbps on each of the two available 5GHz bands. Keep in mind that these bandwidth approximations are valid only when using the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, which you cannot use with today's network clients.
Regarding ports, Rapture GT-AX11000 offers fewer than its predecessor: four Ethernet ports at 1 Gbps, 1 WAN port working at 1 Gbps, another 2.5Gbps port that can be used for connecting the router to the internet (if your provider offers such connections), or for connecting a PC or NAS to the router. You also get two USB 3.1 ports and alongside them the Power jack, the Power button, and the Reset jack.

The ports on the back of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The ports on the back of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Except for the RGB-lit RoG logo on the top, there are a few discreet LEDs indicators too: for the power, the WiFi, the LAN ports, the USB ports, the WPS feature, and the 2.5 Gigabit port.

The LEDs on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The LEDs on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

One one of the sides, you can find three buttons: WiFi, WPS, and Boost. The last one lights up in red and can be programmed to perform a specific action, from a list found in the setup wizard. More on that in the next section of this review.

The buttons on the sides of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The buttons on the sides of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is slightly smaller but thicker than its predecessor. It is 9.45 x 9.45 x 2.76 inches or 240 x 240 x 70 mm in width x depth x height. It also weighs slightly less than its predecessor: 3.76 pounds or 1.71 kg. One downside to this wireless router is that it cannot be mounted on walls and it needs more space than most routers. On its bottom there only four rubber feet for placing it on flat surfaces, and no mounting holes. Also, there is a big ventilation grid, through which you can see some of the hardware inside the router.

The bottom of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The bottom of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

The firmware on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is similar to that of other routers from the company. It includes the latest version of AiProtection Pro (which provides commercial-grade security from Trend Micro, and cloud-based parental controls), and support for ASUS AiMesh. However, it also offers many features that are aimed at gamers, and some WiFi analysis and troubleshooting tools that are unique. We will get into more detail about those features, later in this review.
If you would like to learn more about the official specifications of this wireless router, go to this page: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Specifications.


Setting up and using the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router

Setting up the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 involves plugging it into the powerline, connecting it to the internet, and using a web browser to load the quick setup wizard. At first, you need to provide the details of your internet connection.

Setting up the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Setting up the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Then, you set up the names and the passwords for the wireless network, on the three bands available on this router. You are also asked to "Enable 802.11ax HE frame support." This is not well explained, and what it means is that you enable the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard on this router.

Enabling Wi-Fi 6 on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Enabling Wi-Fi 6 on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Then, you get to personalize the Boost Key - a button on the sides of the router, that can perform one of several actions, when pressed. Choose what you want this button to do. Most probably, most users will want to use it to control the RGB lighting on this router.

Setting the Boost Key
Setting the Boost Key

For the last step, you set the login name and the password use to administer the router. Make sure that you do not use the default admin/admin, and go for a more secure choice. After you provide all the details, the router connects to the internet and checks for firmware updates. This is a proactive approach, and you should let the router update its firmware so that you can benefit from performance and security improvements. At the end of the quick setup wizard, you are shown a summary of your settings.
Now you can access the administration user interface for Rapture GT-AX11000. It is organized the same as on other ASUS routers, meaning that it is split into logical sections and finding your way is easy. However, it has a different skin, aimed at gamers that are fans of the Republic of Gamers brand.

The firmware on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The firmware on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

You can configure everything that matters in detail, and advanced users are going to appreciate this fact. The user documentation is accessible and well built. One neat trick is to move the mouse cursor over a setting that you do not understand, and a question mark is shown. Click on the question mark, and you see information explaining that setting. One downside is that the documentation has not been updated to include information about the novelties introduced by this router, like the "802.11ax HE frame support."

The Help documentation offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The Help documentation offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

The firmware is available in 25 languages, which is something that you do not see often on wireless routers. If you want to control your wireless network from your smartphone or tablet, including when you are not at home, you can use the ASUS router app. This app too uses a different skin, specific to the Republic of Gamers brand. It offers many advanced customization options, including the ability to check on your children' devices, and set up rules for parental controls. The remote network diagnostics can be useful too when your family has problems with their WiFi, and you are not home to help.

The ASUS router mobile app for Android
The ASUS router mobile app for Android

One unique feature is the RGB lighting on top of the Rapture GT-AX11000. Most users are going to consider this too much, but most gamers love RGB lighting on their accessories, and are going to appreciate having Aura Sync available. If you want to see how the lighting looks, we switched between the standarding lighting effects, in the video below.


The RGB lighting on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

We connected about twenty devices to the network managed by Rapture GT-AX11000, including two desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, several smartphones, one wireless printer, two smart plugs, one smart bulb, and an Xbox One console. Then, we started sharing data and making transfers. In the room where Rapture GT-AX11000 was placed, and in those with a direct line of sight to it, we enjoyed very fast Wi-Fi and stable network transfers. Below is an example of a typical network transfer on the 5 GHz band.

A wireless network transfer on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
A wireless network transfer on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

In the rooms that were separated by two walls from the Rapture GT-AX11000, with no direct line of sight to it, the variability of the transfers increased significantly. While increased variability is normal, other wireless routers from the same company, including the older Rapture GT-AC5300, offer better performance in this regard. This aspect should be improved in future firmware updates.

A wireless network transfer on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
A wireless network transfer on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a router with support for a new wireless network standard (Wi-Fi 6) that is not yet finalized, and there are no network clients on the market to support it. Unfortunately, this also brings some compatibility issues. As documented by ASUS here, and in the packaging of the router, you must update your drivers to Intel PROSet/Wireless Wi-Fi version 20.70.0 or higher, if you have a laptop or another device with a wireless network card from Intel.
If you want to know more about the real-world performance offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, go to the next page of this review.

Wireless network performance

First, let's look at the apartment that was used in our testing and how it is set up. You can see that the router is placed in the living room. With most wireless routers, the signal strength is not that high in places like the Kitchenand the Medium balcony.

The apartment in which we tested ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The apartment in which we tested ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Our testing was done using a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection that is capable of uploads on the internet of up to 500 Mbps. We used an HP Spectre 13 laptop and a Lenovo Yoga Book for our measurements and several software tools.


To get a better idea of the performance offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, we compared with two other wireless routers:
  1. Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000 - a high-end wireless router with support for the 802.11ad - another new wireless standard that so far has seen limited adoption
  2. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 - the predecessor of Rapture GT-AX11000, and one of the fastest wireless routers with support for the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard. We chose it to see if there is any meaningful difference between generations of the same brand.
We analyzed the 2.4 GHz band first and measured the signal strength with NetSpot. You can see below how the signal strength evolved from room to room. As you can see, ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 behaved similarly to the wireless routers we compared it to.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - wireless signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - wireless signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band

Next, we used SpeedTest to measure how fast the internet connection offered by this router is when using 2.4 GHz wireless network. You can see that the download speed reported by SpeedTest was significantly better when using the new ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Downloads in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Downloads in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band

When evaluating the upload speed, the differences were not as significant, and ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 had a lead only in two rooms.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Uploads in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Uploads in SpeedTest on the 2.4 GHz band

Continuing our measurements on the 2.4 GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Rapture GT-AX11000 once again offered us the fastest downloads on the 2.4 GHz band.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless downloads on the 2.4 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless downloads on the 2.4 GHz band

When we measured the upload speed, Rapture GT-AX11000 kept its lead, but not in all rooms.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless uploads on the 2.4 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless uploads on the 2.4 GHz band

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a very fast router when using the 2.4 GHz wireless band.


We then analyzed the performance of the 5GHz wireless band. We looked at the evolution of the signal strength, from room to room. This time too Rapture GT-AX11000 behaved similarly to the wireless routers we compared it with.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - wireless signal strength on the 5 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - wireless signal strength on the 5 GHz band

To see how fast the internet connection is when using the 5GHz band, we used SpeedTest. To view the maximum potential of this router, we used the world's only PCI-Express network card with support for 4x4 MU-MIMO. When we used this network card, we obtained a maximum speed of 706.51 Mbps for the download and 407.32 Mbps for the upload. These are high speeds for WiFi, confirming that ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a powerful router with plenty of potential. We would like to repeat this test when wireless network cards with support for 802.11ax are available on the market.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - maximum speed in SpeedTest
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - maximum speed in SpeedTest

To get back to earth, and everyday devices people use, we took our laptops and measured the download speed with SpeedTest, in every room of our test apartment. In a couple of rooms, Rapture GT-AX11000 was the fastest router in our comparison. In others, it was outperformed by its predecessor - ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Downloads in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Downloads in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band

When evaluating the upload speeds, the speed differences between Rapture GT-AX11000 and Rapture GT-AC5300 were not significant in most rooms. However, the older model performed much better in the room furthest from the router.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Uploads in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Uploads in SpeedTest on the 5 GHz band

For the last measurements on the 5GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 was the fastest wireless routers in the rooms that had direct line of sight to the routers. In the other rooms were walls interfered, its predecessor was faster.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless downloads on the 5 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless downloads on the 5 GHz band

When we measured the upload speed the older Rapture GT-AC5300 was faster than ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 in most rooms.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless uploads on the 5 GHz band
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Wireless uploads on the 5 GHz band

When network clients have a direct line of sight to ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, this router delivers excellent download and upload speeds on the 5 GHz band. However, when one or more walls get in the way, previous high-end 802.11ac wireless routers outperform it.

Wired network performance

To test the quality of the wired Ethernet connection, we used a desktop PC equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor, running at 3.20GHz, 16GB of RAM, a fast Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, and a Lenovo IdeaCentre 610s mini PC.
We measured the speed of the internet connection when using a 1 Gbps Ethernet cable, using SpeedTest. The download speed offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 was similar to that of the routers we compared it to, while the upload speed was a bit slower.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - SpeedTest on Ethernet connections
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - SpeedTest on Ethernet connections

Then, we ran a network transfer between the two computers, using the PassMark Performance test. Rapture GT-AX11000 offered speeds that were higher than 900 Mbps both for the upload and the download.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Network transfers on Ethernet connections
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Network transfers on Ethernet connections

Unfortunately, we did not have a network card available to test the 2.5 Gbps port on the Rapture GT-AX11000. When we do, we are going to update this section of the review with the appropriate data and measurements.
As a conclusion, the 1 Gbps Ethernet ports on this router work as expected, and deliver transfers at speeds between 900 Mbps and 1 Gbps, on a constant basis.


USB performance

We connected a portable SSD drive to the USB 3.0 port of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. Then we ran a few transfers from a desktop computer to this drive and back. We measured a speed of 700 Mbps for the download and 672 Mbps for the upload.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - the speed of the USB ports
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - the speed of the USB ports

Rapture GT-AX11000 offers fast USB 3.1 ports that are suitable for connecting fast storage devices to the router.

Features for gamers

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 bundles many advanced features that are not found on competing routers. On this specific model, there are many tools and features designed for gamers. First of all, we have RGB lighting through Aura Sync. At launch, the lighting can be configured only from the firmware. However, ASUS told us that they are working on an app that allows users to personalize the lighting of this wireless router.

AURA RGB settings on ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
AURA RGB settings on ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Another useful feature is WTFast GPN - you get the option to create a WTFast account, for optimized online gaming through a unique VPN service. You get access to some free features but, for the full service, you need to pay extra to WTFast.
GameBoost is a one-click optimizer that enables Adaptive QoS to optimize inbound and outbound traffic for online gaming. If you want the best online gaming experience, you should enable this feature. This feature is complemented by Game Profile, a tool that allows gamers to quickly set power forwarding rules for their favorite games. The router offers the best settings for a games like FIFA, Call of Duty, Left 4 Dead, Assassins Creed, CS Go, World of Tanks, and more.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Game Profile settings
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Game Profile settings

Through the Game Radar feature, ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 automatically verifies the availability and the ping reply to all the servers of popular online games like DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, World of Tanks, and more. As a result, you can see which server works best, without having to open your favorite game.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Game radar
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - Game radar

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 bundles features aimed at gamers, that you do not get from wireless routers of other brands.

Other features

Security tools are a significant addition offered by ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. The AiProtection module is the one that manages them:
  • A comprehensive Router Security Assessment tool which verifies where your router's settings are secure. When it finds problems, it proactively informs you and takes you where you need to be to fix things.
  • Malicious Sites Blocking - an efficient cloud-based module that blocks malicious websites on all the devices that are connected to your network.
  • Two-Way IPS - a two-way intrusion prevention system that protects all your network from spam, DDoS attacks, network attacks and more. Additionally, it also scans the packets that are sent from your network to the internet.
  • Infected Device Prevention and Blocking - if your network devices get infected, and they become zombies in malware networks, they are automatically blocked by your router, and you are informed about this problem so that you can fix things.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - AiProtection
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 - AiProtection

Other features offered by the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router include:

Where To Buy

  • Wi-Fi Radar - a set of unique tools that can be used to discover nearby wireless access points, gather statistics about the wireless radio signals in your area, troubleshoot problems, and improve the settings of your wireless network.
  • Integration with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and IFTT (If This, Then That) - a service that automates tasks that might otherwise be repetitive or unable to talk to each other. With the help of these services, you can do things like say "Alexa, ask ASUS ROUTER to upgrade the firmware" or get an email when your child gets home and connects his or her smartphone to the home WiFi.
  • Guest Network - you can enable up to three wireless networks for each band, with individual security and access settings.
  • Traffic Analyzer - offers visual traffic statistics which give you a clear picture of how your network is used and by which devices.
  • USB Applications - apps that are designed to work with all kinds of devices that you can connect to the router using USB: external hard disks, printers, and 3G or 4G dongles or modems.
  • AiCloud 2.0 - a mobile app that keeps you connected to your data wherever and whenever you have an Internet connection. With it, you can access the folders shared in your home network from your Android or iOS smartphone or via a personalized URL
  • IPv6 - support for IPv6 addresses that are going to replace IPv4.
  • VPN - you can set the router to work as a VPN server, and you can also use it to turn your network-connected devices into VPN-enabled clients, without additional VPN software required.
  • Network Tools - for analyzing the network and identifying what's wrong. They are useful when you need to troubleshoot problems.
  • Dual WAN - excellent for both small businesses and professionals who require always-on internet connections. You can also use a dual WAN to improve the quality of your internet connection and get the best possible performance.
  • DDNS - a service that allows you to connect to the router from the internet, even if your internet provider gives you a dynamic public IP address.
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router packs many premium features and tools that are going to be useful to its users.

What is your opinion of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000?

Now you know our opinion about the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 wireless router, and what this premium device has to offers. Before closing this review, let us know what you think. Is this router a model that you would consider buying? Are you a gamer and you love its RGB lighting features? Comment below and let's discuss.


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