on October 14, 2012
(16 months later, update at bottom) I've been following routers for about a year and determined this model would help future proof some wireless stuff we purchase next year. It's also one of, if not the strongest available. I was a little intimidated buying this one because of all it's features and not one of the traditional router brand. I thought setup would be a hassle. Boy was I wrong on all counts. This thing is wonderfully thought out...in all areas. It blows away Cisco's new "cloud for dummies", tricking some into online router accounts, so they can track your data usage.
Before setup I found 3 excellent HD Youtube videos (ASUS RT-N66U Setup...Wired...Wireless). They're made by a down to earth Asus employee who does a great job covering the setup wizard and various features. Getting it up is a breeze, very simple, takes a couple minutes for both wired and wireless. Before install you might want to check into the following:
1) Download the latest firmware from the ASUS website. The routers FW version listed at top of GUI, nice! (Router access is 192.168.1.1)
2) Decide if you want a different (SSID) name for the 2.4GHz and the 5GHZ channel and figure out what the names will be.
3) I used an online "WPA Key Generator" so the keys were ready before setup. I created a different one for each channel.
4) Visit smallnetbuilder.com forum for the AC66U. Read the couple threads on how they're getting strongest signals, best channels, frequency's, etc. Many passionate owners will help with timely support and tips.
5) Test your internet speeds and pingtest.net before - and after you install this new router.
The routers GUI is incredibly easy to understand and has tremendous amount of information and features. They use plenty of icons, images, grids, laymens terms, and "?" that provide simple explanations when hovering over. The ability to configure "port forwarding" was so simple I spent more time looking for complex steps, then the actual time to config.
THE BOX - Folks this is an impressive looking piece of hardware. It uses very dark/deep blue LED's just below the top surface. This dark blue lighting matches that same blue on our high end components. The small ASUS name in the back right corner is gold plated, a nice touch. The criss-cross grid pattern is done extremely well. The unit itself is solid, a very heavy device for it's size, which is nice for a change. I'm a fan of external antenna's and these look good, fully adjustable. They screw on so you could add extension cables to relocate them.
Surprisingly there is a small power button on the back - no more plug/unplug. There's also a WPS button on the back or AC66U. I discovered it's purpose on my Android phone, a WPS note next to router network name. This feature eliminates the need to enter long WAP keys. Hitting the WPS button in a timely fashion automates and finishes connection to router. I had no ideas this tech was in routers.
The feature called "Download Master" performs downloads for your PC. With a storage device attached I no longer need to leave my PC running while waiting for a download to finish. There's many other features you can add or simply turn on. It's the shizznit of routers for sure. I'm in the GUI every couple hours checking features, usage, etc. It's a great application for sure.
Since ASUS is making firmware changes frequently, listening to their customers, I was not worried about those minor glitches when first released this device. I was confident they would get it right and work things out. My unit is Hardware version A2, so they are updating hardware too. Stop your searching and reading - get this router - you will be happy.
UPDATE 2-2-2014: I was so happy with my router I bought another one in November 2012 for my sister. It's been powered on for 15 months straight...without one single issue or phone call from her (she's pretty tech inept). It's LAN wired to her all her entertainment components (ROKU, DirectTV, Receiver, PS3, TV). They mostly watch Amazon Prime movies and have had ZERO viewing issues. The wireless channels feed her laptop, Galaxy S3 phone, HP Officejet printer, and the "guest" account she provides friends and visitors. Again, not one issue so far. The router has not been touched since the day it was powered up. It's hard for me to believe some of the negative reviews.
My AC66U has also been flawless. It's probably processed over 100TB of data and no issues. My router also feeds via ethernet and wireless our laptops, phones, and entertainment system, including the routing of BluRay movies to all our TV's. I do wish the 5Ghz had a longer range but I rarely use that so I never turned up the signal strength. The 2.4 range gets me over a block from the house when listening to Iheart radio on my phone.
on December 15, 2014
Purchased this router in January 2014 and have had no issues. Firmware is still at 126.96.36.199.374, hardware version is A1. I purchased this router after I bricked a Cisco router from a bad firmware update. I'm writing this review (actually more of a potential solution) because I noticed a little over 10% of the reviews are 1 star (which is "normal" percentage of any product) and after scanning through the 1 stars the common theme is intermittent wi-fi drops and "weird" router behavior when using the USB 3.0 port. Something to be aware of is that USB 3.0 ports, cables, and devices transmit on the 2.4 GHz - 2.5 GHz range. From the Intel White Paper:
"As previously shown in Figure 2-2, the noise from USB 3.0 data spectrum can be high
(in the 2.4-2.5 GHz range). This noise can radiate from the USB 3.0 connector on a
PC platform, the USB 3.0 connector on the peripheral device or the USB 3.0 cable. If
the antenna of a wireless device operating in this band is placed close to any of the
above USB 3.0 radiation channels, it can pick up the broadband noise. The broadband
noise emitted from a USB 3.0 device can affect the SNR and limit the sensitivity of any
wireless receiver whose antenna is physically located close to the USB 3.0 device. This
may result in a drop in throughput on the wireless link."
I experienced this when I built a new computer and placed the router on top of the tower on my desk and plugged my Patriot USB 3.0 thumb drive in the USB 3.0 port on top of the tower which is about 8 inches from the router antenna. My desktop is Ethernet, so was not affected. Laptop1 was using 5.0 GHz band and was not affected. Laptop2 was using 2.4 GHz band and could not connect wirelessly. Took an hour to figure this out (only variable that changed was distance of thumb drive to antenna). My old computer's USB 3.0 port was at the bottom back of the tower and farther away. So basically, USB 3.0 acts as a router wi-fi jammer if located too close and it's easy to mistake this common issue as a router intermittent wi-fi drop issue.
on February 28, 2013
First off, let me start by saying that this router isn't like the ones I have purchased in the past. I feel it is a enthusiast's router, but at the same time it is so much easier to setup even if you are a newbie. It took me just 1 minute to set this up and another minute to get it connected. If you are reading other reviews on here take them into consideration because this router is around 200 dollars.
Second, I am a student studying network administration and I don't know everything about Networking yet, but I am getting there.
Note: I will be updating this review to include a lot more when I have fooled around with it more.
This router not only met my needs, but it exceeded them. I logged in the router for the first time to find a plethora of amazing utilities and trust me when I say this "I wish Cisco would have their user interface on their routers like how Asus has it setup on this one. Its it remarkable how well they have polished the interface and make it so user friendly but at the same time giving us techies what we need.
Connection: I get full bars and I have yet to go down the street to see if I still have a connection, but I will say this. My E1200 router would only give my mother that's on the other side of the house 3 bars. With this it is a max of 5 and her speeds are amazing when compared to the E1200's speeds.
Remember me saying Swiss Army Knife? Well this router has the following:
Guest network setup with 3 network keys for the 2.4ghz network and 3 network keys for the 5.0ghz network. Unheard of I say! Hats off to Asus for that.
Traffic manager is another nice add but one that is common place on every router out. What sets this one apart is the way that it saves the computers on your network and tells you there network name so that it will be easier to have QoS run flawlessly on the network.
Parental Controls that are so easy to setup a child can do it. Your kids will hate you but you will reign supreme!
AiDisk Share files connected through the USB through the Internet. A must have if you need files you have forgotten.
Servers Center: You like your media on your computer and usb stick, who doesn't? This allows you to setup DLNA iTunes Server setup your media directory on your thumb drive that you connect to your router also. The option to allow FTP servers to run through the router is a step in the right direction. You can also setup how many users can be logged in at one time and setup the Work Group settings right on the router.
This is where other routers get blown in the dust. You can setup a Cloud service directly from the router itself. By Plugging in a USB thumb drive or a Portable hard drive into your router and setting it up you can access all your data on your usb with the apps on Google Play and the Itunes App Store. This allows for you to just make a cloud disk, smart access with the ability to make your computer wake on LAN so that you can access your data even if your computer is currently switched off. Also if you are a fan of the ASUS web storage you can have it sync up with it and use it to your liking.
Now to the Barebones: The network Advanced settings (Network junkies start drooling!)
General Tab- Here you have the settings for the server and you can setup your SSID/Password Authentication method and all of the settings you would normally see on a router.
WPS: Pretty much self explained if you have already had a router before. This setting allows you to setup at the push of a button on the router a easy connect system. I don't use it but it is a very handy feature to have if your a newbie to the networking game.
Bridge - Allows you to bridge the internet connection with a wireless access point that will repeat the signal throughout your house. In my opinion not needed because this router is a beast, but all the same if you live in a big mansion you can setup many access points and it will be buttery smooth.
MAC Address filter - This is where you can setup a more secure way to secure your network. This allows you to setup the router to only allow specific computers with only the mac address they have (this isn't 100% fool proof).
RADIUS - I don't know what this. Will update this shortly after finding out what it does.
Professional - All the settings you would ever want to play with are here. On this page alone you can setup the frequency (2.4ghz or 5ghz), enable the radio, set the days the radio is turned on, the time of day to turn the radio on and off, Option to Set your AP Isolated, Multicast settings, Preamble Type, RTS Threshold, DTIM Interval, Beacon Interval, Enable TX Bursting, Wireless Multicast Fowarding, Enable WMM APSD, Enhanced interference Management, and Tx Power adjustment.
LAN - I'm not going to go to far into it but I will go back over this review and revise stuff as it is needed. This has the basic settings like the LAN IP, DHCP Server settings, Routing rules for the router, IPTV settings, and Switch Control settings.
WAN - This has your Wide Area Network settings for those of you don't know what WAN means, this usually is used for businesses and I figure businesses do use this router for obvious reasons. I'll just go over the tabs on this part. I still have five more things to go over, not including the tabs on each so yeah this router is pretty beastly. This router has Port Trigger, Virtual Server/Port Forwarding options, DMZ, DDNS, and NAT Passthrough settings.
IPV6 - Self explanitory here. This is just Internet Protocol Version 6 settings.
VPN Server - Now this is a setting I will be using and anyone that is a network junkie will love. Setting up the Virtual Private Network settings is pretty much a breeze and if you come by any issues leave a comment and I will reply.
Firewall - This is pretty self-explained. You do have DDoS protection, URL Filter, Keyword Filter, and Network Services Filter tabs on this. I liked the DDos Protection option...turning that now now!
Administration - Now this is where things are different. On this router you can select 3 different modes under the Operation Mode tab, which is shown as soon as you select the Administration option. There is Wireless router mode which is the default, Media Bridge mode is very awesome in the face you can set it up so that you can stream videos and music to all your devices simultaneously. A big plus for all those who love media and who doesn't I know what I'll be playing with later. The System Tab has options for the router for the Admin side like the router Name and Password, plus it has WPS button Behavior settings like Toggle Radio (switching from 2.4ghz to 5.ghz) and Activating the WPS. This router also has the option to where you can Telnet into it (which I absolutely love). It also only allows people with specific IP's to be able to access the router to edit settings with the client list at the bottom. Just make sure you click the yes next to the Only allow specific IP setting on the router. Firmware upgrade tab just has the options for upgrading firmware. Pretty self-explanitory there. Restore/Save/Upload Setting tab has 3 settings. Of those settings, there are Factory default, Save Setting, and Restore setting. The restore setting asks for you to choose a file from your computer. it is a very nice feature to have if your are a Tech like me and don't have time for foolishness.
Well as you can tell this router is a superb router with many advanced features. Thus is why I call it the swiss army knife. I may just call my router McGuyver since it can do everything (for all you old school guys out there that know about the show I figured you could use a laugh).
I hope you liked my review and if you like it and it helps you feel free to tell amazon that it did. I'm trying to get into the program where amazon sends me stuff to review. I took the time to give everyone insight on this router because I love technology and I want to help the everyday man and woman. Thanks for reading.
on November 13, 2013
Well I guess I must be one of the lucky ones that has not experienced any problems with this top notch router. I bought this from Best-Buy last week as I was in a neighborhood that had one in stock. Amazon didn't have any - but now I see that they do!!! Gah !! Oh well. The speed and robustness of the router is far better than any of the other routers I have had (LinkSys, Dlink and SMC). Those are now boxed up and put to rest.
The set up was easy. Plugged it in to my cable modem, rebooted everything and the router and modem recognized each other straight away - no need to configure qateways or IP addresses. I used the same WPA pass phrase as the previous router and all my devices were connected.
The reach and bandwidth of the signal - like most other people have experienced - is very strong and stable for all B/G/N devices. I don't have any AC devices yet. VPN works - which is essential for access to my company's servers and intranet.
The router interface is so intuitive and is dynamic. When you make a change you see that change immediately - no need to refresh the screen. The network layout, the information it pulls from attached devices and clients is like a mini network management system.
I bought a Toshiba 1.5TB USB 3.0 external drive, attached it to each device that I wanted to copy the majority of my media files from then plugged it in to the router's USB 3.0 slot(Network Attached Storage). The router recognized it. Any additional files I found I just dragged and dropped onto the NAS through the network. I then enabled DLNA in the router - my Galaxy S3, Asus TF201, Bluray Player, Smart TV and laptops all recognized the Toshiba drive as a media server. I don't think I need the PC based media server I painstakingly built a year ago any longer.
ASUS AiCloud is great. I can access my files over the LAN or remotely though my Galaxy S3 or any other device. I have access to my data where ever I am. Total freedom at last. This is for access only - I could see no way cutting and pasting files through the AiCLOUD when remote. However Cloud Disk (a feature available in the router does allow copying of files and folders to the NAS). If you want to just see the NAS as a local drive without using the Cloud then Windows XP, 7, 8 sees it as just another drive on the network so no issues in terms of copying / deleting files and folders. For my Android devices I downloaded ES3 Explorer and File manger from the App Store which then gave me that ability to cut and past files as if the NAS was local - similar to Windows.
Now I am sure that all those clever people out there would say "the technology has been out there for years" but for me this ASUS RT AC68u router just made it so simple and quick.
I could go on but so far I am very pleased. It's just so versatile - a router, NAS, Media Server, VPN, Private and Public Cloud. Just makes my life so simple, saves on energy costs and real estate (space) no need for separate media server, screen, keyboard and mouse, no need for network repeaters.
If you have any questions I am happy to help answer them based on my limited experience of what so far appears to be a great product.
*** UPDATE Day #17
Still no issues, no down time, no reboots. PERFECT!!!
*** UPDATE - 8 weeks in
Not a single blip or error. No slowing down. Super fast super reliable. Was I just lucky?
*** UPDATE - 14 months in
Again - not a single issue. Still super fast - never any dropouts.
on February 9, 2016
I normally don’t write long reviews, but thought due to our interesting networking environment, this review may be helpful for others contemplating this Asus AC88U router in more complex situations.
The short summary is that this router has been very capable and refined out of the box (contrary to what some professional reviewers have claimed as “beta” with some Asus routers and users), with only the slightest of “glitches” that should be remedied as the firmware matures. It was a sufficient enough improvement in a very busy mixed network to replace our old workhorse AC68U. For those with the most active networks, the AC88U is probably the current SOTA and should squeeze every last ounce of performance from it.
We have what is best described as a mixed-protocol, mixed-device, high-activity, network. Much of it is wired gigabit ethernet, but with a heavy supporting load of wireless 2.4 and 5 ghz clients, from legacy G to the latest AC Wi-Fi devices. Our broader network has three laser printers/MFPs (including color models), a Mac running OS X server with outboard RAID stack serving 10+TB of local data, three other Mac clients, three PC laptops, two PC workstations, a LAG-ethernet connected NAS unit for all local backups, six Squeezeboxes (wired and wireless) served by LMS locally, five Apple TVs, two network-managed cable boxes, several other smart TVs, Android tablets and streaming clients (Amazon Fire and Roku), two networked BD players, no less than seven iOS devices running both N and AC Wi-Fi, two gaming consoles, a fully populated Cisco 24-port managed switch with multiple LAG connections, and about 2,500 total feet of gigabit ethernet cable to manage. And a fairly active 2.4 ghz guest network on top of all of it for the regular in-law and neighbor visitors and all their devices. The longest Wi-Fi run is about 65 ft through 5-6 walls and across four levels (I do not believe in local repeaters or APs for security reasons). We run our 175/12 ISP WAN pretty much at its limit, with monthly activity typically in the 300-400+ GB range. At any given time, there are never less than 26-28 active clients on our network. Most activity is multiple-client, higher bitrate HD video and audio streaming, and regular larger data transfers, including multiple TimeMachine, local and off-site server backup routines. With all local data, HD video and audio traffic, Internet and cloud video streaming and data transfers, several RDC clients running, and continuous off-site server backups, our network is typically managing and moving hundreds of GB daily across many streams simultaneously. This is a heavy load for any router.
We were among the first buyers of the AC68U as a result. It has been a stable device since day one, with incremental improvements as Asus has refined its firmware. To date, our old AC68U still does a capable job. It is good-looking, petite, and draws no attention to itself. It just does the job. Consequently, I would continue to recommend this now classic AC router for any but the most intense network environments. Where the 68U can now falter for us is on longer and fringe wireless AC and other 5ghz connections during heavier network activity, where speeds and latency can start to fall off. As a result, we started shifting some devices to the 2.4 ghz band to relieve the AC68U. Under peak network activity, some ethernet transfers would also experience a slight drop off (from 100-105 MB/s to perhaps 75-80).
Enter the AC88U. It has several features that helped wring some additional capacity and headroom out of our busy network. The LAG feature is a legitimate IEEE 802.3ad setup, and allows a 2GB pipeline from our server to both Wi-Fi and Ethernet clients. Previously, a LAG connection was confined to Ethernet-side only. The AC88U’s more robust 5 ghz hardware delivers stronger and more stable fringe connections than the 68U, and with more headroom. We can move all our clients back over to 5 ghz with no speed drop off. The AC88U can support multiple HD video streams on all of them simultaneously without any compromises. Fringe 5 ghz devices previously connecting to the 68U at 125-150 mb are now rock solid at 350-400+ mb. Older 5 ghz clients such as the Intel 6300 AGN series are now holding stable connections at or just under 300 Mbps across much longer distances.
Updating the 88U to the latest firmware was an easy affair, taking under 3 minutes. Migration from the 68U to the 88U was fairly painless, with a settings save and upload between them transferring about 80% of our router settings over to the new router. However, some settings need to be manually re-entered, and all settings should be double-checked. I imagine similar later model Asus routers will have a similar experience.
Based on our testing, the AC88U’s more robust processing and transmitting power has improved all network transfer speeds over the 68U by approximately 10-15%, including for WAN traffic. This may not prove significant over a smaller network and/or with smaller data transfers, but for larger volume data transfers and heavy users with lots of clients, it adds up to a faster, more responsive network experience. As with all these matters, YMMV, and I suspect the 68U to be the the full equal of the 88U in less hectic environments. But the biggest gains for us with the 88U were seen with wireless clients, and in the 5 ghz band, particularly over distance.
The 88U is not without its flaws. It is a large and somewhat garish-looking device (we're older and best described as "mature", but I'm sure anyone under 30 will love it), and requires more real estate and electricity than the trim and classy looking 68U did. Its firmware, while surprisingly polished so early, is not yet mature. Most notably, we occasionally experience some very brief page load delays under Safari (2-3 sec), and very infrequently a slight delay when first connecting to our NAS - but once connected, it flies. I would characterize these more as “glitches” than full blown bugs, and expect that they will resolve over the next couple of firmware revisions. However, the entire Apple ecosystem in our house runs flawlessly under it, with all that implies (Airplay, Airdrop, Home Sharing, TimeMachine, FaceTime, etc), and the PCs, Apples and Androids all get along together nicely. The 88U is also eye-watering expensive, and you are paying to be on the bleeding-edge with it. MU-MIMO is an infant technology, and like most consumers, we are not yet using it. Perhaps later. I’m not a lamp-watcher, but the single LED to indicate all switch activity may bother some.
However, the bottom line is the AC88U is probably the strongest, most powerful home/prosumer router currently available. But its advantages over a more mainstream AC router such as the 68U are likely only going to make economic sense in busier, more complex networking environments. I consider it the top choice in any mixed environment, where ethernet is significantly deployed. The only possible current upgrade over the 88U is the tri-band AC5300, which can support even more 5 ghz clients than we have, and makes more sense in a Wi-Fi dominant environment. But for up to 12-15 5 ghz clients, the 88U is its equal. We expect the 88U to be with us for the next 3-5 years before our technology overtakes it, much as the 68U was. Again, for most homes, the difference between the 68U and 88U is not going to justify the price difference. Unless your 68U is starting to strain or stumble, there is little to be gained with the 88U.
I won’t go into all the other features of the AC88U which are common to all Asus routers, such as AiProtection, etc., except to say they are all work well on the AC88U. Having used many router brands over many years, we continue to prefer Asus for its combination of solid, reliable hardware and relatively useful and stable native firmware, and have not found the need for 3rd-party firmware solutions as with some other brands. The Asus Router App needs some work however, and is currently best avoided.
For a little less money, the AC3100 is just about the same router as the 88U, with 4 less ethernet jacks. However, we appreciate the extra ethernet jacks on the 88U to relieve our big switch from supporting server room devices such as printers and our RAID stack.
Should the operation of the 88U change in future, we’ll update our review accordingly. But after about a week with the 88U, we are confident enough to sadly say goodbye to our trusty 68U (which is still worth about $95 on trade-in).
on December 3, 2015
I have owned the Asus RT-N66U router since 2012 and have been content with it. It provided okay coverage throughout my house and provided pretty consistent speeds, but recently I have had more devices come into the house and some connections were lagging behind and I had poor coverage in my bedroom and none in my bathroom. After dealing with this for a few months I started looking into new routers and noticed that the 87U was not up to par and was getting horrible reviews. So it was between this router or the new RT-AC88U router. I bought this one due to the smart connect capabilities and because I did not need 8 LAN ports at this time. So below is my review of this product and my comparison between my RT-N66U (aka Dark Knight) vs the RT-AC5300.
1. When I received the router and opened the box I immediately could tell there is a HUGE difference in size and weight difference between this router and the N66U. It is at least 3-4 inches wider with the antennas on and about an inch or so thicker than the N66U. To me the router looks solid and beefy, which is a good sign that it should be better.
2. Within minutes I had the antennas on it and plugged it into my desktop. I updated the firmware to the latest .838 firmware that Asus has released for it. Once I did that I configured my wifi network with the "Smart Connect" option. This means that I have one SSID instead of having 3 SSID's and the router will pick the band for your device. Going through the initial setup and programming it was very easy and straight forward. The Asus interface is well designed and easy to use.
3. Before: After setting everything up I hooked it up to the internet. The biggest test was in my weak areas and dead spots. In my bedroom with the N66U I was only able to manage 2.9Mbps download and 2.5Mbps upload speeds on multiple speed tests from speedtest.net on my iPhone 6 plus and my iPad Air. In my bathroom the connection was so unstable that the speed test was diverted to my cell carrier instead of trying to do it over wifi.
4. Results: My ISP is Comcast and I get 150Mbps down and 12Mbps upload speeds. After the installation was complete I ran a quick speed test using my desktop over wifi and was able to pull 177Mbps down and 12Mbps upload speeds. The desktop is in my basement directly below my router on the main floor. I was able to get 37Mbps down and 12Mbps upload in my bedroom and 23Mbps download and 12Mbps upload speeds in my bathroom. That's a huge increase and I am now able to stream and use my devices with confidence all throughout my house and yard. My Roku 3 in my bedroom plays HD quality now without having to buffer anymore which is a huge plus!
I am very happy with my purchase and I would definitely recommend upgrading to this if you are coming from a non-AC router like the N66U especially if you are in need of more range and consistent speeds throughout that range. I use to get frustrated watching video clips on my phone and they would play for about 4 seconds and then have to buffer because on the lack of range and consistent connection that the N66U had. I have not experienced it yet and neither has anyone else in my family experienced any dropped or lagging connections ever since I put this router into action! very happy with the purchase and will update if anything changes.
on December 7, 2015
(Update 12-16-2015) - The RT-AC5300 since installation has only needed to be restarted for the firmware update and necessary configuration changes. It has been very stable. BEST ROUTER MADE FOR ANY PRICE in my opinion. You get what you pay for and this is a high end, ultra performance router that delivers what it claims to. It's very fast, very stable and has excellent range. I get very usable signal 1/4 mile away and still stay connected up to 1/2 mile albeit with a slower connection (yet still usable).
(Previous review below)
I have owned many routers and this by far is the best I have ever owned. It has terrific range and easily fills my home with full signal on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz reaches twice as far as the RT-AC3200 did. You should upgrade the firmware right away to get the best stability and security patches. It is a big router and will take up considerable space on a desk.
- Excellent for gaming. WFTFast and special game mode is build in!
- Excellent for VoIP and especially Skype calls
- Excellent performance and zero lag due to the router. If you get any buffering it's your ISP not this router.
- Easily handles 30+ connected devices. No performance degradation at all, on any device. I setup to test this using 10 youtube streams plus 1 Hulu and 1 Netflix at the same time. This router did not even break 10% CPU utilization and no more than 45% RAM.
- Built in malware protection and harmful website blocking at not additional cost from Trend Micro.
on December 3, 2015
First thoughts on this thing when I received it: its much heavier and bigger than my other AP's. I was running business class router, firewall, and access points at my house (I am in the IT field) but my wifi was lacking (in speed, range, no ac, etc) and I didn't feel like running more CAT6 to pop up more AP's.
So I decided to purchase this beast. Couldn't be happier. I originally installed it in AP mode and disabled all my old AP's. My range and speed on all my devices was noticeably improved. I am on 5 acres and couldn't get a signal at all at the end of driveway previously, and I now I can stream my security cameras to my phone all the way down there. The Smart Connect feature is great: a single SSID on all 3 bands and automagically switches you to the best signal.
After a day or two, I decided to reconfigure it in router mode just to see what other features would become active and I think I will keep it this way and simplify my network with this one device doing everything. I was worried about it being new and the firmware would be a bit buggy, but I have not experienced any disconnects, speed issues, or anything on any of my devices.
The only things that had issues was in the UI, and it was by no means a big deal -very minor. One was logging into the WTFast account under Game Boost doesn't work, keeps saying "Server does not response"...not sure if Asus issue or WTFast, but I don't really care since I don't play games. The other is viewing the Network Map list is sometimes slow to load and Tx/Rx rates sometimes don't show; but again, but that's not a deal breaker.
I am on the fastest internet available here, which is only 25Mb/5Mb, and my wireless devices previously were getting only about 12Mb/2Mb with latency in the 30-50ms range. With the Asus RT-AC5300, they are getting the max speeds and latency is now a solid 9-11ms. Off the top of my head, I am counting at least 17 wireless devices running off it right now, no problem. And like I said, the range has improved ridiculously.
Most people probably won't like the price, but oh well. I'm glad I went with this one. Time will tell if it holds up and is reliable. It's replacing a lot of my other <expensive> network equipment, which I never had any downtime with, so I can only hope this thing keeps performing well.
on August 14, 2012
Before having the great Asus RT-AC66U I was dealing with a Cisco E4200 v2 (Stay away from these routers). The Cisco E4200 v2 was a terrible product, it had an intermittent internet and slow speeds (I spent more than 1 hour with Cisco support trying configurations) then I gave Cisco another chance, I bought a Bran new Cisco EA4500, same problem impossible to get it to work properly. I did a lot of research and it looks like many many people are having these problems with Cisco and there is no fix. The 2 Cisco high end routers that I have tryed were really bad, dropping a poor signal on both 2.4 and 5.0 and really slow slow. Then I got the Netgear AC 1750 (R6000) It worked really well, but I didn't like that in the configuration you could not choose N or AC modes only, instead it says Up to 450 Mbps, Up to 1300 and like that so it enables all Wifi types and you can not use it as N only, apart from that it was so Bulky even the charger was large as the ones found in laptops.
I Just received the Asus RT-AC66U and it works great, excellent range and speed link (260Mb 10 meters -33 ft- away from the router, some walls in the middle) The Set up has easy options for novice and advanced tools for expert and it look really good. The router has the better construction quality that I have seen, the plastic, the terminals and everything looks really good quality (The Netgear looked so cheap from the outside, and the Cisco was just ok)Even the box was better quality and better printed that the Cisco and Netgear ones, also the manual. The router's look is great, like a jewelry box.
Great Range and Speed
Great configuration interface
Good construction quality
Detachable antennas (you can upgrade to a larger antenna for extra coverage)
Compact compared to other AC Routers
- dd-wrt Firmware likely to be available for this router some time soon
It warms up more than others, but I think it's normal.
I would recommend this router to anyone, Great product overall.
on November 15, 2015
This router is great Router Asus makes great hardware & software the user interface is easy to configure.
The Range covers 2,070 sqft of my home 50 feet away and still 180 mbs connection wired & wireless on 5ghz band.
Ai protection: Helps blocks malicious attack to your pc or any connected device.
Ai cloud: I have a 4TB drive work great i can access my files any where any time on the go!
Time Machine backup: Works great for backup Mac to external hard drive.
Download master: Very useful tool that lets you download torrents directly from the external hard drive even when your computer is offline which is great!
It has 8 port switch with link aggregation 2gbps for NAS & 1.4 GHz Dual core cpu & 512mb of Ram.
Cons : The only issue is USB 3.0 speeds are slow about 36 mbs from external hard but that can be fixed in setting Wireless - Professional-Reducing USB 3.0 interference just disable it and you will get faster usb 3.0 speeds.
Firmware update checker is very bad hardly finds new firmware and when it does the firmware is out dated it better to just go to asus website under support and manually download the firmware update file.