795 of 853 people found the following review helpful
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.
1,167 of 1,276 people found the following review helpful
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.
343 of 386 people found the following review helpful
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.
856 of 992 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
I felt compelled to review this product based on several recent discussions with colleagues at work who also purchased the AC66U. Being engineers, we all pride ourselves on having the best technology, and so all of us read the same CNET reviews that led us to believe this was, hands-down, best in class. All of us had the exact same experience with this device, described as follows:
- It will work just fine for a few weeks, if not a few months
- You'll start to notice the range of this device degrading (many of us increased the transmit power as a result)
- The 5G band will become especially hard to connect to
- The 5G band will slow to a crawl and effectively become unusuable
- The 2.4G band will follow-the same pattern as described for the 5G band
- Shortly after your wireless becomes unusable, the entire network (referring to wired connections) will stop working
Ultimately, you have to power cycle the unit to get internet working. When this became a pattern, we all tried the same thing: increased the tx power, upgraded the firmware, turned off 5G, and yet the cycle described above would eventually repeat. For me, it just got faster and faster - finally, the router would only operate for a day or two before dying.
To make it more interesting, when my range got to be significantly worse,I convinced myself that it must be due to increased RF noise (new houses being built nearby and a lot of new SSIDs showing up) - so I went out and bought a second one (still convinced the router was the best-in-class) with the intention of using it as an access point that could extend my range. This new device was the same model but a slightly newer hardware revision. Same exact behavior. As an experiment, I switched the devices and used the new one as the router and the old one as the access-point. Same exact behavior.
I'm back to my old Netgear N router, which works just fine in the same environment (can even cover the entire house without problem). I contacted ASUS, who agreed to RMA both devices, though I have to pay for shipping. When I complained about this at work, I was surprised to discover that a number of my coworkers had the exact same experience - many of them ended up throwing the things away.
I'm always skeptical of bad reviews when something has this many 5-star ratings - I assume it's just a few grumpy people who like to complain. I can only assume that the large number of 5-star reviews are due to the fact that people evaluated it after a very short period of use. If you only need a router for a few days: this is just the device - for everyone else: DO NOT BUY THIS ROUTER. I'm going to try the new AC TimeCapsule from Apple next...
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2013
This router has great potential but because of high cost, intermittent wifi issues and bad support you should look elsewhere. I have been using it for almost a year now. For the past 3 months I have had intermittent wifi issues. Usually slowness and or disconnects in the 2.4ghz band. This happens on multiple devices but does not happen on wired devices. I have used 2 other Lynksys routers and they do not experience the same wifi issues.
I contacted Asus support and they reluctantly agreed to allow me to send in the router for service. This process took 2 calls and over an hour on the phone. After a few weeks I received a box for Asus which contained my original router with no paperwork of any kind. In addition to lack of paperwork the power supply was missing. I contacted Asus and they said they tested my router and it was fine. I asked how long it was tested and they said “a few hours”. I mentioned that the problem only happens every few days and they could care less. When I asked where my power supply was they told me that they are not responsible for accessories. I quoted their original RMA paperwork that states I need to send in the power supply and they reluctantly agreed to send me a new power supply.
After a few more weeks I still did not have a power supply so I contacted them again. This time they overnight and I actually got it.
I plugged everything back together on Tuesday and by Friday I had to do my first reboot. Same intermittent wifi issues that it has been doing all along. Don’t waste your time with these people.
188 of 218 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2012
I downgraded the firmware back to 164. Since I upgraded the firmware to 220, I have already rebooted the router about 4~5x, the internet connection suddenly stops. I don't know if it's just me, but I feel that the router is a bit warmer when I touch it using firmware 220. I don't have any temperature measuring device so I can't confirm that it's really warmer (I did not adjust the transmit power setting, fyi).
I updated the firmware to version 18.104.22.168.220, and the 2 previous problems I stated is still existing.. I don't mind it that much but I still hope Asus fixes it soon. Workaround for 1.) I connect my PC to 2.4Ghz. 2.) I use Splashtop from my iPhone to connect to my home PC from office.
AiCloud looks promising, supposedly you could view/play your media files from your iphone/ipad and android devices within and outside your network. But I'm stuck with the loading page, after I put my login user and password. My iphone can't login. Can anyone confirm if the aicloud works?
So far have encountered 2 problems with the latest firmware (22.214.171.124.164)
1. I'm using Nero Media Home 4 in my PC to share my media to my wireless TV, Bluray and PS3. When my PC is connected to 5Ghz, the tv, bluray and ps3 cannot connect to Nero. When I connect to 2.4Ghz, they can see Nero and play the media. This works fine with N66U.
2. I have setup port forwarding for Remote Desktop Connection, so I can connect to my home PC from my office. It's not working. This again, is working fine with N66U.
QOS is also a known problem, but I'm not using it for now. I believe it's just a firmware issue since both are working with N66U. I hope it gets fixed with the next firmware release.
I bought this to share my media files, from an external hard drive, to my 3d tv and wireless bluray in bedroom. So far I'm not disappointed. I also have N66U to compare with, I've read from other reviewers that this router gets hot, when I touch the top part, it is warm but not hot, which is the same with my N66U.
This is suppose to have a greater coverage compare to N66, but to my experience, the coverage is the same, which is already awesome.
Initial setup was very straightforward, easy, fast and CD-less. Below are the actual steps after opening the box:
1. Connect LAN cable from modem, LAN cable going to PC, and power cable
2. Open web browser. Router setup page automatically shows up. Click Next
3. Type the User login and Password that you want. Click Next
4. Type the SSID and key for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (or you can click the checkbox: Copy 2.4Ghz settings to 5Ghz settings). Click Apply.
After that, your wireless device should now be able to connect to your new router. I even used the same SSID and password from my previous router, and my devices connected automatically after the setup.
These are my devices that connects to this router:
- 3 laptops
- 2 Iphones
- wireless tv
- wireless bluray
- wireless printer
No problem with connections, no disconnects, iphones when outside the apartment are still connected.
- Media Bridge mode. Applicable using 2 AC66U. This feature is not available to N66U
- Dual band, 450Mbps+1300Mbps. I can't comment with the AC speeds, I don't have wireless AC clients for now.
- HTTPS authentication when accessing admin page. If your using this for office/business use, this is plus.
- AiCloud. Coming soon, the app is not yet available from the appstore/googleplay as of this review. (This is now available as of firmware version 126.96.36.199.220)
- 2 USB ports. Supports external hard drives, printers or 3g/4g modems
- 3TB external harddrive works (Manual says only up to 2TB is supported). Tested using Seagate expansion 3TB STBV3000100. My TVs won't even accept 3TB harddrives when connected directly to its usb ports.
- DHCP Manual IP assignment (if you need static private IP on your device)
- DLNA. Streams HD vids, pics and 3D vids to my LG tv and my LG bluray player, no lags, no disconnects. And this is even using wireless connection and not wired.
- Awesome range. Before, I was using a cheap netgear, single band 2.4Ghz, included from my ISP. From the farthest point in my apartment, I get 2 bars of signal in windows 7 wireless network connection settings. With AC66U, I get full 5 bars using 2.4Ghz, and 4 bars on the 5Ghz band.
- 3 Large external antennas
- Download Master (if your into P2P downloading/uploading)
- Option to vertically stand the router, or wall mount
- User friendly setup
- Impressive performance particularly on 5Ghz band
- Stylish looks and superb quality
- Ability to install 3rd party firmwares
- Steep price (but worth it!)
- Lack of USB 3.0 (not a big deal, since I don't get usb 2.0 speeds for file transfer using FTP or Samba, which I already know before purchasing this)
- Manual is a bit helpful, but this router has tons of features and the manual only mentions the basic functionalities.
If you got the money, and want a great performing router and stylish as well, I Highly Recommend Asus RT-AC66U. If you're about to buy N66U, just add $20~30 to your budget, and get this router, you won't regret.
85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
I expected a $200 product to work for more than 90 days and when it failed, I expected it to be backed up by its manufacturer. I got neither. They have a 48-hour turnaround time for emailed requests. It said to push the reset button. When that didn't fix it, they sent a link in their response to initiate RMA. After clicking on it and filled out the form, I got a reply a few hours later asking "Would you like to set up an RMA?" I called them instead and was told an email will be sent to me with RMA number and address to ship to. This email never came so I called the second time and stayed on the phone until I got their email in my inbox.
They do not ship a replacement in advance. You pay to ship the bad part to them and they have 10 business days to turn it around, excluding shipping time. I spoke to a supervisor who only reiterated their policy.
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
product worked for about 2 1/2 months then overheated. Was sent back to ASUS for repair, and came back completely useless.
ASUS is impossible to deal with, they cannot be contacted through Live-Chat or email, they do not supply a phone number and they do not stand behind their warrenty
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2013
I bought this with very high expectations especially as all product reviews I had read about it were super super positive. I bought this as a replacement for my Airport Extreme which has been a good router but not stellar.
Things I Liked:
- Easy to assemble and set up
- User Interface is quite easy to understand and navigate
- Seems to be quite feature rich and allows for multiple customisations.
- Like the idea of AiCloud i.e. you attach a USB Disk/drive to the router and it becomes a remote storage option
Things I have struggled with
- The coverage does not seem to have improved much. More or less the same as with Airport extreme.
- I have had to do multiple 'hard' resets by now. Once was because the USB disk would not eject and router stopped responding. Another time was because the login credentials stopped being recognised mid-way. And this was when the firmware was absolutely uptodate.
- AiCloud works fine over the internet. However AiDisk does not work over mobile. Tried to set up AiDisk over the phone but the login credentials were not recognised. Even though the same credentials allowed me to access the internet site and also the router administration options. Very strange!!
Early days yet. The set up was much simpler than I expected. I do hope it gets better. But some of the things remain challenging. Multiple resets is not a good sign (or maybe I am spoiled after having used AE which is super easy and super stable). Also still need to crack the AiDisk puzzle.
Update (30 June 2013)
Have been playing around this with some more.
- Managed to crack the AiDisk issue. It needed me to change my Router Log-In credentials.
I could access the AiCloud via the web browser using original credentials but setting it up on mobile needed a login change!! Go figure. No idea why. Once I changed the password, it works fine.
- Seems to have a lot of features which would delight advanced users but can tend to be quite confusing for folks who are not very tech savvy (moi included). Wish there was a better explanation or user manual which explained all the features. ASUS seems to use YouTube quite extensively but even though this is their flagship model, you dont have a lot of videos/tutorials online. Think they should fix this issue.
One thing you should know is that AiCloud does NOT allow video streaming for Macs. It is only a PC feature. So what you get is a static repository of files which you can see remotely and if you want to access them, you will have to save it on your laptop and streaming is not something it supports. For me this is a big drawback because I was hoping that I could stream my media files remotely. No point saving them.
- With this issue, not sure why an AiCloud would be better than a DropBox or Google Drive.
- Dont expect much support from ASUS if you get into a spot. They may make great products but I dont this customer service or support is something they do well. I figured out most of the stuff using Google and YouTube.
182 of 226 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2012
I got this router last week and my experiences are mixed so far. Fist the positive: the router is very fast and has the range no other router I tried had. With Asus EA-N66 access point as a client RT-AC66U is capable of reaching two stories straight down on very good speed. Other routers I tried were unable to achieve that. The router's web site is very informative and well designed.
Now the negative: If you have a device on your network such as server, storage or media streamer which provides remote access, this router is not for you. Remote access uses UPnP for port forwarding and this feature is not working with RT-AC66U. When I first received the router both my homeserver and NAS box reported UPnP setup as successful, but remote access wasn't working. Disabling the GRO option in the LAN's Switch control section did not help either. ALL devices I am aware of which provide remote access require forwarding of the ports 80 and/or 443. My internet search revealed that RT-AC66U firmware does not allow UPnP to forward ports below 1024. There is a way to bypass this restriction which involves enabling the telenet access to the router and issuing couple of the commands, but I am not sure that this hack is for everyone. After I managed to enable remote access I tried to enable the AirCloud (which is one of the main selling points of this router). That immediately broke remote access since AirCloud uses port 443. Enabling the firewall had the same effect.
ASUS technical support wasn't very helpful. This is the response I received to my question about UPnP and port forwarding:
My name is Joe and it's my pleasure to help you with your problem.
1.It could use UPnP to allow remote access to the devices on the home network.
2.The AirCloud can't be used together with the remote access.
I am not sure why Asus made a decision to quietly take over low range ports for AirCloud without explicitly documenting it. If AirCloud needs a port Asus should have provide a mechanism to reassign it.
I will keep the router for now because of it excellent speed, but if Asus will not provide a UpNP/AirCloud compatibility soon I will have to switch to another one.