Most helpful positive review
245 of 282 people found the following review helpful
upgrade on performance vs n66u, ac66u---But - Updated vs r7000
on October 9, 2013
10/11/13 UPDATE : Received router on 10/8 and review was written with 1st day experiences, I ranked it a 5 star purchase at the time. I'll leave that review intact as a basis of the overall experience but will add a brief update first and my score is going to go down based off of that. since first day, I have started to notice diminished performance that gets alleviated with reboots, obviously not ideal though. Others are reporting degrading signal strength over time on the 5ghz band too. It feels like a fw update could fix it but it's a lot to pay for a hope and a prayer. This sent me to test out the r7000 so today I tried out the netgear r7000 to compare/contrast. tested via ipad4 and iphone 5s at distances of ~40 feet, ~65 feet, and ~85 feet all on the 5ghz band. In general, the ac68u was 10-20 mbps faster then the r7000 on downstream, at times a few mbps faster on the uploads. at the furthest distance, the ac68u was upwards of 30mbps better although i'll note, the iphone 5s connection at that distance was fairly sporadic for both routers. At times could get decent speeds, at times couldn't get connected so I went to the 2.4 band on the 5s and on average kept a decent connection but not great and the ac68u frankly had a pronounced speed advantage on the 2.4 band here. Not all roses hence why I have dinged the router a star though. On average, the r7000 was noticeably more consistent with its speeds at each distance while the ac68u had wilder fluctuations in either direction. 20mbps better on one reading, 40 worse on another. In my rankings, I tried to show what they got on the high end of results but the ac68u definitely had moments well below as well. It was easier to assess what the r7000 was going to give me, it typically differed in results by 3-5 mbps. At this point I'm torn, not sure what to do. On one hand, the ac68u is giving me better speeds at longer distances, something anyone would want. On the other hand, the signal may be degrading over time and the speeds are not as consistent as the r7000(frankly, these issues may be related). With the netgear, it seemed more reliable and while the speeds are not as high as the ac68u, its still more then good enuf and close enuf to the ac68u. But conversely, it doesn't give me the range I wanted that had me upgrading in the first place. I may sit on this for a few days and pray a asus fw is coming within that time. Either way, I've dropped 1 star and not 2 mainly because while its not the hero I once thought it was, at its diminished moments, its still better then what I got out of the rt-n66u, the router that the following review will tell you, was my previous champ over the ac66u.
10/08/13 well, in the short time I've been using the ac68u router today, I am noticing a further eradication of dead spots I had with the n66u and ac66u. at the spots I was pushing the limits of connectivity before, the signal is significantly stronger with the new one.
The n66u when it came out definitely addressed many issues I would have with Linksys and netgear routers so I been loyal to them since then. I have a unique setup to where in a very elongated rectangular house, the router sits at one extreme end, that plus coupled it's a brick house has always brought challenges in getting to the other side. I tried upgrading to the ac66u looking for any miniscule improvement I could get but to be honest, after trying 3 different ac66u's, my n66u beat them all in range. In googling a bit, you could see others saying same thing, the r66u actually went farther then the newer version built on relatively the same hardware.
Having this router out of the box beat my n66u is frankly impressive for me so I will see how it goes over the next few days. I've seen the conflicting reviews on which is better, this or the new netgear badboy r7000 and frankly I think it may just even more confirm how hard it is to review a router as everyone has different conditions and two top routers like these will act differently for each. For me, I'm seeing what that cnet review said frankly so far. If it continues as the router is left on for some time, don't think i'll bark up the r7000 tree. the 2.4ghz is considerably longer and more powerful with higher throughput at the limits. The 5ghz hasn't necessarily increased in reach(I always got good reach with it though)as like before, it doesn't reach the last room in the house, but when testing at the same limits as the r66u before, the throughput is considerably greater at that distance.
I've had to couple with the asus repeater to finish the trip to the end of the house in the past and with this one I may do so as well. In some quick testing the ipads could actually maintain the 5ghz band at the far end without the repeater with speedtest netting 50-70 mbps(160-200 mbps native connection but speedtest ios app seldom reports over 80-100 on the app even if right next to the router). But when I went to the iphone 5s, it could see it, sometimes slowly do something with it but by in large it was useless, had to go to the 2.4 band on the phone to get workable connection. with the repeater connected(which is about 70% of the house away from the router, everything was fine and measuring the speed of the repeater signal, it was higher then I've noticed before in previous configurations/routers again, showing the ac68u is delivering higher throughput at extended distances when compared to before. In my brief time with it, especially when coupled with the repeater, I am just getting a 30-50mbps bump in throughput throughout the house. Fantastic preliminary results so far but again will temper it with the test of time but even with that said, out of box, a ac66u didn't beat my year old at the time n66u.
As for a few of the reviewers so far here on amazon....
Not super scientific, more real world type testing and definitely not a test over time so can't comment to the reviewer showing degraded 5ghz signal over time but for the reviewer who wrote a review based on reviews elsewhere without actually owning one, I can't comment enough just how irresponsible and pointless your review was. It really should be removed. I can't imagine there are many scenarios where a review can be valid for an item a person currently doesn't own but I know one thing, your scenario was definitely not one of those. These routers are beginning to cost a lot of money and I know for people like me, we research tirelessly trying to make the best decision we can to make the most informed choice. Not only do reviews like yours not add a single thing to the legitimate conversation at hand, you frankly harm it by spewing nonsense. Maybe in fact the r7000 will be the king here, so be it but don't ding a item you don't own.
10/9/13 so I did some back and forth testing on various game and tablet devices between the n66u and ac68u in the furthest room of the house, a place with very spotty coverage on n66u. used speedtest app on android and ios devices, ran a few times per type
n66u 2.4ghz first, 5ghz second in mbps
ipad 4 8 down 6 up, 17 down 5 up
nexus 7 2013 12 down 4 up, 12 down 2 up
NVidia shield no connection
iphone 5s 2 down .13 up, nothing
3ds doesn't connect
vita doesn't connect
ac68u again, 2.4ghz first, then 5ghz
ipad 4 25 down 13 up, 57 down 8 up
nexus 7 2013 26 down 18 up, 57 down 18 up
shield no connection, minor connection on 5ghz
iphone 5s 8 down 6 up, 3 down 2 up
3ds connects and streams
vita connects and streams albeit slowly
this was the furthest trouble room, anywhere closer, as I mentioned earlier, seeing about a 20-50mbps bump. 5ghz continues to excel at distance with the asus line, something I never saw previously with Linksys and netgear although that may have changed by now. 2.4 is improved as well. at that furthest distance, connection can still be finicky with the ac68u although not nearly as much. it's not so much the distance added which is minor, its the throughput at those distances that's impressive. While shield at that distance struggles, with the repeater on it's obviously fine but more so, steam streaming works like a charm anywhere in the house. Anyone with a NVidia shield probably knows, any normal amount of distance from the router and the steam streaming doesn't work much at all. At this point, no matter where I go in the house, its working like a charm. Finally, a day in, not seeing any 5ghz degradation that I can notice.