121 of 133 people found the following review helpful
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.
86 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
Update 22-Nov-2013: ASUS has published firmware 371 which fixes the NAT loopback issue which only occured when hardware acceleration was enabled (default). Congrats to ASUS for confirming, owning and resolving the issue. The firmware is now available on ASUS website.
Update 7-Nov-2013: Recommend you install Super Power Supply® 3 x 9dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi RP-SMA Antenna for Routers ASUS RT-N16 RT-N66U RT-AC66U RT-AC1750 D-Link DIR-655 DIR-665 Buffalo WZR-HP-G450H TP-Link TL-WR1043ND TL-WR2543ND TL-WDR4300 Omni Directional Network Extension Mini PCIe.... Range has greatly increased, connection rate is 10% to 70% improved, signal seems more stable. I'm getting full USB 2.0 disk transfer rates (24MBps) through 2 walls and one ceiling.
Update 23-Oct-2013: Firmware 205 has issue with port forwarding. I'm unable to port forward and access devices on both (simultaneously) local LAN (192.168.1.x) and internet. Works fine on other routers. ASUS has confirmed this issue. They say the fix is to change LAN->Switch Settings->Hardware Accelerator to Off. I can confirm the fix works.
Here's some real world 802.11ac results for you. Don't you hate reading networking reviews that only quote connect speeds and not real world speeds?
Router: ASUS RT-AC68U
Client: Dell XPS 15z notebook upgraded with 802.11ac mini-pci adapter (Intel Network 7260.HMWG), Windows 8.1, Intel 7260 driver from Intel website (19 Sept 2013).
The ASUS RT-AC68U has eliminated all the WiFi dead zones in my house (3 floors, 3600sf). I'm getting downloads around 100Mbps in most rooms although sometimes as low as 6Mbps at the edges. Within 10 feet of the router, I'm getting downloads around 280Mbps. Wired Ethernet speeds are around 400Mbps wired.
With a SSD attached to the USB 2.0 port of the router, I get file transfer speeds of 200Mbps using USB 2.0.
With USB 3.0, I get around 280Mbps speeds, and 400Mbps wired. I had to disabled "Reducing USB 3.0 interference" to get USB 3.0 working.
I'm not sure if I really see the extra speed of USB 3.0 as throughput easily dips below USB 2.0 max speed when 10+ feet from router.
FWIW, I notice that the Intel Network 7260.HMWG seems to give me 25% better battery life than the OEM mini-pic WiFi adapter. YMMV.
257 of 298 people found the following review helpful
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.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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.
219 of 290 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2013
I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about, they most likely work for competitors and are not real customers.
I received it last week (bought from another vendor because Amazon isn't selling the router yet), and it's been rock solid since then. I use a fairly complex mix of wireless and lan devices, lots of file sharing across my network (via AFP and NFS), lots of Airplaying between devices, and own iPads, iPhones, Macs, PCs, XBox, Apple TVs, MyQ (garage door), ADT (alarm), NAS, etc... And I use both 2.4GHz/5GHz bands, as well as guest networks on top of my private network. Everything is running just fine, massive improvement over the Netgear r6250 I used to own not too long ago (you can read my review on the product page).
I don't work for Asus, Netgear, or anybody else, I'm just a happy camper who finally found a solid router, and wanted to share my experience.
*** Update 10/12/2013 ***
Still rock solid, no reboot since my original review, no performance degradation (2.4GHz and 5GHz). AFP, Time Machine and Airplay still running flawlessly (my main issue with my previous Netgear R6250, they slowly died over time and required a reboot). Overall extremely happy so far.
*** Update 11/05/2013 ***
Well, I guess I talked too fast and others were right. 5GHz is still working great, but 2.4GHz suddenly dropped to crazy slow speeds (1MB/s). And yes, I upgraded to the latest firmware, restored factory default, etc. It's not a signal issue, or interference from other routers, I checked my stumbler, the signal is strong. But for some strange reason, throughput is now crippled. This happened out of the blue a couple of days after the upgrade. Not happy.
*** Update 11/07/2013 ***
Asus support trying to give me tips to troubleshoot, of course nothing's working. Sent the router back for repair (they won't even exchange a brand new router!). Oh, a friend of mine just gave me his Nighthawk from Netgear for the week, solid speeds over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Seems to be working much better than my older r6250, fingers crossed...
*** Update 07/04/2014 ***
The radio was fixed, hardware issue. I sold the router since then though.
33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
I purchased this item at Canada Computers since Amazon were out of stock.
I replaced my Asus AC66U with this new AC68U, so I am used to the product and interface.
Other reviews say how fast it is, so I concur, it is very fast, no need to add anything to that.
It also handles dual wan, which is a good feature if you want to make sure to always be connected (2 ISP's at same time).
The main comment I want to make with this router is that no matter how advanced this router is, it is extremely easy to set up, even if you are a networking newbie.
I also have this set-up with L2TP VPN service with stock firmware, so no need to flash it with DD-WRT or similar 3rd party firmware.
From the new box to having a full working network in the home, with VPN "in-router" set-up, 2TB USB 3.0 HDD attached and AICloud (your own personal cloud) set-up, and testing for good working condition, it took me less than 10 minutes... You can't beat that and ASUS did a fantastic job with the firmware and GUI.
After almost 2 weeks working 24 hours a day with fairly heavy use, it has yet to be reset once, which was an issue with the AC66U (in my case) that needed to be reset every day or so.
So far, that 220$ + router has been up to the "already-very-high" expectations.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2014
This is not a reliable wifi router. It continually drops connections. I was excited about the router when I first installed it because it has everything I wanted in the configuration -- particularly the ability to setup several guest accounts. The software design and the user interface is brilliant . . . . . BUT, the electronic design is severely flawed.
The RT-AC88U drops connections several times per hour. The WIFI just dissapears, then re-appears. I have verified this on several computers. Other users have complained about this and there have been suggestions that the router just needs to be re-booted or that it overheats. I don't believe that either of these things are true; here's why: I installed a large cooling fan directly on the router. I also installed a timer on the power cable so the router gets an automatic 1 minute reboot every day. I also have the latest firmware.
After several weeks, I can say that none of this helps. The continual WIFI drops still continue. So I don't believe that heat or the need for a reboot will fix the problem. The router is a lemon -- don't use it if you need reliable connections. I'm now looking for something reliable.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2014
I did quite a bit of research before making this purchase.....I have ATT Uverse for my home internet. I bought this router because the ATT routers they provide are simply horrible. Because the ATT router also brings my TV and telephone into the house, it has to stay where it is. I plugged this router into one of the LAN ports on the ATT router. I was hoping for simplicity, but wasn't counting on it.
The first thing that occurred was an instant recognition by the ASUS that there was a conflict with the IP address. It instantly assigned itself a new IP address that was not in conflict with the ATT router. The on screen set up then appeared automatically! YES! Sorry for my excitement, but I'm not good at these kind of things....so the fact that it did exactly what the instructions said it would without me having to call some tech support person in the Philippines was a big deal.
It took me about 6-8 minutes to go through the set up. Very easy....step by step. If you have some basic dealings with routers, you will not have an issue. Once the set up was done, it worked immediately. That easy.
My hard wired speed is about 26mbps. Before the installation of the ASUS, my best wifi speed was about 14mbps as long as I was in the same room as the ATT router. Obviously.....we were not in the same room most of the time. So....two rooms over.....I was getting about 3-5mbps. Total crap. After the installation of the ASUS, my wifi speed matches my hard wired speed inside the entire house! that is about 2100 square feet just as a reference.
My back fence is about 100 feet from the exterior of the house. I can still get almost all of the wifi signal at that distance.
There are obviously some much more technical reviews from other buyers who get into the technical specs. Three days into the purchase, I am very very happy. I will update if anything changes since I have read some other reviews that discuss some problems after the router has been up and running for a while. Right now....love it!
UPDATE: I know some have said this isn't MAC friendly.....I have to disagree completely. Have a brand new iMac and a 3 year old Mac Book Pro. Works great with both. I went through the set up using the iMac.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
I had an ASUS RT-N66U for about a year and with 2-3 firmware updates then it started acting up... dropping signals. My son complaint a lot on that when he was online playing games. I decided about a week ago to order this ASUS RT-AC68. What a mistake! After a couple of days, we (my son and I) started experiencing dropping signals. So the signal dropping became so rampant, I decided that it was time to go back to the N66 and wait for a more reliable and stable AC1900 wireless router.
If you read all those 1-star or 2-star reviews, you will then find out what are the complaints which normally I use that to make my decision. I guessed I did not listen to them enough so I will return this wireless router. Enough is enough... not worth spending 200+ dollars for a sub-par performance. I just packed everything back in to the box then return this router and get what ever the refund I will get which is better than stuck with this router.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2014
This was the fastest router I have ever owned. Was perfect. Reception was great all thru my house and yard. USB 3.0 worked great with Time Machine. It was a beast. But everything changed after 3 months.
I started loosing wireless connection, internet kept going out for wired and wireless, Time Machine stopped finding hard drive connected to USB 3.0 plug on router. Occasionally, I wasn't even able to connect to the Web GUI. Nothing but a black screen. Unplugging and rebooting was only solution. Everything was perfect again after reset; for a few days to a week. Then it crashes again. This went on for about a month, constant resetting, firmware upgrade, 30/30/30 resets and long phone calls to ASUS. Finally they want me to send it back for inspection and repair. No advanced replacement options. And I had to pay for the return shipping. That irritated me as much as having the unit crash every few days. The person on the phone could have cared less about my problem. There is no good reason why the consumer should pay for shipping, or have to be without a router on a warranty repair. Most other companies will take a credit card over the phone and ship a new unit. Then only charge the card if defective unit isn't returned. So as far a ASUS is concerned, that means I would have to go without any internet or get another router until the ASUS gets returned, about 2 weeks.
So I reset my TimeWarner ARRIS router/modem (was running as just a modem) and am now using it as my wireless router. And guess what, no dropped internet connection at all. Wired and wireless have been perfect, although slow wireless. This isn't an AC router.
Not sure what is up with this RT-AC86r. It was such a great router. Hopefully ASUS gets mine fixed and sends me back a great unit. I will update review after I receive the repaired unit.