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719 of 729 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome hardware, but be sure to set it up properly!
The Asus RT-N66U is absolutely an impressive piece of hardware. Seriously powerful, feature packed, aesthetically pleasing, and at an approachable price point for the hobbyist. I think you'll find that this holds true by reading all the great reviews here.

There are definitely two weak points to be aware of, however.

The first - the firmware that it...
Published 10 months ago by Nicolas Siemsen

versus
491 of 553 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was great for only 1 month. ASUS support lacking.
I purchased this router 6 weeks ago. The setup was fine, although the more you use the user interface, you'll find it can be a bit buggy sometimes, even with the latest firmware. At Week 5, the router randomly lost ALL settings and had to be setup once again. I did this the first time and thought it would be a one-time occurence. Unfortunately, it was NOT. For the next...
Published on July 13, 2012 by Book Lover


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719 of 729 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome hardware, but be sure to set it up properly!, September 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
The Asus RT-N66U is absolutely an impressive piece of hardware. Seriously powerful, feature packed, aesthetically pleasing, and at an approachable price point for the hobbyist. I think you'll find that this holds true by reading all the great reviews here.

There are definitely two weak points to be aware of, however.

The first - the firmware that it ships with is in pretty rough shape.

After unboxing and plugging in my router I went through the setup wizard to change the SSID, change the router password, and set up WPA2 key. This went fine. After that, I went in to the router settings and made one small change, saved it, and was disconnected from the router as part of the change. It should have reconnected shortly after, but instead my browser presented me the page that comes up when a web address cannot be reached. I tried for a while but the router was suddenly inaccessible on the default IP address. Basically, from what I could tell, the change I made however benign had buggered up the router. I ended up resorting to a reset - accomplished by holding the reset button for 5-10 seconds with the router turned on.

So lesson #1 here is to immediately install the newest firmware available at the Asus website THE MOMENT you unbox your and plug in your router. The firmware update went smoothly after I got the router reset to factory setup and working again, and now it's been working flawlessly for a month.

OK, second weak point - the router, as far as I'm concerned, comes from the factory improperly configured. That is, the default settings in the router hamper its full and proper operation.

What I mean by this is that after installing the router I was getting less than ideal performance out of it. While it was working well enough to give me good download and upload speeds (25mb/sec down, 15mb/sec up) from my cable connection, internal network speeds and coverage were below expectations. For example, paired with a matching dual band NetGear USB wireless adapter on my office computer, Windows wireless client was showing network speed fluctuating between 78Mbps and 216Mbps with it usually in the middle somewhere around 120Mbps. Better than the approx 50Mbps speeds I would see with my 802.11g router and adapter previously but not what I'd expected. In addition, the signal strength was rather poor in the back room. As another example, I was getting a consistent 144Mbps from my XPS M1530 laptop, with an older single band 2.4Ghz draft-N internal card, in the living room right near the router. Also less than my hopes had been for this router.

So I did some more thorough review of the wireless settings and found two big issues that needed to be change to get this router working as it should be.

The first was that the wireless control channel setting for both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands is set to "Auto" be default. Ideally, this would mean that the router would dynamically select the best channel based on local interference in that band. In the real world, though, this Auto mode on most routers doesn't work that well and this is no different. I performed a wireless network scan with my Android phone using a free app, and found that my router was camped out on Channel 6. As some may know, this is the default channel for most consumer routers and most home users never change away from it. Sure enough, there were three other wireless networks that I could detect around neighborhood that were on channel 6 as well. To remedy this, I took the 2.4Ghz band off of Auto and set the channel to 1. For those making this change themselves, be sure to scan using something like WiEye on your phone or inSSIDer on your computer. Assuming that most of the other routers in your area will be using channel 6, you will need to move yours to the far ends of the channel list, choosing either 1 or 11. This because the signal from the routers set to channel 6 do not stay there perfectly, instead they overlap substantially. A router on channel 8, for example, will have a pretty good overlap with those on channel 6 and will still see interference. The only way to avoid this is moving all the way to 1 or 11. I left the 5Ghz channel selection on Auto for now, as the 5Ghz band is much less interference prone currently, and in fact I don't believe there are any other 5Ghz networks in range in my neighborhood currently so it's a non-issue there.

The second major problem I found with the router's default setting was also in the router settings. The RT-N66U has the option to change the bandwidth for a given band. By default, I found that both the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands were set to a signal bandwidth of 20Hz. The reason this is a major issue is that at 20Hz, there is simply not enough throughput on the given band to allow for this router to hit its full speed potential. So I went ahead and set the router to use 40Hz bandwidth for each band.

With those two changes, my network performance and signal strength increased dramatically with real world results to prove it. Now, that dual-band network adapter in my office shows pegged at a solid 450Mbps (x2 for the dual bands for a theoretical 900Mbps hence the N900 designation on the router). Now that's what I'd been expecting all along! As for the laptop in the other room, on single band 2.4Ghz it is now hitting a rock solid 300Mbps which is the max for that older draft-N card. This extra speed has even helped me attain the max internet speeds I can expect from my cable plan, I'm now seeing 30+Mbps download speeds and 20+Mbps uploads.

Now that it is properly configured, I have set it up to do all sorts of other fun stuff. I set up the VPN, with encryption, and can now connect to that with my Android phone and tablet when traveling which is a great feature for secure and private browsing when at airports, hotels, etc. I set up a separate "guest" SSID that is segregated from my internal network for my phones and to connect to since they are the only devices that regularly leave the security of the internal network. There are still 5 more guest SSID's I can set up. Additionally, I connected a USB hard drive to it and it's running as a local share folder as well as a DLNA and iTunes server. It's doing all this with a desktop computer, two laptop computers, three Android phones, an Android tablet, a chromecast and a PS3 all connected to it and it's not even breaking a sweat.

So that's a lot of info, but I hope you can see that in the end with some know-how and research on the internet (like reading this review) this router can be just about the best thing you can do for your home or small business network at this price point. I would not hesitate to recommend it with the above provisos in mind.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
683 of 729 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After initial release problems, which have been resolved, this is hands-down the best WiFi access point on the market., January 17, 2012
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
Well, as mentioned in another review, the firmware in the initial shipment of these (3.0.0.3.72) is broken. Not buggy, not unstable, but broken. You CANNOT connect to the Internet with the factory firmware, at least in the initial release. I purchased one, returned it in exchange for another one, and the second one had the exact same problem. As discussed on this here: [...]

You must manually enter a URL [...] then change to a language other than English, then update the firmware. (The current version from the ASUS website is 3.0.0.3.90 as of 1/13/2012) Of course, that means you need to download the firmware first, since you can't connect to the Internet with the factory firmware. And of course, a router is required for most people to access the Internet, so... well, you can see where I'm going with this.

After the firmware update, things were much better. I had the Internet connection set up in a few minutes, and the speed was unbelievable. Certainly the fastest consumer wireless on the market right now. It has nice features, like 6 different SSIDs for guest networks (3 for each band.) You can choose whether or not to give those networks access to your primary network, and since you can set up multiple SSIDs, you can have different settings for each. It also has parental controls, good QoS, a VPN server and some other nice features. It supports Zoneedit for dynamic DNS, so I was pretty happy about that. (Neither the Cisco or the Linksys models I have tried do.)

One feature that's present in the Linksys E4200, but not on this router, is an SSL web GUI. I work in IT, and it bothers me administering my firewall over plaintext HTTP. Probably not that big a deal to home users, but I don't think it's that difficult to implement an HTTPS server for the admin GUI. It also makes this unit completely unsuited for deployment in a business environment, where security is paramount. I'm hopeful that it'll be in a future firmware update. I could probably use this router for a lot of small-business clients.

As far as wireless range goes, this blows away both the Cisco E4200v1 and the Netgear WNDR3800, both of which I tested in the same placement as this one. I get full signal in all corners of my house, which isn't too big, but both the Netgear and Cisco routers got medium signal in the corners of my house. I have 5 wireless devices and 6 wired devices, and speed thus far has not been a problem. I stream video without drops and file transfers are quick. No complaints.

I really wish ASUS hadn't made the error of shipping this with broken firmware. They will undoubtedly have a return rate nearing 100% until they get the new firmware on shipping units. Had it not been for this, I would easily give this product 5 stars. If it had HTTPS on the GUI, I'd say it's a perfect device.

UPDATE 10/12/2012
So they fixed the firmware issue within a couple weeks of release. Now, they've released a firmware upgrade that adds HTTPS functionality. I'm upgrading my review to five stars!

UPDATE 11/16/2012
I changed the title of the review, because, other than price, there is no longer any reason not to buy this product. It is the best wireless access point on the market, save for the new ASUS RT-AC66U, which is just an updated version of this product. (New radio, supports a new standard that nobody uses yet.) I don't use it as a router, so I can't qualify those features, but as far as range, features and consistent connectivity, you can't beat this product at any price.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jan 18, 2012 4:11:55 PM PST
Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your feedback regarding the RT-N66u and for informing other users of this firmware issue. We are aware of the issue some users may be facing with firmware 3.0.0.3.72 and are working to have 3.0.0.3.90 installed in future shipments.

For users that have not installed the latest firmware, type http://192.168.1.1 into a web browser and enter your username and password if you have one, or enter the default username "admin" and password "admin" all lower case and without the quotations. Proceed to Advance Settings->Administration->Firmware Upgrade. Click "Check" and the router will find the latest firmware and prompt for permission to install. If this feature is not working, add the file manually from your computer.

For the latest firmware: http://www.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTN66U/#download
Please note it is recommended to perform the firmware update with an ethernet LAN connection between the computer.

For further questions or comments regarding the RT-N66u, please contact us at Networking_Support@asus.com

Best Regards,

Asus Networking Support
812-282-2787
http://vip.asus.com/eservice/techserv.aspx
 
 

264 of 285 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid router, AWESOME range, READ FOR ENGLISH FIRMWARE CONFIG HELP!, January 19, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
I got my shiny new RT-N66U today from Amazon.

I do networking for a living and figured even though I'd seen reports of the shipping factory firmware being broken in English mode, it would be no problem.

WHAT A PAIN!!!!!!!!!!! Come on Asus!!!!

The short and sweet version of how to get your router up and running with 3.0.0.3.72:

*Download 3.0.0.3.90 firmware from [...]
*Extract RT-N66U_3.0.0.3_90.trx to somewhere on your computer
*Log in to 192.168.1.1 (User:admin Pass:admin)
*Complete the initial setup wizard using any info you want. Just GET THROUGH IT. It will display a broken page at the end.
*Enter 192.168.1.1 in your web browser
*Click on "Administration" on the left
*Click on "Firmware Upgrade" on the top tab
*Switch the language box in the top-right-hand corner from "English" to something else. I used French.
*Upload RT-N66U_3.0.0.3_90.trx
***WAIT FOR IT TO FINISH***
*When it's complete, choose "English" again from the language drop-down.
*Go back to 192.168.1.1 and complete your initial router configuration.

The good news is that after I got 3.0.0.3.90 on the router all seems to be running smoothly.

I was replacing an ASUS RT-N56U and I have found so far:

*SIGNIFICANTLY better range on both 2.4 and 5ghz bands (Maybe 3-6db increase at an 80ft distance)

I'm hoping that when I get a wireless adapter that supports 450Mbps that I'll be able to see the huge difference.

I like the way it physically looks (Like some type of network Samurai device) and I love that I can swap out the antennas as I see fit. It looks pretty bad-ass actually.

It's been running smooth for a day now.

The specs on this thing are awesome. I just can't believe that Asus would let it ship out with severely broken English firmware. Oh well that's what I get for buying a product the day it's released lol.

The bottom line is that if you're into this kind of technology, the initial configuration pain shouldn't be a huge deterrent to you. Third-party Broadcom firmware support will be abundant for this router soon. There are already a few releases out there for you to try like TomatoUSB.

The 2.4ghz range increase was noticeable for me. 5ghz was also increased, but still has a smaller range footprint than the 2.4ghz band.

If you are not comfortable with this kind of work, maybe wait a few months for Asus to ship some units out with the firmware upgraded for you.

I would have given this router 5 stars if it wasn't for the shipping firmware bug. Asus, you get 4 stars for making me work.

Update to come in a few weeks of operation.

Update 1/19/12: Just using the built-in wifi radio on my Samsung Galaxy S2, I was able to use my router nearly a block away from my house on 2.4ghz. The router is near a window and this was almost line-of-sight.

I plan on playing with the DLNA features in the next day or two. I'll post how that goes.

So far so good! Love it!

Update 1/23/12: I've been busy the last few days but I wanted to check in and say that this router has been running 100% rock solid and the wifi range increase has been DRAMATIC for me. I love the looks and function of this unit and plan on recommending it to any friend who asks.

Pick one up, you'll love it.
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491 of 553 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was great for only 1 month. ASUS support lacking., July 13, 2012
By 
Book Lover (Jupiter, Fl USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
I purchased this router 6 weeks ago. The setup was fine, although the more you use the user interface, you'll find it can be a bit buggy sometimes, even with the latest firmware. At Week 5, the router randomly lost ALL settings and had to be setup once again. I did this the first time and thought it would be a one-time occurence. Unfortunately, it was NOT. For the next week, I spent countless hours setting it up just to find it would randomly loose all settings and need to be configured again, as if I was hooking it up for the first time. I tried updating the firmware, recovering and resetting the device, even tried switching out my DSL modem, just in case that was the issue. SO frustrating! Since it had been more than 30 days, I couldn't exchange the item and had to reach out to ASUS for support. I filed a ticket that the router was defected and received a long email with troubleshooting recovery steps to run through before I would "call the router defective" (according to an ASUS rep). Well, after a ton of steps that included downloading new firware, new utilities, installing utilities, forcing router into recovery and attempting a firware restoration, the router got stuck at this stage and NEVER came out!!! I finally called ASUS rather than work with their email support and the tech had me run through 3 different processes to try to recover the router. None worked. The saddest part is that eventhough I spent nearly two hundred on this router and countless troubleshooting hours, the BEST ASUS could do to stand by their product was ask me to ship it to them for repair. Estimated 7-10 business days for repair and refused to send a replacement router prior to receiving the defective one. I was so surprised at the poor level of customer service for such an expensive and 6 week-old router. Even my Trendnet Gigabit Switch that went out allowed me to put down a deposit via credit card so that the new item could be sent out asap while I shipped back the defective. And that was for a product 1/8 the cost and older! ASUS loses major point with me on standing by their product to support a customer when things go wrong. Their recommendation to me when I said what will I do without a router for about 2 weeks? - ASUS said: Go out and buy another one with your money, if you can and keep the receipt to return to the store when we send you a replacement. How inconvenient and what poor support of customers! I've had BUFFALO and Linksys in the past and cannot believe how ASUS turned out. 2 Stars only because the router is fast when it works, but not much else.

Update as of August 7, 2012- Changing to 1-Star Review
It's now been well beyond the "7-10" business days I was quoted for router repair. :-( I sent in the router (after all of those hours of troubleshooting) for repair by ASUS on July 13, 2012. They received the router on July 19 and since then, the tracking information on it has NOT changed from "In Repair". That's not even the worst of it. I called ASUS to inquire about the delay. Spoke to the Rep #1 who said "we say 7-10 business days but it can be more like 14". Where on earth did he get "14" from, I don't know. I informed him that all of my note and their confirmation email clearly states 7-10 business days. Frustrated, I asked to speak with a supervisor. Even though I've come to learn ASUS supports is beyond sub-par to anything we should expect, I held out a naive hope that the supervisor would once and for all make this terrible situation right for me as their customer. Once again, ASUS shocked me. The supervisor, in a cold and non-empathic demeanor took the phone, let me know the router was "still in repair" and that he could do nothing to speed up the process. He promised to "send an email" to inquire as to any additional information on the status of the router. It has now been an additional 1 week that has passed by. NO router, NO call from the supervisor or ANY other rep to follow-up. Nothing. In my frustration, I asked the supervisor to please intervene in my situation and that all I wanted was to come home and see the router on front steps- delivered back repaired.

I guess nothing about the customer matters to ASUS. It didn't matter that I paid two hundred dollars for this router, that it was only 6 weeks after purchased when it broke down, that I spent nearly 30 hours troubleshooting via email correspondence, online forums and calls with techs, that I was told to pay to ship the router to them, that I was promised 7-10 business for a returned, repair router but and that it is now August 7, over 1 month since the router first broke down and over 3 weeks since they've had the router physically in their possession for repair, that I called to check on it when it was late, that I pleaded with the supervisor to help me out.

It is certainly clear, by the long line of actions demonstrated towards my case, that ASUS is NOT in the business of doing right by the customer. I will NOT purchase an ASUS product in the future and I advise all those considering an ASUS product to weigh the evidence of my direct experience that has been negative across many reps and all processes related to customer support.
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134 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, solid build quality, loaded with latest features and IPv6 support, January 19, 2012
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
Edit 2 (2012-02-25). Here is an update now that I have owned it a while (5 1/2 weeks):
1. FYI Asus is releasing firmware version 102 on Monday (those who have been able to get a hold of that version in the meantime said it works great and has resolved the few issues that remained, which affected some users, depending on which advanced features they needed).
They have been very quick, compared to other networking companies especially, to release new firmware after getting bug reports and working on the fixes ([...]).

2. As an update, my RT-N66U has been up (without a reboot) and running stably since I first configured it 5 1/2 weeks ago. (It does get rebooted to load the new firmware of course, just like a Windows PC needs a reboot after installing updates).

3. No wifi disconnects to date!

4. Smallnetbuilder.com has posted test results and it is, as of now (February 25 2012), their top performing router in terms of wireless (wifi) performance overall. It performed great in the far locations that no other N900 router could get a signal.
It beats my prior router (E4200 v1) handily in overall wifi, with a nice boost in the far locations as noted by Tim as well.

Original (January) Review, including an associated edit about the power button):
Edit to add a tip - For anyone who thinks their unit is DOA, be sure to turn the tiny power button on the back on. It is the same color as the router and very small, so it is easy to miss.
I noticed it when attaching the antennae, but I can see how people could easily miss it.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. I had no issues updating the firmware to the latest version from the version that shipped with the router, with it set to 'English'.
I used a PC running Windows 7 32-bit and Firefox 8.0.1. I hooked it up to my cable modem and desktop PC and rebooted the equipment as needed. I then went into the configuration GUI, configured my wifi (2.4 and 5 GHz) and then simply clicked on the 'update firmware' button - it downloaded the firmware and updated it. The one caveat is that initially a progress bar appeared. Toward the end of the process the web config screen went blank and stayed that way, so I was not sure if it had finished or not. I opened a new window and tried surfing the internet and it worked fine. To be safe, I left the other window open for a while (the one I had used to update the firmware).

PROS:
- Great wifi performance relative to competition (signal strength and throughput) on BOTH bands (on par with my Amped Wireless R10000 and actually beat my Linksys E4200 v1).
- Fast CPU and lots of RAM to handle multiple connections and heavy loads
- Seems stable so far (only had it hooked up about 20 hours so far so time will tell)
- Native IPv6 support
- Dual band concurrent wifi
- 450 Mbps max (under ideal conditions) on both bands
- 2 USB ports for a host of extra sharing and streaming connectivity
- Solid build quality (the weight of this tells you there is a lot under the hood and the ports are not flimsy)
- Gigabit WAN and LAN ports
- Beam forming tech. seems to really work.
- Up to 6 Guest networks
- Upgradable antennae
Big bonus - It also seems to have resolved an issue with Netflix cover art not loading for some titles that was an issue when using my Amped (perhaps the Amped had one setting affecting it or something got cached).

CON:
- WPS is enabled by default. Make sure to turn it off to protect yourself from the WPS exploit (at this time - as of Jan 19 2012 - this issue affects any router with WPS enabled)

Minor things that could be improved (not sure I would call them cons so I listed them separately):
- Web UI says 'enabled' for guest wifi (should say 'enable'), so I thought they might be on by default. Then when I thought I disabled it (selected 'off'), it seemed to keep broadcasting (as per Windows). I went back into the config screen and was able to disable it the second time. Will have to see if I can recreate this.
- Firmware update window goes blank at the end of the upgrade (would prefer to have it reboot back into the config GUI one can be sure it has complete updating).

I will update this review (if I get a chance) after running it longer to note the stability. So far I have not noticed any wireless disconnects. It runs warmer than my Amped R10000 (which runs cool) but is not hot. It is doing more work, which explains it.

It is not cheap but then again neither is the competition.

The exception is the Linksys E4200 v1 'manufacturer refurbished' model with a manufacturer warranty, free shipping and a return period. That unit is only $99.xx with free shipping directly from Cisco. I bought a new one when it came out and was not impressed with its long range performance, especially given some of the great reviews it got.
The competition (aside from the RT-N66U so far in my limited experience with other units and going by reviews) is not really any better though (tried the Zyxel NBG5715 with initial firmware at the time). For $100 the E4200 v1 is not a bad router for those with lesser needs (in terms of range) and a smaller budget.
The Amped R10000 is also affordable and nice too (great wifi range and very respectable wireless throughput - it beat my E4200 v1 on 2.4 GHz), depending on your needs (i.e. it has no gigabit, no IPv6 [yet], no USB and no 5 GHz).

All in all I am very impressed with the Asus.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best choice in dual band 450 Mbps routers, and a few tips for optimum results, December 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
(see updates at end of review, still a 5star router ~8 months in)

Researched VERY carefully before choosing the Dark Knight as the foundation for home network upgrade. The primary goals for the upgrade were increased device to device speed and to enable a more robust file sharing and backup scheme. The Dark Knight reviewed the best, and has delivered on all these counts so far in my setup. BUT, you do have to master some aspects of the the configuration to get the most out of it. Specifically rejected the ASUS RT-AC66U and the draft 802.11AC devices generally as too immature. While I like *leading* edge and the promise of 802.11AC speeds (which will be fabulous when they are actually delivered reliably), it seemed that AC is on the *bleeding* edge right now based on device reviews and the status of the draft AC spec. So, Dark Knight it is!

Here is what I learned so far. Note that this is what works for me in my specific suburban home and neighborhood setting, and other environments will of course affect router function...

Who is this for?
*Tech savvy who want maximum performance at reasonable cost and with a pretty straight forward configuration process. I conclude this because, at the end of the day, I believe you have to dig into the configuration a bit to really get what you want from this router, BUT, fortunately, the Dashboard UI is pretty straight forward given the degree of flexibility built into this device.
*The less sophisticated user who still wants top performance. They can use the Quick Internet Setup to be up and running about as painlessly as is possible these days, and the defaults plus the raw capability of the device will give good performance. But they may not realize full benefits if they don't poke into the config, and at least run firmware updates.

Paired Adapter
TRENDnet 450 Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter TEW-684UB (Black)
*Of course you have to pair the N66U with a similarly spec'd adapter, and the TRENDnet 684UB works great! Am getting full 450Mbps links speeds on 5GHz band, and 2.4GHz speeds in the 144-300 Mbps range despite the crowding in this band.

Router Configuration
*Update Firmware. Obviously for this router, regularly updating the firmware is important, and Asus makes this super easy right from the top of the main device screen (i.e., the Dashboard). I think it's really cool how Asus is working the firmware constantly with a community of users, and also supports open source firmware as well. Asus is easily the most responsive and proactive firmware developer I've ever seen in 20 years of working with wireless networks and routers. To me, this is a competitive advantage vs. the "few updates then done" approach of other vendors who leave us stuck with firmware issues as they move on to the next device.
*Crank the power. Once I made my way to the >Advanced Settings/Wireless/Professional/Tx Power Adjustment< setting and maxed it out (200mW), link speeds and connection stability went WAY up in my home. 5GHz connections benefited the most, going right up to link speeds of 450 Mbps a 3 rooms away, and 2.4GHz link speeds increased 50%.
*Allow 40MHz band width on 5GHz. The total bandwidth of 5GHz wifi is much greater than 2.4GHz, AND it's less crowded so far, so setting the router to use the higher capacity of a 40MHz connection maximizes speed on this band. >Advanced Settings/Wireless/General/Channel Bandwidth/20/40< I find that my router + adapter combination regularly bumps the 5GHz connection up to 40MHz channel bandwidth with the resultant link speed of 450Mbps.

Connected Dual Drive RAID1 USB Hard Drive = Cheap NAS
Vantec Dual 3.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 and eSATA with JBOD/RAID 0/1 External Hard Drive Enclosure (NST-400MX-S3R)
WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache - WD30EFRX
Popped two Western Digital RED 3TB drives (optimized for 24/7 NAS use) into the Vantec 400MX dual slot RAID enclosure, configured for RAID1, formatted the resultant RAID drive through direct connection to PC, then attached this to the USB port on the Dark Knight, and it was immediately recognized. Kudos to ASUS for firmware that now supports connected hard drives larger than 2TB! Accessed the new shared drive through \\192.168.1.1 as an address in a Windows Explorer window (not browser, the FILE explorer). Then added the USB drive as a Favorite in Explorer. Simple, fast access to shared file storage. Getting just 5MBps (40 Mbps) transfer rates to the attached RAID volume. Slowish, but useable. Tried streaming some AVCHD 1080p content from the drive and it worked perfectly, no stutters at all, so HD streaming from attached storage looks pretty good.

Summarizing Pros and Cons to date

Pros
+ Outstanding speed when combined with similarly spec'd adapter
+ Ability to bump up Transmit power makes for much better link speeds across typical house size.
+ Very powerful and flexible set of features/options, with an easy way to configure them through the Dashboard UI.
+ Easy storage attachment and access
+ Can stream HD from attached storage
+ Frequent Firmware updates with lots of user input to the process
+ Supports attached storage greater than 3TB, with GUID vs. MBR partitions.
+ Active user community online

Cons
- Slowish write speeds through network to attached storage. Wish for this to be de-bottlenecked somehow, either in firmware, QoS settings, or through faster connection from router to storage device.

Features I like but have not explored

* VPN, FTP, secure Internet access
* Apps for router
* Multimedia server/sharing
* UPnP integration, e.g., with DirectTV or AV Receiver

Will update as I learn more...

Highly recommended!

*******1/11/2013 update successful UPnP/DNLA access **********

Successfully connected to the attached drive on the router from both my AV Receiver Onkyo HT-S8409 7.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package, and BluRay DVD player Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player. Accessed both videos and photos stored on the attached drive and displayed them on connected HD TV. So, the DNLA/UPnP features of the Black Knight router worked successfully with DNLA-enabled AV devices on my home network. Very handy!

*******7/22/2013 update - Firmware and other learning **********

Just went through a bit of trouble with the firmware, but all is well again with firmware v. 3.0.0.4.372_1363.

'4.260 firmware would not auto update, i.e., when on the router setup page, checking for firmware update always returned something to the effect that I had the latest. After a few months of this, I got pretty suspicious, as frequent firmware updates had been a real plus of this router. So, went to the Asus support site and found '4.370 firmware, downloaded, and did a "manual" update from the Firmware Upgrade tab by clicking "Choose File", browsing to the extracted firmware file I had downloaded, and then clicking "Upload". This worked fine, and in about 3 minutes I was running on '4.370. BUT, this firmware gave me several problems, including inconsistent link speeds, highly variable file transfer speeds with frequent connection drops to my USB connected HD on the router, and finally an inability to reconnect to my ISP. SO, dug out my old Netgear router, got back on the WAN, downloaded '4.372 firmware, connected my router to my laptop via wire, and did another manual update. Result is that everything is once again working, and to some extent, even better than ever. File transfers to USB connected drive are now very consistent without any drops so far, perhaps a tad faster, peaking out at about 5-6 MBps (40-48 Mbps), and link speeds seem more consistent as well, esp. 5GHz connections. Net, this router's performance is, of course but especially for this model, a product of BOTH hardware and software (firmware), and regular updates are required to get the most out of it, or, sometimes, are required to get it to work. Still highly satisfied with the Dark Knight, and will not be moving to 802.11AC for some time yet, until I see stable second or third generation AC hardware that reviews better with faster LAN file transfer speeds than the Dark Knight.

******* 11/16/2013 update on 2.4 and 5 GHz settings *********

Use 2.4 GHz as my "do everything" band, so keep the settings focused on flexibility instead of absolute max speed.

2.4 GHz settings
Mode - Auto
Bandwidth - 20 MHz
Control Channel - Auto

5GHz I optimize for speed, but, since I have good luck with the auto intelligence built in to the router for use here in my neighborhood, this really amounts to just one setting difference:

Mode - Auto
Bandwidth - 40 MHz
Control Channel - Auto

Channel Bandwidth of 20MHz on 2.4 prevents the router from hogging bandwidth from neighbors, while 40MHz on 5 GHz doubles the max link speed. Figure this is OK as 1) not so many 5GHz signals in our neighborhood and 2) 5GHz does not reach as far anyway.

Practically, this means most of the household links at 2.4 GHz for simplicity and convenience, but I link my laptop and AV desktop at 5 GHz for the added throughput.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Asus RT-N66U, June 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
Package was delivered promptly and hookup was easy. Updated firmware and after that all the problem started. The latest firmware was 3.0.0.3.112 and as soon as I installed it the wireless started dropping and would not stay connected for more than 5 minutes at a time. Finally after trying everything called customer support number stated on the box and oh my gosh the absolutely rudest guy answered the phone. He would not listen to the problem and just told me to return the item and without even analyzing the problem told me that he could not do anything. Not only was he rude but suggested that why I was calling the support line. I have already returned the package with a case number, I will never buy a ASUS product again, already had lots to problem with there Transformer Prime TF201 but still thought of giving them a second chance. Absolutely horrible experience with these people which is totally unexpectable if I have spent close $200.00 for one of their product now and $500.00 in the past on the Transformer Prime.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jul 5, 2012 3:21:49 PM PDT
Dear Rick,

I apologize for the rude behavior from customer support. If you would still like to troubleshoot your issues I would be more than happy to help. Please know that if you have any problems with any Asus product you can contact me directly and will help you to the best of my abilities. I believe I can change your mind about Asus support if you would like the opportunity. You can email me at cl-jeremy@asus.com (ref#1043-2249) with any comments or concerns you may have. Thank you.

Regards,
Jeremy
ASUS Customer Loyalty
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Non-existant customer service, November 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
The top usb port failed during the first 6 months. The Asus repair center is a joke. I paid to ship it back to them, TWICE. After they shipped it back the second time, it still had the original bad usb port. It was obvious that the did NOT even attempt to repair the problem. Both times the ticket said that the router had been repaired. After trying twice with dismal results, I decided it wasn't worth the frustration to have to deal with the process again.

Due to Asus's poor customer service, I will be avoiding all of their products in the future.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 29, 2014 4:16:27 PM PDT
Dear Wyman,

We strive to provide continued support for our products. Please contact us about it and we'd gladly provide you with assistance. You may reach out to networking_support@asus.com and include case#3730770 in the subject line. ASUS Customer Loyalty is here to listen and respond to your concerns and to help you with a positive ASUS experience.

Sincerely,
Celeste
ASUS Customer Loyalty
 
 

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work well at high speed wired LAN connectivity, July 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
I purchased this router to increase my wireless connectivity. I configured the router, and it works great at 450Mbps on 802.11n. However, my ISP provides 100 Mbps internet services & through the wired portion of the LAN it was only able to get it to run at 40Mbps to 45Mbps. I tries their QoS configurations turning it on auto, manual & default bat to off & the QoS setups only caused the Wired LAN to run no better than 40Mbps. Remove the router & connect directly to my ISP Modem & I get 92 Mbps.

Asus contacted me (through email) & said to reconfigure the Qos to their settings with a provided link to a setup guide. I followed those instructions but instead, when I turn on QoS it causes the Wired LAN to slow down to 10Mbps.

I actually was going to sell these ( I am a reseller) but since they function so poorly on wired LAN configurations I decided to go to Cisco as their tech support it actually there via telephone. So I rated this 1 star as I could not give it zero stars since that option is not available. Asus has not contacted me after I told them that their suggestion actually slowed down my wired network to 10 or 15 Mbps from 90mbps.l and their tech support is really lacking if you try to call them via phone you get left on hold waiting & it then goes to leave a voicemail. Really sad support.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Router Out of the Box - Compatible With Custom FW, October 14, 2012
This review is from: ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (Personal Computers)
I picked this up at a local electronics retailer when my Netgear WNDR 3700 unexpectedly quit on me. I paid full retail ($179.99 at the time I'm writing this review) which was the most I have ever spent on a router. Prior to the ASUS Dark Knight, I had the Netgear WNDR3700 (6 months, constant reboots, eventually WAN port completely stopped working), and that was preceded by a Linksys WRT160N, which was in turn preceded by the Linksys WRT54G. I can honestly say that this router is the best I've owned, by a huge margin.

HARDWARE
Aesthetically, this router just looks sweet. Nice textured black surface. It can be positioned flat, but also gomes with a stand if you prefer a vertical orientation. A row of blue indicator LEDs emit a nice glow, but are not annoyingly bright. Along the back, from left to right, you have the first of three antenna ports for the three included omni-directional antennas; next is the power connector and power button; next to these are two USB ports (more on USB connectivity later); next is the reset button followed by the single WAN port; next comes antenna connector number two, followed by 4 gigabit LAN ports; finally, to the far right, you have WPS button and the last of three antenna connectors. Overall, this is a very polished product. It looks like an expensive piece of gear, which it is.

On the inside, things are just as impressive. It's powered by a Broadcom 470 @ 600MHz, along with 256MB of DDR2 RAM, and 32MB of flash memory which is (easily) expandable using the internal Micro SD slot. Plenty of flexibility here for custom firmware and optware (more on this below). Fair warning, this router has a tendency to run a little on the hot side. Dual-band functionality is very nice.

A quick word on USB connectivity: as expected, you can use the two included USB ports for printer sharing and network connected storage. A nice touch, though, is that you connect a USB 3G/4G adapter as your WAN connectivity. I don't have USB 3G/4G to test, so I can't comment on how well this works, but I think it's a great feature.

And with regards to the Micro SD slot: it's actually inside the router. You have to take the rubber feet off the router to expose four small screws (one of which has a warranty sticker on it, fair warning). After unscrewing, you kind of have to pry the case apart. Once inside, there's a standard microSD slot, in which I placed a 4GB card to accomodate a few optware packages. Very nice feature, though I do wish it didn't require disassembly/voiding the warranty.

STOCK FIRMWARE
Others have covered the bugs in the stock firmware, so I'm not going to go there. Suffice it to say,iIf you are going to stick with the stock ASUS firmware (which is very good), be absolutely certain the first thing you do is update to the latest version.

With stock firmware installed, I really had no complaints. WiFi range, signal strength, and throughput were the best I've ever had at our home. I was comfortably able to stream 1080p films from a file server (wired connection to one of the LAN ports) over wireless N. I had never been able to do this before.

All the settings you'd expect from a router of this price are there, and easily accessible from the web interface: DHCP, QoS, port forwarding, dynamic DNS, firewall, VPN server, file server, print server to name a few. Also supports downloading from bit-torrent and newsgroups. Everything is relatively well organized and easy to find. If all you're interested in the basic functions, the setup wizard is exceptionally easy to follow and will have your internet up and running in less than 5 minutes. If you do want to dig into the more advanced features, the router's web interface is nice and clean, and very easy to navigate. The router was running stock firmware for about 2 weeks, and I did not have a single issue in that time.

CUSTOM FIRMWARE
So, why did I decide to experiment with custom firmware if I was happy with stock firmware? Mainly because I was bored, and I had run custom firmware on every single router I had owned to this point. I was very familiar with DD-WRT, but decided with the n66u, I'd give Tomato a go. Flashing was a breeze. I followed a guide to flash the Shibby build of Tomato. All in all, it took about 10 minutes. After flashing Tomato, there has been no looking back as far as I'm concerned. Head and shoulders above DD-WRT, more intuitive UI, and more robust feature-set. To be perfectly honest, I haven't really found anything in Tomato that wasn't there in the stock firmware (stock firmware even supports optware), but Tomato is rock solid so I'm sticking with it. If you like to tinker, you should definitely consider 1) flashing Tomato, 2) adding a microSD card, and 3) tinkering with optware. I've only begun to scratch the surface with optware, but I've experimented with webserver, torrent client, and usenet client, all very cool.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Yes, this is the most money I've ever spent on a router, but I think it's worth every penny. I consider myself a power user, and definitely appreciate all of the features that ASUS has packaged in this router. But that doesn't mean you have to be a power user to enjoy the benefits of this router. In fact, I picked up a second one for my parents. They will never use the majority of the features the n66u has to offer, but it was the first time they have ever been able to blanket their home with a usable WiFi signal without having to use a repeater/range extender. Very impressive.

Bottom line: whether you're a power user and plan to flash custom firmware and use optware, or if you have no idea what that even means - if you need a new router and this is in your price range, just buy it and don't look back. You won't be disappointed.
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ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
$179.99 $119.99
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