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on September 23, 2013
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.
2,250 helpful votes
2,251 helpful votes
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on January 7, 2014
My old Linksys 54g router was still working fine but just didn't have the speed and was throttling my cable internet connection so this Asus router was an upgrade from that unit.

I paired this router with a Motorola SB6121 Surfboard cable modem connected to a Time Warner basic cable internet connection averaging about 16 MB download speed (ookla speed test). This combo is overkill for that connection but I'm hoping to cancel my cable TV, up my internet speed, and go with only streaming video for TV in the near future. The point is that I bought this unit with streaming video specifically in mind.

It does that job wonderfully. Even with the current cable speed, I can still stream seamlessly to my Roku 3 downstairs in the den while my wife is simultaneously streaming to her Samsung SmartTV upstairs, all with 3 laptops (2 Windows, 1 Macbook) browsing away in the house, three cell phones (2 Android, 1 iPhone) on WiFi, and one Swann wireless surveillance camera connected. I can do this anywhere in the house or in my suburban yard.

Set up was easy and no problems connecting devices. Maybe I could have saved a few bucks by buying a cheaper router but, considering how central in-home wifi has become to our household's function, I didn't want to be "penny wise & pound foolish." Very happy with this purchase.
8 helpful votes
9 helpful votes
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I held off putting in a review for this router to see if it worked for a while. Initial setup and connection was a breeze, and the connection was much stronger than D-link routers I have had. I really had high hopes for this router because Asus has a good name for many of its electronics. I thought this might be the ultimate router. After about 2 weeks, it suddenly died. The lights on the top of it were going on and off in sequence, and no network or internet connection. I tried resetting it to no avail. Since I had it less than a month, I opted to return it to Amazon rather than deal with tech support for a replacement. Generally, replacements are refurbished products rather than new. In addition, getting a replacement from Asus would have taken hours of diagnostics (I've already gone this route with D-Link). Since most of the feedback for this router is positive, I have opted to get a replacement from Amazon. If the replacement is more reliable and lasts longer than 2 weeks, I will update this review. At this time, I am really disappointed with Asus, and am questioning the reliability of their other products.

Update: 8/21/13
I returned the defective unit to Amazon for a replacement, and have been using it for about a month. So far, so good. The strength of the signal is stronger than other routers I have tried, and the speed is noticeably better for browsing and downloads. For one of my computers, I also bought the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-N900 USB Network Adapter (USB-N66)that connects at 450 MBPS and is consistently 5 bar in strength on the 2.4 GHZ band on a computer that generally gets 3 bars with other adapters because it is in a area behind too many walls. The strength of the 5 GHZ band is 3-4 bands on this computer with this adapter. At this point, I am very happy with this Asus router.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on July 31, 2016
This is the best WiFi router I've ever owned. I bought this router a few years ago, but I'm just now getting around to writing a review. I'm a professional software engineer, and have been using wireless networks since the early 2000's. I've owned and used many WiFi routers: Linksys, D-Link, TPLink, and other brands. As long as you update this ASUS router to the latest firmware, it provides solid and very fast performance, and a rich feature set. I can't recall a time that I've had to reboot the router due to a network glitch, other than to upgrade the firmware. (Of course, my Fios connection has dropped more than a few times but that's not the router's fault.) I have this router configured to be in the DMZ of the Fios modem, basically using the modem as a pass-through, because of the abysmal performance of the Fios modem's WiFi "router". The range seems very good, although I don't have a big house or a basement. Still, I get a solid signal even out on the lanai by the pool. It performs quite well even when there are multiple wireless devices connected. The web-based setup and configuration interface, to me, is very simple and straightforward, even for features like port forwarding, static WAN IP, and DHCP reservations. There is a setup wizard, but I've never used it. I am so impressed by this router that I'll probably buy another one and store it in a box so that when this one eventually dies of natural causes, I'll have a backup. I'm always worried that by the time that happens, there will be no good routers on the market. Probably an irrational thing to worry about!
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 24, 2016
I've been using this for (3) years now.

Pros
=I like the firmware updates. The thing has actually got better over the years. Great support.
=I like the parental Controls. I've named all the kids computers and devices. Quite often the kid gets kicked off the computer by parental controls and runs to the bedroom to be in a tablet or phone. By naming each device I can also disable those devices too using parental controls. Super awesome. They have to beg for more time. It really helps with addicted kids.
=Works well with all gaming. I game as a profession.
=The interface continues to improve with firmware updates too
=MOBILE APP. I can kicks kids off the computer from the convenience of my phone. So funny.

Cons
=The plastic antennae fall off all the time. I don't know why they can't ever make ones that don't fall off. My previous router did it too.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on September 22, 2016
Where do I even begin with this router? I have purchased 7 of these in the past year. I purchased 6 for use at my church (interconnecting multiple buildings), 1 for my home. I've also recommended it to everyone I know. These routers are extremely powerful, reliable and attractive. I like how the back end configuration allows me to easily set up several guest networks with time limits. It's 5ghz and 2.4 ghz performance are both very reliable. The interface also allows me to see who's on my network and I can even segregate them by connection type (wireless or wired). The router has also has several pro level admin features like scheduled auto-reboot, band-width allocation, etc. I've purchased many routers in my day as I'm the go-to tech geek for most of my friends and family and these routers are now the ones I recommend to everyone.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 10, 2016
I have sold these to over 30 clients and only had one that had a power button failure. The wifi is stable and consistent. It is also working great with multiple VOIP systems from different carriers. I use VPN, port forwarding, DYDNS and all function perfectly. No need to reset these by power cycling like most home routers. Great for users that only need G and N band routing. WIFI coverage is good, but not as good as the new multi antenna AC5400 routers.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on December 6, 2014
I love this router, fast, and a great design.
Some remarks:
You have to have the right network card in your laptop to access the 5 Ghz band so if you configure it an only the 2.4 Ghz shows up it might be because your network card does not support this band. In our home we have 2 laptops, none of the showed the performance I was expecting. It seems that HP puts the cheapest (Broadcom) network cards in their laptops close to the router my maximum speed was 72 mbps. After I bought replacements (Intel Centrino) we now have a great performance (300 mbps the maximum speed of the cards I bought) . Be aware that HP can have restrictions in their Bios that might not allow the replacement card you would like, do some research before you buy. Changing network cards is not that difficult.

DROPPED CONNECTIONS (and the solution)
After 2 days all the connections (wireless ans cable) dropped every 90 seconds on both laptops. I took me a long time to figure this one out but the reason was that the DHCP query frequency was set to aggressive mode instead of normal mode. I think that is the default setting the result was that my ISP (Comcast) started to block the routers MAC address. (Setting is under WAN->Inter Connection on the bottom of the page) ASUS should change the default to Normal mode, maybe people who complain about dropped connections could have this default setting.

Will update this if things change.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on September 27, 2016
I had originally bought an Almond 2015 router, which was cool since it had a lcd screen which controlled the router. However, the router lcd screen went out in a week, got it replaced. New router screen worked great but the Wifi was terrible, horrible signal (in a small apartment) and the speeds went from a 60mb download speed from an Ethernet cord to 3mb per device. I tried everything, reset the router, factory reset the router. But it was the Almond router itself. DO NOT FALL FOR A GIMMICK ROUTER FOLKS.

I have experience building computers, and ASUS has always been a quality respected brand. I bought this out of hopes it would fix my issues with the internet (hoping it was not the provider). I received the package two days early, plugged it in downloaded the firmware update as it seems according to previous reviews this is a must or else there are some glitches, and this router has performed beyond expectations folks. This is simply the best router I have ever owned. The reception is the strongest and most stable reception I have ever had in WIFI. Make sure you set up a 5ghz network through this router as it helps not only receive faster Download speeds but has let interference than a 2g or 2.4ghz frequency. (the vast majority of devices communicate on this frequency causing an unstable connection). Folks if I could rate this router 6 stars I would. It is not a difficult router to set up, but if you have trouble figuring out how to update the firmware contact ASUS or a somewhat tech savvy friend because it is quick fix. My WiFi download speeds are now 65mb compared to the 3mb on my Almond router! Now beware the speed of your internet is limited to your provider, so if you are only provided 15mb from your provider you will only get that 15mb. However if you were like me and experiencing vastly slower wifi speeds than quoted from your provider, I would highly suggest this product.

Thank you ASUS for not only living up to your name, but providing a very solid product!
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on April 15, 2015
Its feature rich, continues to have strong support, has great range and reception, and hasn't crashed once since I bought it several months ago. The only time it was turned off was to apply a firmware update. I have yet to have any difficulty with any online service I have used. Streaming video, smart phones, tablets, VPN connecting to work, Microsoft Remote desktop, SSL layer tools, VNC connections, xbox live, PC gaming, Steam, you name it its done it all without so much as a hiccup. Since I haven't owned it for 6 months I can't quite testify to the hardware longevity. That being said if this unit fails I will probably consider another one.

The print server was a bit iffy, but I just went back to using LAN printer sharing without issues. I've since brought a WiFi network attached printer and it works like a champ on this routher.

I've had to deal with too many poor quality SOHO routers in my life, including the junk the ISP gives you. For the price you are buying "just works" and there really is no higher praise to be lumped on networking equipment.

However this box does run pretty hot! The top of the housing gets uncomfortably warm when we really use our internet at home. To that end I have mounted with the included vertical standing bracket and keep it in the open to help radiate heat the best it can. Personally I feel like the case would be improved with louvers cut into it for more heat removal.

So I highly recommend this router. Its just quite hot so don't put it inside a confined space or on top of already warm devices where it could collect heat.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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