Industrial Deals HPC Best Books of the Year Holiday Dress Guide nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Acoutsic Christmas STEM $54.99 for a limited time only Try it first with samples Handmade Gift Shop Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon TheGrandTour TheGrandTour TheGrandTour  Echo Devices starting at $29.99 Save $30 on All-New Fire HD 8. Limited-time offer. $20 off Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now HTL17_gno

ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
Capacity: N900|Model: 4x  Gigabit LAN ports|Change
Price:$87.31+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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.
5150+ comments| 2,299 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on February 9, 2015
I have tried all 3 of these routers. I have had more time to play with the Netgear X6 and Asus Rt-AC3200. My internet is through Comcast. I get about 127 Mbps down and 12 up. So far I find they are all pretty much ok. I feel like if you drop $300 on a router it should be amazing. I know you will find people that cry and say expect bugs for new technology and I should be hung for saying this. Yes I do expect some but for flag ship routers I expect them to be squashed very quickly. So far they all have been coming out slow. And by the way I am coming from an old Netgear R6300.

So far range is not that impressive of any of the three. I expected more. I do get a signal in all of my house and outside but I did previously. The signal in the garage is pretty weak which is only 30-40 feet from the router. I would have to say Asus had the weakest not by much and the D-link and X6 are about the same.

I know this is personal preference but I prefer the Asus, followed by the D-link and then the X6. The D-link does seem like the nicest quality. If it were black it would probably win in my book, I keep it in my living room and it is bright red. The X6 seems like cheap plastic and the antennas are very cheap looking.

So far the smart connect works the best with the D-Link. It hasn't dropped connections on me so far. I just don't understand why at times it puts some of my AC devices on the 2.4 Ghz band. I find with the Asus that is its biggest flaw. The smart connect is terrible and drops constanty. I got really tired of my 6 year old bringing me his tablet multiple times a day telling me “The internet is broken again”. It disconnected after some devices went to sleep and after about 10 seconds being awake they would reconnect (wifi is set to never turn off even during sleep). The Dlink and Asus have one SSID for the 3 bands. The X6 has two SSID's. One for 2.4 Ghz and one for 5 Ghz.

Besides usage I tested the speed using I do find the D-Link to be on the slower side. It is hit and miss. I might get half my download speed. Other times I get all of it. I always get full speed with the Asus and X6. But besides using the speed test I have no problems with any of them being slow. Unless you use QOS...

This is important to me because I have about 12 devices hooked up at the same time. Sometimes more sometimes less. Tablets, phones, Chromecasts, a Nexus Player, Tv, Xbox. You name it. The QOS winner hands down is Asus. You can assign priorities to each device and it works well. The X6 has a couple boxes to check to enable QOS. D-links is terrible. I have tried it. It cut my download speeds down 40 Mbps on every device. Even the one assigned as the highest priority.

Each one has their own user interface. D-link definitely has the worst one. There is not much to customize or change. It is by far pretty much worthless. The Asus and Netgear are both pretty good. I personally like the way the Asus one is set up better and hands down their QOS setup. I also like Netgear and Asus traffic meters better. Asus has the best one of these also. You can see by device % of what data was used for on each device. Handy.

Overall I have to say they are all very good routers. Amazing $300 routers? Hell no. If Asus would get off their butts and fix the dropping connection problem I would own this hands down. But its not worth a $300 gamble. As of right now I'm still torn between the D-Link and the X6 being the best. I will attach a couple photos of a D-link and X6. There is an upside down Blu-ray for size reference.

**Updated 4/14***

So I have been using the Asus router since the review because I really liked the one SSID and the interface it has. Well on 4/12 the updated they firmware for the fourth time and finally got it right! No disconnects! When I turn my tablets on they are actually connected! I highly recommend this router right now. Thank you Asus! Fourth times a charm!
review image review image review image
1111 comments| 402 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 15, 2014
Purchased this router in January 2014 and have had no issues. Firmware is still at, 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.
2424 comments| 603 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 9, 2016
I normally don’t write long reviews, but thought due to our interesting networking environment, this review may be helpful for others contemplating this Asus AC88U router in more complex situations.

The short summary is that this router has been very capable and refined out of the box (contrary to what some professional reviewers have claimed as “beta” with some Asus routers and users), with only the slightest of “glitches” that should be remedied as the firmware matures. It was a sufficient enough improvement in a very busy mixed network to replace our old workhorse AC68U. For those with the most active networks, the AC88U is probably the current SOTA and should squeeze every last ounce of performance from it.

We have what is best described as a mixed-protocol, mixed-device, high-activity, network. Much of it is wired gigabit ethernet, but with a heavy supporting load of wireless 2.4 and 5 ghz clients, from legacy G to the latest AC Wi-Fi devices. Our broader network has three laser printers/MFPs (including color models), a Mac running OS X server with outboard RAID stack serving 10+TB of local data, three other Mac clients, three PC laptops, two PC workstations, a LAG-ethernet connected NAS unit for all local backups, six Squeezeboxes (wired and wireless) served by LMS locally, five Apple TVs, two network-managed cable boxes, several other smart TVs, Android tablets and streaming clients (Amazon Fire and Roku), two networked BD players, no less than seven iOS devices running both N and AC Wi-Fi, two gaming consoles, a fully populated Cisco 24-port managed switch with multiple LAG connections, and about 2,500 total feet of gigabit ethernet cable to manage. And a fairly active 2.4 ghz guest network on top of all of it for the regular in-law and neighbor visitors and all their devices. The longest Wi-Fi run is about 65 ft through 5-6 walls and across four levels (I do not believe in local repeaters or APs for security reasons). We run our 175/12 ISP WAN pretty much at its limit, with monthly activity typically in the 300-400+ GB range. At any given time, there are never less than 26-28 active clients on our network. Most activity is multiple-client, higher bitrate HD video and audio streaming, and regular larger data transfers, including multiple TimeMachine, local and off-site server backup routines. With all local data, HD video and audio traffic, Internet and cloud video streaming and data transfers, several RDC clients running, and continuous off-site server backups, our network is typically managing and moving hundreds of GB daily across many streams simultaneously. This is a heavy load for any router.

We were among the first buyers of the AC68U as a result. It has been a stable device since day one, with incremental improvements as Asus has refined its firmware. To date, our old AC68U still does a capable job. It is good-looking, petite, and draws no attention to itself. It just does the job. Consequently, I would continue to recommend this now classic AC router for any but the most intense network environments. Where the 68U can now falter for us is on longer and fringe wireless AC and other 5ghz connections during heavier network activity, where speeds and latency can start to fall off. As a result, we started shifting some devices to the 2.4 ghz band to relieve the AC68U. Under peak network activity, some ethernet transfers would also experience a slight drop off (from 100-105 MB/s to perhaps 75-80).

Enter the AC88U. It has several features that helped wring some additional capacity and headroom out of our busy network. The LAG feature is a legitimate IEEE 802.3ad setup, and allows a 2GB pipeline from our server to both Wi-Fi and Ethernet clients. Previously, a LAG connection was confined to Ethernet-side only. The AC88U’s more robust 5 ghz hardware delivers stronger and more stable fringe connections than the 68U, and with more headroom. We can move all our clients back over to 5 ghz with no speed drop off. The AC88U can support multiple HD video streams on all of them simultaneously without any compromises. Fringe 5 ghz devices previously connecting to the 68U at 125-150 mb are now rock solid at 350-400+ mb. Older 5 ghz clients such as the Intel 6300 AGN series are now holding stable connections at or just under 300 Mbps across much longer distances.

Updating the 88U to the latest firmware was an easy affair, taking under 3 minutes. Migration from the 68U to the 88U was fairly painless, with a settings save and upload between them transferring about 80% of our router settings over to the new router. However, some settings need to be manually re-entered, and all settings should be double-checked. I imagine similar later model Asus routers will have a similar experience.

Based on our testing, the AC88U’s more robust processing and transmitting power has improved all network transfer speeds over the 68U by approximately 10-15%, including for WAN traffic. This may not prove significant over a smaller network and/or with smaller data transfers, but for larger volume data transfers and heavy users with lots of clients, it adds up to a faster, more responsive network experience. As with all these matters, YMMV, and I suspect the 68U to be the the full equal of the 88U in less hectic environments. But the biggest gains for us with the 88U were seen with wireless clients, and in the 5 ghz band, particularly over distance.

The 88U is not without its flaws. It is a large and somewhat garish-looking device (we're older and best described as "mature", but I'm sure anyone under 30 will love it), and requires more real estate and electricity than the trim and classy looking 68U did. Its firmware, while surprisingly polished so early, is not yet mature. Most notably, we occasionally experience some very brief page load delays under Safari (2-3 sec), and very infrequently a slight delay when first connecting to our NAS - but once connected, it flies. I would characterize these more as “glitches” than full blown bugs, and expect that they will resolve over the next couple of firmware revisions. However, the entire Apple ecosystem in our house runs flawlessly under it, with all that implies (Airplay, Airdrop, Home Sharing, TimeMachine, FaceTime, etc), and the PCs, Apples and Androids all get along together nicely. The 88U is also eye-watering expensive, and you are paying to be on the bleeding-edge with it. MU-MIMO is an infant technology, and like most consumers, we are not yet using it. Perhaps later. I’m not a lamp-watcher, but the single LED to indicate all switch activity may bother some.

However, the bottom line is the AC88U is probably the strongest, most powerful home/prosumer router currently available. But its advantages over a more mainstream AC router such as the 68U are likely only going to make economic sense in busier, more complex networking environments. I consider it the top choice in any mixed environment, where ethernet is significantly deployed. The only possible current upgrade over the 88U is the tri-band AC5300, which can support even more 5 ghz clients than we have, and makes more sense in a Wi-Fi dominant environment. But for up to 12-15 5 ghz clients, the 88U is its equal. We expect the 88U to be with us for the next 3-5 years before our technology overtakes it, much as the 68U was. Again, for most homes, the difference between the 68U and 88U is not going to justify the price difference. Unless your 68U is starting to strain or stumble, there is little to be gained with the 88U.

I won’t go into all the other features of the AC88U which are common to all Asus routers, such as AiProtection, etc., except to say they are all work well on the AC88U. Having used many router brands over many years, we continue to prefer Asus for its combination of solid, reliable hardware and relatively useful and stable native firmware, and have not found the need for 3rd-party firmware solutions as with some other brands. The Asus Router App needs some work however, and is currently best avoided.

For a little less money, the AC3100 is just about the same router as the 88U, with 4 less ethernet jacks. However, we appreciate the extra ethernet jacks on the 88U to relieve our big switch from supporting server room devices such as printers and our RAID stack.

Should the operation of the 88U change in future, we’ll update our review accordingly. But after about a week with the 88U, we are confident enough to sadly say goodbye to our trusty 68U (which is still worth about $95 on trade-in).
77 comments| 421 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 31, 2016
This review is for the Asus RT-ACRH13 MU MIMO AC1300 router. I noticed that different model reviews are mixed together ranging from 802.11N to 802.11AC routers, hence qualifying this.

1) This is the 24h review with first impressions. I will try to update after 7 days, 1 month.
Set up - the firmware is a little buggy. After configuring the SSIDs and PWDS for the 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi sometimes it still remembers the original factory SSID. Upon restart it happened that the WiFi didn't come on, but a power cycle fixed that. The Guest Network setup is little confusing. 3 guest networks can be configured, but a guest network profile cannot be edited, only enabled, and then deleted.
Performance - so far the performance is very impressive. I have a wired Fire TV and a NAS station and a MagicJack adapter. All working good. The Fire TV is much speedier than before loading home screen, accessing apps, etc. I live in 2 story wood frame house. WiFi is very strong at any spot of the house. I use 2 x smart phones (iPhone and Android) and 2 x Samsung tablets. I also have 2 x laptops connected (Samsung and Surface 4 Pro), both working without issues. Beam forming works very well too. As you move away from the router, using WiFi Analyzer, I see the signal strength drops on 5GHz. Once you stop, within a second the signal strength jumps to 45-50dBm which is a very strong signal. So far I had no dropped connections, or hitches. I also have a WiFi connected security camera, and it works flawlessly. So performance after 24h is very good! This is not a free review device, I paid full price. Watch this space.

**1 week update** No issues whatsoever. No loss of configuration or dropped connection. Running fairly cool too. I live in a gated community with a number of wifi APs around. Performance is strong and reliable. Tried a Netgear wifi range extender with the router, not because I need it, but out of curiosity. Set up the extender to connect to the router on 2.4GHz and extend on 5GHz (fast lane technology). No degradation of speed on the extended network compared to the router's speed. So far so good!!!!!

**1 month update. Still very happy with the unit. No change in any of the previously described good features.

** 3 months update. performance is still strong. My initial issues with the configuration were due to me doing that with my tablet. Accessing the router setup with my laptop worked flawless.
77 comments| 200 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 7, 2015
About me and my prior experience with wifi routers:
I'm a linux guy with 20 years experience, I like to tweak my wireless routers to make them do extra stuff like wake on lan for my mythtv, or run custom scripts to monitor my house, or whatever. I've used many different linux based WiFi routers in the last 10 years or so, including WRT54G, to WRT600N, WNDR3800 (those you can hack, but WiFi is still not reliable with openwrt for me which is a shame for a WiFi router), to the less friendly WNDR4500 (powerful when I bought it, but couldn't install 3rd party builds on it back then).
I really wanted to like and buy the WRT-1900AC until I saw that linksys mislead us, and it's only about a year later, that it's starting to see some open source support, and it's not fully working yet. To be fair, my WNDR4500 Wifi has been rock solid, but I only use it as a Wifi bridge, not even as a router, and run nothing on it since the stock firmware won't let me run what I need.

The Review:
I'm not going to review on the Wifi aspects of the RT-AC3200, other reviews have done this and honestly the Nighthawk X6 and RT-AC3200 are going to be pretty close since they use the same chipset. Note that most bad reviews are from people with basic Wifi issues and setup problems that could happen with all WiFi routers.
The Asus however offers smartconnect aka band steering, the option of moving your WiFi clients automatically from 5Ghz #1 (high band, more speed, less range), 5Ghz #2 (low 5Ghz band, a bit less speed, a bit more range), and 2Ghz (less speed but much more range).
The Nighthawk only supports handoff between its two 5Ghz bands. Smartconnect as of April 2015 still causes problems for many, and most turn it off for now, but 1) it will get better so you can turn it on later, 2) if you don't mind tweaking, it can likely be made to work for you depending on your clients. Google for "rt ac3200 smart connect missing manual" to hopefully get 5Ghz->2Ghz handoff working for you.
There is also a reported issue of frequent disconnects on the Asus (hourly). This is due to a WPA key rotation option you can turn on and doesn't work well with some clients. Don't use it, and you should be fine.

Now, let's get to open source. While you might not care about supporting the company that does a better job supporting the opens source community all those products are now based on, Asus provides you with a router you can install your own 3rd party linux programs on. If you are hands on and/or know linux, you likely very much care about this.

This is my first router which supports open source out of the box, you can add your own software trivially and don't have to wait a year or more for a working open source build of dd-wrt or openwrt, with sometimes only half working wireless due to binary driver problems.
Again, for comparison, my linksys WNDR4500 is only going to be getting dd-wrt now after 2 years, and I'm a bit wary of how that's going to turn out (after way too long of no real working open source support). Another example was the linksys WRT-1900AC, supposed to be the ultimate hacker router. It barely works with openwrt one year later, with manual work, and it's not stable yet.

Asus RT-AC3200: unpacked it, turned on sshd, ready to add 3rd party open source software. Asuswrt is already great, it's based on tomato-usb (open source router platform) and out of the the box you can install 3rd party linux software (perl, whatever) with Entware. I'm glad I gave my money to Asus just for that. Google Entware asuswrt-merlin for details on this.
Then there is a developer who makes the asuswrt-merlin build: you get a few extra features on the base router too while keeping working wireless. It's so good out of the box that I have no need to install openwrt on it should it exist later.

So this router strongly exceeded my expectations. Thank you Asus.

Minuses so far:
- $300 is obviously a steep price, but it's market rate for now
- Asus support is supposed to be good on the phone, but I Emailed on a monday early morning. Heard nothing 24H later.
1515 comments| 301 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on November 18, 2016
Purchased the RT-ACRH13 to replace a TP-Link N router that was constantly dropping wifi requiring a reboot. In the few weeks I've had it operating it's needed absolutely zero attention from me, minus setup. Speeds and signal strength are outstanding through out the house. GUI is useful and intuitive on both web access and via mobile device. The mobile app is actually more detailed on traffic than the web access GUI.

After battling with a few routers over the years, and almost always having to flash DD-WRT, this router is the only one that I've not felt the need and seems to have all the useful capabilities needed built-in.

I knew I was gambling by purchasing a brand new device that just hit the market (November 1st I believe) with no real life reviews, but through heavy downloading, video streaming, multiple gaming devices running at once, and general use, the ACRH13 has handled it with ease. Currently I have 19 devices throughout my house ( I know o_O) and have had zero connectivity issues for two weeks.

Although it's still in the honeymoon phase, this is where my review currently sits, and will be updated if needed.
So far, flawless Asus. Good job.
review image
99 comments| 164 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 9, 2016
Amazing router, even though it's expensive. I replaced my RTN66U "Dark Knight" router with a Netgear nighthawk, and was thoroughly unimpressed. It had broadcast issues, and performed poorly on NetSpot testing in a relatively small home.
THIS router has two 5Ghz bands, so the coverage issue I experienced with the Netgear were immediately solved. The 5Ghz coverage is as good as the 2.4Ghz band because of this. Now, I can attach more devices to the 5Ghz band, and free up bandwidth on the 2.4 band.
I prefer the Asus UI to Netgear's. It has a more intuitive look and feel to me, and it seems more powerful as well for the users who are more experienced and knowledgeable in setting up home networking.

I've attached wireless speedtests from my router through google fiber. Tests were done about 15 feet from the router.

********4 month update********
Added a photo from pulling a file from my NAS to my laptop. Speeds average 7MB/s when reading. NAS is connected via powerline ethernet adaptors, computer was wireless.
For anyone complaining that this router can't handle gigabit speeds, see my "connected" speedtest. This was done connected to the router via cat5 ethernet cable into my Dell XPS 13 with a USB3.0 ethernet adapter. Note that in the screenshot I included the systray to show the laptop being in airplane mode. I have Google Fiber, and the reason the download isn't FASTER, is because I also have their TV service. The TV leeches bandwidth from your connection, to the tune of about 250-300Mbps because of the lower compression google uses to deliver higher quality television broadcasts. However as you can see on the upload portion, it handled gigabit speeds easily.

I also do a TON of media streaming in my home. This is primarily why I bought this router. I have tried and succeeded streaming up to three 1080p movies from my Synology NAS to my Roku 3, Roku 2, and PS3 which are all connected wirelessly.

It's my opinion that anyone complaining this doesn't do gigabit speeds needs to check their own hardware/connection out, and not blame this router as it CLEARLY will do all it says it will.

-----edit 2/11/2017--------
Added a screenshot of iPerf results. The first set is of 1 laptop to another with one on the 2.4ghz band, the server on the 5ghz band. The second is both laptops on the 5ghz band. I didn't shut anything down on my network to perform these tests, and both "server" and client were wireless.
review image review image review image review image review image
88 comments| 278 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 28, 2017
Wow. Goodbye Netgear. Hello ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 router! In fairness to Netgear, the netgear r6300 I have had for years has been a stable product (with the right settings, however) and it was paired with a Arris SB6141 Cable modem, but lightning took both of them away. I went for the combo C7000 Netgear latest and greatest I wanted to like it but it lagged and had 20 second drops of connectivity. Unstable. Unacceptable new product with bugs was my experience and a lot of others had the same experience too. Reviews for Asus were surprisingly good and never had owned an ASUS router before but the reviews were so over the top I had to find out. So I ordered my new Arris SB6141 Cable modem (because it was rock solid for me before) and the RT-AC68U.

First impressions... wow nice build quality. Very impressive. Real removable antenna just like a real AP pro class. It just felt good and looked great. All the machining and connections looked above grade from any other manufacturers in the consumer space I have seen. A real "PRO-SUMER" product.

My background is I.T. and I am in this space so to impress me was not an easy feat. Our use case for this router is:
NO cable... all streaming house... using Two Roku, 6 laptops, one of them dedicated for streaming Xfinity TV-GO stations, a Wii game console, Grace Digital Mondo Internet Radio player, HP laserjet on wifi, oven on wifi, garage doors on wifi, heated tile floor thermostat on wifi (for the weather), and 6 smart phones (2 iphones, 4 android). Plus a "lab" in my office using wifi devices (Wifi scanners, etc) for job related activities. We often could be streaming roku channels (ESPN, FoxGo, etc) at the same time as Fox news on another tv, with Roku netflix upstairs as well, plus any of the household (or all) could be streaming online youtube, amazon video prime or facetime with friends.

So you can see its a heavy usage situation. My router right now has 21 devices connected at one time from the list mentioned above. Back to the review...
On powering up and connecting to this Asus the setup was so easy it was amazing with the wizard. I was online in seconds.
The interface was amazing... Wow. The feature set was so in depth and so well done that this was like router Eden. Graphics, Data, Stats galore. Instant salivation for anyone with an appreciation and knowledge on 802.11. They should have code named this router the ASUS PAVLOV.

All that is great but if it doesnt work, or drops its just a piece of pretty junk. Guess what. Its got it where it counts too.

Signal strength around the house is stronger than ever. Speeds on all clients are crazy fast. Stability on 2.4 *AND* 5ghz is what it should be. I mean wow. where has this router been all my life?? The router has a cpu graph for the dual core cpus in the interface and its barely breathing handling the traffic- even with all the bells and whistles turned on collecting traffic, stats and web history from clients! Oh and did I mention this is all with QoS turned off!! Why limit bandwidth if you dont need to? QoS seems to be used best for small pipes or compensating for poor routers that cant handle a load, in my expeience. My network is rock solid. I will update this if something changes, of course, but from my experience you just know when you know, you know? And for this router... I know!

In closing, watching the real-time bandwidth utilization graphic in the interface I can see the ebb a flow of downstream data (as well as upstream). Mine was pulsating in bursts from 6 to 28Mbps as the demands of multiple HD streaming clients was requested. Dual core CPU never clicked over single digits combined. I have Xfinity Blast! and speed tests were 75-80 down and 10-12 Up over 5g wifi -- just for reference. plenty of headroom.,Netflix Roku App's Network test reported that my Downstream capability to their servers was 17.35 Mbps. Nice.

So to sum up. I think this is the best router ever on many levels, Build quality, stability, feature set, and pairs very nicely with a Arris SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which to me is a proven solid product that I have used easily for over a decade (back when it was made under Motorola). I even used a 6121 4 channel version prior to this 6141 8 channel down / 4 up coming out about 10 years ago (I think).
6141=great modem.

Asus RT68=Awesome Stable Router
0Comment| 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 6, 2016
I bought this router with high expectations. I was willing to pay a lot to get the best. I work remotely as a developer, so reliability is extremely important to me. My router has to work, without glitches. I'm usually on 3 or 4 temperamental VPNs at one time. Any hiccup and I get kicked off. In addition to these requirements, I'm a cable cutter and subscribe to several streaming services. At any given time I have 4 regular computers hooked up, several smart phones, Smart TVs, Chromecasts, Chromebooks and Rokus. On average, usually around 15 devices connected. The first requirement is reliability and the second requirement is speed.

At this price range, I expect most things to work flawlessly. If I buy something cheap I expect glitches and issues. I can tolerate minor bugs, but not much. The first unit I had was defective. The second 5GHz wireless band did not work. It would fail after a few minutes of operation. I returned it and the replacement was fine. None of the 3 bands have quit on the replacement unit. By the way, Amazon was awesome about that. A new one was overnighted to me immediately.

This particular router has some fairly serious firmware issues. I burned about 5 hours on the Smart Connect feature only to discover there's no way this is going to work correctly. That feature allows you to use one SSID for all 3 wireless bands. The router should then optimize which devices connect to which band for the best performance. It doesn't work. I couldn't get most devices to connect for more than a few minutes, if at all. If you intend to buy this router for that feature, forget it. Again, a firmware update might change this.

The same is true for many other settings of this router. It's a very temperamental unit. The wrong settings can make it run poorly. Also note that I live in a rural area that does *not* have contention or interference issues with other wireless devices. I took signal readings on every band, and in every location on my property, to make sure this second unit was reliable. I did dozens of speed tests on every band and I streamed on several devices at the same time for several days. I've pumped through several hundred Gigabytes of data on each band. I think I have it working absolutely reliably now.

What follows are the pertinent settings I discovered through much trial and error.
- Tweaked the RT-AC5300 router settings for narrow channel bandwidths for all channels, 20MHz per channel.
- Turn off auto selection of channels in the channel selection frequency.
- Change the mode to N/AC mixed for the 5 GHz channels and N only on the 2.4GHz channel.
- And finally, of course, turn "Smart Connect" off.

I have found these settings to be stable for this router. Wider frequency channel settings result in poor wireless network performance and dropped connections, especially while using the 5GHz bands. I did make the second 5GHz band, "auto" for the Control Channel. That seems to be the only way for that particular band to operate at a good speed. Once you find settings that make this router stable, back them up and don't touch anything.

Obviously since I write software for a living, I'm a pretty technical person. If you're not willing to get in and change settings, take signal readings, do tests and futz with this router, you'll end up with disappointing performance. Just get something a little friendlier to the common consumer. Having said that, if you are willing to get in there and mess around, you'll end up with a pretty decent router that really should meet any reliability and streaming requirements requirements you might have.

As for the other features, I left them off. I don't use them. My computer setup does not benefit from VPNs, Quality of Service, firewalls, or anything else. I write those systems myself, on my Linux systems, with one computer set up as a DMZ.

The reason for my 3 star rating is the price and the feature set. For the price, things need to be nearly perfect, lose a star. The advertised features do not work completely. Lose another star. I am keeping it at 3 stars because I am satisfied, now that I've discovered a reliable configuration. One last thing, the performance and range is quite good. I can stream 1080p video from anywhere on my one acre property.
2121 comments| 237 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse