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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.
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on November 5, 2016
I have installed over a dozen of these in homes and small businesses. This is my go to standard WiFi router. Yes, there are better routers out there but for 90% of people this router will be more than enough. I am convinced this router is the best bang for the buck.

My favorite thing about this router is the ease of use. It is so easy to add different WiFi networks including guest networks. Each with its own settings or restrictions. I also love that you can switch modes and use the router as an Access Point or a Wireless Bridge. Port forwarding is a breeze.

I have been using this router in my own home for about 3 years now. I have smaller sized house of 1200sq ft where the router is centrally located and the WiFi covers the entire place including my backyard. I use an abnormal amount of data. Usually several TBs every month. All from gaming, streaming video services, and online data backups. This router handles all I do with no problems.

I would absolutely recommend this router to anyone who needs a great, reliable router for under $100!
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on November 24, 2014
Purchased this router, along with the ARRIS / Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. My review is the same for both items:

We purchased these for use with our internet service in the boonies of Minnesota. We honestly couldn't be happier. We were using the supplied equipment with our last internet/cable provider and the service was horrible. Decided to use our own equipment when we moved and had to switch companies, and I am very happy we did so. We made sure these items were supported by our carrier before purchasing.

I work from home, and everything I do is web-based. So I needed equipment that would give me reliable down and upload speeds. These two items do the trick. We have a lot of things constantly connected and never lose speed or service. We have 1 desktop (wired), 1 laptop, 2-3 smart phones, and often 1-2 tablets and 1 other laptop connected wirelessly without any issues. With the rented equipment, we were power cycling our modem daily with little help. Now, after 2 months of use, we have yet to have an issue where we needed to power cycle - and as I said, I work from home so reliability is essential.

The technician set up both the modem and router out of the box with no issue. There are two channels set up for wireless, one for short range and one longer range. We haven't noticed a remarkable difference between the two just when inside the house, but it will be nice to have the longer range once the weather warms up, and I work on the patio. Overall I am glad we did some research to find these, as its definitely money well spent.
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on November 18, 2015
I have set up and used many routers of all different makes and models like literally 100. This one is so good. So easy to set up, bulletproof firmware, good range, never flakes, no hardware issues (like the dreaded bad switch port), and on and on. It even smells good coming out of the box, but most electronics do. Oh that smell. I don't know what it is, but a new PC motherboard has cream of the crop. Its so good!

Packaging is all good. It comes with the adapter, a 5-foot Ethernet cable of decent quality, a clip on stand in case you are not mounting it, some instructions and a disk. I have no idea what are in the latter two because I didn't even look at them. I didn't need to and you probably don't either. Bloatware? IDK.

When you first get it hooked up and go into the admin interface, the setup wizard is all most users will ever need. Simple and straight forward. Once it is set up, the interface is really easy to navigate and has many advanced features that even a power user would appreciate.

I now have four of these running. One has the latest version of DD-WRT. THAT was a challenge and not for the faint of heart. After believing I bricked it and hearing from ASUS support that there was no hope, I tried some voodoo button pressing/holding, multiple flash attempts, changing IP address in midstream, and on and on. Not sure what fixed it, but it was indeed not bricked and ASUS support (a young girl in some other country) was incorrect. DD-WRT v24-sp2 (02/02/15) mega has been up and running for 44 days without a hitch. The stock interface is so good I have no reason to flash DD-WRT on the other three units. Both interfaces show CPU, memory, Bandwidth charts. Neither firmware seems to be leaner, at least not noticeably.

New stock firmware just came out on 11/3. It is good to know ASUS is still updating. The update takes about 60 seconds and is completely painless. It didn't do anything for me, but there it supports a new app for Android to administer the router by mobile.

This thing never breaks a sweat. I have punished it and it keeps coming back for more. At this moment I have 2000 active connections and am pulling about 60Mbps from the Internet and the CPU is at 10%, memory at 22%.

Two of the four routers are upstream routers with others behind them. One of them is in a closet with other equipment and the temperature in there routinely gets to 120 degrees F. Almost every piece of equipment in there has failed except for this router. We have gone through two Linksys(cisco) routers since this has been there.

I could go on and on. Get this router. You won't regret it. (and I dare you to find a glittering review like this for any other product I have reviewed)
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on December 20, 2016
We had been having all sorts of issues with our internet cutting out for about two weeks. I initially assumed that it was our service provider but after getting them to check everything and rerouting the ethernet cable, I realized that my 4-5 year-old Belkin had finally bitten the dust (couldn't even handle online gaming at all without going out after a single game).

I had done some research on some of the better routers and decided upon this one (I simply could not spend $150+ on a NightHawk for my 1250 sq. ft home) and I am so glad that I did! We have not had one problem since utilizing the RT-N66U. We are able to play online gaming, utilize wi-fi on our phone, stream shows on tablets and computers simultaneously with no issues. The router has stayed true and has not lost connectivity once. I'm loving this product 2 weeks in.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 20, 2015
For some reason, while I am quite good with technology and I love tech stuff, there are a couple of things that I find intimidating. Setting up a router was one of these. Because of this, I always ended up with whatever piece of junk the Internet provider would give me. The connection was usually not great and would occasionally drop. Also, the wifi range was always absolutely awful.

Then, after hating the last piece of junk more than the previous pieces of junk, I decided that it was time to overcome this issue and just figure out how to sett up my own router. After many hours spent researching routers, I ordered this Asus RT-N66U.

This was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made! The Asus router has much better performance, especially if you have a faster connection (but it should still be noticeable even with a slow one) and the wifi range is SO much better. I tested the range and still had a solid connection a good 70-80 yards outside of my apartment!

The best part is that compared to what I was expecting, the setup was a breeze! It was so easy that it literally took one minute to complete! It's only 3 steps! That's a lot of exclamation points but this router deserves fifth one!

Another important feature is that the setup can be done over wifi; it doesn't require an Ethernet connection. So if you have mostly iOS devices and/or say a Mac Air, this is super important.

I'm really happy with this router, just wish I bought it sooner!

Feel free to ask any questions, as you can see, I really love talking about this router.

If you found this review helpful, I'd appreciate it if you click 'yes' below.
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on May 3, 2017
Loved this so much, I had to buy two! I was using two ASUS routers in bridge mode to get better wifi coverage and also have more direct connect ports to plug all my ethernet devices. The ASUS router that I replaced was 5 years old and still working, but it was a much lower bandwidth, and it started to drive me crazy. I am still using it for another test network for fun.

Pros:
+ASUS are really appliances - they last forever
+Web interface is really easy to set up
+They now have a app you can put on your phone to set up and mange your network... this was great because i did not have to connect the new router to a pc to configure it! Wow did that same time.
+ Easy to set up less than 10 minutes! I am not an IT guy!
+Any feature you could ever really want for home use, and some I think are more for enterprise.

Cons:
+Bridge mode took a bit longer to set up than I remember from last time total of 10 minutes instead of 5 min to set up a standard new replacement router.
+I am not sure what the limit of the connected devices are, but i did have to segment off some old 2g components to my really old router, because the router would randomly reboot / become unstable if i had more than 25 connected devices in a mixed band mode at one time. This may sound like a lot of devices, but really it is not.. I bet if you actually counted all the wifi enabled stuff you probably have in your house you would get up to 30 pretty quickly... phones, printers, cameras, dvr, dish, speakers, laptops, tablets, smart lights, smart switches, alexa's etc..

It is crazy, but we almost need business class routers in our homes... and well this router really preforms like a business class router! So they do have more high end routers, but this generally as to do with how much bandwidth you need . This suited us fine and matched the maximum we were going to get from our cable provider anyway. No need to pay for more than what you really need.
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on March 1, 2017
I purchased it on March 31, 2015. It stopped working on Feb 13, 2017. I was told by ASUS support that it has 2 years warranty and sent it to be repaired. Today I got an email from ASUS stating that the unit is out of warranty and the repair invoice totals $73. I called ASUS again and offered to download my amazon invoice again. This time the support person told me that he needs to talk with his supervisor about the upload procedure. His supervisor told him that that there is no way to upload my invoice. What is going on?????? How incompetent are they?! Here is the receipt:
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on December 6, 2013
i bought this about a year ago and for the past month the router would all of sudden slowdown and then freeze and then i had to reboot the router. I don't down load a lot or connect a lot of devices to it so not sure what is causing this. i upgraded the firmware and still same issue. i called Asus and they couldn't isolate the issue. So i returned it. Asus warranty is the worst!
Asus told me that i had to return the product to be "fixed", they said their policy was that they couldn't send me back another router instead and i had to wait until they got my router and then fixed (which they would say the fix part would take 7-10 business days) my router and then send it back to me (via regular mail). I also had to pay for shipping to send it to them. They got the product on a Monday and after 1 whole week and after i called their rma #, they told me that "they" had send the router to wrong place and now they had send it to the right place for repair. 2 weeks have passed and they still can not tell me what the status of my rma! Every time i called their ram # , i had to wait on average over 35 mins. I could never check my rma status on their web site and their system could never find my rma ticket #. I asked to be routed to a supervisor and instead got a voice mail which i left a message,but not surprisingly they never returned my call back. I asked Asus to at least that once router is repaired to expedite the shipping back to me but they said they couldn't do that. Then i asked what can they do to make up for all this , and all i heard was a great silence. What a great company. I will never ever buy anything from them.
Be warned that if you ever have to use your product warranty, you might go through this.
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on January 22, 2015
I'm a huge fan of ASUS products. Prior to this purchase, I was running an old ASUS RT-N16 that I flashed Tomato firmware onto. I ran that sucker 24/7 non-stop for 6 years straight and rebooted it less than 3 times! It still works, but I wanted a faster wifi connection and firmware with better VPN support.

Enter the RT-N66U with Merlin firmware. Great throughput, rock solid reliability for the past few months, and the option to flash Tomato, Merlin, or DDWRT firmware.

Ask anyone about ASUS and you'll find that it is one of the most respected brands out there.

ADDENDUM:
I will add 2 major tips that I think will help anyone with this or any router in the future:

1) A good rule of thumb before you start fiddling with any electronic item is to update the firmware just as soon as you get it out of the box. This will save you a lot of headache in the future as this will bring whatever item you bought all the latest functionality, bug fixes, and security updates. Personally, I'm the type who is pretty religious about updating firmware, but my compulsive nature sometimes gets me into trouble. The corollary to this rule is that once you've updated the item and tweaked all the settings to your liking, and the said item is running like a dream, try to avoid updating the firmware unless:
a. You are missing some functionality that new firmware brings.
b. You are missing some security update that puts your item or network at risk.
c. Your item is acting strange anyway and could benefit from bug-fixes.
Updating firmware just for the sake of getting the latest and greatest, or for a few bug fixes that don't matter may wreak havoc on your carefully tweaked device and drive you crazy for days reconfiguring your settings... believe me.

2) Download a wifi analyzer program for your computer or smartphone and survey your surroundings! If you want to get the most out of your router, maximize speed, and minimize connection headaches, this step is highly recommended. There are great free wifi analyzers out there (I like Acrylic Wifi for windows and Wifi Analyzer for Android) that provide easy to use and powerful analysis of your surroundings. Just run the program, survey the scene for both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and you'll be surprised how congested your local airwaves are. If you happen to see that everyone around you is using, say channel 6, you can then manually switch your router's channel to something that no one else is using. This step will reduce a lot of dropped signals or connection problems and increase your wifi speed greatly.
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