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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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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 17, 2012
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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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 July 13, 2012
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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on November 24, 2014
Everyone I know with this router has had problems with it. Asus support is poor.

Good news is that the warranty is better than most- 2 years- which is good because likelihood of needing it is good. In my case the switch to turn it on stopped working. Asus customer support is poor:

1. I filled out a form for a return authorization. I didn't hear back for 2 weeks so I called them.
2. It took another day to get an RMA.
3. I sent it to them- 1 week transit
4. 2 weeks after arriving I had not heard anything.

Their online system had not record of it, so I chatted with them and they said it will take...
5. 14 days after receiving it to even start looking at it,
6. Then 14 days to fix it,
7. and a week to get it back in the mail.

So 10 weeks..
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on January 29, 2014
I've had ASUS routers for several years now and this one doesn't dissapoint. It's a nice and polished little piece of hardware accompanied by some good software..
with a few drawbacks.
I'm a server admin and have been in IT for over 10 years now.
And I was a bit frustrated due to the issues I had getting the 5GHZ frequency stable. This is my first time with a dual band and I didn't really put as much emphasis on the individual settings as I should have.
I eventually found that it's not necessarily "plug and play"
I changed the 5GHZ to 40 MHZ bandwidth, N only, and a control channel of 161
and the 2.4 GHZ to 20MHZ bandwidth, Auto, and channel 6..
Before I did this the signal would drop in and out even when sitting right in front of the unit. The SSID would disappear usually as soon as I would attempt to authenticate (assuming it showed up at all)
Needless to say the dual band is a little more finicky than I figured it would be.
Worth it though. I gained about 8 MB/s in throughput on the network as compared to the bandwidth my previous 2.4 N was providing.

Features like Port fowarding, Static addresses, VPN and DDNS were all a breeze to setup (much more intuitive than the DDWRT version I was using on the last router)
The AiCloud app was a great surprise! I was streaming movies to my Android from a network attached storage device after a few clicks.. It's a much better and easier solution than some things I've used in the past (Qloud, Orb, etc).
Attached a 4 TB drive via a USB port with no issues. Read/Write speeds obviously aren't going to come close to a standalone device (14 MB/s compared to 110 MB/s) but it should be fine for light to moderate loads.
The hardware is nice with a fairly small footprint. Although it seems that they "stretched" it out just for the heck of it. It's much too skinny to be nearly 7 inches from front to back.
The cons:
Besides the issues with getting 5 GHZ and 2.4 GHZ to play nicely there were a few.
One.. I haven't run across a way to get the AiCloud app to authenticate without using the router admin/password. You can add users inside both the FTP and SMB portions but you can't login to SMB without the admin creds. You can delegate permissions to files/folders but I'm not sure I see the point (in a "sharing with others" situation) if you are already handing out the "keys to the kingdom", so to speak.
Besides that glaring misstep:
The admin console will not let you login if you are already logged in from another machine on your network. And it doesn't seem to timeout, ever. You have to manually kill it on the other machine.
The WAN portion only allows for two DNS servers (whereas most I've seen will allow 3).
The "Network Map" is a handy feature but it seems to lose the host names more often than not.
All in all, I'm impressed with the features, design and performance. I recommend until AC becomes a little more prevalent.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on May 31, 2016
I had a good experience with ASUS in the past, up to this router purchase. I have ASUS motherboards/components and laptops that I've bought in the past that all work fairly well. So of course, going with brand recognition, I purchased this router over a year ago and it seemed great at first. No, this isn't one of those "but the router died after 9 months of use" stories. We actually liked the router for the first few months where it did it's job. Sure it had to be restarted once or twice, but I wasn't bothered by that. Over time though, we started experiencing gradually increasing latency problems across all our connections (wired and wireless). It was extremely odd and would occur at random times of the day, and it wasn't consistent. When monitoring the traffic over the router, it reported HUGE giant upload spikes that made no sense. This is clearly something wrong with the router, as connecting to the modem directly would not cause the same spikes. This persisted for several months and I looked up and tried every single solution the internet had to offer (even calling up my ISP to come in for an in-person inspection of the lines of our entire house as well as changing our modem) before I finally called up ASUS support. ASUS support asked me do all the things I already did (upgrade firmware, reset device, power off for a while) to send in the device, and I paid the $15 shipping fee myself. I thought, okay, maybe support will fix it at least since my router is still covered under warranty. I'm willing to give them a chance.

In the mean time, I couldn't just be without a router in the house for 2-3 weeks so I picked up a Netgear to use temporarily (warehouse membership purchase, easily returnable within 90 days). The Netgear was around the same pricepoint, and it ran like a dream. I forgot what it was like having an actual usable internet connection after struggling with the RT-N66U for so many months, Anyway, I did get the ASUS router back from being processed and "repaired", opened up my box and under solutions they wrote, "replaced wireless component". I was skeptical immediately. First of all, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the wireless on the router (the issue affected ALL wired AND wireless connections). Still, I thought, maybe it was what was causing the interference. I plugged the router back in and of course as expected, STILL giant nonsensical traffic spikes were popping up. ASUS support wasn't able to fix a damn thing and I spent $15 sending it back to them too. Why did I waste my time even shipping it to them? They should cover shipping costs if it's a defect of their own product covered under warranty AND on top of that, waste my time and money shipping it to/from their centers without even fixing the problem!

So, screw it. Now my RT-N66U is sitting in it's box and I opted to keep the "temporary" Netgear router that I purchased. At least I have a working connection with my new Netgear.
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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.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on September 15, 2016
After enjoying using this router for several years, I can no longer recommend it to friends and family. Yesterday evening, the power button decided to break. The button toggled off and will not stay in the on position. I attempted to tape it down, but the tape gave way due to heat. Eventually, I had to jam a toothpick between the button and the router to wedge it into the "On" position. My home internet connection is literally dependent on the integrity of a toothpick. A $0.25 part should not compromise a ~$100 electronics device, especially when it's a power button. Upon powering up, the firmware also reset the settings. I had to re-run setup again, which was rather frustrating. I was not able to reload from a configuration file that I have previously saved.
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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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