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on December 15, 2014
Purchased this router in January 2014 and have had no issues. Firmware is still at 3.0.0.4.374, 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.
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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
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on October 4, 2015
Impressive if not amazing range particularly in 5 ghz band. My previous router is an 5th generation Apple Airport extreme. 5g coverage would rapidly drop off once outside the room its in requiring use of 2.4 ghz band only through most of the house. The Asus is different. The 5ghz band somehow works almost everywhere except two floors down at the opposite end of the house. Even there, there is reception but its worse than the 2.4 ghz band.
Comparing the ASUS 5ghz band to the Apple Airport extreme fastest, the ASUS test to most often run 2-3x the throughput on file transfers to my NAS. Even at close range its 50% faster and never slower in any scenario.

2.4 ghz performance is no better than the Airport extreme although range is better. In general the 2.4 ghz performance is surprisingly slow compared to 5 ghz.

The one area of complaint is when trying to plug in USB 3.0 drives. I have not been successful in most cases. With a USB 3.0 flash drive I have, most times it doesn't recognize it at all. In some cases, it was apparently confused by the format of the drive and the whole router became mostly unresponsive. Had to unplug the drive and power cycle the router. After many attempts with several drives, I have seen it work but with unimpressive speed, but most of the time it just doesn't work. A black eye for an otherwise stellar router.
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There are plenty of cheap routers out there but if you're even considering this unit, you're not the type that will accept performance trade-offs. This is not a cheap router by any means, but it's considerably less expensive than some.

I'll cut to the chase. When I got this unit I hooked it up to my Pace DSL modem (which I set into bridge mode). Everything came up at once. I then spent a few minutes with basic configuration of the AC66U. Within about ten minutes, end-to-end, I was ready to run a speed test. My ping time from Honolulu to San Jose dropped 25%, and I had zero loss of download/upload speed.

But inside my LAN, I now had wireless AC as well as wireless N, with the 5GHz band active. That made a huge difference in wireless device performance.

Good things about this router:

1. Works right out of the box with no issues.
2. Almost impossible to "brick" even if you're really into flashing different firmware. There is a very robust recovery mode.
3. Really performs. Delivers everything it claims.
4. Amazing oddball features, like running its own lpd-style printer server, allowing for attached USB storage to be accessible from within (and even without) the network, and many more.
5. Supported by firmware such as Tomato and DD-WRT (though apparently not OpenWRT). I eventually flashed a derivative of the ASUS firmware called "Merlin" which has even more options, such as scripting, security enhancements, etc.
6. Dual-CPU configuration for high performance.

Negatives:

1. Runs pretty hot.
2. Takes up a little more space than some others.

As you can see the negatives are pretty mild.

There are a lot of routers out there, and it's hard to tell you just why you'd choose this one over others. I chose it because it was at a medium price point but provides high-priced features. It turned out to an excellent choice for my home network. I do recommend alternative firmware if you're comfortable with flashing.
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on April 27, 2014
I decided to finally retire my 8 year old Linksys WRT54GS router that had been a workhorse for me and hardly ever gave me any issues. I went with the AC68U instead of the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 based on opinions of the brands from my friends in the IT world.

Set up was easy and didn't require any troubleshooting. The only thing that took a while was figuring out how to change the wireless network connection on my Chromecast and Airport Express base station. The browser based admin tool is straight forward and makes updating firmware easy so you don't have to hunt the vendor website to see if firmware is available.

As for performance...this thing is extremely fast. With my old Linksys I was getting about 15-25 Mbps wireless download rates on the top floor of my house (router is 3 floors down in my basement). With the Asus, I'm getting 45-50 Mbps on the 5Ghz band. My internet service from Comcast is 50 Mbps, so I'm basically getting the max possible data rate via wireless with 3 floors between the Asus and that usage point. I'd say that is pretty outstanding.

I installed an Airport Express base station to be able to stream music via AirPlay from my iPad/iPhone to my stereo system and with my Linksys, I'd get performance issues if I was streaming music and watching videos on another device. I won't have any issues with the Asus like that.

$215ish is a lot for a router, but I wanted something that would be future proof for a while with the ac spec and wanted the impressive range that this one delivers. If I have any reliability issues I'll update my review, but I am 100% satisfied right now.
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on March 2, 2016
Upgraded from the RT-N56U, a perfectly good and serviceable router - which now seems all but useless, the RT-AC68U being that much better. Speed: really dramatic. Our ISP just upgraded to 50/5 Mbps and this transmits at full speed both wired and wireless. Range: our house is about average size but there is clearly enough metal ducting in some walls that we needed an access point with the RT-N56U. No more. The signal is very strong every place in the house and, best of all, the 5G channel is also very strong everywhere. 5G speeds are consistently the best btw.

Setting up the router was every bit as easy as claimed. What with learning about access points (and repeaters), I could have skipped the easy setup but it really was simple and took care of everything, not one of those "easy" setup routines that are geared to novices but drive non-novices crazy. The GUI web-based interface will be familiar to those upgrading from another ASUS product and for others, it's one of the really strong selling points of ASUS routers.

One "fault" that was mentioned in professional reviews is that it's not wall-mountable. It's not but I suspect most home and home office users aren't mounting their routers on the wall. That, as far as I can tell, is the only "fault" with this router. Otherwise, simply amazing.

Yes, I gulped at the price and I now realize just how wonderful a great router is. Worth every penny.

Wholeheartedly recommend this.
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on December 23, 2015
I upgraded from a Netgear N 600 router. I was very happy with my Netgear and very reluctant to switch to a different brand. The main reason I went with this Asus model were:
- AC 1900 standard
- Network coverage
- Speed
- Small form factor compared to other AC1900 routers and I have a small shelf on the wall to place my router on
- Very good reviews from various sites
- Good experience with other ASUS products
The router arrived on time despite the Christmas shipping traffic and was packed well. The unboxing and install was easy and does not require a physical connection via a cable. I was able to use a Chromebook to run through the full set-up. Setup took about 30 minutes to get my old router replaced. The user interface to set up the router is easy to use and works well for the somewhat technical person. Basic setup is easy also for beginners. However, I liked the Netgear user interface better then the ASUS interface.
During setup the router upgraded its firmware. The process requires a manual reboot (unlike Netgear) but worked out OK.
All my devices are currently wireless-N devices but I can see a noticeable increase in speed. My bedroom on the second floor had poor reception in the past now has full bars. All existing devices connected without hesitation.
Overall very good router. I am not sure yet if it was worth the extra money compared to the TP Link Archer C7 or Netgear 6400 which I also considered. If it lasts and runs stable then it certainly was but I only ran it for few days so far.
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on March 15, 2016
This is a great wireless router. I have done my research, and this was one of the most recommended routers out there. I wasn't trying to go out and spend $200-$300 for a router. After comparing prices and specs, I decided to go with this one. I am very satisfied with the quality and service of the router. I've had other routers from Linksys, Netgear, and Cisco. All have given me issues with disconnection and connectivity. After 3 months, I have yet to have to reboot my router. Combined with an Arris Surfboard SB6141 and Time Warner Cable, I am currently getting 100mbps down. That is a significant jump from what I was getting with my old Netgear router and outdated Motorolla Surfboard. The dashboard is very convenient and easy to use. It also comes with a ton of nice features such as USB connections and remote access. The range on this thing is incredible. That is one of the main factors in choosing this router over others. I have 2000sq ft house and I have full signal all over the house. I even stay connected in my backyard and in my driveway. When you compare price, product, and service; this router come out to be the best option in it's category.
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on November 8, 2015
My first connection outside of my home was a 1200 baud modem. When a 2400 became available, I jumped on that; 9600, 14400 came later, but just some context on how many different devices I've used over the years. I still have two Linksys WRT54GLs that I use as well as a RT-AC66U. This wireless router, the 68U, is by far the best wifi router that I've ever used. Since the WRT54GLs were new, I've used four other "high speed" wifi routers.

I recommend that you put Merlin's firmware on this router. Yea, I've used tomato and DDWRT and those are nice. But Merlin's firmware is more conservative and more stable.

There are really great options available with this router. Separate 5 and 2.4 bands. A guest network. Network protection, DNS filters, Parental controls that use several different options to protect against malicious sites, blocking sexual content and mature sites (if you're into blocking that sort of thing). Select an option, click a button, reboot, you're done. Very easy.

The router is very fast; I have a gigabite internet at work and I use an ethernet connection to take advantage of that that through this router and it is very fast and stable.

Updating firmware is a piece of cake, and backing up the existing firmware are both one click simple. Lots of options for those more versed in wifi router arts than I am, but simple enough for a stupido like me.
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on October 5, 2016
exactly as promised. this is great, took me about 2 hours to get this reverted back to the stock asus AC68u firmware and then upgrade to merlin firmware. I have to say the price on these is insane. I have a brand new AC68U now that has some Tmobile logo printed on it for $89. Alternately I could have paid $170 for the exact same thing but without the 2 hours of work and the logo....

There are a ton of tutorials out there on youtube on how to do this with these routers. I am not experienced at ALL and I was able to do it, just following the various videos. Because my router is the newest version, to put it into restore mode I had to have the power cord removed, hold down the reset button, while keeping the button pressed, plug the router in and then keeping the button pressed, go on my computer and type in 192.168.29.1 and it brought up the screen to update firmware. The older models do it a bit differently so if the video on youtube is explaining the old way and its not working for you, just try the way I described above.

This has a huge range compared to my old n600 router. I can go to the far side of my neighbors house and still have nearly full speed connection as verified through speed tests. Very happy with this purchase and would have purchased another as a backup because of the savings but this was the last one the seller had.
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