First off, let me say here and now that a good router is one of the most difficult components to choose. I had some specific requirements which were as follows...
1) Stable wireless signal, ie not dropping all the time, also decent range and good throughput.
2) At least 4 gigabit ports for switching.
3) Dual band simultaneous
4) DD-WRT support.
5) NOT be a linksys (last 2 experiences were horrible)
6) $100us or less
Honestly, I went into this thing looking for a dual band router, specifically a simultaneous dual band router. All of them though apparently suffered from poor 5ghz range, throughput or some shortcoming or the other. I looked around and found a whopping total of 1 device I have that uses a dual band wireless card. So really, whats the advantage of dual band if the 5ghz is weak and slow. What do we do with the weak and slow? Shoot it. So I shot the 5ghz most humanely.
From there, my choice became clear. I have been playing with this asus for a few days now with DD-WRT and its great. You are able to create policies that will block torrent access via ports. You can also select specific clients to which the policy is applicable. There are also time of day settings where all policies can be implemented on the DAY and TIME you want. VERY sexy. So ive set up a policy on mine that can block ALL torrent access while keeping the Internet accessible.
There's also a dedicated internet killing option that totally kills ALL internet access, leaving only local file access in tact. Again, this can be set on an individual client basis.
At first I had a lot of issues with the wireless signal dropping during file transfers even with Asus' latest firmware. After much frustration, it turned out to be the wireless adapter I was using was faulty. I switched over to another and instantly the problem went away.
So far I just managed to get a solid, stable 150Mbps using a Belkin expresscard adapter while another laptop with the Intel 5300agn adapter reached 300Mbps quite easily. Even so, strangely enough, I got faster transfer rates with the Belkin using Windows 7 despite its slower connection speed.
The wireless coverage is sufficient as all areas of the small-medium single level house receive at least a 'good' Windows signal rating through a mixture of wood partitions and concrete walls. While the Asus will be used primarily for N connections on channel 6, I also have a Linksys RT160n on channel 1 as a secondary access point to handle guest machines and wireless g connections.
I've heard many complain about overheating on this unit but while transferring data through both wired and wireless connections simultaneously in a ~ 26c room, it NEVER gets more than slightly warm to the touch.
In closing, here are some pro's and cons I have identified in my week with this router.
1) Blazing wired performance through its 1Gbps switching ports 2) Fast, stable wireless connections that have not dropped as far as I have observed 3) dd-wrt compatible for accessing advanced features (MUCH better than the default firmware) 4) Strong dd-wrt community support and updates (there is a lot of help available for this router on their forums. 5) Aesthetically pleasing 6) Fast cpu, memory and storage 7) Blue lights are a nice touch
1) USB drive setup using dd-wrt is a bit challenging (not a fault of the router itself)