"This Best Selling ASUS ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
The ASUS RT-AC66U Gigabit wireless dual-band router offers users Broadcom’s 5th generation Wi-Fi (5G WiFi). Its 2.4GHz/5GHz bands drive data rates of 1.75Gbps, or three times 802.11n speeds. ASUS AiRadar technology amplifies transmissions for optimized signals, helping expand networks. The RT-AC66U uses ASUSWRT setup, QoS standards, multiple SSIDs, and twin USB ports, turning it into a multi-role device with file, DLNA, and printer server capabilities with 3 x detachable R-SMA type antenna, >50% wider coverage than standard N SPEC, VPN Server function enable and IPv6 support ASUS RT-AC66U is a true Business class router yet affordable from regular consumers.
Before setup I found 3 excellent HD Youtube videos (ASUS RT-N66U Setup…Wired…Wireless). They’re made by a down to earth Asus employee who does a great job covering the setup wizard and various features. Getting it up is a breeze, very simple, takes a couple minutes for both wired and wireless. Before install you might want to check into the following:
1) Download the latest firmware from the ASUS website. The routers FW version listed at top of GUI, nice! (Router access is 192.168.1.1)
2) Decide if you want a different (SSID) name for the 2.4GHz and the 5GHZ channel and figure out what the names will be.
3) I used an online “WPA Key Generator” so the keys were ready before setup. I created a different one for each channel.
4) Visit smallnetbuilder.com forum for the AC66U. Read the couple threads on how they’re getting strongest signals, best channels, frequency’s, etc. Many passionate owners will help with timely support and tips.
5) Test your internet speeds and pingtest.net before – and after you install this new router.
The routers GUI is incredibly easy to understand and has tremendous amount of information and features. They use plenty of icons, images, grids, laymens terms, and “?” that provide simple explanations when hovering over. The ability to configure “port forwarding” was so simple I spent more time looking for complex steps, then the actual time to config.
THE BOX – Folks this is an impressive looking piece of hardware. It uses very dark/deep blue LED’s just below the top surface. This dark blue lighting matches that same blue on our high end components. The small ASUS name in the back right corner is gold plated, a nice touch. The criss-cross grid pattern is done extremely well. The unit itself is solid, a very heavy device for it’s size, which is nice for a change. I’m a fan of external antenna’s and these look good, fully adjustable. They screw on so you could add extension cables to relocate them.
Surprisingly there is a small power button on the back – no more plug/unplug. There’s also a WPS button on the back or AC66U. I discovered it’s purpose on my Android phone, a WPS note next to router network name. This feature eliminates the need to enter long WAP keys. Hitting the WPS button in a timely fashion automates and finishes connection to router. I had no ideas this tech was in routers.
The feature called “Download Master” performs downloads for your PC. With a storage device attached I no longer need to leave my PC running while waiting for a download to finish. There’s many other features you can add or simply turn on. It’s the shizznit of routers for sure. I’m in the GUI every couple hours checking features, usage, etc. It’s a great application for sure.
Since ASUS is making firmware changes frequently, listening to their customers, I was not worried about those minor glitches when first released this device. I was confident they would get it right and work things out. My unit is Hardware version A2, so they are updating hardware too. Stop your searching and reading – get this router – you will be happy.
Second, I am a student studying network administration and know a considerable amount when it comes to networking and setting up networks. You know this means that you are getting an amazing review.
Note: I will be updating this review to include a lot more when I have fooled around with it more.
This router not only met my needs, but it exceeded them. I logged in the router for the first time to find a plethora of amazing utilities and trust me when I say this “I wish Cisco would have there user interface on there Cisco routers how Asus has it setup on this one. Its it remarkable how well they have polished the interface and make it so user friendly but at the same time giving us techies what we need.
Connection: I get full bars and I have yet to go down the street to see if I still have a connection, but I will say this. My E1200 router would only give my mother that’s on the other side of the house 3 bars. With this it is a max of 5 and her speeds are amazing when compared to the E1200′s speeds.
Remember me saying Swiss Army Knife? Well this router has the following:
Guest network setup with 3 network keys for the 2.4ghz network and 3 network keys for the 5.0ghz network. Unheard of I say! Hats off to Asus for that.
Traffic manager is another nice add but one that is common place on every router out. What sets this one apart is the way that it saves the computers on your network and tells you there network name so that it will be easier to have QoS run flawlessly on the network.
Parental Controls that are so easy to setup a child can do it. Your kids will hate you but you will reign supreme!
AiDisk Share files connected through the USB through the Internet. A must have if you need files you have forgotten.
Servers Center: You like your media on your computer and usb stick, who doesn’t? This allows you to setup DLNA iTunes Server setup your media directory on your thumb drive that you connect to your router also. The option to allow FTP servers to run through the router is a step in the right direction. You can also setup how many users can be logged in at one time and setup the Work Group settings right on the router.
This is where other routers get blown in the dust. You can setup a Cloud service directly from the router itself. By Plugging in a USB thumb drive or a Portable hard drive into your router and setting it up you can access all your data on your usb with the apps on Google Play and the Itunes App Store. This allows for you to just make a cloud disk, smart access with the ability to make your computer wake on LAN so that you can access your data even if your computer is currently switched off. Also if you are a fan of the ASUS web storage you can have it sync up with it and use it to your liking.
Now to the Barebones: The network Advanced settings (Network junkies start drooling!)
General Tab- Here you have the settings for the server and you can setup your SSID/Password Authentication method and all of the settings you would normally see on a router.
WPS: Pretty much self explained if you have already had a router before. This setting allows you to setup at the push of a button on the router a easy connect system. I don’t use it but it is a very handy feature to have if your a newbie to the networking game.
Bridge – Allows you to bridge the internet connection with a wireless access point that will repeat the signal throughout your house. In my opinion not needed because this router is a beast, but all the same if you live in a big mansion you can setup many access points and it will be buttery smooth.
MAC Address filter – This is where you can setup a more secure way to secure your network. This allows you to setup the router to only allow specific computers with only the mac address they have (this isn’t 100% fool proof).
RADIUS – I don’t know what this. Will update this shortly after finding out what it does.
Professional – All the settings you would ever want to play with are here. On this page alone you can setup the frequency (2.4ghz or 5ghz), enable the radio, set the days the radio is turned on, the time of day to turn the radio on and off, Option to Set your AP Isolated, Multicast settings, Preamble Type, RTS Threshold, DTIM Interval, Beacon Interval, Enable TX Bursting, Wireless Multicast Fowarding, Enable WMM APSD, Enhanced interference Management, and Tx Power adjustment.
LAN – I’m not going to go to far into it but I will go back over this review and revise stuff as it is needed. This has the basic settings like the LAN IP, DHCP Server settings, Routing rules for the router, IPTV settings, and Switch Control settings.
WAN – This has your Wide Area Network settings for those of you don’t know what WAN means, this usually is used for businesses and I figure businesses do use this router for obvious reasons. I’ll just go over the tabs on this part. I still have five more things to go over, not including the tabs on each so yeah this router is pretty beastly. This router has Port Trigger, Virtual Server/Port Forwarding options, DMZ, DDNS, and NAT Passthrough settings.
IPV6 – Self explanitory here. This is just Internet Protocol Version 6 settings.
VPN Server – Now this is a setting I will be using and anyone that is a network junkie will love. Setting up the Virtual Private Network settings is pretty much a breeze and if you come by any issues leave a comment and I will reply.
Firewall – This is pretty self-explained. You do have DDoS protection, URL Filter, Keyword Filter, and Network Services Filter tabs on this. I liked the DDos Protection option…turning that now now!
Administration – Now this is where things are different. On this router you can select 3 different modes under the Operation Mode tab, which is shown as soon as you select the Administration option. There is Wireless router mode which is the default, Media Bridge mode is very awesome in the face you can set it up so that you can stream videos and music to all your devices simultaneously. A big plus for all those who love media and who doesn’t I know what I’ll be playing with later. The System Tab has options for the router for the Admin side like the router Name and Password, plus it has WPS button Behavior settings like Toggle Radio (switching from 2.4ghz to 5.ghz) and Activating the WPS. This router also has the option to where you can Telnet into it (which I absolutely love). It also only allows people with specific IP’s to be able to access the router to edit settings with the client list at the bottom. Just make sure you click the yes next to the Only allow specific IP setting on the router. Firmware upgrade tab just has the options for upgrading firmware. Pretty self-explanitory there. Restore/Save/Upload Setting tab has 3 settings. Of those settings, there are Factory default, Save Setting, and Restore setting. The restore setting asks for you to choose a file from your computer. it is a very nice feature to have if your are a Tech like me and don’t have time for foolishness.
Well as you can tell this router is a superb router with many advanced features. Thus is why I call it the swiss army knife. I may just call my router McGuyver since it can do everything (for all you old school guys out there that know about the show I figured you could use a laugh).
I hope you liked my review and if you like it and it helps you feel free to tell amazon that it did. I’m trying to get into the program where amazon sends me stuff to review. I took the time to give everyone insight on this router because I love technology and I want to help the everyday man and woman. Thanks for reading.
I Just received the Asus RT-AC66U and it works great, excellent range and speed link (260Mb 10 meters -33 ft- away from the router, some walls in the middle) The Set up has easy options for novice and advanced tools for expert and it look really good. The router has the better construction quality that I have seen, the plastic, the terminals and everything looks really good quality (The Netgear looked so cheap from the outside, and the Cisco was just ok)Even the box was better quality and better printed that the Cisco and Netgear ones, also the manual. The router’s look is great, like a jewelry box.
Great Range and Speed
Great configuration interface
Good construction quality
Detachable antennas (you can upgrade to a larger antenna for extra coverage)
Compact compared to other AC Routers
- dd-wrt Firmware likely to be available for this router some time soon
It warms up more than others, but I think it’s normal.
I would recommend this router to anyone, Great product overall.
I updated the firmware to version 126.96.36.199.220, and the 2 previous problems I stated is still existing.. I don’t mind it that much but I still hope Asus fixes it soon. Workaround for 1.) I connect my PC to 2.4Ghz. 2.) I use Splashtop from my iPhone to connect to my home PC from office.
AiCloud looks promising, supposedly you could view/play your media files from your iphone/ipad and android devices within and outside your network. But I’m stuck with the loading page, after I put my login user and password. My iphone can’t login. Can anyone confirm if the aicloud works?
So far have encountered 2 problems with the latest firmware (188.8.131.52.164)
1. I’m using Nero Media Home 4 in my PC to share my media to my wireless TV, Bluray and PS3. When my PC is connected to 5Ghz, the tv, bluray and ps3 cannot connect to Nero. When I connect to 2.4Ghz, they can see Nero and play the media. This works fine with N66U.
2. I have setup port forwarding for Remote Desktop Connection, so I can connect to my home PC from my office. It’s not working. This again, is working fine with N66U.
QOS is also a known problem, but I’m not using it for now. I believe it’s just a firmware issue since both are working with N66U. I hope it gets fixed with the next firmware release.
I bought this to share my media files, from an external hard drive, to my 3d tv and wireless bluray in bedroom. So far I’m not disappointed. I also have N66U to compare with, I’ve read from other reviewers that this router gets hot, when I touch the top part, it is warm but not hot, which is the same with my N66U.
This is suppose to have a greater coverage compare to N66, but to my experience, the coverage is the same, which is already awesome.
Initial setup was very straightforward, easy, fast and CD-less. Below are the actual steps after opening the box:
1. Connect LAN cable from modem, LAN cable going to PC, and power cable
2. Open web browser. Router setup page automatically shows up. Click Next
3. Type the User login and Password that you want. Click Next
4. Type the SSID and key for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (or you can click the checkbox: Copy 2.4Ghz settings to 5Ghz settings). Click Apply.
After that, your wireless device should now be able to connect to your new router. I even used the same SSID and password from my previous router, and my devices connected automatically after the setup.
These are my devices that connects to this router:
- 3 laptops
- 2 Iphones
- wireless tv
- wireless bluray
- wireless printer
No problem with connections, no disconnects, iphones when outside the apartment are still connected.
- Media Bridge mode. Applicable using 2 AC66U. This feature is not available to N66U
- Dual band, 450Mbps+1300Mbps. I can’t comment with the AC speeds, I don’t have wireless AC clients for now.
- HTTPS authentication when accessing admin page. If your using this for office/business use, this is plus.
- AiCloud. Coming soon, the app is not yet available from the appstore/googleplay as of this review. (This is now available as of firmware version 184.108.40.206.220)
- 2 USB ports. Supports external hard drives, printers or 3g/4g modems
- 3TB external harddrive works (Manual says only up to 2TB is supported). Tested using Seagate expansion 3TB STBV3000100. My TVs won’t even accept 3TB harddrives when connected directly to its usb ports.
- DHCP Manual IP assignment (if you need static private IP on your device)
- DLNA. Streams HD vids, pics and 3D vids to my LG tv and my LG bluray player, no lags, no disconnects. And this is even using wireless connection and not wired.
- Awesome range. Before, I was using a cheap netgear, single band 2.4Ghz, included from my ISP. From the farthest point in my apartment, I get 2 bars of signal in windows 7 wireless network connection settings. With AC66U, I get full 5 bars using 2.4Ghz, and 4 bars on the 5Ghz band.
- 3 Large external antennas
- Download Master (if your into P2P downloading/uploading)
- Option to vertically stand the router, or wall mount
- User friendly setup
- Impressive performance particularly on 5Ghz band
- Stylish looks and superb quality
- Ability to install 3rd party firmwares
- Steep price (but worth it!)
- Lack of USB 3.0 (not a big deal, since I don’t get usb 2.0 speeds for file transfer using FTP or Samba, which I already know before purchasing this)
- Manual is a bit helpful, but this router has tons of features and the manual only mentions the basic functionalities.
If you got the money, and want a great performing router and stylish as well, I Highly Recommend Asus RT-AC66U. If you’re about to buy N66U, just add $20~30 to your budget, and get this router, you won’t regret.
10/08/13 well, in the short time I’ve been using the ac68u router today, I am noticing a further eradication of dead spots I had with the n66u and ac66u. at the spots I was pushing the limits of connectivity before, the signal is significantly stronger with the new one.
The n66u when it came out definitely addressed many issues I would have with Linksys and netgear routers so I been loyal to them since then. I have a unique setup to where in a very elongated rectangular house, the router sits at one extreme end, that plus coupled it’s a brick house has always brought challenges in getting to the other side. I tried upgrading to the ac66u looking for any miniscule improvement I could get but to be honest, after trying 3 different ac66u’s, my n66u beat them all in range. In googling a bit, you could see others saying same thing, the r66u actually went farther then the newer version built on relatively the same hardware.
Having this router out of the box beat my n66u is frankly impressive for me so I will see how it goes over the next few days. I’ve seen the conflicting reviews on which is better, this or the new netgear badboy r7000 and frankly I think it may just even more confirm how hard it is to review a router as everyone has different conditions and two top routers like these will act differently for each. For me, I’m seeing what that cnet review said frankly so far. If it continues as the router is left on for some time, don’t think i’ll bark up the r7000 tree. the 2.4ghz is considerably longer and more powerful with higher throughput at the limits. The 5ghz hasn’t necessarily increased in reach(I always got good reach with it though)as like before, it doesn’t reach the last room in the house, but when testing at the same limits as the r66u before, the throughput is considerably greater at that distance.
I’ve had to couple with the asus repeater to finish the trip to the end of the house in the past and with this one I may do so as well. In some quick testing the ipads could actually maintain the 5ghz band at the far end without the repeater with speedtest netting 50-70 mbps(160-200 mbps native connection but speedtest ios app seldom reports over 80-100 on the app even if right next to the router). But when I went to the iphone 5s, it could see it, sometimes slowly do something with it but by in large it was useless, had to go to the 2.4 band on the phone to get workable connection. with the repeater connected(which is about 70% of the house away from the router, everything was fine and measuring the speed of the repeater signal, it was higher then I’ve noticed before in previous configurations/routers again, showing the ac68u is delivering higher throughput at extended distances when compared to before. In my brief time with it, especially when coupled with the repeater, I am just getting a 30-50mbps bump in throughput throughout the house. Fantastic preliminary results so far but again will temper it with the test of time but even with that said, out of box, a ac66u didn’t beat my year old at the time n66u.
As for a few of the reviewers so far here on amazon….
Not super scientific, more real world type testing and definitely not a test over time so can’t comment to the reviewer showing degraded 5ghz signal over time but for the reviewer who wrote a review based on reviews elsewhere without actually owning one, I can’t comment enough just how irresponsible and pointless your review was. It really should be removed. I can’t imagine there are many scenarios where a review can be valid for an item a person currently doesn’t own but I know one thing, your scenario was definitely not one of those. These routers are beginning to cost a lot of money and I know for people like me, we research tirelessly trying to make the best decision we can to make the most informed choice. Not only do reviews like yours not add a single thing to the legitimate conversation at hand, you frankly harm it by spewing nonsense. Maybe in fact the r7000 will be the king here, so be it but don’t ding a item you don’t own.
10/9/13 so I did some back and forth testing on various game and tablet devices between the n66u and ac68u in the furthest room of the house, a place with very spotty coverage on n66u. used speedtest app on android and ios devices, ran a few times per type
n66u 2.4ghz first, 5ghz second in mbps
ipad 4 8 down 6 up, 17 down 5 up
nexus 7 2013 12 down 4 up, 12 down 2 up
NVidia shield no connection
iphone 5s 2 down .13 up, nothing
3ds doesn’t connect
vita doesn’t connect
ac68u again, 2.4ghz first, then 5ghz
ipad 4 25 down 13 up, 57 down 8 up
nexus 7 2013 26 down 18 up, 57 down 18 up
shield no connection, minor connection on 5ghz
iphone 5s 8 down 6 up, 3 down 2 up
3ds connects and streams
vita connects and streams albeit slowly
this was the furthest trouble room, anywhere closer, as I mentioned earlier, seeing about a 20-50mbps bump. 5ghz continues to excel at distance with the asus line, something I never saw previously with Linksys and netgear although that may have changed by now. 2.4 is improved as well. at that furthest distance, connection can still be finicky with the ac68u although not nearly as much. it’s not so much the distance added which is minor, its the throughput at those distances that’s impressive. While shield at that distance struggles, with the repeater on it’s obviously fine but more so, steam streaming works like a charm anywhere in the house. Anyone with a NVidia shield probably knows, any normal amount of distance from the router and the steam streaming doesn’t work much at all. At this point, no matter where I go in the house, its working like a charm. Finally, a day in, not seeing any 5ghz degradation that I can notice.
Update: If you’re a semi-techie and have performed router firmware updates in the past, you will appreciate this. For years, with the Linksys units I owned, I would have to re-enter all of my configuration settings after updating the firmware. It was a ROYAL PAIN! Whenever something went wrong, Linksys/Cisco would say “Use the reset button on your router, re-enter all of your settings manually and see if that fixes it…”. Ridiculous. Anyway, I did my first live firmware upgrade today on the RT-AC66U after running problem-free for a month. I upgraded from the 164 version to 188. The upgrade took no more than 3 minutes and the unit RETAINED ALL OF MY PREVIOUS SETTINGS without issue. This, in and of itself, was worth the switch to ASUS. Easy, reliable, and non-aggravating…