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Asus RT-AC66U

Est. $185
Reviewed
July 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Asus RT-AC66U

Wireless AC router

Pros
  • Excellent range, speed
  • Advanced features
  • Granular control over network
Cons
  • Sluggish interface
  • Could be more reliable
  • Sometimes runs hot

Bottom line

The Asus RT-AC66U supports the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. Experts say this simultaneous dual-band router offers great performance, and boasts advanced features like virtual private network (VPN) capabilities that make it a great choice for homes and small businesses.

Ease of use

Surprisingly simple setup. The Asus RT-AC66U builds on the very popular RT-N66U (Est. $140) by adding support for the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. The router ships with a CD with installation guide that PCMag.com's Samara Lynn says makes setup "virtually pain-free." CNET editor Dong Ngo calls it "not the easiest router to set up," but the included guide makes it "very easy for home users." Lynn says the interface is "well designed," but notes some sluggishness at times.

The RT-AC66U offers plenty of tweaking options, although novice users won't have to do much if any adjusting. The router is backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n, so it can be used with all existing Wi-Fi-capable devices.

Performance

Stellar at 5 GHz. Experts praise the Asus RT-AC66U for its performance and range, particularly on the 5 GHz band. Ngo says it offers "stellar performance, with the fastest data rate I've seen yet." While performance on the 2.4 GHz band isn't spectacular, it's still decent; professionals and users say range is very good. Wi-Fi connectivity suffered one or two hiccups during testing at PCMag.com, a complaint also seen in a few user reviews. Others complain that the Asus RT-AC66U can sometimes run hot.

Features

Business-class features, ample connectivity. The Asus RT-AC66U offers business-friendly features not found on most consumer routers, including the ability to set up a full VPN server; up to six guest accounts, three per band; and plenty of advanced customization options. It hosts four Gigabit LAN ports and a WAN port, as well as two USB 2.0 ports for connecting external drives, printers and even mobile broadband devices. Its three external antennas are flexible and removable, which is useful for finding the "sweet spot" for wireless performance. The RT-AC66U looks sleek and stylish in black, and comes with a stand or can be wall-mounted.

image
ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $179.99 $123.49   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Where To Buy
ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router

 (461 reviews)
Buy new: $199.99 $169.99   125 Used & new from $138.94

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$181.98
Office DepotOffice Depot rated 2.36 (140 reviews)140 store reviewsIn Stock. $197.95
 

Our Sources

1. CNET

The Asus RT-AC66U earns 4 stars out of 5 at CNET and an editors' rating of "excellent." Ngo calls it "currently one of the best options among those that support the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard," but warns that the router is relatively expensive and runs hot.

Review: Asus RT - AC66U 802.11ac Router Review: Latest Firmware Makes It a Beast, Dong Ngo, Oct. 30, 2012

2. PCMag.com

PCMag.com gives the Asus RT-AC66U 4 stars out of 5 and an Editors' Choice nod. Lynn likes the router's 5 GHz performance, interface and advanced features -- particularly its ability to set up a VPN server -- but takes issue with the sluggishness of its user interface. She adds that Internet connectivity was lost "once or twice" during testing, necessitating a re-boot.

Review: Asus RT-AC66U Dual Band 3x3 802.11AC Gigabit Router, Samara Lynn, Nov. 30, 2012

3. PC World

Brown conducts several benchmark tests and puts the Asus RT-AC66U through the ringer, finding it to perform consistently better overall than other models tested. For those who are eager for 802.11ac support, he says the RT-AC66U is currently the best choice.

Review: Asus RT-AC66U Router Review: the Best 802.11ac Router on the Market, So Far, Michael Brown, Sept.19, 2012

4. Amazon.com

More than 700 owners give the Asus RT-AC66U wireless router an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. Although some users complain about frequent disconnects and the quality of customer service provided by Asus, most are clearly happy.

Review: Asus RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013

5. NewEgg.com

Here the Asus RT-AC66U gets 4 eggs out of 5 after more than 280 user reviews. More than 50 percent of owners give it 5 eggs out of 5, but it does get a significant amount of negative feedback. Complaints largely echo those at Amazon.com.

Review: Asus RT- AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/3u/3ab, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of July 2013

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