The ASUS RT-AC66U Fairly Considerable Price Tag
That’s the first thing you’re going to notice about it – $200 puts it decidedly on the high end of the wireless router market.
In order to justify that price, ASUS promises a high-performance piece of equipment with a long list of useful features; the RT-AC66U’s spec sheet, at least, is one of the best available right now.
No one wants to gamble with $200, though; it’s easy to promise the kind of product ASUS is, and harder to deliver on it.
ASUS has a reputation for high-quality routers, though – so, do they live up to their claims with the RT-AC66U?
The RT-AC66U is a dual-band 802.11ac router with three external antennae, and wired networking via four gigabit Ethernet ports.
802.11ac is the next iteration of the WiFi specification, designed to build on the functionality of 802.11n – something that comes into play in the form of the 1.3 Gbps wireless speed.
This isn’t a paper figure
The router can consistently manage those impressive figures in real-world use. The powerful broadcasting setup also provides it with impressive range.
You can easily get a good signal from anywhere in even a sizable house, regardless of building layout.
The hardware powering this is quite considerable…
…you have a nice, high-end SoC paired with 256MB of RAM.
Not only does this setup guarantee that the router has more than enough horsepower to cover whatever data it’s given, it provides you with considerable headroom for your own applications using aftermarket firmware like DD-WRT, if you’re of a more technical bent.
There’s really not much need, though – as we’ll cover next, the ASUS RT-AC66U has a fantastic set of features out of the box.
The RT-AC66U has everything you’d expect of a high-end modern router – the two USB ports can be used to turn it into a FTP or printer server.
You have a wealth of useful QoS (quality of service) tools, and there’s support for essentially every major WiFi security scheme.
At $200, though, these are essentially requirements; ASUS sets their offering apart from the pack with the less typical elements of the package.
Most notable is the in-depth control panel for creating and managing virtual WiFi networks.
You can create three on the 5 GHz band and three on the 2.4 GHz band, and you can set usage times, security rules, and available bandwidth separately for each one.
This is a really solid implementation, comparable to that of something like (More info- DD-WRT Site) DD-WRT or Tomato without the hassle; being able to use multiple security schemes simultaneously lets you provide guests with access to the services they need while not encumbering performance or usability on your own equipment.
ASUS’s stock firmware still isn’t quite as feature-rich as one of the independent options, but compared to the competition it’s quite impressive.
Asus RT AC66u Review 2015 – Conclusion
ASUS has prepared a genuinely fantastic wireless router.
It’s not cheap, but it absolutely justifies its retail price by providing both great hardware and great software, and the 802.11ac compatibility ensures that it’ll be relatively future-proof.
If you can afford it, the ASUS RT-AC66U is a great buy.