The ASUS RT-N66U review

The ASUS’ entry into the high-end 802.11ac router market. It’s a high-performance piece of gear with a long list of useful features for both technical and non-technical users.

ASUS RT-N66U Features

802.11ac support: As the next generation of WiFi technology, support for the emerging 802.11ac specification is a must for high-end routers like this one. A $157.44 with free shipping isn’t something that you can replace on a whim; it’s an investment, and it needs to fit your network into the foreseeable future.

ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDetailed quality-of-service tools: A QoS toolset is a common enough fixture on most modern routers, but most of those just add it so that they can put the bullet point in their ads.

ASUS provides detailed information on network activity, and robust too is to tailor available bandwidth by traffic type.

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Download Master: ASUS’s Download Master technology enables you to download files directly to a USB hard drive plugged into the router.

Using the online interface, you can control a wide variety of P2P downloads even when you’re not at home; you don’t even need to have a PC powered on.

Virtual wireless networks for secure guest access

You will sometimes want to allow guests to use your wireless network, but giving your key out is a security risk; changing it after the fact is doable, but not particularly convenient.

The RT-N66U supports up to three networks over either the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band; you can allow guests to maintain Internet access while keeping them nicely quarantined from your network.

ASUS RT-N66U Performance

The RT-N66U isn’t the fastest router on the market, but its 900Mbps wireless speed in 802.11ac mode is still – to put it mildly – considerable.

Right now, there are precious few consumer Internet connections that can reach that kind of speed; when your broadband connection is the bottleneck, additional speed is a largely academic concern.

Range is excellent, and uptime is impressive; the RT-N66U’s firmware is rock-solid, and the hardware is kept cool by a substantial heat sink assembly, making it very reliable.

The P2P download features perform as advertised, and do it with significantly higher download speeds than you would expect if you’ve tried using similar features before.

It’s a factor of the hardware in this router; a high-end system-on-a-chip and 256MB of RAM make it much more resilient than most of the competition.

That hardware also makes the RT-N66U a great choice for installing aftermarket firmware like DD-WRT.

If you have the technical know-how, you can use the ASUS RT-N66U’s hardware resources to run some really impressive, complex scripts; if you don’t, then all you need to know is that it can handle pretty much any load you’re likely to throw at it.

Review – The ASUS RT-N16 is a mass-market product.