ASUS RT-AC66U Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi Router Review

Asus RT-AC66UThe ASUS RT-AC66U 802.11ac wireless router builds on the success of the RT-N66U model. ASUS has been busy looking to the future, and the new IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. While it’s not officially approved, it does appear to be stable, and there are products on the market already from all the serious players in wireless networking. While 802.11n was a step forward, and many of us have been appreciative of the additional legroom that the 5GHz band allows, there is still plenty of room for improvement in Wi-Fi performance. The ASUS RT-AC66U looks great sitting on the shelf, better than the majority of routers on offer today, but it’s the higher throughput and expanded signal coverage that’s going to win over most consumers.

Calling all online speed lovers! A next generation 802.11ac wireless router that goes up to 1.75Gbps with 2.4GHz/5GHz bands! That’s a lot of smooth multiplayer gaming, HD streaming, and downloading. 

The RT-AC66U offers very fast Wi-Fi on the 5GHz frequency band, both with Wireless-N clients and AC clients. In fact it’s the fastest of the few 802.11ac routers currently available on the market. The router also has very good range and its USB ports provide more than just the support for external storage and printers

The RT-AC66U wireless router has three high gain external antennas, and each of them can transmit simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals. With three data streams running concurrently on each band, you have simultaneous access to 450Mb/s on the 2.4GHz 802.11n channel and 1300Mb/s on the 5GHz 802.11ac channel. A word of caution; those throughput numbers represent the raw data rate that the wireless signal can support. They do not take into account the communications overhead associated with typical data streams such as TCP/IP or UDP. So don’t be disappointed with the results you get; real world throughput is much lower, even for loosely structured protocols like UDP.

The router is feature-rich, too, with DLNA compatibility for home entertainment use, a built-in iTunes server, an integrated BitTorrent client, and more. And Asus has produced an attractive, user-friendly front-end for tweaking its firmware. More router manufacturers should follow Asus’s example of using external antennas that allow users to fine-tune range and performance. As a 5GHz router the RT-AC66U offered stellar performance, with the fastest data rate seen yet. On the 2.4Ghz band, the router wasn’t the fastest but still performed decently. If you’re ready to take the plunge into 802.11ac Draft 2.0 and you don’t mind its hefty price tag, the Asus RT-AC66U is the router to buy.

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