Pros Check in my summary
Cons Check in my summary
Summary First off, let me start by saying that this router isn't like the ones I have purchased in the past. I feel it is a enthusiast's router, but at the same time it is so much easier to setup even if you are a newbie. It took me just 1 minute to set this up and another minute to get it connected. If you are reading other reviews on the website that are saying this router is bad ignore them. From the ones I read people having issues didn't know anything about what they were doing.
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 (trust me this cannot be gone around, MAC address on computers are so random and can never be duplicated (unless you have a network card that will allow you to reset your MAC address, and even then it will not work because it will conflict).
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).
NOTE: I suggest check for great deal for the ASUS RT-AC66U at: Gigabitrouterchecking.blogspot.com/p/asus-rt-ac66u.html
I hope you liked my review, thanks for reading.
Pros - Sleek, Slim, & Efficient GUI
- 3 Powerful Antennas
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Gigabit Wireless Capable (802.11ac adapter needed)
- Easy & Quick Setup
- GUI Can Be Understood by Almost Anyone
- Settings Can Still Be Configured In Great Deta
Cons - USB Ports Aren't USB 3.0 (not many routers have USB 3.0 yet)
- A Bit Pricey (but just the same as the competition for other 802.11 AC routers)
- An 802.11ac Card Isn't Included (I'm just grabbing at straws in this section)
Summary More Pros:
- The ASUS DDNS service is a free and embedded service for this router
- 2 USB Ports for Network Attached Storage and/or Printer Sharing
- Parental Controls
- AiDisk (allows you to create/manage your own cloud server for free)
- Free ASUS AiCloud app available in the Android Market and the iTunes App Store for accessing your own cloud server from anywhere
- Download Master Application: Allows you to continue downloading, even when your computer is off
- Media Server, FTP, VPN, Samba Service, and Firewall support within the firmware
- Configurable IPv6 Settings
While its GUI may seem a little daunting to inexperienced users their first time configuring the router, Asus makes the setup easy and simple for just about anyone. On the other hand; advanced users will find that even though the interface is sugar-coated with pretty graphics, there are many similarities in the depth of configuration options that are available to you in the Asus RT-AC66U firmware, when comparing it to the majority of the layouts found in the popular DD-WRT firmware.
One of the few things I would advise a new owner to do just after unboxing, is to download the newest firmware version directly from the Asus Support website, before taking the time to configure the router's settings. A current bug in the firmware (which I know Asus is working to fix as I type this) is: when a firmware version update check is initialized within the GUI (through Administration -> Firmware Upgrade -> Check (button)), the service does not correctly detect the specific version number of the actual newest firmware released. As a result, new firmware versions may have been released by Asus through their official support site, but the firmware version check service only upgrades the firmware to an obsolete version.
Overall a fantastic router that; even at $200 when I bought it, was well worth the investment. I have installed and configured many routers (80+) over the past 5 years, and the Asus RT-AC66U is the best router that I have come across so far! If you are looking for a fast and powerful router that will not become obsolete for many years, I would highly recommend this Asus RT-AC66U wireless router.
Pros This router works flawlessly. I have it set up in the utility room in my basement, but I get a strong signal in my second story bedroom through doors, walls and 2 floors. Wired connections are fantastic. It even looks great!
Cons It was not free. This router is a little pricey, but worth every penny.
Summary I bought this router to replace an older 802.11n router that couldn't handle being connected to my new 24-port switch. Now I have several devices (wired and wireless) including a web server that can all run simultaneously with no deterioration of bandwidth. Netflix, heavy duty web programming, serving up thousands of web pages a day from my LAMP web-server can all run at the same time as general surfing and file transfers across the network at the same time. My family of 5 (plus the kids' friends and their iDevices) has yet to encounter any hiccups using all kinds of devices at the same time.
File transfers from machine to machine over hard wired ethernet connections (CAT-5e) are lightning fast. It is now MUCH faster to move files around over the network than to use a flash drive or direct connect USB cable.
I love the parental controls - it's super easy to limit when each of my kids can access the internet. The day I got the router, my 12 year old stormed into my room after everyone had gone to bed screaming about what I did to 'her' internet. As far as I'm concerned, a 12 year old doesn't need to be online in the middle of the night. Now she can't unless I allow it. I can even access the controls remotely if I need to.
Now I just need to add a file server to my home network to complete my geeky nirvana!
Pros Speed and coverage
Cons No matter what browser I used, the menu to control the router would become corrupted. I spoke to tech support. They were clueless. Others have posted about the same issue, so they must have some sort of firmware bug.
Summary Fast but buggy.
Pros Very easy setup. AiCloud is a very impressive feature, and fairly easy to set up. Range and data speeds are both exceptional. Highly configurable and customizable settings. iTunes and Android app that work seamlessly.
Cons This router takes up more space than a smaller, less powerful router (mine is setup standing with the antennas up, so it is a total of about 18 inches tall). It's also pretty expensive, which is why I asked for mine as a gift.
Summary I'm very pleased with this router thus far, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it for a very long time because its feature set and capabilities make it "future proof" more so than most competing routers. During setup, the router automatically allows the user to update to the latest firmware, which resolves any worry about missing features or security holes. Paired with an external hard drive, the AiCloud allows you to share files in a much larger magnitude than by using a service like Dropbox or SkyDrive. This is an exceptional router, which I highly recommend even though the price tag is fairly high.