Asus' RT-AC66U is easy to confuse with the identical-looking, and similar-sounding RT-N66U. The subtle naming difference is due to the former having an 802.11ac module for the 5GHz, and the latter being the 802.11n model. See also: Group test: what's the best wireless router?

The Asus RT-AC66U bucks the industry trend of hiding antennae inside the enclosure, providing three removable and upgradable dipole antennae that you can reposition to deliver the best wireless performance. The router can lie flat, sit vertically on the provided stand, or be mounted to the wall.

As is typical at the moment, there are two USB 2.0 ports, so you can attach both a USB hard drive and a USB printer, and then share the devices over the network.

Asus is working on an Android and iOS app called AiCloud that will enable users to sync, access, and store data on an attached hard drive over the Internet. It's less comprehensive than Cisco's service though, where you can store anything locally in Connect Cloud. With D-Link's cloud service, you can change router settings online via Mydlink or via Android and iOS apps.

Whether you plan to use your router to stream media, to host files, or to download files using P2P services such as BitTorrent, the RT-AC66U has you covered. It offers DLNA and iTunes servers for video and music, FTP and Samba servers for file hosting, a VPN pass-through for secure remote network access, and a program called Download Master for downloading Torrent files to an attached storage device, without requiring a host PC.

Asus RT-AC66U

This dual-band router can run a 450Mbps 802.11n network on the 2.4GHz frequency band and a 1.3Gbps 802.11ac network on the 5GHz frequency band simultaneously. These are theoretical maximums of course.

We like the management interface, and the graphical 'start' screen is very well-organised. To see which devices are connected to the router, all you have to do is to click on a button. The only minor complaint is that there seems to be a problem with the name Asus assigned to the web interface. Instead of entering the router's IP address, you have to type 'asusnetworks.net'. If you're connected to the internet when you do this, this name sometimes doesn't work and instead results in a web search.

In terms of performnce - the main reason you're likely to be reading this review - the RT-AC66U is excellent. However, the catch is that it's the 802.11n speeds which are impressive. In our 11ac test, the Asus managed 457Mbps. That's pretty good, but it's still 30Mbps slower than the D-Link.

Asus RT-AC66U

Original review from 13/9/12 on next page.


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