The ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band 802.11ac router was pretty incredible to work with. Setting aside the conversation centering on Wi-Fi speed for a moment, the GUI is feature-packed with almost everything anyone – newbies to power users – would want in an interface.
Working with the ASUS RT-AC66U is very painless and the interface responses to commands quickly with no delays between pages or input settings. From our initial setup to configuring and customizing our wireless network and access, the ASUS didn’t disappoint.
With respect to the wireless speeds, like all 802.11ac routers we have tested over the past several months, the AC66U showed us incredible speeds over our ‘typical’ wireless-N. Even though the ASUS router didn’t ‘win’ our speed tests, you have to look at the larger picture in that if you are stepping up to an AC-router, from an ancient 802.11b/g/n, you will notice a difference from the time you turn the device on.
When you look at the overall functionality of the RT-AC66U, you will be very satisfied that you are getting one of the most feature-packed routers on the market. Even though we think the GUI is fantastic, there are those who might want to upgrade to a more customized firmware. The AC66U (like the N66U) supports DD-WRT, but there is no word yet about any other open-source firmware.
Having two USB ports helps expand the functionality of the RT-AC66U as well. For those of you who might be looking to purchase a network attached storage device, you can use your USB external drive and plug directly into the ASUS router and share files with users or access data from a remote location using ASUS AiCloud.
We worked with the AiCloud a little bit, but we found it a bit choppy and slower than our QNAP NAS. Of course the list price of the QNAP was well over $500 before installing hard drives. As you can see, if you have patience (and are frugal) you can get much of the same function as a stand-alone NAS unit.
With so many new devices coming to market with built-in wireless-AC, you would be crazy if you didn’t look at the benefits having one of these routers serve as the brains of your network. While still expensive relative to lower costing N600 and N900 devices, you are built for the future with an N1750 device. The ASUS RT-AC66U can be purchased today for around $180. In comparison, the ASUS RT-N66U – ASUS’s wireless-N dual-band router cost $150.
Legit Bottom Line: Even though the ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band 802.11ac was not the fastest wireless router we had, the features and GUI make up for its speed test performance