Introducing the ASUS RT-N66U Dark Knight Dual-Band Router
Today we take a look at the ASUS RT-N66U Dark Knight Dual-Band Wireless-N900 router that was designed for the computer enthusiast and their network. This router is ASUS’s 802.11n-based flagship released from their “Black Diamond” family of networking gear.
The N66U is designed to perform well in both 2.4GHz and 5Hz bands with theoretical speeds of up to 900Mbps. The router also uses external and internal antennas to amplify signals and optimize performance for expanded radio coverage. ASUS is also touting its new user-interface – ASUSWRT Dashboard – that allows for quick configuration and includes advanced features such as multiple SSIDs, quality of service (QoS), with DLNA support for media already stored on your network.
After working with a number of home routers and networking devices over the past several months, we were really excited to see ASUS throw their hat into the ring with the introduction of their new Wireless-N flagship, the N66U. While we aren’t great fans of the how routers with external antenna look sitting on our desk, they have proven as very capable and somewhat versatile. If you are really trying to cover your property with the highest signal possible, then you could easily remove one of the included antennas and replace it with an aftermarket one or even some kind of powered extender. Regardless of what your plans are with the coverage, the ASUS RT-N66U looks like a very neat package retailing for $179 but found as low as $168 on the internet.
Besides featuring Dual-Band connectivity for reducing lag and stutter for when you are watching high-definition movies or playing internet-intensive video games, the N66U also features Ai Radar, an algorithm that the engineers from ASUS outfitted on their Black Diamond network products. ASUS Ai Radar works to strengthen the N66U’s connection to your wireless devices through high-powered amplification and beam-forming. Essentially, Ai Radar optimizes signals so that you can get better coverage and faster data throughput.
ASUS also gives users a way to connect to their files from wherever they have an internet connection called ASUS AiCloud. AiCloud is designed to link a home or office network with your existing online web storage. You can even access an AiCloud mobile application on your mobile phone to gain access to all your data while you are on the go.
This router is definitely loaded up with features. Looking at the list of specifications, there is hardly anything that other “business-class” or “enthusiast-class” routers have that is not included with the ASUS RT-N66U.
ASUS RT-N66U Specifications:
Processor: Broadcom 470 @ 600MHz
RAM: 256MB DDR2
Flash: 32MB Flash + Micro SD slot
WAN: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet or USB 3G/4G dongle
LAN: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet
USB: 2 x USB 2.0 ports
Antenna: 3 x external detachable for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Dimensions: 207 x 148.8 x35.5 (L x W x H)
Power Supply: AC Input: 100~240Vac/1.2A 50~60Hz
DC Output: 19V/ 1.58A
Buttons: WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Button
Frequency: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (concurrent)
Data Rate: 802.11n (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) up to 450Mbps; 802.11a/g up to 54Mbps; 802.11b up to 11Mbps
Output Power: High power: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (user adjustable); 802.11n 17~26 dBm; 802.11g 17~26 dBm; 802.11b up to 26 dBm
Encryption: 64/128 bit WEP, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise
File Server: Samba server & FTP server with account management
VPN Server: PPTP VPN server
That is quite a list of features! How much any one uses depends on their networking needs of course, but we certainly appreciate the capabilities being present. All of these features are powered by a Broadcom 4706 processor running at 600MHz. The BCM4706 is a high-performance, power efficient processor from Broadcom’s Intensi-fi series designed for WLAN routers and access points. The BCM4706 in the ASUS RT-N66U has 256MB DDR2 with 32MB Flash to easily push the 1 Gigabit WAN, and 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
Let’s go ahead and set up the router for some real-world testing.