Going into this review, we really didn’t know how the ASUS RT-N66U Router would perform. I have to admit that my expectations were low since ASUS is not the first manufacturer that I would think of when it comes to high-performance networking equipment. After working with the RT-N66U Gigabit Router for the past few weeks however, my attitude has changed.
The graphical user interface (GUI) that ASUS uses is very clean and contains every option and feature that you might need. The fact that that the router supports up to 8 discrete SSID, has two USB ports for Wireless printer and storage, and contains built-in parental control makes this router package one of the most robust routers on the market. I have to point out that even though there are a ton of features and tweaks that one can perform, this router isn’t just for the expert network user.
While each menu is full of information, they layout doesn’t overwhelm you with high-level technical-speak. ASUS’s built-in setup wizard is smart enough to help guide you through whatever kind of setup you are interested in. The ASUS GUI compares quite well with other elite routers on the market.
Another pleasant surprise was the sheer speed of the router. The ASUS RT-N66U topped all of our wireless speed tests with ease. On average, the ASUS RT-N66U outperformed our favorite Router – the Netgear R6300 – by more than 15% in 802.11n speed tests. The speeds in these tests translated directly to real-world performance.
We connected a number of different multimedia devices wirelessly to the ASUS RT-N66U Dual-band router including a WD TV Live Hub and Panasonic Viera Net-Ready television. Both devices (along with the many different laptops we have in the LR Bunker) connected with a strong signal. Streaming Blu-Ray videos from our network attached storage worked well – especially for those 720p MKV files.
Gaming via wireless was seamless. We were able to play the Blizzard’s StarCraft II Beta – Heart of the Swarm – from our backyard with no apparent lag whatsoever (it didn’t really help our ability to survive the lowest-level multiplayer mele, however). StarCraft II is a game that requires a pretty robust network connection when playing in multiplayer mode. The ASUS RT-N66U handled the routing of traffic quite well and we honestly didn’t see any network issues while playing and streaming music via Spotify.
For those looking for what is arguably one of the best routers on the market, you really need to start with this ASUS Dual band Wireless-N900 model. While skeptical of its heritage (and its corny name – “Black Knight”), we found out firsthand how good this router really is.
ASUS has assembled a total package that puts almost everything on the market to shame. Starting with a very strong transmission signal and wireless coverage, to the clean and logical GUI, the RT-N66U has every feature you could hope for in a router package. It helps that the router has a cool look without a very large footprint that takes up most of the space on your desk.
With this kind of performance and styling it’s pretty shocking that you can find this router on sale for less than $180. The router even comes with a 2-year limited warranty and to be honest, if the RT-N66U had been equipped with 802.11ac (5G WiFi) the latest and greatest wireless-AC technology, it would have probably dethroned our current router champion, the Netgear R6300. As it stands right now, the ASUS RT-N66U is the best N900 router we have seen.
Legit Bottom Line: The ASUS RT-N66U dual-band wireless-N900 gigabit router can be described as many things: “Fast”, “Stylish”, and “User Friendly” are just a few. However you want to describe it, the result is the best Wireless-N router we have tested.