The ASUS RT-AC66U is a sleekly designed wireless router that provides incredible wireless speeds and an unparalleled depth of control. It delivers its high speeds by making use of the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard that allows for speeds of up to 1300 Mbps. Its outstanding level of control comes from a browser-like interface with a large selection of advanced settings. It's older now, so if you're looking for a new Asus router, try the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000.
Like the best wireless routers, the RT-AC66U sports four gigabit LAN ports, two USB ports and six antennas. Its LAN ports allow you to connect devices to the internet using an Ethernet cable for the fastest and most stable connections. One of its USB ports is USB 2.0, and the other is USB 3.0. Both of these ports allow you to connect external hard drives for network storage or shared printers to be used by all devices on your network. USB 3.0, however, is up to 10 times faster than 2.0.
As a dual-band router, the RT-AC66U offers the unmatched speed of a 5GHz 802.11ac network with the compatibility of a 2.4GHz network. The 5GHz band offers speeds of up to 1300 Mbps and offers stronger connections through beamforming technology.
Older devices that are incompatible with 5GHz are still able to access the internet with speeds of up to 450 Mbps, thanks to the inclusion of the 2.4GHz band. While 450 Mbps was the previous standard for the 2.4 band, it’s worth noting that many other routers are now offering speeds of up to 600 Mbps on this band.
This device is secured with SPI and NAT firewalls that serve to protect your network devices from web-based attacks. Your wireless signals are secured with WPA2 encryption to keep unwanted intruders from accessing your local network.
This router also offers useful parental controls. You can schedule internet access times for specific devices to keep kids from browsing the web all day. You can also block access to specific sites or content using URL and keyword blocking.
Set up for this premium wireless router was fairly simple, although not quite as easy as other routers in our lineup. Unlike other devices, however, the RT-AC66U doesn’t come with a preconfigured network. For this reason, it is easiest to connect your computer via a LAN port to set up your wireless network.
Once your device is set up, you can access the RT-AC66U’s browser-based configuration page. From here, you’ll have access to a level of control that is unmatched by any of the other routers we tested.
ASUS offers an impressive level of support for this router, and you’ll find the majority of it on the ASUS website. The product page offers access to FAQs, drivers and tools, as well as warranty information and user manuals. If you have further questions you can also contact ASUS via phone, email or live chat.
Overall, the ASUS RT-AC66U offers industry-leading performance in speed, security, ease of use and configuration options. Although some routers now offer faster speeds on the 2.4GHz band, this device remains a serious contender, and a solid option for a home-networking router.