Routers optimized for gaming are more expensive than others. However, the Asus RT-AC68U is one of those gaming optimized routers that are made affordable for those who do not have an insane budget.
Asus spent more than 30 years perfecting its computers, mobile devices, and routers. Originally from Taipei, it now operates in 32 countries with more than 400 service partners in these countries. Besides working on their main products, Asus also supports esports, establishing their professional gaming teams and an esports academy in India.
HARDWARE & SPECS
Main Features & Benefits
The following features made the Asus RT-AC68U an outstanding but budget-friendly choice for a gaming router. Read through each one before buying one.
1GHz Dual-Core Processor
The Asus RT-AC68U runs on 1GHz dual-core processor, 256MB DDR3 RAM, and 128MB flash memory, the minimum requirements for a great gaming router. It can handle up to 300,000 data sessions to work smoothly. It also has a high-density aluminum heat sink, so it does not get warm to affect its performance.
It allows you to download and stream from any device without issues. Use this router for gaming and connect your gaming consoles.
Excellent Wi-Fi Connection
We love the throughput of this router. At 1900Mbps, it works 600Mbps for the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps for the 5GHz band. This throughput lets you connect to wireless devices seamlessly to experience the best streaming, downloading, and gaming.
This router is also backed up by AiRadar beamforming, giving you good coverage of 3,000 sq. ft. This covers a large, 2-story house to have the best connection, even if you are in the attic or the basement. Without beamforming, the signal slows as you move away from your router. With AiRadar beamforming, the three detachable antennas focus signal to your devices, so even when you move away from the router, you still get a connection.
Another way to extend your range is to add another access point to create a mesh system. This router works in the AiMesh system, an exclusive mesh system for Asus devices.
Advanced Security Features
Security is always one of the top features of Asus routers released since 2013. AiProtection Pro is commercial-grade security powered by Trend Micro to give your network lifetime protection from malware, viruses, Trojan horses, phishing, and identity theft.
AiProtection actively protects your network that even if you unknowingly connect an infected device to the network, your data remains secure with the Infection Detection and Blocking feature of AiProtection.
More importantly, it protects your vulnerable kids and teens from unwanted content with the parental controls’ content blocking feature. The parent can view their kids’ internet activities from the internet activity dashboard. You can also deny internet access to have meaningful family time so your kids can participate in other activities instead of getting tied to their devices every day.
Easy Setup and Management
The AsusWRT graphical user interface powers the Asus RT-AC68U router. You can set it up in less than a minute, even if you are a newbie. This is an excellent starter router for those who do not have the technical knowledge to manage and set up a router. It also supports multiple SSIDs and IPv6. However, it also works for older Wi-Fi systems.
Works with AiMesh System
When working in a vast house, setting up a mesh system is an excellent idea. However, not all routers work with mesh systems. Brands like Netgear, Linksys, and Asus have their mesh systems, and sometimes mixing brands is not the best idea. Also, not all routers work for mesh systems. The Asus RT-AC68U works in AiMesh, Asus’s exclusive Mesh system.
Like all other routers, the Asus RT-AC68U has its low moments. We wanted to be honest, so we included these cons. As the end-user, you can find more, but these deserve primary consideration before buying your router.
Less than Ideal Throughput
The theoretical throughput of this router is excellent at 1900Mbps, but as we have mentioned in previous reviews, a great router does not make up for subpar internet service. However, speed tests for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands show 300Mbps and 900Mbps, respectively. However, as these numbers cross the 50% mark of the theoretical throughput, we still believe it’s the right choice.
No Automatic Firmware Updates
Unlike other companies that notify the user of available firmware updates, Asus doesn’t. It falls upon the end users’ responsibility to keep track of firmware updates on the Asus website if you need to. Check out the Asus website for available firmware updates.
Desktop Placement Only
Wall-mounting your router is an issue because the Asus RT-AC68U is designed for desktop placement only. However, its slim, vertical design allows easy placement behind your desktop devices to conserve space.
What is the Asus RT-AC68U Best For?
We recommend the Asus as the best option for the following:
Best for Gaming
Aside from its compatibility with mainstream gaming consoles, the Asus RT-AC68U is ready for the NVIDIA GameStream. This allows you to stream your PC games to the NVIDIA SHIELD to experience world-class streaming in resolution and audio quality.
Best for Affordable Smart Homes
Do you want to turn your home into a smart one? You can start with the Asus RT-AC68U because it is powerful enough to support IP cameras, Smart TV, and other smart devices around your home.
Best for File Sharing
This device is equipped with one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port for a more straightforward printer setup and faster file sharing. You can also add a USB modem to the network for mobile hotspot sharing.
What Buyers Say About the Asus RT-AC68U Router
We did extensive research before coming up with this review so we can include these credible and verified buyers’ review on the Asus RT-AC68U router:
Originally purchased 12/2015. Has been running strong with barely a stutter ever since. The router is centrally located within the residence with approx 40ft max distance from the farthest exterior wall (through multiple interior walls). It has up to 20 assorted connections (ph's, PC's [wired & wifi), media streamers, smart-home devices, etc.) at any given time. I usually update the firmware on a yearly basis. There've been times in the past when I've noticed my upload speeds slowing down drastically - which has been a cue for me to update the firmware...which has always remedied the issue.
Given the age of my device I was here on Amazon looking at possible upgrades, however, I've come to the conclusion that I'll be sticking with this unit for the foreseeable future as it still fills my needs.
Looking for a good and cheap Router? Then look no more. I use this as a mesh for the Asus RT-88U, and it works flawlessly. The UI is great and this model, in particular, has great support, it constantly receives new firmware updates.
The mobile application is great, it is easy to configure and use, but also has tons of customizations and configurations in case that you are a more advanced user. The coverage is quite good as it has 3 antennas. If you have an issue with the lights, you can turn them off as well. Fully recommended, I have had it for maybe 2 years or so, and has been great.
Very easy to install using the provided quick start. Tech support doesn't have a rating because I didn't need to use tech support to set up the router. The range is much improved compared to the D-Link router I had previously. The D-Link router needed an extender for signal into the garage. This router easily provides a signal into the garage (45+' away and through several walls). The user interface is a little visually overloading but functions.
To put it into perspective, here are the top 3 attributes of the Asus RT-AC68U that matters if you want a budget-friendly gaming router.
It has excellent throughput, range, and reliable connection. With its 1900mbps maximum throughput, 3000sqft coverage, and 1GHz dual-core processor, this router is a real winner.
It also comes with a lifetime free AiProtection that secures your network and protects your children’s interests.
Lastly, it is budget-friendly. At slightly over $100, you get a router optimized for gaming. For any gamer out there, this router delivers more than enough than you require.
So, go ahead, press that Shop Now button, and get your Asus RT-AC68U router.