Keeping up with the Asus tradition of quality and functionality, the company brings us the Asus RT-N66U router with standout features. This networking device is optimized for low internet subscriptions up to 200Mbps.
When Asus decided to launch the Republic of Gamers (ROG) laptops, routers, and other peripherals in 2006, it targeted high-end users. However, the company felt that some users got left out. Known as the Dark Knight, the Asus RT-N66U is among the first batch of AC routers that work for less bandwidth-hungry applications and programs.
HARDWARE & SPECS
Main Features & Benefits
Aside from its router mode, the Asus RT-N66U can also be a repeater, access point, and adapter. The repeater works as a Wi-Fi extension, while the access point expands the Wi-Fi area with the Ethernet connection.
Free Cloud Storage
With Asus AiCloud, you can send up to 5GB of files to your cloud storage with the Asus RT-N66U, which you can later access through your smartphone. Install the Asus AiCloud app from Google Play and App Store.
Your Asus AiCloud has three features. The Cloud Disk lets you stream your files to the AiCloud App on your smartphone from your USB-enabled devices attached to your router’s USB port.
Smart Access allows you to share, access, and stream your files from your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer because it runs on almost any operating system. The last feature is Smart Sync which allows you to sync your files from different Asus cloud storage.
Standalone VPN Server
VPN is the secret weapon for keeping your identity and data secure and confidential at all times, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. Some websites and services are location-specific.
Viewers outside the United States cannot access web-based TV programs but having VPN encryption allows you to access these sites. It also lets you save money because some online shops charge you more. After all, you are not from a particular location.
However, remember that a VPN increases your ping and slows down the upload and download speed.
The Asus RT-N66U has an easy-to-use dashboard powered by AsusWRT. Set up, manage, configure, and monitor your network in one user-friendly graphical interface with 1-click updates for easier management. The interface includes a network map, guest network, traffic manager, parental controls, and firmware updates. It also has a tab that lets you reset your device without going to the reset button, which can be annoying at times. You need a backup internet, though, to get it working after resetting your router.
Supports Multiple SSIDs
Having multiple SSIDs on your router means better control. As it is a dual-band router, it already carries at least 1 SSID for each band. Rename these SSIDs so you can distinguish the 2.4GHZ band from the 5GHz band but still identify your SSIDs from the multiple ones that your device can pick up.
As a security precaution, you can set up a guest SSID with a temporary password so they can connect to your WI-Fi without putting your network at risk. Create a separate SSID for your kids so you can turn it off at set times. However, while multiple SSIDs are great, it also compromises airtime, so turn off all temporary SSIDs when not in use.
900Mbps Maximum Throughput
This router works on a concurrent dual-band. It runs at 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 450Mbps on the 5GHz. This router is entry-level for the dual-band frequency, and it works best on lower internet plans, up to 200Mbps.
File sharing is more convenient and faster when you can do it within your network. The router has two USB 2.0 ports at the back for sharing your photos, videos, and other files.
Four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
The router has 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. These are best for connecting your desktop computers, gaming consoles, IPTV, IP cameras, and Ethernet switches. When buying routers, though, be sure your modem is Gigabit-compatible. Some modems work only on 10/100mbps, so connecting a Gigabit router to it won’t do you good. Remember, your router is just as good as your ISP and modem.
The Asus RT-N66U can be wall-mounted using screws. However, if the wall presents itself as a physical barrier, you’ll have issues with establishing a good connection. It also comes with a detachable stand that you can attach to the back so it can stand on your desk or the mantle. You can also lay it flat on the desk. For us, this is the better setup since you have better access to the back where the WAN, LAN, and USB ports are located.
Easy Firmware Update
Firmware update for this router is easy. Just pull up the router’s web page and open the firmware upgrade tab. Next, select the product ID and download the firmware version. You can also do this on the Asus Router app.
A remote desktop connection allows another user to access the programs and files from another computer even though he is not physically present on that particular device. This feature allows easier access to your files without uploading them to your cloud storage, especially if you are working on different devices in different locations.
You can reconfigure your router to port forward from one desktop device to another by sending a request to the router. Unless the device’s user allows a remote desktop connection, the other device cannot access your computer remotely. This setup provides convenience on the part of the user.
However, convenience comes with a price since your device gets exposed to the potential danger of hacking and identity theft.
We don’t want to keep you in the dark when it comes to the Asus RT-N66U router, so we included some drawbacks in this review.
Upgrading your firmware resolves connectivity issues with your router. However, the upgrade does not always work as it should. Instead, it presents more problems. To solve this, reset your router and update your firmware again. Remember, resetting your router erases all data stored in your router, so it may take a few minutes to get it working.
Issues with the 2.4GHz Band
After a decade since the release of this router, the issue on the 2.4GHz band remains the same. It is a perennial issue for all Asus routers. To solve it, check your router’s placement and find a new location if there are physical barriers and interference. Avoid placing your router near a cordless phone, microwave oven, or charging dock for your smartphones or tablets. If this doesn’t solve the problem, upgrade your firmware.
At this price point, you can do better with other router brands. However, for its versatile mode, we are willing to overlook this drawback.
What is the Asus RT-N66U Router Best For?
After listing all the great features of this router, here the recommended uses to guide you in making the right decision before buying a router.
Best for Anonymity
Because it works as a standalone VPN, you don’t need to subscribe to other VPN services. OpenVPN may not have the best features than paid VPN versions, but it still does its job of keeping you anonymous and secure.
Best for those Who Love Multi-Purpose Devices
Why buy one device when you can have four for the price of one? You can add this router to your Mesh system as an access point or use it as a repeater for an outdoor location or a neighbor who wants to share with your internet.
Best for Newbie Users
With the easy-to-manage GUI, the Asus RT-N66U has everything in one place, so you only need to open the Asus website and register your router. Sign in using the credentials found at the back of the router. You can navigate through it to set up, configure, manage, and monitor your router. You can also set up parental controls within the interface.
Best for Low Internet Plans
If you are connected to a Gigabit internet plan, this is not the best router to use since it won’t maximize your ISP and modem’s potentials. This is best for subscriptions not higher than 200Mbps so that you can enjoy your router at its best.
What Buyers Say About the Asus RT-N66U Router
A review is not complete without customers’ reviews, so we looked for verified reviews on the internet to show how the Asus RT-N66U works in the real world.
I have had this running since 2014. Regular firmware upgrades. Good UI. There is excellent throughput. There are 4 wired connections, plus one hub with little demand, plus 6 wi-fi tablets, phones, and laptops. I had thought it time to upgrade, but reviews are still solid, so I'll stick with it. Tech support is slow but good. One negative. In the summer, it tends to run hot and lock up. It might just be our unit. So I bought a super quiet 120 mm fan to blow on it all the time. No more problems, but I have to clean the fan and router twice yearly because they collect dust. I don't see other reports of this, and it might be because of my home location.
I purchased this router to go with my new Nextiva phone system as my other router was causing permissions problems. I had this out of the box and set up and worked on all machines and 5 phones during the lunch hour. Total win!!! Great WiFi coverage and seems to have zero speed loss. This is saying something because there is a bank vault in my building that causes a lot of interference. Happy to have solid service where I’ve had issues with other routers. Plus, great price!
I was getting 30 to 40 Mbps to download from Spectrum when I was paying for 100 Mbps. I was about to call them and get it straightened out but to make sure it wasn't my equipment, I plugged the modem directly into my pc, and boom, 98 Mbps! I had an old Asus RT-N10+ router, so I decided the router was the problem and ordered this.
From what I read, the Asus routers are supposed to be the best, so I decided to get this after reading the reviews. What a good choice it was. Had it set up in 15 minutes. It asks you to update the firmware right away, and I did, just like reviewer Nicolas Siemsen said, also made all his suggestions. When it was all configured, I got the same 98 Mbps to download speed and 12 Mbps upload that I was paying for. What surprised me even more, my wi-fi was almost as fast. I was NOT expecting that.
After a thorough review of the Asus RT-N66U router, we give it four stars for functionality, versatility, and file sharing merits.
This is an excellent router for you if you are connected to low bandwidth internet up to 200Mbps. Working at 900Mbps on a dual-frequency band, this router gives you the internet connection you need both for your wired and wireless devices.
For newbies looking for an easy-to-setup router, this is the perfect choice for you. So, if this router is best for your needs, choose the Asus RT-N66U.