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This is the best deal on the best router.

Link to product

Add the router, the USB-N53 ($38 value) will also be added automatically.

Then File for $10 April rebate or

Link for May rebates

Don't forget FW CashBack.

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TheWireCutter Review

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RT-N66U (84.45kB)
Thanks Farfisa850
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Most Recent Posts
Switched to Tomato from DD-WRT and haven't looked back.

Setup a site-to-site VPN, and a dial-up VPN to another site. Conf... (more)

Masty (May. 04, 2013 @ 11:08a) |

The only real complaint I've heard about this particular router is that it runs a little hotter than most. Perhaps that'... (more)

ViveLeRoi (May. 04, 2013 @ 11:56a) |

The point is that your home network would probably consist of various devices and you would share data between them. For... (more)

ViveLeRoi (May. 04, 2013 @ 12:01p) |

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Thanks! I was waiting for this to come on sale.

Edit: Checking on AMZ, they say this one is the newer model: ASUS RT-AC66U.
Edit2: Link to the new model's product page: https://www.asus.com/Networking/RTAC66U/ AiCloud looks interesting.

Out of curiosity, what makes this router so special?

How does it compare to sub $50 routers?

I use a Belkin dual band with DD-WRT installed. It does what I want and I paid around $25.

What am I missing? (I'm not a troll. I'd just like to know)

Thanks

Got one, thanks

normally deals are determined to be hot by FW traffic

btw, price before rebate is the same at tiger d linkage

not sure if rebate applies

Wow a fire sale on these is a new model coming soon? They were stuck at $189-$199 for the longest time. (Outside of special deals here and there.)

Great router! I've had mine for about 7 months and it's been rock solid (using stock firmware) with great range. If you're thinking about a router, this is a good one to get.

I searched the reviews of the newer model AC66U for comments on the predecessor:


If you don't want to be future-proof, you can go with the much cheaper ASUS RT-N66U. It has the same hardware and firmware with the only difference being that it won't have the 802.11ac hardware functionality. If you're not concerned for that or don't know what it is, save yourself some money.

If you don't already own a wireless N router, then you are going to want to buy this instead of a N66U (ASUS's wireless N version), because the price difference is rather small, and this router has better hardware specifications even if you don't have an AC wireless card yet.

ASUS RT-N66U had excellent range but sucked at routing or even just as AP it was a nightmare for me . so i just replaced the ASUS RT-N66U with this one and WOW what a difference at least everything wireless runs smooth now and works as it shuold.

Not sure what to make of this....

SendMeMoney said:   Out of curiosity, what makes this router so special?

How does it compare to sub $50 routers?

I use a Belkin dual band with DD-WRT installed. It does what I want and I paid around $25.

What am I missing? (I'm not a troll. I'd just like to know)

Thanks


I am on the same boat as you. Wouldn't be more cost effective to buy DD-WRT supported router + repeaters (if range is a concern)?

After years of using DD-WRT, I've come to the conclusion that using DD-WRT is a crapshoot with results varying greatly. For many many years, I was the happy user of a Linksys WRT54GL router running DD-WRT. But for my more recent router acquisitions, the results have been less than stellar. My Netgear WNDR3700 on DD-WRT ran very poorly in terms of wireless speed. WiFi adapters that would connect at full 300mbps speed with the stock firmware would only connect at 150 or 75mbps. I read through tons of Internet forums, tried all sorts of different settings, but I eventually went back to the official Netgear firmware which is now working great. Next up is the Belkin N300 router from a Fatwallet deal, the one with the gigabit connection. Once again connection speeds when running DD-WRT were horrible. Even worse, Realtek based WiFi adapters could only get a throughput of 20-40kbps. I eventually turned off the WiFi radio and is now using the N300 only as a gateway router and DHCP server.

DD-WRT is great for people who have the time to tinker, because it does not include much of the device-specific optimization that is incorporated into modern router firmware. Its many configuration features are also useful for those looking for more capabilities. But for someone who just wants good performance that "just works", DD-WRT is not as attractive as it once was.

SSi said:   SendMeMoney said:   Out of curiosity, what makes this router so special?

How does it compare to sub $50 routers?

I use a Belkin dual band with DD-WRT installed. It does what I want and I paid around $25.

What am I missing? (I'm not a troll. I'd just like to know)

Thanks


I am on the same boat as you. Wouldn't be more cost effective to buy DD-WRT supported router + repeaters (if range is a concern)?

--

Both Kia and Mercedes would take you to the same destination. Why would someone pay a lot more for Mercedes?
Please read the reviews available on the Net, then decide if you want it or not, if it's not what you need, then move on..
But this is the lowest price on a nice router I've seen so far, after rebate and cost of the USB-N53, the router itself is just above $100.
I am buying one!

I posted a refurb N900 router for $71.99. Can anybody explain why this router might be better than the link I posted? I already bought that one, but it hasn't arrived yet unfortunately.

FSBox said:   After years of using DD-WRT, I've come to the conclusion that using DD-WRT is a crapshoot with results varying greatly. For many many years, I was the happy user of a Linksys WRT54GL router running DD-WRT. But for my more recent router acquisitions, the results have been less than stellar. My Netgear WNDR3700 on DD-WRT ran very poorly in terms of wireless speed. WiFi adapters that would connect at full 300mbps speed with the stock firmware would only connect at 150 or 75mbps. I read through tons of Internet forums, tried all sorts of different settings, but I eventually went back to the official Netgear firmware which is now working great. Next up is the Belkin N300 router from a Fatwallet deal, the one with the gigabit connection. Once again connection speeds when running DD-WRT were horrible. Even worse, Realtek based WiFi adapters could only get a throughput of 20-40kbps. I eventually turned off the WiFi radio and is now using the N300 only as a gateway router and DHCP server.

DD-WRT is great for people who have the time to tinker, because it does not include much of the device-specific optimization that is incorporated into modern router firmware. Its many configuration features are also useful for those looking for more capabilities. But for someone who just wants good performance that "just works", DD-WRT is not as attractive as it once was.
That was my experience with the WNDR3700 as well, and I eventually went back to stock firmware. I would also have upnp port mapping issues where it was enabled but programs would be unable to open ports. Thinking about moving from the stock WNDR3700 to this router.

Offline HD streaming & file transfer speeds are the difference.

Pulled the trigger. Had been looking at new routers for the last couple weeks, and the sale price + free adapter + rebate seals the deal. Thanks OP.

Can this router really enable 1080p HD streaming wirelessly? Any special network cards needed between two desktops?

I've tried so many routers but none have allowed wireless HD streaming without stuttering/choppiness ...

one80oneday said:   Offline HD streaming & file transfer speeds are the difference.

Finally bought one too. Thanks OP. Almost pulled the trigger on the Amazon deal earlier.

My old actiontec router let me stream HD from Netflix and Amazon on my panasonic tv. I then ugraded the router to their gigabit router and noticed no difference in my television viewing. I was thinking of this router or the AC version but don't really need another router. What I did buy was the actiontec moca router to convert my cable outlet to an ethernet outlet and plugged my tv into a wired network. Guess what... still notice no difference. Netflix take ms 24 seconds to load wirelessly or through the hard wire/moca. I guess I should just be happy to have a great HD viewing experience (I can't tell the difference between a blue ray dvd and a streamed movie that takes 25 seconds to load up...

Probably paying too much for my internet connection and will try downgrading that to see if I get the same viewing experience.

yeah heard these ran hot

SendMeMoney said:   Out of curiosity, what makes this router so special?



Goes to 11

rts said:   Can this router really enable 1080p HD streaming wirelessly? Any special network cards needed between two desktops?

I've tried so many routers but none have allowed wireless HD streaming without stuttering/choppiness ...

one80oneday said:   Offline HD streaming & file transfer speeds are the difference.

Not sure but still can't stream offline hd video 15ft with new belkin ac1200 & dlink AC adapter. My transfer speeds are 10x faster than my old single band N router.

one80oneday said:   Not sure but still can't stream offline hd video 15ft with new belkin ac1200 & dlink AC adapter. My transfer speeds are 10x faster than my old single band N router.

HD video doesn't mean ANYTHING! I can run 1080p video across an 802.11b connection if the bitrate is low enough....bitrate is everything and it is what will determine your streaming capability.

Netflix streams HD content using Microsoft VC1AP encoding at a maximum bitrate of between 1.6 Mb/s and 3.8 Mb/s
BluRay can go up to 48 Mb/s
YouTube compresses 1080p mp4 to 3-4 Mb/s

Even if they are both streaming 1080p, there is a HUGE difference. If you compress your home movies to average in the 3-4 Mb/s you shouldn't have any trouble streaming over your wireless N network (They might not look great, unless you spend a lot of time compressing).

This is an amazing wireless router, I was bummed a month ago when my Linksys wrt350n running dd-wrt died on me. I ordered this, installed Merlin's modified stock firmware, and I wish I'd dumped the Linksys long ago. Anyways, great deal on a fantastic product.

2.4G has longer range then 5G.

keep in mind, max internet connection speeds around are mostly 25-30 mbps. old routers can still keep up with that on wifi, so if all you need is to provide wifi for devices, i don't think any top router would help.

keep in mind, uh wut? If all you have is one device on your router, you don't need a router. If you have devices on your LAN that using the gigabit connections on the router, do you think maybe it would be useful to have the wireless range and throughput of pretty much the premier wireless n router on the market? You should stop at "I don't think"

if Anyone has an internet connection that is slower than 20mbps and you are just using a router for devices on internet use(no file sharing locally, video streaming locally, then what is the point of fast wifi and upgrading at this point???. Just stop there.

Rebate on USB-N53 expired at midnight on April 30.

Will98D said:   Rebate on USB-N53 expired at midnight on April 30.
---

New rebate for May: Link to May rebates for ASUS USB-N53

pietromoon said:   yeah heard these ran hot

I have this router and it runs VERY hot, even when no clients nor internet are connected to it.

you guys should try OpenWRT on the 3700 before giving up on your routers. TheFinalProphecy said:   FSBox said:   After years of using DD-WRT, I've come to the conclusion that using DD-WRT is a crapshoot with results varying greatly. For many many years, I was the happy user of a Linksys WRT54GL router running DD-WRT. But for my more recent router acquisitions, the results have been less than stellar. My Netgear WNDR3700 on DD-WRT ran very poorly in terms of wireless speed. WiFi adapters that would connect at full 300mbps speed with the stock firmware would only connect at 150 or 75mbps. I read through tons of Internet forums, tried all sorts of different settings, but I eventually went back to the official Netgear firmware which is now working great. Next up is the Belkin N300 router from a Fatwallet deal, the one with the gigabit connection. Once again connection speeds when running DD-WRT were horrible. Even worse, Realtek based WiFi adapters could only get a throughput of 20-40kbps. I eventually turned off the WiFi radio and is now using the N300 only as a gateway router and DHCP server.

DD-WRT is great for people who have the time to tinker, because it does not include much of the device-specific optimization that is incorporated into modern router firmware. Its many configuration features are also useful for those looking for more capabilities. But for someone who just wants good performance that "just works", DD-WRT is not as attractive as it once was.
That was my experience with the WNDR3700 as well, and I eventually went back to stock firmware. I would also have upnp port mapping issues where it was enabled but programs would be unable to open ports. Thinking about moving from the stock WNDR3700 to this router.

peas said:   you guys should try OpenWRT on the 3700 before giving up on your routers. TheFinalProphecy said:   FSBox said:   After years of using DD-WRT, I've come to the conclusion that using DD-WRT is a crapshoot with results varying greatly. For many many years, I was the happy user of a Linksys WRT54GL router running DD-WRT. But for my more recent router acquisitions, the results have been less than stellar. My Netgear WNDR3700 on DD-WRT ran very poorly in terms of wireless speed. WiFi adapters that would connect at full 300mbps speed with the stock firmware would only connect at 150 or 75mbps. I read through tons of Internet forums, tried all sorts of different settings, but I eventually went back to the official Netgear firmware which is now working great. Next up is the Belkin N300 router from a Fatwallet deal, the one with the gigabit connection. Once again connection speeds when running DD-WRT were horrible. Even worse, Realtek based WiFi adapters could only get a throughput of 20-40kbps. I eventually turned off the WiFi radio and is now using the N300 only as a gateway router and DHCP server.

DD-WRT is great for people who have the time to tinker, because it does not include much of the device-specific optimization that is incorporated into modern router firmware. Its many configuration features are also useful for those looking for more capabilities. But for someone who just wants good performance that "just works", DD-WRT is not as attractive as it once was.
That was my experience with the WNDR3700 as well, and I eventually went back to stock firmware. I would also have upnp port mapping issues where it was enabled but programs would be unable to open ports. Thinking about moving from the stock WNDR3700 to this router.
I'll check it out once I get the ASUS installed so it's not my main router any more. Thinking about setting it up as a wireless bridge on the 5ghz to provide a solid connection for Ethernet devices. Hopefully it works well with the v3.

Edit: not compatible with v3. I was previously running DD-WRT on a v1 and a v2 before moving to my stock firmware v3. Luckily the stock firmware will allow me to set it up as a wireless bridge.

saltoricco said:   I searched the reviews of the newer model AC66U for comments on the predecessor:


If you don't want to be future-proof, you can go with the much cheaper ASUS RT-N66U. It has the same hardware and firmware with the only difference being that it won't have the 802.11ac hardware functionality. If you're not concerned for that or don't know what it is, save yourself some money.

If you don't already own a wireless N router, then you are going to want to buy this instead of a N66U (ASUS's wireless N version), because the price difference is rather small, and this router has better hardware specifications even if you don't have an AC wireless card yet.

ASUS RT-N66U had excellent range but sucked at routing or even just as AP it was a nightmare for me . so i just replaced the ASUS RT-N66U with this one and WOW what a difference at least everything wireless runs smooth now and works as it shuold.

Not sure what to make of this....


The AC66U supports the 802.11AC standard which the N66U does not. 802.11 AC enables Gigabit over wireless using the 5GHz band. N66U supports only 450MHz over each of the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. In theory, the 802.11 AC is 3+ times faster. Hope that helps.

Wireless Network Engineer. Don't waste your money on this. If you want a great setup design around 5ghz and channel bond. 802.11ac allows you to channel bond multi 5ghz channels giving you 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 = 80mhz with less risk of co channel interference.

as other said, if you need an N router now and cant wait this is pretty good. if you can wait out, then get AC routers. Gigabit on wireless. 2.4 is going to have longer range but more interference (microwave, wireless Landline, neighbors like me running 40hz channel and just killing wifi for everyone else)

Asus make the best routers because they put so much free memory in the routers you can almost treat it like a NAS via external hard drive to usb if you wanted.

On a side note IMO Tomato > DDWRT

SendMeMoney said:   Out of curiosity, what makes this router so special?

How does it compare to sub $50 routers?

I use a Belkin dual band with DD-WRT installed. It does what I want and I paid around $25.

What am I missing? (I'm not a troll. I'd just like to know)

Looking over the specs...

  • Covers the n band. Many older cheap routers only go up to g, which is 2-4x slower. (It doesn't cover the new ac band, the RT-AC66U does.)
  • Simultaneous dual band. Most cheap routers are single band (usually 2.4 GHz). Some are dual band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz). Simultaneous dual band means it can do both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time. This is important because if a 2.4 GHz device connects to your cheap dual band router, the router will be stuck at 2.4 GHz even though it could communicate faster with your laptop at 5 GHz. Same thing with n and g (or even b) speeds. If a 802.11g device connects to your dual band router, it slows all n devices down to g speeds. With a simultaneous dual band router, you can reserve the 5 GHz band for always-available n speeds, and have only g and b devices fight over the 2.4 GHz band.
  • Guest network. Can let visitors use your Internet without giving them full access to your LAN.
  • 3 antennas. Usually two for diversity 2.4 GHz, and one for 5 GHz. It means better coverage and stronger signal strength.
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports for printers or storage devices.
  • DLNA for streaming media to TV, HTPC, bluray players, certain stereos, presumably from connected storage device.
  • Gigabit LAN. Many cheaper routers are only 100 Mbps on the LAN side.
  • Gigabit WAN. Nearly all routers are only 100 Mbps or slower on the WAN side. You need this if your Internet is > 100 Mbps.
  • 300,000 connection limit. Some cheap routers can only handle 1000 or fewer connections. This can be a problem with some online games, and is frequently the cause of "game is getting laggy, I need to reboot the router" syndrome. 300,000 is kinda excessive, but I suppose it means you could use this to serve Internet to an apartment complex without issues.


Looking over the features list, looks like the stock firmware includes the following features I rarely see in stock firmware:

  • Download master - lets you send file downloads to the router (and presumably its USB attached storage) instead of tying up your computer. If that 1 GB Linux distro is going to take 15 hours to download, just have your router do it. You're free to turn off your laptop, or take to the park with you without interrupting the download.
  • File/Media server - files on a connected external USB HDD can be shared for anyone on your LAN to use or modify. Basically it'll act like a cheap NAS. I would jump all over this deal solely for this functionality if it were USB 3.0.
  • Print server
  • VPN server. Not just pass-through or a client, but a server as well.
  • Traffic monitor - find out who in your family is the bandwidth hog who is slowing down everyone else's Internet.


And from the reviews I've seen, RL transfer speeds are very good to top in class, signal strength is very good, and the stock firmware is actually usable and stable. Internally it's a 600 MHz Broadcom CPU with 256 MB RAM and 32 GB of flash storage. These are very good specs for a router. 16-32 MB RAM and 4-8 GB flash are more typical. Basically it's not just a router, plug in a HDD and it's a small server as well.

Lots of complains on this model
Linksys E4200 is way better

Really? Would you care to share your source of "Lots of complains"? Would you also care to enlighten us, why E-4200 is way better?

This is how they were rated on Amazon:
E-4200 3.5 stars out of 695 reviews.
RT-N66U (this model here) 4.5 stars out of 789 reviews.

And no, I don't work for ASUS nor its distributors nor its resellers. I'm just an interested IT person and avid FW-er.

As much as I'd love to upgrade my router to this one, I think I might just wait for 802.11ac, thus future proofing myself just a little longer.

Skipping 6 Messages...
mgomesmg said:   if Anyone has an internet connection that is slower than 20mbps and you are just using a router for devices on internet use(no file sharing locally, video streaming locally, then what is the point of fast wifi and upgrading at this point???. Just stop there.

The point is that your home network would probably consist of various devices and you would share data between them. For example, we have several Xbox 360s and DLNA televisions and media center PCs. We share content through out the network as well as stream from Netflix and Hulu Plus. A router that doesn't have decent throughput would cause everyone in the household to be unhappy. Certainly a better router or cable modem won't increase the maximum throughput of your internet connection, but it will certainly help you to get the data that is already on your network to all the devices on your network faster and more efficiently.



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