Asus RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router review
802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
The Asus RT-N66U is a dual-band Wi-Fi router with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB ports that let you share attached USB drives and printers across your network. It provides 2.4GHz- and 5GHz-band Wi-Fi concurrently, allowing each user to choose the best connection for them. It's worth noting that the RT-N66U is a Cable router, meaning you'll need to use a separate cable or fibre modem to get an internet connection.
As the router is a few years old, it also only supports up to 802.11n, rather than the newer 802.11ac, which allows for much faster throughput speeds. This router is limited to only up to 450Mbit/s according to Asus. This might only be a limitation if you have particularly fast internet or need to transfer data across your network, such as streaming HD or 4K content from a NAS.
We had no problems setting up the RT-N66U and were quickly able to surf the web and connect to our other computers. You can even choose different methods of connecting to the internet, such as with a 3G modem, should your main connection fail. The RT-N66U’s web interface is as dark as the unit itself, but it’s pretty well organised, although it will take some time before you’re familiar with the locations of all the options.
Aside from its three external antennae, it's a relatively inobtrusive-looking router. The chequered pattern on the top is attractive and it's nice and low-profile. You can either lie it flat or prop it upright with its stand.
To test its Wi-Fi performance, we connected to it using the 2.4GHz band and our laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi adaptor. We achieved data transfer speeds of 42Mbit/s at one metre, 42.6Mbit/s at 10 metres and 20.7Mbit/s at 25 metres. These are similar scores to those achieved by the TP-Link WDR4300 Dual Band Wireless Router and are decent speeds. When we used the 2.4GHz band with the Asus USB-N53 Wi-Fi adaptor (£24, www.cclonline.com) we achieved scores of 69.9Mbit/s at one metre, 68.1Mbit/s at 10 metres and 22.4Mbit/s at 25 metres.
When we used the less-congested 5GHz band with our laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi adaptor we achieved data transfer speeds of 93.2Mbit/s at one metre, 83.9Mbit/s at 10 metres and 10.3Mbit/s at 25 metres. The 25-metre speed is disappointing, especially in comparison to the TL-WDR4300’s 35.5Mbit/s speed under the same conditions, but the former speeds are still quick.
When we used the 5GHz band and the Asus USB-N53 we achieved data transfer rates of 118.4Mbit/s at one metre, 114.8Mbit/s at 10 metres and 41.9Mbit/s at 25 metres. These are great speeds, especially the 25-metre speed, especially if you want to stream high-definition media from your NAS or another PC.
You can print to a USB printer using the included EZ Printer utility or networking it in Windows using the LPR protocol. The web interface includes a link to instructions that guide you through setting up the latter connection. We had no problems using either method to print to our Brother HL-5450DN laser printer.
The RT-N66U also has a Built-in media server from which you can stream videos and music from attached USB devices.
The Asus RT-N66U is a reasonable router but it's showing its age. Nowadays, there are far better options available, including the TP-Link Archer C9, which is our Best Buy award winning cable router. It has significantly faster throughput speeds through 802.11ac and excellent wireless range and is available for around the same price as the Asus RT-N66U, making it a no-brainer.
|Draft 802.11n support||yes|
|Draft 802.11n 5GHz support||yes|
|WPA||PSK (TKIP, AES), ENTERPRISE, RADIUS|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Number of WAN ports||1|
|Ethernet connection speed||10/100/1000Mbit/s|
|Other ports||2x USB|
|Power consumption on||8W|
|Universal Plug and Play support||yes|
|USB device support||yes|
|Warranty||three year RTB|