ASUS Takes On Enthusiasts & Newbies With Its RT-AC66U 802.11ac Router
Here come the 802.11ac routers, and a little ahead of schedule at that. Networking manufacturers were talking up the new wireless standard at CES in January, promising to have product ready by the fall. Asus is the latest to join the still-small club of companies to release a router that uses the new 802.11ac standard. The sharp-looking Asus RT-AC66U is available now at the usual retail suspects for about $200.
As an 802.11ac router, the RT-AC66U broadcasts on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, providing theoretical speeds of 450Mbps and 1.3Gbps, respectively. And just as you did with your Wireless N router, you're going to see slower speeds than the max. Even so, the new technology is certainly going to provide a significant performance increase over older models. Asus points to the dual bands as being a great way to separate your day-to-day network activities (surfing, email, downloading) from bandwidth-consuming movie streaming and gaming.
Sporting three antennas, the RT-66U will be hard to miss, unless you hide it behind your monitor: the router is VESA mountable. Other features worth noting are support for DLNA servers and IPV6, as well as four Gigabit LAN ports. It also has two USB ports for printers and network storage and such. Asus tells us that the router is meant for anyone - it's designed to have CD-free, easy setup for novices, but the configurability enthusiasts want.Either way, keep in mind that you're likely going to need to pick up some adapters to bring your existing devices up to, er, speed.