on 22 October 2014
It's OK when it works. Mine has failed after about 5 months and won't now run for more than an hour without crashing. I have tried factory resets, latest firmware, older firmware, etc. It's a hardware problem, could be the power supply, but I suspect the router. Time to try out Asus' RMA process. Ho hum...
[Edit as of 3rd Dec 2014]
So as per my comment attached to this review (a reply to another comment), I contacted Asus. They do not themselves handle RMAs or exchanges in the UK, but they confirmed the unit was faulty, gave me a reference number and referred me to Amazon. I quoted their reply to me to Amazon who then shipped a replacement immediately, while I got the old unit ready to ship back to them. I am now using the replacement unit, and the faulty one has gone back. Cost to me - nothing apart from driving the packed faulty unit to the nearest Collect+ location. Time taken about 3 or 4 days from initial report to Asus to getting a replacement installed. I think that's pretty good.
So I am putting my review back up to 5 stars. Things can break or go wrong sometimes. Hardware or software can have bugs that are not always discovered until users have explored the features of a product, perhaps in combinations that the designers and testers did not (or could not) imagine. Such is the complexity of modern routers. (I use both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, multiple SSIDs, OpenVPN, about 20 or so connected devices, some with DHCP assignments fixed in the router and including multiple DLNA servers and clients.) What matters is how the customer is dealt with when things go wrong. In my case, both Asus and Amazon did well above the average. It may have helped that I gave Asus a detailed account of the fault symptoms and what I had done to try to rectify the problem (resets, firmware updates, etc) and I am sure it helped that I gave Amazon the email that I got from Asus in full.
Would I buy another one? Yes. It is a very capable piece of kit, and the newest firmware (22.214.171.124.376_3626 as I write this) seems very stable with impressive functionality. I have no complaints.
on 15 March 2014
Like many others I have upgraded a Asus RT-N66U to the RT-AC68U, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the RT-N66U but my decision was based specifically on upgrading to USB 3.0. I have a 2Tb Hard drive full of Films, Music and TV programs connected to the Router and they can be streamed to any device connected to the Wi-Fi, even my neighbour who shares the connection with me streams the films and documentaries to her laptop on regular basis. The USB 3.0 port enables me to transfer files to the hard drive 4 x faster than before. The Router also has a 2nd port which is USB 2.0.
The set up is very simple, intuitive and it connects in minutes, the only thing that slowed it down was having to input the BT connection details, once done the wizard connected in seconds. As soon as it connected The RT-AC68U automatically updated it's own firmware to the latest version 126.96.36.199.374.4561. The 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless set up is also very simple, name the connection give it a password and away you go. If you do want to use the 'MAC filter' which is a feature that will only allow certain MAC addresses to connect to the router, it might take you a minute or 2 longer to add the addresses. It may be an idea to have a note of all the MAC addresses of the devices you want to connect, although once they are connected you can easily add them via drop down menu before you activate the filter. The button on the rear of the unit that disables the blue LED's is a welcome addition, on the RT-N66U I had to place a piece of tape over the LED's to stop my bedroom becoming a disco at night.
The range is fantastic, I'm getting slightly more coverage than the RT-N66U and it seems to be more responsive and snappier on the wireless devices, I was shocked how quickly web pages loaded on my Galaxy S3 while I was next door. I have a number of devices connected and there seems to be no noticeable lag on any of them while running them at the same time.
1 x Desktop (Hard wired)
4 x Smart phones
2 x iPods
4 x laptops
1 x iPad
1 x PS3
I've not had a single drop out or disconnection since it connected on 10th March.
I'm on BT Infinity (fibre) and use the RT-AC68U in conjunction with the BT modem (Supplied by BT) so obviously get exactly the same speed I did on the RT-N66U.
The only thing I'm slightly disappointed about but it's not enough to take a star off is the change in orientation, I preferred to lay the RT-N66U flat on some drawers with the antennas down the back but I did buy the RT-AC68U for it's performance and not how it stands.
From reading other reviews I have noticed that some people have not done research into what the Router is actually capable of doing and when they receive the device are disappointed. The RT-AC68U is an expensive piece of kit so who wouldn't check it out first to see if it did what you needed it to.
I suggest viewing the "ASUS RT-AC68U Router Overview" on YouTube [...]
EDIT: Please be aware this review is for ASUS RT-AC68U and not the Asus RT-AC3200 which this review is also appearing with.
on 22 September 2015
My previous router, a Billion 7800n, did me well for four years. It would stay up for months without ever needing to be reset and the wireless strength was fantastic, but once I switched to a fibre package it became obvious that I'd need to upgrade. The CPU wasn't powerful enough. I'd love to say this Asus router was as good and reliable as the Billion because the hardware does actually seem pretty impressive. The firmware however, lets it down big time. I've had it six months now and until last month (see below) I had to manually reboot it every week for some reason or other. The most notable reasons were:
1) Downloads suddenly become extremely slow and some sites become unreachable. Rebooting the router ALWAYS fixes the issue.
2) All the computers in the house can no longer use the printer (which is connected to the router via wifi). It is unreachable they say. The printer is reset, but still doesn't work. Only when the router is reset does the printer start working again.
3) "Oh I am sorry, did you think there was such thing as an internet?" Yeah, sometimes there is no internet at all, the computers can't even find the router's wifi signal, and you guessed it, rebooting the damn router resolves the issue.
If this was happening after a month or two of uptime I could take it, but every week? Absolutely ridiculous.
So, what changed last month? I switched to the unofficial Asuswrt-Merlin firmware, that's what. It's completely unacceptable that any customer should have to do this to have the router perform according to specifications, but only since installing it has the hardware become stable and I've actually clocked up a month without any downtime.
On top of my problems with this Asus router, I had my second Asus GTX 760 graphics go faulty this month, and the customer service I received was so dreadful that I can't think of any reason I would touch their products ever again.
Designed primarily for those of us who have a cable or fibre internet connection the Asus RT-AC68U router must be used with a separate modem. It isn't a replacement for the `traditional' modem/router units that are found with most broadband connections and that appears to have been the cause of some of the negative comments I've noted in other reviews of this unit. Luckily I have a fibre connection and have been using this new router in place of my Asus `Black Knight' (RT-N66U) model Asus RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless N900 Gigabit Router. Since buying one of their laptops a few years ago (and more products since) I have gained a respect for Asus products as they tend to be very well-made so I was keen to see how this new router compared to my old one. However, having read the comments of those other reviewers on this website I must say that I did expect to have some issues with its software. Maybe I've been lucky but so far it all seems to have worked ok for me and I wonder if the software updates issued by Asus have now fixed those problems. I hope so as it's a shame to see such an advanced piece of kit causing such concern amongst users, especially from a manufacturer like Asus.
In my own experience the router has performed well with all of my devices (two smartphones, two tablets, two laptops plus other media devices) and I haven't noted any issues with connectivity or reliability through Wi-Fi or Ethernet. I have not dabbled with the settings on the router so it's pretty standard and seems to be at least as good as my other router. However, the `upgrade' in performance doesn't seem to be particularly noticeable for me so I can't help but suggest that anyone trying to decide between this model and the less expensive RT-N66U chooses that one in view of its more widely acknowledged reliability.
on 23 June 2015
I've lost count of the number of WiFi access points/routers I've had over the years but, so far, this is the best.
It is a big beast so if you want it in your living room next to the TV you might wish to reconsider. Mine lives upstairs in a work room and doesn't look out of place.
Setting it up can be very easy if you are happy to accept its default setting as a wireless router and DHCP server. It does remind you to change your security settings and guides you through it.
However, I wanted it solely as a wireless access point and that is there as an option but it helps if you are familiar with how things work. If this is your first meeting with one of these things prepare to be baffled!
The unit informed me that I needed to upgrade the firmware but then told me I needed to be connected to the Internet to achieve this. It was connected so rather than mess about I just went on the Asus website, found the firmware file, downloaded it, pointed the unit to the location and it did the rest very smoothly.
I chose this piece of kit because I've used Asus products for many years and found them well made and reliable. I needed something that could cover the whole range of WiFi standards due to the varying ages of devices we have in our house. This does the job admirably and I now have an old iPhone on 802.11g at 2.4GHz, a slightly newer laptop on 802.11n at 2.4GHz and a Samsung Galaxy S3 and a brace of iPads connecting on the 5Ghz band.
It also has a guest logon so I can keep visitors out of the local network much more easily.
on 19 November 2015
This is fast due to the powerful processors, so video streaming is delivered at a high quality. The user interface is easy to use and capable. The router can provide access easily to VPNs for every device on the LAN without your needing to set each one up separately. Setting up the router as a VPN client is easy, and it supports OpenVPN as well as both older protocols. Printer sharing over the LAN via a router USB port is also easy to effect. Against the router, (i) the manual does not explain very much the many options that can be set by the user. and (ii) providing shared LAN-based file storage via a USB port is sub-optimal due to the router firmware being designed to share files outside the LAN (i.e. on the public internet), leaving ports open to the outside even though you wanted only LAN users to access the file server, and therefore requiring you to set an account name and a (very strong) password for any LAN user to type in each time they want to access storage on the router - a real step backwards compared to the very easy and secure LAN-sharing of file storage on modern Netgear routers. ASUS have known about the vulnerability for some time, I believe, but have only offered the clumsy 'password' solution so far, and the foolhardy can still leave the folders unprotected from the outsdie world if they like. Overall, I am happy with the router, and am pleased that I did not buy either of its more-recent, more powerful ASUS siblings because this one does the job as well as they would have done, and it stands upright (giving a small footprint) instead of spreading out horizontally.
on 24 November 2015
Cannot recommend this wireless router enough! Especially for those who pay for premium broadband of 30mb plus. I signed up to to Plusnet broadband 70mb and the wireless router they provided me with was pathetic! I would only get speeds of 38mb which was really disappointing after being recommended to sign up to them after having major issues with Virgin Media. I realised soon enough though that it was the router and bought this ASUS and straight away it was giving me close to the 70mb speed I am supposed to have. The wireless range is excellent and I have my Synology NAS drive connected to this and the speeds are immense, as close to an ethernet speed as you can get!
on 16 June 2014
I'd been looking at purchasing this router for quite a while. However, it seemed clear that it had been released without the firmware being properly tested. As a result there was plenty of articles and issues on many forums complaining about problems. Even if the 3rd party Merlin firmware was having issues as it was based on the Asus 'stock' firmware.
I'd previously been using the RT-N66U router with the Merlin firmware and it had easily been the best router I'd ever owned. Super range and stability. Therefore even though I have some AC wireless devices I didn't want to purchase a router where there was a few known issues and stability wasn't great.
However, it seems that Asus have now finally got the firmware issues resolved. As soon as I received the router I immediately put on the latest Merlin firmware (at the time of writing 374.43), reset to factory defaults and configured it. In the few weeks I've owned it there have been no issues at all. It's speed with devices connected on the LAN seems slightly faster than the RT-N66U. However, the RT-N66U still has better range. Both routers are still able to cover the entirety of my 3 storey town house, which is something previous brands have always struggled with. At the extremes, the RT-AC68U doesn't have the same signal strength, but it's still perfectly usable.
If you don't have AC wireless devices my recommendation would still be to buy the RT-N66U as it's much cheaper, the range is better and the feature list is very similar to this one. However it you have AC devices, then this is the router to get.
If you already own this router and are still having problems stability, my recommendation would be to put the latest Asus/Merlin firmware on it, after doing so factory reset it, and re-configure it. I've seen quite a few people who've put the latest firmware on, but not factory reset, or have factory reset and then re-loaded a saved configuration. It seem re-setting it clears out anything from the old firmware and configuration. It's a bit of a hassle to re-configure manually, but worth doing if you get the issues resolved.
on 12 February 2016
The RT-AC68U router itself, stands upright and is vented on top, which will prevent you covering the vents with paper or items you place by the router (my router is by the front door, so mail was placed by it and a router that lies down could get its vents covered in mail). The router looks smart and appears well built. It has Gigabite LAN and 1 x USB 2.0 and 1 x USB 3.0 sockets for storage/printers. You can switch off the LEDS, but being dark blue they will only annoy in a living or bedroom.
I installed this router very quickly; the wizard took care of everything for me (I have Plusnet as an ISP) and the wizard then upgraded the firmware for me. The firmware is more what you would expect from DD-WRT in terms of options, but neatly presented with a whole host of advanced features and filters, such a virus filters, parental controls, NAS capability and so on. I really cannot praise the software enough, such a relief having come from the woeful Netgear R7500, which has more horsepower, but was never stable and failed me in so many ways – the final blow for that router, was that Netgear have ceased support on the R7500 (after only 18 months since release). Having been burnt like that, I was relieved to see that the ASUS website has many and regular firmware updates for the RT-AC68U, the latest being about 2 weeks ago, so it became a serious contender for me to purchase. I had the Netgear R7500 for just 11 months and this was a frustrating time in terms of stability of Wi-Fi signal. Having spent (wasted) £170 on the Netgear R7500 less than a year ago, I was not willing to pay out that amount again, so I opted for a less well specified router from Asus. I guessed I would get less power, but stability was what we really needed. On testing the Asus RT-AC68U, I was surprised to discover that the RT-AC68U outperformed the Netgear R7500 in every way possible. Web pages were more responsive, it is rock solid in terms of stability (the Netgear R7500 would keep dropping the wireless), the wireless signal is stronger than the Netgear R7500 and speed tests are better. For a 3 x 3 AC 1900 Asus router to wipe the floor with a more powerful (& more expensive) 4 x 4 AC2300 Netgear router is significant and points to how well put together this router is in terms of hardware and firmware.
Because I have some demanding tasks for a router, the ASUS RT-AC68U has some work to do before I “use” it for testing, as it has three HD CCTV cameras feeding into it to a CCTV PC before I even start my tests. There is almost no CPU activity from the router from this CCTV load, which was a surprise. Even when feeding HD Netflix through it alongside the CCTV, it seemed un-phased. So with four streams of HD video running through it I gave it some tests. This would effectively simulate a family using the router.
On a 76MB connection (I usually get 68-72MB/Sec on wired), I conducted a speed test with the 3 x CCTV HD feeds and a HD Netflix video playing. The test was on Wi-Fi 5G and the speeds were measured on an Android tablet:-
Ground floor (near router) D/L 65.50MB/Sec, U/L 17.14MB/Sec
1st Floor D/L 61.07MB/Sec, U/L 17.21MB/Sec
2nd Floor D/L 61.05MB/Sec, U/L 17.23MB/Sec
The Wi-Fi signal remained reasonably strong on all three floors and the responsiveness was very good. My house was built in the 1930’s and is made of very dense engineering bricks, so Wi-Fi has a problem with the walls and the neighbours (I have 30+ 2.4G networks in my house when measured on the first floor). The signal remained strong when tested (see images), which may have something to do with the reduced competition on the 5G spectrum as well as the Asus RT-AC68U having more power in terms of Wi-Fi.
In conclusion, I have found this to be a well built, good looking, well specified and high performing router, which I wish I had purchased 11 months ago, which would have saved me £170; but I had to learn the hard way - Five stars for the Asus RT-AC68U!
on 26 April 2014
Apologies for the length of this review. This router seems to have solicited a fair number of comments and my experience might be of some use, especially if you, like I am, taking a broadband signal from a remote tower 15 miles away, via microwave dish. Initially, I was worried as fibre ( what Fibre ?) Or cable, What Cable ? have not penetrated the wilds of rural Ireland and only God knows if they ever will. ( for those tech saffies amongst you, I wonder if the local phone exchange is Stroegher unit which Noah had previously installed in the Ark.)<Smile>.
A short word of warning. STAY with the comments here on Amazon UK for this product. I made the (almost fatal) mistake to also look on the USA Amazon site for comments about this router. My advice ? Don't do it !!! If the 26 comments here cannot make you decide, the 1000's of comments on the USA site will blow your mind.
Having used ASUS Routers before, (The RT66U (Dark Knight) (who in their right mind came up with that name for a Router???) their Setup is excellent and as many of the comments here on the site echo, it is easy and fast. HOWEVER, if you are deep into slightly more esoteric things like port forwarding, etc etc, take a note of your settings before you replace your old router , as you might have taken time and effort to get all that to work. Takes a few extra minutes, perhaps use the Microsoft sniping tool, and keep a copy of the screens, you will be glad you did.
If you go for the Router setup wizard, it will do all the basics for you and you will be up in no time, but heed the point made above if you are into some unusual settings coded into your old unit as they will have to be entered by hand on the appropriate screens. Also, make sure you take a note of your wireless access code, if you want to maintain a seamless link with the keys in your phones and or other wireless devices to which your previous Router talked. Unless you do that, you will have to reset the keys in all your Iphone, Androds, Ipads, TV's and whatever else is currently is tied to your old router
After installation the Router packs itself of to the ASUS website to download and install the latest Firmware release. Don't skip this step, its the way Asus delivers bug fixes and enhanced functionality.
This Router talks to an Asus wireless card in my Chillblast PC, also sold here on Amazon, the RTxxxxx. Why in Gods name Amazon refuses to sell this card to the Republic of Ireland defies imagination, I had to get it via my brother in Law in Hampshire. Maybe the CIA thinks it is too fast? and Homeland Security has barred it from us mortals? <Smile>.
The router has been running flawlessly for a week now and it's predecessor, the RT 66U, is now used as a range extender as here in the animal sanctuary we are trying to cover a very very large area. ( 2 acres ) Getting an Ethernet signal over more than 100 meters of cheapo cat 5E cable is a challenge, trust me on that. (we use a pair of NetSys Range extenders to achieve this).
This router has delivered flawless performance and with the edition of USB 3 and higher speeds delivers a sterling performance.
Sadly, as always, in this life, you get what you pay for and this router proves the point. But that is to be expected and if this unit behaves as flawlessly as it smaller brother, the RT 66U, which has been on 24/7/365 duty for ONE FULL YEAR, apart from when we get the inevitable rural power cuts ( and we do ), I would consider the money well spend. Its wireless range is slightly superior to the RT 66U, so if you want to get every inch of range this unit is good for that purpose. Do note that you can under the advanced wireless settings play with the transmit power, BUT note that the router will not allow you to override the settings applicable to the country Telecomms regs it is installed in . If you want more range, get different antennas for the router, they are available and product links for those can be found on Amazom.com the USA Amazon site.
One small gripe which is not enough to make me knock the unit down to 4 stars. ASUS, why oh why did you do away with the ability to hang this router on a vertical surface? Not all of us have horizontal real estate for our kit and in my case I had to build a little shelf so the dammed thing can stand on it. ASUS even removed the elongated holes in the back which the 66U has and which make vertical mounting a breeze.
One other point which I will echo on which has been made here by several others. ASUS, please make it VERY CLEAR in your product pages that this router is exactly THAT. It is a ROUTER AND NOT A MODEM/ROUTER. (Amazon, take NOTE!). Put this on the outer product packaging in clear print too as there is NO excuse for not doing so. The world is not all made up of "techies" who sleep with the manuals under their pillows. If you do those two things ASUS, I will ask Amazon for a 6th Star.
I'll update this review in a month of so and see what gives. But for now, Yes, I can wholeheartedly recommend the RT 68U.