Asus’ RT-AC68U offers great performance on the 5 GHz band with the 802.11ac protocol, but at a price.
Asus is known for excellence in whatever product line it takes to: motherboards, videocards, laptops, and monitors. With routers, a line which Asus is a relative newcomer to, there is no exception to this rule.
Recently Asus launched a followup to its best selling RT-AC66U — one of the standards to which routers should be judged against — in the form of the RT-AC68U. The RT-AC68U supports the new 802.11ac standard, and includes a variety of apps often found in NAS devices for things like BitTorrent downloading, DNLA streaming, VPN hosting, operating an FTP server, and many more.
Design and connectivity
The Asus RT-AC68U has a sleek low-profile design that’s very similar to the earlier RT-N66U and the RT-AC66U. This design allows the router to be easily placed anywhere, or mounted on a wall. The overall design gives off vibes of professionalism, as if the RT-AC68U is something more than just a prosumer networking device. At the same time given its low profile it can be easily hidden in a bookshelf, if you’re a person of the “routers should be used not seen” persuasion.
On the back of the RT-AC68U there are 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT ethernet ports, as well as USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for connecting external storage drives.
These USB ports can also be used to connect a 3G or LTE hotspot, so your network can have some redundancy in the event of a power outage or downtime with the wired connection. On the topic of redundancy, the router also supports multiple wired connections (ie. fiber optic and ADSL) for load balancing or redundancy.
The router supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) which allows for easy yet secure connectivity.
While the RT-AC68U is certainly a feature-rich device, it’s also a speedy one too. During testing the router was able to sustain transfers at 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency band, compared to the average speed of 450 Mbps of most routers. This is for TurboQAM-enabled devices. Without support for that protocol, results will be a little different.
Without a TurboQAM enabled device the best speed the router can push out is 112 Mbps. A respectable number by any stretch of the imagination.
Asus continues its long line of excellence with the RT-AC68U. The router is feature-rich, so much so that many users probably won’t need the plethora of features it offers: users that don’t benefit from things like VPN and dual-WAN support might want to look into one of Asus’ cheaper models. But for power users that need everything Asus offers with the RT-AC68U, it’s a perfect buy. The router retails for an MSRP of $200.
- Feature-rich device. Everything a prosumer could ever want.
- Stylish and versatile design.
- Too many features for most users.
- Runs hot.