Top speeds and tons of features.
The ASUS router line-up was stagnant for quite some time, but it recently came roaring back into the fold with a range of new designs and products. At the top of the new performance range is the RT-N66U, which supports dual-band 450Mbps wireless, Gigabit LAN and WAN and much more. It tested slightly slower than Netgear’s WNDR4500 when we performed a wireless copy test, but it was well within the margin of error.
It may not be just the performance elements that draw users to the RT-N66U, however. There are built-in features not commonly found in consumer routers, including integrated BitTorrent downloading and VPN host/server support using Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE). There are two USB ports in the router, and they can be used for file sharing (including SMB and DLNA), printer sharing or for attaching a USB 3G modem as a backup internet connection device.
It also has external detachable antennas, which is actually a pretty rare luxury in a modern router. Sure, it’s not as pretty as integrated antennas, but if you’re having reception problems you can switch out the supplied antennas for larger ones.
It’s all managed through a slick interface with an excellent help system. ASUS is one router vendor that's realised web management interfaces don’t have to look like they were made by computer engineering students in the 1980s. The QoS management features are particularly strong.
Pros : Lots of features for home and SMBs, very fast.
Cons : Kinda expensive.
Verdict : 9 out of 10. Editor's Choice!
Available from ASUS, retailing for $310.