Asus RT-AC66U B1 Review

With the potential of 1.3 Gbps data transfer rate this will be a fast performing router which will be perfect for the media savvy audience for years to come.

Look at the Asus RT-AC66U B1 ($109.99), which is a good option if you want to replace an old router but don’t have much money to spend.

The RT-AC66U B1 is a dual-band router with four LAN ports that come pre-installed with Trend Micro virus protection as well as user-friendly Quality of Service (QoS) and parental control options. It is our Editors’ Choice for budget-priced routers because of its good performance, extensive feature set, and reasonable pricing.

Performance and features were the highlights of our 2012 evaluation of the original RT-AC66U router, which earned it an Editors’ Choice award.

Although the latest model, the RT-AC66U B1, retains the same textured black housing, it includes a newer, more powerful chipset, a USB 3.0 port, Trend Micro’s AiProtection, and compatibility with Asus’s AiMesh technology, which allows you to create a mesh network by combining different Asus router models.

There are three nonremovable adjustable antennae on the device, which has dimensions of 1.7 by 8.5 by 5.8 inches (HWD). It has four gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, one USB 2.0 port, a power jack, and three buttons: power, reset, and WPS. The rear panel also has a power jack and power, reset, and WPS buttons.

A USB 3.0 port can be found on the front edge, while activity LEDs can be seen on the top for power, internet, all four LAN ports, and both radio bands, as well as for the two radio bands.

ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Dual-Band WiFi Router, AiProtection Lifetime Security by Trend Micro, AiMesh Compatible for Mesh WiFi System

Powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 128MB of flash memory, and 256MB of RAM, the RT-AC66U B1 is a high-performance wireless router. With this 3×3 AC1750 router, you can get maximum speeds of up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band.

It has three independent wireless bands. It enables beamforming, which allows signals to be sent directly to clients, however, it does not offer MU-MIMO concurrent data streaming.

The Asus RT-AC66U B1 router may be controlled through the web-based AsusWRT interface or the Asus Router app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Upon initialization, the console displays an image of the network map in the middle of the screen, a system status panel on the right, and General and Advanced configuration options on the left.

Among the options available on the General menu are Guest Networking and USB Applications, as well as a Traffic Analyzer, which monitors client network consumption across time and space.

Our testing revealed that the RT-AC66U B1 beat comparable budget-priced routers in terms of speed and reliability. It outperformed both its predecessor, the RT-AC66U, and the D-Link DIR-859 in our 2.4GHz close-proximity (same-room) test, scoring 97Mbps, which was much quicker than both.

Although just by 6Mbps, it also outperformed the TP-Archer C7 V2 ($59.99 at Walmart). When tested at 2.4GHz for 30 feet, the RT-AC66U B1 achieved a speed of 65Mbps, which was somewhat faster than the previous RT-AC66U and the Archer C7 V2, but it was more than twice as fast as the D-Link DIR-859.

Specifications

  • Network Standard
    IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
  • Product Segment
    AC1750 superior AC performance : 450+1300 Mbps
  • Coverage
    Large homes
  • Data Rate
    802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
    802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
    802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
    802.11n : up to 450 Mbps
    802.11ac : up to 1300 Mbps
  • Antenna
    External antenna x 3
  • Transmit/Receive
    MIMO technology
    2.4 GHz 3 x 3
    5 GHz 3 x 3
  • Operating Frequency
    2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
  • Encryption
    64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise , WPA2-Enterprise
  • Firewall & Access Control
    Firewall:SPI intrusion detection,DoS protection
    Access control:Parental control, Network service filter, URL filter, Port filter
  • Management
    UPnP, IGMP v1/v2/v3, DHCP, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, DMZ, Universal Repeater, System Event Log
  • Ports
    RJ45 for 10/100/1000 BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for 10/100/1000 BaseT for LAN x 4
    USB 2.0 x 1
    USB 3.0 x 1
  • Features
    Airtime Fairness
    Traffic Analyzer
    Adaptive QoS
    SmartQoS
    – WMM
    – User definable rules for IP/MAC/Port
    – Upload and download bandwidth management
    – ACK/SYN/FIN/RST/ICMP with highest priority
    AiProtection Pro
    Parental Control
    Guest Network : 2.4 GHz x 3, 5 GHz x 3
    VPN server : IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server
    VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client
    Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible)
    – Image : Jpeg
    – Audio : mp3, wma, wav, pcm, mp4, lpcm, ogg
    – Video : asf, avi, divx, mpeg, mpg, ts, vob, wmv, mkv, mov
    AiCloud personal cloud service
    3G/4G data sharing
    Printer Server
    – Multifunctional printer support (Windows only)
    – LPR protocol support
    Download Master
    – Support bt, nzb, http, ed2k
    – Support encryption, DHT, PEX and magnet link
    – Upload and download bandwidth control
    – Download scheduling
    AiDisk file server
    – Samba and FTP server with account management
    IPTV support
  • Button
    WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Button
  • LED Indicator
    Power x 1
    Wi-Fi x 2
    WAN x 1
    LAN x 4
  • Power Supply
    AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
    DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current
  • OS Support
    Windows® 10
    Windows® 8.1
    Windows® 8
    Windows® 7
    Windows® XP
    Mac OS X or higher
    Linux
  • Dimensions
    218 x 148 x 45 mm (WxDxH) g
  • Weight
    660 g
  • Package Content
    RT-AC66U Dual Band 3×3 802.11AC Gigibit Router
    RJ-45 cable
    Power adapter
    Quick start guide
    Warranty card
  • Operation mode
    Wireless router mode
    Range extender mode
    Access point mode
    Media bridge mode

Conclusion

For less than $100, you can get dual-band Wi-Fi, a plethora of administration options, and built-in security against viruses, infected devices, and other malware from the Asus RT-AC66U B1. It beat comparably priced routers in nearly all of our throughput testing, and it was really simple to set up and operate using the straightforward AsusWRT web dashboard, which we highly recommend.

With only average file transfer performance, the RT-AC66U B1 offers a lot of value for money, earning it our Editors’ Choice for budget-priced routers in this category.

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