Asus RT-AC68U Review

Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router, AiMesh for mesh wifi system, AiProtection network security powered by Trend Micro, Adaptive QoS and Parental Control.

In terms of overall performance, the ASUS RT-AC68U was tied with two NETGEAR models, the Nighthawk X10 and the AC1750, both from the company (R6400).

When it came to throughput, both NETGEAR models performed somewhat better than their competitors, but the NETGEAR AC1750 performed the best of the three models when it came to the range — the RT-AC68U and the Nighthawk both achieved identical average range results.

Asus AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router with MU-Mimo, Aimesh for Mesh WIFI System, Aiprotection Network Security Powered by Trend Micro, Adaptive Qos and Parental Control (RT-AC68U),Black

The ASUS is the most user-friendly of the three devices in this category, and all three offer a similar set of capabilities. However, the ASUS often costs $20-$40 more than either of the NETGEAR versions, making it a little less appealing.

If you’re searching for an 802.11ac router that offers excellent range and speed, the Asus RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router ($199.99) came out on top in both of our tests, and it’s a good choice. It also has useful small-business functionality as well as a well-designed user interface.

For those who have devices that support the IEEE 802.11ac standard, or who work in an area where coverage issues are common, the RT-AC68U is a particularly suitable choice for you.

Despite this, the RT-AC68U doesn’t provide significantly better performance in 802.11n mode than Asus’ very comparable RT-AC66U Dual Band 3×3 802.11AC Gigabit Router, which you can get for around $40 cheaper than the newest generation model. The RT-AC68U is an excellent choice, but you’ll receive the most benefit from it if you have devices that support 802.11ac.

Design

Unlike the previous generations — the RT-N66U and RT-AC66U — which were designed to remain flat on the surface or tilt 45 degrees when supported by a stand, the RT-AC68U is designed to rotate 360 degrees. It is currently delivered in an upright posture, with no option for wall mounting included.

The sturdy structure and glossy dark gray finish, which doesn’t attract fingerprints, keep it looking similar to its predecessors, though. Because of its redesigned standing form, the router now occupies less space, despite the fact that it is somewhat larger and heavier than its predecessors in terms of size and weight. It also comes with three removable antennae that may be used externally.

A new Broadcom BCM4709 Wi-Fi chipset, an Arm Cortex A9 dual-core 800MHz CPU, and 256MB of DDR RAM are among the features on the inside. This is the first router I’ve seen with these high-end specifications, however, I’m confident that more companies will offer routers with similar features in the near future. Aside from that, the RT-AC68U comes with two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0 compatible.

The Broadcom BCM4709 chipset, which incorporates the company’s patented TurboQAM technology, is the most intriguing of the above-mentioned components. Even while this chip supports 802.11ac at up to 1.3Gbps, which is not new, its support for 802.11n at the 2.4GHz frequency is improved to 600Mbps (up from the old 450Mbps cap speed).

The use of TurboQAM increases the bandwidth of each 2.4GHz spatial stream from 150Mbps to up to 200Mbps instead of 150Mbps. Needless to say, this chip provides greater benefits to the now-outdated 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network than it does to the newer 5GHz Wi-Fi network, albeit you must use a wireless client that is TurboQAM-compatible in order to reap the full benefits of this chip. Current and old clients will also benefit from improved performance, but not to the same extent.

Performance

In light of the high reputation of the ASUS RT brand, I had high expectations for this particular model, but the speeds it achieved were far beyond my expectations. This router is the fastest we’ve tested on both the AC and N bands at virtually every distance, making it the best choice for most people.

In my tests, the RT-AC68U was by far the quickest Wi-Fi router I’d encountered to date. When I first heard about the TurboQam technology, I anticipated observing improvements mainly with legacy 802.11n clients and only on the 2.4GHz frequency range, yet the router performed admirably across the whole test. I put it to the test using Asus’ PCE-68U add-on Wi-Fi adapter, which supports TurboQam, and the results were astronomically impressive.

It provided sustained real-world speed of about 65MBps (521Mbps) at a close range of 15 feet for 802.11ac, which is only possible on the 5GHz band. This was almost double the speed of second fastest router on the charts. This is approximately eight times the speed of a standard Ethernet connection and is extremely close to the speed of Gigabit Ethernet connections. At a distance of 100 feet, this was lowered to around 42MBps (336Mbps), which is still quite fast.

The RT-AC68U achieved a category-leading 108.8 Mbps at 15 feet on the N band when tested with IxChariot and a laptop equipped with an Intel 2 x 2 AC Wi-Fi chip. In comparison to both the average and the Linksys WRT1900AC, this is a staggering 30 Mbps quicker.

At 15 feet, the RT-AC68U is likewise blisteringly fast on the alternating current band. In terms of throughput, its 346.1 Mbps was much quicker than the category average of 319.2 Mbps and more than 20 Mbps faster than the WRT1900AC’s 321.6 Mbps.

When tested at 50 feet on the AC band, where the ASUS was one of only two routers tested to exceed 300Mbps, the results were much better for the company. Its throughput of 302.8 Mbps was also over 70 Mbps higher than the category average of 233.8 Mbps and 50 Mbps higher than the WRT1900AC’s performance of 251.5 Mbps, according to the results.

The RT-most AC68U’s notable accomplishment was its throughput at 140 feet on the alternating current band. In terms of speed, the ASUS was 30 Mbps quicker than the WRT1900AC and an incredible 80 Mbps faster than the 211.2 Mbps achieved by the category average.

Surprisingly, the only distance at which the RT-AC68U faltered was 5 feet, where its 74.9 Mbps on the N band was neck-and-neck with the category average of 73.7 Mbps and 10Mbps behind the performance of the $249 Linksys WRT1900AC. When measured at 5 feet, it’s feasible that the N-band signal is so powerful that it crowded the band and causes interference.

Specifications

Model Name

  • RT-AC68U
  • RT-AC68U V3

Network Standard

  • IEEE 802.11a
  • IEEE 802.11b
  • IEEE 802.11g
  • WiFi 4 (802.11n)
  • WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
  • IPv4
  • IPv6

Product Segment

  • AC1900 ultimate AC performance : 600+1300 Mbps

AX technology

  • No

Data Rate

  • 802.11a : up to 54 Mbps
  • 802.11b : up to 11 Mbps
  • 802.11g : up to 54 Mbps
  • WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 450 Mbps
  • 802.11n TurboQAM : up to 600 Mbps
  • WiFi 5 (802.11ac) : up to 1300 Mbps

Antenna

  • External antenna x 3

Transmit/Receive

  • MIMO technology
  • 2.4GHz 3×3
  • 5GHz 3×3

Memory

  • 128 MB Flash, 256 MB RAM
  • V3 / 256MB

Operating Frequency

  • 2.4G Hz / 5 GHz

Ports

  • RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 4, RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1
  • USB 2.0 x 1
  • USB 3.0 x 1
  • RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 4, RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1
  • USB 2.0 x 1
  • USB 3.0 x 1

Button

  • WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Button, WiFi on/off Button

LED Indicator

  • Power x 1
  • WiFi x 2
  • LAN x 4

Power Supply

  • AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
  • DC Output : 12 V with max. 2.5 A current

Package content

  • 1 x RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router
  • 1 x RJ-45 cable
  • 1 x Power adapter
  • 1 x QSG
  • 1 x Warranty card

Product Weight (g)

  • 835 g
  • 640

AiMesh

  • AiMesh : Yes
  • Primary AiMesh router : Yes
  • AiMesh node : Yes

Router APP

  • ASUS Router APP : Yes

Game

  • Game Boost/acceleration : No
  • WTFast : No

Alexa

  • Support Alexa skil : No

IFTTT

  • Support IFTTT : No

AiProtection

  • AiProtection : AiProtection Pro
  • Router Security Assessment : Yes
  • Router Security Assessment : No
  • Malicious site blocking : Yes
  • Two-Way IPS : Yes
  • Infected Device Prevention and Blocking ; Yes

Parental Control

  • Parental Control : Yes
  • Parental Control Customized Internet schedule : Yes
  • Maximum Parental Control profile : 16
  • Maximum Parental Control content filter rule : 16

Traffic Control

  • Adaptive QoS : Yes
  • Bandwidth Monitor : Yes
  • Bandwidth limiter : Yes
  • Maximum Bandwidth limiter rule : 32
  • Traditional QoS : Yes
  • Maximum Traditional QoS rule : 32
  • Traffic Monitor : Yes
  • Real-time traffic monitor : Yes
  • Wired Traffic Monitor : Yes
  • Wireless Traffic Monitor : Yes
  • Traffic Analyzer : Yes
  • Traffic analysis period : Daily, Weekly, Monthly
  • Website history : Yes

Wireless

  • IPv6 : Yes
  • MU-MIMO : No
  • Wi-Fi Encryption : Open system, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise
  • UTF-8 SSID : Yes
  • Guest Network : Yes
  • Maximum Guest Network rule : 6
  • Maximum Guest Network rule : 2.4GHz x3, 5GHz x3
  • Guest Network Encryption : Open system, WPA/WPA2-Personal
  • WPS : Yes
  • Wi-Fi MAC address filter : Yes
  • Maximum MAC filters : 64
  • Wireless scheduler : Yes
  • Airtime fairness : Yes
  • RADIUS Server : Yes
  • Universal beamforming : Yes
  • Explicit beamforming : Yes
  • IGMP snooping : Yes

WAN

  • Internet connection Type : PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Automatic IP, Static IP
  • Dual WAN : Yes
  • WAN Aggregation : No
  • 3G/4G LTE dongle : Yes
  • Android tethering : Yes
  • Port forwarding : Yes
  • Maximum port forwarding rule : 64
  • Port triggering : Yes
  • Maximum port triggering rule : 32
  • DMZ : Yes
  • DDNS : Yes
  • NAT Passthrough : PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, RTSP, H.323, SIP Passthrough,PPPoE relay
  • Let’s Encrypt : Yes

LAN

  • DHCP Server : Yes
  • IPTV : Yes
  • LAN Link Aggregation : No
  • Manually assign IP address : Yes
  • Maximum manually assign IP address rule : 64

VPN

  • VPN Client L2PT : Yes
  • VPN Client OVPN : Yes
  • VPN Client PPTP : Yes
  • VPN Server IPSec : No
  • VPN Server OVPN : Yes
  • VPN Server PPTP : Yes

USB application

  • File System : HFS+, NTFS, vFAT, ext2, ext3, ext4
  • 3G/4G LTE dongle : Yes
  • HDD hibernation : Yes
  • Safely Remove disk : Yes
  • AiCloud : Yes
  • Download master : Yes
  • AiDisk : Yes
  • Media Server : Yes
  • Time Machine : Yes
  • Samba Server : Yes
  • FTP Server : Yes
  • Shared Folder privileges : Yes

Pros

Topped our rate and range checks within 802.11ac mode.
Advanced features fitted to small businesses.
Clear, polished user administration interface.

Cons

Very little benefit more than previous models for networks with just 802.11n wireless customers.
Zero automatic notification of new firmware.
Non-removable stand.

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