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ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: ASUS RT-N66U Wireless-N Router
ASUS RT-N66U Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

To test the ASUS RT-N66U Router we are using the Passmark Performance v7.0 Advanced Network Test. This test measures throughput between two clients connected to the router to be tested. In order for this test to work one PC must be set up as 'Client' and the other must be set up as the 'Server'. Each test is run five times with the highest and lowest result omitted and the remaining three results averaged to give a final result.

At Benchmark Reviews we like to be comprehensive so you will find results here for many different configurations such as LAN to LAN (100Mb/s), LAN to LAN (1000MB/s), WLAN to LAN using integrated laptop WiFi (Wireless G 54Mb/s), WLAN to LAN using ASUS USB-N53 (Wireless N 300Mb/s) and WLAN to LAN using ASUS EA-N66 Ethernet adapter (Wireless N450). To eliminate any variables Test System 1 was always set to 'Server' and results were monitored and recorded on the 'Client' systems. The ASUS RT-N66U shipped out with firmware v3. and tests were conducted under this firmware.


Test System 1

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
  • Network: Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN
  • System Memory: 8GB Corsair LP CL9 1600MHz
  • Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.2GHz
  • Disk Drive 1: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB
  • Disk Drive 2: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB
  • Enclosure: Lancool PC-K63
  • PSU: Corsair HX750W 750 watt Modular
  • Monitor: HKC 22" Widescreen (1920x1080)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (SP1)

Test System 2

  • Model: Acer Aspire T180-R97Z
  • Network 1: Marvel Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Network 2: ASUS EA-N66 3-in-1 Ethernet Adapter via Gigabit LAN port
  • System Memory: 1GB DDR2
  • Processor: AMD Semperon 3500+
  • Disk Drive: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 (x86)

Test System 3

  • Laptop Model: Compaq Presario CQ61-110SA
  • Network Adapter 1: Integrated Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g
  • Network Adapter 2: RealTek 10/100 integrated Ethernet controller
  • Network Adapter 3: ASUS USB-N53 N300 USB Network Adapter
  • Network Adapter 4: ASUS EA-N66 3-in-1 Ethernet Adapter via Ethernet port
  • System Memory: 3GB DDR2 PC2-6400
  • Processor: Pentium Dual Core T4200 @ 2.0Ghz
  • Disk Drive: WD Scorpio Blue 160 GB SATA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 (x86)


The first test was conducted at a distance of 1 meter, which I would consider to be 'Wired' range. These tests were conducted using the method detailed above.


Not all results are at their max theoretical limit but this may or may not be due to the router itself, it is quite possible that the network adapters themselves are not capable of maxing out their theoretical limit. In an ideal scenario we would have identical network adapters at either end but these results show 'Real-World' throughput. We see a very good result for 100Mb/s LAN, in this case the network adapters are making full use of the available bandwidth with only a small overhead. When we look at the Gigabit LAN result we start to see that throughput is not meeting its maximum potential, still ~545 Mb/s is nothing to be disappointed with (results peaked at 575Mb/s during testing). Home internet connections are nowhere near as fast as this yet but this should be plenty fast for streaming etc.

Wireless G speeds and wireless N speeds are also somewhat lower than maximum potential, but the EA-N66 Ethernet adapter connected to a Gigabit LAN port really makes good use of the available bandwidth during the UDP tests (results peaking at 401Mb/s). Equally important as speed is range when looking at wireless internet, sure you get faster speed with wires but you also lose portability. The next two tests look at wireless G 54Mb/s and Wireless N 300Mb/s speed and range. Points 1~4 are downstairs rooms and points 5~8 are upstairs rooms. This gives a good idea of what sort of coverage we can expect in a fairly sized three bedroom house.


The wireless G test is very promising indeed, the ASUS RT-N66U was able to deliver a consistent speed at all test points. Test point 8 is the furthest away from the router so the slightly lower score is somewhat expected.


When we tested throughput with the ASUS USB-N53 Wireless N300 USB Adapter the results were good but not as close to 300Mb/s as I was expecting, the ASUS configuration utility and the windows connection status dialog showed that the USB-N53 was indeed connected at 300Mb/s but actual throughput was much lower. Wireless N300 throughput was not as consistent as the Wireless G throughput in all of the locations. As we see it here, the downstairs results remain consistent, but the further away you get the worse the throughput is.



# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Routerbobobobo 2012-03-06 18:33
The maximum transfer speed is 450Mbps.

450Mbps in 2.4Ghz and 450Mbps in 5Ghz.

You can't put them together and say 900Mbps. That's where I quit reading your review btw.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterOlin Coles 2012-03-06 19:55
I'm not sure you ever started reading the review, because N900 is the model number and the specifications are supplied by ASUS.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterJay 2012-03-06 21:19
If you would have read it correctly, you will notice he was posting Asus specs, not "real world" performance.

Take your time in the future. It's obvious speed reading is not your thing.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-07 13:21
That's like saying you cant make bleach from salt water, it sounds preposterous I know, but that is exactly is happening.
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# Works as statedGlock41 2012-04-01 13:27
great router. No need to use the printer Epson 615 has that already. Range is great. Updated the firmware and is still a lil buggy, but I would recommend this router.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RoutertomBMV 2012-08-24 12:05
well, technically, when you are having two computers running file transfer from the network shared hard-drive (on a regular router,) the speed will split half no matter what,
on behalf of this new tech router, i ran two different laptops for copying couples files from two shared hard-drives and their speed come closed to 450....nbps

gotta test it yourself to reallize the different
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# 450Mbpsloverbull 2013-11-05 12:59
the 450mbps is per band, to access 2 bands you need 2 wifi card with 2 adapters built in, i've just ordered one.. :-)
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDoug Dallam 2012-03-07 16:01

I was wondering if you did any testing at 2.4Ghz, since 2.4Ghz has better penetration of solid objects, and can have better performance in some situations (walls and distance).

This review was ironically timed because I just installed an ASUS(PCE-N15) PCI card in my main machine (Mortal online uses a strange PVP prediction system that seems to give advantages to wireless lag in Melee situations (acts like a lag switch), for some reason).

But it only supports connections in the 2.4Ghz band. My router is a dual band router. Although my internet connection is maximum 8 Mbps, and the router is only 3' from the main machine, I'm wondering if I should return the PCI version and get the USB version you reviewed.

At this time I'm getting identical ping and transfer rates from my ISP as I do when I'm 100% wired. Any suggestions?
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-07 16:08
The Wireless G test was 2.4GHz (5GHz is wireless N only), and I think you should stick with the PCE-N15 PCI card or go wired if you are only 3' away from your router.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDoug Dallam 2012-03-07 16:25
What do you mean when you say 5Ghz is wireless N only? My card is wireless N but only uses the 2.4Ghz band.

I was wondering how the N adapter would perform on the 2.4Ghz band.
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-08 14:03
I will run some tests for you ;)
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDoug Dallam 2012-03-08 16:20
Sweet! I live alone and don't have any need for wide bandwidth. The 2.4Ghz spectrum should be fine, even if it can only produce 150Mbs, which is much higher than anything I'll have need for. I have read you can about double that will taking around 86% of the 2.4 space, but I'm not clear how that works or if the router/adapter does it automatically.

I'm thinking that my setup is going to deliver no less speed than using the 5Ghz spectrum. Again, I'm not transferring information between any LAN.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-08 16:37
Speeds are slightly slower on the 2.4GHz band. The 5GHz band has a stronger and faster connection.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDoug Dallam 2012-03-08 18:34
Looks like I'll stick with the card I have then. My internet connection isn't going to get anywhere near even 56Mbps anytime soon anyway, and is now maximum 8Mbps. Thanks.
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# Where did you find an EA-N66?Dhave 2012-03-08 13:40
I thought the ASUS EA-N66 had not been released yet (as of 8 march 2012). I'm talking about this beauty:

Has anyone located a source for these yet?
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# RE: Where did you find an EA-N66?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-08 14:09
You would be right there Dhave, it hasn't been released yet. I have one and I am currently running some tests, and yes she is a beauty. As for release dates and sources, we still haven't had the official word from ASUS yet.
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# PulTabWarren Allely 2012-03-12 07:14
The one I ordered from Newegg is out for delivery today.
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# RE: PulTabDhave 2012-03-12 08:33
I don't see the EA-N66 listed on the Newegg site.
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# RE: RE: PulTabWarren Allely 2012-03-12 08:39
The RT-N66U is available for pre-order on the Newegg website which is what I did. Took two days before it was shipped. Sorry I didn't notice the "EA-N66" part.
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# RE: RE: RE: PulTabDhave 2012-03-12 08:42
O.K., thanks. Enjoy your new router. It's spiffy.
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# 4g sharing ?Dan 2012-03-12 12:21
I noticed that you wrote that it would be possible to share 4g as well as 3g connection. Is this confirmed ? I would really love that since the only thing that is keeping me from ordering one of these is that I need to be able to share a 4g connection, and I can't seem to get an confirmation that this will work.

This quote gives me hope :)

"The ASUS RT-N66U has two built in USB 2.0 ports that allow you to share printers and USB storage over LAN and WAN, and also allows you to share a 3G/4G internet connection.!
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# RE: 4g sharing ?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-12 13:30
4G - Referred to as WiMax - is supported by the RTN66U. It is a little hard to see in the router settings screen capture on the Detailed Features page: (last one)

Here is a zoomed in screen capture:
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# RE: RE: 4g sharing ?Dan 2012-03-12 14:41
Thanks for the answer, it's really good news :)

Feel a bit silly for not realizing that WiMax was the same thing as 4g, but you learn something every day.
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# RE: RE: RE: 4g sharing ?Jimmy Jazz 2012-03-17 11:49
Don't feel bad, WiMax and 4G aren't necessarily interchangeable terms, there is also the competing 4G LTE. I don't think you'll be able to share a Verizon 4G connection with this thing, for example.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Routerdavid 2012-03-12 21:42
I own this router and it is simply amazing. The new firmware doubles the transmit power i believe from 40mw to 80mw (someone correct me if i'm wrong). I nearly have double the signal strength compared to the netgear wndr3800 and other reviews i have read say that its thoroughput is better than the wndr4500. You get what you pay for and its worth every penny as this router is loaded with features. I recommend it 110 %!
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# VPN support?Todd 2012-03-15 06:17
Does this support VPN? The ASUS RT-N56 doesn't apparently and I do about 25-30 hours work from home per week, and need to upgrade from my old DLINK wireless router. And having the VPN support is a MUST for me.

Thanks in advance!!
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# RE: VPN support?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-15 13:20
Yes, it's detailed in the features and specifications. :D
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# Shared Printer supportdavid 2012-03-15 14:02
Just wanted to chime in about the Print server in Windows 7 will not work unless the firmware is upgraded to the latest version. It had bewildered me for a week until I checked the firmware release notes.
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# Over heating issueK-Man 2012-05-27 12:10
The Asus N900 get very hot. Is that an issue that will cause it to not work?
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# Mr.Rahul Jawale 2012-06-13 20:59
Just use a USB Fan. :) I can see a small bit of performance increase after adding active cooling.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-05-27 14:01
Haven't noticed any temperature issues.
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# Question About 3G Capable Asus RT-N6 UCharles 2012-10-11 19:19
Does the discussion here mean the N66U can connect to the Internet using a 3G USB thumb modern from a ISP provider? I live in a rural area and want to use the router to also connect my smartphone and Internet radio, along with my computer, to the Internet. Sorry I'm not smart enough to make myself more clear.
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# RE: Question About 3G Capable Asus RT-N6 USteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-10-12 09:19
Yes that is the case according to the ASUS specifications, although I am not able to test it as I don't have a 3G dongle.
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# Thank you, Steven!Charles 2012-10-12 09:34
Much appreciation for taking your time to help me. Best wishes.
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# Actual Maxima DistanceJames Wang 2012-11-07 07:08
I was wondering, how many meters the RT-N66U wireless distance it can cover. Because I want to use it in my home that have 3 floor.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-11-07 10:42
Line of sight distance and multi storey distance will produce different results because of physical obstacles that may degrade or block the signal. As I don't have a 3 floors on which to test I can't really offer you a true answer. You would do much better to contact ASUS support, or check Youtube for the video reviews JJ from ASUS did for the RT-N66U.
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# Parental Controls Page FailureJay 2013-02-05 11:10
Recently purchased the RT-N66U and I have been impressed with the performance and features. However, there is still an issue with parental controls UI. After adding 5 devices the ASP code hung up and the page no longer displays properly. The only way to return to a working page is to re-apply the most recent firmware. Still waiting for reply from Asus on a resolution if one exists. Overall though it is an excellent router.
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# Easy out of the boxKawabunga18 2013-02-05 11:10
I went ahead and picked up a N66U from the local big box store I must say set-up was a breeze. I'm having some issues getting the VPN going with my dynamic WAN IP but I must be doing something wrong. It seems the new price tag is below $170 everyone is selling it at the price well worth the money from what I can see so far based on its performance. I still get 6 meg d/l on my WiFi in the basement with the N66U two stories up on the top floor.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterDavid 2013-06-16 12:43
I don't understand why reviews for this product consistently refer to the "parental controls" as a means to "allow you to control internet time limits." That is NOT what this feature does. What it does is control what hours of the day the device can access the internet. You can only seat a LIMIT if you also specify the EXACT times the internet can be accessed as well. So, for example, if you wanted to limit access to 20 hours a week, you have to also specify the exact hours of access. If the device is not used every minute of those times, then the "limit" is a lower number. There is no way to allow 20 hours a week (or 4 hours a day), and let the user have a say in when they can use it.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-06-16 16:41
Your comment is a little pedantic don't you think, David. I can limit my children to 2 hours internet per day in more ways than one. Sure one way is to tell them that they can have only two hours and allow them to choose when to use the time. I can also specify that time for them, and whether they choose to use the entire sum of their allotted is completely irrelevant. Time is limited when control lies with another, no matter how you choose to look at it.
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