Asus RT-AC68U AC1900 802.11ac router

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly


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Asus RT-AC68U


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Review Price £189.99

Should I buy the Asus RT-AC68U?

Quite clearly everything so far points to a resounding yes, but none of this allows for price. The (somewhat expected) caveat is Asus has slapped a £189.99 RRP on the AC68U making it the most expensive consumer/enthusiast router on the market. But not by much.

The AC68U is £20 more than the Linksys EA6700 and roughly £40 more than most 802.11ac routers. Given the performance leaps here we'd say making that extra investment in your network is money well spent. Interestingly Linksys itself has announced its own router based on the Broadcom BCM4709 chip, the 'EA6900', and given its premium heritage we wouldn't be surprised if its price tag is even greater.

Ultimately, the best always costs a lot, but the AC68U is the best router we have tested to date. It is by far the fastest, is feature packed, very well made and its leap in computational power is an industry first which gives USB network storage a huge boost. Furthermore, the AC68U isn't only bringing out the best in cutting edge wireless ac kit, it bolsters legacy equipment too with benchmark 802.11n 5GHz and 2.4GHz scores. If you can afford the investment, there's virtually no downside.


Recently we've seen a number of manufacturers release follow-ups to their debut 802.11ac routers, but Asus is the only one so far to make a true generational step up. Virtually everything has been upgraded and the combination of blistering speed, smart new design, masses of functionality and far greater horsepower has raised the bar for the competition. We'd still like to see AiCloud offer full remote access to router controls and the RRP is high, but right now there is no better router on the market.

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September 18, 2013, 12:59 pm

When will this become available. Any insights here??

Gordon Kelly

September 18, 2013, 2:31 pm

I'm told it will be at the start of October, but that some units may slip out to retailers before then.

Waqar Zia

September 19, 2013, 10:20 am

I'm curious as to why USB-attached HDD performs way slower than a NAS; does this means that the router's USB interface hardware is the culprit, and is it the case also with other routers?


September 19, 2013, 2:21 pm

No cloud based config/setup? For anyone that actually cares about their network security, that's a huge plus.


September 19, 2013, 5:41 pm

No cloud is actually a plus!


September 19, 2013, 8:43 pm

I take it this doesn't wall mount like the AC66U does. I'd like to upgrade but need it to wall mount.


September 19, 2013, 10:38 pm

is it bcm4709 or bcm4708?

I read somewhere else it is bcm4708

Gavin Martin

September 20, 2013, 9:43 am

My crappy sky-issue Netgear seems to have died overnight and needs immediate replacement....would I be disappointed with the AC66u since the AC68 isn't available yet? Thinking of making a long term purchase here....or is the Linksys 6700 a better bet?

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 9:50 am

No it doesn't. That is a downside of the design change.

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 9:50 am

Depends on your perspective and needs. Despite its controversial launch I've found Linksys' Smart WiFi to be incredibly useful.

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 9:51 am

See above.

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 9:52 am

There are numerous factors, but a lack of horsepower for properly caching the more resource intensive USB and powering the external drives themselves is certainly a factor. The former is clearly improving with the AC68U though and that can be seen from these speed results

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 9:53 am

Given you speak of a long term investment I'd wait the extra few weeks required. The AC66U is also a superb router, but when its successor just so close to market I think you'll that'll always grate should you buy the AC66U now.

Gavin Martin

September 20, 2013, 9:55 am

I've also realised - I'd need a separate DSL modem. So no snap decisions for today, I'm stuck using my HTC One Wifi Hotspot for now! It's been a few years since I bought any networking stuff so need to do my research! On another note I looked at what PC World are stocking and they don't seem to have any up to date routers - no wonder retail struggles when they can't stock new tech!

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 10:23 am

4709, as mentioned in the review ;)

Gordon Kelly

September 20, 2013, 10:24 am

You could say the same about networks and iPhone stock...!

But you're right to do your research. The Linksys EA6900 should be one to watch, but I recognise some dislike its Smart WiFi Cloud platform.


September 20, 2013, 11:24 am

This is my next router.


September 22, 2013, 5:57 am

Is WIRED performance any faster than on the Asus RT-N66U?

Jüri Pranstibel

September 22, 2013, 10:34 am

Is it wall-mountable?


September 23, 2013, 2:58 am


Did ASUS put a small fan in this one? The AC66U runs pretty hot and standing it up may help but a fan would really help.

Gordon Kelly

September 23, 2013, 10:39 pm

Nope. That is a downside

Gordon Kelly

September 23, 2013, 10:40 pm

No faster over wired - we're at the limits of Gigabit Ethernet rather than the limits of the routers.

There's no fan and the 68U runs fine, though I also had no problems with the 66U running hot.


September 23, 2013, 11:34 pm

How did you get your review unit so early? I don't see any other reviews yet, good job!


September 24, 2013, 2:42 am

The figure of 47.2 MBps (377.6 Mbps) is impressive in one sense, but on the other hand is only 29% of the maximum theoretical rate for 3x3 11ac (1300 Mbps).
Normally we would expect around 70% efficiency - so do you have any idea why this is so low?
At 2m the SNR should be high enough to support the maximum MCS, but maybe the line-of-sight MIMO channel can't support 3 spatial streams? Did you check the bit rate reported by the client (in Status)?


September 24, 2013, 9:24 pm

Hi, Will it support 3g dongle as internet source - once of the selling points of ac66u was this features.

Thanks, great review BTW

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