Asus DSL-AC68U Router Review - Performance, Value & Verdict Review

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Asus DSL-AC68U – Performance

So given the DSL-AC68U is based on the same chipset as the RT-AC68U does it deliver the same performance? Surprisingly no. In many results they are of course within a margin of error, but there were some significant changes. Where positive these are likely down to firmware updates since we reviewed the RT-AC68U and where negative may well be due to interference from the modem, though this is speculation.

Either way, our new performance graphs should allow us to illustrate this more easily than before and also provide better comparison with relevant rivals.

DSL-AC68U AC

As you will see compared to its biggest AC1900 rivals – the D-Link DIR-880L, Linksys EA6900 and obviously the Asus RT-AC68U (no other AC1900 router has an integrated modem) – the DSL-AC68U is a match to all at 2m where it achieves a peak speed of 79.2MBps. It drops away slightly at 10m much like the RT-AC68U before a surprisingly large dip at our maximum test distance: 15m behind two standing walls. This is surprising, but it was a result that was replicated again and again.

DSL-AC68U 5GHz

Thankfully it wasn’t repeated over 802.11n 5GHz. Here the DSL-AC68U loses out over 2m and 10m to our current favourite router, the superb D-Link DIR-880L but it is every bit a match for the others. Interestingly 802.11n 5GHz was where the RT-AC68U previously fell down so it is good to see Asus has addressed this.

DSL-AC68U 2.4GHz

Where the DSL-AC68U arguably does best, however, is over 802.11n 2.4GHz. At 2m its peak speed of 25.6MBps is the fastest we have ever recorded and while the DIR-880L comes into its own at 10m and 15m, the DSL-AC68U still holds its own.

Lastly performance over USB 3.0 is impressive too hitting 27.1MBps which puts it amongst the fastest routers available. If only Asus had fitted a second USB port.

DSL-AC68U 3

Should I buy the Asus DSL-AC68U?

While the DSL-AC68U doesn’t usurp the very fastest AC1900 routers across most tests, it gives them a good run for their money. More to the point though is the DSL-AC68U achieves these wireless speeds while offering an integrated VDSL2 modem making it the most powerful all-in-one solution we have seen.

As you might expect this added functionality does mean increased cost, but it isn’t as big as you might expect. The RT-AC68U launched for £189.99 and while it can be found online now for around £155, the DSL-AC68U’s £194.99 RRP (which will inevitably be discounted by retailers) looks good value. Especially with the Linksys EA6900 still hovering around the £170-180 price bracket.

As ever the potential fly in the ointment is the D-Link DIR-880L. Its extraordinary £129 asking price (now around £120 online) will lead many to question how much they value an all-in-one router and modem, but until D-Link makes a VDSL2 version of the 880L it cannot fulfil the exact same brief as the DSL-AC68U.

Verdict

With relatively few DSL routers around these days, it is refreshing to see Asus push the boat out with the DSL-AC68U. It doesn’t win the raw speed race, but it competes with the best while integrating a future proof VDSL2 modem and combining that with an intuitive setup and distinctive, well built design. As such it is the best all-in-one router we’ve seen to date.

Next, read our pick of the Best Routers

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 7
  • Features 9
  • Build Quality 8
  • Usability 9
  • Design 8

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