ASUS is one of the top brands for high-end routers, but it was not always this way. In fact, the Taiwanese hardware giants only made significant inroads in the networking market a few years ago when they launched the awesome RT-N56U in 2010. With its stunning combination of good looks and blistering performance, it was one of the best routers of its time.
Fast forward three years and we have yet another flagship router from ASUS, this time the RT-AC68U. The RT-AC68U is a dual-band router that supports the latest Wireless-AC standard. At the heart of this router is Broadcom’s second-generation BCM4708A SoC, which features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, complemented by 256MB of RAM. This helps the router efficiently handle multiple transmissions and sessions.
In addition, this Broadcom SoC also features TurboQAM technology, which boosts Wireless-N 2.4GHz throughput from 450Mbps to 600Mbps when used with devices featuring compatible Broadcom receivers.
In terms of design, the RTAC68U is not all that different from its predecessors. It features the distinctive checkered pattern that has become a mark of ASUS routers. All in all, it is a handsome and futuristic-looking router. However, unlike its predecessors, the RT-AC68U can only be positioned upright and cannot be mounted on walls. This can make it tricky to position, especially when you factor in its massive three external antennae.
The reason it cannot be wall mounted is because all of its ports are located on the back panel. There’s a single WAN port and four LAN ports. There are also two USB ports, one USB 3.0 and the other USB 2.0, which can be used with printers to enable wireless printer or external USB hard drives for easy sharing of content or wireless backups.
Setting up the RT-AC68U was a breeze thanks to the ASUSWRT interface. Not only was it user-friendly, it also loads fast. Furthermore, the RT-AC68U offers a wealth of features and options such as media prioritization, parental control, range port forwarding and the ability to create and maintain multiple wireless SSIDs and more.
As is the case with modern routers, the RT-AC68U also offers cloud functionality via the ASUS AiCloud utility. With it enabled, you can access content stored on storage devices which are connected to the router anytime and anywhere, using ASUS’ AiCloud app on your Android or iOS device.
Performance was a bit of a mixed bag. On the 2.4GHz band, we managed average uplink and downlink throughputs of 59.331Mbps and 60.543Mbps respectively at a range of two meters. This dipped to 30.123Mbps and 36.531Mbps at 25 meters. And at 10 meters it took us 121 seconds to transfer a 1GB zip file.
Fortunately, on the 5GHz band and in Wireless-AC mode, the RT-AC68U absolutely blitzed the competition, recording average uplink and downlink throughputs of 167.892Mbps and 170.544Mbps respectively at two meters. Even at 25 meters, performance remained relatively unchanged at 166.243Mbps and 154.338Mbps. In addition, it took just 30 seconds to transfer a 1GB zip file at a range of 10 meters.
All in all, the RT-AC68U is an accomplished router that comes highly recommended, if you have the right equipment to take advantage of its wickedly fast Wireless-AC speeds.