Asus has built its reputation to offer some of the best gadgets in the world of tech, and when it comes to routers, it does leave quite a few people confused, especially when it comes to its RT-AC series. The routers released in those series were introduced one after the other. Don’t get us wrong, there were improvements made, but are those changes enough to validate the difference in prices?
Here we take a closer look at the RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68U, RT-AC66U and RT-AC68W, to understand what sets them apart from each other and to study their similarities so you can make the best judgement call for what you need for your home.
In this comparison guide, we’ve compared the ASUS RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W. It may seem like the only difference between the four mentioned models is the alphabet right in the end, but there’s more to this than meets the eye.
What Do Asus RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W Have in Common
While each model is different, there are many similarities that set them apart. We could go into the nitty gritty details, but some have no bearing on the overall performance, so we’ll just leave out the looks for now.
1) They offer the latest wireless standard of 802.11AC – Surprise, Surprise – all four options offer fats wireless AC! The actual speeds will be determined on which model you buy and your subscription plan from your ISP.
2) AiRadar Beamforming: When it comes to technology, ASUS doesn’t skimp on performance. AiRadar Beamforming is a relatively new technology that has revolutionized today’s wireless performance as it angles the wireless signal so that the connected clients can get a better and stronger signal, no matter where they are.
3) Dual Bands: With so many gadgets being released to use the faster 5 GHz band, it makes sense to get a router that can get your devices connected and up and running. However, no every client has AC wireless cards inbuilt, and to allow smooth running, ASUS has included both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
4) AiCloud: Now you can control, manage and monitor your Asus router remotely.
5) USB 3.0 ports: It’s almost a given that any router worth its salt will have a 3.0 USB port for sharing media and HD streaming and with the exception of the Asus RT-66U, which has 2 x USB 2.0 ports, the remaining 3 models all have 3.0 ports.
6) Advanced QoS: Gamers and avid internet users will appreciate this. If you are connected constantly, you don’t want your network experience compromised, and this, when properly set up, will help keep your home network protected from congestion.
How Do Asus RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W Differ
When you’re choosing which model is the best for your home, you want to know the differences, even if they are slight. There are subtle changes which will affect your internet speed and even the price differences can make you rethink your choices. We get down and dirty with our reviews of the battle between RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68U, but we’ll keep this brief for now. Your final decision will solely depend on your needs.
When we tested the Asus RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W, our goals were quite simple. You, our readers, wanted to know which were the best option of the four and why. Here are our findings:
Asus RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W Comparison Table
1. Asus RT-AC66U
Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz)
2. Asus RT-AC68U
Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz)
3. Asus RT-AC68P
Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz)
4. Asus RT-AC68W
Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz)
1. Asus RT-AC66U Wireless Dual Band Router
When it comes to price and performance, very little can be said against the Asus RT-AC66U. It seems to be designed just perfectly for your internet needs, as long as you’re not expecting your laptop to take off into outer space. The build seems sturdy and reliable and the design is visually attractive, so you know the people at Asus have put some thought into the form, unlike other routers that come to mind.
Asus RT-AC66U Performance
When it came to performance, we weren’t expecting much. This budget friendly option seemed to be the low end of the four tested options, but again, we were taken by surprise. As many gadgets still work on the 2.4GHz band, it was important that the frequency deliver a strong connection, and the Asus RT-AC66U certainly does. From all your household gadgets that operate on the 2.4GHz can run comfortably as the speeds are very impressive on this range.
If you didn’t know, the RT-AC66U runs 3x3 mimo which is why it can achieve faster speeds than previous versions. This model though, uses the older MIPS based CPU which will not give you amazing performance boosts that newer versions can deliver. But to be honest, do you think you’ll be running torrents, external HD, VPN and more? That’s the only time when you may notice a slight improvement, but if your needs are not extraordinary, the Asus RT-AC66U performs beautifully and without complaint.
The signal strength is fairly impressive with speeds reaching 120Mbps, even when our testing device was in the garden outside, at least 60 feet away from the router. If that doesn’t bowl you over, we don’t know what will.
Asus RT-AC66U Best Use
For families with many older devices, you’ll find that the Asus RT-AC66U could be a perfect fit. It is user friendly, so you don’t have to be a tech wizard to set this up – which is great use for the general population.
Asus RT-AC66U Pros
- Easy set up process
- Reliable Build and design
- Impressive Range
- Great price point
- Excellent monitoring tools
Asus RT-AC66U Cons
- No 3.0 USB port
Asus AC66U vs AC68U. Does It Make Sense To Buy Asus RT-AC66U over RT-AC68U?
When it comes to the battle between RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U, it all depends on what you are looking to get for your home. Since the RT-AC68U released (and subsequent routers after that), the price in the RT-AC66U dropped considerably, making it a good option for those who don’t want to shell out a whole lot of money to be connected.
Even in terms of performance, the RT-AC68U does have a bump in performance, but it’s your judgement call if you want to spend a little bit more to get a little bit more in the performance segment. The RT-66U has slower bandwidth speeds than the RT-AC68U, but if you have many devices that run on the 2.4GHz band, the RT-AC66U may be a better option for you.
2. Asus RT-AC68U Wireless Dual Band Router
On first impressions, the Asus RT-AC68U passed with flying colors. The build quality is great and the attention to details as well as materials used makes this seem like a true quality product that can withstand time. But looks can be deceiving, so we started our testing to see if the inside was as good as the outside.
Asus RT-AC68U Performance
One of the more important points our readers wanted to know was if the router could handle many connected devices. With all of us owning multiple gadgets and devices, that’s not an unreasonable request. Although this router is very affordably priced, it did not disappoint. Our team could get a strong signal in the basement as well as the second floor in a multi story house. This house basically ran on wifi. Gaming consoles, multiple smartphones, laptops streaming data, garage doors, radio players and more – they all worked without a glitch. This gave a better result that many routers pricier than the RT-AC68U.
The signal strength was stable on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, delivering around 82Mbps downstream and 14Mbps on the 5GHz band. Considering that our ISP is supposed to deliver 75Mbps, we were more than happy when we saw the results of the Speed Test.
Asus RT-AC68U Best Use
If you’re looking to get connected, with no hassles, the RT-AC68U could be the router for you. It does bundle up a fair bit in one attractive package, and this could be your one-stop-shopping deal that could keep your home connected for a very long time.
Asus RT-AC68U Pros
- 4 x Gigabit LAN ports so HD streaming devices can be hardwired to your network
- LED on and off switch which is a welcome addition to avoid flashing blinking lights
- Effective and easy to manage parental controls
- Offers more customization options than other routers
- Get connected with ease with the WPS button instead of typing out the network password on devices like Wifi enabled printers
- Standing model – so it can sit unobtrusively in the corner
- Excellent long and short wifi performance
Asus RT-AC68U Cons
- It needs a little more set up time due to a lack of a preconfigured network – but the steps are easy enough to follow to make this point a little negligible.
Asus RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68U. Does It Make Sense To Buy RT-AC68P over RT-AC68U?
Yes. As with any product, there are bound to be a few bugs that get discovered after it is tested or even released. The RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68U question is a little moot, so to speak, only because the RT-AC68P fixed a bug that was present in the RT-AC68U version. Earlier, the wireless signal from the router was a little unstable n the USB 3.0 port, but now that has been corrected in the P version, with the USB 3.0 storage performance being faster than the older U version.
As the RT-AC68P is the version 2.0 of the RT-AC68U, it should be a little better. The P model has a faster CPU as compared to the 800MHz used in the U version, which affects the speed and performance of the USB 3.0 ports.
When it comes to choosing between the two, it seems like quite a clear cut answer. The P version, hands down. Why? Because you don’t want to buy a product that may not perform to the best that it can. Avoid the bugs and get the best – In any case, at some point of time the U will probably be replaced completely, seeing as how P was released in answer to the problems the U version was having.
It maybe a small change, but having a faster processor does make a difference, even if its slight. If you don’t use your 3.0 port, then you can save the few extra dollars and settle for the RT-AC68U. In the end, you have a better idea of what will work best for your home. We can only offer our two cents on the matter.
3. Asus RT-AC68P Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Router
Looks wise, we can’t complain. The metallic, futuristic look makes it look right at home with the fast speeds it delivers. Introduced as the version 2.0 of the RT-AC68U, the RT-AC68P is new, improved and better than the previous version.
The set up was fairly simple and quick and plus side is that you can remotely manage your network with the Asus Router mobile app. There are advanced settings that can be tweaked by users to get the optimum performance – this includes SSID editing, allowing you configure things on your LAN settings and much more.
Asus RT-AC68U Performance
This router has been tested time and again, and it always delivers on the 5GHz band. It proved to be faster than other routers we had tested. The speeds on the 2.4GHz band were consistently strong, even as we increased the distance between the router and the connected client. We get really good speeds from our ISP, and the Bluegadgettooth team found that the speeds on the 5GHz speed were consistently over 300Mbps, even at a range of 30 feet and over.
Transferring heavy files and data was decent, but nothing much to rave about. The job got done, but not in a blink of an eye. Overall, the performance made it worth the price, as speeds on both bands were fast and the amount of management features included in this device also made it absolutely worth buying. It is on the way to future proofing your home, but as with everything technology related, there will always be something bigger, better and faster within the month.
Asus RT-AC68U Best Use
For those of you who need to constantly transfer heavy files and data will appreciate the faster storage performance in the 3.0 USB port. As for speeds, you can get connected with as many devices as you want. If you have a fairly large sized home or a large family, getting the RT-AC68P will be a good option for you.
Asus RT-AC68P Pros
- Great parental controls with the AiProtection feature
- Advanced wireless settings
- Easy installation with the Set up wizard
- Great overall performance on both bands
- Strong signal strength on short and long range
- Comprehensive Network Protection
Asus RT-AC68P Cons
- No support for MU-MIMO data streaming
4. Asus RT-AC68W WiFi Router AC1900
When it comes to performance, the RT-AC68W is exactly like the RT-AC68U. Why, you ask? Because there is no difference in the two. The only thing that makes the RT-AC68W stand out is the colour. It’s White. That is what the ‘W’ in RT-AC68W stands for.
Asus RT-AC68W Performance
You still get great signal strength and a reliable connection, if you want to get hardwired, the 5x Gigabit ports will make sure you sail through any hard levels in your game or even watch an HD video seamlessly with no buffers.
The AiCloud has made life a lot simpler so that now you can stream, sync and manage your data no matter your location. You can even create a private cloud server for certain family members or friends. The White version of RT-AC68U, you’ll enjoy the same benefits, but the router will only stand out with its gleaming white color.
Asus RT-AC68W Best Use
If you have a busy home network, the RT-AC68W will be perfect for you, thanks to the dual core processor. Game away to your heart’s content or download all the heavy files you want – this can handle it.
Asus RT-AC68W Pros
- Easy set up process
- Simple traffic management
- Multiple wireless SSIDs
- Great parental controls
- Impressive short and long wifi performance
- Standing model takes less space
Asus RT-AC68W Cons
- White could show the dirt faster than a black colour option
It’s clear to see that Asus has done its fair bit of research in design and development with the RT-AC68 series. From constantly improving the specs, to thinking of user –friendliness, Asus has become more prominent in the world of internet technology.
To summarize the contents of the guide – the 68U is the basic model that all other models revolve around. It is definitely a step up from the 66U model, but how useful is the improvements to you relies solely on the amount of internet usage as well as overall usage. If you are not a heavy user like watching HD videos constantly, have a lot of connected devices, then you can be happy with the 66U.
When it comes to choosing between RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68U, it is simply again a matter of choice. The P is the improved version of the U, and the W is simply the White color option of the U. Perhaps Asus has made this seem a little more complicated than necessary – perhaps they should have removed the U completely from the equation once the P was introduced, to simply make the customer’s choices easier.
This is one time when we feel that there are too many options, with barely any differences to justify the introduction of so many versions. But the bottom line is, go for the RT-AC68P. (If you want our opinion.)