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Hands on review: ASUS DSL-AC68U Modem Router

05 Jun 2015

ASUS has made a name for itself in the router business, being an ex-owner (till it was hit in a lightning strike), it ranks highly for me, so should it rank highly for you?

The DSL-AC68U is the first modem router that supports AC1900 wireless. The new standard that is even more advanced than the new 12 inch Macbook from Apple, and the Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft. There are routers that will support AC wireless, but the DSL-AC68U adds a much simpler way to set your broadband up for the fastest wireless experience.

It also has ADSL2+ and VDSL compatibility. Those of you (like me), who are unlikely to get UFB in the near future, will be reliant on these technologies for a while. With the DSL-AC68U, you’ll not require any different hardware, and can just upgrade when ready. So it should last you quite a while! 

The xDSL component can be disengaged, which makes the DSL-AC68U operate like a RT-AC68U. Furthermore, the DSL-AC68U can be setup to operate with a failover internet connection. For instance, the xDSL connection can be used as primary, while one of the Gigabit Ethernet ports can be turned into a WAN port (via ASUSWRT graphic user interface) for connection to cable/fibre, and a 3G/4G dongle can be connected to the USB port for a wireless broadband failover solution.

This capability allows maximum uptime, as you can plug a USB 3G/4G modem or an Android phone, so if the phone line does go down, you can still access internet. Ideal for businesses that need that security.

The ASUS is controlled using a webpage (much like most modems or routers). It’s not exactly modern looking, but ASUS are brilliant at showing the simple things, but providing access to the more technical parts for us tinkerers.

And the DSL-AC68U has a lot of capability, ASUS are known for pushing software updates and enhancement to their devices very quickly, unlike a lot of manufacturers who only release bugfixes (if they can be bothered…). For instance, the ASUS exclusive feature AiProtection is now available as a free feature upgrade for the DSL-AC68U and RT-AC68U via a firmware update. 

The ASUS positively laps up throwing data round via wireless, with its speed matching, if not exceeding dedicated AC routers.

And ASUS make it easy to connect your devices. It has its own cloud setup, (AiCloud is ASUS's mobile application for iOS and Android), and attaching an external drive to the ASUS’ USB port enables simple secure access from outside the network. This USB storage can also act as a Time Machine, access via SMB / FTP, DLNA media server and iTunes Server.

The DSL-AC68U uses two dedicated processors (CPUs) in the device, one to manage DSL network traffics and one to manage wireless network traffic (AC1900 spec).

The AC1900 has the ability to achieve 1.3Gbps bandwidth (on 5GHz band) over a wireless connection - this is faster than Gigabit Ethernet. 

AiRadar and beamforming technology improves wireless coverage and the Adaptive Quality of Service (QoS) ensure the network's speed performance.

It’s so easy to setup, you don’t need the local IT whiz to set it up, just follow the simple guide and you’ll be online within a minute.

Can I suggest it?

Well yes. Being the owner of a previous generation (N) ASUS, they’re not cheap, but you get the security of a company that likes its products and keeps developing the ones it has. This device is simple enough for the un-technical to use, and yet has enough capability for the geek amongst you.

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