ASUS tries to have a presence in most markets. Every now and then a router from the Taiwanese manufacturer makes an appearance in our test lab. It's been about a year since we reviewed the ASUS RT-N56U, a router we were pretty impressed by except at long distances on 2.4 GHz. Now ASUS releases its successor, the RT-N66U that comes in the same Black Diamond finish that characterised the RT-N56U. It's a matter of personal taste of course, but a design like that does exude style and quality. Whether this holds true for its performance, we'll see a bit later. The price of £149 also raises our expectations in terms of performance and quality.
Last year ASUS announced a gaming router called the RT-N66U that was supposed to be part of the Republic of Gamers product line, but indicated it would not appear in Europe. The RT-N66U that we are reviewing here is not designed in the RoG style, so this is not the gaming router ASUS alluded to last year at the CES conference. We suspect that a RoG router will still see the light of day, and we've seen it appear in places under the name RT-57U, but it has not been released yet. So the RT-N66U you read about here is most definitely the real successor to the RT-N56U.
The RT-N66U uses the latest technology in terms of wireless speed in the form of three MIMO data streams, which means that the maximum theoretical full duplex speed is 450 mbps. The maximum speed is of course never fully achieved, but you expect that a 450 mbps router will score better than one that still uses two data streams and is limited to 300 mbps.