Earlier this month, Asus launched what it deemed as the fastest router in the world, the RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router (opens in new tab). However, Linksys beat Asus to the punch just days prior with the launch of its Linksys Smart Wi-Fi AC1900 Router. Regardless of who arrived first, both provide impressive speeds, with up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
Asus said its new Wireless AC router is a step up from the previous RT-AC66U model, featuring a new dual-core processor and USB 3.0 connectivity for next-generation high-performance storage. Broadcom TurboQAM technology increases Wireless N data rate to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, providing 33 percent faster performance than other solutions.
"With a 3x3 MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) design with three external 'smart' antennas, the RT-AC68U gives solid and stable Wi-Fi performance with increased data rates over long distances," the company said. "Wireless coverage is further enhanced by ASUS AiRadar Tx beamforming technology that automatically shapes the signal to give a stronger connection for wireless clients."
In other words, instead of distributing a single sphere of wireless networking signal, the router can lock on to a connected device and create a finely-tuned "beam" of communication. This method ensures extended coverage, dynamic data speed increases, and enhanced stability. This connectivity feature is complimented by the ASUSWRT dashboard for easily controlling network applications and connected devices.
According to the specs, this router provides four Gigabit ports, one Gigabit WAN port, a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port. With the USB ports, users can share 3G/4G USB modems, printers and high-performance storage with a local network. ASUS AiCloud technology transforms USB-attached storage into a personal cloud server, for easy remote file access and media streaming from a laptop, smartphone and tablet, the company said.
"The RT-AC68U features a dual-core processor that eliminates the performance drops that plague other routers," the company said. "So even on the busiest home networks, HD video streaming is always smooth, the latency low for online gaming and VoIP calls, and file downloads are never interrupted. ASUSWRT firmware also provides a simple 30-second setup and sophisticated, yet simple to use, simple network management features with graphical traffic monitoring and per-service bandwidth limiting."
Naturally, to get the 1300 Mbps speeds on the router's 5 GHz band, you'll need a Wireless AC device or adapter (and even then you might not hit the limit). The new Asus router can now be pre-purchased on Amazon, NCIX and Newegg for $219 USD, with shipments expected to begin on October 9. That's slightly cheaper than the Linksys model, which sells for $249 USD.