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Supporting Free and Open Source Software


IMG_2818I recently purchased a new wireless router for home use; the ASUS RT-N66U. The router it replaced was a D=Link DIR-655. I have wanted a simultaneous dual-band router for several years, but until recently had not found one that worked as well as the single-band DIR-655. What finally pushed me over the edge on the ASUS was the need for ‘parental controls’ that included the ability to turn off Internet access for specific devices based on time. The ASUS RT-AC66U and the RT-N66U both had this feature. I decided to save $40 and go with the N version of the router since I do not own any AC devices.

The router makes use of a web interface for initial setup and making settings changes so there is no need for Windows. As an Ubuntu user I am always happy to see manufacturers that do not rely on special Windows only software for managing their devices. In this case there is one piece of software that is Windows only; the firmware recovery utility. Careful reading on the web indicates that the software does nothing more than setup a TFTP server for firmware recovery.

I am very pleased with the performance improvement of the router. I used Wifi Analyzer on my Nexus 7 to capture the signal strength comparison. For reference the green colored graph is the DIR-655 and the purple is the ASUS RT-N66U.


In the same room – 3 feet distance


One room away same level – 30 feet distance


Upstairs – 30 feet distance

With previous attempts to replace the DIR-655 I had problems such as wireless dropouts and lockups. The worse of the bunch was the Buffalo WZR-HP-G450H, but the Linksys line also failed. I can report that I am currently very happy with the ASUS RT-N66U.

8 comments on “ASUS RT-N66U

  1. alienheartbeat
    June 17, 2013

    Don’t know what you put on them. I have been using Garggoyle – like it a lot.
    But am having to dump my old wrt54GL’s as they are not big enough to run latest versions. Tomato doesn’t have the kid monitor functinality I want.
    Just bought a Netgear N600 WNDR6800 and will put latest stable Gargoyle on it in the next few days.

    • Charles Profitt
      June 17, 2013

      the DIR-655 did not run Tomato or DD-WRT

      • alienheartbeat
        June 17, 2013

        yes, of course it doesn’t – I just meant Tomato (or DDWRT) as a more common alternative to Gargoyle/Openwrt. Apology for not being semantically completešŸ˜‰

        • Charles Profitt
          June 17, 2013

          No, worries… I wish the DIR-655 was able to run an alternative, but sadly it can’t… apparently the chipset used is closed.

  2. Jorge Castro
    June 17, 2013

    Are you using the stock ROM or something fancy? The stock firmware seemed decent enough for me to not bother flashing it. I have this router too and it’s awesome.

    • Charles Profitt
      June 17, 2013

      Stock firmware currently. It seems to do everything I need.

      • alienheartbeat
        June 17, 2013

        fwiw, I tend to flash an oss solution as with manufacturer firmware, security vulnerabilities are often not disclosed and in older routers often not fixed even when disclosed.

        (eg How many manufacturers are fixing the upnp vulnerabiity, wherein routers can be reconfigured from the outside even if upnp webside is turned off?)

        When travelling, and connecting thru a router I can’t trust, will 100% use a vpn.

  3. Matt Fischer (@tadowguy)
    June 17, 2013

    Hey Charlie, I bought the same router last year when I started with canonical. I was generating too much traffic for my old Dlink. I ended up installing tomato so that I could use an old USB HDD as a NAS device. I also like the traffic shaping that I can do with it. I have media streaming also setup, but do not often use it. If you’re considering it, I’d recommend it.

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2013 by in Linux, Ubuntu.

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