Airport Extreme vs Asus RT-AC66U 802.11ac Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UBS28, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    For my new rMBP with 802.11ac WIFI, I'm thinking about picking up the new Airport Extreme or the Asus RT-AC66U 802.11ac Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750.

    According to the specs, the Asus is superior (despite being cheaper)? Which one should I buy?
  2. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    You sound buy the AC66U for the reasons you listed.
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Depends. Do you have only Mac computers I say get the Extreme. It would be best for a Mac environment.

    At least you thinking Dual Stream to have a separate 5 GHz from the 2.4 frequency Just make sure you use the proper 5 GHz channels 9in the high 100's range) to separate the 5 GHz.

    On a Mac download the free iStumbler Beta to see the other wireless routers around you to make up you mind what channel's to use on your wireless router.
  4. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Any specific reason why you say that?

    I too am thinking the Asus. Currently have an AirPort Extreme n-router, but can't think of anything that I would loose by switching. I do use an Airport Express in the bedroom for Airplay functionality, but don't think that would be affected.

    Anybody here of any compatibility issues between Asus router and Macs w/ 802.11ac?
  5. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Are you future proofing yourself? I ask because you have nothing in your signature that do AC wireless. If you do get the third party router you better bookmark the Apple document Well known TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products in case that new router has a firewall and Airplay doesn't jive in your network anymore.
  6. ianj1972 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2011
    I bought and had both for a short while. The Asus had slightly (5% tops) better performance, the Airport Extreme's have been traditionally bomb-proof for me needing zero attention once configured and never needing rebooting etc. Nothing persuaded me the Asus was better in terms of performance or features to warrant swapping. The fact my AE holds my time machine backup disc was also an advantage.
    I kept the AE and sold the Asus.

    Im not sure you can go wrong with either, different yes, but both top of their game.

    Post message thought: if you are a techy and like to fiddle, get the asus. If you just want an easy life and want **** to work, get the Airport.
  7. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Thanks for the link, that is very useful, regardless of router. I have a MBPr scheduled to be delivered on 10/29 (e.g. signature update coming soon :D).
  8. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Nice to here from someone who has had both. I am a-bit nervous about moving away from the AE being non-Apple and any "Apple Ecosystem" requirements automatically being handled by the AE.

    Currently, have an AE behind an AT&T Uverse router with all my various clients connecting to the AE. Initially had the AE in bridge-mode, but something would not let my NAS go to sleep (e.g. kept waking it up).

    Taking it out of bridge-mode seamed to help. My thinking at this point is by taking it out of bridge-mode, I isolated the AE router network from all the multi-cast traffic being generated in the ATT U-verse network.

    Anyways, thinking is the Asus has more features in terms of IGMP snooping, etc.. Not really a network techy, but not afraid of attempting to tweak the environment when needed. However, current setup is working out pretty well, think I would be good with the AE. I do kind of like the Airport Utility and having access to both my Extreme and Express routers, easy updating, etc....
  9. VinoGrande macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2013
    I've had both, ended up keeping the Airport Extreme just for sheer simplicity. Both performed about the same in my house.
  10. cdubb80 macrumors member

    May 15, 2011
    I had an old AirPort Extreme (2011 or earlier) and recently replaced it with the Asus N66U router (the non-AC version) because of good reviews.

    The wireless signal is very good, however I have had an issue setting up my new brother printer/scanner as a network device on the Asus where it was just plug and play on the AirPort Extreme.

    In fact the scan-to-PC function doesn't work on my wife's desktop PC while it did when hooked up on the AirPort Extreme.

    Asus is better value for price and adjustability, but for just plain ease of use I'd recommend just getting an AirPort Extreme.
  11. DIRSGT macrumors member


    Aug 7, 2011
    I thought about getting an AE, but my issue/ need for a new router had to do with range. Based on my research AE does not have the best range of similarly priced WiFi routers. So, I ordered the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router R7000-100NAS. It has Apple iTunes and Time Machine capability. Plus, I got it shipped for free and $20 off through Staples.

    Of course after I order it last night Staples sends me a code today for $25 off a $100 or more purchase...such is life.
  12. henryseiden macrumors member


    Aug 24, 2009
    AE vs. ASUS 1900 (RT-AC68)

    I heard of range issues with the model you quoted ASUS-AC1750 wireless router. It seems that the range issue has been improved with this model and performance has been enhanced beyond the AE's ability. I have always liked the teensy bit gain in the external antennas and even more available improvements if needed through other antennas if needed (uglier, though, if visible).

    My old AE b/g/n-only multi-band is now obsolete. I could sell it or maybe use it as a range extender if needed at the n speeds.

    I do have a new iMac with 802.11ac so a speed increase would be welcome. Also trying to use wired Gig-E where possible instead of wireless. Which, if any, new iPads/iPhones take advantage of the new Wi-Fi speeds?
  13. mark6738 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    AE does not have VPN

    Perhaps the biggest difference between the two (I have both working side by side) is that the AE does not have VPN. Managing a VPN from the sharing pane of a Mac is an option but a serious pain to keep running. The Asus RT-AC66U has built in VPN (no need to flash your hardware). You could just use the Asus and get the VPN support you need or use both in series and continue enjoying the ease of use of the AE.
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    First - there is no "logic" to this notion of an "Apple Environment" with respect to routers. Other than having to use a proprietary software on your Mac to run the Airport Extreme, there are zero advantages to the Airport Extreme vs some of the other comparable WiFi routers.

    Second - As some Mac users know, the firmware upgrade a while back dumbed down the Airport Extremes' interface (end user software) which translates to 'it might be easier to set up but you miss lots of features including some with respect to security.'

    Third - I suggest that anyone looking for WiFi routers and such go to smallnetbuilder site which has some excellent reviews on various routers as well as a section called "rankers." Of the latter, it seems that the Airport Extreme was in 6th place out of 10 routers listed yet had the 2nd highest price.

    Final - I have had Airport Extremes and Express as well as other routers. I have also set up Airport Extremes for other people and in general, other than control limitations with respect to security, it is a very nice but expensive choice. For myself and others who happen to like having Macs but understand the notion that "Mac environment" means nothing will opt for other routers and accessories that best complement our own 'environment.'

    2010 quad 2.0 server and 2013 quad 2.6 Mac Mini w/16g RAM, SSD internal
    QNAP 469L NAS (4x3tb), QNAP 559pro (5x4tb)
    various external drives, external Blu Ray writer
    Airport Extreme, non-AE Wifi router, small switch
  15. phillytim, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    The problem with most home routers is that they are junk. I've seen many Linksys, DLink and Asus routers become useless within 2-3 years. They overhead, they need to be rebooted all the time, and they just crap out.

    Apple routers, I've not heard a peep from anyone about trouble or being rendered useless. Sure they may not have every option under the sun to configure, but they are rock solid...which is something almost unheard of for consumer networking equipment.

    Just look at the reviews on Amazon for a myriad of trouble with the various models, except for the Apple routers that is.
  16. silvetti macrumors 6502a


    Nov 24, 2011
    For Mac users there is one big thing missing from all other routers...

    Bonjour Proxy service which allows you to wake your Mac remotely via WIFI.
  17. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I second that statement! :D I would say prosumer for there gear as I use it in a roaming network at a school across nine base stations and about 80-90 bandwidth hungry clients. No issues at all aside from the central Extreme crashing under 7.6.4 (Downgrade to 7.6.1 and as solid as a rock). Also the Extreme is in a boiler room at 80-85 degrees constantly so talk about reliability!

    People don't understand that once you go over say 5 clients, it isn't about getting the most megabits to a client. Wi-Fi is about offering a fair, equal, sustainable, and reliable connection. That is why when you go to a hotspot, your speed tests regularly show the throttle speed (e.g. 5 Mbps).

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