Joined on 10/15/07
Awesome Access Point and Switch
Pros: -Sharp looking -True dual-band capability -Affordable price after rebate -Gigabit LAN -Plays nice with other Asus networking devices -Reasonable wireless range for internal antennas -USB 3.0 (not used at the time of this review) -AWESOME Web GUI, many options for even the average IT guy or power user at home.
Cons: -Wobbly stand when other patch cords are plugged in, almost needs to be laid down flat. -90 day warranty on refurb units, scares me a little but so far so good. -Does not come with a patch cord.
Overall Review: Refurbished anything usually scares me away from buying it but after the rebate the price point was just sweet enough of a deal to buy as an Access Point and 4-port switch. My main router, an Asus RT-AC66R, is the brains of my home network. I have a multi-media area/living room in a different part of the house roughly ~60 linear feet away and on a different floor than the RT-AC66R so I used this RT-N65R as a switch and access point for this media heavy corner of the house. A single cat5e cable runs from the main router to this RT-N65R. If you use this RT-N65R as a switch, DO NOT PLUG ANYTHING INTO THE WAN PORT. That port is only for your Comcast/Charter/Time Warner/FIOS...ect modem connecting to to the web. That means of the 4 ports available, use one coming from your other router. The other 3 ports I have plugged into the PS3, HTPC and A/V receiver's LAN port (even though the A/V receiver is also wireless I try to hardwire everything I can). Setting this RT-N65R took about an hour of my time, and roughly 8 hours of idle time to work the bugs out of the system talking between the RT-AC66R and this router. Again, I'm using this RT-N65R as an Access Point and 4-port switch. Upon unboxing, I had to find a patch cord as this unit did not come with one, and I plugged my Dell laptop directly into one of the 4 ports on this RT-N65R. I disabled wireless on the laptop and talked with the router directly via patch cord, by browsing to the stock 192.168.1.1 which most routers are defaulted to. I went into the Asus Web GUI, set a static IP address within my network's IP range. Upon rebooting, I logged back into it using the new IP address and began changing the settings to suit my network. The ability to change the mode to AP mode instead of Router mode, is in the administrator system settings. I made sure to write down the MAC address of the router and went back into the RT-AC66R's main page to tell it that I wanted to use the RT-N65R as an AP, and added it's MAC address to the RT-AC66R list. After having both router's configuration screens open side by side for an hour making changes one at a time, everything was set as I wanted. Note: For about 2 hours my network was on the fritz while the two routers figured each other out. I started at the source and worked down the line...I powered down all network devices first, and powered up the RT-AC66R first (main router). Once it rebooted, I then powered on the RT-N65R. After a few speed tests, all was back to normal and I'm flying with awesome wireless coverage throughout the house, ping times within my intranet are <3ms, wired and wireless devices are receiving the full 50/25 of FIOS I pay for, WOL features all seem to be working and I have 300Mb/sec throughput on both 2.4 and 5ghz bands anywhere in the house. The RT-AC66R and RT-N65R work brilliantly together. In my humble opinion, this is a better buy than the EA-N66 Asus AP, which I also own. Purchase the RT-N65 instead of the
Working, but will never buy again
Pros: Paired with an F1 3870k APU it serves as the motherboard for my HTPC and home central server. So far is working well. Overclock features are nice, but won't get used much in this build. All SATA 6.0Gb/s ports are nice. Works with S.Skill 1866mhz 16gb DDR3 memory (2x8gb).
Cons: Call me picky, but this board lacks quite a few features that I wish it had. The fan controls are garbage and lack the real user control that other boards I own have. The BIOSTAR website is pretty weak as well for drivers and support. This board wasn't even found in their search function at first, I had to Google the board's name and then found a link to the motherboard drivers that way. The on-screen desktop apps to control the functions for the board are hodge-podged together and serve little functionality where you actually need it.
Overall Review: I'm not sure if this is a Windows 8 mess or a BIOSTAR mess, but my HTPC this board serves is running Win 64bit and needs the Windows Boot Manager selected as Boot 1 option in order to find Windows at all. I usually like selecting my Sata DVD/Blu Ray drive as the 1st boot option in case I have a bootable CD in the drive bay I'd like to load before Windows, but when I select the Sata drive as Boot 1 and Windows Boot Manager as Boot 2, then my OCZ SSD boot drive as Boot 3... Windows doesn't load. I'm new to Win 8 and still learning it's curve (like to many others as well) so perhaps this is a Win 8 thing? Still trying to figure that out but for now I have Windows Boot Manager listed as Boot 1, then my OCZ SSD next. If I ever want to load a bootable CD into the tray, I switch the option in BIOS first.
Follow up: 2.4 OR 5Ghz, not both.
Pros: Following up after having this EA-N66 in my home network for a few weeks running solid. It's been running like a champ and I'll be keeping this thing as a backup or moving it to the garage but unfortunately it has let me down in the "dual band" category. See cons. Solid 300Mb/s speeds within 100ft of the AP. Tested this on multiple devices with newer technology. Looks cool. At night when the house is dark, this little guy lights up the room with a soft blue glow. Not harsh on the eyes either.
Cons: Here's why I'm docking an egg. You have to choose whether you want to run it as a 2.4Ghz AP or a 5Ghz, you cannot broadcast both at the same time. Claiming it is a "dual-band wireless-N900" implies (at least to me) that you'll get a theoretical 450Mbps on the 2.4 band and another theoretical 450Mbps on the 5ghz band. 450+450 = 900 right? Realistically all of my laptops, wireless desktops, and tablets are pegged at 300Mbps of throughput on both 2.4 and 5 bands, which makes this an "N600" for me in my home, but even more realistically it's more like an "N300" since I can only use one band at a time. I spoke with Justin M. at Asus's tech support and he confirmed for me that yes indeed, this EA-N66 only broadcasts one band at a time. See notes for further explanation.
Overall Review: Justin M. from Asus was helpful enough to explain a better purchase for my needs might be the RT-N53 Dual band router, using it as an access point wired directly to my main router. His other suggestion was the RT-N56U, also used as a wired AP directly from my main router. Yes, these are home routers, but within the GUI you can change these to AP's/Repeater mode. Considering you're spending $89-109 on this EA-N66 for one band only, and the RT-N56U and RT-N53 are both cheaper than this EA-N66 AP...I think I'll be going this route after a little more research.
Loving the 5Ghz channel
Pros: 802.11AC, good throughput, seems to have added additional range possibility as well.
Cons: If only it had a 3rd antenna this would be unstoppable at this price point.
Overall Review: Seeing between 353-800MBps transfer speeds out of my Dell Studio laptop now on the 5GHz channel from my Asus AC band router. When I drop outside of the optimal range for the 5GHz band, I switch over to the 2.4 band easy enough.
Good monitor for the price
Pros: Many input options, but I'm using HDMI for this one. Picture is sharp, bright and text very clear. Considering purchasing a second.
Cons: No height adjustment. I come from a long line of HP monitors and for some reason just assumed this ASUS monitor would be able to adjust the height. It can't and I'm always looking down to view on it. If/when I buy another one of these I'll probably buy/build a monitor tree to raise these up 6" and gain some of my desk space back.