Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

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Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:06 am

I am trying to make a decision as to which AC router I want to upgrade too. I am not completely ruling out a router not listed above but based on the reviews I have read on CNET I have concluded that these are the two best of the best for home wireless.

Each router has similar reviews, price, and speeds, so it will boil down to features and with these two routers there are plenty.

In one corner there is the nighthawk which features include:
-VPN
-Readyshare
-iTunes media streaming
-Free and personalized URL for FTP

The Asus's unique features include:
-Aicloud
-An edge on speed

Other minor condiderations:
-Nighthawk is bulkier and lies horizontally, Asus has a vertically standing design
-Night hawk has 1 front facing usb 3.0 port. Asus has two rear usb 3.0 ports. (I realize the fact that the usb port is in the front is highly trivial but never-the-less the concept of having a bulky usb cable sticking out the front of the device is pretty off putting.)

Now I am familiar with Netgear as I am currently using a netgear wireless-N router, so the feature of readyshare is known to me. I know if I get the nighthawk I am one shortcut to \\readyshare\usb_storage away from accessing all my media. What I don't know is how the Asus handles connected media outside of Aicloud. All informatioin I find on this router says you will use Aicloud to stream your connected media from anywhere. In concept this sounds great, but for a HTPC setup I don't see how connecting up to asus to be directed back down to my own LAN is the most ideal formula. That isn't to say I can't just map an external as a network drive, but there is no mention of this ability anywhere in the item description which has me a little worried about how easy it will be to do. The other question raised about Aicloud is how much of an advantage does it really give over netgears VPN support. Yes Aicloud has apple and android app support but since I use a windows phone this feature is useless. That taken into account I would think in principal that a direct tunnel vpn to my network would be faster than cloud streaming but without testing both I wouldn't be able to say for sure.

So, if any of you have hands on experience using one of these routers for a home gaming/media center environment please let me know what you think of it and how well the features work for you!
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:19 am

I bought the ac66u in January, and I have been nothing short of pleased with it so far. AI Cloud allows for external access to your files / network, but I've not used that at all yet.

What I have done is plug a 1TB external into the router for additional media storage for my mediocre media center setup :D I'm able to map that HD as a network drive in windows, or access it on android with Ghost Commander, or watch videos with VLC on iPad, as well as through the WiiMC media player on my Wii. It's awesome! And that's all done inside the network, i.e., SMB to "[routername]/[HD name]".

I didn't pony-up for the 68u, as I don't have any AC devices (yet), but I kinda wish I had, since the 68u has USB 3. That would definitely help with a shared media drive.

One day I'll get a proper NAS, but for now my router's working out great.
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aicloud will share your files alright

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:47 am

With the whole world

Consumer "routers" out of the box make nice wireless APs, thats about it.

Run a real solution for routing and firewall duties: reflashes that end with WRT but don't start with DD, DIY PC conversions like pfsense or a linux homebuild, SMB devices from non-consumer-crapware providers like microtik, ubiquity, etc.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:48 am

Terra_Nocuus wrote:I bought the ac66u in January, and I have been nothing short of pleased with it so far. AI Cloud allows for external access to your files / network, but I've not used that at all yet.
What I have done is plug a 1TB external into the router for additional media storage for my mediocre media center setup

Update your firmware immediately. There's a live exploit for this router doing the rounds which enables anyone to access drives attached to the USB ports.

Nevertheless, crap happens. I also run an AC66U at the office and it's frickin' awesome.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:06 am

morphine wrote:
Terra_Nocuus wrote:I bought the ac66u in January, and I have been nothing short of pleased with it so far. AI Cloud allows for external access to your files / network, but I've not used that at all yet.
What I have done is plug a 1TB external into the router for additional media storage for my mediocre media center setup

Update your firmware immediately. There's a live exploit for this router doing the rounds which enables anyone to access drives attached to the USB ports.

Nevertheless, crap happens. I also run an AC66U at the office and it's frickin' awesome.


After updating to U-Verse, I don't think my router's accessible from the outside anymore (stupid non-PPPoE controllable modem), but I'll double-check. Thanks!
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:17 am

Bauxite wrote:With the whole world

Consumer "routers" out of the box make nice wireless APs, thats about it.

Run a real solution for routing and firewall duties: reflashes that end with WRT but don't start with DD, DIY PC conversions like pfsense or a linux homebuild, SMB devices from non-consumer-crapware providers like microtik, ubiquity, etc.


I'm not really sure what it is you think I'm trying to accomplish with my home network, but a reliable AP with features is about all I ask and really need. I suppose I could run areohive through my 1bedroom apartment but my health insurance probably wouldn't cover the chemo I would need after the first month and it would be hard to explain why I have a tan in the middle of winter. For running a steam machine/htpc, a rip/torrent box, and a game rig used primarily for MMO's (plus the small array of laptops, tablets, and other IP requiring peripherals) I think a glorified AP will do just fine.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:38 am

I have the RT-AC68U, the only issues I have had are occasionly when I log into the router its administrative control screen loads really weird or not at all. I have found myself having to refresh the page multiple times. And I am up to date with the latest firmware.
I have occasionally seen speeds drop which I am not convinced are due to the router yet, but I am not yet sure.
Over all I do like the router. The most impressive thing is the distance this reaches.
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Re: aicloud will share your files alright

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:45 am

Bauxite wrote:With the whole world

Consumer "routers" out of the box make nice wireless APs, thats about it.

Run a real solution for routing and firewall duties: reflashes that end with WRT but don't start with DD, DIY PC conversions like pfsense or a linux homebuild, SMB devices from non-consumer-crapware providers like microtik, ubiquity, etc.


The router he asked about is not affected by this.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:50 am

I think smallnetbuilder has reviews on both of these routers.
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security is not in their business model

Postposted on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:13 pm

Gandolf wrote:
Bauxite wrote:With the whole world

Consumer "routers" out of the box make nice wireless APs, thats about it.

Run a real solution for routing and firewall duties: reflashes that end with WRT but don't start with DD, DIY PC conversions like pfsense or a linux homebuild, SMB devices from non-consumer-crapware providers like microtik, ubiquity, etc.


The router he asked about is not affected by this.


By this, I assume you are referring to a bug they were informed of and sat on for 8 months, or do you mean the other dozens of undocumented/unknown vulnerabilities they don't care or know to fix? "But my model is safe" is some serious delusion.

Asus et al types of businesses push out consumer products fast and cheap, but security and other "soft" features are just a bullet point on their feature list. They know how to make decent hardware when they feel like it, but software and firmware is an afterthought.

Even when these brands are bought up by companies that should know better (Linksys-->Cisco) that portion of the company is still run with the same build-ship-patch(maybe) consumer product business plan.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:23 pm

Anovoca, I bought a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 about week after it came out back in last October. I have no regrets spending $200 on that router. Before that, I had been using a D-Link DGL-4500 for the past 6 years. I never upgraded because I didn't need new wireless functionality because I didn't have any new wireless devices. If it aint broken, don't fix it. But I finally got some newer wireless devices, so I decided it was time for an upgrade. I spend probably 10-15 hrs a week gaming on XBOX Live so wanted more of a gaming router like the Dlink. The Netgear R7000 has both upstream and downstream Qos which is nice for gaming. I don't use the USB ports on the router but I have an elaborate home network with 3 switches and 12 wired devices scattered throughout my house. On top of that my wife has an Ipad2, I have an Asus MemoPad Smart 10 (screen currently cracked), we both have Samsung Galaxy S4 phones (they are wireless AC), and I bought a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro a month ago (swapped out the original Intel 7260 N wireless adapter for the newer AC version just yesterday.) The S4s connect at 468 mbps tops and the Yoga 2 Pro at 780 mbps tops via wireless AC. Now I'll admit that I don't have all those devices all going at the same time, but I have never had any issues connecting to the network or any network slowdown even with that many devices connected. On top of that, the wireless range with the Netgear R7000 router is very good. The only wireless routers or access points I have experience with that have better wireless range are Amped Wireless devices. I don't use a VPN so I cant give you an opinion on how well that works on the Netgear. As far as aesthetics go, the Netgear R7000 is huge. By far the biggest router Ive seen. But it looks cool and actually runs very cool. I have never felt it get hot. You can also wall mount it vertically. And just recently, Netgear updated the firmware which allows you to turn on beamforming and even turn the LEDs off on the router. The LEDs are very bright and many people will find them annoying so giving the option to turn them off (except the main power LED) is a good thing. Hope my opinion helps. Good luck.
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Re: Asus RT-AC68U Vs. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:05 am

Thanks Alias. This forum has pretty much only confirmed that both the Asus and Netgear are solid and I am still no less closer to making a choice on either. As to the speed and quality of the Nighthawk, I have experience using the older R6300 in a home network with more devices and a larger coverage area so I am aware the Nighthawk can do the job.

I am more curious about your experience with the software. Have you tried using the VPN and is it fast/easy/secure. Currently I am using Skydrive Onedrive and googledrive for network storage but I would love get rid of the middleman and use my own network. Not to mention the fact that Onedrive has gone down the toilet and I can no longer get my documents to sync. (each computer started maintaining its independent offline copy that refuses to communicate with its counterpart)
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