The ASUS RT-N66U wireless router has a black, plastic enclosure. The top has a neat texture effect to it. The ASUS logo adorns the upper right hand corner and there are some activity LEDs along the bottom of the top. The LEDs show power, LAN, WAN, WLAN, and USB connectivity and activity.
The rear of the unit has the power port, the WPS button, the reset button, two USB2 ports, the WAN port, and the four LAN ports. This unit actually has a physical power button – great for the ultimate in wireless security. That’s turning it off when you’re not using it, for those who are not so security conscious!
The bottom of the unit bears the various certification labels and power requirements. You can see that we tested hardware revision B1 of this, the “Dark Knight” of ASUS’s Gotham wireless city.
I found setting up the router to be a quick and painless experience. In fact, when I first connected to the router, I was presented with a log-in screen asking me to set up the router. This is a great feature of Chrome, meant for coffee shops and whatnot.
I also updated the firmware immediately. It’s an on-line process, quickly executed, requiring no user action other than clicking the CHECK button and accepting the new firmware.
Using the USB feature is as easy as plugging in a USB drive and hitting a few buttons. Use it as an FTP server or Samba share or media storage for playback to DLNA devices.
I made a ~15 minute video detailing the control panel. Take a look!
Here are a few screenshots from the control panel for those who aren’t able to watch the video presently. Here’s a shot of the home screen, the Network Map, the guest network configuration screen, the USB Application screen, and the IPv6 support screen.
As one who has used PPTP VPN for years on his router, I cannot stress the convenience and virtual importance of it. PPTP is sufficiently secure VPN to keep malicious folks from peering into your traffic. Working at a coffee shop? VPN into your home router and use the Internet just like if you were sitting at home. Keep in mind the bandwidth limitations, but the security level is there. Moreover, the convenience of accessing computers on your home network – streaming music, remote desktop, remote backup, etc. All is possible with a good VPN at your side.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.