Originally Posted by chip94
Then I think you should get the RT-66U as you want range to be a big factor also. ASUS have a good rep so it shouldn't be a problem.
Since you've got a big budget, you should get as much bang for the buck out of the router.
EDIT- Theres a new EA6500.
Yeah, saw the EA6500 as well. I like that it has 3 seperate antennas for each band but still internal. It doesn't seem like there is any real gains from it given the $50 price hike. It's nice that it's AC but I don't have any AC stuff so I don't really need it. Not yet anyways.
Our testing so far shows that the EA6500 has high routing throughput with plenty of simultaneous connections. But its storage filecopy performance doesn't set any records, especially if you write to it with a FAT32 formatted drive attached.
Since we don't test with a standard AC client, it's tough to say that one product is really better than another. But it seems like the ASUS RT-AC66U still holds the crown for best overall draft 11ac performance, especially as signal levels drop. With a strong signal, however, the EA6500 holds its own against not only the ASUS, but the Buffalo and NETGEAR AC routers too.
Part 2 of the review has the rest of the wireless test results so that you can decide if the EA6500 is the draft 11ac router for you.
Why I didn't consider the AC66U:
Edited by deafboy - 12/11/12 at 10:16pm
Buyers in search of a high performance wireless router should stick with the RT-N66U Dark Knight vs. the RT-AC66U, at least for now. Given the reports in the SNB Forums, it looks like the AC66's firmware is not yet stable, with some features disappearing to be worked on and others partially functioning. So if you are expecting smooth sailing with the AC66U, you may be unpleasantly surprised.
Even if you're willing to pay for the privilege of helping ASUS debug its product, you are unlikely to be rewarded with higher performance. For most uses, i.e. with two-stream clients, you'll get essentially the same performance in the 2.4 GHz band and, at least with the firmware used, better results in 5 GHz with the Dark Knight.
If you are one of the few folks with three-stream N devices, I wouldn't let the high 40MHz mode 2.4 GHz uplink results influence your choice. First, you shouldn't be using 40 MHz mode in the overcrowded 2.4 GHz band anyway and second, I think the abnormally high 40 MHz mode uplink results are a fluke.
As I've said before, there is no reason to jump on the draft 11ac bandwagon at this point in hope of improving speed or range for two or three-stream N devices, because 11ac brings nothing to the table for them. 11ac should (at least that's the plan) improve throughput for single-stream N devices. But new chipsets supporting draft 11ac need to be baked into smart phones, tablets and other mobile thingies before that dream becomes reality.
If you're looking to "future proof" your wireless router choice, the current crop of draft 11ac routers isn't a good choice given their first-generation draft 11ac chipset. Router-side devices will probably benefit from a move to second (or third) generation 11ac chipsets, which hopefully will be designed to the final standard and include multi-user MIMO support.
The only viable argument for buying the RT-AC66U, or any other draft 11ac router, is to buy two and use one as a bridge to form a high-bandwidth 5 GHz link to a HD media player. But even there, I think using a three-stream N router and less-expensive bridge like the ASUS EA-N66 or TRENDnet TEW-640MB will get you to the same place and let you save your money for the inevitable move to an 11ac router, once the standard is released and the dust settles.