TM-AC1900 (Rebranded RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router by ASUS - US $93.57 (~ AU $117.50) Shipped from Amazon

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TM-AC1900 (Rebranded RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router by ASUS - US $93.57 (~ AU $117.50) Shipped from AmazonAffiliate

A good price for a great router, might be interesting for those who don't care about the local warranty and are able/willing to re-flash it into the original ASUS RT-AC68U product (here's how). I personally use it with a well-respected Merlin firmware.

Might not be technically a deal, but IMO it is, considering the lowest available prices for the original RT-AC68U router.

UPDATED, to make it clear, this is just a router, it does not have a modem. I have not tried it with the original T-Mobile firmware as I re-flashed it right away. I myself use it on an NBN FTTN connection together with a dedicated VDSL2 modem in bridged mode, particualrly this Zhone 6712-W1, also from Amazon, configured like this. When I first got connected to NBN (via TPG), I tried a few different modems and Zhone had worked the best. Since then, I've switched away from TPG to a small telco, but this modem still works reliably. Your mileage may vary, but you certainly can buy these two things together and save on combined shipping. Especially, if you like tinkering with networking hardware :)

Comments

  • +7 votes

    Could also be flashed to TomatoUSB(Shibby), AdvancedTomato or DD-WRT for awesome functionallity.

    The RT-AC68U is normally around $220 to $280 depending on where you buy it.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah but the price to buy it is ~$170.

    • +2 votes

      What about Merlins asuswrt-Merlin

    • +2 votes

      For the uninitiated, what would be the main benefits of flashing to these other firmwares?

      • +2 votes

        I wish I could answer this one better, but I just flashed it right away. I've been using Merlin firmware for the last 4 yrs with all Asus routers I had, and couldn't have been happier with it, so I didn't even look at the stock firmware. I suppose the stock one has some T-Mobile USA specifics, like Wi-Fi calling optimizations.

      • +6 votes

        They do more stuff, more powerful advanced configurations. Better filtering and firewalls, better VPN routing and remote gateway, more advanced QoS.
        But you have to be fairly technical to want those features.

  • +2 votes

    My nephew has been looking for a good cheap router , seems like a good deal , also thanks for links to the Merlin firmware page , didn't know it existed.

    • +2 votes

      No worries, I'd highly recommend Merlin firmware. Have been happily using it with various Asus routers for over 4 yrs.

  •  

    There is also a similarly priced T-Mobile USA product that is hardware identical to an AC68U… Connect PAL or something? It's gimped by hardware but flashable (YMMV!)

  •  

    Would this need a power adapter? AU plug?

    • +1 vote

      The power supply is 110-240V, but it does need a US->AU plug adapter. I got mine from a local Target for $5 (unfortunately not listed on their website). Or you can use one of those Xiaomi Mi Power Strips.

      •  

        Does it connect to the router via a generic 12V round connector?

        Could buy an AU power supply for $12.

        • +2 votes

          It does, although it's 19V. I wouldn't use a generic adapter, as the PSU brick is a high quality Asus-branded unit, similar to what Asus ships with their laptop.

  •  

    The price includes the shipping cost, does it? And as mxlmxlmxl has asked above, I guess it needs an AU plug?

    • +1 vote

      The price in the title is shipping inclusive (the cheapest Amazon Global Standard shipping method), correct as of the time of posting. See above regarding the plug.

  •  

    Any news on when the RT-AX88U (dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi) router will be available?

  • +3 votes

    Such a good deal. I was almost tempted to buy one even though i already have a 68u and do not need another. Must resist wasting money on good deals.

  • +1 vote

    Nice work OP! Was looking for 1.

  •  

    Is hardware identical?

  •  

    Literally just ordered from sydneytec for $195 ;( but need it ASAP so :/

  •  

    Would this be an improvement over a Archer D7?
    Only need the wireless functionality and even after upgrading the antennas on the Archer, it doesn't seem to perform that well :(

    •  

      This is why I stay the hell away from TP Link. Stick with ASUS or Netgear and you can't go wrong. I can't say if it's purely the D7s fault but from my experience with TP Link…probably.

      •  

        Yep I agree! TP link seems to be issue

        • +1 vote

          I have an Archer D7 - does yours randomly drop out the internet connection sometimes and you have to reset it?

          Mine does when I have Hotmail open… maybe the router thinks it's being hacked and takes itself offline, it's pretty annoying.

        • +1 vote

          @montorola:

          Similar problem but not the same.

          Basically mine will experience a lot of slow downs and I will have to reboot the router to fix the issue.

        • +1 vote

          @montorola:

          My Archer C7 keeps randomly dropping out of internet connectivity as well. It was made worst when I grab myself one of those Dell XPS 15 deals from here and it crashed the router entirely. Would definitely steer clear from the brand in the future

        • +1 vote

          @montorola: I had similar issues with the Archer VR600 so I upgraded to the VR2800 and it's been rock solid. Though you'd hope so for a $400 unit.

      •  

        I must've been very lucky. Had my D7 since October of 2014. I've had a few dropped connections over the years but really haven't had anything to complain about regarding performance. (We however live in a small townhouse)

        Really, my only complaint has been it's lack of options in it's management software, e.g. blocking specific IPs. Especially since this used to be present in earlier versions of it!

        This deal seems awesome. Shame I can't justify it yet because what I have still works.

        What do you guys reckon the usual life for a wifi router is?

        • +2 votes

          I think the usual life is more dependent on how fast technology evolves. At this point, our dual band routers will probably last forever with the current state of NBN :P I personally use a Netgear R7000 and it hasn't even taken a hiccup in the 1.5years I've been using it. Seems overkill for my connection to be frank..

    •  

      I realise you said "only need the wireless functionality" but for others to be clear this item isn't a modem; it cannot connect to the internet (unlike the above mentioned D7).

      •  

        Yep I should've clarified - I use the archer d7 in bridge mode for wireless/router functionality only as I have a Optus cable modem to connect to the Internet :)

  • +1 vote

    Thanks, OP, ordered one. Identical HW, just need to flash to a different FW as you stated. Goodbye Telstra Technicolour garbage! Although I still may need it to serve as NBN Modem?

    •  

      Want to kNow that too

    • +1 vote

      If you have fttn then yes, this is a router only. You will have to bridge the telstra modem

    • +1 vote

      I'm on FTTN and using it with this Zhone VDSL2 modem in bridged mode. Should I post it as a separate deal? :)

      •  

        Sure thing, why not? :)

      •  

        zhone only has 100mb LAN ports- Kind of a deal breaker. I reckon the TP-Link TD-W9977 is better value for under $80.

        • +1 vote

          Zhone's LAN port is a WAN port for the router. I am on 25/5 NBN VDSL2 plan, so it's not a deal-breaker for me. Anyhow, 100Mbps is advertised as a max speed on the top "superfast" NBN FTTN plans, so it still shoud be enough.

          I'm personally more concerned about reliabiility. TD-W9977 appears to have a Broadcom SoC as well so should be reliable enrough, but I had some bad experiance with TP-Link on ADSL2 in the past and I'm not ready to give them another chance yet.

        • +1 vote

          @uk3000: ah ok, I thought I saw gigabit wan and 100mb lan

  •  

    great, was thinking about buying TP-link D7, this would be better, right?

  • +1 vote

    Cheers OP, purchased.

  •  

    What makes this so much better than other routers?

    • +1 vote

      Google some reviews. If you want an anecdote, I have installed like 3 for family and friends and they just work, very well. Such a great device with plenty of power that can serve a needy household with ease.

    • +1 vote

      My Asus RT-N56U router is running flawlessly for past 7 years and still going strong. The range is still better than most current TP-link and less issue than Netgear.

      •  

        I upgraded to a rt ac87u from a rtn56u. The range is a significant upgrade. Served me well.

      •  

        Same,mine too.

        The only thing I missed is that the stock firmware only support PPTP VPN, which becomes absolute in Mac

        I tried different firmware (can't remember which one) but it was too much issue and revert to stock fw

  •  

    Now DD-WRT or Merlin?

  • +1 vote

    how good is the QoS system? ADSL2 is driving me crazy…..

  • +2 votes

    ordered, thanks op, it came to $122.27 AUD inc Shipping

  • +5 votes

    Based on the information from sites, it appears to be A1 or A2 hardware revision of the router, which has a weaker CPU than B1 or C1.
    There is a risk of this being A1 - which has subpar / lack of USB3 shielding.

    •  

      Can you post a few links to sites? I can't seem to find anything that mentions the processor in this is not the same as the AC68U.

      • +2 votes

        According to ASUS support, the T-mobile version is 800Mhz instead the 1Ghz on AC68U. https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RWV0UG3ROILD9/ref....

        •  

          thanks buddy… I literally placed an order for three.. After doing a bit of further research & then reading the article you just posted I immediately cancelled my order of 3 of them… I don't see the point in paying 110 or so bucks for this model when you can actually buy a proper AC68U (As what has been posted on here before) for 180 bucks.

        •  

          Cancelled mine as well, Seems like it's not a complete clone. Gonna wait for a deal on a proper unit.

        •  

          Are you sure about this?

          Amazon description states 1 Ghz
          1GHz Dual-core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wifi and USB data

          EDIT - never mind, just read the link thanks for the info. Cancelled my order as well.

        • +1 vote

          @lancedefrance:

          Looks like it isn't 1Ghz

          Hey Prabhu,
          Good Day!

          Just an update with regards to the incorrect specifications on the product listings. After reaching out to our team, we are not able to >make any corrections to the specifications because it is not an Asus listing. The re-seller is responsible for the listing. I would >advise that you reach out to the re-seller to let them know of the issue so that they can have it corrected. Please remember that we are >open for any questions, concerns or feedback that you may have and you can reach me at customerloyalty@asus.com. Do enjoy the rest of >your day.

          Thank you for making it ASUS.
          Best regards,
          Abigail.
          ASUS Customer Loyalty.

        •  

          The thing is, the original Asus RT-AC68U used a dual 800Mhz processor, the A1 revision. It was praised highly at that version.

          https://www.cnet.com/au/products/asus-rt-ac68u-dual-band-wir...

        •  

          Even the ad description does says 1Ghz dual core

          "Description
          Dual-band with the latest 802.11ac 3x3 technology for combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps 1GHz Dual-core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wifi and USB data Effortless router setup with the ASUSWRT web-based interface Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS Router App AiProtection Powered by Trend Microâ„¢ provides multi-stage protection from vulnerability detection to protecting sensitive data"

      • +2 votes

        I have multiple RT-AC68U routers. I did sell my A1 one quite cheap (and I did mention it is A1). The merlin firmware works fine and since I only used a USB 2 hard drive on it, it was fine.

        A1, A2 - Both BCM4708 based chipset 800Mhz
        B1 - BCM4709 based chipset 1Ghz (same one as Netgear R7000)
        C1 - BCM4709 based chipset 1Ghz (same one as Netgear R7000) with wifi chipset changes (apparently).
        E1 - ???

        C1 has limited 3rd party firmware support (though it looks like it is improving), the other ones are more widely supported. However, if you use merlin firmware, C1 works fine.

        When you purchase online, there is no guarantee you get any particular version. I wanted a C1 and I read online that people got C1 from this online seller so I assumed I would get C1 as well. Not so. The online retailer was kind enough to let me return and send me a C1.

        There is also revision E1.

  •  

    How would this compare to ubiquiti wifi points?

    •  

      I can't speak to the AC68U as far as single AP performance, but I would honestly expect any modern Ubiquiti AC-PRO to wipe the floor with pretty much everything else on the market.

      Besides the burden of managing them, Ubiquiti APs are the king when it comes to price/performance.

  •  

    It looks like a complicated process to flash it to a ac68u. Has anyone here tried it before?

  •  

    OpenWRT > Advanced Tomato > Others

    • +4 votes

      Nah, with Asus routers, Merlin is the best.

      I tried both Advanced Tomato and DD-WRT on DIR-868L, both buggy and unstable. Going to stick with Asus routers for now.

      •  

        Is it worth getting this if I already have the DIR-868L?

        •  

          Depends on whether you are happy with DIR-868L. It uses the same chipset as this one (assuming it is an A1 or A2), but with only 1 USB port. Not sure about RAM and ROM.

          For me, I wanted to use it as a wireless repeater bridge. The third party firmware support on DIR-868L is not good enough (reliability issue for me - and if you are not careful, you will brick the router and have to start from recovery mode again).

          I bought DIR-868L because it was on special.. $95, but I wish I didn't buy it.

        •  

          @netsurfer: I bought a DIR-868L for $89 in December 2016 and it was confusing/tricky flashing DD-WRT but have not had problems since though I only use it as a Wi-Fi AC client to bridge gigabit LAN as per https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/324562#comment-4987661

        •  

          @samlor: Which version of DD-WRT? I tried two versions, both have issues. The main issue is that client bridge works initially, but after nearly a day, its wifi connection to the main router would drop and to get it to reconnect, I either need to reboot it or go into the WebGUI and re-do a site survey and re-connect.

          The DIR-868L was meant to replace an ageing repeater. However, it didn't work out. The repeater does repeater bridge mode.

          And yes, it was confusing/tricky to flash DD-WRT on DIR-868L.

        •  

          @netsurfer: According to management interface webpage:

          DD-WRT v3.0-r31722 std (03/21/17)
          Time: 15:35:16 up 19 days, 2:40, load average: 0.17, 0.07, 0.01

          And yes, it was confusing/tricky to flash DD-WRT on DIR-868L.

          IIRC there was some advice about sticking to a particular version for the bridging instead of the latest but I followed/read so many links that I am not game to fiddle with it at again until I have powerline deployed to test/replace it. Mind you it works, I am just expecting/hoping for a speed increase/upgrade.

    •  

      LEDE > OpenWRT …

      •  

        I'm using the original Asus firmware, don't have any issue.

        What's so good about custom firmware ?

        •  

          Bug fixes, more features. However, some of the merlin firmware features have been ported to the official firmware.
          If you are happy with official firmware, there is no need to change.

  • +1 vote

    should I get one?

  •  

    Should I get this for VPN router set up?… … … …

  •  

    Is it necessary to reflash to Asus software to use? Or can it be used out of the box.

  •  

    Sorry for the Noob question, but is this NBN compatible? Can i ditch my huawei nbn modem and just use this?

  •  

    damn, just pulled the trigger on the rt-68 deal yesterday…

  • +1 vote

    I got excited for a second thinking this was a clone for the DSL-AC68U (ie the modem version of this router).

    Still great for some but worthless to myself as I still need a modem, not much saving buying this + modem over a local stock modem.

    +1 for it being a deal in its own right though!

    EDIT: To those buying, don't forget 6% Cashrewards

  1. Blyyth on 05/09/2017 - 14:55
  2. joelmuzz on 05/09/2017 - 21:10
  3. netsurfer on 05/09/2017 - 16:18
  4. Jamiea on 05/09/2017 - 16:27
  5. lplsz on 05/09/2017 - 17:09
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