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ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router $141.75 Delivered @ Amazon AU

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May be useful to those using ASUS AI-mesh. It's a router!

Price History at C CamelCamelCamel.

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  • +22

    Still holding strong after a decade!

    • +5

      Goes very well with Merlin firmware too!

    • +9

      At the time I couldn't believe I was spending so much on a router. It's however still sitting in the same place, I since moved out and it's now my parent's router and going strong - worthy investment.

    • +3

      same. Im using the used T-mobile us version (AC1900) for less than 80aud. installed merlin and overclocked to 1.2ghz CPU 800mhz. no problems so far.
      Will only be replaced when it breaks or affordable gigabit NBN is available…around $100, I don't think that will ever happen.

      • Curious what your use case for overclocking is?

        • I'm using the local storage (Nas) function. These routers don't have a separate USB3 controller, that means everything is running through and being limited by the dual core CPU.
          Overclocking the CPU resulted in transfer speeds to that harddrive of 45MB/s. Before I got around 25MB/s at best. Also have to mention that the T-Mobile version is running at 800mHz stock (basically underclocked).

          You can try it for yourself. Just connect something to the USB3 controller on your ac68u and transfer a file, you will see that the CPU is running at 100%.

          • @AE: I'm also using Merlin firmware. How do you overclock it?

  • +1

    Been using one in media bridge mode with an rt-ax88u for my office for years. I get my full speed down (1 gbps) over it. Slightly more latency than wired, but can't run cable in a rental.

    • Are you able to elaborate on the bridge mode? Will this help buffering on a Chromecast from jellyfin. Seem to be hitting max bandwidth from my server.

      • So many potential issues.

        Media Bridge in Asus terms is wired only, it's not mesh. It bridges all the wired devices plugged into the ac68u on to the wireless network (provided by the ax88u). So in my setup, everything on the ac68u side of the network is wired (work pc, gaming pc, media/backup server). All phones, tv's, personal laptops connect to wireless from the ax88u. I have no buffering issues as the server has a gigabit wired connection onto a (faster than gigabit) wifi bridge and the chromecasts are all 5ghz. I don't do any transcoding and have reasonably quick disks. Depending on which chromecast you have (I think the original ones were 2.4ghz, then they were 5 ghz, the pro models even have an ethernet connection), they could be the limiting factor as well.

        You then need to figure out if the buffering is your network, or is jellyfin transcoding your media, and is that transcoding causing the buffer? Is the disk in your server too slow? Does your server have a gigabit NIC and are you using a cat5e or > ethernet cable? Does media buffer on a computer plugged into the same network as your media server?

        If it was me (and it bothered me), I'd plug a laptop wired into the same network as the server (wired) and see if it still buffers and then go from there.

    • Same here - can't run cable in my place and I want to relocate my NAS to the other side of the house. I got an AC68u as my router, my place is about 220sqm

      Is it a good idea to get another AC68u as a media bridge?

  • +1

    Does this work as a FTTN NBN router?

    • +6

      Asus RT-AC68U doesn't work by itself on FTTN. You have to put a VDSL2 modem before it.

      Wall phone socket—-VDSL2 modem—-Asus RT-AC68U.

      • +1

        Out of curiosity, what is the cheapest model for vdsl2 modem?

        • +1

          Gen 2 Telstra Modem. $20-30 on FB marketplace

    • +2

      Does work great for FTTP though

      • +1

        And HFC?

        • +6

          Yep plug in the RT-AC68U to the nbn NTD.

    • +2

      I think you may need the "other" model DSL-AC68U for that type.

    • +4

      The Asus DSL-AC68U is the same router but with a VDSL/ADSL modem built in

  • Literally bought this yesterday for $50 more. Does Amazon have any price matching if something goes on sale or do I need to return and buy a new one?

    • +2

      If it's not yet shipped, you might be able to cancel it.

    • You can ask nicely too and see how it goes

      Or just return that one and buy it cheaper

      • +5

        Asked nicely and they politely said they can’t offer a refund. I’ve bought a new one and will return the old one.

        • +1

          Sometimes you get luckier, atleast it's fairly straight forward to return with Amazon though.

        • Submit a return request when you receive it

        • +1

          I did the same thing with another product once and got the same response. So I said before I end the chat do you want to speak with a supervisor first as I'm going to return the other one and repurchase anyway. So to save me/amazon/environment the additional hassle, perhaps you want to change your mind or ask a supervisor? She came back and agreed to refund.

          • @gimme: Wow I’m surprised. They usually just tell you to return the other one regardless.

    • -3

      this happened to me with a different amazon item that was posted here. I had purchased 3.5 weeks prior but I was within my 30 day returns. I asked politely on chat and got refused and basically told to return and rebuy.

      Amazon are idiots because this cost them huge money

      1. I returned the first one and when it said I needed to pay $7 return shipping, i just changed the return reason, so amazon paid the return shipping
      2. I returned the newly delivered item in the box it arrived in rather than repackaging the old one. This led to two refunds:

      a) one refund for returning using the return shipping label of the old order
      b) a second refund as Amazon's warehouse detected the new order had made its way back to their warehouse (they must've thought returned to sender)

      So I got two refunds for one item so I got the item totally free

      Sucked in for them as they deserve it for inconveniencing me when they could've just issued a credit for the difference

    • place a new order and refuse the delivery for the current order

  • +1

    I use a couple of these in AI-Mesh and it's a really good setup, as long as you run ethernet backhaul between them.

    • Are both of your AC68U's the RT ones?

      I have one RT-AC68U and one DSL-AC68U and have not been able to get to to "mesh" with the RT being the main router. (The DSL model was purchased for my previous home .. moved and can't use anymore.)


      • Why can't you just swap them over if you're no longer using the modem in the DSL unit?

        • I'm currently using the RT model as the main (master?) unit connected the modem and was trying to get the DSL model as the node for my upstairs.

          I was having issues trying to join the DLS model as a node onto the RT as a master(?).

          • @lamb: Yeah I understand, but why not just swap them over.. problem solved.

            You could even backup the settings on the RT and restore them to the DSL if you're doing some fancy routing.

            • @ESEMCE: yep .. gonna give that a try again (with newer firmware this time).

              tried to do that 4-5 years ago and it didn't work which is why i used the RT model while DSL one sat in the box. =P

              this "mesh" wasn't available back when I initially setup the router and home.

      • +1

        Ive got a DSL-AC68U in a wireless ai-mesh with an RT-AX88U being the main router and it is working fine. Im running stock firmware on both.

        I think I had issues with the original sync and making sure the firmwares were both the most current (one, I think the DSL-AC68U said it was up to date but when I went through the website to look rather than through the click and check firmware button I found a different version). This is just a recollection but probably worth checking.

        • I used the "latest" at that time (like 4 months ago?) ..

          the DSL one kept asking me to setup as the main router over and over again .. sometimes it would see the RT one I have on, but attempts to join them always failed.

          thanks .. given me (some) hope .. i'll try again.

          • +1

            @lamb: Firmware currently on my DSL is Ive definitely done firmware updates (I think to both routers) since making the Mesh so I don't think thats the version I made the mesh with.

            I bought the AX88U last July so would have been making the mesh network sometime in August I think, if that helps with sorting out firmware versions.

            Good luck fiddling around, I'm sure you'll get it sorted.

      • +1

        Did setup a DSL-AC68U and 2xRT-AC67U in an aimesh network for my workplace recently. From what read, the DSL-AC68U can only work as the aimesh master, and won't work as an aimesh node. Just setup the DSL-AC68U as the master and the RT variant as a node and that should work perfectly.

        • Can I still use the DSL model as a "master" even tho I already have a modem? O_O ..

          I'll have to look into that.

          THANKS ..

          • @lamb: The DSL-AC68U has the option of setting up a WAN port (the setup let you choose which of the 4 LAN ports to repurpose a WAN). The only question would be why would you not just use the modem functionality of the router instead of having a dedicated modem in your network setup.

            • @mdkjnk: In my current home .. the NBN comes via a coaxial cable so I am unable to directly connect without the provide modem.

              I purchased the DSL model for the previous place and got 6 months use of it before I moved to this place.

              • @lamb: We have FTTP and I use the DSL-AC68U. Your NBN should have a connection box with ethernet too right?

        • You can flash firmware (kind of hack) on dsl to make it just rt. I've done it. I had 2 dsl and made 1 rt to use as note. Last year. Iam not sure if Asus let you use dsl as node now. It wasn't the case a year ago. I had no problem and iam running over a year like this.

          • +1

            @Manojkbanga: I set up a DSL as a node last year. Default firmware (not Merlin) but from memory I had to download the latest DSL firmware from the website and not through the DSL-68U interface.


            But good to know there is another work around with the RT firmware. I was getting ready to swap it over to Merlin if it didn't sort itself out but I got it working.

      • +1

        I have a RT-AC88U, DSL-AC68R, DSL-AC68U, and RT-AC68U. The master is the 88, and all the 68s are nodes (the RT68 is on ethernet backhaul). It does work, and has worked for the last few firmware updates.

        Set up was pretty much making sure all the nodes were factory reset and powered on, then from the master node settings go 'look for nodes'.

        • Thanks .. I'll go look for the newer firmwares ..

  • I have a zenwifi xt8 setup with fttp. Will this work as an extra node in aimesh? Or use this router as main node and the zenwifi xt8s as further nodes?

    • +1

      I have the same setup and yes this works as an extra node in AImesh.

    • +2

      Keep using the higher spec XT8 router and XT8 node as they are are. Configure the RT-AC68U as an extra AiMesh node.

    • a far better deal

    • +2

      Merlin supports AC68U, I don't think AX55 is on the list

    • +6

      Looked around for more info and found this:

      The main difference or thing is that the AX55 is a 2x2 device and the AC68U is a 3x3 device, this means that the AX55's max WiFi speed in the 5Ghz AX mode with a 2x2 client is up to 1201 Mbps, where the the AC68U in the 5Ghz AC mode with a 3x3 client is up to 1300 Mbps.

      This is why the AX55 is in the same price range as the AC68U, there is less "hardware" in the AX55, so it's able to be sold at such a good price point, and has AX1800 ultimate AX performance @ 1201 Mbps+ 574 Mbps" sound/looks really good, but it's performance in non AX mode is lacking when compared to the AC68U's "AC1900 ultimate AC performance @ 600+1300 Mbps" since the AX55's AC performance is AC1300 @400+867.

      That drops down to a max something around 867 Mbps with a 2x2 AC client, on both routers.

      What this means is that unless you have AX clients your overall WiFi performance is going to be less/worse with the AX WiFi router, because you would need to have a 3x3 AX WiFi router to be able to get the same AC performance you would get from the AC68U.

      • Thanks for the write up… I was trying to work out the difference…

      • RT-AC68U has a usb port. Using phone or portable modem as backup is great feature.

      • Most clients are now AX? Getting the RT-AX55, AX1800 is more future proof ?

      • May well be slightly slower but cpu much faster, so putting alot of traffic through it the CPU certainly make up for it.

      • 3x3 is not going to be useful to most devices so the AX55 is just plain better unless you need the extra antenna for mesh.

    • Great deal thanks for sharing

    • If you look down you'll see box damaged versions for $132 , bought 3 so far for my mesh as new but damaged cardboard box

  • Would this Mesh well with an Asus RT-AC88U as my primary router?

    • +1

      I have posted above but this is my setup: I have a RT-AC88U, DSL-AC68R, DSL-AC68U, and RT-AC68U. The master is the 88, and all the 68s are nodes (the RT68 is on ethernet backhaul).

      • Thanks! Noob question: with Asus AiMesh, I can keep using the same SSID and my device/client seamlessly just chooses the the right/closest node to connect to right?

        • +3

          Correct. I'm doing ASUS AI MESH with 2 routers (wired backhaul between the 2) and it works seemlessly, same SSID

  • Would this offer any significant improvement over my current RT-N66U? Works decently but sometimes has a hard time competing w much stronger signals from neighbouring units - even when manually or auto selecting channels - and doesn't always work reliably with all the smart devices in my house. Thanks!

  • I bought one in Aug 2018 for $196 and then a second in July 2019 for $156. I have the first as my router and the second as an AP with wired connection between the two. They work great. They're capable of 1 Gbps over ethernet.

  • +1

    mine been holding strong for many years. now it's used as ai mesh node. best idiot proof solution for those wanting to extend wifi range

  • Anyone knows if the AiMesh nodes is running on Merlin
    will it work with the primary router that using Stock firmware?

    • +1

      It's generally recommended to have your primary on merlin and your nodes on stock.

  • So I've been having a weird problem with my Xbox connecting to live and I currently have a Telstra smart modem 2
    I've literally tried everything I can think of and still sometimes it will connect via ethernet and sometimes it won't.
    The only thing I can think of is something has changed in a firmware update to the Telstra smart modem 2
    As it randomly started happening about a year ago and got to the point I switched to Wi-Fi on my Xbox one X
    Since then I've gotten a new series X a new smart modem 2 replacement from Telstra with a new 10 meter ethernet cable
    And the problem still remains. Everything has been replaced including the ethernet cable and I still get problems.
    It seems to be NAT related as when I go to network when the problem happens it basically stumbles trying to figure out what it is.
    I've tried disabling anything that would open the ports automatically and I tried everything manually and the result is the same.
    Sometimes it will work sometimes it won't once it's connected it works perfect. I've given the console a manual IP I've done all the ports manually I've disabled UPnP and NAT-PMP tried every variant I can think of but still the problem remains and I've gone back to wi-FI
    I've never in my life had a problem with an ethernet connection so this is beyond frustrating.
    I use FTTN so I still need a modem I have purchased the router above and hopefully whatever local area network problems I'm having over ethernet will be resolved

  • Hmmm my 7 Year old Netgear R7000 is playing up, time to switch?

    • +1

      Nope. R7000 has very similar hardware from ac68u and also with merlin firmware available. Switching to AC68u is not an upgrade.

      If you're tech-savvy, maybe switch to full set of Unifi instead?

  • I just signed up to ABB with their default netcomm router, not impressed with its range and drops out a bit. Would this router improve my experience at all? FYI small 3x2 250sqm home.

  • Hey All, I have 2 of these with ethernet backhaul. With those doing the same - do you get a true mesh happening? When I walk between the 2 routers and the handover occurs, if I am streaming a video it always stops, I never get seamless handover. Otherwise everything works fine. Am I expecting too much? Running the same merlin on both.

  • +1

    I have 3 of these (using AI Mesh), two of them were from Amazon US (the T-Mobile Version) - I have installed Merlin.

    Still going very strong, cant recommend enough.

    • Do you get seamless mesh? Ie uninterrupted videos walking between nodes?

      • +1

        Yeah I don't experience any issues. Of course my main router is a newer Asus (WiFi 6) router, and one of these is on AIMesh (ethernet overhaul) the other is on AP mode.

  • Still using mine!

  • Hey guys, excuse my lack of knowledge here.

    Would this be able to replace our Telstra Smart Modem 2 and deliver a better overall wireless experience?

    * The modem is located in our living room
    * Our study/bedrooms are approx 20-30M away from the modem
    * We only connect wirelessly (no ethernet)


    • Yes, I have disabled my Telstra Wifi on the modem and use a AC86 as the main router and the AC68 in AI mesh to extend for my google home setup. I am also using my old R7000 nighthawk as aa AP to the yard.

      • Thank you kind sir!

  • Sorry if this seems n00bish.
    I have one of these connected to a modem that basically provides WiFi for my house. I have a room across the other side of the house that's connected via ethernet. If I grab another of these, do I just plug it in over the other side of the house and run it as an AiMesh node and get wifi coverage at that side of the house on the same SSID??

    • +1

      Correct, i do this currently and it works very well.

  • According the Amazon, this is the ‎RT-AC68U V3 which is upgraded compared to the versions bought a decade ago:

    Platform & Frequency [MHz]: Broadcom BCM4709 x2 @ 1Ghz
    RAM [MB]: 256
    Flash [MB]: 128
    Wireless NIC: Broadcom BCM43602 x2
    WLAN standard [802.11]: a/c/n 3x3:3 b/g/n 3x3:3
    Eth. port count : 4 LAN 1 WAN + Gbit switch

  • AX3000, AC68U, or AX55?

    I am moving to a new 3 bedroom home (rental) which has 2 bedrooms upstairs.
    The property has FTTP.

    Which one should I buy to ensure I get the coverage upstairs and also future proof?
    We are a family of 4 adults with 12+ devices and are online all the time with occasional online gaming.

  • I want to get one, the only problem that I have is that if you throw a VPN on it, it struggles big time. My speed goes from 100 to 20.

    Not sure what my options are for a router with mesh with VPN that can handle the speed and devices.

    • +1

      Have you tried wireguard? It's much more efficient, particularly on these lower power devices without AES acceleration.

      You could also try a dedicated device like a Raspberry Pi 4 (or a low power x86 box, ideally with AES-NI accel), and have that handle VPN and routing, with wifi/switch handled downstream.

      • Does the AC68U support Wireguard as a VPN server? I thought it was only added to the HND models.

        • +1

          Ah good point. I always buy openwrt supported routers, so I forget that features like wireguard aren't a given.

          If there is another third party firmware you might want to look into that (openwrt doesn't seem to support ASUS routers well due to broadcom hardware).

          • @scix: I'm using Asuswrt-Merlin.
            It looks like there are ways to install it, but it's supported from RT-AC86U and higher (ARMv8), not AC68U which is ARMv7.

  • When aimesh using wifi, on the Node router side, can we still connect other pc/devices to lan ports as normal router or it has to be connect as media bridge instead?

    • I believe so, its better to have an ethernet backhaul if possible (cable connecting the 2) but should still work with ethernet backhaul (wireless connection).

  • I own one of these and use it as a wifi hotspot. Its easily the best wifi signal I've ever had. Strong, reaches far, its glorious. Gone are the days of random disconnects and slower speeds.

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