If you're one of the billions that use Wi-Fi daily, you probably need one of these!
The Asus RP-AC68U Repeater / Access Point / Media Bridge does it all, and it makes your digital life better in the process!
A repeater takes a Wi-Fi signal amplifies, cleans the signal, and rebroadcasts it to surrounding Wi-Fi devices, effectively extending your Wi-Fi coverage area.
An Access Point takes an Ethernet connection, and gives you Wi-Fi, providing a wireless connection for devices that don't have an Ethernet port or need the portability.
A Media Bridge, or simply "Bridge", allows an Ethernet connection between two points over Wi-Fi, essentially giving you an Ethernet port in a location that doesn't have one, but has Wi-Fi coverage. And that is exactly what I needed for The Lab, as it has no Ethernet and Sledgehammer has no Wi-Fi.
The RP-AC68U comes with the standard assortment of documents, cables, and a power adapter.
The packaging of this guy is probably the most beautiful packaging I've ever seen for a non-Apple wireless device, but the amazing looks don't stop there. It also comes in a very nice plastic film wrap that reminds me of Apple devices and high end cell phones. But this was only the beginning of the oohs and ahhs.
Removing the RP-AC68U from the packaging, the first thing you notice is how aesthetically pleasing it is to see. Asus obviously intended for this guy to be on display, and not just tucked away behind the desk in a crack like the device it's replacing. The top and bottom both have this design that instantly makes you think of your favorite sci-fi movie, with all of the Ethernet ports, USB port, WPS button, Power Button, DC jack, and even signal level LEDs on the rear. The bottom has rubber feet to make sure it doesn't scratch your shiny white Ikea desk, while keeping it in place, and if all of that wasn't enough I still have not mentioned the overall exterior design.
Instead of typical go-to, cheap looking, piano-black glossy finish many electronics use, Asus went with a dark, almost black, matte gray with a maroon or burgundy looking vertical center strip which is repeated on all 4 sides.
But the oohs and ahhs still don't stop there. It wasn't until the next morning that I actually plugged in the repeater. The sun wasn't even up yet. The moment I did, I was treated to a very warm red glow which comes from the 4 stripes on all 4 sides. It lit up its corner of The Lab like something amazing was happening, and the red glow is only interrupted by the white signal level LEDs on its rear. True enough I put the repeater in the corner, but it's also the highest device in The Lab, giving it a very commanding presence that almost demands respect.
So how well does it work? Unfortunately, all of the demanding devices are in my office, so there are no gigabit speed tests I can perform. Outside of The Lab I have my internet connection, and as you can see, it does extremely well there. These are the speeds I would expect testing over Ethernet.
So is it worth it? Absolutely! Before this guy, I always discouraged people from buying repeaters unless it was their absolute last resort, because repeaters have historically been very slow. The moment your device connects to them, it was an instant downgrade in speed. But that's not the case with the Asus RP-AC68U. If you need a repeater because your signal is weak, if you need to add Wi-Fi to a place that just doesn't have it, or if you need to add a portable Ethernet jack to an unwired building, the this is your guy.
I did have one minor issue with it. My FiOS Quantum router supports 5GHz channels not supported by this repeater, nor the last bridge I had. Setting my router to a static channel it supported fixed the problem, and in the week I've been using it, I haven't had a single problem.
Despite the higher than average price tag, there's no doubt this repeater is worth the money. When you have it setup, it just works, works like it should, and it's rather easy to setup following the instructions. Coupled along with the beautiful aesthetics of art this piece is, I have no reservations about giving the Asus RP-AC68U the Tech-Know Scope TKSexcellent Choice award!
- Elemino | CEO