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ASUS presents their new routers: RT-AC56U and RT-AC68U

ASUS presents their new routers at the Computex 2013; both feature the latest Wi-Fi technology, the 802.11ac standard, which offers amazing speeds in the 5GHz band, and depending on the antennas, it can reach speeds 2 to 5 times faster than the old 802.11N standard.

ASUS RT-AC56U

The models they presented were the ASUS RT-AC56U and the ASUS RT-AC68U, which we will now review in detail.

ASUS RT-AC56U

This new dual-band router can reach speeds of up to 300Mbps in the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps in the 5GHz one using the 802.11ac standard. It has two MIMO 2T2R internal antennas for each band. This router can be classified as an AC1200, if you don’t know what that means, we recommend you to read this: Router manufacturers classifications.

All the RJ-45 ports are Gigabit Ethernet, it has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports to share files and printers with other devices on the network.

Since it uses the Broadcom platform, third-party firmwares like DD-WRT and Tomato RAF are likely to start showing up soon.

ASUS RT-AC68U

The router everyone has talked about the most, the RT-AC68U can reach wireless speed of up to 1.9Gbps. This sounds absolutely amazing on paper and the praise for this router sees no end, however not everything is as one would expect.

ASUS RT-AC68U

As of now, the maximum speed you can get in the 5GHz band with the 802.11ac standard is 1300Mbps, with 3 flows of data at 433Mbps each and a modulation of 256-QAM with 80MHz of bandwidth.

In the 2.4GHz band, the maximum possible speed is 450Mbps, with 3 data flows at 150Mbps each and a modulation of 64-QAM with 40MHz of bandwidth.

So, if you add 1300Mbps plus 450Mbps you get 1750Mbps of maximum wireless speed. The router would need 150Mbps more to reach AC1900 speeds, right? ASUS has decided to use a modulation of 256-QAM in the 2.4GHz band, to get 200Mbps in each data flow, so that means a speed of 600Mbps in the 2.4GHz band.

But there’s another problem: only the latest 11ac wireless chipsets from Broadcom are compatible with this modulation, in fact, ASUS said only the ASUS PCE-AC66 is compatible with this modulation, which makes it the only one of their devices capable of reaching wireless speeds of 600Mbps in the 2.4GHz band, no other 11N device is compatible with this modulation, so the performance everyone expected is simply not a reality as of now.

It’s believed that the chipset used for wireless routers is the Broadcom BCM4360, the latest from Broadcom, since their previous chipsets do not support this modulation.

It’s important to note that even if you get speeds of 1900Mbps or 1750Mbps, you won’t get this real speed in your device, since this is the speed of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands combined, and you can only connect to one of them at a time.

Technical Features:

  • Wireless: Two BCM4360 (one for each band).
  • CPU: 800MHz BCM4708A Broadcom ARM ® Cortex ™-A9 dual-core
  • RAM: 256MB
  • FLASH: 128MB
  • Switch: Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet BCM4708A
  • It will also features a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port.

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One Thought on “ASUS presents their new routers: RT-AC56U and RT-AC68U

  1. > ,,, But there’s another problem: only the latest 11ac wireless chipsets from Broadcom
    > are compatible with this modulation, in fact, ASUS said only the ASUS PCE-AC66 is
    > compatible with this modulation, which makes it the only one of their devices … no
    > other 11N device is compatible with this modulation, so the performance everyone expected
    > is simply not a reality as of now …

    If you have a NEW Cellphone you might be able to use it (and the highest speeds) with the Router AND get the benefit of the newest Chipset features. The HTC One Cell Phone Chipset supports 20, 40, and 80 MHz channels with optional SGI (256 QAM modulation).

    You can use your Cell Phones and Laptops to connect to the Router (and it’s associated HD) and have it serve Media (thus freeing up your Computer). To get the most OUT of this Router you need to get the most INto the Router; and many of us do not have high enough Internet access speeds to qualify, (thus the “Home Media Server” usage).

    Broadcom 5G WiFi Powers New HTC One® Smartphone
    http://www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s742791
    “By adopting the BCM4335, HTC is delivering the speed, reliability and power benefits of 5G WiFi in its newest smartphone.”.

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