ASUS RT-AC68U & PCE-AC68 802.11AC Review

Author: AkG
Date: November 21, 2013
Product Name: RT-AC68U & PCE-AC68
Part Number: RT-AC68U & PCE-AC68
Warranty: 2 Years
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RT-AC68U Router Interface Cont'd

Much like the USB application section, the Wireless section of the advanced settings group is much, much more advanced than what the Network Map section would lead you to believe. In addition to configuration of the 2.4 and 5 GHz networks you can also configure WPS, set the RT-AC68U to bridge mode, configure wireless MAC address filtering as well as configuring more Enterprise orientated solutions such as RADIUS configuration.

The professional sub menu is also where you can further tweak and customize the wireless networks and control advanced features such as enabling 256-QAM (aka ‘TurboQAM’) and even set up a basic schedule for when the radio will be enabled and disabled.

The LAN section has the usual Local Arena Network configuration options including the IP range, DHCP server settings, route and whether or not to support Jumbo frames. The DHCP server abilities have been significantly beefed up over the AC66 and it is now very, very easy to hard set an IP to the MAC address of a given NIC. Of special note is the IPTV section which allows you to connect your Internet enabled TV or set-top box directly to the router and have it access the internet. With IPTVs being more and more common this is a great feature to have.

The WAN section allows for setting up a DMZ, port forwarding, NAT passthrough and most interestingly of all: Dual WAN. As the name suggests you can use one of the four ‘LAN’ ports as a second WAN port. While not all that important for most this will be a good add-on feature for those who do need it.

The IPv6 section deals with enabling IPv6 abilities of the AC68U router but thankfully it has been set to off by default. While IPv6 may be the future its widespread acceptance has been limited. However, when it finally does gain traction the AC68U will be there and waiting.

This router’s VPN server section deals with setup and configuration of a Virtual Private Server and allows for some very decent configuration abilities such as encryption level and hard setting client IP addresses. Unfortunately it only supports a maximum of 10 clients at one time, but for most home users this should be more than enough.

ASUS’ Firewall tab is also fairly robust and allows for filtering by keyword, URL or even by network services. You can either use a blacklist for the filters or a whitelist. The latter of which is much more secure but also more time consuming to properly configure.

An Administration area has all the usual administrative related tasks such as changing the login password, setting the router to repeater, Access Point and Media Bridge mode. It is also where you can update the firmware and even save or restore your custom settings to and from the router.

The new and improved system log is very, very complete. Instead of the usual one or two generic logs that most routers use, the new RT-AC68U keeps seven (yes, SEVEN) separate logs for easy troubleshooting. In grand total these logs are: General, Wireless, DHCP, IPv6, Routing Table, Port Forwarding, and Connections. Each and every one is very self-evident and we doubt anyone will have problems figuring out which log to search for answers.

The last section – aptly labeled Network Tools – contains some very basic network troubleshooting tools such as ping, traceroute, and NSlookup. It also contains netstat (aka networking statistics) which displays all the network connections (incoming and outgoing) as well as NAT connections. The last option deals with wake on LAN which allows the router to send a wakeup command to a given system. Few will ever use these tools but each one is nicely executed and if you do need them their ease of use will be greatly appreciated.

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