ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 Wireless Router
If the Asus RT-AC68U looks familiar, that's because it bears a striking resemblance to the RT-N66U that we've recommended for years. While it's not quite the direct replacement to our previous favorite (that spot is filled by the similarly named RT-AC66U), Asus positions the RT-AC68U as a slightly higher-performing variant. As the model name implies, the RT-AC68U supports the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard - also to be known as "Wi-Fi 5", according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. All things considered, we feel that the RT-AC68U is the sweet spot in the Asus wireless router lineup.
Asus certainly played it safe with the external design of the RT-AC68U, carrying over the cross-hatched appearance and three prominent external antennas. The overall size hasn't changed too much, but the added componentry results in a thicker case compared to the RT-N66U. It's a different story out back, however - because the RT-AC68U is meant to stand vertically, the ports have been shifted to the bottom of the case. The four Gigabit Ethernet ports remain, as do the pair of USB ports; one of these has the telltale blue connector of USB 3.0, making the RT-AC68U a more realistic option for attaching a networked hard drive.
Rather than altering a successful design motif, Asus took the opportunity to further increase performance without sacrificing reliability. The RT-AC68U is a three-stream router like its predecessor, but adopting the latest 802.11ac standard allows a noticeable throughput increase with compatible devices. Asus claims up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps using the 5 GHz radio to justify the AC1900 label. While it's unlikely you'll see these speeds regularly (see our buyer's guide for more info), the RT-AC68U offers enough real-world performance to stream 4K content reliably. The 1 GHz dual-core processor keeps the RT-AC68U operating reliably even with multiple connections, preventing any throughput "bottlenecks" that can occur with lesser routers that don't have the processing power to keep up with demand.
With an MSRP of $149.99, the RT-AC68U balances its performance nicely with a reasonable price tag. While $150 is certainly a chunk of change (considering how lower-end yet still-viable 802.11ac routers available for a third of the price), the RT-AC68U earns our recommendation because of its noticeable real-world performance bump. This particular router is especially well-suited for users with faster internet service subscriptions, as the added throughput can better take advantage of the higher data rates.