ASUS RT-N66U "Dark Knight" Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router Review - Design


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The ASUS RT-N66U a.k.a. "Dark Knight" does away with our traditional view of wireless routers as finicky devices encased in cheap plastic shells. Close inspection reveals why this product holds a Red Dot Design Award for 2012. Subtle blue LED's, checkerboard motif, and a relatively slim wedge-shaped profile make the RT-N66U stand out in a sea of bleak black and blue boxes. Thanks to the attention ASUS paid to designing the shape of the RT-N66U's trio of dual-band adjustable antennas, they actually help boost the router's aesthetic appeal. Certain customers will be excited to know that these antennas are removable and upgradable. The router can rest flat, stand vertically with the included plastic bracket, or be mounted to the wall. This flexibility is great for enthusiasts who want to reap the full benefits of having both bands available inside of a large home or even a warehouse setting. Whatever you might lose in aesthetics by mounting some large and unwieldy high gain antennas can be made up for in great coverage.


Subtle vents can be found on either side of the router just underneath its glossy face. These vents conceal a large aluminum heat sink that gives the Dark Knight far better heat dissipation and noise characteristics than other high performance routers. It also adds to the weight of the device, adding to the premium hefty feel and reassuring ballast on a desktop. A considerable amount of additional venting is hidden on the underside. The back panel is host to the obligatory WAN port, power button, and reset button, as well as four LAN ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a WPS button. As it turns out, the WAN port can be configured via firmware to act as a fifth LAN port, should you want to repurpose the router as an access point to extend the range of your network; just another example of ASUS covering all their bases when it comes to keeping the end user in mind. 

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