|At a glance|
|Product||ASUS EA-N66 Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter [Website]|
|Summary||Ralink based dual-band three-stream AP/Bridge/Repeater with impressive rate vs. range performance in both bands.|
|Pros||• Impressive 5 GHz range|
• Non-directional antenna design
• AP, Repeater, bridge modes
• WDS not required for bridge, repeater modes
|Cons||• No user manual|
• Throughput variation could be better
• No online help
• WDS not supported
Typical Price: $86 Compare Prices Check Amazon
Updated 9/19/12: Corrected error in Table 3
It took awhile for ASUS to send the oddly-shaped little mate for its ever-popular RT-N66U "Dark Knight" router in for review. Given ASUS' penchant for incrementing its way toward firmware stability, I guess they wanted time to work out some of the initial kinks that early buyers paid for the privilege of wrestling with. At any rate, it's in, it's tested and I have to say I am impressed.
The EA-N66 is a selectable dual-band three-stream N device that functions as a wireless Ethernet bridge (its default configuration), access point or "universal" repeater. ASUS' choice of including "N900" in the product's name is misleading, however, since it implies simultaneous three-stream dual-band operation. It should more properly be called an "N450" product, which is the maximum link rate supported on either band when 40 MHz mode is used.
Since you can't get a feel for how large the N66 is from the photos on its product page, I took the shot below with it parked in front of a Dark Knight. The adapter is large and heavy enough to not be dragged around by its attached power and Ethernet cords, but small enough to sit on top of a media center and not incur the wrath of too many decor-conscious significant others. If you want to wall or ceiling mount it, have at it using the tri-cornered screw slots on its bottom.
ASUS EA-N66 and RT-N66U Dark Knight
The controls, ports and indicators are called out in the diagram below. As the product name implies, the Ethernet port is 10/100/1000. It doesn't support Power over Ethernet and you can't set its link speed or mode in the system settings.
ASUS EA-N66 feature callouts
The photo below of the top of the N66's board is taken from the FCC docs (FCC ID MSQ-EAN66). This view has the tops of the RF cans removed to show additional RF components, which I suspect are 2.4 and 5 GHz power amplifiers. The grey square on the top left component is a thermal pad to couple the chip to the RF shield top for better heat removal.
ASUS EA-N66 board top
The bottom photo of the board shows the RF sections for the other band's radio, the RAM and Ethernet components.
ASUS EA-N66 board bottom
Average user rating from: 4 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||3.5||Features :||3.5||Performance :||4.0||Reliability :||3.0|
Paired with my RT-N66U, none better!
April 07, 2013
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Works as advertised, no issues with installation, and has great throughput on the 5Ghz band.
For those who use this as a bridge, it will always keep the default 10.x.x.1 ip, and never your own setup. DHCP still works as advertised, and all connected clients work flawlessly.
Mine is connected to a switch, and all is well.
Overall great product!
Can't change IP address, regular self-reboots.
February 02, 2013
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I have this device and the first issue I had was that you cannot change the IP address in bridge mode. This is an unacceptable limitation as I do not use the 10.0.1.* subnet.
I could have dealt with this limitation, however the device also regularly reboots itself for no apparent reason. I often have to FTP or SCP large files over the Internet and leave them overnight when I do. Using this device, I could no longer do so as it would reboot once it got little ways in. I would come back to a working Internet connection but a failed upload. This NEVER happened on my Netgear WG111v3.
Until I can find a reliable replacement that supports 802.11G, I will continue using my good ole' reliable Netgear.
No problems so far
October 15, 2012
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Before turning to my RT-N66U with the EA-N66U I had a DIR-655 with a DAP1522. The connection was flaky thru 2 hard concrete walls, and constantly would lose connection or simply drop to very low throughput speeds.
After upgraded, the connection as been stable and running fine. I can even stream HD to my Playstation 3 from my Home Server via wireless.
I have to agree that there is lack of instructions and information on how to set up.
But the whole firmware seems pretty simple and the Wizard worked instantly.
Very disappointing product
October 02, 2012
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The current firmwares are all plagued with tons of bugs and although the support is fairly responsive they are also slow.
The unit I have at home is currently turned on and unplugged because it's in a funny state where if I plugged it in within 5 minutes the LAN would stop working and start working again immediately as soon as I disconnected the device.
This happened regularly every week until I finally unplugged it.
While it works it's fast and range is good although not that much better at the end of the day. It was a great great disappointment and I don't suggest getting this as an AP.
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