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Fry's: Asus Router RT-AC66U B1 - $79.99 with Email Code + Free Shipping

$79.99
+12 Deal Score
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Most places, including Fry's, have this router listed at $109.99. However with Fry's promo email code and free shipping option, it comes to $79.99, which is a $30.00 discount. This item is currently on backorder, but still available for ordering.

Deal Notes: For this deal I used the Fry's promo code for Wednesday 10/18/17. The original ad lists that the valid promo code is from Sunday 10/15/17. The codes are unique and in order to receive them you must sign up for their promotional deal emails. The normal selling price for this router is $109.99, the three camels shows the lowest Amazon ever sold it for was $99.99, which makes this deal $30 less than the typical selling price, and $20 cheaper than the lowest seen at Amazon.

Technical Notes: This router is the B1 version of the RT-AC66U (RT-AC66U_B1), which is an upgraded version and includes an upgraded CPU that is dual core and faster than the original model. For those interested in flashing Merlin (Asuswrt-Merlin), you are able to do so.

Update 1 (10/20/17): I checked and today's promo code for Friday still works for this deal.
Update 2 (10/20/17): Looks like shipping is no longer free and it's local pickup only. Not sure if that will change.

https://www.frys.com/product/9017677
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#2
Tested and this does work! I almost pulled the trigger but I can't wait until November 10th for delivery Frown
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#3
I am not sure how much better the B1 version but most likely the 68R for 50 is a much better deal.
I have both the original 66R and the 68R.
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#4
Quote from TH51562
:
I am not sure how much better the B1 version but most likely the 68R for 50 is a much better deal.
I have both the original 66R and the 68R.
The AC66 B1 and the AC68 have virtually identical hardware. The same build of Asuswrt-Merlin is used for both models.
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#5
Quote from TH51562
:
I am not sure how much better the B1 version but most likely the 68R for 50 is a much better deal.
I have both the original 66R and the 68R.
As far as I know, the RT-AC66U B1 (RT-AC66U_B1), now has the same internals as the RT-AC68U/R. If you're referring to the $50 deal for the refurbished TM-AC1900 that can be converted to an RT-AC68U/R, I've done that in the past successfully, and that may certainly be appealing to people. If a person doesn't want to head down the path of refurbished items nor the converting process, they can instead find in this thread a deal for new hardware that possesses the same internals as the RT-AC68U/R.

For me I find the price of this deal quite appealing related to what I've written above. The only bummer is waiting 3 weeks to get the thing because of the backorder status.

---

As an aside, if someone here decides to buy one of these routers at some other time, here's a bit of useful info: Asus has adopted a confusing naming convention for their routers as they continue to release updated and new models. For instance, if you see a RT-AC66U Rev B1 and a RT-AC66U B1 (RT-AC66U_B1), those routers are not the same. The former is a revision of the older hardware, whereas the later is the fully updated hardware that this thread is about. If you can't tell by the naming of the router when you're looking to purchase, I think a couple of items you can check for are if it has at least one USB 3 port, or if the processor is dual core 1 GHz. You may also see revisions of the new hardware with names like RT-AC66U B1 Rev A1/B1/B2, but I've not read about any concerns with those differences at this point.
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Last edited by elgrandeburro October 18, 2017 at 10:46 PM.
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Quote from elgrandeburro
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Asus has adopted a confusing naming convention for their routers as they continue to release updated and new models. For instance, if you see a RT-AC66U Rev B1 and a RT-AC66U B1 (RT-AC66U_B1), those routers are not the same. The former is a revision of the older hardware, whereas the later is the fully updated hardware that this thread is about. If you can't tell by the naming of the router when you're looking to purchase, I think a couple of items you can check for are if it has at least one USB 3 port, or if the processor is dual core 1 GHz. You may also see revisions of the new hardware with names like RT-AC66U B1 Rev A1/B1/B2, but I've not read about any concerns with those differences at this point.
Everything you say is correct.

The revised RT-AC66U is officially branded as the RT-AC1750 now. This has the 600MHz processor and 2 USB 2.0 ports in the back. The antennas are removable. People get confused because it says "RT-AC66U" and "H/W Ver: B1" on the box.

The RT-AC66U_B1 is physically larger. It has the dual-core 1GHz processor, one USB 2.0 port in the back, and one USB 3.0 port in the front. The antennas are not removable.
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Last edited by buttbuddy October 19, 2017 at 12:03 AM. Reason: add info about antenna
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#7
These are getting so confusing with these routers. I just purchased the $50'Amazon deal yesterday and should receive it in couple of day. Now this one come on the market and not sure if I should cancel the Amazon deal and go for this deal for $30 more.

I am trying to connect one of these units to the Motorola SBG6580 cable model to have a better coverage through my home. Lately I have been getting some blind spots at my house and I am hoping to get a better WiFI coverage using this router.
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#8
Be sure to check your local stores Walmart clearance as well. I recently saw several of the AC-68U can't remember if they were branded 1900 something or other but they had them down to $39. Going to be similar as all of these ASUS model are with only minor differences (800 vs 1000 cpu, USB 3.0 port front or rear, etc)
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#9
Quote from carloo
:
These are getting so confusing with these routers. I just purchased the $50'Amazon deal yesterday and should receive it in couple of day. Now this one come on the market and not sure if I should cancel the Amazon deal and go for this deal for $30 more.

I am trying to connect one of these units to the Motorola SBG6580 cable model to have a better coverage through my home. Lately I have been getting some blind spots at my house and I am hoping to get a better WiFI coverage using this router.
Depends on how much your time is worth.

It took me about 2 hours (above what it normally takes to flash Asus Merlin) to defeat the locked bootloader on the TM-AC1900. You can find instructions on the TM-AC1900 thread, but you have to revert to an old firmware so that you can trick the router into thinking it is a stock Asus router and to defeat the restrictions on flashing Asus-branded firmware. It requires assigning IP addresses to your computer.

It is a step-by-step process. But there are many steps.
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#10
I bit, have a TP link archer c9 right now, but I don't like the interface and they never have any firmware updates. I miss that Asus UI, can't wait to put Merlin on this thing. Then maybe I'll try putting DDWRT on the TP link
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#11
In for 2, I used the 10/15 email code. My old ASUS RT-N16 was one of the most reliable routers I had before it fried (wont' even POST now). The hardware was old, but loved the interface and the ability to see the clients on my network. Unfortunately I replaced it with an Archer C7 v2. I know I can get the DHCP client list on the C7, but I remember being able to alias some of them, android-c73kj23kkd<etc> isn't very descriptive.

Something on my network occasionally crashes the C7 hard enough where I can't even get to the admin interface & have to unplug it, even on the latest firmware. Looking forward to coming back to ASUS.
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Last edited by SteveC4784 October 19, 2017 at 08:37 AM.
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#12
Is it bad form to ask for reputation points for my deal post or follow-up technical info? Is it of any value, who knows, yet I still want it Wink
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Quote from carloo
:
These are getting so confusing with these routers. I just purchased the $50'Amazon deal yesterday and should receive it in couple of day. Now this one come on the market and not sure if I should cancel the Amazon deal and go for this deal for $30 more.

I am trying to connect one of these units to the Motorola SBG6580 cable model to have a better coverage through my home. Lately I have been getting some blind spots at my house and I am hoping to get a better WiFI coverage using this router.
If you're talking about the T-Mobile branded refurb, the specs are very nearly identical. The TM-1900 is a rebranded AC68 and the AC66 B1 (the one in this deal) is essentially the same thing with a new name. The only major difference between the two (besides the Amazon one being refurbished) is that T-Mobile locked the firmware on their version. This means it will take more work to flash Merlin or any other firmware on the TM-1900.
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Quote from buttbuddy
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If you're talking about the T-Mobile branded refurb, the specs are very nearly identical. The TM-1900 is a rebranded AC68 and the AC66 B1 (the one in this deal) is essentially the same thing with a new name. The only major difference between the two (besides the Amazon one being refurbished) is that T-Mobile locked the firmware on their version. This means it will take more work to flash Merlin or any other firmware on the TM-1900.
Thank you for your reply !! So which one would you get in this case?
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Quote from elgrandeburro
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Is it bad form to ask for reputation points for my deal post or follow-up technical info? Is it of any value, who knows, yet I still want it https://static.slickdealscdn.com/ima...ilies/wink.gif
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Quote from carloo
:
Thank you for your reply !! So which one would you get in this case?
If it were me, I would probably get the one here for $80 for the following reasons:
  1. The hardware is new with a 2 year warranty.
  2. IMO flashing Merlin is a must for any supported Asus router. If you're familiar with using recovery mode and the Asus firmware recovery tool, it's not that hard to do with the T-Mobile version. Upgrading from stock Asus firmware is dead simple even for the most technologically challenged. Even if you don't care about third party firmware, it's better to flash the latest version of the stock Asus firmware than to keep the dated T-Mobile version.
I actually ended up picking up the single core AC66U from Target for $33 on clearance the other day. AFAIK the wireless coverage on all of these is about the same. The 1Ghz dual core models will do a better job supporting more devices. This is yet a third option if a Target near you has one in stock.

In choosing between these two, you'll have to decide what's important to you. Are you comfortable going through a convoluted process to upgrade firmware or do you just not care about the firmware? Then stick with the one you got from Amazon. I had a refurb Asus last for close to 4 years before crapping out a few weeks ago. Is the $30 premium worth getting new hardware with stock firmware that's easy to work with? Then get this deal from Fry's
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Last edited by buttbuddy October 20, 2017 at 12:03 AM. Reason: spacing
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