One of the best recurring deals in the wireless router space has been T-Mobile's Wi-Fi CellSpot, a rebranded version of the Asus RT-AC68U. We have brought to attention sale prices on this model before, though at $55 for an open box model at Tanga, this is the lowest we have ever seen it.
There are a few things to cover here. Let's start with the "new—open box" status on Tanga's website.
"An open-box item looks and feels brand new, although may show very minimal signs of use. Open-box products are often unused returns, or demo models from retail locations that just can’t be sold as 'brand new' anymore. Some of the products may have never even been powered on, but have merely been removed from their packaging at some point. As a result, these products are heavily discounted even though you can expect them to function as if they were new," Tanga says.
In other words, these are not refurbished models. And what comes in the box are all of the original accessories—AC adapter, Ethernet cable, and user's manual, and of course the router itself.
As to the rebranding, an older review by CNET claims T-Mobile's model lacks some features of the RT-AC68U. Namely, it supports four guest networks instead of six and lacks dual-WAN support, which turns one of the four LAN ports into a second WAN port. That's only applicable if you're dealing with two ISPs. According to T-Mobile's product page, however, it does support six guest networks and dual-WAN. So either CNET missed some things, or T-Mobile added features back to its model since the review posted. Either way, we're not talking about deal killers here.
The last thing to note about T-Mobile's model is that it looks slightly different from the picture above. We couldn't find a picture big enough to use, but T-Mobile's CellSpot has some additional branding on the front.
All that said, what remains is a fast router with exceptional range. It offers up to 1,300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. For external devices, there is a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port, both of which are on the back of the router.
You can grab the router on sale here.
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