Most helpful critical review
94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Nice router, great Wifi range, but design flaw.
on December 27, 2012
I bought this router(RT-N65U) a few months ago over the Asus RT-N56U (think that's the model) because the N65U has 2 USB3.0 ports instead of 2 USB2.0 ports since transfer rates would be higher if I to use an external hard drive of some sort. I also bought a Sandisk Extreme USB3.0 flash drive to use as an external drive on this router which works really well as a storage space within my home network. At first there were no problems with setup. Set it up as an access point and only needed to do a few tweeks and it was ready to go. The bios has a nice interface, very easy to use and menus are straight forward for someone who doesn't deal with routers much.
Design on the router looks nice, and lan works well. Router runs hot, but I think that's true for all routers. I see some people complaining that they are not getting good transfer rates when using an external hard drive with this router and that can be due to their own hard drive in their computer and/or external plugged into the router (correct me if I'm wrong). From what I read and if your hard drive does not support USB3.0 speeds (Meaning SATA III SSDs which mostly has over 400Mb read and write), you will never get that type of read and write speed regardless of how fast the connection. So copying files from your hard drive to the external connected to the router will be bottlenecked by your own hard drive and/or the external used(Again correct me if I'm wrong).
The router has a design flaw with the USB3.0 devices. I've checked online that using USB3.0 devices affect the 2.4ghz signals around it and since I'm using an USB3.0 flash drive as a storage drive on the router, my wifi has been hampered and keeps dropping when the drive in plugged in. Transferring files over wifi and even connecting my laptop over wifi has become a problem. Reading files off the drive while connecting to wifi has been unusable. When streaming the files from the drive, the shows would occasionally buffer for a very long time and sometimes can't even play the file due to the wifi dropping. I have tried using an USB2.0 flash drive to test if the same problem happens. Playing the same file from the USB2.0 flash drive, the file would load up quickly without any problems while keeping my wifi connection solid, but once USB3.0 flash drive is plugged in, the wifi drops right away.
Another thing I tried was while the USB3.0 flash drive was plugged into the asus router (a room away, about 30-40 feet), I would connect to another wifi router (3 floors up) within the house to see if the files have the same problem, but it turns out there were no problems playing the files while connected to another router even though the USB3.0 flash drive was plugged into the asus router.
Example - The ASUS router with no USB3.0 flash drive plugged in my wifi connection on the laptop would be 36Mb to 54Mb and with the USB2.0 flash drive plugged in the drive would stay the same. When USB3.0 flash drive is plugged in wifi would drop between 1.0Mb to 24.0Mb and never going pass that even though it shows that the device has full signal from the router.
Another problem arised after everything was set up was that the PS3 in my living room was not connecting to the router even though it's only a room away. I thought it might have been my PS3's setting problem. It detected the wifi and password was correct, but it just can't obtain the IP and everything, I tried my connecting to another router's wifi and my PS3 connected instantly (This router is 3 floors up too) so it must have been my Asus routers problem, but after a bit of reseting the router, my PS3 finally got connected to the Asus router, but occasionally I would still have problems connecting and even transferring data over wifi would be really slow. After unplugging the USB3.0 flash drive from the router, the PS3 would connect instantly and have no problems.
I have requested help from Asus support team and they told me to update the firmware which I have done. Wifi transferring has gotten a little better, but the wifi signal has become worse with occasional wifi drops when playing online games. I would get disconnected and sometimes the latency would increase so much the games are unplayable with 3-5 second lag spikes.
I have requested an RMA and hopefully get another router to test out to see if I really received a defect. Will also try other USB3.0 storage options to see if the problem is there after I receive a replacement from ASUS. I'm considering an USB3.0 SATA III enclosure with a ssd internal to see if the same problems happens like the flash drive. I have no tried any other brands of USB3.0 Flash drives, but I think this might be an USB3.0 problem instead of the flash drive since I tried an USB2.0 flash drive and other external storage devices.
*Edit* I received my RMA back recently and was able to test it. From the looks of router, there doesn't seem to be anything done to it. I just received the same one I shipped to them, with no documentations on what exactly was done. I tested it with my Sandisk USB and I'm having the same problems. Transferring over wifi is still very slow and streaming videos of the driver still buffers a lot. It's a hit or miss, sometimes I won't have any problems and next time I would buffer non-stop making watching anything impossible. So far quite unsatisfied with the RMA. Paid for shipping and doesn't seem like they did anything to it at all. Another problem that makes it more frustrating is that the laptop I have connected to the router through wifi, I get occasional drop signals (The wifi signal stops and then the connection disappears for like 30 seconds, meaning I don't see it as an option to connect to under network management). I'm going to try to get an USB 3.0 enclosure with an SSD and see how affects my wifi, but will have to wait till Samsung 840 Pro prices drop some more before I grab one.