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on January 10, 2018
Bought back in July of 2013, this router has started to reach it's last legs over the past month or so. Despite scheduling reboots every early morning, this router now requires one about once a week outside of this. According to other recent reviews, it seems like that trend will only continue, so I'm going to be in the market for another router as early as this evening most likely.

Another quirky thing I was running into is my devices claiming they had incorrect passwords for the WiFi until I rebooted it.

That being said, this router has served me well up until this point. I'm not familiar enough with the lifespan of wireless routers, so I'll leave my review at a 3 for now. It was able to achieve my billed Comcast speeds throughout it's lifespan and for that I give it credit.
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on September 13, 2014
I usually expect something to go wrong initially with new tech products, and sure enough this one was no exception.

SOFT-BRICK:
I was running through the initial set up over WLAN since it wasn't working over LAN (probably because I had my old router plugged in to the new router, trying to get 6 gigabit LAN connections, and my old router's DHCP was trumping the new one for whatever reason, though I still couldn't get DHCP to work after I unplugged old router). During setup, I rebooted my cable modem when prompted. It obtained internet connectivity and downloaded new firmware, then installed it. It told me to "reboot router manually", so I did. After that it just went to a slow blinking power LED. I found that this meant it was in "rescue mode", neat. OK, downloaded the rescue tool from ASUS, along with the firmware file, set static IP on my PC to 192.168.1.2, and flashed the firmware with no problems. It rebooted itself this time. Maybe when I rebooted it manually WHEN IT TOLD ME TO previously, it was in the middle of something vital...I guess....whatever, it's working fine now.

FAILED INTERNET CONNECTIVITY: I connected my phone to the router and fired up speedtest...it said my network had no internet connectivity. Force closed app, tried again, same result. I had to go to the stores so I left. A few hours later when I returned, speedtest worked fine, though I only got 4mbps on my 30mbps connection, surely my ISP's fault as we are fairly over-subscribed in our area. Even with the over-subscription, Charter still freely increased us from 8 to 15 meg, then 15 to 30, and I hear it's going to be 50mbps soon. Yet at 7pm on a Saturday I can only get 4.31mbps, go figure. My wife connected her 2014 Note 10.1" to the wifi and is saying internet isn't working on it. She disconnected then reconnected and it eventually worked.

BUGGY FIRMWARE:
I imagine things will settle after maybe another reboot of router & devices. Too bad this stuff doesn't just work straight away, but I don't care that much. The router would be a 5-star if it didn't basically soft-brick upon setup then fail to give connectivity to my mobile Android devices. I will probably try the custom firmware to see if it's better, though the Railink chipset in this router isn't supported by any of the popular custom firmware I believe (no Tomato or DD-WRT). I also don't understand why the firmware says I have 9 clients connected, which is correct, but when I click on that to see the 9 clients, it refreshes and only shows me 5...or 6...or whatever it feels like. At one point, I didn't change anything, I was just looking at the clients screen, then it went to a text-only page that said: "Settings have been updated. Web page will now refresh. Changes have been made to the IP address or port number. You will now be disconnected from RT-N56U.
To access the settings of RT-N56U, reconnect to the wireless network and use the updated IP address and port number." The page never refreshed, despite it saying that it will. It says I made changes to the IP or port number, though I made no such changes. All I did was view the connected devices. It tells me to reconnect to the wifi and use the updated IP and port?!? Ummm...

This makes me wonder...are there any consumer routers out there that work properly without a bunch of tweaking and troubleshooting? If this was the #1 router last year, I believe the answer to that question is simply "no". It's not like I have a bunch of odd-ball devices either. Windows 7 and Android 4.4.x devices mostly, which worked fine on my old D-Link, but my D-Link was having weird wifi lag that I couldn't remedy, and had some other issues. To see if it works any better, I installed custom firmware on here, which looks pretty close to the ASUS firmware. It definitely seems more solid, however, our iPad4 will not connect on either band. It just says "unable to connect to this network". Neat! I guess I get to go research that issue and see what I can come up with.

Overall, I'm not impressed and am kind of curious what is so great about this router. It does look pretty nice with that textured front and lack of external antennae...

UPDATE: Increased to 4 stars. Custom firmware is working well. I like that I can add a port-forward and it applies in seconds, compared to a lot of routers that will do a minute-long reboot every time you update small things like this.

Also, I have no connectivity issues anymore. I did a speed test just now during busy times and got over 31.5mbps download speed on my 30mbps connection. Sweet!

ASUS needs to get with it, though, and stop the firmware update that is causing soft-bricks. Unless they really want to keep getting 1-star reviews from helpless people that can't figure out how to reflash firmware themselves.

UPDATE: Suddenly, my wireless devices are experiencing extreme latency and dropped packets. Pinging the router sees it fluctuate from <1ms to over 2000ms. Can't even play Minecraft with it doing this. I rebooted router, no change. I changed it from auto-channel to manual channel, trying a few different channels that are unused in my sparse area - no change. Tried forcing 2.4ghz onto the 20mhz setting instead of 20/40 - no change. Connected to 5ghz band and all is well. This happens on both of my laptops. Haven't tested from mobile android devices yet but I expect to see the same thing. Something broken with the 2.4ghz band, sadly. Reducing review to 3 stars due to this. I wouldn't mind using 5ghz band if it wasn't a much weaker signal.

UPDATE: Giving up on the custom firmware. It was great except after a few days I started having massive lag on the 2.4GHz band. I tried every channel and setting, literally all of them in the 2.4GHz settings. Running a ping to the router would result in several good pings of 1ms or 2ms, then 3 to 10 laggy pings of 800ms or 1500ms or straight-up packet loss. This was with multiple laptops sitting 5 ft away from the router. My Android devices weren't doing much better. This made most online games unplayable from all wireless devices. I eventually gave up on the custom firmware and decided to try official ASUS firmware...

OLD ASUS FIRMWARE = WIN FOR ME:
So after much frustration with the custom firmware and the latest ASUS firmware, I decided to try some old ASUS firmware, starting with the oldest one on their website. So far, it's working great. Then again, so did the custom firmware at first. Time will tell...I'll come update this review again. Sorry for all of the updates, but this is a battle worth documenting, in my opinion. Now to cancel the RMA I started out of frustration earlier today...
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on October 6, 2015
I was looking to replace my old Linksys WRT-54GS router which has served faithfully for years (maybe 8 years?). I upgraded my modem earlier in the week and saw a nice increase in speed on the ethernet connected devices (about 59/6 Mbps up from 18/1 Mbps) but my WiFi was still hovering around 15/6 Mbps after the modem replacement (WiFiwas 11/1 before the modem was replaced), leaving me to think my router was now the bottleneck.
I plugged in the Asus and setup was pretty easy. I told the kids their devices would be down for an hour but it took less than 10 minutes. I took a WiFi reading before an after the Asus install, which was seperated by about 30 minutes. Went fron 14.87/6.42 up to 58.12/6.38.
To be clear, I was sitting right next to the router when I took those readings but it revealed the old Linksys device just wasn't cutting it. I tested again in the corner of our house where the PS3 is located and got a 33/6 reading.
Given the price of a new Asus of $85, CNET's very positive review of the product, my positive experience, and ease of setup, I would highly recommend this router.

Here is a quick breakdown of Download and Upload speeds for hard wired and Wi-Fi performance for me (Wifi speed tests taken 3 feet from router).
Before New Modem or Router 17.73/1.26 10.72/1.12
New Modem Old Router 59.12/6.06 14.87/6.42
New Modem and New Router 59.43/6.15 58.12/6.38
WiFi measurements were taken on my Galaxy S5. New modem was an Arris Surfboard SB6121.
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on November 9, 2014
Note: My instructions for resuscitating the router are at the bottom of this review.

I set up this router without any problems following the Quick Start instructions. Immediately after I finished setting it up, I was asked to update the firmware, after which I was asked to reboot the router. I wasn't given any instructions as to how to reboot the router, so I waited about a minute to see if it would reboot itself. That didn't happen, so next I tried holding down the reset button - no dice. Finally I disconnected the power, waited about 10 seconds, then reconnected the power. At that point the router went into "Rescue Mode," meaning that it stopped working entirely - all the lights went out except the power light (which blinked on and off very slowly), it dropped its connection to the network, and it stopped connecting to my computer. I tried everything I could think of, but couldn't even get my computer to see it. A quick Google Search (using my old router) revealed that this was a pretty common problem but could be fixed using something called the Firmware Restoration Utility.

Because it was after customer service hours I had to figure out how to do this on my own, but all of the online instructions I found were incomplete, so it took a couple of hours. The router is working fine, but it's clear that a lot of people have had this happen to them as well. It boggles my mind that ASUS continues to push a firmware update which bricks their own hardware. I'm guessing that most people who buy this router (at least, those who are running Windows 7) will end up either having to return it or spend a lot of time on the phone with customer service to get it working. You can avoid that by not installing the firmware update in the first place, which I would strongly recommend. If you've already installed the firmware and found that your router was bricked, here are step-by-step instructions for how to get it running again: (It's important to follow these instructions in order)

1. Install the router utilities software off of the CD which came with the router.
2. Go to the ASUS website and download the firmware for the RT-N56U router for your operating system. I downloaded the 2nd newest firmware, since ostensibly it was the latest firmware which bricked my router in the first place.
3. Go to Network Connections (Just search for Network in the Start Menu)
4. One at a time, right click all of the icons which don't already have a red X on them and select Disable, except for Local Area Connection (the connection used to plug into the router)
5. Right click Local Area Connection and select Properties
6. There will be a list of icons with checkboxes beside them. Scroll down until you find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Select that and press the Properties button.
7. Click "Use the following IP address" and enter 192.168.1.10 for the IP Address. The Subnet Mask should then be 255.255.255.0. Click OK.
8. Unplug the router from your computer and from the power.
9. While holding down the reset button, reconnect power to the router (this might not be necessary if the router is already in Rescue Mode).
10. The blue power light should resume slowly blinking. Reconnect the router to the computer.
11. Open the Firmware Restoration program: Start Menu -> All Programs -> ASUS -> ASUS Utility -> RT-N56U Wireless Router -> Firmware Restoration.
12. Select the firmware file you installed earlier and click "Upload."
13. It takes a couple minutes for the new firmware to be uploaded.
14. Once it finishes, it will ask you to wait for the system to reboot - this takes a couple of minutes - don't hit the reset button or disconnect the power during this time.
15. Once all the lights come back on on the front of the router, that means it's rebooted itself. Disconnect the router from the computer.
16. Go back to the Local Area Network properties and set it back to Automatically Obtain IP Address. Also, reactivate any networks you disabled earlier.
17. In your browser, go to 192.168.1.1 and set up the wireless on your router.
18. If you feel so inclined, write ASUS an angry letter.

I hope this helps! Please comment if you find something that's wrong or missing from the instructions.
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On June 24th, 2011 I ordered a Asus Dual-Band Wireless-N600 Gigabit Router (RT-N56U) for my home networking needs. I was new to Asus products, up until this point In my opinion Asus was an economy brand but after considerable research this products reviews convinced me to replace my Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Router with this product. This Asus router exceeded my expectations. I rarely had connection issues, it looks slick, and the back end UI was easy to navigate. I used it for about 5 years before replacing it with a wifi modem, the main reasons I wanted to replace it was I was tired of renting my modem from my ISP and I wanted to reduce the wad of cables associated with having both a modem and a router. I've since been having wireless connection issues with my current setup stemming from my ISP and their modem firmware updates and am considering dusting this off and using it again.

Seller: Amazon LLC
Condition: New
Purchase price: $129.99 (Shipped)
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on March 24, 2011
We are a heavy intenet using famiily. If we aren't streaming Netflix or Roku, we have phones and computers all competing for bandwidth. I tried the new Linksys e4200, it was OK until too many people logged on wirelessly and started hogging bandwidth. The e4200 would really drop down in speed while it tried to deal with all of the wireless activity. So, I tried the WNDR3700 (v.98 firmware) The WNDR3700 has a fast processor and can handle a lot of wired and wireless users simultaneously. But, the WNDR3700 seemed to "hang" about once an hour for reasons unknown. When I say "hang", it might take 5 seconds to load a web page instead of the usually instantaneous load speed. It got a little annoying.

So, I picked up the ASUS RT-N56U router after reading all the reviews and tests on smallnetbuilder dot com. I have to say that this router is ridiculously fast (at least twice as fast as the WNDR3700) and has better reception throughout my entire house. In a location that I used to max out at about 7MB/s with the WNDR3700. I can now sustain 31MB/s in the same location. I have pretty much- 5 bars of wireless reception where I used to have 2 or 3 bars.

The ASUS RT-N56U is pretty easy to set up and I like the physical appearance too. Throw in the fact that it is smokin' fast and has great coverage and I think I got a heck of a deal for $127.

Highly recommended.

by the way, I just noticed that another reviewer was having problems with iPhones not connecting. Our iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and Android phones are logging on fine, no issues.

*** UPDATE 3/28/11 So far, the RT-N56U is performing perfectly and all DD-WRT bridges are connecting at highest rate. I am running firmware 1.0.1.2
I tried to update to the beta 7.0.1.21 as well as the 1.0.1.3 firmware and all of a sudden some laptops had very laggy connections. Instead of instantaneous webpage loads, it would take literally 5 seconds to load??? So, I reverted back to 1.0.1.2 and all devices are running wide open again.

+++ UPDATE 4/30/11 Still running perfectly since new with no reboots. Simply awesome.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on November 24, 2015
Asus Dual-Band Wireless-N600 Gigabit Router (RT-N56U)

When I first hooked up this router I was impressed with not only the speed, but also the increase in range as compared to my retired 802.11g router. But that satisfaction was short-lived. I soon found the router would begin to slow down and had to be rebooted at least once a week. Despite frequently rebooting the device, there were also frequent 'stalls', where it appeared I had lost Internet service. These stalls occurred randomly, two or three times a day and would last about 20-30 seconds.

I put up with the poor service for a few months but finally tired of it and began searching the web for a fix. It didn't take long to find reviewers stating they had the exact same problems. Some of those reviewers with more expertise stated the hardware is excellent, while the Asus firmware is lacking. Their solution was to load Padovan's (free) custom 3rd party firmware onto the router.

I followed their advice, and after flashing the router with the Padovan firmware the router is amazing. Very fast and reliable. There are no stalls and the router never requires rebooting - although I do reboot it every few months, just because. I was prepared to purchase a new, non-Asus router but am now very happy with the RT-N56U.

If out-of-the-box, the RT-N56U was as stable as it is with Padovan firmware loaded, I would give it 5 stars. But since it ships with flaky firmware, I'm giving it 1 star.

Note: For some reason, not everyone has the problems that I described above. So if you purchase this router, bear in mind you may need to load custom firmware for it to become reliable. Or, you may be lucky.
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on May 18, 2013
A little on my background: I'm an electrical engineer, and I used to build my own embedded routers using FreeBSD. I am very aware of the challenges involved in creating a reliable fast router. After years of rolling my own routers, I got tired of it. These small routers have come a long way over the past five years or so, so I thought I'd give them another go.

This router has been extremely reliable. I think over the past few years it may have crashed once. The WiFi range is excellent. I can walk up and down the street with my iPhone and use the signal. This router has SIX internal antennas, each with its own wifi radio. The antennas are arranged around the sides of the router, and the router mounts vertically. So you get a lot of coverage in a variety of polarizations. This is a key advantage of this router over others with large antennas poking out the back. Unless you want to spend money on expensive external antennas and take the time to engineer it, this router is an incredible bargin.

The router's software gives you what you expect from say, a linksys box, and a lot more, like real-time bandwidth vector plots. I recommend using firmware version 1.1.1.8f-b6 (google it) if you want more advanced features like the SSH server (not needed for most users).

The speed and latency are fine. We watch netflix and use video chat and VoIP applications a lot, and have not seen any issues. We also use wifi printing, scanning, and VPN, all work without a hitch.

I saw some reviews where the router didn't work out of the box. Those guys definitely got a lemon, mine has been working steadily for over a year without any issues whatsoever.

The USB ports also work well for sharing data from USB thumb drives.

Enjoy, I highly recommend it.
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on June 8, 2016
This thing seemed to perform acceptably at first, but now, 9 months later, it is driving me crazy. Neither my Kindle Fire nor my iPhone will connect to the router while I'm sitting in my favorite recliner located less than 20 ft. from it. My Kindle will show the signal strength as Strong one minute and Weak the next, and will not connect regardless until I walk into the room where the router is located and stand along side it. It then connects but drops the connection when I walk 20 ft. back into the adjacent room. Same problem with my iPhone, however if I leave the phone on long enough it eventually connects for a sufficient period to send and receive a batch of messages. I also use it with my Dell PC located in my basement office, also roughly 20 ft. from the router and the signal is consistently weak, but sufficient to stay connected.. This is the third Asus product I own (a netbook and a portable disc drive), but the first to be a disappointment.
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on September 2, 2016
The only purpose of this was to be a Wireless Bridge between a desktop and PS3 console that was located in a room with no available wired connections. Use a 802.11ac Rosewill dongle with the Desktop PC that works fine, but had issues with the PS3's Wireless G, so I was hoping for a stable connection in a Bridge and 5GHz N was more than suitable for me needs.

I failed to get a connection, followed the poor instructions and Googled many forums, seems like I wasn't the only one. Updated the Firmware via Asus's Support Link, appears this really isn't a Bridgeable Router as it only offers AP mode which can reduce your speed by 50%. Also you have to make the network "Open" on both the host and client and no WPA or WPA2 is supported, only WEP. Supposedly Asus said or say's otherwise and it's also stated that prior firmware USE TO accept WPA & WPA2 but I cannot verify that.

After wasting hours I could not get it to connect, read one forum where you can install a open firmware to give it more access, but I didn't bother as my patience ran out. Will be returning it and trying to find a suitable Wireless Bridge.

Perhaps as a N router alone it's fine, it's small and stylish, but if you are looking for a good wireless bridge, keep looking.
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