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Asus Dual-Band Wireless-N600 Gigabit Router (RT-N56U)
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- 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Concurrent Dual-Band Transmissions up to 600Mbps
- Gigabit Ethernet Support: The increasingly popular Gigabit Ethernet allows the download of a full HD movie in about just 5 minutes
- One Router for Printing, Scanning and Surfing: Effortless Multitasking for Multiple Users
- Interface: 5 Gigabit ports (1x WAN / 4x LAN) and 2x USB 2.0 ports
- WAN to LAN throughput over 900Mbps; compatible with all networking standard: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Ebazon||Amazon.com|
|Data Transfer Rate||300 Mb per second||1,750 Mb per second||450 Mb per second||—||733 Mb per second|
|Frequency Bands Supported||—||Dual-Band||Dual-Band||—||Dual-Band|
|Item Dimensions||12.24 x 9.37 x 3.27 in||11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 in||11 x 14 x 3.5 in||12.4 x 3.4 x 9.3 in||2.32 x 8.39 x 11.14 in|
|Item Weight||0.5 lb||1.65 lbs||1.8 lbs||2.2 lbs||0.89 lb|
|Number of Ethernet Ports||—||2||4||5||5|
|Total LAN Ports||4||—||4||4||—|
|Wireless Compatibility||5.8 GHz Radio Frequency||—||802.11.n||802.11 a/b/g/n||801.11 AC|
Asus RT-N56U Wireless-N Router Dual Band Multimedia Ultra Slim Gigabit 802.11a/b/g/n 300Mbps support USB Storage, Print and Media Server (top performance review at smallnetbuilder.com).2-Year parts and labot warranty.
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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.
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.
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.
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...