4/28/2012 11:35:12 AM

Sexeh design and sexeh speeds?

This dual-band 802.11n Wireless-N router from ASUS is designed to provide a complete Wireless-N networking extension to your existing wired network for both the standard 2.4GHz and newer 5GHz wireless ranges.

ASUS has put a lot in to the RT-N56U’s design, both technically and aesthetically, and its exterior case design is as impressive as the shiny specification lurking inside it.

Description: ASUS RT-N56U

The 5GHz 802.11n (aka Wireless-N networking) protocol is of key importance because, in theory, using twice the frequency should also double the speeds. However, the practical outcome is far from that simple.

Despite far less crowding in the 5GHz range, plus the availability of more free channels, the 5GHzfrequency is hampered by being absorbed far more readily by objects. Back it up with MIMO to compensate and perhaps you could hope for a 50 per cent increase in throughput over2.4GHz.

These abilities, coupled with its Gigabit LAN, cable-ready WAN port, full complement of security and management features, and easy-to-use web interface, should make this a winning combination.

Two routers for one

At the heart of the ASUS TR-N56U are two sets of 802.11n wireless antennas. These create the distinct spatial streams for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio frequencies.

Typically, better 2.4GHz routers will offer three or four distinct antenna, as more spatial streams increase the MIMO effect, thereby it at a longer distance, it tailed off to LIMB/s. That was a disappointment but at 5GHz, with its three internal antenna, it maintained a 3.8MB/s transfer speed.

Unusually for a router, the RT-N56U looks good and offers an equally pleasing web interface. It's slick, well presented, easy to navigate and speedy to use.

This makes setting up what is, in effect, two routers in one a quick and easy job. A WPS fast-setup button that ties into Windows 7 is included too.

A barrage of status LEDs is tastefully implemented while the USB ports can handle storage, printers, compatible 3G adaptors. And that USB storage ties in beautifully with the UPnP capabilities so it serves as a media streamer, bittorrent, FTP and HTTP download server too.

There's an awful lot to like about the RT-N56U and it has a confident air. You really feel that ASUS’s engineers and designers know how to squeeze every drop of juice from their hardware.

The Ai Radar technology overcomes any limitations of the 2.4GHz twin antenna to provide leading-class performance and, at 3.8MB/s, the 5GHzspeed is equally impressive. All in all, an attractive buy.


Price $192

Manufacturer ASUS


Protocol 802.11n

Frequency Dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz

Antenna 2 at 2.4GHz/3 at 5GHz

Gigabit Ethernet 4x ports

Ports lx WAN, 2x USB

Security WEP 64/128-bit, WPA1/2-PSK, WPA1/2

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