Asus RT-N56U Dual Band Wireless-N Router review

Sexeh design and sexeh speeds too?

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Asus rt n56u

At the heart of the Asus RT-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 will offer three or four distinct antenna, as more spatial streams increase the MIMO effect, so increasing speed and workable distance.

The RT-N56U comes with two internal antennas for the 2.4GHz range and three for the 5GHz range.

Two antennas is something we'd expect to see on more modest Wireless-N-class routers, though we can understand the need to concentrate on the 5GHz performance.

Even so, same-room and medium-distance tests were excellent.

In some respects besting wired 100BaseT Ethernet speeds, with an average of 12MB/s and peaks just over 13MB/s. One room and floor away and speeds were maintained at 10MB/s.

It wasn't until we tried at distance that things tailed off to 1.1MB/s, which was our only disappointment with the RT-N56U, but at 5GHz its three antenna maintained a decent 3.8MB/s transfer speed.

Unusually for a router it manages to pull off the twin design goal of looking aesthetically pleasing and offering an aesthetically pleasing web interface.

In fact its interface feels more like a standalone app than a web-based interface. It's slick, well presented, easy to navigate and speedy to use.

This makes setting up what in effect are two routers in one an easy and quick job. It also includes a WPS fast-setup button that ties into Windows 7 which can eliminate entering WPA keys. If you trust that sort of thing.

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

We liked:

There's an awful lot to like about the ASUS RT-N56U from the aesthetic design of both the chassis to the slick web-based interface to its actual performance.

There's a confident air about every aspect of it and you really feel the engineers have the designed knowhow to squeeze every drop of performance from their hardware.

The Ai Radar technology certainly overcome any limitations of the 2.4GHz twin antenna to provide leading-class performance and 5GHz speed are equally impressive.

We disliked:

With only a question mark over its long-range performance, at this price it's certainly full-steam ahead for this ASUS router.


Tech Specs

Product TypeWireless Router
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
ISM BandYes
UNII BandYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports4
Number of Broadband (RJ-45) Ports1
Total Number of Antennas5
Wireless Transmission Speed300 Mbps
Brand NameAsus
ISM Maximum Frequency2.40 GHz
UNII Maximum Frequency5 GHz
Height172 mm
Width144.8 mm
Depth59.9 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelRT-N56U
Product NameRT-N56U Wireless Router
Manufacturer Part NumberRT-N56U
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The RT-N56U Gigabit router brings true dual band high speed connectivity to a new dimension of style. It's a wireless home router works in both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands speed up to 300Mbps concurrently, and a maximum WAN-LAN throughput of over 900Mbps with 300,000 data sessions. Ai Radar technology optimizes 802.11n Wi-Fi for a smoother signal that's perfect for HD content streaming and downloading. Through its dual USB ports, the router becomes a printer and file server, and all of these features are easily accessible with the EZ UI interface.

Weight (Approximate)330 g