Asus RT-N56U Router Review

Asus RT-N56U Router Review

In recent years, Asus has slowly but surely become one of the computing industry's best brands, offering a wide range of products with market-topping performance at reasonable prices. Can it bring that ethos to the world of routers too?

Well, you only have to look at the Asus RT-N56U to get an idea of whether or not it's possible. This is a router that has been redesigned from the ground up to throw off the shackles of the traditional, box-and-aerial form factor and come up with something that looks stylish, maybe even artistic. The wireless is multi-channel, but there's no way to tell by looking, because the antennas are discreetly embedded in the device's fascia: two for 2.4GHz and three for 5GHz.

It's no slouch technologically speaking either, with wireless N capabilities spanning both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz range (the latter is absent from cheaper routers), four gigabit LAN ports, a cable-ready WAN port and the usual selection of security features and configuration options available through an easy-to-use web interface. The WPS fast-setup button means you can create a secure connection to a compatible OS (Windows 7, for example) without the need to type m tedious WPA keys.

The best feature, however, is the USB compatibility, which allows you to attach storage (so that the router can double as a media streaming centre), 3G dongles (to share mobile internet connections), printers, and many other devices. There's even a BitTorrent client!

If there's a problem, it's only the price. If you don't expect to use the extra features, it's no better at actually handling traffic than any other router, especially once you factor in the likelihood that wireless N speeds will be lower than quoted if you go with the more easily absorbed 5GHz frequency range.

Still, we were impressed. If you want something a bit more capable than entry level, with solid network performance, fantastic design and impressive additional features, it's perfect. Asus has done it again.

Expensive as a router, but it looks great and you can't argue with the extra features


  • Network Standard
    IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
  • Product Segment
    N600 advanced performance; 300+300Mbps
  • Data Rate
    802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps
    802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11Mbps
    802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps
    802.11n : up to 300Mbps
  • Antenna
    Internal dBi antenna x 5
  • Operating Frequency
  • Encryption
    64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support
  • WAN Connection Type
    Internet connection type : Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP, L2TP
  • Ports
    4 x RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for WAN
    USB 2.0 x 2
  • Button
    WPS Button, Reset Button
  • LED Indicator
    PWR x 1
    LAN x 1
    WAN x 1
    USB x 1
    AIR x 2
  • Power Supply
    AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
    DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.58 A current
  • OS Support
    Windows® 8 , 32bit/64bit
    Windows® 7 , 32bit/64bit
    Windows® Vista , 32bit/64bit
    Windows® XP , 32bit/64bit
    Mac OS X
  • Dimensions
    172 x 145 x 60 mm (WxDxH)
  • Weight
    330 g
  • Router Special Features
    3G/4G data sharing Printer server Download Master AiDisK