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Asus RT-AC56U review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 112
inc VAT

Excellent 5GHz performance and lots of features, but we’d have liked better 2.4GHz performance

Specifications

802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

http://www.dabs.com

As one of the first manufacturers to make an 802.11ac device, we expect quite a lot from Asus. Its RT-AC56U is certainly off to a good start on paper. With a four-port Gigabit Ethernet port, Ethernet WAN port, USB and USB3 ports, it’s got everything we’d want on a modern router.

The USB ports, in particular, could be useful, as you can connect a printer or external hard disk to share over your network. More impressively, you can even connect a 3G dongle to it, so you can share a mobile broadband connection, which could be useful if your regular internet connection goes down.

Asus RT-AC56U

As far as routers go, the RT-AC56U is rather stylish, standing upright with no external antennas to spoil its appearance. On the front is a bank of lights that keep you informed on the status of your connection and Wi-Fi. On the right-hand side are buttons for WPS, if you want to join a device with push-button security, and a Wi-Fi toggle, so you can quickly turn off wireless.

As you’d expect, most of the management and setup has to be done through the router’s web interface. Asus’s interface is clear and easy to use, with a quick setup wizard that helps you secure the open-by-default wireless networks. There are plenty of features, but some are hidden under non-standard names. For example, to enable QoS, you to have to click on a tab marked Traffic Manager. You can define your own QoS rules to control what type of traffic gets priority. By default, if you enable the feature, games and web surfing are prioritised, but you’re given the option of adding a variety of specific games and general types of traffic that you wish to have the best possible data transfer rate, even when there’s a lot of demand on your net connection.

Asus RT-AC56U interface
The interface is clear and it’s easy to get going, but some more complex options are hidden under unusual names

Other features include the ability to configure a connected USB disk as a network share, FTP server or a web-accessible drive via the Asus AICloud service. You can also use it as target for the built in BitTorrent client. The wireless settings give you a fair bit of control over your networks, including a full set of instructions on how to put the router into bridge mode. You can only choose from four channels for 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but everything worked reasonably well.

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Basic Specifications

Rating****
Modem typeEthernet
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed867Mbit/s

Security

WPAPSK (TKIP, AES), ENTERPRISE, RADIUS
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size205x147x66mm
Antennas4
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other ports1x USB, 1x USB3
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on7W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£112
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.dabs.com
Detailswww.asus.com