Asus RT-N16 review

£90
Price when reviewed

Routers are a set-and-forget type of product. Once installed, they’re usually forgotten about until they break, or the time comes for changing broadband suppliers. But when you do go back to change something after months (or years) of neglect, most of the routers we’ve tested don’t exactly make it simple. The Asus RT-N16 is one of the easiest to use we’ve ever come across.

Log into the RT-N16’s web-based admin pages and you’re presented with a simple diagram laying out the topography of your home network. Click an item and you’re presented with related details and settings in a panel to the right hand side, while using a series of buttons on the left you can manage the important stuff such as media server features, plus Asus’ AiDisk and EzQoS features.

The latter pair of features are particularly worthy of note. EzQoS allows you to adjust the amount of bandwidth allocated to certain traffic types visually. Click the Gaming icon and it will prioritise that traffic, and you can add internet applications, media streaming and AiDisk to the mix too. AiDisk is Asus’ own dynamic DNS feature, which lets users who don’t have a static IP access attached storage and networked PCs. The best thing about this is that you can set everything up without having to go to an external website.

Which brings us onto the Asus’ other key feature: a pair of USB sockets on the rear allow you to attach up to two external drives, turning the RT-N16 into a basic NAS device, complete with UPnP media server and read/write access restrictions you can apply on a per-folder basis. You can also use one of the sockets to share a printer over your home network.

It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into its software design (apart from some rather odd translations), so it’s all the more heartening to discover that the RT-N16 isn’t lacking in other areas. Not only does this router boast four Gigabit Ethernet sockets to go with its WAN port, but also draft-n for quick wireless performance.

And, in our tests, it performed well. Although it was significantly slower at close range than the Trendnet TEW-633GR (the fastest single-band router we’ve tested), it edged in front at long range with a transfer rate 15% quicker in our long distance test.

The reasonable price means that just about the only thing we can find fault with, other than the short range performance, is the bulky design, blinding white colour scheme and rather outré blue lights. But if you don’t mind that, and you need an easy-to-use router for your cable broadband connection that’s packed with features, this is one of the best around.

Details

WiFi standard Draft 802.11n
Modem type N/A

Wireless standards

802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

LAN ports

Gigabit LAN ports 4
10/100 LAN ports 0

Features

MAC address cloning no
Wireless bridge (WDS) yes
Interior antennae 0
Exterior antennae 3
802.11e QoS yes
User-configurable QoS yes
UPnP support yes
Dynamic DNS yes

Security

WEP support yes
WPA support yes
WPA Enterprise support yes
WPS (wireless protected setup) yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ support yes
VPN support yes
Port forwarding/virtual server yes
Intrusion detection yes
DoS protection yes
Web content filtering yes
Email alerts no
Activity/event logging yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 215 x 161 x 41mm (WDH)

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