ASUS RT-N56U wireless router
ASUS RT-N56U review: One of the best looking dual-band wireless routers you will ever see
- Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB storage ports, printer sharing, good wireless speed
- Web interface a little slow and takes time to get used to, power adapter is flimsy
The ASUS RT-N56U takes router styling to a whole new level. It's slim and (we think) good looking; most importantly, it has plenty of features and performs very well. Its simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi worked well in our tests and produced fast speeds, especially from close range. We do wish the router's Web interface was faster and a little better laid out, but you quickly get used to it.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
ASUS RT-N56U: Access your files remotely
In addition to having a dual-band wireless access point, the ASUS RT-N56U runs a Gigabit Ethernet switch that makes wired file transfers very quick, and it also has a UPnP server and two USB 2.0 ports. You can plug in external hard drives filled with movies or music and access them through your PS3 or another streaming device. You can also use one of the USB ports to share a printer over the network.
When you plug in a hard drive, you can access it from any computer on your network by simply browsing your network for shared folders. You can also enable FTP so that you can access files from your external hard drives over the Internet; you can set up a dynamic DNS (DDNS) service through the mini-wizard (called AiDisk Wizard) when you enable FTP access. It's not very intuitive though, and you're better off entering dynamic DNS settings manually and then going through the AiDisk setting to enable the FTP service. You can control access to connected disks by adding users and modifying their rights. Annoyingly, the default for every folder when you add new users is 'read and write' permission, rather than 'read only' permission.
You can access your connected hard drives remotely via FTP if you've set up a dynamic DNS connection.
ASUS RT-N56U: Web interface and security settings
The Web interface of the RT-N56U aims to be as pretty as the router itself. It's a lot more graphical than a typical Web interface and has a network map (showing you all the devices that are attached) as well as plenty of icons; it takes a while to get used to this layout. It wasn't as reliable as we hoped; often when we changed a setting we had to reload the page and change the setting again before it would take effect. This was particularly the case when changing the access rights of attached hard drives. Most changes make the router restart, and this takes an annoying minute to complete.
Security is handled by a built-in firewall and there is also a facility for keyword URL filtering. When a flagged keyword appears in a URL, the site will be blocked but the user won't get a conspicuous message telling them this (unlike the Netgear DGN1000, for example, which shows a nice big warning); instead the Web browser will just report a connection error. You can still access pages that contain flagged keywords in their body but not in their URL, so it's not a complete solution for parents who want to block their kids from searching for information about certain topics.
The Web interface on the ASUS RT-N56U is a lot more graphical than competing routers and takes some getting used to.
A unique design ensures that the ASUS RT-N56U will at least be a talking point when people come over and ask you what on Earth that funny-looking contraption is doing on your desk. In addition to being a far-from-boring router, the RT-N56U is also quite a fast and well-featured one. We're impressed with its 2.4GHz speed, and love the fact that it can run 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously. We also love its Gigabit Ethernet switch and its USB 2.0 ports for sharing storage devices and printers.
Overall, it's a very good little router that should serve enthusiasts well. We just wish it had a quicker and better designed Web interface. We also found its wall wart (which requires you to slide the prongs into the adapter) to be a little too flimsy and it could lose power if we moved it accidentally.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- Can Wi-Fi and LTE-U live together? The tests are ready
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
- Facebook to begin testing its Internet drone this year
- Consumers let down by broadband speed and performance: ACCAN
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSenior Project AnalystNSW
- CCProgress DeveloperQLD
- CCSolution Designer and DeveloperNSW
- CCHadoop Developer - Big DataNSW
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperQLD
- CCSAP HR & Payroll Project ManagerACT
- FTBusiness Systems Analyst | Travel IndustryQLD
- FTCampaign AnalystVIC
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCProduct Manager - Life Insurance (Fixed-Term)VIC
- CCSenior Platform Developer/ArchitectNSW
- CCAgile Iteration ManagerNSW
- CCPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCProject Manager / Business Analyst - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer - Sydney - Leading OrganisationNSW
- FTHadoop DeveloperSA
- CCIT Specialist - Application Blueprinting Engineer ( Developer)ACT
- FTUX DesignerVIC
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Project AnalystNSW
- FTPortal Project ManagerNSW
- CCAutoCAD Business System Analyst/ GIS, Spatial AnalystNSW
- CCUAT TesterQLD
- FTSenior Financial Planner - GeelongVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst-Shared Service Contact Centre or Call CentreNSW