Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Easy to set up but not as quick as we’d hoped.
- Integrated print and FTP server, EZSetup initiation, two USB ports
- Slow throughput speeds, slow Internet sync speeds, Ethernet ports limited to 10/100Mbps
ASUS’ DSL-N13 is easy to set up and simple to maintain. This modem router provides a host of features but delivers poor speeds, making it unsuitable for heavy use.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
For its asking price, ASUS’ DSL-N13 offers a fair whack of value. It is easy to set up and maintain, but poor local throughput and Internet speeds are big deterrents.
The DSL-N13 maintains the familiar modem/router form facto. It provides three Wi-Fi antennas for maximum wireless reach, though these aren’t detachable. As well as a RJ-12 telephone jack, the DSL-N13 boasts two USB ports that allow connection to a shared printers or hard drives. Integrated print and FTP servers facilitate local printer sharing and remote FTP storage. Unfortunately, the DSL-N13’s four Ethernet ports are limited to 10/100Mbps connections as opposed to the Gigabit connections found in the mid- to high-end of the router market.
The ease with which the DSL-N13 is initially configured is worthy of mention. It incorporates a process dubbed “EZSetup” which resembles the Wi-Fi Protected Setup found on D-Link’s DIR-855 Xtreme N Duo Media Router but is more effective. The process involves three or four clicks for basic wireless and DSL account configuration. For the technically inept, EZSetup aids the creation of a unique SSID and WEP or WPA-encrypted passkey, effectively securing the wireless network without having to use the device's Web interface.
But while it is commendably easy to set up, we found local throughput speeds to be rather lacklustre. While transferring several large files from a wired computer to a laptop at close range, the speed averaged between 2.28 megabytes per second and 2.4MBps. At a 20m distance speeds dropped even further, reaching a maximum of 1.76MBps but averaging about 1.4MBps. These speeds are certainly below expectations for an 802.11n router and make it unsuitable for high-definition media streaming, and even some heavy browsing.
The DSL-N13’s ADSL modem also produced disappointing sync speeds. Whereas Netgear’s DG834N managed to connect to the iiNet ADSL2+ exchange at its full 24 megabits per second capability, the ASUS DSL-N13 only managed a maximum attainable rate of 12.7Mbps downstream — nearly half the speed. Thankfully, upstream attainable rates averaged 1.3Mbps. Of course, our office’s proximity to the exchange has an impact on these speeds, but the comparable attainable rate shows the DSL-N13 to be the poorer option.
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