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Asus RT-N11 EZ Wireless N Router
Along with a low price tag, Asus' little wireless N router aims to stand out by offering support for more wireless networks that anyone else. Belkin's N+ offers two SSIDs with one for normal use and the second for guest Internet access. The RT-N11 can handle up to four SSIDs allowing you to dish out a range of access permissions to wireless clients and apply WAN bandwidth restrictions to each one as well.
Other than that, this little slab of white plastic is unremarkable as it offers a standard set of four switched Fast Ethernet ports along with a separate RJ-45 WAN port so you'll need to factor in the cost of a suitable cable or ADSL modem. A basic set of indicators is provided at the front with LEDs for power, wireless, WAN and all four LAN ports. The package includes a couple of removable aerials, an Ethernet cable and a plastic stand allowing the router to be positioned vertically on the desk.
Router installation gets off to a good start as the bundled EZSetup wizard runs through setting up your Internet connection type and that all important wireless security. Usefully, encryption is all done for you as the utility defaults to WPA and generates a key as well.
You can also use the quick start wizard in the web interface that takes you through setting the time zone, choosing your Internet connection device type, IP addressing method and setting up wireless security. More security options are available from the main web interface where you can also opt for WPA2 Enterprise, which requires an external RADIUS authentication server.
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) using push button or PIN methods is available but this must be manually configured and Asus offers little help for setting this up. MAC address filtering is provided for WLAN users where you can allow or deny access to those in the list, and client MAC addresses can be found in the router's DHCP server list.
The extra wireless networks are configured using the Multi-SSID and VIP zone features where the former supports up to four different wireless networks - each with their own encryption scheme. The VIP zone feature allows you to decide which LAN ports each SSID is allowed to access so it's possible to provide a mixture of guest Internet access whilst allowing other wireless users that have the appropriate credentials to access selected systems on the LAN. Even better is the fact that each SSID can have individual restrictions applied that determine how much WAN bandwidth they can use.