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Asus RT-N16 Wireless Router - Asus RT-N16 Wireless Router

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

If you aren't planning on using the RT-N16's USB ports to connect external drives, or if there's one free anyway, you might consider hooking up a printer, which can then be shared over your network. Also useful is what Asus calls EzQoS. Aside from forgetting that a 'Z' is pronounced "zed," this purports to make setting up Quality of Service rules on the RT-N16 a breeze, ensuring that you can continue gaming and browsing the web unhindered, even with P2P downloads running in the background.

The RT-M16's party piece is the way these functions are exposed in its user interface. Where other routers may resort to cryptic names and even more confusingly arranged menu structures, the RT-N16's UI is impressively simplified, without being patronising. Plus, if you do want more control, the Advanced Setting menu allows for it.

Proving its name is more than just marketing hyperbole, EzQoS really does make QoS configuration simple. A progress bar-like indicator shows how much bandwidth is available to P2P transfers, which is then eaten away at with click on icons marked "Gaming Blaster," "Internet Application," "AiDisk," and "Voip/Video Streaming." Obviously if you enable all of these options P2P transfer speeds will suffer, but if winning a heated match in Modern Warfare 2, streaming a film to your PS3, browsing TrustedReviews, sharing files on your RT-N16 and downloading the latest Debian build are equally important to you, it's achievable without any task suffering too badly. At least in theory.

This ability to prioritise traffic is hardly exclusive to the RT-N16, of course, but I've never seen QoS so easily exposed in a UI before. Other basic, but oft needed, functions, such as setting your wireless SSID, or encrypting the connection (and adding a password) are similarly simple to tweak. The RT-N16 is definitely the easiest to use router I've ever come across.

Verdict

The simple user interface of the RT-N16 wireless router might put off a few users that find it patronising but they're missing out. All the functions you're likely to need, and more, are easy to control and if you need to get to them, more advanced options aren't hard to find. Products like this should 'just work' and that's what the RT-N16 does.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Features 8

xenos

January 14, 2010, 5:36 am

So when are we going to see Wifi devices based on the Final N standard? They seem to be taking forever!

olan

January 14, 2010, 8:33 am

I'm not sure I see the point in this review. Surely it's more important to test the machines performance rather than explaining the UI? Most people who pay the extra for this gigabit, wireless-n, NAS enabled router are comfortable getting around most router configuration screens and are more interested in read/write rates across the wired/wireless network and the load whilst downloading torrents? Just a suggestion.

Matt Ross

January 14, 2010, 2:19 pm

If it were me buying it I'd want to replace the firmware with DD-WRT anyway so the interface would be irrelevant. I'll have to go check their forums to see if it's supported.

TechnicPuppet

January 14, 2010, 3:39 pm

In the review you mention that the QoS helps downloading and doing other things at the same time. I have the D-Link Dir-655 which I bought for Gigabit Lan, Wireless N and QoS.





The problem is that QoS is for outbound packets only it seems. So when I am downloading the latest linux builds or game demos through newsgroups, browsing the internet is slow as treacle on my 50gig connection. Does this router have its own implementation of QoS that can limit inbound packets by port or program etc?

Simon Heather

January 14, 2010, 5:41 pm

The Edimax BR-6574n is half the price and has everything bar the USB ports. I would want to know whether the router has good performance before paying twice the money.

Guest

January 15, 2010, 12:09 am

@Alan Clinch - 50gig connection. Lucky you ;-) Just limit your Usenet client to 45gig and you internet browsing should fly!! LOL

Martin Daler

January 15, 2010, 3:01 am

No wonder we don't get excited by routers. They are all just so much of the same thing - 4-way switch and a wireless bit. OK, here we have a couple of USB ports (not USB3 I assume, that might be too exciting). How about a few more ports - surely we've a right to aspire to more than a couple of PC's, a printer and a solitary NAS. Where do I plug in my VoIP box, for example. Come to that, why isn't VoIP in the router (too exciting?) The only thing that has happened to wifi routers in the last geological period is the addition of two more aerials, and a different letter of the alphabet. Yeah, get excited!

TechnicPuppet

January 15, 2010, 1:31 pm

That's what I have done, but I don't always get 50 so it doesn't really work. I have tried everything, its not as bad now as when I was on 20Mb cause I am not getting the virgin cap and with 50Mb the downloads are done in a flash.

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