Asus RT-N11 EZ Wireless Router

Introduction

Introduction
 Asus Logo
Router reviews are very few and far between. When you do manage to find one, they are very sparse in content with little or no testing included. This has often left me, and no doubt many others, frustrated when choosing a new router, so I made a conscious decision to write this review today as I would like to read  it: Straight, to the point from an 'average Joe' enthusiast's perspective. I don't claim to be a networking wizard, nor do I profess to have the most in depth knowledge on routers. I do however, have plenty of empty Nurofen packets which are testament to the headaches they have caused me in the years of using them. So hopefully you will find this review a little more useful and honest than the usual drab around at the moment.
 
Asus are a leading producer of high quality wireless devices and have recently released the latest addition to their wireless line-up, the RT-N11 EZ Wireless N Router.
 
As this is the first Asus router we have reviewed at OC3D, the RT-N11 will be setting the benchmark so to speak and thus my only basis for comparing its features and ease of use will be my own Netgear DG834GT router - a very popular router in many respects. The Netgear is not wireless N capable as it uses the 'g' standard. However, the RT-N11 is wireless N capable so hopefully this will be a useful review for those looking to either change their current router or upgrade to the latest IEEE 802.11N standard.
 
Before we progress to the RT-N11, let me first give you a little history of the networking standards which have progressed to where we are today.
 
 
A lesson in wireless
 
IEEE 802.11 is the wireless standard used by the IEEE Standards Association. 802.11 divides each of the bands (wireless N for example) into channels. As an example 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz band is divided into channels with a width of 22Mhz each spaced only 5 MHz apart, with channel 1 centered at 2241 and 13 on 2472. As well as positioning the frequency of each channel, 802.11 also sets the permitted power across each channel. The consequence of this is that some routers can only use every fourth or fifth channel without overlapping the adjacent ones. For example, the UK would typically best utilize channels 1, 5, 9 and 13. Although other channels can obviously be used, the strength of each channel may not be as good as the ones suggested due to these channels not overlapping each other. 
 
Originally 1 Mbit/s and 2Mbit/s standards were introduced in 1997 and were the original versions of the legacy standard 802.11 with a maximum indoor range of 20m. Times, as we all know, never stand still and in 1999, 802.11a and 802.11b were released. While the 'a' standard had a much higher throughput, the higher 5Ghz band it used meant its range was severely affected by walls, doors and obstructions. 802.11b rapidly became the accepted standard of use by wireless LAN applications due to its 'massive' range of 38 metres. June 2003, however, saw yet another increase in throughput and as the 802.11g standard introduced an indoor range matching that of wireless 'b'. Wireless 'g' is, in its most basic form, a collaboration of both the 'a' and 'b' standards, taking the higher throughput of the 'a' standard but having the range of the 'b' standard. So then this brings us to the 802.11n standard. Operating at the 5ghz frequency with a 300Mbit/s data rate and a possible range of up to 70m, it was the answer to everyone's prayers and a direct evolution of the previous standards.
 
The N standard, as you can read above, has built on the previous standards but also added very useful features such as MIMO (multiple-input Multiple -output). MIMO uses multiple antennas to improve the system performance and therefore both its range and throughput. MIMO can also recover lost signals much better than the previous standards by using multipath signals. The drawback of using multipath signals is that older a, b, and g standards can interfere with this feature. 'Channel Bonding' is yet another feature of the N standard, where two separate non-overlapping channels can be used to transmit data. Rather than be limited to 20Mhz, MIMO allows a double transfer rate of 40Mhz. So with both a wider bandwidth and MIMO technology, 802.11N is a very powerful yet budget conscious solution to the current line up of standards.
 

Specification

Network StandardCompatible with 802.11b/g/n (draft 2.0), IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u, IEEE802.1x, IEEE802.11i, IEEE802.11e, IPv4, CSMA/CA, CSMA/CD, ICMP
Operating Frequency2.4G ~ 2.483GHz
Operation Channel11 for N. America, 14 Japan, 13 Europe (ETSI)
Ethernet PortWAN x 1, LAN x 4 RJ45 for 10/100 BaseT
Antenna2 External Detachable Antenna
WPS ButtonSupports WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) Push Button and PIN Code Setup

LED

Power x 1, AIR x 1, WAN x 1, LAN x 4
Security64/128-bit WEP, WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, WPA-Enterprise, WPA-Auto(TKIP/AES), WPA2-Auto(TKIP/AES), Radius with 802.1x
RoutingStatic Routing, RIP v1/v2
Firewall & Access ControlNAT Firewall, SPI (Stateful Package Inspection) Firewall, WAN Ping Control, Domain Access Control, URL Filter, MAC Filter, Inbound/Outbound Packet Filter, DoS Detection
VPN SupportIPSec / PPTP / L2TP Pass-Through
Quality of ServiceWMM (Wi-Fi multimedia)
Customizable QoS rules
Advanced NetworkSupport up to 4 Multiple BSSIDs/ESSIDs, VLANs
Network ManagementSupport SNMP, IGMP, UPnP, DHCP, DNS Proxy, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Virtual Server, Virtual DMZ, VPN Pass-Through, WDS
Power SupplyAC Input: 100V~240V (50~60HZ); DC Output: +5V with max. 1.2A current
TemperatureOperating: 0~40 C; Storage: -10~70 C
HumidityOperating: 10~90%; Storage: 0~90%
Dimension179 x 119 x 37 (L x W x H) mm
 
Still with me? I hope so because we are now going to take a look at the product itself...
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Most Recent Comments

17-10-2008, 14:08:57

w3bbo
Touting multiple SSID capability along with the wireless N standard, the RT-N11 certainly seems to have what it takes to be a top router. Our latest review puts the Asus router to the test.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...174806102s.jpg

Check out the review here.

17-10-2008, 17:50:05

ionicle
damn good review, i must say

good job

definatly better than some of them out there

i think i'll stick with my draytec 2800 tho

17-10-2008, 17:57:04

w3bbo
Glad you liked it. Must say it was perhaps the most difficult review I've written yet as there is only so much you can say about a router to make it an interesting read lol.

20-10-2008, 06:54:22

cybermaniac
if it had 100/1000 ethernet, that review would have had me buying one right now.

It is rare to get such a fine review of routers, especially one so feature packed as this.

I'm currently struggling to find a router with gigabit ethernet, and (damn) will probs have to invest in a 100/1000 switch (stupid NAS).

20-10-2008, 12:43:29

-VK-
Cybermanic - Keep an eye out for the ASUS RT-N15...they should be arriving in retail fairly soon.

21-10-2008, 09:34:09

Rastalovich
Was just gonna echo what cyber said.

Am keeping an eye out for the Linksys n- `something` with gig switches in it, but it appeared in the states only to disappear just as quickly. >.<

Definately look out for what -VK- said, cos apart from that, the router looks great.

21-10-2008, 10:37:32

cybermaniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='-VK-'
Cybermanic - Keep an eye out for the ASUS RT-N15...they should be arriving in retail fairly soon.
as some of the more chavvier people around my area would say "that looks mint" or "thats lush".

so I would definatly consider that one. Especially if it is the same sort of quality as my 3com (if not better).

21-10-2008, 13:16:45

-VK-
Yeah the N-15 is lovely, not sure on a UK stockist just yet, but I know stock just landed in the UK today...should be available in retail / e-tail within the week I guess.

Hope that helps =)

Edit: Something nice about ASUS Rast? Cor...you feeling ok? :P:P:P

26-10-2008, 14:13:33

cybermaniac

27-10-2008, 09:21:54

Rastalovich
I`m so glad u bumped this, cos the one I`m after has turned up in the UK, http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000SOFU1C/ref=nosim/8659605-000-21

05-12-2008, 12:55:56

cybermaniac
sorry for dredging up the old thread, however does anyone know if the ASUS RT-N15 or any of its derivatives come in modem/router combinations?

as they only seem to do it for cable modems? :/

edit:

does any1 know if/when they will release the ASUS DSL-N15?

as the RT-N15 seems to be router only whist the DSL-N15 seems to be their modem/router counterpart.
Reply
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