Asus RT-N11 EZ Wireless Router

Test setup & Benchmarks

Test Setups

The setups used were a mixture of high spec (Host), medium spec and a low spec laptop (targets), all using different network chipsets. All three PC's had a fresh install of Windows Vista SP1 with the latest updates. Both the Asus RT-N11 and Netgear DG834GT were running the latest firmware to ensure fairness and no network tweaks were used in any of the PC's. For the wired tests, a Cat5e RJ45 Ethernet LAN network cable was used and for the wireless tests a Dynamode 802.11n USB adapter was used.

  • NVidia nForce 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • Realtec RTL8168/8111 Gigabit Ethernet (wired)
  • Dynamode 902.11n USB adapter (wireless)

Benchmarking a router isn't as straight forward as a GPU or a motherboard. Quite simply there is little to distinguish one router from another, as there are very few 'tests' that can be used to benchmark a router. However, I was very keen to take a look at what 'real world' advantages wireless N had over wireless g. So without further ado, here's what I found out:
Transfer speed
To test transfer speeds, I used a 700mb DivX file. The file transfer from Host to Target was timed in seconds. The transfer was run 3 times with the average time taken from those three runs.
As you can see, there was very little difference between the routers in the wired tests, with both routers pretty much maxed out. Wireless however, was a totally different ball game, with the Asus RT-N11 proving its worth transfering almost three times quicker than the Netgear DG834GT thanks to the Asus's N (draft 2.0) as opposed to the Netgear wireless 'g' standard.
Wifi Coverage
Boasting almost double the range of the wireless 802.11g standard, wireless N claims to reach up to 70 metres and also, due to the increase in bandwidth, it can penetrate walls and doors better - relying less on line of sight. I would like to tell you that OC3D have hired out an aircraft hanger for this test, but sadly our budgets don't stretch quite that far, so this test will be conducted from home. I am lucky enough to live in a newly built house with four floors and, thanks to new UK building regulations, each wall has double width insulation which comprises of a tinfoil-like material on top of the usual faux fibreglass insulation, much like this:
Plasterboard|Tin foil|fibreglass|Tinfoil|frame|Tinfoil|fibreglass|Tinfoil|Plasterboard
Excuse my crude explanation (I am not a builder!) but I thought it was relevant to point out that the walls in my house are pretty much bomb-proof, which makes for very troublesome wireless networking. For this test I will position the router on the top floor of the house and test the signal at intervals before braving the autumn weather and going outside (getting some very odd looks along the way!). Here's how each router performed:
Yet again, we see the benefits of wireless N, with the range actually  topping out at an estimated 80 metres. I was also very impressed with the way Wireless N performed indoors, as this is an area which the Netgear sometimes struggled depending on what room I was in and what other interference there was in the house, such as microwaves and wireless telephones. Sadly,  the local female population appeared unimpressed as I walked along the street with the laptop in hand for the purposes of testing the wireless range. I received some very strange looks and was actually asked by some old dear if I was a searching for houses without a TV license! If the editor is reading this, you aint paying me enough!
Seriously though, it was a solid showing for the RT-N11, proving its worth over the wireless g Netgear. With the testing complete and a weeks worth of using the router, I had some quality time to formulate a conclusion...
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Most Recent Comments

17-10-2008, 17:50:05

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 Quote

17-10-2008, 17:57:04

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.Quote

20-10-2008, 06:54:22

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).Quote

20-10-2008, 12:43:29

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

21-10-2008, 09:34:09

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.Quote

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