ASUS RT-N56U wireless router
ASUS RT-N56U review: One of the best looking dual-band wireless routers you will ever see
- Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB storage ports, printer sharing, good wireless speed
- Web interface a little slow and takes time to get used to, power adapter is flimsy
The ASUS RT-N56U takes router styling to a whole new level. It's slim and (we think) good looking; most importantly, it has plenty of features and performs very well. Its simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi worked well in our tests and produced fast speeds, especially from close range. We do wish the router's Web interface was faster and a little better laid out, but you quickly get used to it.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
ASUS RT-N56U: Access your files remotely
In addition to having a dual-band wireless access point, the ASUS RT-N56U runs a Gigabit Ethernet switch that makes wired file transfers very quick, and it also has a UPnP server and two USB 2.0 ports. You can plug in external hard drives filled with movies or music and access them through your PS3 or another streaming device. You can also use one of the USB ports to share a printer over the network.
When you plug in a hard drive, you can access it from any computer on your network by simply browsing your network for shared folders. You can also enable FTP so that you can access files from your external hard drives over the Internet; you can set up a dynamic DNS (DDNS) service through the mini-wizard (called AiDisk Wizard) when you enable FTP access. It's not very intuitive though, and you're better off entering dynamic DNS settings manually and then going through the AiDisk setting to enable the FTP service. You can control access to connected disks by adding users and modifying their rights. Annoyingly, the default for every folder when you add new users is 'read and write' permission, rather than 'read only' permission.
You can access your connected hard drives remotely via FTP if you've set up a dynamic DNS connection.
ASUS RT-N56U: Web interface and security settings
The Web interface of the RT-N56U aims to be as pretty as the router itself. It's a lot more graphical than a typical Web interface and has a network map (showing you all the devices that are attached) as well as plenty of icons; it takes a while to get used to this layout. It wasn't as reliable as we hoped; often when we changed a setting we had to reload the page and change the setting again before it would take effect. This was particularly the case when changing the access rights of attached hard drives. Most changes make the router restart, and this takes an annoying minute to complete.
Security is handled by a built-in firewall and there is also a facility for keyword URL filtering. When a flagged keyword appears in a URL, the site will be blocked but the user won't get a conspicuous message telling them this (unlike the Netgear DGN1000, for example, which shows a nice big warning); instead the Web browser will just report a connection error. You can still access pages that contain flagged keywords in their body but not in their URL, so it's not a complete solution for parents who want to block their kids from searching for information about certain topics.
The Web interface on the ASUS RT-N56U is a lot more graphical than competing routers and takes some getting used to.
A unique design ensures that the ASUS RT-N56U will at least be a talking point when people come over and ask you what on Earth that funny-looking contraption is doing on your desk. In addition to being a far-from-boring router, the RT-N56U is also quite a fast and well-featured one. We're impressed with its 2.4GHz speed, and love the fact that it can run 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously. We also love its Gigabit Ethernet switch and its USB 2.0 ports for sharing storage devices and printers.
Overall, it's a very good little router that should serve enthusiasts well. We just wish it had a quicker and better designed Web interface. We also found its wall wart (which requires you to slide the prongs into the adapter) to be a little too flimsy and it could lose power if we moved it accidentally.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- Can Wi-Fi and LTE-U live together? The tests are ready
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- FTSnr SOC Security Coordinator - Perm - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- FTMobile Gaming SupportQLD
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCIT Operations Centre EngineerQLD
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCIT Infrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC