SmallNetBuilder

Follow SmallNetBuilder
Follow SmallNetBuilder on TwitterConnect On Facebook Google+Get the SmallNetBuilder RSS Feed
You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews ASUS RT-N16 Multi-functional Gigabit SuperSpeedN Router Reviewed

ASUS RT-N16 Multi-functional Gigabit SuperSpeedN Router Reviewed

Print E-mail
Prev - Page 1 of 5 - Next >>

Introduction

ASUS RT-N16

At a Glance
Product ASUS Multi-functional Gigabit SuperSpeedN Router (RT-N16)
Summary 2.4GHz, Broadcom-based 802.11n router with HTTP / FTP / BitTorrent download, USB drive sharing and Gigabit Ethernet
Pros • Gigabit WAN and LAN ports
• DD-WRT compatible
• 2 USB 2.0 ports for sharing storage or printer
Cons • Low file sharing speed
• Middle of the pack wireless performance
• Help and documentation for advanced features needs improvement.

When you hear the name ASUS, your first thought is probably of netbooks, desktop computers or, if you're a DIY kind of person, motherboards. Wireless routers from ASUS don't immediately come to mind. Although previous ASUS routers may not have appeared on your radar screen, the new, full-featured RT-N16, appropriately named " Multi-Functional Gigabit SuperSpeedN" is worth a look.

The RT-N16 is a single band 802.11N Wi-Fi Certified router with Gigabit Ethernet WAN and LAN ports and two USB 2.0 ports for sharing a USB printer, or USB storage devices. Housed in an 8.5" X 6 3/8" X 1.6" plain white plastic case with gray trim, the RT-N16 is likely to appeal to Mac users who tend to like white devices. It's quite a bit larger than a similarly-featured D-Link DIR-655 that measures 7.6" X 4.6" X 1.2".

The front panel has blue LEDs for power/status, link/activity for each of the four LAN ports, and an LED for wireless status/activity. The top and bottom of the case is loaded with ventilation holes to ensure that the device stays cool. Figure 1 shows the configuration of the rear panel.

ASUS RT-N16 rear panel

Figure 1: ASUS RT-N16 rear panel

The rear panel has RP-SMA connectors for the three supplied 2 dBi antennas, a power receptacle, a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button, two USB ports, a reset button, one WAN port and 4 LAN ports. Though the ports are color coded (WAN=Blue, LAN=Yellow), the quick start guide doesn't take advantage of, or mention the color coding for the initial configuration. Power is supplied by a 100-240V 50/60Hz auto switching "wall wart". With two computers and two USB devices connected, the RT-N16 consumed 8 W.

On the Inside

Figure 2 is an FCC ID doc shot of the the board with the heat sinks and RF shields removed.

ASUS RT-N16 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: ASUS RT-N16 board

ASUS made an interesting choice for their component selection. The RT-N16 is powered by a Broadcom BCM4718 Intensi-fi XLR 802.11n Simultaneous Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz) Router System-on-Chip. This chip combines the baseband, MAC, 533 MHz CPU and radio modules and includes the USB support found on the RT-N16.

Although the BCM4718 has a 5 GHz radio, ASUS didn't put the circuitry in to support it. So even if you load up the DD-WRT distro, you won't get a dual band router.

The Gigabit WAN and four Gigabit LAN ports are supported by a Broadcom BCM53115 which provides a full 5 Gbps switching fabric and built-in QoS. 128MB of RAM and 32 MB of Flash round out the design.

The switch device is spec'd to support up to 9K jumbo frames. But ASUS doesn't spec jumbo frame support and we didn't check to see if jumbo frame support is enabled.




Related Items:

New To The Charts: ASUS RT-N16 Multi-functional Gigabit SuperSpeedN Ro
New To The Charts: ASUS RT-N13U Wireless N Router with All-in-One Prin
ASUS RT-N56U Black Diamond Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless-N Router Reviewe
New To The Charts: NETGEAR WNR3500L Rangemax Wireless-N Gigabit Router
TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit Router Reviewed

User reviews

Average user rating from: 4 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
4.2 Features :
 
4.5 Performance :
 
4.3 Reliability :
 
3.8
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
Features*
 
Performance*
 
Reliability*
 
Comments*
    Please enter the security code.
 
 

THE BEST

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Justin
July 20, 2011
Report this review
 

This has got to be the best router available at the moment. It has a MIPSR2 480 MHz processor that actually rated to over 500MHz. It has 128MB of RAM and 32MB of EEPROM. It has two USB ports and because it uses the Broadcom chipset third party open source firmware can be flashed into the unit. Don't even consider using the Asus firmware as Tomato USB runs fantastic on it. I suggest Victek's Tomato RAF as the Tomato branch/derivative of choice.

Also the review on this site really seem concerned about wireless performance and equate it to the wireless chipset used. Do you guys not understand that it's all in the ANTENNA GAIN!!!

Take the Asus RT-N16 here for example and place three L-com HG2405RD-RSP 5.5dBi antennas on it and run your wireless tests again!!!

The routers you guys suggest can't even have the antennas replaced duh!!!

 

Great router if using Tomato USB

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Amac
June 04, 2011
Report this review
 

I'm a semigeek. Some of the stuff on this site confuses me. But I figured out enough to get this router and install Tomato USB. Great combination. Have not had any problems with router. Love all the features that Tomato gives me. Like blocking my son's iPod after 7 PM. Blocking certain website. Yeah, I know you can do that with other routers but Tomato made it easy. Also love the QOS features. Netflix devices get highest bandwidth while wife's bit torrent get's low...

Review was too heavily slanted against the Asus software, which I agree is crap. I bought the router for it's hardware specs. Large memory. Fast processor. Gigabyte lan. 2 USB ports.

 

72/102 Mbps, 90/94 Mbps

Overall rating: 
 
4.7
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by sf3000
February 03, 2011
Report this review
 

"LAN speed test" setting: 100MB, 300Mbps, wireless-N

Latitude E6400 Intel 5100 AGN writing/reading speeds
from dining room: 50ft away & 3 walls
best 41/82 Mbps
worst 54/71 Mbps
3ft away:
best1 72/102 Mbps
best2 67/106 Mbps
worst1 76/75 Mbps
worst2 68/81 Mbps
worst3 54/68 Mbps
walking back to dining room:
55/59 Mbps


Sony Z112 Intel 6200 AGN writing/reading speeds
from dining room: : 50ft away & 3 walls
48/57 Mbps
3ft away:
best1 90/94 Mbps
best2 88/90 Mbps
worst1 70/84 Mbps
worst2 71/81 Mbps
15ft away (bathroom)
75/80 Mbps
15ft away
79/75 Mbps

Latest tomato firmware at time of writing. (Feb 2, 2011)

 

Not Recommended For Novices

Overall rating: 
 
2.0
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
2.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Thai
August 16, 2010
Report this review
 

- First unit received dead-on-arrival. (Confirmed by Asus)
- Documentation very poor. User manual poorly written and incomplete.
- Firmware inadequate. (Confirmed by most users recommending use of 3 party firmware.)
- Overall performance specifications below average.
- Long term reliability below average.

Recommendation:
Unless you're very experienced in systems and internet protocol, this is NOT your best choice.

 
 

Amazon Top-Selling Wireless Routers