Performance - File Sharing
I ran a file copy of our standard ripped-DVD test folder and measured write speed of 7.6 MB/s and 9.5 MB/s with FAT and NTFS-formatted drives, respectively. Reads came in at 13 MB/s for both formats. This performance is typical of embedded router file servers.
Performance - Routing
Routing throughput running the latest 184.108.40.206 firmware and our router test process established new Router chart highs of 802 Mbps WAN to LAN, 862 Mbps WAN to LAN and 1268 Mbps total with up and down tests running simultaneously. The Maximum Simultaneous Connections test maxed out our test capability at 34,925.
The IxChariot plot below (Figure 5) shows significant throughput variation. But that is more an artifact of test file size than the router itself.
Figure 5: ASUS RT-N56U routing performance
Performance - Wireless
I used our standard open air test method to test the RT-N56U's wireless performance. As usual, I set the 2.4 GHz radio to Channel 1 and the 5 GHz radio to Channel 36. All tests were run using WPA2 / AES encryption.
The test client was an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card in an Acer Aspire 1810T notebook running Win 7 Home Premium and Intel's Win 7 220.127.116.11 driver for the Intel card.
I skipped checking fallback to 54 Mbps link rates when using WEP 128 and WPA / TKIP because the RT-N56U is Wi-Fi Certified and the certification test suite confirms that.
Highest throughput for a single stream was 84 Mbps running downlink in 40 MHz bandwidth mode in location A. I was able to measure 100 Mbps running simultaneous up and downlink tests in 40 MHz bandwidth mode in location A.
Figure 6: ASUS RT-N56U 2.4GHz Wireless Performance comparison
In general, the three routers are comparable in the strong-signal test locations A - C and the RT-N56U's performance in the transition location D and weak signal locations E and F tracked closer to the E4200 than the the WNDR3700v2. You can see this more clearly in the example throughput vs. location graph in Figure 7.
Figure 7: 2.4 GHz throughput vs. location - 20 MHz mode, downlink
The 5 GHz table in Figure 8 shows somewhat stronger performance for the RT-N56U in this band. But none of the routers were able to reach into my 5 GHz dead zone locations E and F. The RT-N56U seems to be a bit stronger in Location D for some tests. But the advantage isn't consistent enough to be reliable.
Highest 5 GHz throughput measured was 86 Mbps running downlink in location A in 40 MHz bandwidth mode. Running simultaneous up and downlink tests in 40 MHz bandwidth mode in location A was once again able to goose throughput above 100 Mbps to 111 Mbps.
Figure 8: ASUS RT-N56U 5GHz Wireless Performance comparison
Here are links to the IxChariot wireless test plots if you'd like to explore further:
- 2.4 GHz / 20 MHz downlink
- 2.4 GHz / 20 MHz uplink
- 2.4 GHz / 20 MHz up and downlink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz downlink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz uplink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz up and downlink
- 5 GHz / 20 MHz downlink
- 5 GHz / 20 MHz uplink
- 5 GHz / 20 MHz up and downlink
- 5 GHz / 40 MHz downlink
- 5 GHz / 40 MHz uplink
- 5 GHz / 40 MHz up and downlink
The RT-N56U is a worthy successor to ASUS' RT-N16. It has a solid routing section with more speed than even our friends overseas can use, Gigabit ports and two 11n radios that both support WDS bridging and repeating. But with its Ralink chipset, you won't be able to run DD-WRT or other alternate distros on it as you can with the RT-N16.
If you're comfortable with routers that don't have the name Cisco, NETGEAR or D-Link on them and are looking for a less expensive two-radio dual-band router that can also share a USB printer and drive at the same time, you might want to give the RT-N56U a shot.
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Average user rating from: 35 user(s)
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|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||3.6||Features :||3.5||Performance :||4.0||Reliability :||3.3|
Two lemons in a row? Or flawed design... I don't know
June 11, 2013
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I had my first one for just under 2 years when it started having mad drop-outs. Luckily it was under warranty (just) and they RMA'd it and send a replacement. But that lasted all of 2 hours before it had similar issues. That had me thinking it must be something other than the router, so I had my modem replaced, my cables replaced... even my pc's motherboard replaced (although that was because it fried, not as an intended diagnostic). Eventually I went out to BestBuy and bought a $30 D-Link and no problems so it has to be the router(s). It won't stay running for 10 minutes before having to reboot it. Total crap and they now won't RMA the 2nd one because its now over the 2 years. What BS. I'm done with Asus and am baffled how SNB ranks them so highly, especially considering the MASS amounts of negative reviews describing constant drop outs.
Poor Product, Poor Support
June 09, 2013
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Wireless is terrible. Support is terrible.
Max throughput on 2.4GHz is 1Mbps (to the home network, not the internet), no interference, within 5' and this is only when you can get a connection to the router. Tried to contact support as I thought there might be a hardware issue (one of the antennae broken for example), they were no help at all and dragged out the issue past the warranty point where I could have gone back to the store for a simple exchange.
I would not, in good conscience, recommend this device to any of my clients based on poor product performance and even poorer support from Asus.
March 08, 2013
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The more wireless devices you connect, the hotter this thing gets until you start getting disconnections. My only workaround has been to disable the 5GHz band. With only one band running, the disconnects don't happen. Otherwise, this would be a stellar unit. I am waiting until the price of the RT-N66U comes down to upgrade to that. I haven't heard about that having the same problems.
Signal,Bandwidth,Signal dropping and no Guest network
February 13, 2013
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I bought this router to serve my purpose but it did not. As soon as i bough this Flagship router costing around 8K for a router which seems to be real expensive without much features built in it.
1. 5GHZ signal radio does not work when we cross just 1 wall which is about 20mts.
2. Firmware seems to be unstable always (In Download master link is been uploaded but doesn't show the status but says that it already exists.
3.No Guest Network available on the Flagship model.
4. No AI cloud, but only available on (RT-N60, RT-N65U, RT-N66U and RT-AC66U)
5. File Transfer rate seems to be slow.in local network.....
1. Customer service reacts and tries to provide a firmware to fix the issues.
2. Asus Products have never failed in build quality and performance.
3. Beautiful design but needs tweaks to improve the routers.
4. Download master is an amazing stuff on a router for people who often downloads.
5. Setup is very quick.
Finally i have decided to upgrade the router with and Asus RT-AC66U, to get all the benefits and to see the best performance coming out of this monster which is recommended from Asus.
You will find my experience on this router RT-AC66U very soon.....
Great little router
January 04, 2013
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I've had Zero problems with this router. I did cheat a little and used the alternate firmware located at this web site. http://code.google.com/p/rt-n56u/
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