Like most routers, the N16 doesn't require a lot of configuration to get you up and running. You merely connect an Ethernet cable from the WAN (blue) port to your cable/DSL modem and plug a computer into one of the Gigabit (yellow) LAN ports. Then the RT-N16 will automatically try to determine your internet connection type.
By default, the router is configured for the 192.168.1.0/24 network and has an IP address of 188.8.131.52. The built-in DHCP server is pre-configured to assign 253 addresses starting with 192.168.1.2. You can also connect wirelessly to configure the router. The default SSID is "ASUS", and wireless security is disabled.
If your ISP assigns you an IP address automatically, you'll see a screen as shown in Figure 3 when you first launch your browser as the N16 intercepts your web request and routes you through its QIS wizard.
Figure 3: Quick Internet Setup completed
I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a better configuration wizard. Some of the major brands like Linksys and D-Link have animated wizards that walk you through connecting cables, the power up sequence, testing Internet connectivity and configuring basic wireless security settings. Some router configuration wizards also force you to change the default admin password—a really good idea. Unfortunately, the ASUS wizard didn't force you do to what you already know you should do. Thankfully, changing those additional security settings is fairly simple.
The user interface is fairly easy to navigate, which you can see for yourself using ASUS's online RT-N16 simulator. There are five major categories of settings shown along the left side of the screen. The landing page shown in Figure 4, shows these major categories on the left, a network map in the center, and details about the object selected in the network map on the right.
Figure 4: Network Map page
The network map shows that the router is connected to the Internet, that there are three clients currently attached, and that there are two USB storage devices attached. Clicking on any of the boxes in the network map brings up additional detail about that object.
In the next sections I'll briefly comment on important entries in the submenus of each major category.
If you have storage attached to one of the USB ports that contains multimedia content, the UPnP AV media server can serve that content to a UPnP compatible device. Figure 5 shows that the only configuration option is enable / disable.
Figure 5: UPnP AV Media server page
Note that the N16's media server is not DLNA certified. So it might not properly serve content to an XBox 360 or PS3.
The RT-N16 allows you to remotely access the files stored on USB attached storage devices via FTP, but secure FTP is not supported. You have a choice of anonymous, admin or user account access. For each top level folder, you can set read only, read write or no access if you specify limited user access.
If you allow anonymous users access, they have full R/W access to the shares. Figure 6 shows a file transfer through a windows-based FTP client. Unfortunately, though the RT-N16 has a number of different logs, it doesn't log FTP sessions or file transfers.