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Wi-Fi Router Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Router Charts

Mesh System Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Mesh System Charts

USB Application

In this menu, you configure preferences for USB storage devices that you have attached to the RT-N16. For this test, I attached an external drive formatted with NTFS and a 2 GB Flash drive formatted FAT32. Both mounted without incident.

You can either choose to share with everyone, create user accounts and set sharing preferences for each individual folder or disable sharing. Sharing is done via SMB / CIFS, so the shares should appear when you browse your network from systems running Windows, Mac OS, Linux or practically any other OS.

Figure 12 shows the two devices and the access rights I configured for user cellison.

USB storage access rights
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Figure 12: USB storage access rights

Interestingly, when you browse your network, each of the top level folders appears as a share under a single SMB share name (RT-n16, in this case) as shown in Figure 13. You can't really tell which folders reside on which USB device, or, for that matter, how many devices there are. You configure FTP access for limited users using the same method in the FTP Share sub menu.

Windows Explorer view of SMB shares

Figure 13: Windows Explorer view of SMB shares

Like most USB drive sharing features bundled into routers, the N16's file sharing performance is pretty poky. Tim measured only 2 MB/s for write and 5 MB/s for read to a FAT 32 volume using the Vista SP1 file copy test.


This menu lets you set up firewall rules and filters. You can also allow or deny remote administration access, specify a port for remote admin, and disable ping response on the WAN port as shown in Figure 14.

Firewall settings

Figure 14: Firewall settings

There are also a few interesting features in this submenu: URL filtering and LAN to WAN filtering. Each of these filtering methods allows global time restrictions to control access to the Internet. For URL filtering, you could block access to URLs containing entered keywords Monday-Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM (Figure 15). Similarly, you could block access to the Internet for a specific IP address or a range of IP addresses on a specific port or a range of ports.

URL keyword filter

Figure 15: URL keyword filter


This menu holds typical admin functions for changing the admin password, firmware updates, setting the time zone and NTP time server, restoring to factory defaults and saving/restoring the router's configuration.

The one interesting item on this menu is operating mode (Figure 16). You can choose from Broadband Sharing mode (typical use for a home router), Router mode (for use with and existing router - you'll need to enter a static route in your upstream router), or as an access point (NAT, firewall and broadband sharing disabled, all ports bridged).

Operation mode

Figure 16: Operation mode

System Log

As mentioned before, there isn't a log of FTP activity. The general log does, however, show some interesting things. For example, it looks like the N16 goes out to the specified NTP time server every two hours to update its internal clock (Figure 16), which seems a bit excessive to me.

System log
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Figure 16: System log

The DHCP Leases tab does show the current leases, but in seconds. Knowing that a lease has 71364 seconds remaining isn't really very helpful. The wireless log shows client MAC addresses, but not the names of connected clients, and only that they were connected. It doesn't show when the connection was made, or authentication or encryption used. Again, it's good information, but it's not as useful as it could have been. The port forwarding and routing tables do, however, show useful information.

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