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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Features

Many router manufacturers use a common user interface across their product line and ASUS is no exception. Recently Scott did an in-depth review of the ASUS router interface including the new AiCloud features. The screenshot below gives you a taste of the interface. Check Scott's review for the rest of the story.

ASUS features - Traffic Monitor

ASUS features - Traffic Monitor

Storage Performance

Windows filecopy tests were run using the standard NAS testbed connected to a router Gigabit LAN port and the standard USB drive formatted in FAT32 and NTFS [NAS test details]. Tests were run connected with the USB drive connected to both the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

I updated this table from the recent D-Link DIR-860L review to compare the RT-AC56U's performance with other AC1200 class routers. The ASUS is the only AC1200 router to-date that has a USB 3.0 port, so all other results are for USB 2.0 ports.

File copy throughput comparison - MBytes/sec

File copy throughput comparison - MBytes/sec

As you can see, the RT-AC56U turned in similar results to the previous performance leader, the DIR-860L in the USB 2.0 test with the FAT32 Write test trailing the pack. For the USB 3.0 tests, the RT-AC56U outperformed all others in every test category and turned in an impressive 52.2 MB/s for the NTFS read test. It looks like the second-generation BCM4708 processor can keep its USB 3.0 port plenty busy for reads, but there is room for improvement for writes.

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the RT-AC56U loaded with 3.0.0.4.374.134 firmware and using our standard test method is summarized in the table below.

Test Description RT-AC56U
WAN - LAN Throughput (Mbps) 778.2
LAN - WAN Throughput (Mbps) 800.1
Total Simultaneous Throughput (Mbps) 1251.4
Max. Simultaneous Connections 30,621
Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.374.134
RT-AC56U Routing Performance

For the WAN to LAN test, the RT-AC56U ranked second behind the D-Link DIR-850L and ranked fourth in the LAN to WAN routing tests for all tested AC1200 class routers. Still, even at fourth place, it turned in a very respectable 800.1 Mbps. However, for total simultaneous throughput, the RT-AC56U topped the charts at 1251.4 Mbps - more than 200 Mbps faster than the second place winner, the D-Link DIR 860L.

For the unidirectional tests, the IxChariot chart below shows steady throughput at almost the same level. Looking at the plots, you can see very little variation with a very low 95% confidence level.

ASUS RT-AC56U unidirectional throughput

ASUS RT-AC56U unidirectional throughput

The simultaneous up/downlink tests show a significant amount of variation in both the LAN to WAN as well as the LAN to WAN speeds. The RT-AC56U favored the LAN to WAN performance. Note that the average numbers uplink was 701.5 Mbps with downlink averaging 555.9 Mbps. The 95% confidence level showed a significantly larger interval than was seen in the unidirectional tests.

ASUS RT-AC56U simultaneous throughput

ASUS RT-AC56U simultaneous throughput

Those tests were run with hardware acceleration enabled, which is the default setting. The unidirectional tests with hardware acceleration disabled (not shown) also yielded a very stable flat plot, but the performance was significantly lower. Uplink averaged 324.8 Mbps and the downlink averaged 303.7 Mbps. Total average throughput with hardware acceleration disabled dropped to 293.7 Mbps. Clearly, hardware acceleration makes a huge difference.

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