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Asus rt-n13u

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j_nolesfan

Occasional Visitor
Thanks again to Tipster and Tim for all of your advice. I kinda went "against the grain" a little and bought the ASUS router anyway. So, I'm going to try and capture my experience as it unfolds, good, bad, or otherwise. One thing I remember Tim saying that I really agree with was that people will more often take the time to post a complaint than they would post a good review.

The summary of my "back story". I had a Belkin G router and decided wanted to upgrade. I was at Sam's Club and bought a Linksys WRT120N. If I'd seen Tim's review, I never would have bought it. I discussed my poor purchase decision with Linksys 3 times to remedy poor performance, router resets, and the fact that I think Linksys mislead me with the label on the box calling it an N router. They basically told me to take a leap. So, I did. After research, I jumped on the ASUS router from Amazon for $60 after shipping with a $20 mail in rebate. If I end up not liking it, Amazon will take it back and I might even get to keep the $20 for my trouble. It got here three days early. I'm not complaining :D

The Box:
The reviews are accurate when they say it's small and while it has a solid feel, the clear plastic backed by the silver label doesn't look finely crafted. IMO, if it performs as good as some of the reviews say, it could look (but not smell) like a steaming pile of dog doo. I found it odd that they had a set of quick setup instructions plus another sheet that explains how to clone the MAC address of the main PC connection.

Power ON:
I powered up the router, connected it to my PC and opened Firefox to key the router IP and log into the admin pages. If I remember correctly, the router prompted me to clone my MAC address or it had a button that was one of the first items presented to me once I logged in. So, why include separate instructions that tell you to open a command prompt and run IPCONFIG to get the MAC address? Maybe it has something to do with certain OS's or something?

Router Configuration Front-End:
I'm not going to go into minute detail here. I've used Belkin and Linksys' config front-ends and I'll say that ASUS' isn't quite as polished as theirs and often when I clicked a link or button, Firefox would hang and I'd have to click it a second time to make the page load. It might be me. It might be Firefox. I don't know. So, against popular recommendations, I set the SSID and security settings to the same as my previous ones. It makes thing simpler for me. For those who like to use wizards for setup, it might be confusing. As soon as I got one wireless laptop connected, I went back to the "admin" PC and tracked down the latest firmware. Again, docs on how to download and load the firmware is a little sparse so you have to consider it carefully. It's easy enough to find the firmware on ASUS' Chinese web site but some of the information is in their native language and no other. The download links for the firmware are a little confusing. Once you determine which version you need, there are three links from which to download the firmware GLOBAL "DLM" | GLOBAL | and CHINA. I had to use the GLOBAL link and was immediately prompted to download the zip file containing the firmware. The web form on the router config page has a place to browse to and "upload" the firmware file. No where in the docs does it say if the file needs to be unzipped or not. I opted on to and unzip it. It says that it takes about 3 mins once the upload process is started and the router will reboot when it's complete. I clicked the upload and waited...4 minutes...5? I wasn't watching the router for a reboot. I expected the web page to refresh and say "process successful" or something. Nope. No progress bar or anything. So, I started a new browser window and logged in (could have been risky) while the other one was seemingly still loading the firmware. When I logged in, the information section reported the new firmware and everything seemed fine.

The Infamous Wireless Print Server:
One of the big selling points for me was the wireless printing when connecting the printer to the router's USB port. I had done some research on the router and understood going in that this isn't a full fledged Windows shared printer configuration. That said, I followed the instructions and used the CD to run the printer setup application. Once initiated, you get a small window that shows a progress bar and says that it's setting up the print server or something like that. When it's finished, it tells you to follow the instructions included with your printer to finish the setup. That's not 100% true. You have to refer back to the ASUS docs for the port changes you need to make during the printer installation. I think that's where some people go wrong with setting up the print sever. The docs are only on the CD in a PDF file. The docs says to select "local printer attached to this computer". The truth is, I've had it work either way. The issue is when Windows presents a list of devices to select as the print server hardware, you have to select "custom" and add the port accordingly. Well, I already had the printer installed as a local USB printer so I figured I just needed to configure the port and I'd be done. I was right but it didn't work on the first try. The first thing that was different about the port configuration for me was that it's not a standard IP print that uses the router's IP address with RAW format and port 9100. The instructions cover this. You have to change the format to LPR and give the LPR Queue name of LPRServer. Once that's finished and you've clicked "Apply", you should be able to print. Originally, I tried only changing the port configuration on my PC and it didn't work. The print job would go into the printer queue, spool, and error out. I downloaded the XP 64 bit driver since I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate 64. This may be the reason it works now, I'm not sure. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 32 on my wife's laptop and all I did was add and config the IP port per the docs and it worked on the first try. The printer speed seems about as fast local.

Initial Performance Impressions
The wireless range is easily much better than my Linksys was. First, I never got higher than G speed with the Linksys. I guess that makes sense since it was not really a certified N router. I'd get 54 Mbps when in the same room as the router and probably 48 or 32 Mbps when down the hall 30 feet away or on the far side of the same room down the hall. When in the same room as the ASUS router, I got 130 Mbps. At my farthest distance where I usually got 32 Mbps from the Linksys, the ASUS showed 117 Mbps. The laptop uses an Intel 5100 AGN adapter.

When "on the wire", I can't see any decrease in regular internet surfing, etc. I haven't fired up my P2P file sharing program yet but plan to today. My son's wired Xbox 360 reported that "there may be lag when joining online games" when doing the network test. This may have been the case prior to the router change. I don't remember. Since that test, I've used the EZQoS function in the router config app to give priority to gaming. I haven't asked my son but I do know that he didn't complain about lag or inability to "get good servers" for gaming after I'd made the change.

Initial Conclusion:
Currently, I'm really happy with my purchase. However, I can be hard on a router. When surfing the net, I typically have between five and ten different tabs open for different pages and at times, that can number closer to twenty if I'm researching something. I'll probably have my P2P program running as well. The Linksys would often give up and reset when things got tough with web surfing and P2P. So, the true test will come over the next few days. If the real world QoS is good, I'll be confident that I made the right choice.

Caveats:
I can see where novice users could go totally wrong when setting up this router and never get it figured out. So, if you prefer to use wizards and the "quick setup" docs are all you ever refer to when setting up a device, you might want to opt for another brand. You get what you pay for. In my case, I paid for performance and features and not for a highly polished front end or pretty setup instructions.

Personal Tweaking Questions:
I want to get the most out of my router and while I consider myself computer savvy, I'm not a network guru. For security, I chose WPA2 Personal with AES encryption mainly because that's what I previously had and it had worked. Of course, the highest performance is no security. That's just fine for some folks but I can tell you that I've logged into the router admin page of no less than 5 of my neighbors, just to see if I could do it. So, I want to keep the idiots out (idiots like me), but I don't need to protect myself against the CIA. That said, if anyone can recommend the best compromise in security settings or point me to the thread that has it if you choose, I'd appreciate it.

DD-WRT may be in my future
I have read that DD-WRT can give the experienced users greater control and security over their router. In many cases, it can also improve performance. So, if I get to a point where I feel like I want/need to increase the performance of my router (need meaning, losing wireless connections or not enough throughput for some situation), I will likely try it out. I've heard people talk about voiding the warranty, etc. I wonder if there's a way to copy the current router's firmware and configuration to the level that it can be restored if DD-WRT proves cumbersome or I end up needing a warranty. It's a two year warranty.

I hope somebody can find some use in what I've posted here. I'm sorry if it's long winded.

Regards,
Jeff
 
Thanks for the extensive review, Jeff. Would you please add a short review and rating to the review itself? You can link to this longer review there.

I'm trying to get more products rated by users, so that others can benefit from your experience. Thanks!
 
The wireless range is easily much better than my Linksys was. First, I never got higher than G speed with the Linksys. I guess that makes sense since it was not really a certified N router. I'd get 54 Mbps when in the same room as the router and probably 48 or 32 Mbps when down the hall 30 feet away or on the far side of the same room down the hall. When in the same room as the ASUS router, I got 130 Mbps. At my farthest distance where I usually got 32 Mbps from the Linksys, the ASUS showed 117 Mbps. The laptop uses an Intel 5100 AGN adapter.
Be careful using the "speeds" shown by Windows. See 5 Ways To Fix Slow 802.11n Speed , Fix #1.

I want to get the most out of my router and while I consider myself computer savvy, I'm not a network guru. For security, I chose WPA2 Personal with AES encryption mainly because that's what I previously had and it had worked. Of course, the highest performance is no security.
That's not true with N routers. They all have hardware acceleration built in so that you don't suffer a performance penalty when using WPA2, AES, which is the recommended security setting.

I wonder if there's a way to copy the current router's firmware and configuration to the level that it can be restored if DD-WRT proves cumbersome or I end up needing a warranty. It's a two year warranty.
Flashing with DD-WRT or any other alternative firmware is reversible. You just need to have a copy of the vendor firmware.
 
Tim,

Review submitted. Thanks again for the additional advice. I knew the speed ratings in Windows weren't "gospel" but I think they at least reflect (distantly?) the signal strength. It's also good to know that encryption won't hamper my performance. :)

I am having one issue that I mentioned in my speed chart review. My printer isn't finishing pages, at least from my PC which is a wired connection. It gets to the last couple of lines on the page and stops. This is network related but I'm not sure if it's on the router or printer side yet. I've power cycled my printer but not my router. I suppose power cycling may provide additional info.

Jeff
 
Thanks for adding the review.

I'm sorry that I can't help on the printer problems. I bypassed all the embedded print server hassle and bought a network-ready printer. IMO, it's the only way to go. With printers so cheap today, you're probably better off buying a new network-ready one than trying to get these throw-in embedded ones to work.
 
I can assist you with your printer issues? Rule out is the PC, Router or the Printer. Connect the Printer directly to the PC and see if it finishes your print job. If it does then it's not the PC or Printer. It's the Router.
 
I can assist you with your printer issues? Rule out is the PC, Router or the Printer. Connect the Printer directly to the PC and see if it finishes your print job. If it does then it's not the PC or Printer. It's the Router.

Right. I guess I mis-spoke a little. When I said I didn't know if it was the printer or not, I was referring to the printer settings and the settings for the TCP/IP port. I know my printer works. ;)

I feel like I've seen this problem before when connecting to an HP JetDirect print server but I can't remember what fixed it.

Jeff
 
Right. I guess I mis-spoke a little. When I said I didn't know if it was the printer or not, I was referring to the printer settings and the settings for the TCP/IP port. I know my printer works. ;)

I feel like I've seen this problem before when connecting to an HP JetDirect print server but I can't remember what fixed it.

Jeff

What type of printer is this your workings with? Wired or wireless. Have you cleared out the printer spool on the PC do reset and then on the Printer. Does the router logs show anything. There is a list of print servers stored on the PC sometimes these causes issue. You should only have the one your working with.
 
My printer is an Epson Stylus R300 Photo It is connected to the USB port on the ASUS router as instructed. The printer port is a TCP/IP port that uses LPR instead of RAW protocol. I downloaded the 64 bit XP drivers for my printer and it didn't help. I'm stuck as to what to try next.

I did check the print server in Windows 7 and it had a form size of 10X11. I set it back to Letter size which seemed to make things worse (printing small parts of one page on multiple pages). I do think I've touched on the problem, I hope.

Jeff
 
Thank you

@j_nolesfan: Thank you for the review. Much appreciated.
 
My brother in law bought this router to use as a repeater and tells me that the signals are not secured.

He has left the SSID as default 'ASUS' and I am concluding not encryption was even setup.

Am I correc to say that he should use the same SSID/Keys as his curernt Linksys router so the Asus in repeater mode will repeat the same SSID/key as his router?

many Thanks
Pat
 
The OP said "...the ASUS showed 117 Mbps."

But what was the actual IP layer speed, connecting to a different PC on your wired network using, say, Qcheck?
 
My brother in law bought this router to use as a repeater and tells me that the signals are not secured.

He has left the SSID as default 'ASUS' and I am concluding not encryption was even setup.

Am I correc to say that he should use the same SSID/Keys as his curernt Linksys router so the Asus in repeater mode will repeat the same SSID/key as his router?

many Thanks
Pat

Curious about this myself since we're considering the Asus rt-n13u as a repeater for our network in an apartment complex surrounded by over a dozen other wireless networks (including a few wireless snoopers).
 
This router is on sale at Newegg

$34.52 after rebate + free shipping. Rebate offered thru 8/31.

Kind of a no-brainer at that price.
 
j_nolesfan: Do you have a homogeneous environment of all "N" devices, or a mix of N & G, as I would have.

If all works well in a heterogeneous setup, this would indeed be a no-brainer!

Thanks!
Bill
 
Control radio air-time

Dear owners of this device,

Does it offer functionality to control which hours the wireless radio should be switched on?
I would like it to shut down the radio automatically during nights to minimize radio beams in my home.

My old wl-500g premium had that functionality.

Regards, Jan
 
Disappeared?

Why has this router disappeared from the wireless charts?
 
Why has this router disappeared from the wireless charts?
When products are no longer available from Pricegrabber and Amazon merchants, products are moved to Archived status. This keeps the charts uncluttered and reflecting only currently-available products.

Just click the "Show archived products" link to bring it back.
 
The Infamous Wireless Print Server:
One of the big selling points for me was the wireless printing when connecting the printer to the router's USB port. I had done some research on the router and understood going in that this isn't a full fledged Windows shared printer configuration. That said, I followed the instructions and used the CD to run the printer setup application. Once initiated, you get a small window that shows a progress bar and says that it's setting up the print server or something like that. When it's finished, it tells you to follow the instructions included with your printer to finish the setup. That's not 100% true. You have to refer back to the ASUS docs for the port changes you need to make during the printer installation. I think that's where some people go wrong with setting up the print sever. The docs are only on the CD in a PDF file. The docs says to select "local printer attached to this computer". The truth is, I've had it work either way. The issue is when Windows presents a list of devices to select as the print server hardware, you have to select "custom" and add the port accordingly. Well, I already had the printer installed as a local USB printer so I figured I just needed to configure the port and I'd be done. I was right but it didn't work on the first try. The first thing that was different about the port configuration for me was that it's not a standard IP print that uses the router's IP address with RAW format and port 9100. The instructions cover this. You have to change the format to LPR and give the LPR Queue name of LPRServer. Once that's finished and you've clicked "Apply", you should be able to print. Originally, I tried only changing the port configuration on my PC and it didn't work. The print job would go into the printer queue, spool, and error out. I downloaded the XP 64 bit driver since I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate 64. This may be the reason it works now, I'm not sure. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 32 on my wife's laptop and all I did was add and config the IP port per the docs and it worked on the first try. The printer speed seems about as fast local.

[/QUOTE=j_nolesfan;19362]

hi!
I have the same problem in setting up a printer i followed all the instrustion Im using Win 7 64bit ( home premium) and my printer is WEP 800 DX dotmatrix .What printer did u use . could u help me out pls
 

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