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[RT-N12 D1] Poor wireless range

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I just purchased an Asus RT-N12 D1 to function as an AP while connected to my N56U which has been performing well.

However I have not had good performance with this router, in particular on range over 2 walls.

This router was meant to replace a strong performer, the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH which has been in place for 3 years but needed to be replaced as the wireless constantly dropouts out after an extended period of time and needs to be power cycled.

So, in my situation these are the rough findings on the same location & distance from my Macbook Air, with the routers swapped back to back:

Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (on both DDWRT and stock fw, I prefer stock)
avg transfer rate of 6MB/s

Asus RT-N12 D1 (
avg transfer rate of 3MB/s

Is this really the best this device can do? I was particularity surprised because the G300NH is a few years old and I figured the ASUS, given all the improvements with drivers and radio over the years, would at least match the older router.

I know that N56U and N66U are the ones renowned for their coverage and performance, but it is well double the price and out of my current budget. I bought this well knowing that but still expected average to above average performance.

Is this all the N12 D1 can do?

Returns are not the norm in my part of the world (at least when device is not broken or faulty) so this will have to be shelved till I find use for it elsewhere. :/

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