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ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit Router E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 18 April 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit Router
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: ASUS RT-N56U Router
ASUS Wi-Fi Router Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

To test the ASUS RT-N56U Router we are using the Passmark Performance v7.0 Advanced Network Test. This test measures throughput between two clients connected to the router to be tested. In order for this test to work one PC must be set up as 'Client' and the other must be set up as the 'Server', each test is ran five times with the highest and lowest result omitted and the remaining three results are averaged to give a final result. At Benchmark Reviews we like to be comprehensive so you will find results here for many different configurations such as LAN to LAN (100Mb/s), LAN to LAN (1000MB/s), WAN to LAN (Wireless G 54Mb/s) and finally WAN to LAN (Wireless N 150Mb/s). To eliminate any variables Test System 1 was always set to 'Server' and results were monitored and recorded on the 'Client' systems. The ASUS RT-N56U shipped out with firmware v1.0.0.9 (factory default) and was upgraded to v1.0.1.3 prior to these tests.ASUS_RT-N56U_Passmark_Networking_Configuration.jpg

Test System 1

  • Motherboard: ECS P55H-AK (Intel P55)
  • Network: RealTek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • System Memory: OCZ Blade ST 2000MHz 4GB Kit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 760
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1GB
  • Disk Drive 1: 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
  • Disk Drive 2: 160GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm 32MB cache
  • Enclosure: Lancool PC-K63
  • PSU: Corsair HX750W Modular
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 (x64)

Test System 2

  • Model: Dell Dimension C521
  • Network 1: Tenda TEL9901G Gigabit LAN PCI Card
  • Network 2: Broadcom 10/100 integrated Ethernet controller
  • System Memory: 2GB DDR2 PC2-5300
  • Processor: AMD ATHLON 64 X2 5000 2.6GHz
  • Disk Drive: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3 (x86)

Test System 3

  • Laptop Model: Compaq Presario CQ61-110SA
  • Network Adapter 1: Integrated Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g
  • Network Adapter 2: Belkin Enhanced Wireless N150 USB
  • System Memory: 3GB DDR2 PC2-6400
  • Processor: Pentium Dual Core T4200 @ 2.0Ghz
  • Disk Drive: WD Scorpio Blue 160 GB SATA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 (x86)


The first test was conducted at a distance of 1 meter, which I would consider to be 'Wired' range. These tests were conducted using the method detailed above.


Not all results are at their max theoretical limit but this may or may not due to the router itself, it is quite possible that the network adapters themselves are not capable of maxing out their theoretical limit. We see a very good result for 100Mb/s LAN, in this case the network adapters are making full use of the available bandwidth. When we look at the Gigabit LAN result we start to see that throughput is not meeting its maximum potential, in an ideal scenario we would like to have matching Gigabit Ethernet controllers on each side of the test router but we must make do with what we have, still 579 Mb/s is nothing to be disappointed with though seeing as home internet connections are nowhere near as fast as this yet.

Wireless G speeds and wireless N speeds are also somewhat lower than maximum potential, without further network adapters to test with though we must assume that this is the maximum throughput that the ASUS RT-N56U can deliver. Equally important as speed is range when looking at wireless internet, sure you get faster speed with wires but you also lose portability. The next two tests look at wireless G and N150 speed and range. Points 1~3 are downstairs rooms, points 4 and 5 are outside and points 6~9 are upstairs rooms. This gives a good idea of what sort of coverage we can expect in a fairly sized three bedroom house.


The wireless G test is very promising indeed, the ASUS RT-N56U was able to deliver a consistent speed at all but one test point. Test point 5 is the furthest away from the router and is outside so the lower score is somewhat expected.


When we tested Wireless N 150Mb/s speeds the results were sporadic to say the least. Wireless N 150 throughput was not as consistent as the Wireless G throughput. As we see it here, the further away you get from the router, the less throughput you get. It is quite interesting to see that the outside test location (Point 5) gets the same wireless speed for Wireless G and Wireless N 150.



# RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit Routerv_lestat 2011-04-18 07:19
Ok boys what the hell are you doing testing an 802.11n router with only a 150mbps usb adapter.
Are you telling us that you dont have a laptop or other device that has 300mbps 802.11n with 2.4Ghz and/or 5Ghz ???

being a former reviewer myself i am appauled that you people have access to some of the best equipment available today and you dont even use the proper testing hardware or methodology.

Its getting harder and harder to read you peoples reviews. They are kore of a joke than anything.

And i cant believe you have dont anything but pi$$ off Asus with this review.

Why dont you remove this review before you hurt your own tarnished reputation and Asus'
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# agreetom 2011-04-18 07:46
+1 mate , benchmark reviews used to be my favorite source of in depth analysis of tech toys for big boys (lol) . remember great cpu coolers comparisons ? nowedays slips like in this review happens more and more often .... basic mistakes . personaly i would never test (hah , use !)router that fast with usb150n adapter , so why did u dear author ?
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# eHard?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-04-18 12:11
Did you read the review or did you only look at the pictures?

Your comments suggest the latter, so please take the time to read the entire article before you run your mouth.

Also both of you please learn to spell and use correct punctuation and grammar before you make your next response.
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# RE: RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit RouterDavid Ramsey 2011-04-18 08:42
Well, I'm appalled that you are a former reviewer and yet apparently have only a casual knowledge of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But maybe that's just me. God knows it's rare enough to see decent writing on many review sites these days.

As you doubtless know, the maximum theoretical throughput of a wireless router is something only reached in an RFI-shielded testing room with a pair of routers sitting rather close to each other. As Steven's tests show, the throughput tested with the Belkin USB router didn't come close to saturating even the 150Mb/s connection (there's that pesky "real world" interfering again!), so I don't understand why you think a faster connection would have made any difference. But then I'm not an expert on RFI propagation. Maybe you can explain it to me.
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit RouterOlin Coles 2011-04-18 09:32
Reading over your trollish comment, there's probably a very good reason why you're a 'former' reviewer.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit RouterWade Eilrich 2011-04-18 09:42
I have the Belkin Play Wireless USB adapter (F7D4101). It supports 802.11a/b/g/n connectivity at speeds up to 300Mbps, but I have yet to find a wireless router that transmits at even close to that theoretical limit. I have tried multiple routers and none of them perform close to 150 Mbps.

The new ASUS RT-N56U promised much better throughput. I tested it and discovered, as the reviewer noted, that the throughput never reached 150 Mbps. Worse, as the load increased (I have multiple computers doing various tasks such as streaming HD media files, music, and printing) the speed dropped to less than 80 Mbps for simple Internet connectivity.
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# Don't Feed the Trolls.Enigma8750 CMSSC Supreme Commander 2011-04-18 19:33
Please Mr. Retired All Knowing Reviewer.. Please lead us to where we must go before we go off the technological Cliff into the Abyss of Ingnorant Opinion. Give us the Light to see the err of our ways before we reach the end of our 5 ghz Rope. Tell us what you think about this ASUS Product the way it Stands.. One way under Yourself.. Indivual, with liberty and Justice for your opinion alone..
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# RT-N56U is SPECTACULARstephen 2011-04-21 15:12
Have had this router since December 2010, have tried different firmware and recommend updating it to the latest ASUS RT-N56U Firmware Version

This is basically a small computer that runs itself in Linux, with a modern Ralink chipset and 128 MB DDR Memory. As long as you update the firmware, go through all the settings and set this up properly, it will be a stable and stellar performer for anyone. Personally, I use random 63 character wpa2 password and reject my neighbor's mac address since he is a hack. If you have a real network printer with an Ethernet cable connecting it, simply copy the printer's mac address and lock it down to something standared like and you will not have any issues at all! Simple and stable and secure!

Personally, the ASUS router is nice to look at, clean it with a synthetic cloth, as you would use to wax a high end car and it will be a pleasure to look at every day. Simple to clean also!

Now the best part in my opinion is that ASUS writes the firmware and they are a computer manufacturer with good code writers. Incidentally, had so many problems with firmware for a netgear wndr-3700 that I am selling that unit, which performed slower all around and had poor 5GHz signal strength in contrast to the ASUS RT-N56U! While I praise Netgear's Pro Safe professional series of equipment and recommend it for my client's, their consumer line seems much less refined.

ASUS RT-N56U is a WINNER for myself.
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# Review is flawedSam 2011-04-21 15:27
Review states "Wireless G speeds and wireless N speeds are also somewhat lower than maximum potential, without further network adapters to test with though we must assume that this is the maximum throughput that the ASUS RT-N56U can deliver."

Umm... no, you don't assume that this is the maximum throughput based on just one Wireless G and one Wireless N adapter. If you are going to publish test results you should at least use multiple adapters from different vendors and a faster N adapter (300Mb/s) to see the routers true potential. This is an unfair review for ASUS.
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# RE: Review is flawedSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-04-21 15:32
We are in talks with ASUS to review their Wireless N 300Mb/s USB adapter -

Watch this space.
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# To ClarifySam 2011-04-21 15:49
My main point was that statements such as "without further network adapters to test with though we must assume that this is the maximum throughput that the ASUS RT-N56U can deliver" are erroneous and should not be present in a quality review. You can't make assumptions like that just because you don't have the equipment to test with.

A statement such as "without further network adapters to test with these results were the maximum throughput that we could achieve" would be more appropriate.

Thank you for replying promptly though.
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# Agree...Jesse 2012-04-24 18:31
I couldn't agree more. That is like saying, "The fishing line I am using can hold up to 10 pounds, so in the absense of stronger fishing line, I must assume there are no fish in this lake larger than 10 pounds."
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# ThanksSam 2012-04-24 21:15
Heh, it's been just over a year to the day when I wrote my thoughts. Shame that the review still has that comment. It's a real disservice to ASUS.
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# RE: ThanksOlin Coles 2012-04-24 21:17
You don't have better things to do then troll old reviews?
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# It's constructive criticismSam 2012-04-24 21:31
I got an email notification this morning that my old comment got a reply. On reading it and then re-reading the article I saw that the phrase in question was still there. We both know that it is an erroneous statement and I was merely stating that it's a shame it's still there. There may still be people who would like to buy this router (you can still buy it new in Australia) and if they read this review they may get the wrong impression. Not sure how that is trolling.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit RouteriT0ny3 2011-07-14 18:53
Does anyone know if the RT-N56U supports LACP Link Aggregate Control Protocol, part of 802.1ad or 803.2ab? I would like to bind two of the ehternet ports together to get higher throughput.
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# RE: ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Gigabit RouterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-07-15 00:14
It isn't in the specifications or settings dude but you don't know till you put custom firmware on. Testing conducted at SmallNetBuilder show the ASUS RT-N56 to have the highest throughput of tested routers anyway so maybe this isn't needed??
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# ASUS RouterGreg 2012-01-10 17:48
Mine spits out 300 mbps constantly on the 5 Ghz range at 40 feet through 3-4 walls... no problem
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