VORTEZ Gold Award for ASUS RT-N13U

Introduction 
Source:  VORTEZ

Product on Review: Asus RT-N13U Wireless Router
Manufacturer: Asus
 

Home networking has taken a giant leap over the past few years as more of us are using computers within the household. Building a network in the home can have some great benefits.

The best place to start building any network is at the router, as this will govern how and where the signals are sent. A router basically does all the hard work for you whilst you can enjoy sharing resources.

Now when faced with buying a router, there are some typical brands out there that will almost always be aligned with home networking. Names such as Netgear, D-Link and Linksys. But today we have an offering from Asus, a manufacturer that has expanded into many departments over the last decade. You would typically find Asus under other sections such as Monitors, optical drives, graphics cards and of course motherboards where they have a solid reputation for being market leaders, so today it comes as a nice surprise for me to be reviewing one of their routers. If previous products are anything to go by, this their latest wireless router will be a great performer.

Asus have this to say about the RT-N13U:

The ASUS RT-N13U wireless router is the latest in the line of quality routers from ASUS that aims to provide users with a host of easy-to-use wireless features. Among them, the EZ UI lets users set up and manage wireless connections, printers, and scanners with exceptional ease. It also facilitates troubleshooting, sharing of multimedia content and documents, as well as the allocation of bandwidth to different activities based on user preferences. With more wireless connectivity options, the ASUS RT-N13U can also support 24/7 downloads—even when the PC is turned off. It is also a stylish performer that complements any home or office with its clean design and hidden internal antenna.

So without any further delay let us look at the Asus RT-N13U…

Features and Specifications 


The Asus RT-N13U comes with a host of features. Throughout each of these features the one thing that Asus set out to achieve is to ensure the end user can perform various tasks with ease. Below are the features that the RT-N13U boasts. (taken from Asus.

Configure an All-in-one Printer Easily with EZ UI

The ASUS RT-N13U wireless router features EZ UI, a powerful graphical user interface that provides intuitive setup and easy management of printers and other networked resources. It features a suite of innovative connectivity solutions including EZ All-in-One Printer, QIS, Ai Disk, Dr. Surf, EZ QoS, and Network Map.

EZ All-in-One Printer allows multiple users to share printers and scanners without a dedicated server managing the process. It increases office efficiency by handling multiple printing requests simultaneously. Additionally, convenient scanning can be done on the printers with auto-installation of drivers. No loading of additional programs is required. For easy configuration, EZ All-in-One Printer supports and detects all the major printer brands on the market.

QIS (Quick Internet Setup) facilitates device connection to the Internet in three easy steps. With Ai Disk, users can easily set up a file-sharing server at home in three simple steps. Dr. Surf offers real-time diagnostics for rapid troubleshooting. EZ QoS lets users easily prioritize application bandwidth for an optimal experience. Network Map provides a complete overview of network status for easy monitoring.

Set Up Effortlessly with EZ Switch
For more advanced users, the ASUS RT-N13U features the exclusive EZ switch with three modes to meet various wireless network requirements. If a user wants to set up an ADSL network at home, they can set the EZ Switch to router mode, whereas if they want to use wireless connectivity, the EZ Switch can be set to repeater mode. Lastly, if the user has another router at home, they may choose the AP mode, which allows them to share the network.

Internal Antenna—A Stylishly Well-received Connection
Another innovative feature of the ASUS RT-N13U is its design. It features an internal antenna, which provides wider coverage than an external antenna. Furthermore, with an optimized antenna isolation configuration, users can get even better connectivity, as well as extremely clear reception for the best performance with minimal adjustments. Finally, with a clean and minimalist exterior, the ASUS RT-N13U is a stylish and contemporary addition to any home.


ASUS RT-N13U

The RT-N13U Wireless Router comes presented in a nice little blue and white box. On the box are the highlighted features, the one to engage your full attention is the text saying that this router comes with a built in print server. We will be taking a look into these features as we progress through the review. On the rear of the box there is a more detailed explanation with diagrams of how these features actually work.

Opening the box up reveals the contents – User manual guide, warranty card, installation CD, CAT5 cable, power adaptor, and the RT-N13U itself. 

Taking the RT-N13U out of the box, this wireless router really does look the part. It’s bright white finish will look great on the desk. It stands upright which is the opposite of how most routers would usually sit. Unfortunately there isn’t a way of lying this router flat, but this shouldn’t be a problem. Observing the front we have various lights. These are (from top to bottom):

- 4 LAN indicators - if a computer is plugged into port 1, this will light up blue
- Internet indicator - if you have your internet cable plugged in at the back this will light up blue
- Wireless indicator – this will light up blue if a wireless connection is present
- Power indicator – this will light up blue if there is power to the unit
- WPS – this will launch the wireless protection setup.

Focussing our attention on the rear of the router is (from top to bottom):

- USB 2.0 connector – this is for plugging in printer or USB dongle/HDD for FTP storage
- 4 LAN ports – allowing you to connect up to 4 workstations
- 1 Internet (Ethernet) port – this is for obtaining your internet connection (this router is not internet ready)
- Power socket – here the power adaptor is plugged into

On the underside of the RT-N13U are some other buttons. There is a hard reset button that will restore your router to factory defaults if you happen to lock yourself out of the admin panel or simply want to return all settings to default status. There is also another button that allows you to switch into 3 different operation modes – Router, Repeater and AP (Access Point). There is also some information such as the default username and password and SSID for this router should you not realise what these are. As a good practise you should always change the username and password prior to logging in to prevent unauthorised access and misuse.
Note the PIN Code printed on the tag
The unit looks and feels sturdy. All of the buttons, and features from the outside are easy to use and see. In the next section we will see how easy this router is to configure and get going. Looking at the assortment of features and seeing how easy they are to get along with.
Configuration 
To test the RT-N13U I will be using a Dell D630 laptop and a desktop computer. These will be later used to transfer files so that we can observe the speeds at which data is transferred. 

Setting up the router I started by inserting the CD into the optical drive, the wizard automatically loads up and presents you with a screen asking you what you would like to install. I chose to “Install ASUS Wireless Router Utilities”.

To access the admin panel so that I can configure any settings was easy. I just opened up a web browser and typed in the IP address on the underside of the router: 192.168.1.1 this then took me to a secure login, I typed in admin and admin for the username and password. After hitting ok I was presented with the following screen:

This gave me a detailed summary of how my current network looks. To the right hand side the settings that I setup with the wizard earlier are there. Including the SSID and Passphrase. I must say that the interface looks great and is easy navigated. It’s not hard to find your way around and even if you do have trouble setting up your network the DR. Surf in the top right hand section of the admin panel will give you hints such as “The Ethernet cable is not plugged in” so that you can quickly sort out any problems.

Under the Operations Mode tab you are presented with the 3 modes, Router, Repeater or AP. This is to be used in conjunction with the buttons on the underside of the router that I mentioned earlier. For each that you click on you can see a diagram, giving you a clear picture of how a network would look like. Very helpful.

We will skip the AiDISK and look at this in the next section. So the next feature to engage our attention is the EzQOS Bandwidth Management. In this section we can manage how much bandwidth is used for certain operations under particular protocols. For example. We can assign higher priority to gaming and internet applications and lesser priority to FTP. This is a clever feature and surely very useful if you share the router with others and you wish to control bandwidth usage easier.

The advanced tab in the admin panel gives you many avenues and controls. I won’t go any further with screenshots but as you can see from the advanced tab screenshot there are a huge amount of options there that advanced users can take advantage of. 

AiDISK and other features


Now we come to one of my favourite features of the Asus RT-N13U. The AiDisk is a feature that allows you to create an FTP server along-side your router. By plugging in a USB device such as a pen drive or external HDD and following the wizard you can create a domain and access files when you are away from home. All you need to make sure is that the router is switched on, there is no need for your computer to be switched on. This makes accessing those necessary files possible and without the need to mess about with getting others at home to switch on the computer and send files. The wizard will take literally only take a moment to complete and within minutes you can have your FTP server setup. A truly amazing feature, 24/7 access to your files – wherever, whenever. Below is each stage of the wizard.
















Print Server
The print server is also a very hand feature that can be setup in minutes. All you have to do is plug the USB lead into the back of the router, launch the print server installation from off the Asus CD and away you go. This is particularly useful for me as I do not have a printer installed on any of my computers; the printer is installed on another machine in the house. Every time I need to print I need to switch this computer on. This feature takes away that need, I can simply have the printer plugged into the RT-N13U wireless router and the printer is now accessible. Superb!

Download Master
Yet another feature – it seems that the Asus RT-N13U is loaded with helpful features. This last feature that I will be commenting on is a very handy one. It allows you to drag and drop .torrent files into a download manager. Not only does this allow for these types of files but also HTTP and FTP. 
Conclusion 
Although my analysis of the Asus RT-N13U has been quite thorough I thought it was necessary to post some kind of graph to show roughly what transfer rates are like. So for this test I simply transferred a 14.5MB MP3 file from my desktop machine that was wired into RT-N13U over wireless to a laptop on the network (download). Once this file had been transferred, I then sent the file back to the desktop machine (upload) and observed both transfer by timing using a stopwatch. Below are the results.



To conclude then, the Asus RT-N13U is a fantastic wireless router that is quite literally all singing all dancing. It comes with a multitude of features that will suite most people’s needs and what’s so likeable about this product is that you won’t have to spend hours of time setting things up. The interface is easy to understand, and if you do get stuck DR. Surf is sure to help out and point you in the right direction!

I can’t fault this router at all, it comes in at around the £55 ($89 / €60) mark which is very competitive for a 300Mbps Wireless N router. Consider the support and features included in this package and you are onto a winner. A very versatile product indeed.

The only downside that I can see with the RT-N13U is that it only has one USB, if I want to host my files and use a print server I cannot do this. It’s one or the other. So to take advantage of both these features, we really need to see two USB ports.

Pros
+ Easy to setup
+ Many useful features
+ Affordable
+ Very versatile – use as a router, repeater or AP
+ Access your files wherever, whenever

Cons
- Only one USB port

I award the Asus RT-N13U the Vortez GOLD award for its excellence. We would like to thank Asus for supplying this router. Discuss this review at our forums.


ASUS AiDisk Introduction

ASUS AiDisk


Hassle-free file sharing

Enjoy file sharing with your friends anywhere, anytime!


The AiDisk wizard will take you from start to setup in just 3 easy steps, All without the need for instruction manuals.


AiDisk allows you to customize the format of your device hostname, e.g.


    ftp://yourname.asuscomm.com


Never need to remember difficult IP address or URLs again!



AiDisk works with the ASUS DDNS service, enables easy and fast sharing with friends, and you can easily download your personal data from anywhere, backup or upload your important work data to your hard disk drive at home.


For a list of supported models, please visit http://asusddns.appspot.com

ASUS Black Diamond RT-N56U


The Black Diamond is a solid router. Its speed and reliability alone chalk it up to awesome in my book. Even more is the dual-band connectivity, which basically amounts to having two routers in one. If you put an excess of clients or traffic through your router, this will definitely help cut latency and increase throughput.

Furthermore, the admin interface is much better than any other router I've used. With easy client management and a refreshing new UI, it makes complex tasks easier and accessible by mainstream users.

My only complaint with the Black Diamond is price. At about $130 online, this is truly an enthusiast device. If you're just looking for a standard router for your house or apartment, this product is not for you. The Black Diamond is geared towards heavy users, with high range needs, lots of clients connected, and high traffic.

The USB-N13 is also a solid product. It performs well at all distances, and is reliable. At about $20 online, it is a perfect wireless solution for an under performing laptop or a desktop without wireless capabilities.

Both the Black Diamond and the USB-N13 earn the OCIA.net Gold Seal of Approval for their individual quality and performance; and they're even better as a team.

ASUS EZ UI Hands-on Experience Site

http://event.asus.com/2009/networks/dummy_ui/en/
EZ UI Hands-on Experience


ASUS EZ UI


Intuitive EZ UI

Intuitive EZ UI

A hassle-free way to install and manage wireless home network
 Plug-n-Surf Network Map Intelligent Helper - Dr. Surf
 EZ Bandwidth Prioritization EZ Printer Sharing EZ File Sharing




• Plug-n-Surf

CD-free setup lets you connect to the Internet in 3 simple steps




• Network Map

Manual-free network map facilitates advance settings such as Internet security in a few simple clicks.




• Intelligent Helper - Dr Surf

Dr. Surf Supports Automatic Diagnostics and Troubleshooting of WAN, LAN and Device Connectivity Issue.




• EZ Bandwidth Prioritization

Enjoy lag-free multi-tasking by prioritizing data traffic on intuitive graphical interface for either gaming, video streaming, Internet surfing or file sharing.
Before prioritizing:After priortizing:




• EZ Printer Sharing

Enjoy simultaneous printing and scanning simply by connecting the All-in-One Printer to the router.




• EZ File Sharing

Enjoy instantly file sharing with friends and family by attaching an USB hard disk to the router.

ASUS NAS-M25 BT Manager

To manage the NAS-M25 BT status on your Android device any time, anywhere. This App can control the torrents(start, stop remove) and monitor, restrict the NAS upload/download speed.

ASUS NAS-M25 BT Manager Screenshots
Asus just took the wrapping off its new NAS Storage device, it is called the Asus NAS-M25 Storage Server. According to the company, the NAS-M25 is ideal for both Office and Home users. It comes with two bays that accommodates two 3.5-inch SATA drives that enables up to 6TB of storage. The device measures 211 x 129 x 120 mm which makes it compact enough to be storage on just about any workstation. Under the hood, there is a 1.2GHz Marvell processor, 512MB of RAM and is bundled with Farstone Total Backup Recovery 7 software. Connectivity options includes three USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, it has a 10-second system backups and super-fast recovery plus users has the option to set up the device as FTP, iTunes or printer server. It is presently available on the European Market for a price of approximately €212.90.
The 2-bay storage server has just launched by Asus in European market, the Asus NAS-M25. The device is comes with a glossy white coating and a dual-bay NAS that capable of two 3.5-inch SATA drives (up to 6TB).
Asus NAS-M25 storage server is powered by a 1.2GHz Marvell ARM processor, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 128MB flash and bundled with Farstone Total Backup Recovery 7 software that enabling 10-second system backups and super-fast recovery.
Dimensions of Asus NAS-M25 are 211 x 129 x 120 mm and weight 970g. It has brings three USB 2.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet LAN.
NAS-M25 is support for FTP, file sharing, iTunes, and printer server. Cost of Asus NAS-M25 2-bay storage server is €212.90.


ASUS AiDisk


3 minutes complete FTP setting via ASUS AiDisk

AiDisk combines simple FTP settings with the ASUS DDNS service to share files with friends easily no matter when and where the user is.


By simply utilizing the RT-N13U with a USB hard disk, users will be able to create a mini FTP server at home and only requires them to setup an account and password and select the file they want to share.


With the bundled AiDisk quick installation guide included in the box, users can rest easy and not worry about complicated settings.


Users will be able to easily create their own FTP servers with easily recognized and meaningful hostname like: ftp://yourname.asuscomm.com , instead of a hard to remember IP addresses or URLs.



ASUS Revamps Router Management With EZ UI


Consumers generally don't have to setup or tweak router settings but once or twice a year, if that. But for those who find themselves locked into WLAN GUIs for work or pleasure with any semblance of regularity, you'll understand just how wonderful it is to see someone working on a better way. 

ASUS has recently introduced its EZ UI, which it's calling the "world's most user-friendly network solution for manual-free setup and easy management." Quite the tongue-twister, huh? What this all boils down to is a fresh new user interface for its networking routers, which will help users configure, manage and setup their network without getting their heart rates up too high. The UI brings together a half dozen key features including QIS, Network Map, Dr. Surf, AiDisk, EZQoS and EZ MFP.

For a breakdown on what all six of those do, along with a chart showing which components are available on which ASUS product, have a look below.

Breeze Through Lengthy Setup Procedures with QIS
ASUS QIS (Quick Internet Setup) automates setup procedures for network devices by intelligently detecting the type of Internet connection each individual user has, eliminating the need for guess work or reference to complex manuals. Apart from that, it also comes ready with a foolproof, easy-to-follow setup guide to take users through the entire setup process in just two clean steps. ASUS QIS is featured on the ASUS WL-500GP_V2, WL-520GU, RT-N11, RT-N13, RT-N15, WL-600G, DSL_N13, and WL-AM604G models.

Get the Big Picture with Network Map

Network Map provides users with a complete overview of the network device map at a glance. Useful information such as WAN/LAN connection status, SSID and encryption level, number of wired and wireless devices connected and even the number of USB devices connected are all available on demand. Without the hassle of accessing multiple control consoles, users are now able to have a bird’s eye view of their entire network status. Network map comes standard on the ASUS WL-500GP_V2, WL-520GU, RT-N13, RT-N15, WL-600G, DSL_N13, and WL-AM604G router models.

Share Resources More Effectively with EZMFP

Yet another ASUS exclusive innovation, EZ MFP empowers network devices with the ability to share printing and scanning devices wirelessly with multiple users, without the need for a server. EZ MFP also eliminates the hassle of disconnection and reconnection found in most print servers when multiple users attempt to access the printing device. By intelligently switching in between users, EZ MFP allows multiple connections to simultaneously access a single printing device. Users looking out for this useful feature will find the ASUS WL-500GP_V2, WL-520GU, WL-600G, and DSL_N13 router models meeting their every need.

Real-time Diagnostics with Dr. Surf

Dr. Surf is a useful application that offers real-time diagnostics, and displays a comprehensive device map showing the devices are connected, clearly listed WAN/LAN status, and simple settings for encryption and WPS etc. for helpful troubleshooting. Instead of just showing an error page on the IE browser, Dr. Surf will attempt to aid users in connecting to the Internet by helping users to complete their WAN settings. This intuitive feature is available on the ASUS WL-500GP_V2, WL-520GU, RT-N13, RT-N15, WL-600G, DSL_N13 and WL-AM604G router models

Easy and Hassle-free File Sharing with ASUS AiDisk

Manual-free, AiDisk employs a wizard to help users easily setup in just three steps, and utilizes the ASUS DDNS service for easy file-sharing. The built-up DDNS server is absolutely free, and allows users to register unique hostnames associated with their dynamic IP addresses (e.g. ftp://yourname.asuscomm.com) instead of hard-to-remember IP addresses. In addition, connecting a USB hard disk to a network device allows users to create a mini FTP server at home for easy file sharing among friends and family. With the ability to log into AiDisk via notebooks, PDAs or smart phones while connected to the Internet, backups of important files to the home disk can thus be performed instantly! This feature can be exclusively found on the ASUS WL-500GP_V2, WL-600G and DSL_N13 router models.


ASUS RT-N13U


RT-N13U

Wireless N Router with All-in-One Printer Server

N Series Wi-Fi Router
  • Auto detect your internet connection type and manual free setup
  • Download Master: 24 hours downloading even PC is shut down
  • USB port for FTP/All-in-One Printer sharing
  • Universal repeater mode : extend your wireless signal coverage only by 3 steps
 

EZ All-in-One Printer sharing

The new ASUS wireless router distinguishes itself with the "auto switching" function. It not only enables multiple users to use multifuntion printer wirelessly without a PC or server turned on 24 hours a day, but also rules out the trouble of repeating "disconnecting" and "re-connecting" when users switch. When different users are to use the printer, the router switches automatically, which enables different users to use the printer simultaneously. After plugging in the USB printer into ASUS wireless router and running the ASUS Network Printer Setup program, each user can enjoy easy scanning and easy printing.

EZ Switch - Switch your Operation Mode only ONE-TOUCH

The ASUS’ newly designed EZ Switch provides three operation mode, user can change it more easily, only ONE-TOUCH.

3 minutes complete FTP setting via ASUS AiDisk

AiDisk combines simple FTP settings with the ASUS DDNS service to share files with friends easily no matter when and where the user is. By simply utilizing the RT-N13U with a USB hard disk, users will be able to create a mini FTP server at home and only requires them to setup an account and password and select the file they want to share. With the bundled AiDisk quick installation guide included in the box, users can rest easy and not worry about complicated settings. Users will be able to easily create their own FTP servers with easily recognized and meaningful hostname like: ftp://yourname.asuscomm.com , instead of a hard to remember IP addresses or URLs.

Enhanced Download Master


24/7 Non-Stop BT Download:
HTTP, FTP, BT (BitTorrent) download protocols can be download automatically from the internet. You can keep downloading even when PC is off.
• Right-Click to Download. Point to the access you want to download and Right-Click your mouse. The program will start downloading.• Double Click BT(BitTorrent) seed, “Download Master” program will run automatically.
* Need to install Download Master utility in PC side to monitor download status.
New BT Engine
New BT Download Engine, Enhanced Download Speed.
* The actual download performance varies to the health of the torrents and the network environment.
** Available for 6 torrents downloading at the same time.

QIS(Quick Internet Setup)

After buying router and preparing for setup, just connect to the router and QIS will automatically guide users to their browser's default home pages. Manual Free!
Step1:Step2:Stpe3:
Open your Internet browser (Ex. IE) and QIS will detect connection type automatically.Follow the instructions and enter necessary informationNow you can navigate in the Internet as free as can be!

Network Map

Straight-forward design to help users to
  • Display the whole network status and clearly provide WAN/LAN status
  • Securely connect to your wireless network and prevent intruders from using it
  • Manage your network in minutes
  • Try our EZ UI software

Dr. Surf

Dr. Surf, your personal wireless doctor, can automatically offer real-time diagnostics. Auto-detect Connection Problems
  • If there is any problem for internet connection, Dr. Surf can auto-detect and provide possible solutions.
  • Ex. Your cable is not connect with the router.

EZQoS - Quality of Service

With ASUS unique EZQoS engine, users can easily allocate bandwidth according to their individual needs by simply clicking on the buttons, such as voice or gaming, and assign more or less bandwidth to streamline multiple network activities (FTP, Games, P2P) to work smoothly at the same time