VORTEZ Gold Award for ASUS RT-N13U

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.


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.
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: 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. 
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.

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

- 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.