Asus RT-AC56U is the successor of the widely popular Asus RT-N56U. Many people who have used the Asus RT-N56U and have been impressed by its performance would quite naturally want to know if the new router is a worthy replacement for its older brother. One of the chief features that separate the new Asus RT-AC56U from its predecessor is the fact that it offers full support for the ultra-modern 802.11ac Wireless-AC networking standard. The router has a maximum throughput of 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz wireless network and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz wireless network.
AC56U, like many modern Asus routers, lacks an external antenna and instead sports 4 internal antennas. The routers also boasts a BCM4708A0 dual-core processor by Broadcom that runs at 800MHz, which is similar to that of the higher-end Asus RT-AC68U, 128 MB of storage space and 256 MB of RAM. The new router supports all the latest types of internet signals including all types of encryption, VPN and WPS support. Additionally, the new router has a Roaming assistant and supports 22 languages.
Wireless Bridge and Access Point
Just like many Asus routers, the AC56U doubles as a wireless bridge and an access point, which can be a useful feature once the router’s useful lifespan as your main router ends. The AC56U also sports a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port, as well as Beamforming. It also includes 4 GB Ethernet ports, IPv6 support, WPS, WPA/WPA2 support, Dynamic DNS, and an integrated Asus AiCloud network streaming media and VPN.
There is no security connection on first boot on the router’s 5GHz and 2.4GHz SSIDs, but a browser tab opens automatically where you enter your admin passwords, Wi-Fi settings, SSIDs, and your preference; whether you want to use the AC56U as a router, access point or wireless bridge.
Improved Signal Strengths, Better Speeds
Given its fair pricing compared to other 802.11ac routers, you might be tempted to ask where Asus has cut corners. The big difference is that AC56U sports a 2×2 antenna array compared to more premium 802.11ac routers that feature a 3×3 antenna setup. The result is a less powerful 802.11ac rate of 300Mbps-450Mbps compared to 867Mbps-1300Mbps for the premium routers. However, Asus has made no other compromises. A comparison between the AC56U and the N56U reveals that the new router beats its predecessor in signal strength tests, especially in the 5GHz band, and has better upload and download speeds overall.
The Asus WRT settings user interface is very well laid-out and intuitive; it only takes about 30 seconds to get the router up and running. The device sports the same stylish look of Asus routers, measures 147x205x66 mm and weighs only 406g. The AC56U is not wall-mountable, which seems like the new direction Asus routers will be taking. It sports a chequered dust and fingerprint resistant surface typical of higher-end Asus routers.