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Customer Review

on 2 November 2012
As a loyal Asus costumer, I knew they had a reputation for poor quality control. But since I personally never had a problem with their equipment I ordered this dual-band router mainly to share media within my home network. The first unit I received worked perfectly out of the box for a couple of days after which it started dropping the connection with the network every hour or so until it finally stopped working altogether. I contacted Amazon and almost immediately I was sent a new unit which, at least where hardware is concerned, worked fine. That does not mean this product is not plagued by problems.

First of all, as another reviewer noted, this is a 'router'. Meaning that you use this device as a bridge between your modem (the device you use for ADSL internet) and the rest of the wireless devices in your home. You can use a router by itself to connect all the wireless devices in your home, but for internet you also need a modem.

Design: This is such a gorgeous looking unit that I even had guests asking me about "that pretty device" sitting proudly on a shelf. I love the polished look of the device and while it's light, it still feels premium. Of course it's a dust magnet but, for such a beautiful unit, I don't mind having to wipe it every few days. (5/5)

Ease of use: Setting up the router was a breeze both times. I found the instructions simple and easy to follow even for the most inexperienced users. Everything in the web interface is well organized and help topics are always there to guide you. One thing that was a pain was setting up the wireless printer but even that wasn't difficult, just not as smooth as the rest of the setup process. (4.5/5)

Functionality: The unit worked as advertised. The 2.4ghz signal has such a wide range I was sometimes able to get a signal two stories away from the router. I had no issues with the 5ghz band dropping like other users. I did, however, have a major issue using it with my laptop. I own an Asus G73 laptop and for some reason certain firmwares just weren't compatible with my laptop in some way. I find it ridiculous that the majority of time I wasn't able to use my ASUS laptop to access my ASUS router. I wasn't able to access the internet, stream media or even access the web interface of the modem; all my other devices worked fine with the router. I tried everything Asus tech support threw at me: tweaks, resets, different firmwares, etc. Some firmwares worked better than others but none were good enough to be usable so for months it was as if I was playing Russian roulette with the router when using my Asus G73. Finally, my prayers were answered with firmware which have pretty much solved the issue I had. I still get the occasional hiccup, but not often enough to constitute a problem. (4/5 after updating the firmware)

Torrent client: this warrants a sub-heading of its own because of how atrocious the software is. It is buggy, counter-intuitive and a complete waste of time and bandwidth. Even simple things like pausing and resuming a download were a nightmare. As much as I wanted to use the torrent client and as persistent as I can be, I completely gave up on it a couple of months after using it.

Stability: Asus are not known for designing stable software and this is a compromise I knew about and accepted before buying the router. The majority of the firmware are unstable and cause different issues with different users so it requires a lot of patience (or luck) to find the perfect firmware for you. the latest firmware seems to be stable across the board so this issue seems to be resolved for now. (3.5/5)

Overall this is a very good device and good value for money 'when it is working correctly'. The problem is that it might take you a lot of time and effort to get the right settings and firmware to run it smoothly but when you do, it is a very powerful and relatively cheap router that's worth the money.
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