Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 Review

The Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 is another Wireless AC router release from the well respected Asus stables. Capped at a 1.2Gbps theoretical rate, it’s aimed at consumers who want fast speeds, without having to fork out for a top-of-the-range router. Although not Asus’s top end router, it still has many of the features that the newly released Asus RT-AC68U has.
Let’s go through the features and finish off with a conclusion.

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Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 Features

 

Here’s a rundown of the top features…

 

8 Features of the Asus RT-AC56U AC1200

 

Wireless AC Speeds
With 802.11ac, the RT-AC56U can deliver data rates of up to 867 Mbps. No more bottlenecks, gaming lag or long waits for your file transfers. With Wireless AC, throughput is greater than ever before, which improves user experience and allows for HD streaming – and yes, that includes 4k. There is also 300Mbps data rates available using Wireless N – which can be used concurrently.

Dual Core CPU & Increased RAM
The recently reviewed Asus RT-AC68U has a dual core 800MHz CPU with 256MB DDR3 RAM. This helps your programs and applications run flawlessly and all at the same time.

Dual Band – Gives You More
Most devices at time of writing use the 2.4GHz frequency band. Unfortunately, this has become congested, not just with other wireless devices, but there can be interference with cordless phones, baby monitors and microwave ovens. The RT-AC56U uses both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band simultaneously. This means balancing can be done across your devices that support both bands. Pick and choose what devices use which band.

AiRadar
Using a combination of Beamforming and in-built technology, the Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 can intelligently focus wireless coverage in the direction of your wireless clients. This helps increase throughput, increase stability and extend the coverage area.

USB 3.0
There are two USB ports built into the RT-AC56U – one of them being USB 3.0. USB 3.0 is essential for internal streaming and for switching files across your network. USB 2.0 just isn’t fast enough in this day and age. However, it is perfectly adequate for centralized printing, so the second port, which happens to be USB 2.0, is ideal for this (or your older USB drives).

No Hassle Setup
No need for CD installs. Just unbox, wire up, and browse to the RT-AC56U. From there the setup wizard can be launched which will get your home network up and running and connected to the Internet.

Quality of Service
It’s very important to traffic-shape your data flows in order to get the best possible experience from your Internet and internal LAN usage. This is done using Quality of Service, which prioritizes the data flows of your choice. As best practice, it’s recommended to protect sensitive flows such as VoIP, gaming, and HD streaming against any other traffic flows within your network. For example, you can make sure your streaming flows don’t suffer because someone else on your network is downloading a torrent or a large Windows Update is in progress.

Ai Cloud
Share your home files to anywhere that has an Internet connection. With Asus AiCloud, you have the benefits of accessing your private home files remotely without any risk to security or integrity. AiCloud can also be used to stream your home files – this can be done from a PC, smartphone or tablet.

Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 Contents

Asus RT-AC56U AC1200 Technical Specs

  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Dual Band
  • WPS/WPA2/WPS
  • IPv6 Compatible
  • Dual Core 800MHz CPU
  • DDR3 256MB RAM
  • AiRadar
  • AiCloud

More Tech Specs

Asus RT-AC56U Conclusion

 

Good

  • Contains Most Of The Features From The Flagship RT-AC68U
  • USB 3.0
  • Solid Build

 

Not so Good

  • Tough Decision: RT-AC56U or RT-AC68U ?

 

Let’s be clear on this. The major difference between the flagship RT-AC68U and the RT-AC56U is the fact that the 56U budget AC model uses a 2×2 array antenna as opposed to a 3×3 one in the 68U. This pulls down the theoretical throughput down from 1.3Gbps on Wireless AC to 867Mbps. In reality, this means that actual throughput is reduced. However, it’s not a massive difference considering the $60 price difference (compared to the 68U).

The RT-AC56U also gets to use the 800MHz dual core CPU and 256MB RAM, which helps keep the gaming and streaming traffic running nice and smoothly.

Thankfully the RT-AC56U also comes packed with USB 3.0. The Asus routers generally fare better than other routers in the class when it comes to data transfers. Copying files to the USB drive is slower. If you’re in a rush and you want to move very large files around, it’s maybe better to plug your USB drive to the local device directly if supported – each to their own though!

Setting up is very simple and requires only a web browser and the execution of a wizard to get the basics going. AiCloud, IPv6, intuitive QoS tool etc.

The RT-AC56U is well worth looking at. You get all the features of the RT-AC68U at a $60 cost reduction (at time of writing) – the trade-off is a reduction of speed. The decision of whether or not the extra bucks should be spent for the extra speed comes down to you and your requirements.

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