ASUS RT-N12 Review
Not everybody wants to spend a lot of money on a simple router. And there’s usually no need for that anyways. Most people don’t have the fastest internet speed that the ISPS can offer. For people like that, a good budget router is more than enough. And the ASUS RT-NT12 is exactly that kind of a WiFi router! It can deliver wireless internet at a speed of up to 300 Mbps and most importantly it’s cheap as well. And from all the high ratings it has received, it doesn’t look like ASUS has lowered the build quality either. So here’s my review about it as well.
- Dimension (without antennas): 17.9×12.8×2.8 cm / 7.0×5.8×1.1″
- Network standards: 802.11 b/g/n
- Wi-Fi bands: 2.4 GHz
- Ethernet ports: 1x 10/100 WAN, 4x 10/100 LAN
- 2x external antennas
- Signal repeater mode
- Wireless encryption: 128 bit
- Security features: 64/128 bit WEP, WPA2 Personal, WPA2 Enterprise
- Compatible OS: MacOS, Windows, Linux
- Setup interface: Browser
In The Box
- ASUS RT-N12 (N300) router
- 2x antennas
- Ethernet cable
- Power cable
When it comes to the design, ASUS has a pretty noticeable type of look that they use on all of their devices. For routers, it’s the simple rectangular shape with a slightly crossed pattern on the top surface. And the RT-N12 is no different. It’s fully made out of good quality plastic and has an overall dimension of 17.9×12.8×2.8 cm / 7.0×5.8×1.1″. Which does not include the two long antennas at the back. Both of them are detachable and you can adjust the angle as well.
I actually really like the shape and style of the router. It has a really good size that you shouldn’t have problems finding a room for. There are also plenty of air vents on the sides so that the heat can easily escape from the inside. Aside from the checkered pattern, the top side has also got all of the LED indicator lights that are clearly visible.
All of the ports can be found at the backside. This router has 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports. All of the ports are rated for 10/100. Next to those, there are also buttons for power and WPS, and a pinhole for reset. Plus of course the input for power as well and the 2 threaded antenna connectors. There are no USB ports on the RT-N12. Which I don’t really care about anyways since I have never felt the need to use one anyways. But it’s still something worth pointing out.
Setting It Up
ASUS routers are incredibly easy to setup and the easiest way to it is by using a computer. All you have to do is connect the RT-N12 to power and connect your modems Ethernet cable to the WAN port. You do need a modem since this is only a router for generating Wi-Fi. Next take another Ethernet cable and connect it to your computer from the routers LAN port.
Next connect to the network and open up your web browser. You’ll be taken to the setup page from where you can configure everything. The user interface has been really well put together and it’s really easy to understand all of the settings. If you have any problems then I recommend watching the video I linked above. It’s really informative and it’s about the very same ASUS RT-N12 router.
As I mentioned at the very start, the ASUS RT-N12 is their cheapest router. Which means that don’t expect any fancy features from it. That does not mean a worse performance however. Quite the opposite actually, the router has been praised for its reliability and stable performance. Which is definitely the most important part here.
The router is rated for a maximum speed of 300 Mbps that it’s capable of providing. Now it’s not exactly right but it’s a bit misleading as you can’t actually get more than 100 Mbps out of this router. Even if your internet speed is faster than that, like 200 Mbps for example. That’s because the WAN port is rated for up to 100 Mbps. And that right there is the bottleneck. The plus side is that the router is more than capable of achieving your maximum speed in the right conditions. As in you don’t have a lot of devices connected to the network at the same time and you are near the router. All of that can affect the speed but overall you can expect to get near the promised speed any time of the day.
The router has two detachable 5 dBi antennas that can cover an average sized two bedroom apartment. Or a smaller house of that size. Anything bigger will start to hurt the range and at that point it’s not really worth it. The ASUS website also mentions that it’s ideal for a small business or a home office. And I agree with that as well.
The ASUS RT-N12 doesn’t have the kind of fancy features that you might read about on the high-end routers but there are a couple of things you can do with it. For example, you can create multiple different guest networks and limit their usage and access. Another really cool feature is that you can also use the RT-N12 as a wireless network repeater. So if you already have a wireless router but its range isn’t enough for you, then you can use the RT-N12 to increase the range.
So the ASUS RT-N12 is a really good bang for buck router. Not only is it visually pleasing but it also has a great build quality and most importantly it’s reliable. That’s something that you can’t always expect from budget routers. Now that said, if your current internet plan is faster than 100 Mbps, then I recommend looking at something else. Unfortunately even-though it’s rated for 300 Mbps, the Ethernet port is still capped at 100 Mbps. And at that point, you won’t be using your plan to the full potential.