Buffalo WZR-1750DHP

Introduction

External design and hardware

Firmware update

Web-interface

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

This is not the first time our laboratory hosts equipment of Japanese company Buffalo: TS4400D, LS421, and TS5600. However, all models of this brand that we previously reviewed were NASes. It's high time to change it! Today our test lab welcomes Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router which supports wireless data transfer at speeds of up to 1750 Mbps. Okay, let's get started!

External design and hardware

Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router comes in a black plastic case with rounded corners and has dimensions of 34x212x183 mm. To work properly the device needs an external power unit (included in the box) with the following characteristics: 12V and 4А.

The model under review is meant for wall or desk mounting and to do this one can fasten two special-purpose leg stands to the case. The router may be placed both vertically and horizontally.

Side panels are not remarkable at all and there is only a 3D brand tag located on them.

There are four LEDs on the front panel that show: wireless network status, WAN connection, device status, enabled/disabled routing. Apart from it, there is also AOSS button located over here. It's used for facilitating connection of the wireless clients (using a standalone utility that one can download from the vendor's website).

On the rear panel of the device there is an option button and switch of the wireless module operation mode (access point or bridge), USB device eject button as well as the indicator of its status, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports with indicators of their status, one WAN Gigabit Ethernet port with an indicator of its status, power socket, and power ON/OFF button.

Reset button is located on the bottom side of the device. One will also be able to find a piece of carton with the brief information about the device here.

The electronic stuffing of Buffalo WZR-1750DHP is one green textolite card (not considering small cards that act as antennae) which has all essential elements located on one of its sides. Unfortunately, a part of the hardware components is covered with screens. Only four chips were left accessible for inspection. 512 Mbyte PieceMakers PMF512816ABR-KADN module is the device RAM. Two Broadcom chips answer for support of the wireless network: BCM4360KMLG and BCM4331KMLG. Zentel A5U1GA31ATS module with the overall memory size of 128 Mbytes acts as the flash memory.

That is where we bring the device hardware review to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.

Firmware update

Firmware update may be carried out both in manual and semi-automatic mode. Firmware update is carried out in Firmware Update sub-group, Admin group of the web-interface.

If one prefers using the semi-automatic mode, the router will automatically access the vendor's website (obviously, if there's access to the Internet) and ask the user to choose one of the available firmware versions.

Firmware update in the manual mode is just a bit more difficult, one only needs to download the file containing the new firmware version and upload it to the wireless router.

Regardless of the chosen firmware update mode, the whole update procedure takes about three minutes (not considering the file downloading time).

We would like to point out one peculiarity that our readers may come across upon firmware update. Buffalo company only permits using those firmwares that have been developed exactly for countries or regions where a certain device is to be used. If one uses the wrong firmware, the update procedure will not be completed and the user will receive an error. Therefore, the device firmware will not be updated.

Also, it's worth noticing that there's an alternative firmware version for WZR-1750DHP model which is based on the DD-WRT code. One can download it from the web server of Buffalo company too.

That is where we bring the review of the process of firmware update to a conclusion and pass on to examining its capabilities.

Web-interface

One can access the web-interface of Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router by entering 192.168.11.1 in any modern browser. In order to connect to the device the administrator must specify login and password, which are admin and password by default. Also, one can change the web-interface language upon accessing it.

It's worth noticing that there are two versions of the web-interface: standard one (which is meant to be managed from a common PC, tablet, or notebook) and mobile one, which was developed for users of small touch screen mobile devices. The mobile interface is presented below.

Further we will be reviewing simply the key capabilities of the standard firmware version. Upon successful authentication the administrator will find him/herself on the home page of the device where s/he will see groups with the main settings. For example, over here one can manage parameters of the wireless network, activate a guest account, adjust QoS settings, switch on web filtration, specify operation parameters of the USB carrier, and review the connected user devices.

One can fine-tune the device using Advanced Settings group, which we will review now.

Management of the access to the WAN is done using sub-groups of Internet group. Getting connected to the service provider can be done using both the static or dynamic IP address as well as PPTP, PPPoE, or L2TP tunnels.

There's also PPTP subgroup which lets remote users get connected to the router.

Local area network settings are located in LAN group. It would be fair to mention that the firmware versions for other countries (not only for Russia) lack "IPTV" and "PPTP Client" groups.

Buffalo WZR-1750DHP model supports up to two wireless networks within every frequency range. The corresponding settings are located in sub-groups of Wireless group. Also, one can manage filtration based on MAC addresses and adjust guest access over here.

Management of firewall and other various filtrations is done using Security group.

Management of protocol and application support can be carried out using Applications group. Also, this group features parameters of access to the device using SMB/Samba protocols as well as QoS settings.

Admin group allows users managing time synchronization and log settings, changing the administrator password, updating firmware, rebooting the devices, and performing an array of other administrative tasks.

The user can learn the current status of the router using the sub-groups of the same-named group. In this group one can find information about the current status of the device as well as static and log data.

That is where we bring review of the device web-interface capabilities to a conclusion and pass directly on to testing it.

Testing

The first testing procedure we usually begin our testing section with is estimating the booting time of the device, which is a time interval starting with the moment when the power is on until the first echo reply is received through ICMP protocol. Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router boots in 46 seconds.

During the testing procedures we managed to find out that upon pressing power ON/OFF button WZR-1750DHP doesn't switches off instantaneously. Instead of this, it will be turned off in a correct way. The whole turning off process takes about 20 seconds.

The second traditional test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility. The scanning has been carried out from the LAN interface direction. On the whole, there were four open ports discovered, and they are TCP-53 (domain), TCP-80 (HTTP), TCP-443 (HTTP SSL), and TCP-50024 (HTTP). Detection of a probable vulnerability associated with processing of ICMP messages by the router came to be an unpleasant finding. The obtained data are presented below.

Before getting down to reviewing the performance test results we would like to mention the key specification of the test stand we used.

Component PC Notebook
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VI Extreme ASUS M60J
CPU Intel Core i7 4770K 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 GHz
RAM DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 32 Gbytes DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Gbytes
NIC Intel PRO/1000 PT
ASUS PCE-AC68
Atheros AR8131
OS Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus

We decided to begin the throughput tests with finding out the maximum routing speeds. WZR-1750DHP allows either simply routing IP packets or performing NAT/PAT translation. Results of the measurements are presented on the diagram below. The tests were carried out with 1, 5, and 15 concurrent TCP connections using JPERF 2.0.2 utility.

The router under review has two built-in clients and PPTP server. As a matter of course, we couldn't help but review it. Connection to the built-in PPTP server may be carried out both with encryption and without it.

Buffalo WZR-1750DHP supports connection of USB carriers. We decided to test access speeds to the user data stored on 750 GBytes Transcend StoreJet 25M3 HDD. In order to do this we successively connected it to USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. The wireless router under review only supports two file systems: FAT32 and XFS. In other words, unfortunately we didn't manage to find support of NTFS.

One of the interesting capabilities of the model under review is support of high speeds in the wireless segment: up to 450 Mbps within 2.4 GHz frequency range and up to 1300 Mbps within 5 GHz frequency range. One can find the results of speed measurements within frequencies of about 2.4 GHz on the diagram below. We were pleasantly surprised at getting data transfer speeds of about 300 Mbps upon the theoretical speed value of 450 Mbps.

Unfortunately, everything is not as good within 5 GHz frequency range as the users from Russia and the CIS have the limited theoretical speed of 600 Mbps. One cannot simply change the region since it's hard coded in the firmware. It means that the equipment which is meant to be used in a certain country or a region cannot be taken to any other country or region. The diagram below shows the measurements of wireless speeds within 5 GHz frequency range for the Russian version of WZR-1750DHP model.

Naturally, we just couldn't do with it and therefore we asked the vendor to provide us with a model which is meant for sale in the EU. The diagrams presented below show its performance within the frequency range of 5 GHz.

That's where we draw the testing chapter to a close and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

We were left with mixed feelings after reviewing Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router. On one hand, this is a device with rich functionality and nice design. On the other hand, strict pegging to the region or country where the device is meant to be used and limitations caused by it may overscore most of the model advantages for users who live in the ex-Soviet block countries.

The strength areas of Buffalo WZR-1750DHP wireless router are presented below.

  • Ability to prohibit the router management upon wireless connection
  • Competitive price
  • A built-in PPTP server
  • High access speeds to the data stored on a USB disc
  • Support of two wireless networks in each frequency range
  • Presence of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
  • Ability to review information about the connected wireless clients
  • Availability of web filtration mechanism
  • A nice case design
  • A built-in BitTorrent client
  • Support of energy saving mode
  • Availability of an alternative firmware powered by DD-WRT

Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention certain drawbacks we have discovered.

  • Speed limitations for users from Russia and the CIS
  • Average speeds for PPTP connections
  • Presence of a probable vulnerability associated with processing of ICMP messages
  • Absence of support of the newest version of IP, IPv6

As of when this article was being written, the average price for Buffalo WZR-1750DHP in Moscow online shops was 6100 roubles.

ASUS RT-N18U

Introduction

External design and hardware

Firmware upgrade and utilities

Web-interface

Command line interface

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

It looks like Foxnetwork laboratory being the first to receive ASUS equipment for review gets to be a good tradition. RT-N18U model, which is meant to replace its predecessor RT-N16, is not an exception. We were sent it, which was not even a mass production sample, long before the vendor announced the launch of the device. That's why Foxnetwork offers its readers a one-in-a-kind opportunity to find out the mystery behind the new device and learn more about it. Enough waiting, let's get down to reviewing it!

Whilst we were preparing the review for publication, the vendor representatives provided us with a mass production sample of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router, which is somewhat different from a prototype product. That’s why we had to make certain alterations in the finished article so that all our readers would be able to receive fresh and trustworthy information to the greatest possible extent.

External design and hardware

ASUS RT-N18U wireless router comes in a black plastic case with dimensions of 153x206x37 mm (not considering the antennae). To work properly the device needs an external power unit (included in the box) with the following characteristics: 12V and 1.5А.

On the upper panel of the device there are a brand tag and model name (RT-N18U). Also, there are LEDs indicating the status of the whole device, its wireless module, LAN and WAN ports, as well as LEDs indicating the connected USB devices.

The largest part of the bottom panel of the router is a ventilation grate. Also there are four rubber legs used for table mounting and two tooling holes used to mount the device on the wall.

Side panels are not remarkable at all and there is only a ventilation grate located on them.

On the rear side there are four LAN and one WAN Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 2.0 ports, three aerial sockets used to connect the external detachable antennae, as well as ON/OFF, Reset, and WPS buttons, and a power socket. The USB 3.0 port is located on the router front panel.

Hardware stuffing of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router is one aquamarine textolite card. All the most interesting elements are covered with two metal screens located under a radiator on one of the card sides.

The only element accessible for inspection was the Spansion S34ML01G100TFI00 flash memory module with the size of 128 Mbytes.

That is where we bring the review of the device hardware to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.

Firmware upgrade and utilities

One can detect a switched-on ASUS wireless router within the local network wired segment using Device Discovery utility.

 

Firmware upgrade is carried out in Firmware Upgrade tab, Administration menu item. Firmware upgrade process may be carried out both in manual and semi-automatic mode. Firmware upgrade in the semi-automatic mode is available only if the router is connected to the WAN network. In order to upgrade the firmware manually the user will need to download the firmware upgrade file beforehand from the vendor's website. The whole upgrade procedure takes not longer than three minutes (not considering the firmware download time).

In case of a failure during the firmware upgrade process, the router changes for the rescue mode during which the power indicator on the device starts slowly flashing. The administrator can restore the firmware using Firmware Restoration utility, which automatically searches for an inoperable device within the network and upgrades its firmware. It'd be fair to mention that the administrator can manually switch the router over to the rescue mode. To do that s/he only needs to hold Reset button for 10 seconds while the device is booting.

In case if it's not possible to use the utility due to this or that reason, the firmware restoration will still be feasible. There will be two methods that the administrator can use: uploading the firmware via TFTP or using the web-server built in the loader. The former can be done using any modern TFTP client in order to upload the actionable firmware to the device and wait until it's rebooted.

C:\>tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put c:\RT-N18U_3.0.0.4_374_4857-g1becd6c.trx
Transfer successful: 29040640 bytes in 76 second(s), 382113 bytes/s

The second method is a bit more functional. Using this technique the administrator not only can restore the firmware, but also reset the user settings.

Since at the time when this article was being written there were no alternative firmware versions for ASUS RT-N18U available, we are bringing this chapter to a close and proceed to the brief review of the device web-interface capabilities.

Web-interface

The web-interface of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router is similar to all devices powered by ASUS-WRT firmware, and therefore we will not review all of its capabilities in detail but only focus on the newest and most interesting ones.

Upon the successful authentication an administrator will find him/herself on the home page of the device.

ASUS RT-N18U supports only one frequency range, 2.4 GHz, and therefore allows the user creating up to three guest wireless networks in this range via Guest network menu item.

Using tabs located in Traffic Manager menu item one can manage priority of transmitted packets and analyze the utilization of the router interfaces.

Getting connected to the service provider can be done using both the static or dynamic IP address or one of the following tunnels: PPPoE, PPTP, and L2TP. The applicable settings are located in Connection tab, WAN menu item.

One of the nice capabilities of ASUS-WRT firmware for the majority of ASUS wireless routers is support of the second WAN port (Double WAN tab, WAN menu item), which can be carried out either using one of the device LAN ports or getting connected to it via one of the supported USB modems.

The list of protocols that are permitted NAT Passthrough are located in NAT Passthrough tab, WAN menu item.

The user can manage the IPv6 support parameters using the same-named menu item.

A great new thing that appeared in the latest firmware versions is a possibility to filter IPv6 traffic. In order to manage these settings the administrator needs to use IPv6 Firewall tab in Firewall menu item.

Tabs in VPN menu allow one managing built-in VPN client and server. The following protocols are supported for the VPN client: PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN, whilst the VPN server only supports PPTP and OpenVPN.

Operation mode tab in Administration menu item lets the administrator choose the RT-N18U operation mode.

Beginning with 3.0.0.4.376_1211 firmware version the users have several new interesting features. For example, apart from basic wireless network settings now System Status group provides graphs that show you the utilization of the device CPU and RAM.

Yet another interesting feature that was added came to be the possibility to review the signal strength of the connected wireless clients.

That is where we bring the brief review of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router web-interface to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its command line.

Command line interface

Switching the access to the command line on is performed using System tab, Administration group in the web-interface.

In order to access the ASUS RT-N18U wireless router command line one needs to enter the same login and password as for logging in to the device web-interface. Firmware of the model under review is built on Linux 2.6.36.4 OS using BusyBox 1.17.4.

RT-N18U login: admin
Password:
ASUSWRT RT-N18U_3.0.0.4 Mon Mar 24 04:51:54 UTC 2014
admin@RT-N18U:/tmp/home/root# cd /
admin@RT-N18U:/# uname -a
Linux RT-N18U 2.6.36.4brcmarm #1 PREEMPT Mon Mar 24 11:48:15 CST 2014 armv7l GNU
/Linux
admin@RT-N18U:/# busybox
BusyBox v1.17.4 (2014-03-24 11:42:53 CST) multi-call binary.
Copyright (C) 1998-2009 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, Denys Vlasenko
and others. Licensed under GPLv2.
See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: function [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as.
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, arp, ash, awk, basename, blkid, cat, chmod, chown, chpasswd,
clear, cmp, cp, crond, cut, date, dd, df, dirname, dmesg, du, e2fsck,
echo, egrep, env, ether-wake, expr, fdisk, fgrep, find, flock, free,
fsck.ext2, fsck.ext3, fsck.minix, fsync, grep, gunzip, gzip, head,
ifconfig, insmod, ionice, kill, killall, klogd, less, ln, logger,
login, ls, lsmod, lsusb, md5sum, mdev, mkdir, mke2fs, mkfs.ext2,
mkfs.ext3, mknod, mkswap, modprobe, more, mount, mv, netstat, nice,
nohup, nslookup, pidof, ping, ping6, printf, ps, pwd, readlink, renice,
rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, sed, setconsole, sh, sleep, sort, strings,
swapoff, swapon, sync, syslogd, tail, tar, telnetd, test, top, touch,
tr, traceroute, traceroute6, true, tune2fs, udhcpc, umount, uname,
unzip, uptime, usleep, vconfig, vi, watch, wc, wget, which, zcat, zcip

Let's see what processes are currently running using ps command. By using top utility one can obtain information on the current activity of the launched processes.

admin@RT-N18U:/# ps
PID USER VSZ STAT COMMAND
1 admin 2108 S /sbin/preinit
2 admin 0 SW [kthreadd]
3 admin 0 SW [ksoftirqd/0]
4 admin 0 SW [kworker/0:0]
5 admin 0 SW [kworker/u:0]
6 admin 0 SW< [khelper]
7 admin 0 SW [kworker/u:1]
46 admin 0 SW [sync_supers]
48 admin 0 SW [bdi-default]
49 admin 0 SW< [kblockd]
97 admin 0 SW [kswapd0]
143 admin 0 SW [fsnotify_mark]
153 admin 0 SW< [crypto]
225 admin 0 SW [mtdblock0]
230 admin 0 SW [mtdblock1]
235 admin 0 SW [mtdblock2]
240 admin 0 SW [mtdblock3]
262 admin 0 SW [kworker/0:1]
265 admin 0 SW [mtdblock4]
269 admin 664 S hotplug2 --persistent --no-coldplug
298 admin 2092 S console
299 admin 1504 S /bin/sh
303 admin 1492 S syslogd -m 0 -S -O /tmp/syslog.log -s 256 -l 6
306 admin 1492 S /sbin/klogd
312 admin 0 SW [khubd]
405 admin 2100 S usbled
450 admin 2100 S /sbin/wanduck
458 admin 1496 S telnetd
461 admin 2100 S wpsaide
Mem: 32756K used, 223132K free, 0K shrd, 420K buff, 7264K cached
CPU: 0% usr 0% sys 0% nic 100% idle 0% io 0% irq 0% sirq
Load average: 0.05 0.06 0.05 1/52 648
PID PPID USER STAT VSZ %MEM %CPU COMMAND
472 1 admin S 3352 1% 0% httpd
473 1 admin S 3352 1% 0% httpd -s -p 8443
1 0 admin S 2108 1% 0% /sbin/preinit
599 1 admin S 2104 1% 0% u2ec
609 608 admin S 2104 1% 0% u2ec
608 599 admin S 2104 1% 0% u2ec
477 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% watchdog
461 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% wpsaide
405 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% usbled
450 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% /sbin/wanduck
485 477 admin S 2100 1% 0% ots
490 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% disk_monitor
466 1 admin S 2100 1% 0% ntp
298 1 admin S 2092 1% 0% console
471 1 admin S 2012 1% 0% avahi-daemon: running [RT-N18U-0A38.lo
627 458 admin S 1508 1% 0% -sh
299 298 admin S 1504 1% 0% /bin/sh
648 627 admin R 1496 1% 0% top
458 1 admin S 1496 1% 0% telnetd
306 1 admin S 1492 1% 0% /sbin/klogd
303 1 admin S 1492 1% 0% syslogd -m 0 -S -O /tmp/syslog.log -s

Contents of /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin catalogs, as well as the output of sysinfo utility, are located in a separate file. For example, /sbin catalog features tcpcheck utility that lets the administrator find out whether a TCP port is open in a certain node.

admin@RT-N18U:/# tcpcheck
usage: tcpcheck <timeout> <host:port> [host:port]
admin@RT-N18U:/# tcpcheck 5 192.168.1.1:23
192.168.1.1:23 is alive
admin@RT-N18U:/# tcpcheck 5 192.168.1.3:80
192.168.1.3:80 failed

Looks like /rom/Beceem_firmware catalog features files that are somehow associated with Yota service provider.

admin@RT-N18U:/# ls /rom/Beceem_firmware/
RemoteProxy.cfg macxvi.cfg.giraffe macxvi200.bin.giraffe
Server_CA.pem.yota macxvi.cfg.gmc macxvi200.bin.normal
macxvi.cfg.freshtel macxvi.cfg.yota

Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to view its contents and find out the system uptime, its average utilization, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM. Actually, system uptime and average system utilization can also be learnt using uptime command.

admin@RT-N18U:/# cd /proc
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# ls
1 458 543 diskstats mtd
143 46 550 dmu net
153 461 592 driver pagetypeinfo
2 463 599 emf partitions
225 465 6 execdomains scsi
230 466 601 filesystems self
235 471 608 fs slabinfo
240 472 609 interrupts softirqs
262 473 7 iomem stat
265 474 765 ioports swaps
269 475 799 irq sys
298 477 97 kallsyms sysrq-trigger
299 48 bcm947xx key-users sysvipc
3 480 buddyinfo kmsg timer_list
303 485 bus loadavg tty
306 49 cmdline locks uptime
312 490 cpu meminfo version
4 491 cpuinfo misc vmallocinfo
405 5 crypto modules vmstat
450 541 devices mounts zoneinfo
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# cat uptime
1477.03 1450.97
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# cat loadavg
0.04 0.05 0.05 1/52 801
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# cat cpuinfo
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 0 (v7l)
BogoMIPS : 1599.07
Features : swp half thumb fastmult edsp
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x3
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 0
Hardware : Northstar Prototype
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# cat meminfo
MemTotal: 255888 kB
MemFree: 222592 kB
Buffers: 448 kB
Cached: 7280 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 5472 kB
Inactive: 6064 kB
Active(anon): 3904 kB
Inactive(anon): 3852 kB
Active(file): 1568 kB
Inactive(file): 2212 kB
Unevictable: 0 kB
Mlocked: 0 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 0 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 3828 kB
Mapped: 2752 kB
Shmem: 3948 kB
Slab: 12368 kB
SReclaimable: 1248 kB
SUnreclaim: 11120 kB
KernelStack: 416 kB
PageTables: 476 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 127944 kB
Committed_AS: 16812 kB
VmallocTotal: 516096 kB
VmallocUsed: 17524 kB
VmallocChunk: 489864 kB
admin@RT-N18U:/proc# uptime
04:25:05 up 25 min, load average: 0.02, 0.04, 0.04

We can't help to mention nvram utility that allows changing certain important device operation parameters.

admin@RT-N18U:/# nvram
usage: nvram [get name] [set name=value] [unset name] [show] [commit] [save] [re
store] [erase] ...
admin@RT-N18U:/# nvram show | grep admin
size: 35259 bytes (30277 left)
http_username=admin
http_passwd=admin
acc_list=admin>admin<Family>family0a38
acc_webdavproxy=admin>1<Family>0

That's where we proceed to completion of the brief review of the command line interface capabilities and pass directly on to testing the device.

Testing

The first testing procedure we traditionally begin our testing section with is estimating the booting time of the device, which is a time interval starting with the moment when the power is on until the first echo reply is received through ICMP. ASUS RT-N18U wireless router boots in 38 seconds. It'd be fair to mention that somewhere around the 16th second we received a couple of echo-replies, which however weren't sent by the device OS but by the loader that one can detect using TTL=100 field.

The second test, which is no less traditional, was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility. On the whole, there were 13 open ports discovered. The most interesting data we obtained are presented below.

Before getting down to performance tests we would like to mention the key specification of the test stand we used.

Component PC Notebook
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VI Extreme ASUS M60J
CPU Intel Core i7 4770K 3.5 ГГц Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 ГГц
RAM DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 32 Гбайта DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Гбайт
NIC Intel PRO/1000 PT
ASUS PCE-AC68
Atheros AR8131
OS Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus

We began the performance tests by measuring IPv4 routing speeds upon execution of NAT/PAT as well as upon switched-on accelerator of NAT translations. In order to test the device we used JPert utility, 2.0.2 version.

After that we decided to switch off the acceleration of NAT translations and measure the user traffic transmission speed upon routing without translations. Majority of users will probably use routing with NAT hardware acceleration and therefore one should pay more attention to the previous diagram.

Neither did we keep away from the support of IPv6.

Connection to the provider may be carried using one of the tunnel types. We decided to test connection using PPTP both with MPPE128 encryption and without it. These connection types are still widely-used by people in Russia and the CIS. However, lately it looks like the trend of using VPN connection type by the service providers is gaining momentum.

ASUS RT-N18U wireless router hardware supports the server and client sides of PPTP. We didn't carry out the applicable tests since generally its performance is on the same level as the one shown by PPTP as a WAN connection. Instead of this, we managed OpenVPN server and measured access speeds using the above-mentioned protocol.

ASUS RT-N18U supports wireless network operation in 2.4 GHz frequency range. Naturally, we decided to find out what wireless speeds will be available for the users. The diagram presented below contains data received from the mass production sample whose wireless module supports theoretical speeds of wireless transfer of up to 600 Mbps.

The rear panel of the model under review has a USB 2.0 port. The USB 3.0 port is located on the front panel of the device. We connected external 750 GB Transcend StoreJet 25M3 HDD to both USB ports of RT-N18U and tested the access speeds to the data located on it.

That's where we draw the testing chapter to a close and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

Generally, we are glad about the ASUS RT-N18U prototype model we tested and we are anticipated to see it on the shelves in stores. However, when this article was being written, there weren't even any announcement dates available. Also it's worth noticing that ASUS RT-N18U is a replacement for the outdated RT-N16 model.

The strength areas of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router are presented below.

  • Support of three guest wireless networks
  • May be managed not only via HTTP, but also using HTTPS
  • Support of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
  • High IPv6 traffic transmission speeds
  • Support of OpenVPN server and client
  • High access speeds to the data stored on a USB disc
  • Support of a double WAN port
  • Possibility to review the signal strength of client devices

Unfortunately, we cannot help but mention one drawback.

  • The web-interface is not completely translated

When this article was being written, the official sales of ASUS RT-N18U wireless router in Russia did not yet start. The average price of the device in e-shops abroad was $170. The anticipated price of the device in Russia would be around 2700 roubles.

NETGEAR WNDR4700

Introduction

External design and hardware

Firmware upgrade and additional utilities

Web-interface

Command line

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

A story of the trip of NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router from the vendor's office to our test lab is really complicate and long, but still we are really glad to provide our readers with a detailed review and testing of this somewhat unusual networking device. Its singularity is about a special hard disc bay located in its case; moreover, it's not used for common small 2.5" notebook discs but only for a fully-featured 3.5" SATA data carrier.

External design and hardware

In terms of the external design, WNDR4700 looks like the majority of wireless SOHO devices: a black plastic case with LEDs located on the glossy front panel and network ports on its rear side. However, it still looks a bit bigger. The device has dimensions of 256х206х85 mm. To work properly WNDR4700 needs an external power unit (included in the box) with the following characteristics: 12V and 5A. We already saw a similar case in R6300 model.

On the bottom side of the stand there are rubber legs and a sticker with brief information about the device.

There is a bay used for installation of the HDD located behind one of the device punched side panels.

On the other side panel there are three buttons used to switch the wireless network on and off, facilitate the procedure of wireless client connection, and back up the user data. Also, there are a USB 3.0 port and slot used for connection of SD cards.

Network interfaces are located on the bottom part of the rear panel; there are four LAN GE ports, one WAN GE port, USB 3.0 port, sunken Reset button, ON/OFF button, and power socket.

Electronic stuffing of WNDR4700 is one main green textolite card and several small support cards that function as antennae. Unfortunately, the only module accessible for inspection was the Hynix H27U1G8F2BTR flash memory module with the size of 128 Mbytes and IDT 89HPES4T4 microchip. All other chips are covered with screens.

That is where we bring the review of the hardware platform of NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.

Firmware upgrade and additional utilities

Firmware upgrade is carried out in Firmware Upgrade sub-group, Administration group of the web-interface. Firmware upgrade may be carried out both in a manual and semi-automatic mode. In order to perform the latter one needs to be connected to the WAN.

Upon upgrading the firmware in the manual mode one needs to specify the file with the applicable firmware downloaded beforehand and click on Upload button.

The whole upgrade procedure takes about three minutes (not considering the file downloading time).

As of when this article was being written, there was only one utility available for usage by WNDR4700 users: ReadySharePrinter that facilitates the procedure of connection of a remote printer.

Now let's have a look at the device web-interface.

Web-interface

Since our test lab already hosted quite a few networking devices by NETGEAR— WNDR3800, R6300, WNDR4500, and WNR1000v2—our readers already had a possibility to get acquainted with the majority of capabilities featured in web-interfaces of routers produced by this vendor. That's why we will not review all capabilities of WNDR4700, but only turn our attention to the most interesting features.

In order to access the device web-interface one should enter 192.168.1.1 address and type in the logon information upon authentication; which is admin/password by default. Upon successful authentication the administrator will find him/herself on the home page of the web-interface available in 22 languages.

The web-interface is available in two modes: basic and advanced. Using the basic mode the users can review the device status and manage connection to the Internet provider, change wireless network operation parameters as well as those of connected users and devices, and apply the parental control feature.

By switching for the advanced mode the administrator will be able to use two wizards that make it possible to perform the initial adjustment of the device. Apart from that, the advanced mode gives the user wider functionality in terms of managing NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router. For example, using Setup group one can change parameters associated with tweaking the local network and Internet port.

Storage group offers the user an opportunity to define the access right for other users, format the internal HDD, and manage a built-in media server.

In Administration group the user can review status of the router and its ports, log information, and data about connected devices as well as change the password and upgrade the firmware.

Advanced Setup group contains features used for the most flexible adjustment of the device.

That's where we draw a brief review of the web-interface capabilities of WNDR4700 to a close.

Command line

Access to the web-interface of WNDR4700 wireless router can be gained via a method that is conventional for the majority of wireless SOHO devices by NETGEAR: using telnetable utility. In this case one won't need to specify login and password.

=== IMPORTANT ============================
Use 'passwd' to set your login password
this will disable telnet and enable SSH
------------------------------------------
BusyBox v1.4.2 (2013-01-25 11:20:51 EST) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
[WNDR4700]#

In spite of the information located on the banner displayed upon connection, SSH daemon won't get launched by entering passwd command.

BusyBox 1.4.2 library is installed in Linux 2.6.32.11.

[WNDR4700]# busybox
BusyBox v1.4.2 (2013-01-25 11:20:51 EST) multi-call binary
Copyright (C) 1998-2006 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, and others.
Licensed under GPLv2. See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: [function] [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as!
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, addgroup, adduser, arping, ash, awk, awx, basename,
bunzip2, bzcat, cat, chgrp, chmod, chown, chroot, clear,
cp, crond, crontab, cut, date, dd, delgroup, deluser,
df, diff, dirname, dmesg, du, echo, egrep, env, expr,
false, fgrep, find, free, fsck, fuser, getopt, getty,
grep, gunzip, gzip, halt, hdparm, head, hexdump, hostid,
hostname, hwclock, id, ifconfig, init, insmod, ipkg, kill,
killall, killall5, klogd, length, less, ln, lock, logger,
logread, ls, lsmod, md, md5sum, mesg, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod,
mktemp, mm, mount, mv, nc, netmsg, netstat, nice, nslookup,
passwd, pidof, ping, ping6, pivot_root, poweroff, printf,
ps, pwd, rdate, reboot, reset, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route,
sed, seq, sh, sleep, sort, start-stop-daemon, strings,
su, switch_root, sync, sysctl, syslogd, tail, tar, tee,
telnet, telnetd, test, tftp, time, top, touch, tr, traceroute,
true, umount, uname, uniq, uptime, usleep, vconfig, vi,
watchdog, wc, wget, which, xargs, yes, zcat, zcip
[WNDR4700]# uname -a
Linux WNDR4700 2.6.32.11-wndr4700 #2 Mon Jan 28 03:19:37 EST 2013 ppc unknown
[WNDR4700]# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.32.11-wndr4700 (torby.tong@dni-l-sw01) (gcc version 4.5.1 (GCC) ) #2 Mon Jan 28 03:19:37 EST 2013

Let's see what processes are currently running using ps command.

[WNDR4700]# ps
PID Uid VmSize Stat Command
1 root 2496 S init
2 root SW [kthreadd]
3 root SW [ksoftirqd/0]
4 root SW [events/0]
5 root SW [khelper]
8 root SW [async/mgr]
152 root SW [sync_supers]
154 root SW [bdi-default]
155 root SW [kblockd/0]
160 root SW [ata/0]
161 root SW [ata_aux]
162 root SW [ksuspend_usbd]
167 root SW [khubd]
171 root SW [kmmcd]
229 root SW [kswapd0]
230 root SW [aio/0]
231 root SW [crypto/0]
806 root SW [scsi_tgtd/0]
812 root SW [scsi_eh_0]
817 root SW [mtdblockd]
902 root SW [scsi_eh_1]
903 root SW [usb-storage]
1005 root 2112 S klogd
1009 root 1792 S /bin/datalib
1078 root 2496 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/set_fan_vol
1365 root 1856 S udhcpd /tmp/udhcpd.conf
1368 root 1664 S /usr/sbin/net-scan
1396 root 1728 S /usr/sbin/lld2d br0
1562 root 2304 S crond -c /tmp/etc/crontabs -T GMT-4
1600 root 1984 S /usr/sbin/miniupnpd
1630 root 2240 S syslogd -m 0 -T GMT-4 -c 511
1659 root 1664 S /usr/sbin/ntpclient
1664 root 2304 S crond -c /tmp/etc/crontabs -T GMT-4
1692 root 2176 S /usr/sbin/dnsmasq -r /tmp/resolv.conf --wan-interface
1740 root 2560 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/luns_scan.sh
1835 root 1600 S potd
1837 root 1152 S potval
1859 root SW [flush-31:0]
1916 root 2496 S /bin/sh /usr/sbin/send_wol 311
1920 root 4544 S N /usr/sbin/afpd -F /etc/netatalk/afpd.conf -P /var/run
1923 root 1792 S hotplug2 --persistent --coldplug
1956 root 3200 S avahi-daemon: running [WNDR4700.local]
2272 root 1344 S udhcpc -b -i eth0.1 -h WNDR4700 -r 0.0.0.0
4832 root 1984 S hostapd -B /tmp/secath0 /tmp/secath1 -e /etc/wpa2/ent
4888 root 1856 S /sbin/traffic_meter
4907 root SW [ telnetDBGD ]
4908 root SW [ acktelnetDBGD ]
4910 root SW [checkSBusTimeou]
4918 root SW [NU UDP]
4923 root SW [NU TCP]
4936 root 2496 S /bin/sh /sbin/check_HDD_capacity
4957 root 2368 S /usr/sbin/uhttpd -h /www -r WNDR4700 -x /cgi-bin -t 6
4959 root 1152 S inetd
4990 root 2560 S /bin/ash --login
6596 root 2048 S /usr/sbin/utelnetd -d -i br0
23794 root 2688 S /bin/ash --login
24352 root 2112 S sleep 311
24894 root 2112 S sleep 67
25324 root 2112 S sleep 31
25450 root 2112 S sleep 1
25451 root 2624 R ps

Let's find out what kind of content /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin catalogues have.

[WNDR4700]# ls /bin
addgroup dmesg ls rm
adduser echo md rmdir
ash egrep mkdir sed
busybox false mknod sh
cat fgrep mktemp sleep
chgrp getopt mm su
chmod gpg-error-config mount sync
chown grep mv tar
config gunzip netmsg touch
cp gzip netstat true
datalib hostname nice umount
date ipcalc.sh pidof uname
dd kill ping usleep
delgroup ln ping6 vi
deluser lock ps zcat
df login pwd
[WNDR4700]# ls /sbin
80211stats led.sh
app_mount ledcontrol
artmtd log_fan_rpm_fault
athstats logread
athstatsclr lsmod
backup mount_root
cfdisk mtd
cfg net-util
cgiMain pivot_root
check_HDD_capacity pktlogconf
cmd_autoreset pktlogdump
cmd_ddns poweroff
cmd_ebtables printhosts
cmd_traffic_meter printnss
cmddlna qos.sh
cmdftp radartool
cmdigmp reboot
cmdroute reg
cmdsched rmmod
cmdsched_wlan_status route
cmdupnp rs_send
detect_factory run-ramfs
detwanv6 start-stop-daemon
dni_apup storage_test
dni_qos switch_root
dumpregs sysctl
fdisk syslogd
firstboot sysupgrade
fsck tfm_led
generate_traffic_meter_conf traffic_meter
getty uci
halt udevtrigger
hdparm udhcpc
hotplug-call udhcpd
hotplug2 umount_unapproved
hotplug2.mount update-wifi
hotplug2.testbusy usb_disk_event
hotplug2.umount vconfig
hwclock wan_debug
ifconfig watchdog
ifdown wifi
ifup wlan
igmpproxy wlan_old
init wlanconfig
insmod wps_pbc
ip_mac wpsled
ipconflict zcip
klogd
[WNDR4700]# ls /usr/bin
[ cut fuser logger smbpasswd tr
[[ detcable head md5sum sort traceroute
arping diff hexdump mesg strings uniq
awk dirname hostid mkfifo tail uptime
awx du id nc tee wc
basename env ipkg nslookup telnet wget
bunzip2 expr killall passwd test which
bzcat find killall5 printf tftp xargs
clear flushRoute length reset time yes
crontab free less seq top
[WNDR4700]# ls /usr/sbin
afpd ip ppp-nas
afppasswd ip6tables pppd
avahi-autoipd ip6tables-restore proftpd
avahi-daemon ip6tables-save px5g
avahi-dnsconfd ipp radvd
brctl iptables radvdump
chat iwconfig rdate
check_smart_error.sh iwgetid remote_smb_conf
chroot iwlist restart_ap_udhcpc
cmd_cron iwpriv ripd
cnid_dbd iwspy ripngd
cnid_metad lld2d select_partition
crond luns_scan.sh send_wol
detach_afp_shares minidlna set_fan_vol
detectSATA miniupnpd sfdisk
detwan mke2fs smartctl
dev-scan mkfs.ext2 smartd
dhcp6c mkfs.ext3 smbd
dhcp6ctl mkfs.ext4 ssmtp
dhcp6s mkfs.xfs stamac
dns-hijack net-cgi telnetd
dnsmasq net-disk telnetenable
dsyslog net-dump tune2fs
e2fsck net-scan uhttpd
ebtables net-wall update_afp
ez-ipupdate nmbd update_smb
format_sata noip2 update_user
hostapd ntpclient usb_cfg
hostapd_cli ntpst utelnetd
i2cdetect parted vmstat
i2cdump partprobe vol_id
i2cget phddns wget_netgear
i2cset potd wol
inetd potval zebra

Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to view its contents and find out the system uptime, its average utilisation, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM.

[WNDR4700]# ls
1 229 NetUSB loadavg
1005 230 ath_pktlog locks
1009 231 athdebug mcast
1078 23794 athnodefixedrate mcast_set
1365 29947 athrtscts meminfo
1368 3 athversion misc
1396 32126 buddyinfo modules
152 32303 bus mounts
154 32568 cmdline mtd
155 32569 cpuinfo net
1562 4 crypto ocminfo
160 4832 detect_phy pagetypeinfo
1600 4888 device-tree partitions
161 4907 devices scsi
162 4908 diskstats self
1630 4910 dma simple_config
1659 4918 dni_qos_if slabinfo
1664 4923 driver softirqs
167 4936 execdomains stat
1692 4957 filesystems swaps
171 4959 fs switch_phy
1740 4990 igmpsnoop sys
1835 5 interrupts sysrq-trigger
1837 6596 iomem sysvipc
1859 8 ioports timer_list
1916 806 irq tty
1920 812 kallsyms uptime
1923 817 kcore version
1956 902 key-users vmallocinfo
2 903 kmsg vmstat
2272 MFS lan_prio zoneinfo
[WNDR4700]# cat uptime
3328.36 3177.42
[WNDR4700]# cat loadavg
0.04 0.05 0.01 1/61 1891
[WNDR4700]# cat cpuinfo
processor : 0
cpu : APM82181
clock : 1000.000010MHz
revision : 28.131 (pvr 12c4 1c83)
bogomips : 2000.00
timebase : 1000000010
platform : PowerPC 44x Platform
model : amcc,wdnr4700
Memory : 256 MB
[WNDR4700]# cat meminfo
MemTotal: 256128 kB
MemFree: 157440 kB
Buffers: 5312 kB
Cached: 37120 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 46464 kB
Inactive: 16320 kB
Active(anon): 26816 kB
Inactive(anon): 0 kB
Active(file): 19648 kB
Inactive(file): 16320 kB
Unevictable: 0 kB
Mlocked: 0 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 64 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 20800 kB
Mapped: 5824 kB
Shmem: 6464 kB
Slab: 18240 kB
SReclaimable: 1920 kB
SUnreclaim: 16320 kB
KernelStack: 488 kB
PageTables: 6528 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 256128 kB
Committed_AS: 77120 kB
VmallocTotal: 729088 kB
VmallocUsed: 78592 kB
VmallocChunk: 599936 kB
[WNDR4700]# uptime
00:55:53 up 55 min, load average: 0.08, 0.06, 0.01

That is where we bring review of the device command line to a conclusion and pass directly on to testing it.

Testing

The first traditional procedure we usually begin our testing chapter with is measuring the booting time of the device. However, this time we decided to somewhat modify the measurement procedure since upon loading NETGEAR WNDR4700 occasionally replies to ICMP echo requests, but all other services become unavailable (including the web-interface). That's why in this case we measured the time period from plugging the device in the power network to lightning of a LED that shows the operation status of the internal HDD. By this time the device web-interface will have already become available. NETGEAR WNDR4700 boots in 118 seconds, which is a pretty large value for devices of this kind.

The second traditional test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out from the LAN segment using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility. On the whole, there were ten open ports discovered, and they are TCP-23 (telnet), TCP-53 (DNS), UDP-53 (DNS), TCP-80 (HTTP), TCP-443 (HTTP SSL), TCP-548 (afpovertcp), TCP-3333 (dec-notes), TCP-5555 (HTTP), TCP-20005 (unknown), and TCP-33344 (unknown). The most interesting data are presented below.

Prior to carrying out performance tests we can't help to mention the key specifications of the test stand we used.

Component PC Notebook
Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Extreme ASUS M60J
CPU Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 GHz
RAM DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 32 Gbytes DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Gbytes
NIC

Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter
ASUS EA-N66

Atheros AR8131
OS Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus

One can install fully-featured HDDs with SATA interface into NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router. We haven't run across this feature before and that's why we decided to begin the performance tests from measuring the access speeds to the disc that was successively formatted into four file systems: FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, and EXT3.

Apart from discs with SATA interface, the users can also connect external USB carriers to the device. We decided to test this feature too. We used a 750 Gbyte Transcend StoreJet 25M3 during the testing procedure.

Since primarily WNDR4700 is a wireless router, we decided to find out what data transfer speeds the wired users can get. Data transfer has been carried out between LAN and WAN ports using NAT for 1, 5, and 15 simultaneous TCP-sessions.

The device under review supports operation with both IPv4 and IPv6. Unfortunately, one can only establish connections using the newest IP version in one direction: from the LAN segment towards WAN.

Usage of VPN for those who live in Russia and the CIS is a relevant method of connection to the service provider. Access speeds to the WAN via PPTP are presented on the diagram below. Unfortunately, WNDR4700 only supports tunnels without encryption.

NETGEAR WNDR4700 wireless router supports operation within two wireless frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. We measured the user data transmission speeds in both of the frequency ranges.

That's where we draw the testing chapter to a close and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

We believe that combining features of a wireless router and NAS in NETGEAR WNDR4700 turned out really well since it functions equally well both in terms of providing users with the access to the WAN and to files stored on the internal HDD. Obviously, this device is not a fully-featured NAS, but it will become a suitable solution for use in homes or small offices. Possibility of wireless module operation in 5GHz frequency range makes it possible to offload problematic 2.4 GHz frequencies.

The strength areas of WNDR4700 are presented below.

  • Possibility of installation of a SATA HDD into the device
  • Used traffic meter
  • Ability to select USB devices which are to be granted access to the device
  • Support of IPv6
  • Perfect data transmission speeds via PPTP tunnels
  • Support of two wireless frequency ranges
  • Presence of a USB 3.0 port
  • High access speeds to the data stored on external and internal HDDs

Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention certain drawbacks of the model.

  • Access to the router command line is not secured by a password
  • The fan inside of the case is too small
  • Absence of encryption support for PPTP tunnels
  • Relatively high price

As of when this article was being written, the average price for NETGEAR WNDR4700 in Moscow online shops was 9000 roubles.

ASUS RT-N65U

Introduction

External design and hardware

Firmware upgrade

Web-interface

Utilities

Command line

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

The marketing element of N600 and N900 in names of the products is of not much interest to us already for a long time, but today we are hosting an ASUS RT-N65U wireless router that has N750 written on its case. This device supports simultaneous operation under two wireless frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, however with different performance. The maximum theoretically possible frequency throughput within 2.4 GHz range is 300 Mbps, while within 5 GHz frequency range RT-N65U can theoretically provide 450 Mpbs. Despite the fact that the device first appeared in our laboratory late in 2011, we managed to successfully finish all tests just recently. Well, let's not linger any more and pass directly to reviewing it in detail!

External design and hardware

ASUS RT-N65U wireless router appearance is really similar to that of RT-N56U we had reviewed earlier: it has the same ribbed surface of the front panel, the same arrangement of ports, the same stand, and so on. The dimensions of RT-N65U are 172x145x60 mm including the support stand. To work properly the device needs an external power unit (included in the box) with the following characteristics: 19V and 1.58А.

The only thing different between RT-N65U and RT-N56U is the rear panel, if you can call it this way.

RT-N65U has two USB 3.0 ports and a power switch. However, its size, shape, and placement puzzled us. Couldn't it have been made a bit bigger or placed in a different spot? It'd be barely possible to reach it if there are USB devices connected to the router.

Insides of ASUS RT-N65U wireless router are one red textolite card, main elements of which are located on both of its sides, but are mostly covered with heat sinks and protective screens.

Two RAM modules—16 MByte Winbond W9812G6JH-6 and 64 MByte EtronTech EM68B16CWQD-25H—and Asmedia ASM1042 host controller of the USB 3.0 bus are not covered by anything.

Now let's skip on to reviewing the software platform of the device.

Firmware upgrade

Firmware upgrade is carried out in Firmware Upgrade tab, Administration group in the web-interface. The procedure can be carried out really easily and doesn't require any technical knowledge from the user since s/he will only need to specify the file that had been downloaded from the vendor's website and click on Upload button.

The whole process takes about three minutes.

It'd be all really fine if not for a frustrating notification telling one about the obligatory manual reboot of the device after the firmware upgrade process is finished. We believe that the notification of this kind would be really helpful if shown before getting down to the firmware upgrade procedure since if there's no possibility to access the router physically to reboot it, the upgrade will make it fully unavailable.

In case of a failure during the firmware upgrade, the administrator can use a special-purpose utility called Firmware Restoration that is meant to restore the firmware in ASUS wireless routers. The recovery process is easy enough; one just needs to choose a file with the applicable firmware and click on Upload button.

The recovery process via the utility takes about three minutes, too.

One can find out whether the firmware restore needs to be done or not by looking at the device Power LED. If it's the case, it will start slowly flashing in the rescue mode. Also, it'd be fair to mention that the administrator can manually switch RT-N65U over to the rescue mode. To do that s/he only needs to hold Reset button for 10 seconds while the device is booting.

Apart from the method of firmware restore in Windows described above, the user also can do it manually using any TFTP client and traffic analyzer. Once ASUS RT-N65U has loaded in the rescue mode, one will need to get connected to one of its LAN ports and enable traffic capturing. We did it using Wireshark utility.

As you can see, the router sends out ARP requests about 192.168.1.11 from 192.168.1.1 really often. We assign 192.168.1.11 IP address to our test station, named the firmware file ASUSSPACELINK, and uploaded it to the router using TFTP.

C:\>tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put c:\ASUSSPACELINK
Successfully sent: 12669296 bytes for 4 sec., 3167324 bytes/s

Naturally, we recommend our readers to use only official firmware recovery methods.

Apart from the firmwares released by the device vendor, one can use alternative firmwares that are developed by, say, the project of Padavan user. Upgrading to the above-mentioned firmware is carried out in a conventional way. In order to switch back to the original firmware the user will need to enter Firware Upgrade tab, Administration group, Additional menu item in the web interface where s/he will be able to choose the corresponding file and upload it.

Now let's review capabilities of the device web-interface.

Web-interface

RT-N65U web-interface is really similar to that of RT-N66U, the model by the same brand that we had reviewed earlier. That's exactly why we will not review all capabilities of its web-interface in detail, but only talk about the newest or most interesting features from our point of view. Support of HTTPS came to be a really nice new feature that can be used to access the device.

A new application for work with data stored on an external USB disc was added: it's called Media Server and lets the users gain access to the multimedia data over the network.

New section AiCloud provides users of portable devices with wireless access to the data stored on a disc or resources in other nodes.

Tabs in Wireless group in Additional settings menu let the administrator manage operation parameters of the Wi-Fi module. Among the interesting features of the web-interface there is a possibility of specifying the channel capacity manually so that the device may always use 40 MHz channels as well as a possibility of separate management of wireless module operation scheduling on workdays and weekends.

IPTV and Switch Control tabs in LAN group give one a possibility of flexible management of set-top boxes of the user and provide the user with tools that help him/her to limit the transfer speeds of certain types of traffic.

ASUS RT-N65U wireless router can get connected to the provider with both static and dynamic addresses as well as using the tunnel protocols: PPPoE, L2TP, and PPTP. Apart from it, the administrator can enable or disable passage of the following protocols from the local network to the WAN: PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, and RTSP. Also, one can enable PPPoE translation. The applicable settings are located in sub-sections in WAN group.

Apart from operation with the old IPv4, the router under review also supports operation with the newest protocol, IPv6. These settings are located in the same-named group.

Remote access to the internal local network behind the router is possible via the Internet using a VPN server (PPTP) that is built in the router. One can manage these settings in VPN tab in the menu. It's worth mentioning that in the latest firmware versions support of OpenVPN as a VPN server was added.

Operation mode and System tabs in Administration group let the user choose the device operation mode and specify the parameters of the user access to the router.

That is where we bring a really short device web-interface review to a conclusion and pass on to the section dedicated to additional utilities.

Utilities

Users of ASUS RT-N65U wireless router can use several light but really helpful programmes. Among them there is Router Setup Wizard utility that helps one facilitate the procedure of connection of the device to certain large service providers in Russia.

More detailed adjustment can be carried out using the wizard in the device web-interface.

Printer Setup Utility is used in order to facilitate the connection of the network printer to a local node.

Detection of wireless ASUS devices within the local network segment is carried out using Device Discovery programme.

Also, there is another utility that is included in the utility pack of ASUS RT-N65U wireless router. It's called Firmware Restoration, but we had already reviewed its capabilities in this article.

Command line

By default, the access to the device command line is prohibited. One needs to use System tab, Administration group in order to enable it.

One will need to use the same login and password as for the web-interface in order to access the command line. It's admin/admin by default. Traditionally, there is BusyBox library installed there.

RT-N65U login: admin
Password:
ASUSWRT RT-N65U_3.0.0.4 Tue Nov 6 18:07:06 UTC 2012
admin@RT-N65U:/tmp/home/root#
admin@RT-N65U:/tmp/home/root# busybox
BusyBox v1.17.4 (2012-11-07 02:07:05 CST) multi-call binary.
Copyright (C) 1998-2009 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, Denys Vlasenko
and others. Licensed under GPLv2.
See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: function [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as.
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, arp, arping, ash, awk, basename, blkid, cat, chmod, chown, chpasswd, clear, cmp, cp, crond, cut, date,
dd, df, dirname, dmesg, du, e2fsck, echo, egrep, env, ether-wake, expr, fdisk, fgrep, find, flock, free,
fsck.ext2, fsck.ext3, fsck.minix, fsync, ftpget, ftpput, grep, gunzip, gzip, head, ifconfig, insmod, kill,
killall, klogd, less, ln, logger, login, ls, lsmod, lsusb, md5sum, mkdir, mkdosfs, mke2fs, mkfs.ext2,
mkfs.ext3, mkfs.vfat, mknod, mkswap, modprobe, more, mount, mv, nc, netstat, nice, nohup, nslookup, pidof,
ping, ping6, printf, ps, pscan, pwd, readlink, renice, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, sed, sendmail, setconsole, sh,
sleep, sort, strings, swapoff, swapon, sync, syslogd, tail, tar, telnet, telnetd, test, tftp, top, touch, tr,
traceroute, traceroute6, true, tune2fs, udhcpc, umount, uname, unzip, uptime, usleep, vconfig, vi, watch, wc,
wget, which, zcat, zcip
admin@RT-N65U:/tmp/home/root# uname -a
Linux RT-N65U 3.0.0 #1 Wed Nov 7 02:31:36 CST 2012 mips GNU/Linux

Let's see what processes are currently running using ps command. By using top utility one can obtain information on the current activity of the launched processes.

admin@RT-N65U:/tmp/home/root# ps
PID USER VSZ STAT COMMAND
1 admin 2136 S /sbin/init
2 admin 0 SW [kthreadd]
3 admin 0 SW [ksoftirqd/0]
4 admin 0 SW [kworker/0:0]
5 admin 0 SW [kworker/u:0]
6 admin 0 SW [rcu_kthread]
7 admin 0 SW< [khelper]
65 admin 0 SW [sync_supers]
67 admin 0 SW [bdi-default]
68 admin 0 SW< [kblockd]
99 admin 0 SW [kswapd0]
100 admin 0 SW [fsnotify_mark]
101 admin 0 SW< [crypto]
191 admin 0 SW [mtdblock0]
196 admin 0 SW [mtdblock1]
201 admin 0 SW [mtdblock2]
206 admin 0 SW [mtdblock3]
211 admin 0 SW [mtdblock4]
216 admin 0 SW [mtdblock5]
459 admin 660 S hotplug2 --persistent --no-coldplug
475 admin 0 SW [RaCfg Task]
476 admin 0 SW [RaCfg Backlog]
500 admin 1984 S console
502 admin 1612 S /bin/sh
505 admin 0 SWN [jffs2_gcd_mtd5]
507 admin 1600 S syslogd -m 0 -S -O /jffs/syslog.log -s 256 -l 7
510 admin 1600 S /sbin/klogd
515 admin 0 SW [khubd]
583 admin 1992 S usbled
585 admin 0 SW [scsi_eh_0]
586 admin 0 SW [usb-storage]
621 admin 0 SW [kworker/0:2]
631 admin 0 SW [kworker/u:2]
670 admin 0 SW [RtmpCmdQTask]
671 admin 0 SW [RtmpWscTask]
685 admin 1992 S /sbin/wanduck
688 admin 1608 S udhcpc -i vlan2 -p /var/run/udhcpc0.pid -s /tmp/udhcpc -O33 -O249
696 admin 1992 S wpsaide
699 admin 1604 R telnetd
701 nobody 996 S dnsmasq --log-async
703 admin 3536 S httpd
704 admin 1036 S /usr/sbin/infosvr br0
705 admin 1040 S networkmap
707 admin 1992 S watchdog
709 admin 1240 S rstats
719 admin 1124 S lld2d br0
724 admin 1992 S ots
726 admin 748 S miniupnpd -f /etc/upnp/config
740 admin 2056 S u2ec
742 admin 1128 S lpd
746 admin 2056 S u2ec
747 admin 2056 S u2ec
761 admin 2396 S nmbd -D -s /etc/smb.conf
762 admin 3260 S N smbd -D -s /etc/smb.conf
770 admin 1624 S -sh
781 admin 0 SW [flush-mtd-unmap]
789 admin 1604 R ps
Mem: 27100K used, 98916K free, 0K shrd, 3000K buff, 8484K cached
CPU: 0% usr 0% sys 0% nic 99% idle 0% io 0% irq 0% sirq
Load average: 0.00 0.07 0.10 1/57 794
PID PPID USER STAT VSZ %MEM %CPU COMMAND
792 770 admin R 1612 1% 0% top
699 1 admin S 1604 1% 0% telnetd
703 1 admin S 3536 3% 0% httpd
762 1 admin S N 3260 3% 0% smbd -D -s /etc/smb.conf
761 1 admin S 2396 2% 0% nmbd -D -s /etc/smb.conf
1 0 admin S 2136 2% 0% /sbin/init
740 1 admin S 2056 2% 0% u2ec
746 740 admin S 2056 2% 0% u2ec
747 746 admin S 2056 2% 0% u2ec
707 1 admin S 1992 2% 0% watchdog
583 1 admin S 1992 2% 0% usbled
685 1 admin S 1992 2% 0% /sbin/wanduck
724 707 admin S 1992 2% 0% ots
696 1 admin S 1992 2% 0% wpsaide
500 1 admin S 1984 2% 0% console
770 699 admin S 1624 1% 0% -sh
502 500 admin S 1612 1% 0% /bin/sh
688 1 admin S 1608 1% 0% udhcpc -i vlan2 -p /var/run/udhcpc0.pid -s /tmp/udhcpc -O33 -O249
507 1 admin S 1600 1% 0% syslogd -m 0 -S -O /jffs/syslog.log -s 256 -l 7
510 1 admin S 1600 1% 0% /sbin/klogd
709 1 admin S 1240 1% 0% rstats
742 1 admin S 1128 1% 0% lpd
719 1 admin S 1124 1% 0% lld2d br0
705 1 admin S 1040 1% 0% networkmap
704 1 admin S 1036 1% 0% /usr/sbin/infosvr br0
701 1 nobody S 996 1% 0% dnsmasq --log-async
726 1 admin S 748 1% 0% miniupnpd -f /etc/upnp/config
459 1 admin S 660 1% 0% hotplug2 --persistent --no-coldplug
6 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [rcu_kthread]
211 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [mtdblock4]
475 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [RaCfg Task]
65 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [sync_supers]
621 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [kworker/0:2]
505 2 admin SWN 0 0% 0% [jffs2_gcd_mtd5]
586 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [usb-storage]
5 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [kworker/u:0]
585 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [scsi_eh_0]
201 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [mtdblock2]
670 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [RtmpCmdQTask]
476 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [RaCfg Backlog]
515 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [khubd]
2 0 admin SW 0 0% 0% [kthreadd]
3 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [ksoftirqd/0]
4 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [kworker/0:0]
216 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [mtdblock5]
631 2 admin SW 0 0% 0% [kworker/u:2]

Let's find out what kind of content /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin catalogues have.

admin@RT-N65U:/# ls /bin
ash cp ecmh gzip ls netstat ps rtinicapd tar vi
busybox date egrep iwconfig mkdir nice pwd sdparm touch watch
cat dd fgrep iwpriv mknod nvram rm sed true wscd
chmod df fsync kill more pidof rmdir sh umount zcat
chown dmesg grep ln mount ping rstats sleep uname
comgt echo gunzip login mv ping6 rt2860apd sync usleep
admin@RT-N65U:/# ls /sbin
8367m free_caches mkdosfs setconsole
ATE fsck.ext2 mke2fs setup_dnsmq
FREAD fsck.ext3 mkfs.ext2 sigmon
FWRITE fsck.minix mkfs.ext3 swapoff
add_account fsck.msdos mkfs.vfat swapon
add_folder fsck.vfat mkswap switchmode
add_multi_routes get_account_list mod_account syslogd
arp get_all_folder mod_folder tcpcheck
asus-raether get_apps_name modify_if_exist_new_folder test_disk1
asus_lp get_folder_list modprobe test_disk2
asus_sd get_permission mtd-erase test_if_exist_account
asus_sg get_phy_speed mtd-unlock test_if_exist_share
asus_sr get_phy_status mtd-write test_of_var_files
asus_tty get_var_file_name ntp test_share
asus_usb_interface gpio ots tune2fs
asus_usbbcm halt pc udevtrigger
ated hotplug radio udhcpc
auto_macclone hotplug2 rc usbled
autodet how_many_layer rcheck vconfig
blkid hw_nat read_sms wanduck
console ifconfig reboot watchdog
create_if_no_var_files init reg wimaxc
ddns_updated initial_all_var_file restart_wireless wimaxd
del_account initial_folder_list rmmod wlcconnect
del_folder initial_var_file route wlcscan
dhcp6c-state insmod rtkswitch wpsaide
disk_monitor ipv6aide run_app_script wpsfix
dosfsck klogd run_pptpd write_smb_conf
e2fsck led run_telnetd write_webdav_conf
ejusb lsmod send_sms zcip
fdisk mem_usage service
flash mii_mgr set_permission
admin@RT-N65U:/# ls /usr/bin
[ cmp expr head nc renice test unzip
[[ cut find killall nohup smbpasswd tftp uptime
arping dirname flock less nslookup sort top wc
awk du free logger printf strings tr wget
basename env ftpget lsusb pscan tail traceroute which
clear ether-wake ftpput md5sum readlink telnet traceroute6
admin@RT-N65U:/# ls /usr/sbin
3ginfo.sh app_update.sh ez-ipupdate lighttpd-monitor scsi-stop
app_base_library.sh app_upgrade.sh gctwimax lld2d sendmail
app_base_link.sh asuswebstorage gencert.sh lpd smbd
app_base_packages.sh bcrelay httpd madwimax sysinfo
app_cancel.sh brctl igmpproxy miniupnpd tc
app_check_pool.sh chat infosvr networkmap telnetd
app_fsck.sh chkntfs inotify nmbd u2ec
app_fsck_all.sh chpasswd ip ntfsfix udpxy
app_get_field.sh chpasswd.sh ip6tables ntpclient usb_modeswitch
app_init_run.sh crond ip6tables-restore openssl vsftpd
app_install.sh cru iptables pppd webs_update.sh
app_move_to_pool.sh dhcp6c iptables-restore pppoe-relay webs_upgrade.sh
app_remove.sh dhcp6s l2tp-control pptpctrl wpa_cli
app_set_enabled.sh dnsmasq l2tpd pptpd wpa_supplicant
app_stop.sh ebtables lighttpd radvd xtables-multi
app_switch.sh event.sh lighttpd-arpping scsi-start

Looks like /rom/Beceem_firmware catalogue features files that are somehow associated with Yota service provider.

admin@RT-N65U:/# ls /rom/Beceem_firmware/
RemoteProxy.cfg macxvi.cfg.freshtel macxvi.cfg.yota
Server_CA.pem.yota macxvi.cfg.gmc macxvi200.bin

Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to view its contents and find out the system uptime, its average utilisation, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM. Actually, system uptime and average system utilisation can also be learnt using uptime command.

admin@RT-N65U:/# cd /proc
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# ls
1 500 68 742 diskstats meminfo sys
100 502 685 746 driver misc sysrq-trigger
101 505 688 747 execdomains modules sysvipc
191 507 696 761 filesystems mounts timer_list
196 510 699 762 fs mtd tty
2 515 7 770 interrupts net uptime
201 583 701 831 iomem nvram version
206 585 703 834 ioports pagetypeinfo vmallocinfo
211 586 704 99 irq partitions vmstat
216 6 705 buddyinfo kallsyms rt3883 zoneinfo
3 621 707 bus kcore scsi
4 631 709 cmdline kmsg self
459 65 719 consoles kpagecount slabinfo
475 67 724 cpuinfo kpageflags softirqs
476 670 726 crypto loadavg stat
5 671 740 devices locks swaps
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# cat uptime
1379.00 1342.60
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# cat loadavg
0.02 0.04 0.06 1/57 836
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# cat cpuinfo
system type : Ralink SoC
processor : 0
cpu model : MIPS 74Kc V4.12
BogoMIPS : 249.34
wait instruction : yes
microsecond timers : yes
tlb_entries : 32
extra interrupt vector : yes
hardware watchpoint : yes, count: 4, address/irw mask: [0x0000, 0x0110, 0x0508, 0x05e8]
ASEs implemented : mips16 dsp
shadow register sets : 1
kscratch registers : 0
core : 0
VCED exceptions : not available
VCEI exceptions : not available
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# cat meminfo
MemTotal: 126016 kB
MemFree: 98664 kB
Buffers: 3060 kB
Cached: 8568 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 7044 kB
Inactive: 8228 kB
Active(anon): 3712 kB
Inactive(anon): 2112 kB
Active(file): 3332 kB
Inactive(file): 6116 kB
Unevictable: 0 kB
Mlocked: 0 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 0 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 3656 kB
Mapped: 2868 kB
Shmem: 2180 kB
Slab: 6296 kB
SReclaimable: 1044 kB
SUnreclaim: 5252 kB
KernelStack: 456 kB
PageTables: 424 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 63008 kB
Committed_AS: 11648 kB
VmallocTotal: 1048372 kB
VmallocUsed: 4636 kB
VmallocChunk: 1038860 kB
admin@RT-N65U:/proc# uptime
04:23:31 up 23 min, load average: 0.07, 0.05, 0.06
admin@RT-N65U:/proc#

Let's find out what sessions are set by the clients to the router using netstat command.

admin@RT-N65U:/# netstat
Active Internet connections (w/o servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State
tcp 0 127 ::ffff:192.168.1.1:telnet ::ffff:192.168.1.2:58409 ESTABLISHED
Active UNIX domain sockets (w/o servers)
Proto RefCnt Flags Type State I-Node Path
unix 6 [ ] DGRAM 272 /dev/log
unix 2 [ ] DGRAM 1112
unix 2 [ ] DGRAM 628
unix 2 [ ] DGRAM 573
unix 2 [ ] DGRAM 274

One can learn the list of file systems and encryption types supported in files named /proc/filesystems and /proc/crypto.

admin@RT-N65U:/# cat /proc/filesystems
nodev sysfs
nodev rootfs
nodev bdev
nodev proc
nodev tmpfs
nodev sockfs
nodev pipefs
nodev anon_inodefs
nodev devpts
squashfs
nodev ramfs
nodev mtd_inodefs
nodev jffs2
nodev usbfs
ext3
ext2
vfat
ufsd
admin@RT-N65U:/# cat /proc/crypto
name : ecb(arc4)
driver : ecb(arc4-generic)
module : kernel
priority : 0
refcnt : 1
selftest : passed
type : blkcipher
blocksize : 1
min keysize : 1
max keysize : 256
ivsize : 0
geniv : <default>
name : stdrng
driver : krng
module : kernel
priority : 200
refcnt : 1
selftest : passed
type : rng
seedsize : 0
name : arc4
driver : arc4-generic
module : kernel
priority : 0
refcnt : 1
selftest : passed
type : cipher
blocksize : 1
min keysize : 1
max keysize : 256
name : sha1
driver : sha1-generic
module : kernel
priority : 0
refcnt : 1
selftest : passed
type : shash
blocksize : 64
digestsize : 20

Sysinfo utility from /usr/sbin catalogue shows detailed information on the device and its settings. We decided to present the utility output in an individual file.

We can't help to mention nvram utility that allows changing certain important device operation parameters.

admin@RT-N65U:/# nvram
usage: nvram [get name] [set name=value] [unset name] [show] [save file] [restore file]
admin@RT-N65U:/# nvram show | grep admin
size: 27558 bytes (33882 left)
http_username=admin
http_passwd=admin
acc_list=admin>admin
acc_webdavproxy=admin>1

That's where we proceed to completion of the brief review of the command line interface capabilities and pass directly on to testing the device.

Testing

The first testing procedure we always begin our testing section with is estimating the booting time of the device, which is a time interval starting with the moment when the power is on until the first echo reply is received through ICMP. ASUS RT-N65U wireless router boots in 57 seconds. We believe that this result is decent.

The second test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility.

We decided to begin the performance tests of ASUS RT-N65U with measuring user data transmission speeds in the wireless segment of the network. The diagram provided below shows speed values that we received in both of the frequency ranges.

Then we decided to carry out the measurements upon operation only in the wired segment. ASUS RT-N65U supports NAT/PAT hardware acceleration. We decided to find out data transfer speeds both when the acceleration was enabled and disabled.

Also, the wireless router under review possesses a possibility to switch off the translation, i.e. it simply can carry out solely routing functions.

Neither have we overlooked the performance of the router upon connection to the provider using PPTP. Results of the measurements for encrypted tunnels and tunnels without encryption are presented on the diagram below.

ASUS RT-N65U has a built-in feature of acting as a VPN client and server either for connection to a remote corporate network or providing remote users with access to the local network of the device. The following protocols are available when the device acts as a VPN server: PPTP and OpenVPN. Whilst in case RT-N65U is used as a VPN client, the users will be able to get connected to it using the protocols: PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. We detected certain problems upon usage of encrypted tunnels during testing and therefore we passed this information over to the vendor right away. Eventually, these vulnerabilities were completely fixed in 3.0.0.4_374_4230 firmware.

Apart from IPv4 support, the router under review also lets the user establish connections using IPv6. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it permit connections from the WAN to LAN. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the rate of LAN->WAN data flow as we managed to transfer data at the speed of about 900 Mbps.

We also couldn't overlook a possibility of access to the data stored on an external HDD that is connected to the device via USB. When the article was almost done, a new version of the firmware—3.0.0.4.334—appeared on the vendor's website. Among new things that it features is improvement in data access speeds via USB. Naturally, we upgraded the device to the above-mentioned firmware and performed measurements for NTFS once more. The received values are provided under NTFS new range on the diagram presented below.

It's worth mentioning that the access speed to the data stored on an external HDD becomes a key factor that influences the decision of purchase of this or that device. A high speed upon usage of ASUS cloud servers becomes a really sought-after feature since the servers allow for storing of the most important data on the company's servers and accessing them remotely when needed. We already saw similar functionality in certain NASes that we tested earlier and currently the common routers for home use have it too. Also, now users can create their own cloud storage areas and allow certain people access to them. One can access AiCloud settings in ASUS RT-N65U router by entering its LAN interface address using HTTPS.

That's where we draw the testing chapter of ASUS RT-N65U wireless router to a close and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

Generally, we are glad about ASUS RT-N65U wireless router we tested. It shows sustainable data transfer speeds and routing speeds in the wireless network segment. Support of ASUS AiCloud provides improved capabilities of its integration with mobile devices as well as facilitates remote access to the data stored on an external HDD.

Among the strength areas of device are the following.

  • Support of ASUS AiCloud
  • A built-in VPN server (PPTP and OpenVPN)
  • High data transmission speeds via IPv6
  • Ability to operate in peer networks
  • High access speeds to the data which are stored on an external HDD
  • Competitive price

Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention several drawbacks.

  • Absence of certain device operation modes (repeater and media bridge)
  • The web-interface is not completely translated
  • Absence of possibility to establish access to the internal network via IPv6

As of when this article was being written, the average price for ASUS RT-N65U in Moscow online shops was 4300 roubles.