It’s been around a month since I BT replaced my BT Infinity HomeHub with a better router, so I thought I’d give a quick round up.
I chose the Asus RT-N56U – a mid-price-range router. Although I occasionally work from home, it’s not often enough to justify one of the top-end home-office routers at four times the price.
So far I’m extremely happy with it, and here’s why:
Two wifi networks
It simultaneously broadcasts two wifi networks, one on the newer fast ‘n’ band, and one on the slower ‘b/g’ bands. This means that my phones and old laptops hit the slower connection, leaving the fast one free for my main workhorse laptop and my iPad. In reality this means that on my laptop the internet connection speed is a steady 37MB download, regardless of whether I’m using the wifi or plugged in with ethernet. With the BT Homehub I would get 37MB on a wired connection, and around 20 on wifi.
The ethernet ports work!
A big gripe with the Homehub was that the ethernet ports seemed to “forget” what speed they were supposed to be. One day my NAS box would be attached at 100MBPS, the next 10. Streaming HD video at 10MBPS does not work terribly well! With the Asus I’ve had no problems with the ethernet ports, my NAS and media streamer have worked perfectly.
My homehub needed rebooting several times a week, sometimes several times a day. I haven’t had to touch the Asus at all over the last four weeks.
Consistent internet speed
Okay, so we get a bit of “contention ratio slowdown” at peak times, and that’s acceptable for what we pay for the connection. Occasionally it will dip to 12-15MBPS download, but considering it used to drop to <1MBPS over wifi we’re pretty happy.
I get hassled less
Not once since I installed the Asus have I had the angry “the internet is broken” call from my wife! This makes us both very happy indeed