The Control Panel
On the box, ASUS touts a new interface for its router administration panel as something easier and more navigable. Could it be?
Yes! Gone are the days of the atrocious color scheme and navigation which looked at home on the recently-deceased Geocities. The new interface is snazzy, slick, and, most of all, useful. The commonly modified settings are right up front. The security settings, operating mode, and quality of service controls are all up front, as well as within their respective sections in the regular configuration areas.
The RT-N13U has WPS, or WiFi Protected Setup, a system which helps less savvy users implement a secure editor. Fret not, enthusiasts, because the tweaks are still there, as are the panels for fine-tuning things like DHCP, virtual servers, and the like.
This control panel is a massive improvement upon its predecessor. Welcome to modern web design, ASUS, I’m glad to see you’ve finally arrived and that your product is good!
For some simple testing, I connected the RT-N13U to my ASUS WL-500W wireless router and transferred a file or two from my QNAP TS-109 Pro NAS to my Apple MacBook Pro, wired and wireless. I also used my T-Mobile G1 for some browsing.
I didn’t notice any major slowdowns or differences while transferring the file and browsing around the Internet. Some commenters on other reviews and retailer project had reported issues with WiFi smartphones while security is enabled, but I was unable to reproduce any of their problems with my T-Mobile G1.
The FTP functionality is neat for folks who need a simple file sharing solution which is accessible even when their computers are off. The low power draw of the RT-N13U makes for a great drop-and-go NAS when paired with a high-capacity USB flash drive. Combine that with DynamicDNS–which ASUS now hosts in addition to the traditional DynDNS.org and TZO.com services–and RT-N13U users will be able to access their makeshift NAS from anywhere in the world.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.