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Wireless routers Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond review

£85 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond is an attractive dual-band cable router.

Along with the Linksys Cisco X3000, the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond is one of the few routers we've tested whose designers have made some effort to make the device appear attractive.

It's small chassis is entirely black with a glossy finish and 'diamond' patterned reflective surface, although this unfortunately attracts fingerprints.  There are separate blue status LEDs at the front for both the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond's 2.4GHz and 5Ghz wireless networks, and the entire router is small and unobtrusive.

See also: Group test: what's the best wireless router?

It has plenty of hardware under its glossy shell too: support for 2.4Ghz and 5GHz wireless, four gigabit Ethernet ports and twin USB ports. This is mostly standard for a premium router, but we like the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond's extra USB port as it allows for either additional storage, or the use of a network printer and USB hard disk at the same time.

As with the outside of the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond, the on-board interface has also been given plenty of polish, as it uses lots of helpful icons, bold buttons and a well-structured menu system. This goes through each function of the router in turn, with all network settings under their own 'Advanced' heading. In particular, the icon-based QOS settings are much easier to set up than on routers that rely on text alone.

Asus claims that its 'AI Radar' technology improves wireless performance, since it increases the signal power the router outputs in the specific direction it knows a client is positioned in. In our short range test the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond managed 7.8MBps, while at long range it managed 3.2MBps. While respectable speeds, this was slightly slower than other routers in its price range.

Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond Expert Verdict »

Asus RT-N56U Scores 8.7 out of 10 based on 57 reviews
Wireless bands: 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz
802.11a,b,g,n
WEP/WPA/WPA2
2.4GHz 2x2 internal antennae, 5Ghz: 3x3 internal antennae
4x10/100/1000Mbps
10/100/1000mbps
WAN port
Port Forwarding, QOS
NAT/SPI
2xUSB 2.0
172x145x60mm
330g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The clever design, excellent application of dual-band wireless and dual USB ports make the Asus RT-N56U Black Diamond a very attractive router. While the extras give it an advantage and almost earn it an award, the middle-of-the-road wireless performance brings it back in line with the other premium routers we tested.

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