Sunday, December 25, 2011

The journey of Asus RT-N13U router [User review]

I wanted to get a router for new Tikona Broadband Connection. So after a lot of research I settled for Asus RT-N13U. Later found it had an upgraded version, that was the B1 version. So settled with this. Searched eBay, and after some search I found a star seller, offering for a price of 2998 INR including shipping.
I ordered the product, and withing 4 days it was delivered.

I was so excited about this router, why shouldn't I be. There were a lot of amazing features bundled. I will comeback with the features later in this post. So I quickly unpacked the box. It was wrapped in a plastic wrap. I pulled the router out and looked for the accessories included. The box contained:
  • Router RT-N13U B1
  • LAN Cable
  • AC Adapter
  • A quick guide
  • A warranty card.
  • A CD with Asus Utilities
Once unpacked the router, I plugged in the AC Adapter, and the LAN Cable, connected it to my Netbook.
Powered on the unit and it got connected. I poped in the CD and, came up a Setup Wizard. I installed the Asus Utilities. Ran the Asus WPS wizard. Connected the LAN cable from my Broadband into the WAN port. Within minutes the setup was complete and the Router after a reboot was ready to go. So easy.


Why did I choose RT-N13U B1 Router.

I am a download freak and have an unlimited internet connection. I wanted to have a download rig which consumed minimal power and could run for days. The cost to build such a rig was around 4-5K. When browsing the internet I came across this router which had a USB port. I was wondering what the USB port was for? When I went through the features, yes this is what I was looking for.

The USB port had some good use.
  • Plug in a MFD(Multi-Functional Device), a printer/scanner and the router could act as a print server. Enabling everyone on the network to share the printer and scanner.
  • Plug in a 3G USB stick/dongle and convert your router into 3G router.
  • Plug in a USB storage device and use it as a NAS(Network Attached Storage), use download manager and queue your download into the router for download and you can shut down your system and let the router do the downloading. Also enable DDNS and access your files from anywhere on the internet.
Amazing features aren't they.

Now I had this router for a week and all of a sudden it stopped acquiring IP from my ISP. Did a complete reset, but it did not work. So thought it was an issue with the firmware. So flashed the firmware downloaded from Asus site. That too did not seem to work.

I downloaded the firmware from dd-wrt. Spent hours to read the documentation. Finally time had come. Flashed the router with dd-wrt firmware. My fingers crossed hoping not to brick my router. Did a restart and to my joy, it was done. There came up the dd-wrt login page. Changed the settings, configured the router, and a restart. After a reboot I checked the WAN IP and to my horror this did not seem to work.
So thought it my a manufacturing defect and I need to revert the firmware. But now the router refused to connect. Spent 4 days searching various blogs, asking people in different forums. But nothing seems to work out. Finally I called Asus Support center and a lady after some initial diagnosis said that I'll have to visit the Support center.

Next day picked up my router, and reached the Asus support center. explained the hole scenario. The engineer there check the router and declared it dead. It was like the router went into COMA. The light were on, but no communication. So he finally agreed that it is a manufacturing deffect and will have it replaced. Since they did not have this model in stock, he ordered a replacement. The router comes with a standard 3years warranty but did not survive even for 13 days. Now I am waiting for the replacement router to arrive.