ASUS RT-N12HP Router features great performance and wifi range. ASUS has primarily highlighted their unique feature which makes it a multipurpose device. It offers high power router abilities, reliable access point and maximum range capabilities. In this article we are going to review and test the router. Routers are common requirement now a days. Creating reliable wifi connectivity is necessary at every place. Having your own personal wifi network allows you to share your content on the internet. On the same hand it is important to take care about the security. I mostly recommend going for a router + modem. So that you do not need to add two different devices and configure them separately. But at some places where we are on a WAN network or where Modem is primarily connected as the internet gateway, a router can help you to extend the network. The router was announced by ASUS in Oct 2012. Till today we are not able to find this product on any shopping website. It seems that ASUS has not planned selling it yet. That is the reason we are doubtful about the actual price but in the conclusion we are able to assume the price range based on similar lower model.
As per the press release, ASUS has quite nicely mentioned what RT-N1HP can do. The most highlighted feature is 300% wider wifi range. That can simply mean that comparing to your existing router your current wifi coverage can increase 3 times. And that is possible with the help of 9dBi Antennas along with a transmission power amplifier. ASUS has peculiarly said that this router is well suited for Small Business and Home usage only. That makes it low on heavy usage. With these 9dBi Antenna and integrated power amplifier you can get greater wifi range. Better wifi speed is promised on Isotropic Reference Antenna through which it delivers a common bandwidth equally on all direction. Now regular routers in market offer wifi range on basis of 2dBi, 5dBi & 7dBi Antenna, while comparing them 9dBi is greater. And if you are in the market to buy a wifi router then ensure that you get 5dBi minimum for effective coverage inside a single apartment. Now here is small graphic explanation of what I am talking about. This image shows a coverage output of different antenna. The wifi is counted on the basis of circle where the router lies in the center.
ASUS RT-N12HP Router Features:
- 3-in-1 Mode: RT-N12HP can act as a Router, Access Point as well as a Range Extender.
- Antenna: 9dBi Antenna extends wifi range around 300%.
- Powerful Online Multitasking up to 30,000 Data Sessions
- 802.11n Wifi Standard
- Multiple SSID for Flexible Wifi Access
- EZ Switch: Switch easily between 3 Modes virtually. (Access Point, Range Extender & Router)
ASUS RT-N12HP Router Specification:
- Network Standard Support : IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IPv4, IPv6
- Operating Frequency : 2.4Ghz
- Bandwidth : 300mbps
- Data Rate : 802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11Mbps / 802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps / 802.11n : up to 300Mbps
- Antenna : 2x 9dBi Detachable Antenna
- Encryption : 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS support
- Management : UPnP, IGMP v1/v2/v3, DNS Proxy, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Virtual Server, DMZ
- VPN : IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through & PPTP server
- Connectivity : 1x WAN & 4x RJ45 Ports
- ASUS RT-N12HP
- One RJ45 Cable
- Two 9dbi Antenna
- Warranty Card
- Power Adapter
ASUS RT-N12HP is a small router with 179 x 128 x 28 cm dimension. There are two detachable 9dBi antennas. The antennas are quiet long compared to what we see in regular routers. The length of antenna lies between 15 to 18 inches. Having a longer antenna simply means a wider range. The router is capable of serving wifi range at a standard range between 20 to 30 meters while regular wifi coverage dies above 10 meters. This makes the router an ideal choice for Home and Small Office only. Do not expect the range higher in case of obstacles. Compared to regular routers ASUS RT-N12HP can pass through soft obstacles more easily but at limited range only. Due to different mode support that you had seen in features, you can simply use these routers as an Access Point or Range Extender with your existing Wi-Fi network. That makes it a wise investment. The body is designed with plastic material that makes it less durable in looks and it is very light in weight. 7 Blue led indicators are placed on the front top. That offers you information on active ports, power and wifi connectivity. It does not have WPS button.
The antenna is bit heavy compared to the weight of router. A number of times when you adjust the antenna the router falls backward. With only 4 LAN ports on the backside you can still use 4 wired connections on the router directly. For Home and Small office usage that is enough. It is a plug and play device that is easy to configure also.
It supports IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IPv4 and IPv6 Wifi standard. The standards mentioned above are the most common one that are supported by Home/Office Network PC, Smartphone’s, Tablet PC, etc. But if we talk about Enterprise Level support, then there are ample of things missing. We can simply ignore that. The router operates on maximum 300 mbps bandwidth. This can be good for LAN sharing. Many non-gigabit ports gives you expected speed but depending on the architecture the speed fluctuates. RT-N12HP is capable of giving you a standard transfer speed of 10 to 80mbps depending on the network type.
The router operates on 2.4 GHz frequency. And it lacks a 5 GHz support that ample of dual band router deliver. Above that you can expect a better speed and standard transfer ratio. The data rate as per the specification is different for each network. Like for 802.11n which is the most common and offers you maximum 300Mbps. I hardly got 10Mb/s on it. While for others like 802.11b gives 11Mbps. And for 802.11g you can expect upto 54mbps. Depending on the standard the router data transfer speed fluctuation. The maximum you can get is on 802.11n. I had manually configured the same on 802.11n @ 50 MHz only but still the speed lies below 10mbps.
For security the router features all powerful standards. There are 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise and WPS support. Along with this there is a Guest access mode, which for some time disables all security stuff and allow guest to access internet. This is only recommended if you are completely aware who are using your wifi network. Also you can protect the Guest Network based on time limit.
In RT-N12HP you can use 4 different SSIDs. And on all the 4 SSID you can configure the settings as per your need. That means you can limit the bandwidth usage and data accessibility or simple filter url. This is quiet smart. Now you have an option to isolate your network on the basis of different settings through SSID. You can create networks like Admin, User, Guest and Others. On each of them you can configure different settings as per your need and apply the amount of bandwidth they are allowed to use. We had shown in our Video Review of RT-N12HP router how to create different SSID. You have to just click on Quick Internet Setup and create SSID. But there is one problem with it. When you create different SSID they are not visible under Wireless section. You can see only the existing connected SSID. I had created two SSID here – ASUS1 & ASUS2. Now if I am on ASUS1, to enable ASUS2 I have to manually type that under Wireless Name and click on Apply. There is no drop down kind of feature or buttons that can show us all the SSID at one place. But the feature is still very effective.
Guest Network :
ASUS RT-N12HP offers you 3 Guest Network configurations. Under this you can create a small public wifi hotspot for others. Enabling Guest Network does means the user will be able to access everything on your wifi. It will be limited with prescribed time limit or on the basis of strong encryption. After the limit is over the network is disabled automatically. Under this you can create 3 Guest Network SSID with following settings:
- Authentication Mode : Provide an Open and Lock network access depending on your use. You can use the Encryption type here to protect the network. Different Wifi protection standards are available.
- Network Key : Create a key to prohibit un-authorize access.
- Time Remaining : Configure a time limit after which the Guest Network will be turned off automatically.
- Access Intranet : Enable or Disable access to your local storage.
Setup & Software
ASUS RT-N12HP does not come with any Utility CD. It is a plug and play router. The package comes with Quick Start Guide that shows you the correct connectivity procedure. You can also check that on our video section of Techarena.in/Videos or on YouTube/TecharenaIndia about configuring this router. I will just mention that quickly with small visual illustration. At the backside you can see there are 5 LAN ports. Among which the first one next to power button is Internet Port. And next to that is standards port. Now check the images below one by one for simple connectivity procedure.
A). Setup :
To begin the setup just connect the router. If you find a duplicate IP Error on your network, try to provide a manual IP details. Or simply reconfigure the DHCP. That will do the job. The Dashboard of RT-N12HP is quiet user friendly. You can manage number of things here. Unlike other routers, it offers you ample of security features, Mac filter, parental control, and many more configuration settings. I found it very simple and for every standard user it will not create complication. The router dashboard is divided into two parts. The first is General that consists of following category :
- Network Map : Configure your LAN Settings
- Guest Network : Configure Guest Network Accessibility.
- Traffic Manager : Real Time Traffic Monitoring
- Parental Control : Block/Unblock unwanted websites.
The second section is Advance Settings. It consists of following category :
- Wireless : Manager Wifi connection and multiple SSID with Encryption Standard. Also you can configure Mac Filter settings here so that only the allowed devices can access the network.
- LAN : In this section you can configure the LAN IP, DHCP Server. Route and IPTV.
- WAN : Under this you will find option for configuring your internet with advance options. That consists of Port Trigger, Virtual Server, Port Forwarding, DMZ, DDNS and NAT Passthrough.
- IPv6 : From here you can only configure IPv6.
- VPN Server : In this section you can manage the VPN Server connectivity.
- Firewall : You can protect your wireless network from here by adding url filter, keyword filter and service based filter.
- Administration : Under this you can change the router modes.
- System Log: You can check all logs here related to connectivity failures.
b). Utilities : The utilities can be downloaded from the official website of ASUS. You can simply use that to download the following set of applications.
- Device Discovery : If you are using the router as an Access Point then you will need this utility. This utility will help you to get the router IP address that you can share with others.
- Firmware Restoration : If reset button on the back of the router does not work, you can use this utility to restore the router firmware. Download is provided on the official website.
- Router Setup Wizard : This allows you to reconfigure your router settings.
- EZSwtich : This is integrated on the Dashboard. You can use this to change the router mode. You can quickly change the router to an Access Point or Range Extender through this.
ASUS RT-N12HP is an ideal router for long range wifi configuration. If you are on an open ground with minimum obstacles then the wifi range can be extended up to 100 meters. But the bandwidth differs on the basis of conditions. While inside a home or office, 20m to 30m wifi range is a piece of cake for this router. The bandwidth here can pass as well through walls and other obstacle. It is recommended that you place the router at a centralize location and it should be at a standard distance from your body. The download and upload speed is quiet good. I tested the router on an 8Mbps internet bandwidth. I found the performance good, by streaming videos on 8 different devices on single time. And above that 4 computers were also using internet. Performance point of view it offers you a good output in terms of small office or home. The thing that annoys most is the big antenna that does not allow you to place the router anywhere. You have to keep it on an open surface. There are no Gigabit Lan ports on the router due to which the performance is limited to some extent.
The router is an enhanced version of ASUS RT-N12 that comes for Rs.2000 Approx. The actual price of ASUS RT-N12HP is still not provided on the web. I cannot see any website selling this router. But somehow it may be available in the near future. The price range expectation lies between Rs.5,150 /- Rs.5,300/-. Or may be slightly higher.
- 9dBi Antenna with integrated Amplifier
- Long Area Coverage
- 4 Network SSIDs
- No Gigabit Lan Ports
- Only for Small Network
- No 5 GHz Operating Frequency.