Review: ASUS RP-N53 DUAL-BAND Wireless N600 Range Extender

The Asus RP-N53 Dual-Band Wireless N600 Range extender designed to get your wireless signal to extreme corners of your house.  Asus started in 1989, so they have a very...

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The Asus RP-N53 Dual-Band Wireless N600 Range extender designed to get your wireless signal to extreme corners of your house.  Asus started in 1989, so they have a very long and proud history of making high quality and reliable computer products, including Networking devices.

The Asus RP-N53 Dual Band Wireless N600 Range extender is a small, compact, yet powerful range extender, which works by re-amplifying your existing wireless network and extending its range.  You can also create a whole new network, via its easy web-based interface.  The device supports both Windows / Mac and operates on both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz frequencies. Running on 802.11n (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) it can increase your WiFi signal distance up to 300 metres.

If you have devices that don’t have WiFi chips, the RP-N53 has a 10/100 Ethernet port (strange this isn’t gigabit), as well as an headphone jack. The highly compact design requires no power supplies, it plugs directly into the power point.  The device also has streaming functionality via the ASUS AiPlayer app, available for free via the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play store.

The N600 has a dual antenna design, and thanks to Dual Band technology allows multiple frequencies to run simultaneously. If you position the extender somewhere visible in your house, it’ll also act as a night light, also providing LED signal indicators to show wireless strength. I have never seen a device with so many features and yet so compact. This is a testament to Asus engineers, and making something simple to use but without losing functionality.

Design and Build Quality

From the moment you see the design of the Asus RP-N53, unlike most networking accessories, it is white in colour with a crosshatch pattern on the front, yet it looks and feels very solid and not flimsy or poor quality.  It’s a simple vertical rectangular shape, with an LED display for signal strength at the base, which also indicates the frequency being used (or both).

Features

  • Small and Compact Design (plugs straight into wall outlet)
  • No networking degree needed
  • No power supply bricks or cables
  • Dual band concurrent (MIMO)
  • Signal Strength indicator on front of device
  • Touch panel on front for night-light
  • Supports Windows 8 / Mac / Windows Vista / Linux
  • WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) support
  • Supports 802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g / 802.11n
  • Frequency 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (Dual Band MIMO Concurrently)
  • Ethernet – 10 / 100 T-Base Connection
  • Web-based interface
  • Up to 300mbps Uplink and Downlink
  • Dual Antennas
  • Built-in streaming functionality via free App from App Store / Google Store.
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • 3 year Warranty

Disadvantages

  • Width of device may mean losing one power connection in a dual outlet power point.

Setup and Configuration

Unlike a lot of wireless networking products on the market, The Asus RP-N53 is one of the rare networking products where you don’t’ need a degree in networking to use, and configure it for setup, yet it has many advanced features.

To set it up, you basically remove the device from the box, plug it in the wall, and go to your web browser and type in http://repeater.asus.com and this guides you through the setup of the device.  I chose my existing network, typed in the existing details, and automatically a secondary extended network was created with the label RPT (short for repeater).

Performance

After my configuration was complete, I took this pocket powerhouse for a spin, and I was not expecting the results I got.  I found general web browsing, video playback, downloading, streaming, and responsiveness to be the best I have seen for a wireless range extender.   I tested this device on Windows / Mac computer and web browsing was a lot quicker, and to add to this my new Xbox One worked off it like a dream, and no complex network configurations or setups.

In fact my Internet connection and signal reception was so much better, living without the RP-N53 Range Extender wasn’t an inviting prospect. This is the simplest network upgrade any user can have, and it works flawlessly, and had no issues whatsoever.  My time with the RP-N53 was flawless with not a single drop out or disconnection.

Price

The RRP of the Asus Dual-Band Wireless N600 Range Extender is: $139, but can be purchased online for as low as $99.

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