My current ADSL router is a Draytek Vigor 2600w which is over 10 years old and has worked flawlessly until just recently. The only downside was that it didn't support secure VPN connections. When the Draytek packed in I had to use the router provided by my ISP, and that was a horrible experience. I quickly began the hunt for a new router which did support secure VPN server, port forwarding and guest wireless networks and settled on the Asus DSL-N17U.
When I was looking around for suitable replacements, I found that there wasn't too much competition in the area for wireless routers supporting ADSL2+, VPN server, port forwarding and supporting guest wifi networks. The Asus DSL-N17U was half the price of the other router which supported my requirements so that made my decision an easy one.
With the VPN (virtual private network) server and VPN client, you can access your home network remotely or surf the internet with encryption. I am planning on using this to connect my smartphone via VPN for a more secure browsing experience on corporate and public WiFi connections.
The key features of the Asus DSL-N17U Wireless N300 Router include:
- Dual band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
- 4x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1x Gigabit WAN
- VDSL2 modem
- WPS, WPA/WPA2 security
- 2x USB 2.0
- AiCloud media sharing
Out the box the router is very stylish. Much more so than the traditional slab with wires hanging out. It's almost good enough to put on display.
The first thing I noticed after connecting up all the cables and turning it on is the web interface. It's all nice and pretty looking, but it is slow. Really slow. Like over a minute to save settings slow. It took a long while to configure the ADSL connection, set up WiFi and guest WiFi, configure the VPN server and add my webserver to the port forward list.
There are a lot of ports on the back. 4 1000/100 mbps LAN ports, two USB 2.0, the ADSL modem port and the power supply. These are all pretty standard.
Once the initial setup was all done, the router is pretty much forgotten about. It just sits up on the shelf quietly getting on with doing routery things. I've not needed to reboot or reset it since the initial configuration 4 months ago.
The WiFi is really strong compared with the Draytek and ISP router. Rooms that I couldn't get WiFi in were now on half signal and the rest of the house on full signal. WiFi speed is also much faster and allows streaming of movies over WiFi from my Plex Media Server to my iPad or Chromecast, something that the Draytek had trouble with and the ISP router totally failed on.
If you have a lot of visitors to your home who want WiFi you can set up a Guest WiFi network which does not have access to the main WiFi or Ethernet connections. I can protect my personal data better and prevent unauthorised access to my desktop and NAS.
The built-in firewall has a lot of functionality as there are a few tabs in the web interface to configure everything in there. As with the rest of the setup and configuration, it's pretty much set and forget. The only thing I would want that is missing is a hostname blacklist to prevent access to ad servers and malware at the DNS stage. It's not a show stopper though as I can do the same thing from a hosts file on each of my machines.
Overall this is a great router for the money and a massive step up in performance and functionality over the standard free routers from the ISP. Everybody should upgrade from the ISP-provided router for faster internet speeds, wifi performance and range as well as enhanced security features.
Asus DSL-N17U Defaults
I find it useful to note down the defaults for getting into the router just in case I have to do a factory reset and can't find the paperwork.
These are the default settings to get into a freshly reset router.
Default IP address: 192.168.1.1 Default admin username: admin Default admin password: admin