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This AC does more than cool you down, it speeds you up. We’ve seen many of the 802.11ac products ASUS currently has on offer, and soon this new addition will be joining the family.

This is the RT-AC56U, a mid-upper range networking device that’s loaded with goodies to make the most of the latest in Wi-Fi. Just to recap quickly, 802.11ac takes over from 802.11n as the fastest and most powered Wi-Fi standard. You can check out the official protocols on the IEEE site. And get excited about the RT-AC56U…

The RT-AC56U is quite the looker, maintaining the black diamond design previous performance routers from ASUS showcased. Of course, the antennas are internal, which means a sleeker device, less interference and, in my case, nothing for headphone cables to get snared on, reducing the likelihood of mishaps.

How does the RT-AC56U order a martini? "stylish, not bland"

In terms of speed, the RT-AC56U has two bands (2.4GHz/5GHz) that concurrently top at 1167Mbit/s. While not the fastest in the ASUS networking arsenal, this is more than enough to cover you even if you’re on a rare true Gigabit connection. Inside we find a fifth generation Broadcom chipset that is at the heart of 802.11ac optimisation.

You can see quite clearly that the RT-AC56U has both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, so connect away: printers, external storage, even 3G/4G adapters. This is more than a router, it can easily become a server to share resources, something ASUS networking products are very keen on doing.

When the vents display such attention to detail, you know it's all good

The internal antennas are supported by ASUS AiRadar signal amplification and shaping technology, which we’ve talked about before as well. This nifty touch has an intelligent algorithm built into the CPU that modulates signal power based on how many devices you have paired with the RT-AC56U, how far each one is, how much bandwidth each requires at any given time, and what letter of the alphabet the device name starts with. Just kidding about that last one. On a serious note, ASUS engineers tell me in real world test conditions AiRadar can extend Wi-Fi coverage by 150% compared to an exactly-specced router that doesn’t have it, though of course your results may vary.

What's your favourite port?

Naturally, the ASUS AiCloud app is bundled and supported, so you can use your iOS and Android devices to access the RT-AC56U from pretty much anywhere, and share stuff from external storage hooked to it with other people. You can also access, stream, upload, and download content, but remember you do need external storage for this – that’s why the USB ports come in so handy.

One push and you're set

The RT-AC56U should be launching in the very near future, with more details forthcoming. We’ll keep you posted, so watch this space and our Twitter feed!

quick note that the product’s final appearance may differ slightly from what we show here, though the basics will be the same! 


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