The ASUS RT-N16 Wireless N-300 is a high performance router that supports DD-WRT firmware. As such, it can conveniently provide VPN connections via Wi-Fi to your electronics without you having to install a VPN service on each device. You will have to flash DD-WRT yourself, but the flashing process is relatively simple. We highly recommend using DD-WRT or Tomato with this router, as the stock firmware is mediocre, and by doing so you’ll actually be able to improve its performance.
The router works well with PPTP, L2TP, and openVPN protocols. Our suggestion is to use the openVPN protocol for optimal performance.
- Features 2 USB ports. One can be hooked up to a printer that would serve as the network printer and the other to an external hard drive that would serve as the network shared drive.
- Gigabit ethernet and excellent processor leads to excellent browsing speeds. Easily supports multiple devices and private servers. One of our writers has had 12 devices connected to it with 4-5 being actively used without a problem.
- 5 gigabit ports for easy switching (1x WAN / 4x LAN).
- Plenty of storage. 128MB of memory, 32MB of flash, 480 MHz processor.
- Simultaneous dual band. This means it has two separate Wi-Fi networks operating at the same time, thus twice the bandwidth and the separate networks allows you to use each for a different purpose. For example, you could have one be a dedicated gaming and streaming network, without compromising the speed and function of the other one.
- Stable wireless signal. Good reach within the house.
- Very affordable. It’s currently $80 on Amazon as of this writing. You won’t find many other VPN routers that are in this range.
- Mediocre stock firmware. But if you’re reading this guide you want a VPN router, so you will overwrite the existing firmware by flashing to DD-WRT or Tomato anyway.
- Potentially short lifespan. There are reviews on Amazon from people who have said the router stopped working well after a couple years. However, there are also reports of the router lasting up to 5 years without a problem. It could be that the routers that broke were mishandled, overheated, or bought used (like with this person), but the short lifespan is something to be aware about nonetheless.
- TX power defaults to 17. If you need to change it for whatever reason the router can start acting flaky.
- Be wary of overheating. The router can get quite hot so keep it in a cool area with good ventilation.
The ASUS RT N16 is an excellent VPN router that offers great bang for your buck. Once you flash DD-WRT on this thing, it essentially becomes a $500+ enterprise router for just $80. You’ll be able to block torrent access via ports; select specific clients to apply your policies; customize the time and day policies go into effect; and even enable an Internet kill option to kill all Internet access if you need to. The router reaches its promised speed of 300 mbps and even under heavy simultaneous use (torrenting, gaming, streaming), speeds are in the 200mbps+ range. And since it’s such a popular VPN router, there’s also a strong DD-WRT community that is a great resource in resolving any issues you come across.
We give this router a solid thumbs up.