Rosewill T600N Dual-Band Gigabit Router

Print

Product: Rosewill T600N Dual-Band Gigabit Router
Provided By: Rosewill
Price: ~$59.99 online at time of publication

Introduction:

Today we are looking at the Rosewill T600N Dual-Band Gigabit Router.  We've looked at quite a few routers over the years from Linksys, D-Link and Trendnet, but this is the first one we've looked at from Rosewill.  In fact, Rosewill is pretty new in the networking market so it will be interesting to see what they have to offer.  I found it interesting to see that this budget router ($59.99) has pretty much the same feature set that $159.99 routers did last year from vendors such as Linksys and D-Link.  As we carry on through this review, we'll take a look and see what Rosewill has to offer and in the end put it up against a few other networking products in a head-to-head race.

If you've shopped at Newegg, you'll be familiar with the Rosewill name.  They make some pretty decent products at great prices and today we'll find out how well they can manage wireless and wired networking.

Router Box

First Impressions:

There's not a lot you can do with the box of a router to make it appear fancy without being cheesy.  It is a piece of networking hardware after all.  Rosewill decided to go with an understated professional look that works.  Included in the box is the standard setup CD, the power cord, a short Ethernet cable, a pair of hi-gain antennae and a quick install guide.  It doesn't get you very excited, but it does have everything you need to get the job done.  The hi-gain antennae are a nice touch that helps them get good range without a ton of transmit power.

Router Bundle

 

The overall appearance of the T600N is a bit reminiscent of a Trendnet router.  I'm not picking on anyone here, but the sleek front, top and sides are totally ruined by the ultra-bright LAN ports in the back.  The truth is that no one will be checking out the back of your router, but these mega-bright ports do take away from the overall excellent finish of the product.  Keep in mind that beauty is only skin deep and this certainly won't affect the overall score.  

T600N Front
T600N Front

T600N Rear
T600N Rear

I noticed as I looked at this router that there is quite a bit of ventilation on the router.  This should help with passive airflow and hopefully will keep the router cool enough under a heavy load to keep it stable.  You can see around the entire outside edge at the top that it has small vents.  There are larger vents on the bottom at the sides.

Router Top
T600N Top

 

Once you get the antennae strapped on this router looks a little more impressive.  It also gives you an idea about the size of these hi-gain units as well.

Router Antennae
Front

Side

 

On the next page we'll take a look at the features and specifications of the T600N from Rosewill before we fire it up, take a look at the interface and then jump into testing.

 


Rosewill T600N Features:

The following list of features and specifications have been taken from the Rosewill produt page for the T600N.  If you want complete information, please make sure to check their site for all the latest and up-to-date information - including firmware updates and more.

 

  • Supports 2.4GHz up to 300mbps and 5GHz up to 300mbps at the same time
  • 2x External 5dBi 2.4GHz Antenna + 2x internal 3.5 dBi 5GHz Antenna ensuring the best performance
  • Full Gigabit Ethernet allows you to transmit data at a blazing speed
  • Easy Setup – Quick and Easy Setup installation
  • Intelligent QoS – QoS optimizes your network performance
  • Maximum 30,000 Simultaneous Connections for Best Performance
  • Enhanced Security – 64/128 bits, WEP, WPA-PSK (TKIP), WPA2-PSK (AES) wireless encryption, and WPS button to ensure the security of your network
  • One Click WPS Setup – Easy Connection with One Click

Router LEDs
Router Indicator LEDs

Specifications:

Specs

On the next page we'll cover setup before we jump into testing the T600N.

 


Web Interface & Setup:

Most of the interface of the T600N is pretty straight forward and there isn't much point in me stating obvious things.  We will take a look at independent wireless setup that is virtually identical for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.  We'll show that you can have up to four different SSIDs per wireless band and eight in total.  This makes this router one of the more flexible router options around - if you need multiple networks for public and private access.

System Staus

System Status

As with pretty much every wireless router these days, you can choose manual setup with a custom pass-phrase or use WPS.  It's also nice to see that you can specify up to four separate SSIDs and security features for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.  You could have a lot of fun with these SSIDs.  Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands worked very well and I was able to connect to the network using either the pass-phrase or the WPS button.

Wireless 2.4GHz - Basic
Wireless 2.4GHz - Basic

Wireless 2.4GHz - Security
Wireless 2.4GHz - Security

   

Wireless 2.4GHz - WPS
Wireless 2.4GHz - WPS

Wireless 2.4GHz - Policy
Wireless 2.4GHz - Policy

 

The wireless setup is exactly the same for both bands - other than the channel choices for the wireless signal.  Other than than, SSID, Security, WPS and more are all the same.  The interface on the router isn't flashy as you can see, but it is more than adequate and actually is very snappy to work with.  When you apply settings from most sections, the router "restarts the module" and this takes 15 seconds - as opposed to a full router reboot that takes 45-60 seconds.

For big things - such as changing subnets, internet access and so on, a router reboot is required, but overall it is pretty quick and allows you to keep working in the router setup during a lot of this process.  Years ago, I had a Netgear router that required a 90 second reboot after ever change - this took a long time to do a "quick setup".  Thankfully, Rosewill has this pretty well in hand.

Advanced Setup:

A few interesting settings on this router fall under the "Advanced" area.  There is a "Hardware Accelerator" that can be enabled, but if you do, you won't have any QoS options available.  We tested the router both ways and found that QoS was hard to test in our particular environment with the upload and internet a bit flaky here at BCCHQ South, but it seems to work ok.  When tested with Hardware Acceleration enabled - I never noticed a performance boost either.  The router ran very well both ways.  It's doesn't have the fastest wired throughput, but it's certainly not the slowest either.  Perhaps in an environment with 30-50 connected devices, hardware acceleration would help.  During our standard tests, it wasn't noticeable. 

Advanced - NAT
Advanced - NAT

Advanced - Port Map
Advanced - Port Map

Advanced - Port Forward
Advanced - Port Forward

 

There are more images of the interface that we didn't include in the review to save pages of information that is pretty basic.  Make sure to check out the gallery here.  On the last page we'll take a look at the performance of the T600N router and see how it performs.

 


Network Performance:

As far as performance goes, we fired up iperf to do a little benchmarking on this router.  Iperf results show bandwidth that the network is actually capable of.  In the real world, you won't see wired transfer rates approaching 1000mpbs because hard drives are barely fast enough to read and write at this speed.  Also, CPU overhead becomes an issue when transferring this much data.  We use iperf with confidence as it shows how good the network hardware actually is and if it can perform anywhere close to its rated specs.

Network Speed

 

For reference we have compared the T600N to the Trendnet TEW-691GR & TEW-672GT as well as the Linksys WRT610N, E4200 and D-Link DGL-4500 & DIR-655.  While some of the wireless adapters have changed over the years, we have been using the current equivalents throughout these tests to keep everything as close to realistic as possible.

We ran through several instances of iperf and each instance transferred data for 5 minutes.  The results were averaged are displayed above.  As you can see the T600N has a very strong showing and takes the wireless crown away from the TEW-691GR.  While the wired performance of most of these products is within a couple of percent, the wireless performance is what is really starting to set some of these products apart.  That being said, I was a bit disappointed with the wired performance of this router as it didnt' quite make the magic 900+ Mbps peak.  It falls slightly behind our previously-slowest router - the DIR-655 from D-Link.

In the end, any of these routers will get the job done, but if you're looking for a super-fast 5GHz capable router, the T600N is a bargain at $60.

 

Final Thoughts:

Overall the T600N from Rosewill is a very decent product from this company that is starting to get into the network business.  This is currently their flagship product and at $60 it's hard not to notice.  Most consumers are looking for a router than gets the job done - regardless of features.  The Rosewill T600N not only gets the job done, it gets it done rather quickly.  I've had no issues with stability and performance with this router throughout the weeks we've had it around the office.

As far as performance goes, it's a bit of a mixed bag.  The wireless performance is top notch and is the fastest 802.11n router we've had on the bench.  With that being said, the wired performance was not quite up to what we've come to expect from Gigabit networking products over the past few years.

The T660N doesn't come with a lot of extras, but it's a router and we don't really expect much.  There are quite a few other routers on the market priced right around $100 that come with a USB port for print serving, USB drive sharing and more, but they left this out of the $60 model.  Still, the hi-gain antennae bring some extra value to the router bundle.

The setup of the router is a snap thanks to the modules that it saves and restarts instead of rebooting the entire router.  It's pretty obvious that this router runs a version of Linux and it does work well.  The interface is snappy and doesn't lag at all.  I'm very impressed with how fast this non-pretty interface loads.  The interface isn't fancy at all and I don't think that's a bad thing.  How much time do you really spend inside the router setting it up?  That's right.  Not much time at all.

The best part about this router is that you can buy it online for $60.  That makes it a great value for the performance - and one of the best value-priced, mid-range featured routers we've looked at - ever.  When spending $60 on a router you usually don't expect much, but Rosewill has delivered a lot more than we expected.

Pros:

  • Quick and speedy software interface
  • Stellar wirless performance
  • Dual-Band wireless with separate configuration
  • Excellent wireless performance
  • Four SSIDs per band
  • Excellent price

 

Cons:

  • Mediocre wired performance

BCCRating

Gold

 

I'd like to thank Rosewill for sending us up the T600N router.  If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please leave it in the forum at the link below.