Review: The Wireless BitTorrent router

I heard some stories about the Asus WL-700gE, aka "the BitTorrent router" a couple of months ago. It was announced as the ultimate gadget for torrent freaks, so I decided to buy one as soon as it was available. That was three weeks ago.

After two weeks of extensive testing I think I’m able to write a proper review (of the bt part). Lets start with a general overview of the specs:

BitTorrent router asus
  • 160GB Built internal 3.5″ Hard Drive
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • Web/FTP Server
  • Photo Album/Message Board Wizard
  • Auto bandwidth management (downloading + web browsing)
  • Plug ‘n Share USB Storage + RAID mirroring
  • iTunes Server + UpnP AV Server
  • Power usage (approx) 30watts peak (restarting router) and 15watts “idle”
  • and a lot more

    The router comes with a setup utility, thus configuring the router is pretty easy. The goal of this article is to review the BitTorrent related functionalities of the router, but I have to say that the router does pretty much everything it promises. To name a few things:

  • The Itunes server works like a charm, and is very useful if you want to access your mp3 collection with other gadgets or computers.
  • The FTP server allows you to create multiple users with separate access levels
  • The plug and play USB backup works like it should.
  • The Wireless signal is excellent, it has no problem to bypass the two steel-enforced concrete floors in my house.
  • asus BitTorrent

    But now the BitTorrent part. The Asus WL-700gE comes with a “download master” utility that supports ftp, http, and BitTorrent downloads. There are two ways to download torrents, you can upload a torrent with the “download master” utility on your pc or you can access the “download master” in your web browser.

    The progress of the downloads can be monitored in the transfer panel of the download master. It lists the filename, progress, size, speed and ETA. The web-based download master has a few extra monitoring options (peers!, download/upload).

    Download Master

    dl master

    Web Download Master

    dl master

    The transfer monitoring is quite buggy, the speed and filesize update every 10 seconds or so, but the torrents have the strange tendency to stop downloading if you watch the transfer progress for more than a minute. They resume downloading as soon as you minimize the window.

    And there are more bugs. About 50% of all the torrents I paused, never resumed after the pause. This means I had to redownload all the data.

    The overall speed is ok, and it shouldn’t matter too much, since most people will use it to download torrents overnight.

    There is not much to tweak. The only option you have is to set the time the torrent should seed once the download is finished (default is 1 hour). Too bad they didn’t include a ratio seed setting.

    Conclusion:
    Overall I would say the router performs very well and is worth the money (I paid approximately $300). However, the BitTorrent client is very buggy and limited. It works but it could and should be improved significantly. The router would not yet replace my regular torrent client, but it does the job at night.

    pro’s:

  • torrent downloads work (sometimes)
  • all the other features are sweat
  • con’s

  • transfers stop at random
  • files disappear
  • tweaking options are limited

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