updated 11:40 am EDT, Mon October 23, 2006
ASUS 802.11n BitTorrent
As part of a larger initiative by BitTorrent to encourage the use of its distributed downloading technology in hardware, ASUS today released two new wireless routers with built-in BitTorrent clients. The highlight of these two models is the WL-500W, which ASUS says is the world's first 802.11n router that can download files from BitTorrent, FTP, or HTTP sites without requiring software on the computer. Users can either transfer files directly from the router to their computer at the 300Mbps theoretical maximum of the draft 802.11n standard or else store them on an external USB 2.0 hard drive. The latter option gives owners the choice of downloading files even when the systems attached to the router are turned off, states ASUS. An FTP server and remote management also give the choice of queuing or downloading files from outside the local network.
Also announced is the simpler WL-500g Premium, which has many of the same features but is limited only to 802.11b/g networks. The company notes that its single-antenna design still allows for up to three times greater wireless coverage than most other 802.11g devices. ASUS hasn't yet established official pricing for either wireless router, but both models will ship to North America soon.