Asus’ home network products are fairly decent and powerful though they’re poorly documented. One area where the documentation was completely missing was how to reset one of their Wi-Fi range extenders/repeaters.
Unlike many other tech products and certainly most consumer network products, it's not enough to power the device off and hold the Reset button while powering it on. The first problem you are likely to encounter is a configuration lockout: After a while, the repeater may disable the administration interface and the Reset button. You can power it off and on again to get it back in normal operating mode.
You must also disconnect both the 3,5 mm audio jack cable and any Ethernet cables you’ve got connected. The device won't go into recovery mode if there is a connected audio cable. It will enter recovery mode with an Ethernet cable connected, but if there is another DHCP server on the network (from your other router or modem), the range extender will not turn on its own DHCP server and you may not be able to reach the administration interface to set it up again.
The undocumented reset instructions should be the following:
- Unplug all cables and the repeater itself
- Put the repeater back in the wall-socket and wait one minute. Don’t plug any of the cables back in until you’ve reconfigured the repeater to your liking.
- Press a pin or toothpick into the hole above the power switch where the Reset button sits. Keep pressing for 30 seconds and don’t release until the rapidly flashing lights have stopped.
The extender is now resetting to factory settings. If you start or stop pressing too soon, the repeater may merely reboot and not actually reset. Connect to its Wi-Fi network (it should be named something like ASUS_RPAC52 depending on your exact model) and open http://192.168.1.1/. The link will only work after you’ve connected to the repeater’s own network.
This method was verified using an RP-AC52 as shown above. However, the firmware and hardware is nearly identical and should work on the RP-N53, RP-N14, and the RP-AC56 and RP-N12.
None of this is documented on Asus’ support website nor in the manual for the range repeater. After talking to their support staff via chat, it became clear that they didn’t know how to reset their product either. They suggested that I try holding the Reset button for just ten seconds or pressing it while powering the repeater on; which definitely does not work with this repeater.