SMC ADSL2 Barricade-N Pro review
Cheap and quick with a good range of features, but it's not the easiest router to set up.
Review Date: 15 Jul 2008
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £53 (£61 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
You no longer have to pay a fortune for wireless-n equipment, as Linksys' WAG160N and this SMC router prove.
But while the Linksys router throws excellent design and a decent software package into the bargain, the SMC does not. With its two large aerials and plain grey colour scheme, it's every bit the boring network box. You can't even upgrade the aerials, so there's no payback for those ugly duckling looks.
It's clearly aimed at businesses and enthusiasts rather than the fit-it-and-forget-it brigade, but even here it comes up short. Though you do get support for WPA Enterprise, intrusion detection and DoS attack prevention tools, along with time scheduling and SNMP support, there's only support for VPN passthrough and no WDS bridging or Gigabit Ethernet.
There's plenty of performance on offer, though. The SMC was just a fraction behind the Linksys, with an overall adjusted average speed of 26.4Mb/sec. And if you discount the mediocre long-distance transfer rate of 12.2Mb/sec, it's actually faster. In the house, the SMC was, on average, the fastest router with adjusted average speeds hardly varying between locations. This router was almost as fast in the kitchen (36.5Mb/sec), with two brick walls and a staircase in the way, as it was in the same room (37.7Mb/sec).
There's little in the way of security setup out of the box. Beyond a simple wizard built into the web-based interface, there isn't much by way of a nod towards ease of use either. Disappointingly, a username of "admin" is filled in and the standard password displayed in plain view on the login page. The setup wizard doesn't even prompt you to change the password.
If all you need is a fast box at a reasonable price, SMC's no-nonsense Barricade-N is for you. But the Linksys is marginally quicker over long distances and a better package overall.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- Virgin's superfast broadband coming to East London
- BT Openreach: we need to do better on customer service
- BT: Tech City's broadband is fine - startups just need to pay more
- City of London slams BT for "unacceptable" broadband
- Those parental-control filters? As few as 4% are signing up
- National Parks want faster mobile broadband
- Government broadband plans "lack ambition"
- BT denies that Tech City lacks superfast broadband
- One in five websites blocked by ISPs
- Ofcom to regulate BT's fibre prices
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- The best broadband speed tests
- How fibre broadband transformed Cornwall
- The best business broadband: how to choose the right package
- How to get faster broadband: tips & tricks
- Choosing your web hosting package: space, bandwidth, service-level agreements and email handling
- ISPs must sabotage your broadband to survive
- Fibre broadband: the facts
- Will Britain get Europe's best broadband?
- The mobile data rip-off