SMC ADSL2 Barricade-N Pro review

15 Jul 2008

Cheap and quick with a good range of features, but it's not the easiest router to set up.

Price when reviewed: 
61(£63 inc VAT)
4

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £53
Price inc VAT £61
Overall rating 4
Performance 5
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 4
WiFi standard Draft 802.11n
Modem type ADSL

Wireless standards

802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

LAN ports

Gigabit LAN ports 0
10/100 LAN ports 4

Features

MAC address cloning yes
Wireless bridge (WDS) no
Interior antennae 1
Exterior antennae 2
802.11e QoS yes
User-configurable QoS no
UPnP support yes
Dynamic DNS yes

Security

WEP support yes
WPA support yes
WPA Enterprise support yes
WPS (wireless protected setup) yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ support yes
VPN support no
Port forwarding/virtual server yes
Intrusion detection yes
DoS protection yes
Web content filtering yes
Email alerts yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 189 x 156 x 30mm (WDH)