SMC Networks Barricade N SMCWBR143-GN

Blog Andy Shaw Feb 18, 2011

If you’ve taken the plunge and subscribed to a wireless broadband service, you’ll probably have it installed on your laptop, ready to use when you’re out and about.

If youve taken the plunge and subscribed to a wireless broadband service, youll probably have it installed on your laptop, ready to use when youre out and about. There are more options available to the savvy mobile broadband user, however. If you slot a router between your mobile broadband and your computer, you can share the connection with others, set up a small network when youre away from home and have mobile broadband ready and waiting in the wings if your usual connection fails.

Features:
This 802.11n-compatible wireless router from SMC is ready to do it all. Plug it in at home and youve got a normal Ethernet router, which will take its internet connection from either cable or an Ethernet ADSL modem, and share it via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It has a USB socket on the back for plugging a 3G dongle into, for when you want to use your mobile service to connect to the internet instead.

Performance:
Performance of the Wi-Fi network was very solid when we tried it. The triple-aerial system helped the signal register throughout our test environment.

Ease of use:
Whats missing from the product is any guidance on setting up mobile broadband. This isnt uncommon with wireless routers because modems change all the time, but that will be of little comfort to anyone who gets stuck trying to get it working. The rest of the router is relatively straightforward to set up,.

Value for money:
The unit is reasonably priced when compared with its rivals and you get a reliable performer for your money. You could shave a few pounds off here and there by shopping around and downgrading to 802.11g, if you dont need the performance improvement offered by 802.11n.