SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N router review: SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N router

Once set up, the router can be configured via a Web-based interface that resembles that of the D-Link GamerLounge DGL-4500, which we found to be among the best. All sections are well organized and intuitive, with great response. Most changes can be applied instantly without restarting. One difference between these two otherwise very similar routers: the D-Link uses WCN while the SMC uses WPS Push Button as the primary method of quickly and securely adding wireless clients to the network.

The two routers differed in performance, however, with the advantage slightly leaning toward the SMC. In labs testing, the SMC scored 83.7Mbps in our short-range maximum throughput test, which was imperceptibly faster than the D-Link while trailing the Netgear WNR854T RangeMax by roughly the same minuscule amount. On our mixed mode test, where the router was set up to work with both 802.11n and legacy 802.11g clients at the same time, the SMC's score was 52.4Mbps; less impressive but still faster than that of the D-Link and in the middle of the pack. On our long-range test, the SMC again scored toward the top of the pack when broadcasting its signal at 200 feet. In all, the SMC offers more than acceptable throughput, particularly if you don't have older wireless devices on your network.

In anecdotal testing, the SMC was able to maintain its signal over long ranges. In our test environment, which has a lot of walls and other interference, we were still able pick up stable signals from the router at 300 feet, an impressive distance. By comparison, the Netgear WNR854T RangeMax started to drop its signal at around 270 feet.

SMC backs the SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N with a generous lifetime warranty, provided you register the product within 30 days of purchase. The only catch is that the lifetime warranty lasts only as long as the product is an "active" SMC product, meaning that it hasn't been replaced with a newer model. Given the lifespan of a router, we think this arrangement is preferable to the industry standard one-year warranty. The company's Web site is as intuitive as the router's Web interface, where you can find firmware, manual downloads, and FAQ pages, as well as contact SMC support by e-mail. Toll-free phone support is available 24-7; we dialed the number listed and quickly got hold of a representative who was helpful and patient. All in all, we had a very pleasant experience with the company's technical support.

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput tests (at 15 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput max  
SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N
Asus WL-500W 802.11n

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput tests with mixed 802.11b/g and draft N clients (at 15 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed throughput  
Asus WL-500W 802.11n
SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N

Ixia IxChariot long-range tests (Measured indoors at 200 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput at 200 feet  
Asus WL-500W 802.11n
SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Data Transfer Rate 300 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Weight 12.3 oz