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Dynamode R-ADSL411N review

Chris Finnamore
15 Aug 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
37
inc VAT

Very fast at close and medium range with Dynamode's USB adaptor and sharing a USB hard disk works well, but the router has some significant flaws

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Specifications

802.11n, 4x 10/100 Ethernet ports

Dynamode's R-ADSL411N is a wireless-N router with a surprising number of features for its knockdown price. It's a MIMO model with a claimed maximum throughput of 300Mbit/s, support for guest networks, USB network storage and even a USB print server.

The plain-looking router is reasonably easy to set up. The web-based interface has a setup wizard which takes you through putting in your ADSL settings and turning on wireless encryption, so most people should be able to set up a wireless broadband network quickly. If you delve deeper into the menus there are a bewildering array of options, many of which we’d never seen before - we're not convinced that budget router buyers will need to configure their TR-069 certificates, but there's no harm the option being there. A bigger problem is the help text for more common options such as port forwarding - this is written in jargon-heavy stilted English and is hard to follow.

Dynamode R-ADSL411N

The router has all the options we'd expect, such as Dynamic DNS, DMZ and Quality of Service, although QoS is implemented in a strange way - you can limit the amount of bandwidth the router uses, but there's no way to prioritise by traffic type and the interface is generally confusing. There are also some advanced options that we were surprised to see on a budget router. There's a well-implemented way to share a hard disk connected to the USB port over your network using SAMBA. You can also set up to three guest networks, but the guest networks don’t support wireless security. You can set them to invisible mode, so guests will have to enter the SSID manually to connect, but we couldn’t see a way to stop those connected to the Guest network seeing a hard disk connected to the router. However, you can always set a password on your SAMBA-shared hard disk to restrict access. We had no luck at all sharing a USB printer on the network - the router could see the printer, but no matter what we tried it wouldn't show up in Windows. The router also failed to recognise our 3 USB wireless broadband modem.

Dynamode R-ADSL411N Ports

We saw mixed results in our transfer speed tests. When using our test Centrino 2 laptop, we could transfer files at 1m at 41.3Mbit/s and 10m at 24.4Mbit/s - about average close range speeds for such a cheap router, but slightly slower than average at medium range. At 20m, we saw a crawling 0.8Mbit/s, which is definitely worse than most. However, when we used Dynamode's own WL-700N-MRT USB dongle (£7 from www.kikatek.com), close-range speeds shot up to 66.3Mbit/s and we saw 42.8Mbit/s at 10m - making the R-ADSL411N even faster than the Netgear N600 Dual Band ADSL2+ Router we saw last month, and far quicker than any of the models in our last router Labs in Shopper 280. However, at 20m we couldn't get a signal at all.

It all adds up to a mixed bag. The router is drowning in features, half of which are poorly implemented and half of which work fine. It’s very fast with Dynamode's own adaptor at short and medium ranges, but slows to a crawl or loses its connection completely at very long distances. If you're prepared to use Dynamode's own adaptor and your wireless network doesn’t stretch much beyond a couple of rooms, it's a very cheap way to get fast 802.11n transfer speeds, but various flaws stop the R-ADSL411N getting top marks.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Modem typeADSL2+
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size40x184x124mm
Antennas2
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on3W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingno
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportno
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£37
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.dynamode.net