An inexpensive router that disappoints at short range
The appearance of Buffalo’s N150 is rather odd, since the device is incredibly compact, yet a single giant antenna protrudes from the top, which is almost as tall as the router itself. The inclusion of only a single antenna is uncommon, as adding an extra one usually means a significant performance improvement for a relatively small increase in cost.
As with the other inexpensive routers, the N150 only has Fast Ethernet (100mbps), lacks 5GHz wireless, and has no USB port for adding network storage or connecting a printer. It does have the option of creating a secondary guest wireless network, which can be given different security settings from your personal one. Another advanced feature is the inclusion of a built-in VPN endpoint, which negates the need for additional software on your computer.
An advantage of the N150 over other low-priced routers we’ve tested is that Buffalo is a western brand, with better support and helpful forums on the company’s website. The set-up assistant software and on-board administration tools are less frustrating to use than both Tenda’s or TP-Link’s offerings, with clearer labelling and a less confusing layout. The router has a button for one-touch setup of a wireless network, which works similarly to WPS, but is called AOSS by Buffalo.
At long range, the N150 performed well, managing a respectable 26Mbps, which is a good achievement considering the two solid walls it passed through, but at short range it was at the bottom of the pack, averaging 54Mbps. We suspect the single antenna was the cause of this, although this speed is still more than enough for smooth data transfer, including streaming high definition video, either from the web or another computer on your network.