Router Feature Highlights
As previously noted, the 14-N, Trendnet TEW-633GR and D-Link DIR-655 are separated-at-birth twins. So I won't be spending much time reviewing the 14-N's feature set. Hit the 655's review and slideshow or even D-Link's online emulator for the 655 if you want the details.
The 14-N's admin login screen is shown in Figure 5 and also provides access to the built-in USB print and scanner server without requiring an admin login.
Figure 5: Login screen
Since it uses a Ubicom processor, the 14-N has StreamEngine automatic uplink QoS, which is enabled by default. You also get Ubicom's WISH (Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling), which is basically automatic QoS for WLAN traffic.
SMC's differentiation from its D-Link and Trendnet competition is the built-in USB print and scanner server. I'm not a fan of built-in print servers, as they generally don't handle the multifunction printers that are more common in home and SOHO environments. But SMC's implementation takes advantage of a deal that Ubicom struck with Kestrelink to bundle its KestrelPrint Wireless MFP Server-Bridge into its OEM products.
Kestrelink appears to use a printer's actual drivers, linking to them via a little utility that downloads onto whichever Windows client is running the printer setup wizard launched by clicking on the left-hand "Click to set up printer" icon shown in Figure 5. The app doesn't install permanently and deletes itself when its work is complete.
If your browser is set to auto-run applications (not a real good idea), then the app loads and tries to locate the printer drivers. If it can't, it prompts you to guide it to the correct location or to load the original driver CD into your machine.
I had to manually click on the installed app and at first tried to guide it to the proper folder on the install CD that came with my Brother MFC-7820N Printer. But after a few failed attempts at finding the correct folder, I just pointed it to the top level of the CD and it was able to find what it needed on its own. Everything installed ok and the test page that the wizard asked me for permission to print came out just fine, too.
In the print server status shown in Figure 6, it looks like Raw TCP port and LPD/LPR printing are also supported, which I didn't try. Note that the print server is a true multiple-client implementation and not a USB server like found on the D-Link DIR-825.
Figure 6: Print Server Status
I didn't have any luck when I tried to use the "Click to Access Scanner function" icon on the 14-N's login page (Figure 7), however. Everything appeared greyed-out, so I wasn't able to access the Brother's scanner functions.