The very first thing that you will notice in this 802.11n wireless router is the presence of three 5dBi omnidirection antennas. While the 802.11n standard means high speed connectivity, the antennas mean long coverage perimeter. Furthermore, this router supports 3x3 streams, meaning presence of 3 transmitter-receivers. Each of these transmitter-receiver is capable of 150 Mbps speed which mathematically makes N450 capable of touching speeds of 450 Mbps (150x3). But the real issue is having a client capable of handling 3 simultaneous streams, which means you could actually pay up additional cost if you don't have the desired client. Other features worth noticing about N450 is the presence of a USB 2.0 port for connecting network storage, support for DD-WRT open source firmware for more features and customization, and AOSS for quick setup of secure wireless network (similar to the well known WPS). The presence of built-in open VPN server is yet another feature besides the DD-WRT firmware that would make this router attractive for network administrators. We tested the performance of N450 using an isolated 'N' network with the router connected to two machines, one wirelessly and the other with cable. Using the 'Qcheck 3.0' benchmark we checked average throughput with a 1000 KB payload. In this test we clocked an average speed of 37 Mbps which is lower than the speed clocked by Zebronics NWC-WR150A router reviewed in this issue. We transferred 50 MB of data from one machine to the other and here too, the time of 55 seconds is more than the other router we tested.
Bottomline: A decent performer with a number of useful features for SMEs.