ARRIS SURFboard SBR-AC1750 Wireless Router Review
With the ever-growing list of Wi-Fi enabled devices that are available in homes (cell phones, tablets, TVs, thermostats, security cameras, light bulbs, movie and music players), it is no secret that having a dependable router at home to handle the bandwidth and traffic generated by such devices is becoming more important by the day. The Arris SURFboard Wi-Fi router AC1750 is a new addition to the market that aims to solve all these problems at a reasonable cost to the consumer.
The Arris SURFboard SBR-AC1750 is an 802.11ac Dual-band router. It boasts 450Mpbs on 2.4GHz and up to 1750Mbps on 5.0Ghz, 3×3 Omni-directional MIMO antennas, 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports (one dedicated for your WAN connection), WPS 2.0, Firewall, parental control protection and a USB 2.0 port.
Box and Packaging:
The box contents include the SBR-AC1750 router, power cable, Ethernet cable, a Quick Start Guide, Software and Warranty information and a sheet with the customer service number.
Setting up this device for initial connectivity took less than 5 minutes. Basically, it involved connecting the power cord and plugging the Ethernet cable from my internet connection to the blue WAN port of the router and I was in business. The default WPS Pin and WEP Key is provided at the bottom of the router. The preset wireless security settings (WPA2-PSK AES) are good enough to provide any home network with adequate protection.
WPS setup was a breeze for my WPS enabled devices and other devices connected without issues to both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands using the default password.
The web interface is awesome! The home page has a link to launch the Quick Start Wizard which takes a user step-by-step through configuring the most commonly used settings. Best of all is the fact that instead of using breadcrumbs, links to all configurable settings are available at the footer of each page making it extremely easy to navigate.
Connectivity / Testing:
For some context, this router was tested in a fully furnished 3000 sq. ft. house, with over 20 IP enabled devices (5 smart phones, 4 tablets, 4 IPTVs, 2 gaming consoles, a couple of laptops etc.). While direct line of sight to the router yielded the best and fastest connections, surprisingly the range and reach of the signal was very good at the further distances. Using the 5.0 GHz setting yielded better speeds but nowhere as fast as what was promised (1750Mbps) but it was more than satisfactory. DHCP is enabled by default but assigning a static IP Address for the WAN connection is a click away. The router also has PPPoE settings available if the ISP requires those settings to establish internet connectivity.
Setting up LAN connectivity is much of the same. The gateway and subnet range are pre-filled for non-tech users in the 192.168.0.x /24 range with the router gateway being 192.168.0.1 and IP range from 192.168.0.2 – 192.168.0.128. While the router does not allow CIDR or VLSM, it does allow users to change the home network range to a class A network “10.x.x.x with a /8 subnet mask” or class B network “172.16.0.0 with a /16 subnet mask”.
The wireless setup is divided into “Basic” and “Guest”. Under basic you have the ability to specify the wireless bands you want to connect to in the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz spectrum. The SBR-AC1750 is fully backwards compatible with previous wireless technologies to accommodate older devices that may not have been built to connect to the newer bands.
The option for Guest Access is enabled by clicking a check box. This gives your guests internet access but ensures the privacy of your data and the other devices on your network.
The SBR-AC1750 has an inbuilt firewall which is enabled by default. There is an option to turn it off if the router is being used as a pass-through device where no firewall is needed. Using the router as a print server, a file server or a media hub was also extremely easy to setup. It did not require a lot of prior knowledge or technical savvy. Copying files over the network was extremely fast and watching movies using different apps on both tablets and TVs was seamless. There is also port forwarding available for gamers and a DMZ option to place a device outside of the NAT firewall.
This is a very solid router all around. The features are comparable to other routers in the same price range but what sets it apart is its ease to configure. The user interface is very intuitive and setup is a breeze. The wireless range is also a big plus because while most routers perform very well in small spaces with clear line of sight, very few do well when the opposite is the case. The Arris SBR-AC1750 is one of those few and this is great, given the fact it has no visible external antennas.