|At a glance|
|Product||Securifi Almond (ALM-BLK-US) [Website]|
|Summary||User-friendly but relatively expensive 2.4 GHz N300 router with touch screen for setup and management|
|Pros||• Can be initially set up via touchscreen|
• AP, Bridge, Repeater modes (no WDS needed)
|Cons||• Only 2 LAN ports|
• No instruction manual
• Supports only basic features
• Not Wi-Fi certified
When it comes to long product names, I think that Securifi may take the prize. Their first product, commonly known as the Almond, has an official name: Almond – World’s 1st Touch Screen Wireless N Router + Range Extender. Now that we’ve gotten the official name into the review, hereafter, I’ll just refer to it as the Almond.
The Almond’s unique selling proposition is its 2.8” 320 X 240 px touch screen. Using the touch screen, you can completely configure the basic setup as well as most, but not all of the router’s features. There is also a browser-based interface for configuring the router, which many customers will never use. Interestingly, there are some features that can only be configured in the web UI and some features that are only configurable using the touch screen interface.
The Almond is enclosed in a high gloss (fingerprint magnet) black plastic case that measures 3.84"W X 3.75"H X 1.30"D (at the top). The bottom of the unit gently flares out to a 2.00" depth to provide additional stability. There are ventilation holes on both the top and the bottom sides of the unit.
On the rear of the product, shown below, you'll find a couple of surprises. First, rather than the traditional four LAN ports that you find on virtually all routers, the Almond only has two. Both ports, like the gray color-coded WAN port are 10/100 Mbps.
For each port, there's a single green LED that indicates link and activity. Those of you with big fingers will appreciate that the Almond includes a stylus. It's conveniently stored in a small hole near the bottom of the router. Its location is called out on the touch screen as one of the steps in the first-run wizard.
Securifi Almond Rear Panel
The Almond is based on the Ralink RT3052F wireless SoC and uses two RF Axis RFX2402 2.4 GHz WLAN Front Ends. 64 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash complete the design.
Securifi Almond PCB Top and Bottom
Ease of configuration is the Almond’s claim to fame. The front of the package proudly proclaims that you can “Configure in Seconds, No PC/Mac or CD Needed”. And you can. Documentation for the Almond is very, uh, sparse. In fact, there is no instruction manual. However, the quick Start Guide gives you the four steps for success:
- Unplug/reset your cable/DSL modem and remove the Ethernet cable attached to your computer or existing router
- Wait one minute and plug in the modem
- Wait one minute and plug in the Almond
- Follow the instructions on the Almond’s touch screen.
The on-screen instructions are clear and succinct. They guide you through language selection, finding the stylus, selection the mode of operation (router or range extender), and connecting your WAN Ethernet cable. When the wizard completes, it shows that you have an internet connection, and summarizes your wireless network settings.
I like that the Almond automatically configures your wireless network with wireless security enabled. If you purchased the Almond to use as a range extender, this wizard will also let you set up that mode on initial startup.