Routers have become essential in modern life as we become more dependent on the Internet. The Zyxel SCR 50AXE aims to secure your connection thanks to its cloud-managed software and Threat protection while still offering hardware goodies like WiFi 6E support.
Zyxel SCR 50AXE
|Dual-Core Cortex A53, 1.0GHz
|1x WAN RJ-45 1GbE, 4x LAN RJ-45 1GbE
|2.4GHz: 575Mbps, 5GHz: 2,400Mbps, 6GHz: 2,400Mbps
|2.0 dBi 2.4Hz, 3.0 dBi 5.0GHz, 3.5 dBi 6.0GHz
|Ransomware/Malware Protection, Intrusion Blocker, Dark Web Blocker, Stop Mail Fraud & Fishing, Block Ads, Block VPN Proxy, Web Filtering, Firewall, GeoIP, Allow List/Block List, Traffic Management, Real-Time Threat Intelligence, Web Filtering, Site-to-Site VPN, PPPoE Pass-Through, Reserve IP, NAT, DHCP, IGMP
|178.0 x 68.2 x 242.2mm
|12V DC, 2.0A; 21W
The Zyxel SCR 50AXE comes in a plain cardboard box with the company’s branding at the front. Encased inside is the SCR 50AXE router itself, a magnetic base, and a 12v 1.5a switching power supply with three different hot swap plugs.
Design and Features
The router is basically a white slab of plastic with red accents devoid of any protruding antennas – a minimalist design that’s sure to fit on any home or business. It can be propped up on a desk using its magnetic.
At the back are perforations for cooling. Removing the plastic cover reveals all relevant information about the router as well as its default password for its WiFi network. There are also mounts to hang it on the wall should you choose to do so.
It sports a total of five RJ-45 ports: a WAN port and four 1Gbps ports. Flanking them are its reset and WPS buttons, and a 12v DC-in for power. Unfortunately, there’s no support for 2.5Gbps connections on the router unlike their unmanaged switches.
Setup and Software
Setting up the router is the same as other routers in the market. You’ll just need to connect your modem and other wired devices to the router. Connecting to the WiFi can be done using the SSID and password found at the back but it’s recommended to change them as soon as possible. Starting up the router will take a few minutes as it needs to boot up its own software and connect to the cloud.
The Zyxel SCR 50AXE is powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor that runs at 1.0GHz. It has a built-in firewall and relies on the cloud for management and additional security. As a cloud-powered router, it has a minimal admin panel. Instead, it relies on the Nebula app accessible via iOS, Android, or preferred browser.
Let’s start with the browser version of Nebula Cloud. The control panel offers comprehensive tools for monitoring and checking your whole network. It can be a bit much for first-time users as there are quite a few tabs to explore.
The main dashboard gives you a quick check of the router’s status and other supported devices, the number of threats detected that entered the network, total processed traffic and sessions, as well as a list of connected devices.
Over at the devices tab are more information about the router including the populated ethernet ports, both local and public IP, its firmware version, and WiFi channels available. Scrolling down is the Network Usage and Connectivity graph that shows the Internet usage of all devices by up to 1 day for free users and up to 30 days for subscribers.
Threat report shows the malicious activity picked up by the router. It even has a handy counter of which device is getting the hits as well as the location of the threats making it handy to lock down the source of potential threats.
There are tabs that may not be useful especially if you only have one Nebula-supported device as they focus on multi-device configuration and monitoring. Select features such as web filtering and other services are locked behind a subscription service, but its free features are comprehensive enough for most users.
The Nebula app on smartphones is a far simpler version of the admin panel on the browser. It is still a powerful tool for monitoring the router. It shows what clients are currently connected, active routers on the network, threats detected for up to 24 hours, and create additional WiFi SSIDs on-the-fly and select what band they use.
You can even update the router’s firmware via the app. Information available in the app, however, is not real-time. It may need a few minutes to get up-to-date details from the cloud. There’s no option to limit bandwidth on specific SSIDs so every WiFi connection that you setup will get full bandwidth.
Zyxel SCR 50AXE Review – Performance
The Zyxel SCR 50AXE is a WiFi 6E-compatible router, which means that it supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands. Philippines has yet to adopt the WiFi 6E standard as it is not part of the list from the Wi-Fi Alliance. This limits the router and devices available in the Philippines to WiFi 6 that use 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Despite this restriction, WiFi 6 should be fast enough for most users. Maximum total throughput is set at 9.6Gbps with 1201Mbps per stream, which is slightly faster than its 1GbE LAN wired connections. The router has no problem keeping up with fiber connections especially in home or SMB settings.
Performance is fast as expected from a WiFi 6E-compatible router. Our current fiber plan is a 100Mbps connection and it is fully utilized by the router without any drops. It can easily handle multiple devices without dropping connections despite being fully loaded.
As for local transfers, we connected two WiFi 6 devices – an ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming-based PC build and an ASUS ZenBook 14X. Transfer speeds are set to 1201Mbps and can reach up to 110MBps on an SSD-to-SSD transfer with a sequential workload.
The V1.10 (ACGN.0) C0 version of its firmware did come with downsides as it took quite a bit of time to start the router since it needs to connect to the cloud for its services. As of V1.10 (ACGN.1), however, boot up times have been significantly reduced to around 2 – 3 minutes, lowering downtime if you need to restart the router or update its firmware.
Zyxel SCR 50AXE Review – Conclusion
At PhP 17,999, the Zyxel SCR 50AXE has a steep asking price especially if you compared it to other WiFi 6 or WiFi 6E routers in the market. While the hardware is decent on its own allowing for fast Internet and relatively swift local transfer speeds on WiFi, the true advantage of the router lies on its software.
Nebula Cloud offers a comprehensive look into your network and allows for a ton of monitoring parameters. Some options are more helpful than others especially if you only have a single compatible router at home.
Other monitoring pages and services are locked behind a subscription service for PhP 299 a month for the SCR Pro pack, but this shouldn’t be a requirement for the average user and might only be fully utilized by bigger businesses or those who have multiple Zyxel devices.
The Zyxel SCR 50AXE offers an exhaustive suite of options combined with fairly powerful hardware. Those who need thorough security on control over their network should consider this cloud-managed router.
Zyxel SCR 50AXE Price and Availability
We’ve partnered with Zyxel to bring you an even better deal on it’s the SCR 50AXE, and MG-105 and MG-108 unmanaged switches. Until December 15, 2023, you can get an additional PhP 200 off on your purchase if you use our voucher on Lazada or use the code “ZYXELHUNG” on Shopee.