Belkin N+

Posted on: 05/13/09 by Vince Sales
Tagged as sexy, sleek, Belkin, wi-fi router

Poor routers, they're the unsung heroes of the electronics world, tirelessly working in the background to network the stars of the show: your laptop or your iPhone. Along comes Belkin's N+, the rockstar of the router world, which steals some of the thunder of electronics products on the "main stage". It has an impressive repertoire of hits. It also has some near misses, which are, all told, forgivable. Everyone loves a rockstar.

Headlining the N+'s powers are its N router capabilities. We hooked it up to an Apple MacBook, which has wireless N capabilities out of the box, and it performed admirably.

If, like 99% of the world, networking confounds you, the Belkin N+ makes setup an absolute breeze. Simply follow the quick setup instructions and a basic network will be up and running. It's as simple as plugging and restarting your modem/router and the N+.

Once everything was connected - wirelessly or otherwise - file transfers were nice and zippy. We tested wireless streaming from the MacBook to a Popcorn Hour A100, and it was able to stream HD videos without a single stutter, both for 720p movies and 1080p trailers.

Range and speed were excellent though it must be said that we were disappointed to find the signal strength of our old ProLink router (free from Globelines DSL) consistently outperforming the N+. It's a small difference - good to excellent for the Belkin versus excellent for the ProLink - but there's simply no reason for this disparity.

What the N+ does have going for it is a deceptively ordinary USB input. Plug any storage device (hard drives or USB sticks) into this slot, and it will turn this device into an instant Network Attached Storage drive. Once you have all the right software and settings installed, you'll be able to access this drive from any computer on the network. If you want, you can even allow access to computers outside your network - great for accessing your stuff while you're at work.

While this feature works as advertised, you'll soon discover that this USB NAS is far from achieving thrash metal speeds. File transfers feel more like a stately waltz, and this also makes it no good for video streaming. Considering that a NAS enclosure can set you back by as much as twenty grand, there's little to complain about here. This is a great extra to have.

The Belkin N+ is expensive for a router, but by that, we mean it costs a mere five thousand bucks. Given the choice between a plain jane router for half the price or the N+, it's a no-brainer. The N+ has so much more to offer.

Photo courtesy of Belkin

 

Performance
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Value
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Overall
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+
  • It's an N router, what's not to love?
  • Networked Attached Storage for cheap!
  • Fancy flashing lights
-
  • USB NAS data transfer is slow
  • Fancy flashing lights
Bottom Line
  • If you're looking for an N router with some nifty extras, the Belkin N+ will steal the show. The USB NAS storage won't compare to "real" NAS storage, but for five grand, it'll do.
Editor's Pick No
Price P5,990
Tech Specs
  • Integrated Switch 4-port switch
  • Data Transfer Rate 300 Mbps 
  • Frequency Band 2.4 GHz
  • Data Link Protocol Ethernet,  IEEE 802.11b,  IEEE 802.11g,  Fast Ethernet,  Gigabit Ethernet,  IEEE 802.11n (draft 2.0)
  • Switching Protocol Ethernet
  • Network / Transport Protocol DNS,  FTP,  DHCP,  PPTP,  PPPoE,  TCP/IP,  UDP/IP,  ICMP/IP
  • Routing Protocol Static IP routing
  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Status Indicators Power , Link OK , Port status , Link activity
  • Features DMZ port,  NAT support,  DHCP support,  SNTP support,  MIMO technology,  VPN passthrough,  Auto-negotiation,  Firewall protection,  Firmware upgradable,  DoS attack prevention,  MAC address filtering,  Quality of Service (Qos  Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS),  Auto-uplink (auto MDI/MDI-X),  Access Point operational mode,  Dynamic IP address assignment,  Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
  • Compliant Standards IEEE 802.11b,  IEEE 802.11g,  Wi-Fi Protected Setup,  IEEE 802.11n (draft 2.0)


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