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Belkin N1 Wireless Router (F5D8231-4)

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Belkin N1 Wireless Router (F5D8231-4)

The Bottom Line

Not to be confused with its cousin the N1 Vision, the Belkin N1 Wireless Router supports 802.11n ("Wireless N") networking. Besides supplying a performance boost over older 802.11g routers, the Belkin N1 offers several features to simplify home network setup as well as some higher-end capabilities often needed on business networks. The stylish design of this unit appeals to many of its owners.
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Pros

  • Slick packaging and in-the-box documentation
  • Innovative front panel graphical icons to display network status
  • Configurable for use as an access point
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • May perform slower than some competing products

Description

  • Supports up to 300 Mbps maximum network bandwidth and range up to 1,400 feet (450 m) using three built-in Wi-Fi radios.
  • Compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux computers
  • Includes a Fast (10/100) Ethernet network switch for up to 4 wired connections
  • Standard broadband router capabilities: DHCP, MAC address control, NAT, SPI firewall, VPN pass-through, dynamic DNS, UPnP
  • Physical dimensions (inches) - 11.7 x 10.3 x 4.2
  • Warranty - Lifetime
  • Date of Introduction - 1 May 2006

Guide Review - Belkin N1 Wireless Router (F5D8231-4)

Wireless N routers like the Belkin N1 enable faster wireless networking than 802.11g or 802.11b routers. The exact speeds you can expect from a N1 will vary depending on your setup. Some other online reviewers have claimed it does not perform as well as other wireless N routers in some tests. Ensure your Belkin N1 is running the latest firmware for best results.

Mode Support

All 802.11n routers support backward (so-called mixed mode) compatibility with 802.11g and 802.11b equipment. Some also support 802.11n-only operation that prevents 802.11b/g clients from joining the network but increases the router's 802.11n performance over mixed mode. The Belkin N1 does not support 802.11n only mode. However, as an alternative you can use its Bandwidth Switch setting to enable the 40MHz mode of 802.11n signaling to potentially improve performance.

Access Point Support

Unlike most other products in this category, the Belkin N1 can be re-configured for use as a wireless access point instead of a router. This added flexibility will benefit those who already own one router and are seeking to expand the reach of their network.

Security

The Belkin N1 includes Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support for WPA security via either PIN or push button configuration methods. Unlike some competing products, it also offers WPA-2 Enterprise (RADIUS) wireless security features required by some businesses.

The N1 also allows you to turn off the router's Wi-Fi signaling when not using it. This option, not available on many older broadband routers, both saves power but protects your network from wireless hacking.

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