Belkin N Wireless Router Review – Sexy but problematic, like a hot chick with perpetual PMS

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Belkin N Wireless Router Review – Sexy but problematic, like a hot chick with perpetual PMS

Several months ago, I bought a N Wireless Router. I’m not a fan of Belkin routers (although I do use their lightning surge protectors due to their warranty people that do honor claims) as in my past experience, Belkin’s routers tend to hang when under stress from P2P or randomly drop connections. I cannot remember all the Belkin routers I have gone through that have consistently disappointed me but my last Belkin was a Wireless G+ MIMO router which constantly hung while P2Ping.

Now many of you will be wondering why I decided to go for Belkin again after my many bad experiences with their routers? My previous Dlink DIR-655 (which was great by the way), was lost in a lightning surge and I was desperate to find a router that both have gigabit ports and Wireless N.

The only model available in my local shop which had both features was the Belkin N Wireless Router with model number #F5D8233-4 so I sighed in resignation and decided to give another Belkin router a try.

Overall, it wasn’t as bad an experience as I thought it would be with the router delivering N and not choking on P2P which was a pleasant surprise. Gigabit ports worked as they should and the device was black and sexy. Belkin has in its recent products, definitely upped its game in the aesthetics department!

However several fatal flaws still confirmed my beliefs that Belkin still doesn’t have their routers down pat. As in the title, the Belkin seemed prone to mood swings:

  1. Router randomly dropped N connections quite frequently. This happened during large transfers and was really annoying since the main point of N is speed…and once you drop a connection, you would have to restart the whole thing again. Frickin annoying when watching movies as well! This to me was a huge deal breaker. Wireless G connections did not experience this problem. Now I used this with an Intel 5300AGN wireless card and an Aztech USB N adapter with similar results so I don’t think it’s an wireless card issue (though I could be wrong). I also found that the speed negotiated with N continuously fluctuated.
  2. Router when managing the PPPOE Streamyx connection would sometimes fail to re-negotiate when disconnected requiring a reboot. This is solved by installing a BETA firmware (which had to be searched like nuts and not available for download from the normal site) but it was a horrible experience to look for the firmware. Furthermore, this firmware was released many months ago and still had not moved to the official downloads section with the buggy previous firmware still up. Looks like Belkin doesn’t really focus on firmware development.
  3. Router settings are rather rudimentary with me unable to control DHCP as much as I would like for example, the basic static DHCP assignment option is unavailable. Compared to a Dlink, Linksys or even an Aztech the features in the router web interface was sorely barebones.

I then bought a Dlink DIR-825 and suddenly all the above problems went away with a stable 130mbps connection and no hangs confirming my fears that once again the Belkin looked sexy with its sleek back finish and lifetime warranty but when put to the test, she started bitching totally killing whatever love I had for it. However if you are a fan of lifetime warranties, then perhaps you should give this product a look as Belkin apparently do honor their warranties (though prepare to wait for a few months so get 2 just in case!).

0 Comments

  1. Wyndhavocx says:

    Heya buddy, I had the same problem too. There’s another problem too, the reason why I sold mine off. The Router simply refused to work with the Iphone 2G, 3G and even 3GS no matter how much i tried. Same problems with the connection drop. It may be that the iPhone does not work well with the N standards from Belkin. Running on Buffalo now, awesome stuff, Belkin’s great but they dont seem to wanna work well for Routers.

  2. onephatcow says:

    I ran a belkin N1 wireless router with my iphones with no problems, and only replaced the belkin recently cuz I got ‘itchy’. The random dropped connections did happen, though not nearly as commonly than I was led to believe. Would I go Belkin again? Maybe, but clearly there are faster routers out there, and I’ve learned not to go for just looks alone when shopping for routers 🙂

  3. ibex7 says:

    Reuben, I suggest you to flash the router using any popular OpenSource embedded router firmware ie: dd-wrt, tomato,openwrt. IMHO, these firmwares give better functionality and control. Give it a spin.

  4. mike says:

    it took me a while to figure it out, but the itouch connects just fine. you need to make sure the frequency and wireless settings are all set to auto a/b/g/n, as well as 20mHz and 40mHz(i think that’s the setting). if you have only N turned on, everything that isn’t N compatible wont be able to connect.

    I just have problems with being constantly dropped. I could happen one moment, then again 2 minutes later, or it could be 30 min. Very random and very much a gigantic pain. Need to get help from their tech support. FYI: the dropped connections are just wireless. My desktop works just fine.

  5. Cortney Opal says:

    You have noted very interesting points ! ps nice site.

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