Tag Archives: wireless

Belkin N+ modem router

A little while back I had problems with my old Belkin N1 wireless router and was still amazed that despite a general lack of customer service in South Africa, Incredible Connection (of all places) managed to impress me.

Netgear provides in my opinion the only reasonable consumer networking products and I will stick with my Netgear DG834 (running DGTeam firmware) as it has never disappointed. A few months back I tried Linksys (being Cisco now), but their Soho routers are not even capable of providing a custom netmask. But there is one benefit no company currently can match with Belkin – a life-time replacement warranty on their products.

As a follow up on my pitching session about MTN, perhaps companies should look at Incredible Connection and Belkin for a number of reasons. As a first Belkin provides a life-time warranty on their products. Belkin’s products don’t perform exceptionally well (in comparison to Netgear or Cisco), but to prove the point:

I bought the Belkin N1 router some 14 months ago at R 2,500.00. This was a brilliant price, considering that it was the first N-draft, gigabit router on the market. The router died and the local Belkin representation (Gobic) was very quick in providing a credit note for a replacement. It takes guts for a company to provide life-time warranty, but it will certainly create brand-loyalty.

Incredible Connection comes into the picture as they handled the return (regardless of where you purchased the Belkin product, you can hand it into any Incredible-store, provided you have the till-slip). Once Gobic established that the router can not be repaired and was not damaged by lightning, I was able to pick up a replacement at the store.

There was no fuss, as the current N1 price was R 2,700.00 and the assistant even offered to give me the N1′s replacement the newer N+ modem router which goes for almost R 3,000.00. Although this was my first positive experience at Incredible Connection, it paints a clear picture, that some companies are becoming more customer centric than others.

The N+ is okay, and does everything the N1 did. I tried the ADSL mode, but it’s firmware can not compete with a well tuned open-source firmware running on the Netgear. The N+’s storage feature (plug in any USB device and it will mount it as a network share via Samba) is about the only advantage (but then again, I have 2Tb of storage on my NAS).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Jesus-firmware for your ADSL modem

Well, not quite, but close enough. If you happen to have a Netgear DG834XX ADSL modem router, I strongly suggest that you have a look at the DGTeam custom firmware:

All the features are listed after the break, but to wet your RSS-appetite, you should get excited about wake-on-LAN, TCP/IP tuning features, advanced ADSL tuning (including lockdown of SNR) and improved firewall modules. With the firmware comes native telnet-support, which has made my ADSL traffic statistics a lot more reliable.

The firmware can be flashed the same way you will flash any other Netgear firmware via the routers admin-console and after a few minutes you will have a more stable and feature rich firmware having features such as:
Continue reading “The Jesus-firmware for your ADSL modem” »

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Belkin N1 Vision – new firmware

My Belkin N1 Vision (F5D8232uk4) gigabit router has served me well in the past, and although I would next time rather go with a Netgear or Linksys, the choice was made due to it’s gigabit ports (at the time of purchase there was no wireless router available with those features).

Over the weekend I updated my F5D8232uk4-version 1 router to the latest pre-release firmware (v1.00.16) which resolves the following issues:
- General improvements in performance and stability
- Fix for a problem where the router would drop some connections on 2-hour intervals
- Updated driver for the Wireless Network card

Unlike other users, I must have been lucky, since I have not experienced any issues and would not be able to tell a difference after applying the latest firmware.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Airport Express: Manage access point remotely

Apple has released a number of updates today. In addition to the release of OSX 10.5.4 which fixes a number of performance issues on the 5Ghz wireless channels, the all important Airport 7.3.2 firmware update was released.

Will Apple generally does not disclose much information about Airport Express updates, the recent firmware seems to have resolved the issue where I was not able to manage the base-station once the access-point was placed in bridged mode. A number of people in the Apple forums experienced the same issues and should now be as ecstatic as I am.

The OSX 10.5.4 update includes improvements of iCal reliability when it comes to the software’s handling of meeting requests, cancellations, and syncing with the iPhone. To Dos can apparently be marked as private again, too. Safari has gotten a performance fix when loading secure web pages, and a number of issues with Spaces (such as application focus problems and dragging applications between different Spaces) have been fixed. Apple lists out these updates in its support document, and there are sure to be a slew of hidden ones buried in 10.5.4 as well.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Airport Express: Extending your network (and stream iTunes from your NAS)

I was running my N-wireless network for months through my Belkin N1 router without a problem. The router is located in my office, connecting to an iBurst desktop modem and was connecting via a Gigabit connection to my PS3. As more people have moved into our estate, interference has now prevented to consistently push Wifi through the remainder of the house.

I had to get a quick fix in the shape of the Airport Extreme:

Continue reading “Airport Express: Extending your network (and stream iTunes from your NAS)” »

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Belkin N1 wireless router

In anticipation of finally getting broadband I bought myself the Belkin N1 wireless router:

I managed to get a R 500,00 discount from Incredible Corruption since the box was opened and the manual was missing. Nonetheless everything else was still in factory condition. The N1 router has a slick design and much easier setup process. A removable sticker on the N1 shows you exactly which steps to perform, and the completely redesigned setup program—now with an Apple look and feel—is easier than ever to use. I had the N1 running a few minutes after unpacking it. Both the Linksys and Buffalo N routers offer one-click options for security, which makes the overall setup process faster and smoother, but the Belkin N1 accomplishes the same goal through its software.

Despite the many announcements for Draft N networking equipment last year, actual hardware has been slow to surface. The Belkin N1 router differs from either Linksys’s or Netgear’s competing Draft N products by not offering a single-mode operation. Instead, the only option is a mixed n/g/b mode.

Generally, single-mode operation offers better performance, because in mixed-mode, the older-generation products (such as 802.11b clients, which can sustain a slower throughput than 11g or pre-11n clients) become a network bottleneck. If you do have to buy now and want something that will likely be upgradable through firmware to conform with the final 11n spec, the N1 router should be your choice.

Like just about every 802.11n router, the main feature enhancement on the Belkin N1 is the speed. Where Belkin truly innovated beyond that specification is in the new router design and setup. The router includes WPA encryption, SPI firewall, MAC address blocking, 4 10/100MBit Ethernet ports and more. The firewall includes features such as port forwarding and a DMZ. The later allowed me to place the PS3 in the DMZ and made it now possible to have NAT2 support.

The Belkin N1 matches the speed of both the Netgear and Linksys 802.11n routers, and provides just a bit more coverage in your home—extending its signal to about 300 meters.

Note: Before you configure the router, ensure that you update the latest firmware from here (be careful about your hardware version – I have the hardware version F5D8231-4 v2 and downloaded BETA_2.01.27 which made the router N draft 2.0 compliant)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)