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)