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Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A review

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Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • Belkin N+ Wireless Modem Router - F5D8635UK4A
  • F5D8635-4 Wireless Broadband Router - 300 Mbps (4 x 10/100Base-TX LAN, 1 x ADSL WAN - IEEE 802.11n draft)

Summary

Our Score:

7

When Belkin launched its glossy black Vision broadband routers it set a design standard that much of the competition followed as black was suddenly very much in vogue. Its latest N+ Wireless Modem Router, the F5D8635UK4A, keeps to the same colour scheme but goes all matte on us and loses the distinctive LCD display panel as well.

At the rear you have four Ethernet LAN ports but unlike the N+ Wireless Router model these are not the Gigabit variety. The N+ incorporates an ADSL modem and you also get a Draft 2.0 compliant 802.11n single band wireless access point. The USB port adds some useful storage related features as you can connect a memory stick or an external storage device and share its contents over the network.

There are still plenty of visual cues to operations as the router has a strip of bright blue icons running up the front panel that show the status of the ADSL link, the Internet connection, the attached storage device, WLAN, wireless security and LAN ports. Errors or problems with any component are highlighted by the relevant icon turning amber.

Note that only one indicator is provided for the Ethernet switch so you can't see which ports have devices attached to them. At the top is a speedometer made up of five LEDs that shows the current download speed relative to the fastest speed the router has measured since activation.

Belkin takes ease of installation very seriously so the CD-ROM has a handy Setup Assistant utility that steps through setting the N+ up and getting you on-line with the minimum of fuss. Belkin also gets a pat on the back for its Security Assistant which guides you through configuring essential wireless security. The router had no problems with our BT Business Broadband connection and we were up and away in a few minutes.

The web interface is pretty much the same as offered by Belkin's N1 Vision products and is consequently easy enough to navigate. Usefully, you can elect to have the router automatically check Belkin's website for firmware upgrades when you login and advise you if any new updates are available. It won't be much but you can also do your bit for the environment as the Eco mode can be used to set up daily schedules that will turn the wireless access point off and on and dim the status icons.

simonm

March 24, 2009, 12:00 pm

It's surprising (and disappointing) that gigabit ports are not yet ubiquitous on ADSL routers; their absence is obviously limiting for file-sharing/NAS usage. Macs have had gigabit for 9 years now!

pewpew

March 24, 2009, 1:29 pm

i wanna upgrade my home-wlan to draft-n. usb-storage support would be nice, but only if fast enough to stream videos. which router would you suggest, and which 802.11n wlan adapter? thanks 4 ur help

Rajiv Dhir

March 24, 2009, 3:15 pm

"You can't turn the NAT/SPI off though why would you want to"





Actually in some situations I do. I often set up modems behind more sophisticated firewalls eg ClarkConnect, which I have set up for myself and clients with multiple WAN connections from different providers or with multiple static IP addresses from the provider to allow routing to multiple servers behind the true firewall. In this situation being able to turn off the NAT/SPI and let it all be handled by the true router is a godsend. This means you do fancy things like create mutiple IP addresses on the same physical ethernet interface. There other solutions but domestic grade routers are cheap as chips and reliable in general so being able to turn off the internal software is veyr useful. When I can't turn off the firewall DMZ will do, but it only works with a single static IP address so if the client needs multiple physical servers then you need NAT/SPI off. Clients can need multiple servers when they need multiple SSL certificates, so for example if I have a Citrix gateway server called remote.xxx.com and a webserver called www.xxx.com, to use SSL (https) I need multiple IP addresses and thus NAT/SPI off is essential.

Martin Daler

March 25, 2009, 4:00 am

The cable version (Belkin F5D8235uk4 N+) does have gigabit ports, oddly enough, and looks identical (as far as I can see).

Steve 12

March 27, 2009, 7:29 pm

simonm





I think the idea is to address wireless streaming issues. Most people have'nt got a gigabit network but just want to improve wireless access.

jez

January 28, 2010, 12:38 am

hi ive got a belkin n+ router for cable modems and im having seroius problems with keeping the signal with other wireless pc's in the house can anyone help

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