Belkin's attractive N+ Wireless Router F5D8235-4 router ($100 as of April 20, 2009) stands out from the pack in design, features, usability, and long-range wireless throughput. Though its 2×3 antenna design lagged in short-range testing, the N+ Wireless Router F5D8235-4's throughput performance improved by a dramatic 62 percent--more than any other router in our roundup--when we tested it along with the higher-end 3×3 Intel 5300 adapter. So if you buy this router, try to pair it with a 3×3 antenna card.
The setup assistant is excellent, guiding users through such tasks as establishing connections, enabling wireless security, and choosing a Wi-Fi SSID (that is, a network name). The router manages more-advanced settings through a standard Web utility. I especially appreciated being able to set up a special Wi-Fi guest network with its own passphrase, obviating the need to give out a private password to visitors. The router also keeps guests isolated from other devices on the network. On the downside, the N+ and the Netgear RangeMax Next Wireless-N Gigabit Router WNR3500 were the only two wireless routers of the six we examined for our roundup that lacked WPA-Enterprise encryption and RADIUS server support--omissions that will convince many businesses to buy elsewhere.
[ Keep up on the latest networking news with our Technology: Networking newsletter. ]
The Belkin must be positioned vertically. It has a (not very functional) download-speed indicator bar. More useful are the wireless security and Internet connection lights.
The F5D8235-4 was also one of only two wireless routers to support USB drive sharing (the other was the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router). To use this feature, you plug in a USB flash or hard drive in FAT32 or NTFS format; instantly it is accessible through a special Storage Manager application, or directly via the router's IP address. You can access the drive with either a PC or Mac. As often happens with shared USB drives, though, performance was poor. It's mainly useful for light file sharing, rather than for everyday network backup. You'll get far better throughput from a gigabit NAS drive.
This story, "Belkin N+ Wireless Router F5D8235-4" was originally published by PCWorld.
You may still be better off sticking with Win7 or Win8.1, given the wide range of ongoing Win10...
Microsoft buried a Get Windows 10 ad generator inside this month's Internet Explorer security patch for...
Here’s the best of the best for Windows 10. Sometimes good things come in free packages
Every Windows 10 user should have a set of troubleshooting tools tucked away for tumultuous times. Here...
Sure, AWS has a huge lead, but runs how many enterprise workloads? Oracle and VMware tout hybrid...
Governments will hide and exploit vulnerabilities as long as they can, even if that risks criminals...
With little uptake for its public cloud, VMware's hybrid plans are now moving to encompass third...