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 be better off sticking with Win7 or Win8.1, given a wide range of Win10 trade-offs and...
An obscure case involving dental aligners could have huge implications for the free flow of data across...
With Windows 10 out and betas careening off the edges, here’s what you can get and what you should...
Azure IoT Suite attracts with plenty of device SDKs including C#, but some pieces are still missing
IT's past abuses haunt it in the present, but it doesn't have to stay that way
GitHub is focusing on enterprises with the biggest dev teams to ward off challenges from GitLab and...
From surprise hires to difficult colleagues, an IT pro shares stories from both sides of the temp...