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Firstly, this product is overall very good. Anyone who tells you otherwise, ignore. Signal is fairly good all over my 3 story house, with the router located on the second floor. Our home has 6 computers plus an Xbox 360 all run through this router, one desktop PC is wired, along with the Xbox, and the other computers (1 PC, 3 Laptops and 1 Netbook) are on the wireless network setup with encryption. Network security options are good, offering a choice of encryption standards and the usual MAC address filtering etc. Of particular note, and the reason why I purchased this router over the one I had previously (a 3COM business router, which was far superior, albeit far more expensive), is the fact that this router is one of very few available that will connect and allow to Xbox 360 games consoles to connect to Xbox Live simultaneously. This is a good product from Belkin, and will fit most users needs perfectly.
If you live in a small house or in an apartment, I would reccomend this router to you. I bought this router for around £80 from PC World about a year and a half ago, so that i could play Ps3 games in online mode.
I found the router easy to set up as i followed the included discs instructions. But when I would play on my games the internet would always cut of at random times and so I would be cut of from what i had been playing. Sometimes after surfing the internet for an hour, my laptop and ps3 would not be able to find the wireless signal even though both machines had just be connected and so I would have to reset the router (this gets annoying). On the plus side the wireless has security features (wep and wkp)and so you can protect yourself from people external to your household from hacking or tapping into your internet. It is very reliable in downloading files in which it does so fast.
If you have 1 PC and it's a desktop you fine, you just put your modem or line round into you computer, but if you have a wireless laptop you don't want points split all over the place for it.
Get a wireless router you can find this make for around £20 if you look. Buy one and set it up.
Installation: is simple put the disc in 1st and it will tell you what and when you connect to where, as long as you have you Ethernet that goes straight into your PC or out of your modem.
Once its in, you can choose a password for it, which it well convert into a WEP key, the WEP key, makes sure no one else can use your internet, as it will slow yours down as it's then shared and also so no one can hack your network.
You can then have up to 4 wired PC's and as many wireless PC as you like, bare in mind tho it has a 54Mbps connection which is fast, but it you don't get that if your modem is not giving the router that, so if you have 20Meg broadband the max. you will get through shared between all the PC's is 20Meg, but as sites take some time and can go slow them selves it will be even slower.
I have 1 Desktop wired and two laptops coming from my router and its nice and fast, but its intermittent, so downloads won't work as after a few second or minuites if your lucky is cuts for a second stopping the download, also videos take a little while to load and sometimes it cuts half way through loading the video so I can only watch half of it, so its impossible to use for BBc iPlayer, you can work it on youtube for videos that are a few minuites long tho, but you may have to refresh and cross your fingers.
~~~What is this product?~~~
This product allows your computer(s) or laptop(s) to become wireless so they can connect to the internet without having all the wires. Also so more than one computer can connect to the internet without having to have multiple connection sockets. Most new computers have a wireless device already installed so you can connect straight to the router however some computers which are over one year old do not. Cue the USB Network Adapter. Stupidly when I purchased the product I brought a card which takes hours to slot into the computer and involves dismantling the cover surrounding the technical parts. Later I realised that had I bought the USB Adapter all I had to do is put it into the USB socket. So save yourself hours of work and buy the USB, this allows computers which were not previously wireless have the ability to be wireless just by sticking the USB in. This product comes with the USB which is helpful for those who want older computers to become wireless.
~~~How many computers can be connected to the wireless connections?~~~
As many as you like, that's the beauty of it. You only have to have one internet provider e.g. Tiscali and one internet plug and suddenly you can have three or four computers connected. Personally I only have a laptop and a desktop connected but that means two of us can be on the internet at the same time so half the arguments!
~~~What's the difference between this and other Belkin wireless routers?~~~
This one is much faster allowing quicker internet than the wireless B version and is supposed to be 33% faster than other internet broadband connections according to the packaging. Overall there is not much difference just faster and therefore in my opinion better!
~~~What is in the box?~~~
There is a router obviously as this is what sends out the wireless signals to the computers in the house. There is a power supply for the router so that it can be switched on! There is a wire which connects the router to the adapter (which is also included). The adapter connects straight into the phone socket and allows the phone and the internet to be used at the same time. There is an Ethernet cable which connects the laptop to the router so that you can install Belkin, once it is installed the Ethernet is no longer needed. For desktops which can not be moved there is a CD so that Belkin can be installed. Also there is the USB for the computer that has not got wireless installed. If you have more than one computer which does not have wireless and want them to be connected then more USBs can be bought separately for about £20. Also there is a manual on how to put it all together (which I have basically told you) and a phone number to use if you get stuck.
~~~How easy is it to get started and what if I get stuck?~~~
I managed to load Belkin onto both computers and put everything together on my own without anyone's help. Now you may think so... but bear in mind I was only 15 and I am female so I would say this is fairly easy to set up. There is one draw back, if you have a firewall it interferes a lot with the Belkin connection so you will need to configure it. Also if you get stuck the phone number to ring is free which is great because there won't be any complaints from the bill payer. However there might be some complaints if anyone else wants to use the phone because they out you on hold for about 20 minutes but when you do get through they are generally very helpful. Unfortunately there was something wrong with my computer and I could not get Belkin working on the desktop and I now know the music off by heart that was played because I had to listen to it for so long.
Data Transfer Rate = 125 Mbps
Form Factor = External
Device Type = Wireless router + 4-port switch
1 year guarantee
Data Link Protocol: Operates on the 802.11g wireless Ethernet standard
Localisation: United Kingdom
Features: Firewall Protection, NAT support, 64-bit encryption, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), High Speed Mode (HSM)
~~~Is the signal good?~~~
My house is quite large and above the average size of a house and everywhere in the house I can get a very good or excellent signal. For those living in mansions you may have slight difficulties in some far corners but for most people this will not be a problem. The only problem with this great signal is that someone next door could try to use you wireless but there is a quick and easy solution. When you are installing you are offered to put in a WEP code which will stop others using your computers.
~~~What does it look like?~~~
To be perfectly honest it looks like the one in the picture! It is silver and looks quite modern with two black antenna sticking out of the back which can be twisted to face any direction. The base is a dull grey but can not be seen unless placed upside down. It is lightweight and quite small so can be hidden if it does not fit in with your furniture. The USB drive is also how it looks on the picture but is smaller than shown and very light. It is silver and grey and blends in with the computer quite well. Overall the product looks quite good and I think fairly snazzy!
~~~Is it worth it?~~~
There are other cheaper wireless connections but I would recommend this one. I tried many before Belkin and I could not put it together it was so confusing. Some have no help line and some simply do not work. Not only is this easy and clear it is quite cheap and faster than other routers! It costs about £60 which is a very good price because I got mine for £100 at PC world. Please shop around and do not get ripped off like me! It is available in a wide range of shops including PC world, Argos and a variety of online shops such as Amazon.
~~~Do you like it?~~~
Yes! This has to be one of the best products I have ever brought and now there are no arguments about who's on the internet. I think this is a great product and completely recommend you buy it.
I have had no end of problems since I bought this product. Even the technical guy who was fitting my new phone line was having difficulties in getting this one to work!.
I ended up having to buy a cable modem and using an ethernet cable.
The instruction manual seemed pretty straight forward but it didn't help me at all either. I only bought this because I have to have my internet through adsl as I am in a non cable area which is frustrating enough. If like me you live in an area like this and you want a wireless modem give this one a skip as it is the biggest heap of junk I have bought , and This is not an exaggeration. Just thought i would share with those thinking of actually buying this, as I hope you will not have to waste your time and money like I did!.