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*PLEASE NOTE: (I have already put this disclaimer on one of my reviews and on my profile) SOME OF THESE REVIEWS ARE COPIED FROM MY OLD CIAO AND DOOYOO ACCOUNTS, EIBEE AND EIBEE8 RESPECTIVELY. SOMEONE HASN'T PAID ATTENTION TO THIS AND TAKEN MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. I WOULD SUGGEST ANYONE ELSE HALTS THEIR "NOT HELPFUL"S UNTIL THE MATTER IS RESOLVED.
The Belkin Wireless G Router was recommended in store by one of the advisors (PCWorld), and my brother reassured us Belkin were a reputable brand. We bought ours for about £50, and I've seen them on Amazon for about the same price.
Installation for this router couldn't have been simpler. Included with the device is an installation disc that you will need to run before plugging in the router, as well as a detailed instruction manual. I also recommend you read through this before doing anything else - unlike a lot of manuals I know that are complicated and tempting to skip, this one is easy to understand and lessened the time it took for us to get the router installed and working. All in all, installation took about fifteen minutes. If you want to configure your router to suit your specific needs, most likely needed if you are using it for business purposes, then this is explained in the manual. Otherwise, your next step is to install receivers to the computers you wish to have connected to the Internet. Depending on the type of computer, there are different options available. The first is a Belkin USB Network Adapter, costing around £20. This is what I use on my desktop computer - a small, tidy stick that fixes to the back of your computer, or in any USB port. For laptops the Belkin Network Card is the better option. Although the USB will still work providing your laptop has a USB connector, it's a cumbersome thing to have hanging off the side of your laptop! Installing these adapters is very simple. Just put in the disc, run through the installation instructions, plug in the adapter USB or card and you're connected! It only took me five minutes to install, which is just as well - if you're using the router on an extensive basis, for example business or school, that's up to thirty two computers you can install connectivity for one system! Of course, these days almost all laptops and many desktops come with wi-fi built in them.
To stay connected, you have to leave the the router switched on at the mains to allow the connection to flow through, even if no-one is using the main computer. The adapter automatically connects you to the Internet as soon as your computer is turned on, with all the benefits of broadband. The reliability of the Wireless G router's connection depends greatly on range - if your computers are all in the same room, for example an office, you probably will only need the router and the adapters. If you want to set up the network based on computers allocated to different rooms, chances are you will need to buy a Wireless G Range Extender. These can be plugged in at any power point and essentially provide a link between the router and your other computers, meaning you can travel further around the area with your computer remaining connected to the Internet, or simply improve signal strength. It may be a good idea to locate your main computer and router central to your network, this way the signal is more likely to reach the computers with improved strength. However, If, like us, your main computer is on one side of the house, and everyone else's computers on the other side of the house, this may prove difficult. The extender costs around £20 and it's a good addition to have. The range it gives is good; right now, the signal is at 4/5 bars - "very good", and with the extender turned on, I've only ever seen it drop to "good". The only time I've known the whole system to have "low" range or not connect at all is on the rare occasion when all 3 components don't seem to be working in harmony with each other - this is usually resolved by restarting the modem and/or the computer you are working from.
The router maintains a high speed, but how high a speed obviously depends on the number of computers hooked up to the network. The speed that the Internet is giving now is 11mb per second. This doesn't mean much to me, maybe it does to you, but I'm told it's very good. I'm also told that this router is designed to handle good sized clusters of computers well (the 32 maximum, as mentioned before). I've not witnessed this first hand, but it has received top ratings in various computing guides as ideal for businesses. Speed, of course, is also heavily reliant on your broadband package.
Additional uses for the router include the ability to share music files, printers and hard drives. I'm pretty sure this involves more additions, as on the box there's an advertisement for 'Wireless G USB Printer Server'! I'll have to investigate this further. Sending information automatically to the main computer's printer would cut a lot of walking back and forth to the office out, though I suppose I have to go there to collect the print-outs anyway!
The router (and its additions) all come with a lifetime warranty, and free technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I can't comment on the quality of service on the support line as I've never had to use it, but the fact that it is free is very helpful for a start.
The system is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers, and I highly recommend it as a practical solution for both home and business.
After getting my laptop last year and knowing that I already had a wi-fi adaptor installed I was keen to go out and buy a wireless router so that I could enjoy being hooked up to my laptop whilst not being confined to being sat in the spare room - especially not as it was winter!!
So off I went to look at the routers available. At this point I should say I had never even looked at routers before and didn't really have a clue as to what I was needing or even for that matter wanted!! I looked through a lot of the catalogues that had mini guides in them and from what I understood there were 3 types of router to buy depending on how far you want the signal to reach and how powerful it will be. I didn't really want the lowest one as I didn't want to be paying out again at a later date to then upgrade and I couldn't really afford the top notch one either so the middle size it was!!
So what size is it?
Well the router I have is a wireless G router as mentioned in the title which in terms of size means the signal strength can go that little bit further. In fact I can sit in the garden which is the furthest point away from my wireless router and still get a decent enough signal to be on the Internet smoothly.
To get started using your laptop wireless you have to actually connect the router up first to your Internet connection. This is actually quite simple and quick to do and all the instructions are in the box enabling you to do this along with the installation CD which guides you through the whole thing! The basics of it is simply by connecting your wireless router to both your Internet modem and your laptop at the same times it connects the two and then once you unplug it all after installing it can then connect through your wireless router rather than you having to be plugged into your modem.
It is overall very easy to install and if you do have problems there is a number to ring for assistance.
So does it work?
In a nutshell yes it works!
I can sit in any room and still get a great signal so cannot fault it at all. In my current home there would be no need for me to upgrade to a better router as the signal is brilliant in which ever room I am in. The only downside which I think is more to do with my modem than anything else is sometime it will just kick me out of the Internet for no reason at all but if you just turn if off at the mains and straight back on again it sorts the problem out instantly!
The router I have I personally think is very nice as it is a light grey/silver colour and is quite compact - the whole thing is just under 15cms long and only 7cms wide and is quite flat too. The aerials are two small stumps attached to the back with one on either side that can be moved up or down so it isn't an eye sore where ever you have it!
For my router I paid £50 from Argos which is not too bad but do shop around as prices may have gone down by now since I bought mine last year.
I would recommend anyone who uses a laptop to get themselves wireless as it is so much nicer to sit in on the sofa working than it is to sit at a desk and when it's nice outside it's a bonus to be able to sit in the fresh air. Also another plus to this router is that Belkin sell it with a lifetime warranty.