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There's a large variety of routers across the internet ranging from £5 to £500 but the reality is you don't need to spend more than £5 if you just want to get wireless internet on your laptop so you can easily move around your house. I bought this router on ebay for £6 brand new a few months ago, I was sceptical at first considering the price but after using it for 2 months I've never had to reset it, never lost my connection and it's not given me a single problem. It easily handles the internet usage of 5 students with ease and an xbox360 and ps3 connected by ethernet cables. All for £6!!!! You don't need to look any further than this router if you just want a simple home wireless network. Belkin have done a great job here providing such a simple and reliable product for the price!!
As far as I can remember ever since I have had wireless internet it has been this Belkin router we have used. Recommended by an uncle and bought of Amazon for £15.99 (I see it is now £13.99). It definitely does what it is expected to do and all three laptops in the house as well as five phones and an Ipod touch all easily connect to the router...usually! (I'll explain this further on)
It was actually really easy to set up I was around 14 at the time and using the instructions it took me about 15 minutes. It's not the nicest looking router but it's not offensive, it's made of lightweight plastic which is sometimes a nuisance as it slips really easy of the shelf it sits on (this was easily rectified with a little bit of whitetack). At original installation it had both a pc and the laptops connecting through it (Ethernet and wireless) and it coped perfectly. Security was also easy to set up and I have had no security issues. It has four wireless and one Ethernet port so is perfect to cover a modern day families connection needs.
The signal is always very good even when downloading or streaming and with multiple appliances doing so. I had to update the firmware at one point, I think it is a problem with being on a Virgin network, but it used to close my browser unexpectedly for no reason but this problem has gone away.
The one problem we did experience is that for some reason Belkin decided to update something or other to do with the wireless and this meant our WAP key changed, they did not inform us of this and it was only when trying to connect a new device we discovered this. The over the phone helpers are NOT so helpful, we found it difficult to hear as the call centre was so noisy and it took over an hour, getting charged, to sort out something which with easier instructions could have been done in minutes, I think the staff need new training as they are a bit slow and rusty! ( the one guy we got was). This said it is the only problem we have encountered and we did get it sorted!
I'm not sure I would recommend the router, it's quite old now and I'm sure there are better and more attractive ones available at a similar price but it does what i wish it to do and for the most part it does it very well.
** My Experience **
Myself and my partner bought this router as we had bought a new laptop (now totalling 2 laptops in our household) and we needed internet connection on both. It was fairly cheap. Not the cheapest in PC World but about the second cheapest - think it was roughly about £40.
When we got it home it was fairly easy to set up but when it came to trying to set a password so that other computers (i.e - neighbours) couldn't connect to ur network, this was a major hassle. It kept prompting for a password which we had not been given and which was not stated in the instruction manual. We had to phone customer services which cost a bomb and after a good twenty minutes on hold, was on the phone for another half an hour trying to get this password thing. It was a sheer hassle but eventually we got it set up so that it was secure and it has worked fine ever since.
** Technical Information **
The Belkin Wireless G Router features:
802.11g technology that is meant to make accessing files and networked peripherals-such as hard drives, printers, CD-ROMs, and DVDs easier.
802.11g technology provides networking speeds nearly five times faster than the current Wi-Fi (802.11b) standard.
An integrated, 4-port 10/100Base-T Ethernet switch also allows you to connect wired computers to the network.
The Router uses the wireless 802.11g 2.4GHz standard offering 400 feet of wireless coverage.
** Summary **
I would definitely say do not buy this if you are not very technical - but fine for those who know a bit about this sort of thing
This is my review of my new router to replace the old one I have previously reviewed.
The unit itself comes in silver and is quite nice looking. The size is very compact and it weighs very very little. The range is ok but Belkin do other models with better range than this. The one thing to note if you are considering one of these is that it does not include a modem so you will have to connect up your current adsl modem or buy one at the same time. Personally, I prefer models which include the both of them in the same unit as it saves on space and plugs/wires just general mess really.
The only complaint I have with the product because the installation is quite and easy and the firmware makes security setup very simple is that sometimes the receiver will just shut down completely and you have to wait for it to calm down and set itself back up. The only plus side is that it deals with the problem on its own so you don't have to do anything but it is quite annoying having to wait on it when it happens every couple of days or so.
I have mixed opinions about this router. When it works, it works very well, every menu is easy and it works right out the box. The trouble is, under heavy use, the internet can drop out regularly.
This issue is easy to fix, simply restarting the router sets you back on track within 5 seconds, but seeing as my router is in a different room, it can be annoying.
If you plan on web browsing and emails, with the heaviest use being you tube or light downloads, then this is perfect. If however, you plan on torrenting and heavy downloads, this is not the router for you.
Other than than, signal strength is good and the box itself is small and discrete. The software provided and menus are both simple but give the option of very advanced settings. It can support 4 wired computers and many on wireless at the same time.
I think I now understand what the writing on the box means now. Ill explain to you. On the box it says 57Mbps; so I thought well I don't need a better one cuz thats faster than my internet (20Mbps), so ill get the full speed of my internet. Also it said on the box that this router is good for surfing and email, some other better ones were good for, games, downlads and things. I assumed they did all that because they were faster, but 57Mbps was enough for me. But it's not the speed that does it, its the actaul connection. For some reason the network is constantly disconnecting for a split second every so often, like an intermittant connection. So when downloading or watching TV, the connection cuts for a second and the download stopped and has to then re-start from the begining, which is very annoying.
The router its self is easy to set up with the disc, and can have upto 4 wired PC's and numberous wireless.
It is quite a small device, but it suite for what I use it for, infact I am using it on my laptop now, whilst writing this review.
It cost me £29.99 and is still going now after over a year.
The only problem is the intermittant connection, so it's no good for donwloading big files, watching things online or certain games, but great for general surfing.
I have had a Belkin router for a while now and although I did not directly pay for it (work gave me some gift vouchers) I would possibly buy again.... if they changed a few things!
The router itself does its job. I have a Desktop wired to it and a laptop which I use wireless in the house or wired if its on my desk. The laptop I thought would be a problem as when I locked up my connection, I thought that if it was connected on Ethernet and Wireless it might have a fit, but it was fine and I work with it effortlessly.
I am using the router in conjunction with my Virgin Media connection and a now rather old NTL cable modem. This can cause problems as the speed of the modem overloads the router and with the firmware that is "tried and tested" it causes the modem to overloadand shut down the Internet connection. Virgin acknoledge this and recommend installing Belkin's "beta" Firmware 9.01.12 which I have done for a while now and works perfectly fine.
The routers GUI for setting it up is perfectly easy. I managed to set it up and lock it down in minutes, including being able to specify which computers (identified by mac codes) should be allowed to connect. I have not found it proving otherwise so far!
Overall it does a good job, even if your on Virgin Media.
Ok my ariel is on the other side, but the Belking wireless router is a small home system, and according to the box its the weakest of the range and will cover the room of your house and possibly the adjacent rooms. I find it covers the whole house from one end to the other and both front and back garden, and still have full signal, so I can't see where they get that from, so it's great.
The router requires a PC with internet to plug into with the Ethernet cable and you can also have up to 4 PC's coming off of it with a wired connection.
With the belkin router you get a excellent signal, but its intermittent, so instant messenger doesn't work well and downloads don't work at all as they will cut off half way through as the connection keeps going. If the intermittent connection was fixed I think this would be a great router. I have also asked someone else who has the same router as me and he has the same problems.
I payed £20 for mine, I think its good be emails and small games, but it's no good for a connection when downloading and instant messenger or anything you need to connect to.