Pros Good WiFi signal strength and speed.
Cons Lack of options and configurations for firewall and router. Buggy DoS implementation. Questionable choices with regards to security
Summary I chose the Belkin Pre-N WiFi router and firewall based on reading reviews and recommendations. After getting it home I have run into a number of problems with the unit.
1) Wired Setup – Isn’t this supposed to be a wireless unit? Belkin seems to require that you have a computer wired to the unit to set it up. This is a huge hindrance for folks who are upgrading from a previous wireless solution and have become dependant on the fact that there are no wired connections to their router. When I set up my DLink I never had to break out the wires. Simply connect the unit to the modem (ok, one wire), turn on, use a wireless computer to connect to the default SSID, open a browser to the default management page (usually http://192.168.1.1) and viola!
2) Unsecured Status Page - if someone is able to compromise your wireless network, they instantly have access to a wealth of information about your private network. IP addresses, DNS settings, hardware being used, firmware version, W A N IP. It's all information that could possibly be figured out anyway, but Belkin just gives it away...why make it easier for the hackers? Make them work for it.
3) The WiFi/Router/Firewall management pages seem geared toward novices - Which is all good and fine but it has no truly advanced section where power users can fine tune and tweak the settings. There are few configurable options.
4) Lack of fine tuning and configuration – There is a lack of ability to fine tune the firewall for your personal needs. The only options you have are port forwarding/virtual servers, client IP filtering, DMZ, Dynamic DNS and W A N Ping Blocking. They don’t have any ability to handle configurable options for Block W A N Request, Multicast Pass Through, PPTP Pass Through, Filter Internet NAT Redirection, Filter IDENT(port 113), Port Triggering, Dynamic routing (RIP1 or RIP2), or static routing. While the router does have a Universal Plug n Play (UPnP) and IPSec Pass Through options it does not let you configure those options. Nor does it give you any facility to configure your Secure Packet Inspection (S P I) filters.
5) WiFi SSID and channel are on a different page from WiFi security ensuring that if you are administering your router from a wireless connection it will require multiple changes on both the router and your wireless client. For example, save SSID name change on router, then save SSID setting for you pc, and reconnect to the router. Then change WEP key for router, then change WEP key for pc and reconnect to the router. It just makes maintenance that much more difficult. DLink got it right with the DI-624M where settings that need to be in synch on both clients and the router are all on one page and can be changed in one shot.
6) My ISP, Verizon Avenue (vzavenue.com or .net), uses the "Dynamic" connection type as configured on the Belkin router. The connection type has no configurable options like Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU)
7) the Denial of Service (DoS) protection of the firewall is configured improperly for my ISP (I guess) and causes any downloads greater than 4 or 5 megabytes to stall permanently. It logs the block in the security log. This is a problem Belkin has seen in a few of it's products.
8) The security log is far too sparse giving only the date, event and the IP address. At least give us the port on which the offence occurred and perhaps the type of offence rather than just "Denial of Service" (that’s a pretty broad thing)
9) When on your internal network (behind your firewall) and trying to access your internet facing web server using one of the two or more virtual domains, you will only get the management site for the router. This makes internal testing for websites with virtual domains much more difficult. Linksys handles this in a much better way, by bringing up the management site only when the internal LAN IP address is used. If the external W A N IP (or any domain name registered to it) is used the router treats it as if it is a request coming from outside the firewall and forwards you to the appropriate service. Further, with Belkin, if you want to remotely manage your router/firewall you have no option for what port the management site will use.
When choosing this router understand that while the range and speed of the WiFi are quite good, the firewall and routing services leave a lot to be desired. I would not recommend this unit to a power user.Updated
Point 1) Belkin does infact let you perform a wireless setup if you so desire. Just connect to the bekin ssid and be sure to connect to http://192.168.2.1 for the routers management pages. I'm not sure why this didn't work for me the first time I tried it.
Point 7) After closing inbound ports on the router, the security seemed to stop reporting Denial of Service protections. So the S P I filters may not have been the issue. However the problem remains that I cannot reliably download any files larger than 1 megabyte or so. Multiple retries have sometimes yielded success, but in the end it's was just not reliable.
Blekin tech support has suggested I exchange the product and try a new one.
"Super range"on by sdvball2002
Pros Easy installation, great range, ready for future technology, 802.11N
Cons Expensive but you get what you pay for!
Summary I have been a loyal Linksys user for more than 5 years now. Been working at the 802.11b space all this time.
Recently, I moved and needed better range within my home network. The old router, BEF11S4 didn't cut it at 80 feet. So after trying Linksys' G54 and Netgear's G54, and found both weren't any better with range, I went to Cnet to see what others found best. You guessed it, the Belkin Pre-N. Installation was easy, and range is fantastic. I have tested it to at least 200 feet and have great signal.
Pros Fast (when use a preN laptop card), no drop outs, reliability,Security OK
Cons SUPPORT SERVICE !
Summary I got it last November ´04 (just when released) I use it with a Belkin PreN Card. Got it first for office & worked better than expected, the IT dept could not believe the benefit/price ratio ( we have CISCO pro G wireless in the entire network) ,then the company upgraded some offices with pre N MIMO tech ) as a company test,then I brought it to home and everyone was happy ( had to get two others lapt top PreN Card) I use a 512 Mbs ADSL. Everything was pure love...until.. I decided to get a Voice Over Internet protocol (VoIP)...evrything crashed! I uninstalled everything,but did not work, then the VoIP company suggested was the protocol in the phone box, I was supposed to try on the IP address in the router and try some other formats )not only ppp), did it. Did not work. The VoIP company send a tech personnel and insisted was the router ( actually the voIP worked great when the router was not connected) then they installed a Linksys G router and everything worked )proving the router problem.I had to restart the router severals times since it got frozen or did not recognize the pre N cards, send mails to Belkin every time,but the online service could not detect the problem.They actually could not solve this.
The voIP dept send me an expert and when saw the router indicated me what the problem was,solution: connect the ADSL box to the VoIP first )no matter what Belkin says!!!)then route to router via a 2nd (auxiliary( from the box, then from router to the computers.
Finally ,one laptop (EVO 610N) for a reason we do not get it yet does not accept at first the router security code (even in administrator) so you must type it every time )but works!.
Now we are back to a happy family
Advice: if you now a little a bit routers,this is it! buy this one.
If don´t ,keep the Linksys G or try the other new one with MIMO from Linksys.
This is working great with us now,but unhappy moments we had.
Pros Good technical support, wireless card works great in hotel, software to install is easy
Cons With firewall disabled, dynamic ftp client cannot connect to my ftp server; reset button is hard to find AND difficult to reset.
Summary I read all the reviews and bought this about router and card about 2 weeks ago. Router is set up for a desktop and laptop. Card works great in a hotel, tech support in setting up router and card (for laptop) is fast and knowledgeable UNTIL I had to upload some files using my FTP client to my web server. Even with the router's firewall turned off, I can connect but cannot upload files. Some small files pass, but larger files like an HTML page cannot. Called technical support and was told that I needed to know what port and range I was using in my system to the web server. Searched Belkin's knowledge base and discovered that when using an FTP client, the only work around is to disconnect, turn off router and connect directly through the modem.
Pros Range is incredible, speed is excellent, easy to setup, good security options, solid construction
Cons Basic feature set, expensive ($129 after rebate from Microcenter), large size
Summary I been running this router since mid-May. This is the third wireless router I have owned, and none of the others even come close to this unit's performance.
To start with, the unit has a well-constructed feel to it. Setup is extremely easy - it comes with a disk that does almost all of work for you, and there is an easy to access web interface for the rest. All told, I had the unit setup with WEP security in about 15 minutes - note; for you IT folks who insist on having the latest security in your home, this unit appears to come with other options, like WPA as well. The reliability of the router has been superb thus far. It has not needed to be rebooted even once - both of the prior routers I owned required frequent reboots, at least until a stable firmware build was released.
As far as speed goes, I use it regularly with three different clients: An old (2000) laptop with a Netgear WG511 PCMCIA card, an Acer TM8104 with Centrino, and my Dell Axim X50. The speed and range on all three are excellent. To quantify that statement, I see a maximum downgrade in performance when using the Centrino laptop of approximately 5% between the farthest point in my house, and a location approximately 5' from the route. I have not conducted credible tests with the other clients, but my qualitative appraisal is that they suffer no appreciable loss in performance when roaming either. Using the Centrino notebook, I appear to get around 18Mbps; note - this is not using Belkin's own Pre-N card, which I understand gets much higher performance. This number compares to approximately 12Mbps that I got with my old 802.11g router.
The range of the unit (even with my non-Pre-n clients) is also excellent. I have used my Acer laptop practically everywhere on my property, and have not found the range limit yet.
After lauding the positives, I suppose I have to list a couple of negatives. First, when the router first sets up the internal network, it assigns addresses in the 192.168.2 subnet - a lot of devices assume a .1 network is setup, and to get one of my network appliances working, I had to reconfigure the network as a .1 net. Also, the router is a bit expensive, but assuming that it is brand new, I am sure the price will come down in the months to come.
All told, however, this is an excellent product, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.Updated
Over the weekend this router crashed. No apparent reason behind it - it happened overnight, and none of the computers in the house were even turned on. I powered the router off, turned it back on, and it started working again immediately.
I was running firmware version 1.00.06 at the time, and noticed that version 1.01.03 was available, so I upgraded it. I did not contact Belkin, so I have comment about their technical support yet, except that the website was easy to get around on.
I have had no problems since, but will update this review if there are any.