Belkin's N+ ADSL router lacks whistles and bells, but gets job done

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This article appeared in the June, 2010 issue of CRN magazine.

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Belkin's N+ ADSL router lacks whistles and bells, but gets job done

The Belkin N+ impressed us when it was first released, with fast performance, a low price and some unusual features.

But its reign atop the A-List ends this month, with a host of faster and more powerful routers charging past it.
In fact, in our close-range tests, the N+ found itself firmly in the bottom half of the results table, receiving files at an average rate of 75Mbits/sec and transmitting them at 56Mbits/sec - a long way behind the top speeds of the quickest routers.

Things picked up in our long-distance tests, with 44Mbits/sec and 61Mbits/sec moving the N+ up to the top half. However, even among the ADSL routers on test (which tended to be slower) it still lags behind, with the revamped D-Link DSL-2740R taking the performance honours in that category.

Our video test showed up a further weakness: the router refused to stream our Full HD test clip steadily, with constant dropouts in both close-up and long-distance locations the order of the day.

On the plus side, you can attach an external hard disk or flash drive to a USB port at the rear, and there's a facility to set up a guest SSID that allows access just to the internet, not your internal network. But elsewhere, its features list is hardly bulging.

There are no Gigabit Ethernet ports, which caps performance unnecessarily, and no dual-band mode - so you're restricted to the congested 2.4GHz band.

The Belkin N+ remains a reasonably priced ADSL router, but performance issues and a basic feature set mean it falls behind the competition this month.

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