- Created on 10 October 2008
If you want to share your home or office internet connection between a number of users either wirelessly (WLAN) or using standard LAN, you are going to need either a hub, switch or a wireless router. In general, for home and small office use, the wireless router, although normally more expensive, is the most obvious and easiest option for internet sharing and home networking.
There are a multitude of low cost wireless routers of various from various manufacturers that comply with wireless standards IEEE 802.11 b,g and up to n (draft). Each standard from b-n indicates an increase in network speed, and therefore data transmission speed over the network. If you are intending the use of your internet connection for VOIP, Gaming or large amounts of data transfer, it makes sense to find a wireless router with the highest specification i.e. IEEE 802.11n (draft).
With this in mind, the Belkin N Wireless router makes an excellent addition to any home network. It is capable of handling up to 253 (LAN) and 16 (WLAN) users consecutively and is backward compatible with previous WLAN standards. Wireless data transfer follows the IEEE 802.11n (draft) standards and the only slight disappointment is the lack of gigabit LAN ports (1000Base-T), with only 100Base-T ports available. The WLAN incorporates MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) spatial multiplexing techniques which are supposed to greatly increase speed, coverage, and the reliability of the wireless network,and we saw definite improvements over IEEE 802.11g wireless routers.
Security can be set to WPA (highest security), WPA2, WEP 128-bit encryption or WEP 64-bit encryption (lowest security) to stop your internet connection or home network from being compromised.
The Belkin N Wireless router makes a comfortable addition to any office or living room, with a glossy black exterior and cool non-invasive blue LEDs. The LEDs provide a simple to follow indication of whether the unit has power, has wired connections (LAN), wireless connections (WLAN), connection to the modem and also internet connection which makes troubleshooting simple.
We found initial setup very easy with the enclosed CD which has to be run from a LAN networked PC. The setup, including security took less than 10 minutes, which made a nice change from some components that we have reviewed in the past. The Belkin N Wireless router has been the main wireless router in our office for the past few months and during that time, there has been no loss of wireless signal, there has been no need to reboot the wireless router and we have been giving it some fairly heavy use (large file transfers and video streaming).
Even if things were to go wrong, the Belkin N Wireless router comes with Belkin's Lifetime Warranty and Belking offer excellent technical support through their hot line or live chat interface on their website.
Amazon: Belkin N Wireless Modem Router