User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Easier Setup with Fewer Steps to get online
Comes already secured
24/7 Customer Service
Cons:Software Bugs (Self-Healing program)
The Bottom Line: A great router upgrade for faster surfing, but there's still a few bugs to work out
I was having inconsistent issues with my old Linksys WRT G Router (the one many people still probably have these days) as the broadband signal was fine, but the router was not acting right. So, I went to Best Buy to a buy a new router and was amazed at how many different ones they carried. I settled on this one as it was listed as "new" and it was a lot less than the competitors at 44.99 (same price at Amazon). I noticed it said Easy Setup on the box as well as the three steps to get it going, so I figured how hard could it be?
Recommend this product?
I opened the box and noticed the router, a power cord and a CD. There were tags on the router and power cord saying Step 1 is to connect the Ethernet cord, Step 2 is plug in the power cord of the router and Step 3 is to load the CD onto the PC. Sounds easy enough...After completing the first two steps, I put the CD in my Vista Laptop (which is a terrible OS but it was more to downgrade to XP at the time) and loaded the software and the PC said "An Error has occurred and the program stopped working." After numerous tries, I quit. So, it was on to the Mac Mini I have instead. I pop in the CD and it is pretty straight-forward. You click the hard-to-miss icon that says Setup Router and go through steps. You enter in a few codes and it makes connection with your internet and you unplug the router and modem and reconnect. The whole program was done loading after about 10 minutes and Eureka, I was on the Net. Easy enough, but then I noticed later that my other devices, including the Mac Mini were intermitingly being connected. So, I ran through some Blogs to trouble shoot (as I didn't realize at the time the Belkin folks are 24/7 with phone support) and realized it may be best to change the channel the router is on as cordless phones and other interference can prevent a strong signal in a home. I went into the Admin screen for the router (router.com is all you need to type instead of some IP address) and you can change the channel listing on the Router Settings. I made the change and it started to work a lot better for me.
Things were fine for the next couple days until something happened early Tuesday Morning (Around 3 AM). I woke up around 6 AM and noticed the Internet stoped working on my PC. I then realized the Self Healing program ran on the router (Which checks for fixes out there and such) and it basically caused my router to stop transmitting. So, I went through the setup to reinstall my router on my Mac Mini and got it up and running again, but this time Disabling the Self Healing program that runs. Let's hope this next Tuesday morning, no other surprises happen.
On the Router itself, besides being self explanatory for the setup with the CD, it comes setup to run via WPA/WPA2, it's own router ID and Shared Key Password. No messing with new passwords or trying to figure out how the heck to change the password from the default. It is that easy and helpful as I had a hard time trying figure how to change the Linksys. The router is an N-Router so it does transmit the broadband speed a lot farther and faster than the typical G Router. It's not fast enough to play games online and such probably, but it's good enough for watching drunk squirrels on YouTube or checking email. Another nice feature is there is a light on the top of the Router itself so you can see right away if the internet is working. No more squinting at small lights on Linksys. If it's Green...your on the Internet...if it's Flashing Amber...your Not conected. That's the best indicator I can say to know you're on the net.
I would recommend changing the password they give you on the router itself as the one they sent me was all numbers. Again, by typing in Router.com (leaving the password blank to log in), you can change the password and Router name under Security Settings. You can also change any other more advanced features on the Router itself at this same website, but they have taken care of this for the most part with the initial setup and going through the CD.
Overall, I have ennjoyed using this Router and think it was a good buy for $45. It is faster than my old Router and it is smaller and more user-friendly and compatible for Mac, Vista, XP and Windows 2000. The one time I did call for Support was great and straight-forward (it was asking why the Self-Healing was not working). I did not do the Software update they recommended as it kept freezing my Mac and Vista Laptop, so I hope that does not become an issue. I would recommend this to anyone looking to make sure they are getting the broadband speed they are paying for (you can check your internet speed via broadband.gov or speedtest.net to see how fast a connection you have going on and can compare to others). I did notice my speed went from about 7 MB/Sec to about 10-12 MB/Sec with the new router and the upload speed is now around 3.5 MB/Sec. A Great product with a few bugs still, as it is new on the market, but I am happy with it.
Amount Paid (US$): 44.99
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac