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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews Router Without A Reason: Belkin N150 Wireless Router Reviewed

Router Without A Reason: Belkin N150 Wireless Router Reviewed

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Introduction

Updated 6/19/2009: WAN DHCP problem and 802.11b support

Belkin N150 Wireless Router

At a Glance
Product - Belkin N150 Wireless Router (F6D4230-4 v2)
- Belkin N150 Wireless USB Network Adapter (F6D4050 v2)
Summary Single stream Ralink-based router and matching USB adapter built with draft 802.11n 1x1 chipsets but Wi-Fi Certified only for 802.11b/g
Pros • None come to mind
Cons • Basic routing feature set
• Not guaranteed to work with draft 802.11n clients
• Awful wireless uplink throughput stability
• High download routing throughput variation
• Trouble with dynamic WAN IP connection

I have been writing about pseudo-draft 11n routers since Cisco came out with its now-discontinued Linksys WRT100 and its WRT110 replacement. The basic premise of these products is to take single-stream draft 802.11n hardware that currently can't be Wi-Fi Certified for Draft 802.11n and promote it as 802.11b/g compliant (and usually b/g Wi-Fi Certified). (This latest exercise in consumer misdirection is described in more detail in Buyers Beware! Single Stream Draft 802.11n Products Bring Back Spec Spin.)

The rub comes when manufacturers also promote these products as providing some sort of enhanced performance over 802.11b/g. First, they provide no performance enhancement when used with 802.11b/g clients, since they must fall back to standard b/g protocols when communicating with those clients. But more importantly, since single-stream routers are not recognized in the 802.11n specification and the Wi-Fi Alliance currently won't certify them (or single-stream draft 11n clients), they are not guaranteed to work with Certified draft 802.11n clients.

NETGEAR has also jumped on the "N150" bandwagon with its WNR1000, but is not selling a companion N150 client card. D-Link has a "Wireless 150" router (the DIR-600) "coming soon", but also doesn't have a companion adapter. I expect Cisco to eventually also jump on the bandwagon with some sort of single-stream router, although they probably will use a different marketing term because, well, they're Cisco.

Belkin, however, has decided to boldly go where no one else will and has both its N150 Wireless Router and companion N150 USB adapter on store shelves. So even though I do not approve of any of these "G plus", "N minus" or whatever you want to call them Frankenrouters, I decided to get Belkin's version in for review to see how it performs with regular 802.11g and draft 11n products.

No Guarantee

I asked Belkin what its policy is regarding interoperabilty of the N150 with draft 802.11n Certified products and got this response (bolding mine):

"What is Belkin's policy regarding interoperability of N150 products with draft 802.11n Certified products?
• N150 is interoperable with all Belkin N products at N150 speeds. N150 is certified for interoperability with other WiFi-certified products at 11g speeds.

Is N150 interoperable with competitors’ 802.11n products?
• N150 is certified by WiFi to be interoperable with other WiFi b/g products, at 802.11g speeds; this includes competitor products with the WiFi b/g certification.

As there is no WiFi certification program for 1x1 N, we cannot guarantee that competitors’ products are interoperable with N150 at N150 speeds. For best results, we recommend that our customers buy Belkin ‘s N150 Enhanced Wireless USB Network Adapter."

So with the warnings out of the way, let's get to the review. Figure 1 shows the N150's no-frills front panel, with only the series of backlit icons used in Belkin's revamped router line. Note that none of the icons blink to indicate activity.

Belkin N150 Front Panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: N150 Front Panel

The rear panel layout (Figure 2) doesn't have link/activity indicators on each of the auto MDI / MDI-X 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, either.

Belkin N150 Back Panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: N150 Back Panel

If you like to wall-mount your router, then you'll need to build a little wall-mounted shelf for the N150. There are no screw mounting slots and I couldn't remove the base without fear of breaking it off. Also note that the single antenna is external and moveable, but not upgradeable.




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User reviews

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Average user rating from: 12 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
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Overall: 
 
1.8 Features :
 
2.0 Performance :
 
1.8 Reliability :
 
1.6
 
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Crap

Overall rating: 
 
1.3
Features:
 
2.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Yacob
April 08, 2014
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I have had 3 routers in the last years.
I have been replacing consecutively when they were not working anymore.
This one was not the cheapest, but it has not been working well more than 6 months.
Now, if I connect through a cable everything is ok, but the wireless is not working anymore. Or worst, is it working, but far below the speed it was working before, aprox 1/3 of the available speed for my connection, or the speed the cable provides. I have to restart the router to get a decent connection again and again, whenever it decides to stop working, or use a cable.
Among the cheaper routers, the worst I ever had.

 

You Get what You Pay For.. Cheap Crap..

Overall rating: 
 
1.3
Features:
 
2.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Rich Lawrence
February 03, 2014
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Bought this to replace an old Linksys G router I had that was starting to act up after 4 years of working flawlessly. Bought it because of the price and the name. I always thought Belkin was a good product. I'm obviously rethinking that now. Have had this model about a year and some change, and I am constantly having to reboot it.

Devices can connect most of the time, but all of a sudden, now they can't see other devices on the network like they were before. I have 2 WDTVs in the house. Both were able to see each other and stream files back and forth. Now, It's a constant restart to get them to see each other for even 2 minutes. Half of the devices don't even show up in the DHCP client list.

Do yourself a favor, and avoid this model. Go with something else, like Netgear or Linksys or even splurge and get an AirPort. I plan on replacing this with an AirPort. With that I can walk into a store for support and my AppleCare for my Mac will extend the warranty from 1 year to the 3 years AppleCare covers my Mac. Yeah it's $200, but at least I know I get a quality product and Apple will stand behind it.

 

Piece of Junk,died after 2 months of use.

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by cheater23152
September 16, 2011
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this router is sh*t,makes my internet connection and xbox live laggy.i now have already 1 year Linksys E1000. Linksys E1000 is awesome,xbox live stopped lagging and connection is more faster and stable with this router. I took a hunting rifle to my old Belkin N150.

 

Average product N150

Overall rating: 
 
2.7
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
2.0
Reviewed by Chetan
April 24, 2011
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I bot belkin N150 since it had a very attractive price, i bot in Jayanagar Bangalore for 1.4K,
installation is simple since its done by Airtel guy, it takes 10min max.
We ourself doing seems to be tough.
Regarding performance its ok range is it can cover your house max, if ur looking for greater coverage like a apartement or two floors it seems to be tough. range is not that great.
Some times it refuses to connect.. i dont know why.
Final words its a average product, value buy.

 

Put up with this router for more than a year...

Overall rating: 
 
1.7
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Bryan
February 15, 2011
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Replaced an older Belkin that had given up the ghost hoping to get better reliability. Required occasional weekly resets which I figured was normal. After about 6 months, required daily (sometimes 2x a day) resets after losing wireless connection or losing the connection with the cable modem altogether.

Finally decided to replace it with a Netgear a couple weeks ago and the Netgear has worked flawlessly without requiring a reset since it was plugged in.

Wished I would have replaced the Belkin sooner or have just bought the Netgear in the first place.

 
 
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