|At a glance|
|Product||Belkin F9K1103 N750 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router [Website]|
|Summary||Ralink based dual-band simiultaneous router with Gigabit Ethernet ports, three stream N on 5 GHz only and USB printer and drive sharing|
|Pros||• Gigabit ports|
• Excellent 2.4 GHz performance
• Guest network (2.4 GHz only)
|Cons||• No service blocking or web filtering|
• Poor 5 GHz performance
Typical Price: $520 Shop Amazon
Updated 7/18/2011: AP switch clarification
Belkin has a new N router line that has been completely revamped from head to toe. Out with its poorly-received "app" based Surf, Share, Play and Play Max line and in with five new models. The comparison chart in Figure 1 pulled from Belkin's site summarizes the key differentiators except for frequency band.
Figure 1: Belkin N series feature comparison
There are two three-stream N models in the lineup, the 2.4 GHz single band N450 and the subject of this review, the N750 DB. As seems to be the trend with most dual-band three-stream N routers of late, the N750 DB provides up to 450 Mbps link rate on the 5 GHz radio only. And you only get that rate if you have a matching three-stream N adapter and use 40 MHz bandwidth mode.
The new line retains the old one's focus on simplicity and ease of setup. As Figure 2 shows, there are only two front panel indicators, so as not to confuse non-techies.
Figure 2: Front panel callouts
Don't go looking for network status indicators on the back panel, either. Figure 3 shows the only ones you get are for the two USB 2.0 ports that you can plug printers and drives into for sharing.
Figure 3: Rear panel callouts
Belkin ships the N750 DB with both a WAN port cable and the power supply already plugged in. They also have the usual installation CD that walks you through setup and installs a "Router Manager" app. As usual, I didn't try either one.
You can't really see a lot of detail in the fuzzy FCC ID photo in Figure 4. Fortunately, the internal pictures file has closeup shots of the key components.
Figure 4: Belkin N750 DB board
The main CPU and 5 GHz radio come from a Ralink RT3883F 3X3 N SoC. This is a second-generation 3X3 N device from Ralink, that's also in TRENDnet's TEW-691GR and probably in the just-available TEW-692GR.
The 2.4 GHz radio is a Ralink RT3092 2X2 N SoC. A Realtek RTL8367R 5+1-port Gigabit Ethernet switch handles the WAN and LAN ports and I was able to make out 64 MB of RAM. I couldn't see how much flash, but my guess is 8 MB.
Belkin has never been big on cramming a lot of routing features into its products and the N750 DB continues the tradition. Here's the summary:
- DHCP, Static, PPPoE, Telstra BigPond/OptusNet CableWAN types
- DHCP server with lease time adjust
- UPnP support (no exposed controls)
- Built-in dynamic DNS client for DynDNS
- DMZ host
- WAN ping allow / deny
- 20 virtual servers (single port forwards) with separate source and destination ports
- Three level manual uplink QoS for eight services (single port)
- PPTP and IPsec VPN pass through (no exposed controls)
- Automatic upload and download QoS
- USB SMB/CIFS storage sharing
- UPnP / DLNA media server (USB storage)
- Switchable AP / Router mode (software switch)
- Guest SSID on 2.4 GHz radio only
- MAC address filtering
- WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal support
- Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
- Auto and manual channel set
- IPv6 support
- DHCP reservations
- Port range forwarding
- Triggered port forwarding
- QoS rule adjustment
- URL / keyword filtering
- Email alerts or log sends
- Transmit power adjust
- HTTPs admin access
- Firewall rule scheduling