Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews


At a Glance
Product Belkin N1 Wireless Router (F5D8231-4)
Belkin N1 Notebook Card (F5D8011)
Summary Draft 11n router and CardBus card based on Atheros xspaN silicon
Pros • Neighbor-friendly draft 11n operation
• Lots of installation aids
• >100Mbps routing speed
• Informative and helpful router front panel
Cons • Severe throughput loss when using any security except WPA2
• Multi-second pauses in high-speed wireless traffic
• Router can't handle many simultaneous connections

Belkin N1 Wireless Router

Belkin was kind enough to send me one of the first review samples of its N1 router and Cardbus card. But due to a very busy summer, it has taken me way too long to get this product reviewed and for that, my apologies to Belkin. The N1 was the first draft 802.11n product to hit the streets using Atheros' xspaN MIMO solution. xspaN was the one chipset missing from the Draft 802.11n Revealed series and I was curious to see whether Atheros had cracked the code on making "legacy-friendly" draft 11n chips.

As it turns out, Atheros has advanced the state of the draft 11n art in some respects. But it has also taken a step backwards in secure WLAN and routing performance.

Basic Features

I have to say that Belkin did a nice job with the industrial design of the N1. While it's easy to see the family resemblance to Belkin's Airgo-based "Pre-N" Router, the N1 is finished in glossy black vs. dull gray and has its three non-detachable antennas positioned at the rear instead of the front.

The front panel is a key innovation that Belkin is particularly proud of. The panel (Figure 1) is angled for easy viewing and contains large icons that represent key router functions. It is intended to provide an at-a-glance view of the various levels of connection status and it seems to do that well.

N1 Front Panel

Figure 1: The N1 front panel

What you don't get from the front panel, however, is any indication of data traffic activity, i.e. none of the icons flash to show traffic. For that, you'll need to check the LEDs on the rear panel (Figure 1) Ethernet jacks for wired traffic. But in a surprising omission, there is no indicator for wireless activity.

N1 Rear Panel

Figure 2: The N1 rear panel

Connectors on the rear panel include four 10/100 LAN ports, one 10/100 WAN port and a power jack. All ports are auto MDI / MDI-X which means they'll figure out how to connect to whatever you plug into them. There's also a reset / reset-to-factory-defaults switch in case you need it. Note the lack of gigabit Ethernet capability, which means Netgear's WNR854T RangeMax Next Wireless Router - Gigabit Edition is still the only draft 11n product to include gigabit LAN ports.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

I have an Ax88U and I am moving into a appartment that only has wireless internet with a password.How would I connect my Ax88U to their WiFi and share...
Will Diversion work on guest networks? I have created segregated Lans using YazFi. I have Rokus on its own network for privacy, but would like to use ...
For a few firmware version now. I noticed that my Guest WiFi would just completely drop out. As in going into CLI and looking at the interface, it co...
With version 384.10_2:If the nat hardware acceleration turns on and IPv6 is set to Passthough, the system log was flood with :"kerne...
2 68Us running mesh at firmware _45713 (problem also at previous version)iPads & iPhones at IOS 12.2ASUS IOS Router app (most current) All ...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3