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

Belkin Play Max Wireless RouterThe Belkin Play Max Wireless Router has been added to the Router and Wireless Charts.

The Play Max is the top of the line of Belkin's revamped "app" based wireless N routers. The new approach is described in this news item.

The Play Max is a Broadcom-based dual-radio design using a BCM4718 Intensi-fi XLR 802.11n Simultaneous Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz) Router SoC Wireless Network Processor, which includes the processor, BB/MAC and radios. The radio in this device appears to be used for the 2.4 GHz radio only, while a Broadcom BCM43224 Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n is used for the 5 GHz radio.

Belkin Play Max board

Belkin Play Max board

A Broadcom BCM53115 switch provides the Gigabit WAN and LAN ports without jumbo frame support and 64 MB of RAM and 8 MB of flash round out the design.

The Play Max also has two USB 2.0 ports that can share a printer and have a USB drive attached. The attached drive can be used with the Vuze BitTorrent download app, for general networked file storage and apps for UPnP / DLNA media serving and client backup via a bundled client.

All apps are provided in Windows and Mac OS forms and must be installed on a networked computer. There is also uplink-only four-level priority-based QoS. WDS bridging / repeating is not supported.

Routing throughput measured 84 Mbps WAN to LAN, 90 Mbps LAN to WAN and 88 Mbps with both directions running simultaneously. Our new Maximum Simultaneous Connection test came in at 8,170, a bit lower than Cisco's new Valet M10 router.

Wireless performance is a mixed bag. It didn't produce the highest speeds in either the 2.4 or 5 GHz band that we've seen using a single direction test, with a best-case 89.9 Mbps @ Location A in the 2.4 GHz band w/ 20 MHz bandwidth mode. 5 GHz performance was good, but not exceptional, and joined our failed-to-reach-test-Locations-E-and-F club.

Belkin Play Max Wireless Throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz B/W downlink

Belkin Play Max Wireless Throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz B/W downlink

One issue that could be holding the router back in the Wireless charts was the tendency of its link rate to get stuck at higher link rates in weaker signal locations, which produced lower throughput. For a few tests, we had to disconnect and re-associate the client and router in order to get better throughput.

On the plus side, however, we found that running simultaneous up and downlink tests produced 120 Mbps of total throughput (Location A, 2.4 GHz, 40 MHz B/W), indicating more bandwidth available to share with multiple clients.

File transfer speed to the shared USB drive using our Vista SP1 file copy test produced speeds of only around 3.5 MB/s for write and just shy of 4 MB/s for read, using both FAT and NTFS-formatted drives.

Read the full review.

More Wireless

Zyxel logo

Wi-Fi Mesh System Secrets - Here's how to get the most out of your whole home mesh WiFi system.

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

Featured Sponsors



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

As I understand, a wireless repeater will cut bandwidth in half (loosely speaking). Also, connecting a second AP to a router will not affect bandwidth...
HiI need a new wireless access point that I can connect to my ubnt edgerouter x. I was considering unifi nanoHD but I really don't want to mess with t...
I am in need of a couple of Wi-fi Bridges to link a smartTV and a small home office network located on opposite sides of the ground floor with my wire...
Sorry for the noob question - but I have added a cron job that I would like to survive scheduled reboots. What file to I need to edit (and what should...
i know 802.3af standard is limited to 100m. i would like to install an access point 800' away from my switch. POE extenders are an option, but does an...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3