Belkin N+ Modem Router review
draft 802.11n, 4x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports
This version of Belkin's N+ router has a built-in ADSL modem; a cable version is also available, so make sure you buy the right one. It has some useful features, including USB storage sharing and a restricted guest login.
We had some trouble getting the quick setup utility to work. Fortunately, the web interface is clear and includes documentation for every feature. To set up an ADSL connection using the web interface, you have to go to the Internet WAN Connection Type screen, select PPPoA and enter your ADSL account details.
A guest access feature gives you a second Service Set Identifier (SSID). This effectively creates an additional wireless network, which has basic internet access but is restricted from seeing the rest of your network. This can either be protected with WPA2 encryption or put into Hotel Style mode, where users have to type a password into a web page. It's a clever feature, but only likely to be useful in a small business.
The N+'s USB port lets you connect storage devices, turning the router into a NAS that can share files with any PC on your network. There are no simple options to share files over the internet, such as via FTP, though.
The ECO mode lets you turn off the wireless radio at specific times. It cut power consumption by just 0.3W in our tests, though, so it won't save you a lot of money. It could be useful for adding a bit of extra security by only allowing wireless access when you're at home.
The N+ Modem Router performed well in our wireless tests, particularly with Belkin's N+ wireless adaptor (£38 including VAT), which produced a phenomenal speed of 68.7Mbit/s over a distance of 10m and 21.2Mbit/s over 20m. Results using our Centrino 2 laptop's integrated wireless adaptor were slightly disappointing, though, with transfer speeds of 29.4Mbit/s at 10m - the slowest in the group.
At £75, the N+ Modem Router isn't cheap, but has good wireless performance with its own-brand adaptor, a lifetime warranty, a guest mode and is a USB storage server. If you don't need all these features, however, Linksys's WAG160N-UK is a much better choice.