Belkin N1 Vison (F5D8232-4)

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Belkin N1 Vison (F5D8232-4)

Belkin’s N1 Vision and Trendnet’s Wireless N Gigabit are among the first routers to be benchmarked in our new real-world test environment: a 2,800 square-foot foot home in rural Northern California (call it Maximum PC Lab North). You’ll find all the details, including photographs, at Mike's blog.

Belkin’s N1 Vision takes user friendliness to a whole new level. This is the first router we’ve seen that offers extensive installation hand-holding right in the firmware—there’s no need to drop a CD in your drive.

The N1 Vision earns its name from the large LCD that reveals your network’s broadband speed, bandwidth consumption, time of day, the status of networked devices, and other useful information. And unlike the piddling four-port Fast Ethernet switch on Belkin’s N1, the N1 Vision packs a four-port Gigabit switch.

Enable the Guest SSID feature and the N1 Vision will set up a second password-protected network that enables authorized clients to access the Internet without granting them entrée to the rest of your network.

The other N1 couldn’t connect through our double-walled media room, but the N1 Vision connected to our mobile client at its furthest point outside the house (90 feet from the router); however, we presume radio waves have a difficult time penetrating the cement-fiber siding on the home we’re using for testing because none of the routers we’ve tested so far has performed well when the client is outdoors.

Many of the N1’s other limitations are also present in this fancier model: The Vision operates only in mixed mode (802.11b, -g, and –n), for instance, and its only useful quality-of-service option is “off.” The N1 Vision is a better choice for networking neophytes than the N1, but power users will crave more meat.

Visions

Easy setup, great display, Gigabit switch, guest SSID feature.

Hallucinations

Lacks advanced configuration features; operates in mixed mode only.

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Benchmarks
  Location 1
No Encryption
/ WPA Personal
Location 2
No Encryption
/ WPA Personal
Location 3
No Encryption
/ WPA Personal
Location 4 No Encryption
/ WPA Personal
Location 5
No Encryption
/ WPA Personal
Belkin N1 Vision (MB/s) 70.1 / 35.1 69.8 / 29.5
13.2 / 8.4 11.8 / 9.41.9 / 0.1
Trendnet Wireless N Gigabit (MB/s) 76.5 / 27.4 59.4 / 16.2
1.4 / 1.1 1.4 /0.1 N/C

Best encrypted scores are bolded. N/C means no connection could be established between client and router. Additional test criteria available here.

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