Belkin N1 Vision review
Innovation and solid performance in an attractive package make the N1 Vision stand out, but it's expensive.
Review Date: 15 Jul 2008
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £109 (£125 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Most routers look fairly nondescript; it's what's inside that matters. Belkin's latest box, however, delivers a lot more than your average bland plastic box.
It's an unusual shape, for starters: leaning at an angle with three stubby aerials protruding from the rear, it makes quite a visual statement. But it's not the piano-black finish or upright stance that really stands out; it's the screen.
The N1 Vision provides a graphical representation of all sorts of information that's usually available only through a router's web interface. You can see download and upload speeds, download totals and details such as security settings and the names of connected clients.
Also accessible from the screen is a guest account feature, which you can use to provide visitors with secure access to the web without having to allow access to the rest of your network - a second SSID is created with a secure PIN.
Belkin makes a good effort to ease setup, too. Rather than using a CD-based wizard, you just type "routersetup" into the address bar of your browser and you're taken through the device's internet and security setup wizard, which encourages you to change the password and set up WPA security.
Performance hasn't suffered with all this innovation. We achieved solid speeds in every location around the house. Strangely, the fastest were achieved upstairs and in the kitchen, with adjusted figures of 38Mb/sec and 40Mb/sec respectively. Same-room and next-door performance dipped slightly below this.
Even in our extreme test at the bottom of the garden, speeds were respectable at an impressive adjusted rate of 22Mb/sec. In all locations, the test 1080p WMV HD file played pretty smoothly, with average throughput rates remaining steady at 8.7 or 8.8Mb/sec.
It's even strong on features. It's the only router here with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and comes with an impressive limited lifetime warranty. It's less suited to business use, though, with no WPA2 Enterprise encryption, no intrusion detection and limited VPN support.
Overall, we don't think these extra features and its swish look quite justify the £100-plus price, but if you're after a speedy router with a difference, the N1 Vision is it.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Universal wireless charging gets a boost from Microsoft
- Amazon Phone: release date, features and 3D display
- Apple offers sneak peak at OS X via Beta Seed
- American grip on web loosens ahead of key net meeting
- Apple fixes security flaw, fingerprint scanner with iOS 7.1.1
- Heartbleed: LibreSSL scrubs "irresponsible" OpenSSL code
- Windows Cloud: should Microsoft mimic Chrome OS?
- Lytro unveils its next light-field camera: the $1,599 Illum
- Microsoft supercharges PowerPoint with Office Mix
- Hello Cortana, it's nice to meet you
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word