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
- New version of Office for Mac coming this year
- Twitter goes down for second time in nine days
- Google sued over $66 in-app purchase
- Snowden: I was right to leak NSA data
- BBC revamps iPlayer for the "multiscreen world"
- Sony revives optical discs with 1TB Archival Disc
- Surface Power Cover finally arrives
- Mt Gox bankruptcy "leaves fox guarding the henhouse"
- iOS 7.1: what's new?
- All New HTC One: specs, release date and more
- CeBit 2014 diary: Cameron comes to town
- The 5 most interesting UK businesses at SXSW
- Quickest way to upload 1GB? Hop on a train
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Old-school internet scams: five that just won't die
- Bitcoin believers not worried by Mt. Gox disarray
- How to hack your car
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- What to do if you’re still on Windows XP
- Microsoft Word: top 20 secret features
- Measuring me: is your body the future of security?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book