Belkin N+ ADSL Wireless Router Review

belkin-n+-adsl-wireless-routerI’ll be honest from the start with the review of the Belkin N+ ADSL modem wireless router – it has a flaw and it’s a pretty fundamental flaw if you want to use it for one particular purpose like I did, but more on that later…

I bought the Belkin N+ ADSL wireless router as a replacement for the aging Belkin N1 ADSL modem wireless router which needed replacing as the “quirks” it had were finally proving too much to live with, but rather than talk about that here, I’ll update the original review after I’ve finished this one.

Suffice to say despite my reservations of buying Belkin again, I looked around some of the big well-known review sites and they seemed to like the Belkin N+ with some of them having it as their wireless router of choice. Therefore I thought I’d give them another chance.

First off, the Belkin N+ wireless router looks to be designed pretty well, standing upright to minimise its footprint on your desk (or other choice of location), then the initial setting up of the Belkin N+ was quite straight forward and included important features such as securing your wireless network to prevent random people from being able to “leech” off your broadband connection.

In general operation it connected with my ADSL broadband internet service provider (ISP) with no issues whatsoever and maintained a stable connection – far better than the previous Belkin N1 which seemed to drop connection and require rebooting at least once a week, sometimes much more often. Also, the display indicators on the front of the wireless router were more subtle and “grown-up”, more useful and even included a speedometer-like display to indicate when fast, sustained downloads were using the connection.

In terms of the wireless range and strength of this Belkin N+ wireless router, it was fairly comparable with the Belkin N1, although if anything it was a little weaker on occasion or had more trouble going through the fairly thick stone walls we have in the house – I used to be able to always get internet access in the kitchen, but now it was a little hit and miss, a little disappointing, but I’d rarely require that kind of range.

However, we’ve now arrived at the “deal-breaker” for me and no doubt many other people that I spoke of at the outset of this review. Now I will admit that it did take me around 6 weeks to find this flaw, but I’m sure they’ll be many people wanting to use this wireless router for this particular purpose from day one.
What is it that I’m referring? Oh yes, that little known and rarely used service called Xbox Live.

Now I’m not big console gamer, hence why it took until me getting a new Xbox 360 game 6 weeks into this purchase to find out, but when I came to try and play on the Xbox 360, to sign into Xbox Live, not even to play an online game, just to download an update so I could play a single player game, the Belkin N+ refused to play along.

I followed the instructions that appeared on the Xbox 360 about what should fix it, but none of them fixed the problem and upon further research on the Internet, it turns out I wasn’t alone, there’s lots of people out there who like me have spent hours trying to get their Belkin N+ working with Xbox Live without success.

Admittedly, I didn’t check to see if there was a firmware update to fix the problem (I have since checked and there hasn’t been any update from Belkin made available), but this fundamental flaw (given the popularity of online gaming, especially with Xbox Live) as I see it shouldn’t require you to have to do that with a newly bought product such as the Belkin N+ and Xbox Live is hardly a new service itself. This was basically the final straw for me in using Belkin ADSL modem wireless routers. I then took it back to PC World from where I bought it and they were fine about exchanging it for a Linksys WAG160N which I’m hoping will work out better, I’ll be testing it and reviewing it soon.

I’m unsure whether it’s simply a bad batch of routers out there or a overall design fault, but either way, despite being a tech-orientated person, I really didn’t want to take up my time trying to fix this problem, which in my opinion shouldn’t be there – so surely any normal person just wanting to play on their Xbox 360 would simply take it back to the store as well?

In summary, despite being left frustrated by the Belkin N+ ADSL wireless router, I would admit that as long as you don’t want to ever use Xbox Live then it’s a good product – proved by the fact I liked it for 6 weeks, but if you do or ever might want to use an Xbox 360 with it, I’d perhaps look elsewhere for an ADSL wireless router then make sure you check out our how to use Xbox Live with Belkin N+ wireless router guide.

Have you got a Belkin N+ wireless router and had the same problems? Did you manage to get them fixed and if so how? Or did you just take it back to the store as well?

UPDATE: The Linksys WAG160N wireless router was a good router out of the box and worked well, however the issue of having less range and now way to improve it (since there are no external antennas to replace etc) I ended up taking it back to PC World and exchanging back for another Belkin N+ ADSL wireless router having been assured that I would be able to open ports and get Xbox Live working.

I did some further research and found out how to get the Belkin N+ wireless router to work with Xbox Live! Having solved that issue with Xbox Live, I would therefore recommend this ADSL wireless router to anyone who is looking to replace their existing one!

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never had anything but trouble with Belkins. I had one when I was with NTL and it was a nightmare. Then again, I’m not brilliant with technology full stop. I now have sky and have just used the router that they supply. No issues now.

  2. says

    Hi Michael, yes the Linksys WAG160N wireless router did work much better, in fact it worked just as it should do with Xbox Live (I’m running a wired connection to my Xbox 360), so couldn’t comment on the wireless connection to it, but all the wireless aspects of the Linksys router has been fine, with the exception that the range isn’t quite as good going through our thick stone walls – I’ll post a full review soon!

  3. says

    Hi Simon,
    T just spent 3 days tearing my hair out with this router, thank god I found i found your review before i went insane. I just kept getting MTU errors on the Xbox, even though the MTU was set much higher than it called for.

  4. Kaiyan Aga says

    I was using NETGEAR before and never had any problem recently my contract expired on the ADSL plan so I went with a ASDL2+ plan.
    In the begining all was good and set up was easy until I used Skype.
    As soon as I use skype or msn messenger and close or exit. I cannot connect to internet any more.
    I thought it was a problem with the setting did the install again. However even now the wireless drops frequently and If I am about to use Skype I forgt about using the Web for that day.
    It requires a number of retarts for the Laptop and rebooting the router before I can surf the net again.
    I thought it was the settings but my friend has another dell which has the same problems. He doesnt use skype but logs onto his office network.
    I read it somewhere that its a compatibility issue with the Intel wireless card Dell uses in its Laptop. I tried upgrading the driver sofware as well for the Wifi card but problem still persist.

    What should I do???

  5. melch says

    Hi

    Ive recently purchased a belkin n+ modem/router and had exactly the same problems listed above (trying to connect to xboxlive using a wireless adaptor), its taken me 10 days to fix it (after alot of cursing and swearing) and numerous phones calls to xbox support and belkin. After checking Upnp was enabled, that ports 3074, 80, 88, 53 (tcp/unp) were open, that my mtu settings were above 1364 and basically working my way through every troubleshooting tip i could find, it turned out to be related to DHCP, i have a dynamic IP and for some reason (despite this being the “preferred” setting) live just wouldnt have it.

    After turning this off and manually inputting all of the network settings (IP, SUBNET, Gateway, Primary DNS server) i connected straight through without any problems. Although i did have to reset up my pc connection manually as well.

    Might not work for everyone but i was tearing my hair out trying to fix this problem.

    What ever happened to plaug and play ? :(

    M

  6. Danny B says

    Hey all, I’ve noticed on here that your able to set up the router to work with x-box live however I’m having connection problems using my PS3 it connects for about an hour then it comes up saying DNS error and so forth! Does anyone know how to correct? Any help would be greatly and muchly appreciated!

    Regards

    Danny

  7. Michael Heslop says

    Just a follow up comment, i tried with all my might and ounce of computer knowledge to get this router to work correctly with Xbox live, I attempted port forwarding to sort out NAT settings and this did not work, i have had DNS errors however these are at complete random.

    I found that my Mac would disconnect randomly after about an hour and i would have to reset the connection settings to continue using the internet.

    After these frustrations I decided to try another router, i bought the equivalent Netgear router, When setting this router up i knew there was other routers in the area and as long as you choose the option telling the router there are others in the area it works fine, 5 months on it hasnt put a foot wrong with 3 pc’s/mac, 2 xbox 360′s, 1 Wii and an ipod touch all able to connect with no issues

  8. franco groppo says

    I was using a Belking G router, but i could not receve a signal in my house from upstairs to downstairs. So I bouth a Belking N1 mimo router which should be much more powrfull with a range of 300 mt.

    The matter of fact is that is just as bad as the G router, and there is no difference whatsoever !

    The router for me is useless. !! In near futer I will keep well away from Belkin.
    A name with poor quality !

  9. ToweringBog says

    I cant get this Router to work with either XBox 360 or PS3, why should I have to turn off UPnP and why should I have to open up the ports, note to Belkin this is a shoddy product.

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