Belkin N1 USB Wireless Adapter ReviewWritten by Simon Barker on July 13, 2008 · Filed under Review, Tech
Over six month ago I bought a Belkin N1 Wireless ADSL Router after my previous one had died on me. Once I had the router up and running I then read in PC Pro that there was specific Belkin N1 USB Wireless Adapter to go with it and fully enable the use of the N1 wireless network, particularly in terms of the increased speed.
I therefore followed the instructions in the documentation provided and installed the Belkin wireless software (prior to first plugging in the adapter as instructed). Now I’m not someone to be overly harsh on a product, but it was fair to say that it was less than impressive on the laptop that I tested it with at any rate.
I was disappointed to find that it did not perform better than the slower g-rated speed standard wireless adapter built into my laptop (in terms of file transfer speed), let alone be any faster like the N1 standard would suggest.
In terms of range – I think I outlined in my Belkin N1 Wireless Router that the potential speed increase was actually secondary and actual range was far more important to me since I live in a house with rather thick stone walls. Well it actually turned out that it had a shorter range than using standard laptop Wi-Fi adapter.
Also, I ended up un-installing the Belkin wireless management software as I just couldn’t get it to work reliably, so based on my experience I would definitely recommend just stick with the standard Windows Wi-Fi management system found in the Control Panel.
I’m sure the fact that the house that I live in has fairly thick walls compared to many new-build housing out there today didn’t help matters, but given that’s the case, if you’re in the same position as I am, I’d really think whether you need the potential increased transfer spends or whether you would be better spending the money on a larger antenna to go on onto your Belkin N1 Wireless router.
Admittedly the N1 standard is quite new and will no doubt need developing further, however I was quite surprised that you could spend a fair bit of cash on a big name brand and get fairly poor performance out of the box – normally in my experience Belkin products are really good, perhaps it was just my particular circumstances, but if you do get it, be aware you may need to revert to the standard Windows wireless network management system.