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This review is from: Belkin F9K1113 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC+ Gigabit Router
Comes with cables pre-connected.
Easy to follow instructions
I was sent this unit to review by Newegg. I will do my best to help you make a smart buying decision. First and foremost, I am here to help the average consumer.
So when I opened up the box everything is pretty much set up in an “idiot proof” format. Cables are pre-connected and the instructions are right there and easy to use. So kudos for that, I am sure that will reduce phone calls to get it going. What I did not like was the build construction of this unit. It is very low quality. The plastic is thin and a finger print magnet. There is only one USB 2.0 port in the rear. Pretty much useless in my book. USB 3.0 is a minimum requirement for a media server as far as I am concerned, especially when you are streaming too many items at one time. There are 4 GigE ports though so that is a good thing. However the cables really are not long enough to be useful.
Ok so after plugging it in, and opening a browser screen it comes right up to a quick setup screen. However, I could not see any option to setup as an AP (access point) or bypass the quick setup on this screen. You have to remove your Main router, and hook this up so it can setup as the main router to your ISP. I was very displeased with this because I had to remove my active router. I understand the need to make something basic to eliminate problems for your tech support, but this is ridiculous.
Onto the setup, the menus were pretty easy to navigate and well laid out. With minimal time to get used to them. There are enough controls to be able to do just about anything a normal user would do. The best move Belkin made though was to include the Norton Filters. I wish more companies would do this. It offloads that to Norton, instead of me. You can set it up as an AP. If you read the other reviews you can get a feel for what this router can do. I do not feel a need to waste my time repeating what the others have said.
The range on the router was adequate for my 1800 sq. ft. house. However once the signal strength dips below 60% Streaming will not happen. I was able to stream an UHD (LAN) and 2 1080p (WIFI) signals at the same time, so it should be able to handle gaming just fine as well. I did not have any signal drops when testing.
From my testing I have concluded this router performs normal like any other router I have tested from a hardware standpoint. However, I will not be testing it in a long term testing environment. The construction of the unit has poor venting, and I can only speculate as to the longevity of the product, but I doubt it would be years.
Only one USB 2.0
Poor quality materials
First off this is only an AC1200 router, it is not really much faster than an AC900 router. Which for the price point is a much better deal. I have reviewed many routers as of late, and overall this router is what I would consider an entry level router. However, Belkin obviously thinks very highly of this router because it is priced about double of what it should be.
So far no router that I have worked with has even come close to my ASUS routers. Price for this unit is way too much for the performance I can get from similar units. I bought a refurbed AC2400 router from ASUS for about the same price.
Other Thoughts: I applaud Belkin for some new features that need to be in family router, namely Norton. It is also an easy to use web based interface. This is obviously setup to be an entry level idiot proof setup. If I was in charge of pricing I would slash the price of this unit in half, and it would sell just fine. It's price is what will keep inventories high, because there is just to much competition out there. JFYI I am not an ASUS fanboy, but thy have done just about everything right with their router, and they are impossible to hate.READ FULL REVIEW
+ Solid wireless connection both bands.
+ PCI-e 1x connection
+ 3 Antennas
+ Good heatsink
+ Low Profile adapter
+ EZ to install and setup
+ Beamforming technology
-TP link software stinks.
-Price seems a bit too high
-No antenna extension stand included.
Other Thoughts: As far as the bad, TP-Link really needs to get their act together when it come to the GUIs and software of their products. With the need to have wireless in the home. Setup needs to be easy and idiot proof. The product needs to be more autonomous as well. ASUS’s networking division is far ahead of TP-LINK, and in my book offers a superior product. However, ASUS customer support is abysmal at best and I have gotten to the point I would rather buy something new, than deal with any warranty work.
What I am MOST disappointed with about the card, is that it does not come with a 6’ triple antenna desktop antenna extension. That can be placed where you need it.
Newegg’s price is by far the best for this card. It definitely performs WAY better than a built in chip or a USB solution. If you need high performance for gaming then this card should work very well. I was able to Stream Steam games easily with no network delays. Although I think it serves a special niche of people and computers. It does do its job very well. It also seems to be engineered well, however only time will tell that.
+ CHEAP GB and dual band router
+ Simple to use and setup
+ Great Range!!
+ Runs cooler
+ Button to disable wireless!
+ Good bandwidth
+ Tight port security
+ Parental controls blockout style!
- Size is a little large
- Poor Built in “help” does not really explain how options or settings work.
- Did not support WDS with the original firmware.
- Firmware update is not an automatic download therefore not idiot proof.
Other Thoughts: I received this router from Newegg to review. My overall feeling is good at this price point. I would put it in the same realm as a Netgear equivalent. It is no ASUS router though. I did not update the firmware. I primarily used this router as an AP point for my entertainment center up stairs. Note; If you actually pay attention to directions, and set up BOTH sides of your routers, the AP will work flawlessly. I was impressed with the detect settings to help with this. I connected equipment wired and wirelessly and had No issues once I had isolated an issue with my main router. I was able to stream HD broadcasts to my television with no slowdowns or loss of quality. I didn’t get a chance to test any gaming, because I have been sick with a sinus infection and have been lethargic the past two weeks. Onto the GUI, it is adequate, and functional. The features of the firmware are pretty robust. However it is not overly helpful. It reminds me of a bios help menu. In most instances it does not really “help” you, it just says to turn on this function put the option to on. There are very few explanations that can help inexperienced users understand how to properly setup this router and that is its biggest downfall. I can compare this directly to my outstanding ASUS N66U dual band router directly, which blows this unit out of the water when it comes to a useful GUI. For example, My Asus router, tells me when a setting may conflict with another setting in another tab. It gives me a link to click on and follow. Then it even highlights the setting that needs changed. When the option is changed in the Asus, the warning links disappear. That is how a GUI should work in a router. That is really my biggest gripe with hardware manufactures today. Build better GUI’s it isn’t hard, you just need to hire better programmers that care about how the end product is used by the CONSUMER. This inspires brand LOYALTY! I took this router to work, to test the wireless range of the 2.4 Ghz band. Remember, the higher the frequency, the smaller the range radius. The building is a very well grounded, and is made from concrete and steel. It was able to penetrate the 3 foot thick concrete and give me a usable connection radius of about 80ft. Which is actually very impressive. At my home, I had no problems connecting anywhere in my 2000 sq ft house, It even made into my garage. Awesome job! I did not experience drops! This is because I pay attention to the wireless channels being used, around me and use channels that do not have overlap with other electronics. Signal interference is the primary cause for dropped connections. Honestly, I think the poor reviews of this router are un-warranted. I cannot speak to this routers longevity, but seems to be built decent Honestly, I would buy this router, or a step up model now that I have used it. At this price point you would be hard pressed to find a more robust option.READ FULL REVIEW