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on 23 July 2010
I have had 2 belkin routers in the past a 56g which lasted for years until I decided to upgrade two years ago and got a belkin Vision N1. When this worked it was great - had a great range, great speed and only the occasional problem, However the problems got worse with time with it not rebooting etc so I decided on an upgrade. I of course decided to try the new Belkin Play Max. I have a 4 normal size house and kids that are using the internet so thought the play max would be strong enough for the throughput that will inevitably happen as the children's demands increase for internet access etc.
Installing the software - there is a lot of it and most seems to be more gimmicks than of use - in fact my main computer went a lot slower because of this added stuff. Now there is a little green icon on your desktop to show you the status of the router on your computer. Nice however if you select "your network" it shows you your network key. Equally I have had problems with it talking to my home server; It does not seem to allow virtual server of my WHS even when configured.
Speed and range poor no better than my original 56g router - clearly not as good as my previous Belkin N1 vision either. The network seems a lot slower and the signal strength is poor.
I have spent days in the past with the Belkin help line and really don't have the time to do this again - I want a system that works out of the box - this clearly does not. In summary therefore a pile of rubbish. It needs a lot of upgrades to make it useable and frankly I do not have the time to wait! It is being returned as it is not fit for purpose.
So 2 stars only - it does work but for the price I'm sure there are better more robust products out there. Waiting for the linksys e3000 to come on the market in the UK!!
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on 16 July 2012
I bought one of these to add to my network, I have the old types Pre N F5D8230-4 as this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0006ZBXKA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=AMTNO8ETPC4I0 and I can pick the old one up better 35m further away than this new one, the new one which is within 10m, I've tried changing the radio channels etc with no improvement, works well if it is just one room away or maybe 2, beyond that it struggles, I don't think these are gigabit either so I am chopping the lot in for gigabit routers, the current network of a mix of the old and new routers, I use 3 altogether, does work well but file access needs to be quicker and that I can only get by using gigabit throughout, you need the N750 for gigabit. Nice looking router, good features, but if it doesn't work as well as the old version, what is the point!
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on 6 February 2011
We have a cable broadband connection which is wired to our pc. there is a growing number of wifi enabled devices(Wii,PS3,psp,ipod,mobile phones etc) & we wanted to create a wifi hub for this. Not being too tech savvy I wanted something that was easy to set up & secure & also have the capacity to handle current & future demands. I read all the reviews & this Belkin PlayMax seemed to fit the bill,their
ads made much of simplicity of setup. Placed order & it arrived within 3 days on free delivery. Setup was time consuming but we were up & running with our main pc hard wired to router. This is just as well as bundled software was pretty unstable ( several reinstalls & 2 direct downloads from belkin website over the first 2 weeks) & the interface seems old & clunky. Getting wireless connections a bit hit & miss, some connected 1st time some took several go's. Once connection was successfully made it was very stable. Since then it has worked fine. All in all a tricky setup but working ok now.
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on 1 August 2013
The pack was opened before.. Could easily make that.. Plus, the conversion plug provided was broken and not usable at all..

Otherwise, the product was perfectly alright.... Delivery was on time as all... (Y)
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on 30 December 2013
I don't use all the apps. But it works fine. Lots of stuff with it that I do not use
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Judging from the customer reviews on routers and modems they seem to be devices that can cause a huge amount of frustration for users - not really surprising with all the obtuse networking protocols and settings that have to be negotiated. It's not surprising either that manufacturers try to make it all a bit easier by bundling auto-configuration software and other 'user-friendly' features with their routers.

My only real problem with Belkin's Play Max router is that it doesn't feel friendly as much as invasive. Belkin have shipped it with an assortment of app's and features some of which are extremely useful and some of which seem weirdly inappropriate in a router. For example, the router has 2 USB ports which can be used to share printers or hard-drives across your network and for this to work you have to run a background daemon on each networked computer which finds the shared devices and makes them available - that's fair enough, it all works really well and can be incredibly useful. On the other hand there's an app which scans your music library and then suggests a playlist of songs you might like to listen to - but why would I want my router doing that? What's next, asking your fridge to recommend a good movie?

It wouldn't be so bad if Belkin allowed you to choose the features and app's you wanted to install and which you didn't, but the installer is an all-or-nothing deal. So you end up with as many as 10 background processes running on your computer, some of which could be for features you never intend to use. It is possible to disable and remove some of these features but you'll have to know where to look and what to delete - not exactly friendly for inexperienced users.

If you sidestep the junk software and just deal with the router itself, it's really excellent and doesn't need the bells and whistles Belkin have added. The inbuilt configuration webpage is well designed and contains plenty of genuinely useful options and features. If you already know the basics of setting up a router then you'll probably find the Belkin as easy to use as it could be. The wifi footprint is good and the option of a 5GHz network would be great for city-dwellers - the 5GHz is usually faster but has a notably smaller footprint so your neighbours are less likely to pick it up. I haven't noticed any unexplained dropouts of the wifi signal and speeds are usually good. If, like me, you're upgrading from a 100base-T router to a 1000base-T then you'll also really appreciate the speed of file-transfers between wired clients.

In truth, it's an excellent router but Belkin have half-buried it in unnecessary third-party software and denied inexperienced users an easy way to select which features they'd like and which they'd like to avoid. If you know your way around your system enough to disable unwanted features - or if you'd really enjoy all the extra features Belkin have added - then it's as good a router as you'll find at this price.
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on 16 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This isn't a bad product - it works perfectly well. I'm just not sure that many of its features are really necessary.
The main selling point is Wireless-N, which offers up to 150Mbps. That's great, but how often will you actually need that kind of speed? It certainly won't do anything to speed up your broadband, which is of course limited by what package you get from your ISP.
Wireless printing is a reasonably good idea, but not of especially great value.
You can have wireless auto-backup if you connect an external hard drive, which isn't a bad idea, but for my really important stuff, I back it up manually to check that it has been done correctly, so I don't think it is something I will often use.
The integrated music server is fine, but again it is hard to see much benefit over simply connecting your speaker system to your computer to play music.
Finally, 'self-healing' isn't a bad thing to have, but then again my network connection is pretty reliable in any case, and given that this is only a router (it doesn't also work as a modem) most networking issues will be beyond its control anyway.

The router work perfectly well, but I'm just not sure that its endless extra features add enough of value to justify the price. But every computer user is different, and others might find some of these features much more useful than I do.
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This router is a fantastic product - it is dual band which essentially means that yuo can have multiple users accessing online services at the same time without a drop in quality or connection speed, on top of this you can set "Quality of service" (QoS) to allow certain types of programe i.e. Skype or gaming etc to take priority, meaning that even if one band is accessed by multiple users, those programes will receive priority.

Don't listen to users who say you have to use the disc on a second PC if you want to access the web through this, it is not correct. IF you want to very easily set up a network THEN you use the disc on all the PC's you want connected and it will very easily network them all, otherwise you just log on witht he correct user name and passowrd and it lets you access the web. It even comes with a guest account and password, which you can set access rules for down to days and minutes.

This router is so packed full of features it is impossible to go through them all, but it is very easy to set up and use, can be accessed with little trouble and provides good solid interweb access.

The only issue I have is with my PS3 - the router does not find it, so I cannot stream my media to the PS3, but I can use the music mover option to put files on a USB stick, plug it into one of two USB ports on the back of the router (I have my printer networked on the other) and use the router as a media server, which the PS3 does see (I can still access the internet with the PS3 just as I would normally though).

All in all this is a feature packed router which comes with so many options and extras it is ridiculous. I would very much recommend this product for any household that has mulitple internet users.
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on 25 November 2010
First i have to say im no IT expert, i prefer to read reviews from fellow purchasers not from mags etc when buying items so you get first hand knowledge what to expect when doing my home work.
i was abit weary having read the reviews regarding this router but the pros outwaded the cons but then again that was said about all the routers i looked at, i wanted a router that would allow me to run more than 1 games console and pcs at the same time and this one caught my eye.
This would be my 2nd belkin router purchase and what can i say, it does what it says on the box, it does what i expected from it, i can run a xbox in one room, a ps3 in another and 2 pcs at the same time with no lag or interferance what so ever.
It did however take more than the couple of mins to set up, it took some 20 mins to set up and decided to download the latest firmware for the router with no problems.
I have changed all the routers passwords with no problems, so all in all i have made a great purchase and would buy a belkin product over all others.
my review gives this router a fantastic 8 out of 10
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on 21 October 2010
Thought i post my views on the Belkin Play Max as it seems to have had allot of negative reviews and i had positive results.

I have 50mb Virgin broadband, so this router was perfect for what i wanted. Fast wireless N speeds and Gigabit LAN connections for downloading files across my network.

I dislike allot of the software which gets packaged with most hardware these days, so i did not install it on my PC. I connect to the router via Internet Explorer and change the settings accordingly.

Updated the firmware which is a must for any hardware, this took 200 seconds and then the router rebooted. Once rebooted, the router connected to my broadband connection and applied security for the wireless. I changed all the security to access the router & wireless.

Job done in less than 30 minutes and now my router is working 100%.
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