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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Potentially clever, if the firmware is updated., 13 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Belkin Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Modem ADSL Router (BT Line) - Black (Accessory)
OK first things first, this product seems to be listed at prices ranging from £115 to £250. I bought it for £40 by pre-ordering while Amazon were waiting for stock. For the price I paid this is a decent router + modem combination, for the prices currently being asked - not so much.

The router itself looks good. Somewhat unusually Belkin have decided to fit the ADSL modem not inside the router casing as you would expect but inside the power plug. This results in quite a bulky and ugly wall-wart if that is a concern for you (it is not for me). This separation of modem and router also leads to something I shall go into greater detail about later, the router and modem can be rebooted independently of each other.
The wireless signal seems to be pretty good, I live in an old house with solid brick internal walls and the signal drop-off is significant but a vast improvement on my old netgear in the 2.4 GHz band. Hopefully I shall acquire some 5 GHz kit soon.
Set-up was straight forward I simply used a wired connection to navigate to [...] which is the default router address. The management web-page is a bit cluttered and changes seem to take a long time to apply (10s to change DNS servers, 60s to change the default address range). Once I had put in my ISP details the web page alerted me that new firmware was available for the router. I downloaded and applied this, I also applied the update to the modem firmware that I was not alerted to. Hopefully future firmware updates will add a feature to alert the user to modem updates as well. Set-up from the web browser is your only option if you run linux, but then again it's usually the best way of setting up a router anyway. Incidentally if you are connecting from a server the web page fails to load in text-mode browsers (lynx, elinks, links2).
In the interests of writing a decent review I booted windows and actually gave the bundled software a try. It didn't get off to a good start when the CD installed adobe reader without asking and without need since I already have sumatraPDF when booting windows. The system tray app seems inoffensive though mostly it just opens up a browser on the relevant management page. The install assistant however is a nuisance, for some reason it refuses to accept that the network and internet are already set-up, and this silly little program insists on running every time you start the sys-tray app. Possibly if you are uncomfortable with setting up a router then this hand-holdy assistant will be useful - but then I doubt you'll be dropping the £100+ now being asked for what is essentially early adopter wireless ac kit. For the likely audience my advice is to open the box and throw the CD straight into the coaster drawer.

Now for some of the problems - the modem seems a bit unstable and will occasionally drop the internet connection, but then it sometimes takes a week or so for a line and modem to figure each other out. The router management web page has an option to reboot the router, but that is all it does, it reboots the router and not the modem - it took me a while to figure that out. The management page has no option to send a reboot signal to the modem - a major oversight that would be very useful and hopefully a future firmware will enable such an option. This means you have to physically go over and reset the modem, and the little red reset button is so fiddly to press that what you will actually end up doing is pulling the plug out waiting 15 seconds or so and plugging it back in - thereby forcing a router reboot as well and denying yourself the option of continuing to use your local network while your internet connection resets.
The DLNA server built in is not very good. It seems to only remember the state of any USB storage you attach as it was at the time you attached it, if you add or delete files to the network attached storage (the samba implementation seems fine) then the dlna server will ignore these changes (but again the samba share shows the changes just fine). So if dlna is important to you then unless a future firmware improves things you have the choice of either rebooting the router or unplugging and re-plugging the storage to get your changes to show up.

All in all for the price I paid this is a good router with a mediocre modem (if the current modem doesn't settle down I may just set up my old netgear modem/router as a modem only). For the price currently being asked, well unless you are one of the 5 people on earth with ac wireless kit I'd steer clear for now.

Update - as anticipated the modem has now settled down and is maintaining a good connection.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Dec 2012 12:03:21 GMT
I'm with Virgin at this moment but when my contract ends I'm looking at getting a modem & I guess I'll have to keep my phone line.
could you tell me how the quality of the picture received compares to Sky or Virgin?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2012 17:57:54 GMT
I am somewhat confused by your question about picture quality. This is a networking device, it comprises a router and an ADSL modem housed in the power pack. The router could be used with a cable modem or other third party adsl modem by simply connecting that modem to the WAN port on the router instead of the included one.
It has no display, but does have a router management web page that you can access from a locally connected computer using most web browsers, or if you enable it you can connect from a remote computer via the internet.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2013 14:57:54 GMT
I've had Sky & Virgin Internet hubs/modems & I'm seriously thinking of dumping them & was looking to buy an alternative hub.
So could you tell me if this one is as good or maybe better than the Sky or Virgin equivalent?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2013 23:15:38 GMT
Well I've not used either virgin or sky's routers. If those routers are not crippled in firmware then I would recommend continuing to use them unless they lack a feature you need and this router offers. I would not buy this for ac functionality at the moment, but if you find your current router has poor n signal then this router has pretty good signal strength (I live in an old house with 9 inch construction) and dual band capabilities (so if you are getting interference in the 2.4GHz range you could switch to 5GHz assuming your computer/phone/whatever can use it).
If you are currently using a wireless g, b or a router then this is certainly an improvement.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2013 01:29:11 GMT
JCG says:
Might be a silly question, but where did you get the modem firmware update? I can't see to find it! Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2013 10:19:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2013 10:19:28 GMT
If you go to your router management page and scroll down then on the left you'll see a link labelled "Firmware Update", if you have not changed the default address of your router then a direct link is here
There are buttons to check for both router and firmware updates.

Unfortunately trying to find updates via the belkin support website is all but impossible since they don't seem to be willing to admit they make this model.
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