Belkin N600 DB wireless modem/router review: Belkin N600 DB wireless modem/router

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Lifetime warranty.

The Bad 100Mb Ethernet stingy at this price. Worryingly warm during operation. Would only connect at full speed to our Intel adapter when running single band. Middling wireless performance. 5GHz not visible on our Ralink adapter.

The Bottom Line Despite looking similar to its modemless cousin, the N600 DB wireless modem/router is a different entity. Problems with Intel and Ralink chipsets, worrying heat output, middling wireless performance and long waits between changing settings means that this one should be passed over.

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Right from the outset, it's important to note that there's a Belkin N600 DB that's just a wireless router, and one that's a wireless modem/router. While they share many similarities, these are very different beasts performance-wise, so the results here should not be conflated with the other product. For this review, we're focusing on the modem/router version.

It's an odd shape, this one. A vertically standing, convex wedge in piano black, with a rim of grey and an activity light on the top. Despite looking near identical in pictures, the modem/router version is larger than the wireless router version .

Specs at a glance

Firmware tested 1.00.09
ADSL2+ modem Yes
Annex M N/A
3G modem No
IPv6 No
Wireless protocols 802.11b/g/n
Dual band Simultaneous
Highest wireless security WPA2
WDS Yes
Ethernet ports 4x 100Mb
USB print sharing/storage Storage, printer
Accessories Ethernet cable, phone cable, installation CD

Connections

The N600 DB takes the standard approach; four 100Mb Ethernet ports, and a USB port that can manage either printing or storage. A phone jack is on top to connect to the internet. Belkin isn't particularly friendly with where it stores its ADSL settings; they're filed under "Internet WAN".

Belkin N600 DB rear

Power jack, USB, 4x 100Mb Ethernet and 100Mb WAN port.
(Credit: Belkin)

UI and features

Belkin hasn't given its UI a once over for a very long time. It's still the same old grey, which works well enough, but it's certainly dull. Page level contextual help is given via a link at the top right. While a techy will be right at home, for a company that appears to pitch itself at less-educated users, the UI is nigh on hostile, hiding ADSL settings under headings like "Internet WAN" and putting parental controls under "Firewall" and calling them "Access Control".

Belkin N600 DB UI

Same old same old, but it works.
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

Unlike the N600 DB wireless router, this model carries on the incredibly annoying Belkin bugbear of not allowing spaces in SSIDs. It supports such features as guest wireless (on 2.4GHz only), QOS, outbound WAN stats, a media server and the standard glut of features that you'd expect on a standalone router.

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Where to Buy

Belkin N600 DB wireless modem/router

Part Number: CNETBelkin N600 DB wireless modem/router

Typical Price: $219.00

See manufacturer website for availability.