Belkin N600 DB wireless router review: Belkin N600 DB wireless router

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Finally allows spaces in SSIDs. Decent ranged wireless performance. Great warranty.

The Bad 100Mb Ethernet is stingy for the price. Close-range wireless performance is middling. Slow to apply settings. Doesn't detect net access if not hooked up through WAN.

The Bottom Line The N600 DB is passable as a wireless router. While a lifetime warranty is incredibly appealing, the wireless performance is trounced by devices that are in the same price bracket.

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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 plain wireless 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.

Specs at a glance

Firmware tested 1.00.09
ADSL2+ modem No
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, 1x 100Mb WAN
USB print sharing/storage Storage, printer
Accessories Ethernet 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 100Mb WAN port sits at the top, which should suit most needs, unless you happen to be a rather lucky internet subscriber. Just like most routers that "detect" internet access, the N600 DB is a little stupid; if you've hooked up your net connection via LAN instead of WAN, rather than testing access, it just assumes that there's no net connection at all. This doesn't affect much — only online firmware checks — but it's such a simple thing, and many router manufacturers miss it.

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 things like parental controls under "Firewall" and calling them "Access Control".

Belkin N600 DB UI

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

A long-standing Belkin bugbear, not being able to put spaces in SSIDs, has been rectified with the N600 DB. 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 router

Part Number: CNETBelkin N600 DB wireless router

Typical Price: $169.95

See manufacturer website for availability.