Belkin Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router review: Belkin Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router

Video Mover is basically a media-streaming feature available when there's external storage plugged into the router's USB ports. This feature was very limited in my trial: I could only turn it on or off. There's no way to further customize anything about this.

Memory Safe enables a connected USB external hard drive to be used as the backup destination for connected computers and only works when the Belkin Setup software is running in the background. The router's storage-sharing feature is also very limited, as once a portable drive is plugged in, its entire contents are available to everybody with full access privileges. Other routers allow you to put restrictions on certain folders of the drive, such as read-only, read/write, and no access. The Belkin supports the SMB protocol, meaning any computers in the network can access its storage without having to use any extra software. You can use the Belkin Router Monitor software to open of the network's shared storage in case you don't know how to find it with Windows Explorer, however.

In addition, the N900 DB offers the standard features found on almost all wireless routers, including Access Control, which can restrict the Internet access of certain computers in the network; Virtual Server, which enables a computer to be set up for a particular service, such as an FTP or HTTP server; and Quality of Service.

Performance
The Belkin Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router performed very well in my testing when used with 450Mbps clients. On the 5GHz band, it scored 189.6Mbps in the close-range throughput test, 15 feet from the clients, and 138.2Mbps in the range test, when it was put 100 feet from the clients. Both of these speeds are the fastest I've seen so far. When used with regular 300Mbps clients, however, it scored 74.5Mbps and 56Mbps for the throughput and range tests, respectively, slightly lower than average.

In the 2.4GHz band, the router again topped the charts when used with 450Mbps clients, scoring 100.6Mbps at 15 feet and 46.4Mbps at 100 feet. When used with regular 300Mbps clients, these numbers were lowered to 59.5Mbps and 30.4Mbps, which were again about average among its peers. That said, the router offered its best when used with 450Mbps clients on both bands, and in this case it was one of the fastest I've seen. When used with the 300Mbps clients, which are popular on the market, the N900 DB's performance is about average for a true dual-band router.

The Belkin showed very long range in the 2.4Hz band, up to about 300 feet in my testing. On the 5GHz band, however, its range was much shorter. I couldn't establish a connection at just 220 feet away. The router passed my 24-hour stress test, in which it continuously transmitted data from multiple clients without disconnecting.

When coupled with an external hard drive, the Belkin offers a storage transfer rate of 72.8Mbps for writing and 140.4Mbps for reading via a Gigabit Ethernet connection, only fast enough for light data sharing and media streaming.

2.4GHz Wireless-N performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range  
Throughput  
Belkin N900 DB (with 450Mbps clients)
46.4 
100.6 
Netgear WNDR4000
23.9 
67.8 
Cisco Linksys E4200
46.9 
61.4 
Belkin N900 DB
30.4 
59.5 
Cisco Linksys E3200
40.4 
57.44 
Asus RT-N56U
34.4 
57.2 
Cisco Linksys E4200v2
21.4 
56.6 
Netgear WNDR3700
29.44 
55.44 
Trendnet TEW-692GR
31.1 
52.1 
Belkin N750 DB
26.6 
50 
Cisco Linksys E3000
32.8 
43.5 
Asus RT-N66U
29.4 
37 
Netgear WNDR4500
12.5 
28.6 

5GHz Wireless-N performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range  
Throughput  
Belkin N900 DB (with 450Mbps clients)
138.2 
189.6 
Cisco Linksys E4200v2
35.8 
148.5 
Asus RT-N56U
76.2 
112.6 
Asus RT-N66U
97.8 
109.6 
Netgear WNDR4500
41 
109.4 
Cisco Linksys E4200
79.1 
100.48 
Cisco Linksys E3200
53.8 
95.3 
Belkin N750 DB
74.64 
92.32 
Netgear WNDR4000
63.9 
89 
Belkin N900 DB
56 
74.5 
Trendnet TEW-692GR
49 
71.9 
Cisco Linksys E3000
48.8 
65.4 
Netgear WNDR3700
40 
60 

NAS performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Cisco Linksys E4200v2
202.8 
171 
Belkin N900 DB
140.4 
72.8 
Apple Time Capsule
114.2 
81.2 
ASUS RT-N66U
88 
131.9 
Netgear WNDR4500
65.6 
63.2 
Cisco Linksys E4200
64 
60.8 
Cisco Linksys E3000
32.2 
57.1 
Netgear WNDR4000
57.6 
51.8 
Netgear WNDR3800
88.9 
34 
Cisco Linksys E3200
36.2 
32.2 
Netgear WNDR3700
40 
17.8 

Service and support
Belkin backs the Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router with a two-year warranty, which is comparatively generous since router warranties usually only cover one year. Belkin's toll-free phone support is available 24-7, or you can fill out a form at Belkin's Web site for e-mail support. Its Web site also offers documentation, downloadable drivers, and FAQs.

Conclusion
The Belkin Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router would be a good choice for those with many 450Mbps clients, and it's a very good router in general thanks to the great 2.4GHz range. It could be a much better deal, however, if it came in a more practical design and with a friendlier price tag.

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Where to Buy See All

Belkin Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router

Part Number: CNETF9K1104
MSRP: $199.99 Low Price: $90.80 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Data Transfer Rate 450 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.