Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router

The Good The Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router offers fast 5GHz throughput speed and comprehensive guest networking. The affordable router features true dual-band connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet, and two USB ports for connecting printers and external storage.

The Bad The N600 HD router lacks features and support for Macs, and its storage features and 2.4GHz wireless performance are subpar. Most of its special features are just fancy names overlaying common functions.

The Bottom Line With a few major shortcomings, the Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router is only a good buy for non-Mac owners who intend to use the 5GHz band for their primary network.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Support 7.0
6.1 Overall

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Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router
Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router
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Design
6
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Features
5
7
9
9
8
Performance
7
9
9
9
9
Support
7
8
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7
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Review

Belkin F7D8301 Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router

The Belkin Play N600 HD Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router (Model F7D8301) is the latest in Belkin's Play series of wireless routers, which includes the Play Max N600 HD that we reviewed last year. If the Play Max was mostly disappointing, the Play N600 HD has its own saving grace. It offers stellar close-range throughput on the 5GHz band and comes with the most affordable price for a true dual-band router that has two USB ports.

In the end, however, the router is cheap for a few good reasons: its feature set is lacking and the performance of the 2.4GHz band as well as the network storage function are mediocre. The router's range isn't impressive and you can't use its Web interface to manage all of its features.

If most of your wireless clients support the 5GHz band (meaning they are based on the 802.11a/g/n chipset/adapters) and you don't care much about range, at a street price of just around $80, the N600 HD is a great buy. Otherwise, for better wireless support and performance and more features, we'd recommend spending a little more for the Linksys E4200 or the Netgear WNDR3700.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Belkin
  • Color Category black
  • Type wireless router
  • Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
  • Form Factor desktop
  • Data Transfer Rate 300 Mbps
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