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Belkin AC1750 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Gigabit Router review: There's such a thing as too simple

belkin-ui.jpg
Screenshot by Craig Simms

Where this all starts to make sense is when you access the web UI on a phone - where things like parental control, connected devices, guest access and other quick administration options make sense to elevate. Things are well laid out for the smaller screen, and unlike competitors, Belkin exposes all of its settings over its mobile interface. We just wish its desktop interface was better suited to its task, rather than being a shoe-horned touch-interface.

Parental control options include scheduled Internet access, and website filtering via a Norton Connect Safe partnership, which filters in three categories: malicious, malicious and adult, and malicious, adult and other non-family friendly. Connect Safe is actually a free service that is enabled by changing the DNS in your router to the server aligned with the appropriate filter category -- and while you can't add your own site to the list or clear others, we can appreciate that some people would prefer a third party like Norton to do the thinking for them.

Performance

I tested with firmware AU_1.00.98, and used iPerf to determine the maximum wireless speed at three locations: the next room, immediately upstairs with some furniture in the way, and one room away from immediately upstairs.

The wireless client used was an Asus G550 laptop with a 2x2 Intel AC7260 wireless card, as an indicator of average performance. Each WLAN is set to WPA2 personal encryption and a clear channel is chosen. Where possible the highest channel bandwidth is chosen, either 40 or 80MHz depending on the wireless standard. Where appropriate, transmission standard is set to 802.11n or 802.11AC only.

Due to the variable nature of wireless and surrounding WLANs, each unit was tested multiple times at various times of day to achieve a best case scenario performance value. Your own environment will see different results.

802.11n 2.4GHz performance

Linksys XAC1900
163
152
70.6
Belkin AC1750DB
111
112
75.4
AVM Fritz!Box 7490
172
173
92.4
D-Link DSL-2890AL
168
162
85.1
D-Link Viper DSL-2900AL
172
164
88.2
Asus DSL-AC68U
170
157
82.8
TP-Link Archer D7
110
111
74.1
TP-Link Archer D9
175
156
89.5

Legend:

Location 1
Location 2
Location 3

Note:

Throughput in Mbps

The AC1750DB goes toe to toe with TP-Link's Archer D7 for close 2.4GHz performance, but the other AC1750 competitors, the D-Link DSL2890AL and Fritz!Box 7490 outstrip both of them.

802.11n 5GHz performance

802.11n 5GHz performance
175
175
52
Belkin AC1750DB
219
183
42.1
AVM Fritz!Box 7490
188
211
59.3
D-Link DSL-2890AL
193
191
52.9
D-Link Viper DSL-2900AL
197
184
64.8
TP-Link Archer D7
220
197
43
TP-Link Archer D9
193
181
37.7

Legend:

Location 1
Location 2
Location 3

Note:

Throughput in Mbps

Belkin hits the right notes for close performance in 5GHz, with distance performance lagging a little.

802.11ac performance

Linksys XAC1900
292
285
80.9
Belkin AC1750DB
290
275
82.9
AVM Fritz!Box 7490
307
300
77
D-Link DSL-2890AL
308
297
77.5
D-Link Viper DSL-2900AL
294
281
74.1
Asus DSL-AC68U
300
291
78.5
TP-Link Archer D7
298
287
81.8
TP-Link Archer D9
303
292
74.4

Legend:

Location 1
Location 2
Location 3

Note:

Throughput in Mbps

The AC1750DB provided the slowest performance at our two closest locations in 802.11ac, although the difference in real world use is small.

Storage was tested over gigabit LAN with a SanDisk Extreme NTFS formatted 64GB USB 3.0 drive plugged into the fastest USB slot, transferring a 100MB file via SMB.

USB storage performance

Linksys XAC1900
23.85
23.63
Belkin AC1750DB
9.36
2.87
AVM Fritz!Box 7490
6.45
5.85
D-Link DSL-2890AL
5.04
4.99
D-Link Viper DSL-2900AL
6.14
6.78
Asus DSL-AC68U
29.32
32.42
TP-Link Archer D7
14.45
13.73
TP-Link Archer D9
23.26
13.41

Legend:

Read
Write

Note:

Throughput in Mbps

Write performance for USB storage on the AC1750DB was especially awful. Read performance, while not special, managed to poke its head slightly above the throng.

Conclusions

Belkin's AC1750DB simply doesn't offer enough for the price, has middling 2.4GHz performance and makes some critical usability missteps. We'd suggest you look elsewhere.

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