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Belkin Home Base review: Belkin Home Base

Want to pump up your router's capabilities? Belkin's Home Base makes it simple — for a price.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
3 min read


Belkin's Home Base isn't much to look at. Amongst routers, that's an all too familiar story, but in the Home Base's case it's due to minimalism. The Home Base looks like a Mac Mini that's been shrunk in the wash. A tiny white box with the predictable but unreadable blinking lights on the front, four USB ports and an Ethernet port on the back.


Belkin Home Base

The Good

Adds four network USB ports. . Simple set-up. . Backup software included.

The Bad

USB ports closely spaced together. . Backup software is very ordinary. . Advanced functions require installation of Control Center.

The Bottom Line

Want to pump up your router's capabilities? Belkin's Home Base makes it simple — for a price.

We could wax more lyrically about the Home Base's design, but ... no, we couldn't. It's a simple white box, and that's all there is to it.


It might look like a tiny router, but the Home Base isn't a router at all. It's a bit more like adding a shot of steroids to your existing router's sharing capabilities. Plugged into a router, it'll add sharing of devices plugged into the four USB ports on the rear of the unit. The plug between router and Home Base doesn't even have to exist, as the Home Base supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with WPS, although you should expect some performance hit if you can't directly connect the Home Base.

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At a basic level, the Home Base will act as a simple file server from any connected USB drive to any PC or Mac on your network. To access its more complex features such as picture sharing, backup or print sharing, you'll need to install Belkin's Control Center software on to each computer that you want to access it.


Set-up of the Home Base was simple enough. We tested by plugging the Home Base directly into a router at first. One minor quirk in setting up the Home Base is that it's not bright enough to detect an Ethernet cable being plugged in after the power's been switched on. Do that, and it'll remain a mystery to your network. Post physical installation we could access a USB connected flash drive and copy files from it from multiple systems without needing any additional applications. Of note here is that there's no file security in place. Anyone on your network can read any file from any attached drive.

Control Center is a rather sparse application, but it quickly detected the Home Base on our network and allowed us to set up printers and local backup. The backup utility provided with the Home Base is very simplistic and didn't take into consideration the size of the drives we'd connected to it before trying to start a full system backup. Any backup is better than no backup, but this is by no means a powerful utility. Print sharing worked well, although you will need relevant printer drivers on any system you wish to access your networked printer.

There are a few obvious limitations with the Home Base, the most immediately pressing of which is that the four USB ports on the back are very closely spaced. If you're not connecting cabled devices — for example most USB Flash Drives, or a Flip style camcorder — you'll quickly run out of space. At AU$199, the Home Base is very close to the pricing of some routers that come with a single USB port already. Finally, if you don't mind the relevant systems being on (or never switch them off), most modern operating systems make folder sharing of drives and printers a pretty painless affair.


The Home Base does provide a decent way to boost your existing router's capabilities and it slots neatly into a network with a minimum of fuss. It's not exactly a cheap way to add four USB ports to your network, however.