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back to article Belkin Play Max dual-band wireless router

The Belkin Play Max has ideas far above its station as a plain old wireless internet router. Its extra song’n’dance talents include a Nas service for USB-attached drives, a media server and a BitTorrent download assistant. But all this depends on your setting it up as your main connection to the internet. And I stumbled on some …

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FAIL

Belkin? No thanks.

A Belkin product with serious issues out-of-the-box? Say it ain't so!

My score-card with Belkin so far:

-USB 802.11G dongle - brand new, latest drivers, but wouldn't keep a connection for more than 30 seconds and kept losing the SSID completely. Could have returned it to the store but in the end I just snapped it in half in frustration and threw the remnants against the wall. Yes, I have anger management problems :)

-ADSL router - wouldn't work with AOL-over-BT-ADSL. My ol' trustworthy D-link one worked fine in its place. Advised the friends in question to a) take the router back to PC World and b) switch their ISP.

After that, I started avoiding Belkin, a strategy that's worked well since. Your experiences with this router just don't surprise me.

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similar story here

an ADSL router that kept dropping the connection every 5-10 mins, causing downloads to drop out. I went through all sorts trying to get it to keep a connection, before getting it replaced with a linksys which still serves me well 8 years later.

I have avoided them like the plague ever since, even the shop staff's attitude on the phone changed the moment i mentioned it was a belkin. "Oh, you'd better ring belkin directly, we can't help you with getting that working"

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Paris Hilton

A wise friend once said to me ...

... ah Belkin. Don't touch. Ever.

It seems like this sage advice is still true and that's a shame as if this thing had worked, I would have bought one!

Paris: As she's sad because Belkn still can't get it right.

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such a great idea.....

router with usb. simple, and so so usefull. shame it sounds like it dosent work tho...

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Oh dear.

As a Gigabit switch, it works fine.

As for anything else, oh dearie me it's crap. Network would randomly vanish, its DNS seemed to query upstream by post.

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Boffin

Sorry to bother the author but

192.168.169.255 and 192.168.2.255 are not sub-nets. In order to convince me of the contrary, he should provide us with a net mask for these examples.

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Missing Net Mask

Correct, AC. I was using what I hope is a generally well understood shorthand. The net mask is of course 255.255.255.0.

(Gosh, the relief at being able to clear that up...)

--

Chris

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Missing Net Mask

On second thoughts, if I SAY 192.168.2.0 and 192.168.169.0 are separate subnets, you KNOW the netmask has got to be 255.255.255.0. Including the netmask would be tautological. So it's not shorthand at all.

(That's been worrying me all week. :-) )

--

Chris

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USB speed?

I have a Belkin N+ router with support for USB storage/Gbit network, which I thought would be really handy, until I started using it. The speed was hopeless. I hope this version is improved in this respect (any benchmarks?). On the positive side, after a number of routers (other manufacturers) dying on me, the Belkin lifetime warranty might prove handy.

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Thumb Down

Never again

I once bought a nice bit of Belkin kit, a 4-port KVM switch. It was great and worked happily until VGA and PS/2 connectors went nipples-ascendant. In 1997. I made the mistake of buying their 2-port mutant octopus-looking KVM (DVI/USB) switch a couple of months ago (for £80!) and it was the worst junk I've ever paid money for. Seriously, if a company doesn't have engineers competent enough to put together a working 2-port KVM switch, who'd trust them with anything more complex? Pity you only learn this after getting burned...

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Silver badge
FAIL

Belkin...just walk away.

Ah yes firmwares and Belkin routers. If only.

I bought a Belkin wireless router last year as I needed an emergency replacement that day.

I get the router home and set it up. Oh dear performance is terrible. Dropped connections, slow speeds, just awful.

I send a support note into Belkin (in India...I think you can see where this is going) and waited.

The first note came back saying no issues and pointed me to a firmware patch...for another router and it was a beta patch at best. Typical.

I wrote back asking to speak to someone not working from a script. I then got a response back that was highly refreshing...for a change. The person in India responded that yes they had found issues with the router and it was due to the firewall. If you switched it off it worked a treat. A new firmware was promised etc. etc.

Two years later no such firmware has materialised and the router sits gathering dust at the bottom of my tech junk cupboard.

So dont buy Belkin...even if you are desperate.

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Alert

Good timing......

I'm glad you've published this, I'm on the lookout for a ADSL router with gigabit ports and I had a choice of three, the Linksys WAG320N, Netgear DGN3500 and the ADSL version of this Belkin. I guess I've ruled the latter out now. Any plans on reviewing the Linksys or the Netgear (hint - send them here, I'll do the review!!!)

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Bronze badge
FAIL

TheReg and 60%?

What does that mean anyway - better than average? HARDLY.

I could award a Belkin product a 60% verdict if it was driverless and cannot be configured - ie. cables, usb hubs and...that's it really.

The Reg author should follow through this case and report in six months whether Belkin really provided a new firmware and whether it fixed all/any of the shortcomings.

Six months - because after that the developers are concentrating on a new ripoff already and the support for this product will be condemned to worthless FAQs and such on their website.

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Anonymous Coward

Belkin? Just say no.

In my previous job a large part of my role was to test hardware from server down to desktop gadget and define the company's standards. Along with the other guy who did the same work we had a rule "No Belkin." I just saved us time to not even look at their stuff, it was far too unreliable and the supporting drivers/software tended to be piss-poor as well.

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2nd try...

Well, there is a firmware upgrade which, when applied , calls itself the same version as the one it replaced. However, it does seem to be somewhat more stable (i.e. it doesn't reset itself to factory default settings every 40 minutes) and seems to have been ok for a week.

Still looking at it out of the corner of my eye, though.

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