Belkin Double N+ Wireless Router F6D6230au4

Belkin's latest router performs adequately, but not quite well enough to justify its asking price.


7.8
CNET Rating
1.7
User Rating

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Design

The Double N F6D6230au4 is housed in the same casing used for Belkin's previously reviewed N+ wireless router. That means you don't get the interesting visual display of the N1 Vision line of routers and instead get something that looks like it means business, full of flashing lights and severe black monolithic status. An embedded base on the router means there's only one way to mount the Double N, and that's vertically.

Features

As the name suggests, the Double N router operates in a dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) capacity, offering up two 802.11n networks at once. By default these are both entirely open and unsecured, but WPS is an option with security support up to WPA2.

The router supports the usual raft of QoS and NAT features you'd expect from a modern router, along with a few tweaks. A single USB port on the rear of the unit supports file sharing and UPnP, as well as opening up the router's simple BitTorrent capability. For those with an eye to mixed wired and wireless support, the four ports on the back are gigabit ready. The top blinking light set on the front acts as a download speed meter, although if you've got multiple clients using the router at once, the utility of this is questionable.

Performance

Setting up the Double N was simple enough, with very clearly marked sections within the router's web-based configuration utility for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. Sensibly, the sharing/UPnP/BitTorrent facilities won't operate until a compatible USB drive is connected. Belkin's web interfaces are generally adequate without being hugely novice-friendly and the Double N is no exception.

It's no secret that 802.11n has so far failed to live up to its lofty marketing claims in our real-world tests. Still, our current speed champion just happens to be this unit's direct predecessor, the N+ Wireless Storage Router, so our hopes were high for this unit's performance credentials.

Signal strength: 2.4GHz

Distance from router Belkin Double N Router F6D6230au4 Asus RT-N16 Asus RT-N13U iiNet BoB NetComm 3G18Wn Belkin N+ Wireless Storage Router
5m 71% 93% 87% 90% 83% 88%
15m (minor walls) 44% 62% 60% 55% 59% 63%
15m (multiple walls) 46% 65% 59% 54% 59% 62%

Signal strength was down compared to our top five 802.11n models, with a noticeable drop in reception once distance and obstacles were in the Double N's way.

Throughput: 2.4GHz

Distance between PCs Belkin Double N Router F6D6230au4 Asus RT-N16 Asus RT-N13U iiNet BoB NetComm 3G18Wn Belkin N+ Wireless Storage Router
2m, no barriers 17.36Mbps 29.75Mbps 25.63Mbps 21.5Mbps 27.6Mbps 31.75Mbps
20m, multiple walls 18.03Mbps 28.19Mbps 25.38Mbps 21.5Mbps 27.6Mbps 31.35Mbps

The Double N's 2.4GHz performance wasn't much to get excited about. We've certainly seen worse out of supposedly 802.11n routers, but it's still well below expectations. The 2.4GHz band is rather crowded; however, with plenty of other devices and potentially competing networks providing interference. We were keen to see if the Double N's 5GHz band could offer better results.

Signal strength: 5GHz

Distance from router Belkin Double N Router F6D6230au4 Asus RT-N16 Asus RT-N13U iiNet BoB NetComm 3G18Wn Belkin N+ Wireless Storage Router
5m 76% 93% 87% 90% 83% 88%
15m (minor walls) 38% 62% 60% 55% 59% 63%
15m (multiple walls) 36% 65% 59% 54% 59% 62%

5GHz signal strength often suffers in comparison to 2.4GHz and the Double N is no exception. Note that some of the top five competitors don't offer 5GHz bands and their 2.4GHz figures are included for comparative purposes only.

Throughput: 5GHz

Distance between PCs Belkin Double N Router F6D6230au4 Asus RT-N16 Asus RT-N13U iiNet BoB NetComm 3G18Wn Belkin N+ Wireless Storage Router
2m, no barriers 28.2Mbps 29.75Mbps 25.63Mbps 21.5Mbps 27.6Mbps 31.75Mbps
20m, multiple walls 22.8Mbps 28.19Mbps 25.38Mbps 21.5Mbps 27.6Mbps 31.35Mbps

At 5GHz, the Double N picks its throughput game up considerably, losing only a little bit of oomph along the way. Again, the comparative figures largely come from 2.4GHz only routers, which are typically a little cheaper than dual-band models.

Conclusion

The Belkin Double N is a good router, but at the asking price, it would want to be. The inclusion of dual radios, gigabit Ethernet and USB storage/sharing/BitTorrent do mark it out as an enthusiast router, but it's well worth noting that it was beaten out in speed and throughput terms by a number of older and cheaper 2.4GHz-only routers, including its own predecessor.

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taskme
1
Rating
 

taskme posted a review   

I am using IPv6 on my network and this router trashes my clients legitimate configuration.

This router gives out "Documentation Only" (2001:db8::/32) IPv6 addresses to LAN/WLAN clients and advertises itself as an IPv6 router. This conflicts with my "proper" IPv6 router, and it advertises its bogus route more aggressively.

As this IPv6 "feature" is undocumented and unsupported, there is no way to turn it off. As the router is going to be core to your LAN and WLAN clients, you cannot work round without disabling IPv6 on all your clients.

If you are using IPv6 or ever intend to use it, this router *will* break your network.

 

dazzapom posted a comment   

The Good:x

The Bad:x

I don't have this router but bought the N1 Vision about 18 months ago. The router was atrocious in every way and it doesn't surprise me that this is also getting bad reviews. I want to warn everyone away from Belkin routers. As stated the performance is way below par, the cost is normally higher than par and the support you get from these guys is terrible. Their attitude appears to be along the line of "we are Belkin and can throw any old crap out there and consumers will buy"

The N1 Vision was so bad that if it were a car, it would have been recalled.

Not any more.... avoid at all costs. Consider yourself warned

jaf
4
Rating
 

jaf posted a review   

to be honest dissapointed. Neighbours wifi network (detatched house 50m away) provides a signal level almost identical to my belkin only 2 rooms away.

user of that ****
1
Rating
 

user of that **** posted a review   

The Good:performance

The Bad:no firmware update for 1year. lots of problems, no support

Seems good on the paper, but on a day to day use it's bad:
5GHz channel stops
Crash for no reason
Sometimes slow down the WAN connection to 2Mbps (back to 20 after a power cycle of the router)
NO SUPPORT FROM BELKIN

Vince
2
Rating
 

Vince posted a review   

The Good:Features, the Torrent Client, stable 2.4 band

The Bad:Reboots when starting a download, 5ghz band dies, bad signal strength

The first week it performed stellarly. Then it started rebooting itself every time I started a download. After it had restarted the 5Ghz band was lost and I had to restart by pulling the plug. A software reboot didn't bring the 5Ghz band up.

signal strength is very poor - around 55% on the 2.4 band at 3 meters - direct line of sight.

Returning it tomorrow... I just can't seem to get a good router, almost all routers I've had have had problems with dropping connections. Perhaps going back to the old hardware cabled switch wouldn't be such a bad idea.

dave
1
Rating
 

dave posted a review   

The Good:nothing...

The Bad:everything

I bought this router 2 months ago, just for fun and now i'm using the third one, because the first two was goes on default... i don't know how do you tested this router, but in my case my wrt610n is about 30% faster than this one... and the coverage of this one is also not too good...

The shame
1
Rating
 

The shame posted a review   

The Good:It is good

The Bad:iT IS BAD

I THINK IT IS GOOD AND BAD




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User Reviews / Comments  Belkin Double N+ Wireless Router F6D6230au4

  • taskme

    taskme

    Rating1

    "I am using IPv6 on my network and this router trashes my clients legitimate configuration.

    This router gives out "Documentation Only" (2001:db8::/32) IPv6 addresses to LAN/WLAN clien..."

  • dazzapom

    dazzapom

    "I don't have this router but bought the N1 Vision about 18 months ago. The router was atrocious in every way and it doesn't surprise me that this is also getting bad reviews. I want to warn every..."

  • jaf

    jaf

    Rating4

    "to be honest dissapointed. Neighbours wifi network (detatched house 50m away) provides a signal level almost identical to my belkin only 2 rooms away."

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