Belkin Australia N1 Vision
- Superb range, allows you to set-up second-guest network
- Below average speed, no 802.11n-only mode
With a firmware update to support 802.11n-only mode and better throughput, along with a modest price cut, the N1 Vision would be almost 20-20.
Price$ 385.00 (AUD)
It looks slick, but mediocre performance and a high price tag disappoint.
How can something so hip also be disappointing? Belkin's N1 Vision Wireless Router has style, a slick user interface, a gigabit Ethernet switch, and innovative features never seen before in a consumer Wi-Fi router -- features such as an LCD status screen and a browser-less security setup. It is also 802.11n Draft 2.0-certified (thus promising interoperability with other Draft-N devices), it has the best setup process we've ever seen in a Wi-Fi router, and its range is superb.
However, while the features are cool (and some are quite useful), mediocre performance and a sky-high price tag spoil the picture. For $385 we expect a top-performing router, but the N1 Vision was only as fast as non-gigabit 802.11n routers costing half as much.
That flashy LCD status screen is the Vision's raison d'etre. At 1.5x2.75 inches, you can't read it from across the room, but it's still useful. You can set it to show one of seven different informational displays, such as connection status/SSID/number of devices connected, current and maximum upload/download speeds, current connection speeds for each computer, Internet usage for each computer for the past 24 hours, and a date/time screen. While these displays are fun to explore at first, after a day or two they lose their novelty.
Of more lasting utility is the ability to set up security via the LCD, especially for guest users. The N1 Vision lets you set up a guest Wi-Fi Net with a separate password that is isolated from your private network, so that guests can't access your computers, servers or printers. And you can view and change security settings on the LCD, allowing a guest to have access right from the router without delving into the Web setup utility.
Also, if you have devices with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) enabled, the N1 Vision offers push-button setup so you don't have to know or enter long passwords. You first touch the WPS setup option on the LCD screen, and then the same button on your computer or other WPS-enabled device within two minutes, and you will be connected automatically. It's sort of like unlocking the door for two minutes to allow someone in.
Performance-wise, the N1 Vision scored 31 megabits per second on our midrange throughput tests, similar to the much-lower-priced Netgear RangeMax and Buffalo Nfiniti routers we tested previously. Those routers were limited by their non-gigabit wired sides, but the Belkin is not, so we expected more. We suspect performance might have been better if we could have set it to 802.11n-only mode, as on most other routers, but Belkin told us that the Atheros driver it uses does not allow this (although an update should be coming to enable the option). Running in mixed b/g/n mode takes a significant toll on Wi-Fi performance.
The redeeming feature was range, which the router, when paired with a matching PC Card, excelled at. The N1 card found an astonishing 23 different networks, including at least eight we'd never seen before with any other vendor's card. And we could connect with at least 3 or 4 bars of signal strength (out of 5) everywhere in the house, also a first.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Internet Security
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Apart from offering a wide range of services and competitive pricing, ISPs must offer quality technical and customer support, and bill clarity.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Arlo expand into the smart home, confirm Arlo Ultra pricing
- CES 2019: Li-Fi inches closer to the tech mainstream
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Netgear introduces new weather resistant Orbi outdoor satellite
- Netgear introduces Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Extender
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?