Belkin N1 Wireless Router: Neighbor-Friendly but Flawed Draft 11n

Wireless Features

Belkin remains in the "less is better" school of thought when it comes to the N1's wireless settings, too (Figure 13). The only Wireless Mode option besides the one shown is Off, although you can set Bandwidth to 20 MHz or 40 MHz in addition to the default setting shown.

Wireless settings screen

Figure 13: Wireless settings screen

The embedded Help screens and User Guide seem a bit confused on the Wireless Mode options. The embedded help describes the options as 802.11g only / 802.11g & 802.11b / Off, but the User Guide lists 802.11g only / 802.11g & 802.11b / 802.11n & 802.11g / 802.11n only / Off. Note that there doesn't appear to be an automatic idle-channel select feature.

Belkin also forgot to delete the embedded help descriptions for QoS Configuration, QoS Switch and ACK Mode features that it has apparently decided to not expose for user access at this time.

The N1 supports WEP 64/128, WPA/WPA2-PSK and WPA/WPA2 "Enterprise" (RADIUS) settings, although authentication options can be a bit confusing to sort out, especially since the N1 Notebook Card Client utility's settings don't match up one-for-one. I also found it best to delete the "My Connections" entry in the N1 client utility when changing between authentication methods. Figure 14 shows the Wireless Security screen with WPA-PSK selected. The "WPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK" authentication option allows selection of TKIP or AES encryption.

Wireless Security screen

Figure 14: Wireless Security screen (click to enlarge)

Although it's nice that Belkin provided the WPA/WPA2 "Enterprise" (RADIUS) settings, they shouldn't have bothered given that it is ill-advised to deploy any draft 11n product in a business environment at this time.

Mac Address filtering is also provided that can operate in an allow or deny mode. But there is no pick-list of currently-associated clients provided for easing the pain of setting this up, nor can you save or import a MAC address list from this screen. I would hope, however, that the MAC address control settings would be saved along with other router settings using the function in the Utilities > Save/Backup Settings screen.

The manual doesn't say how many entries are allowed and I started to enter some dummies in the list to find out. But it took about 10 seconds to save each one, so I decided to move on. Note that you enter MAC addresses sans "-" or ":" separators.