capsule review

Belkin wireless kit with F5D7231-4 router

At a Glance
  • Belkin BELKIN F5D7231-4 High-Speed Mode 802.11g Router

Kit consists of:

Belkin F5D7231-4 router

Belkin F5D7050 USB adapter

Belkin F5D7011 PC Card adapter

We were impressed by the Belkin kit from the moment we opened the box--the router has a stylish, sophisticated look that is echoed by the adapters. The same sophistication carries over to the setup wizard, which is the best we've seen in a Wi-Fi router; it takes you all the way from plugging in your cables and decoding what the indicator lights mean to setting up your Internet connection and wireless parameters. Performance was good--the kit managed an average throughput of 15.4 mbps. This is a little slower than some others, but one reason is that the F5D7050 USB adapter does not support the 125-mbps High-Speed Mode that the router and PC Card use; we tested this adapter in standard 802.11g mode. The signal range of the product in our informal tests was excellent.

However, the biggest selling point for households with children will probably be the six-month subscription to the Cerberian parental control package for Internet access that comes with the router (after the first six months, the service costs $20 a year). This package was very easy to set up and use, allowing concerned parents to control what their kids can access, while setting different levels of access for themselves.

The combination of super setup utilities and documentation, performance, and parental control features make the Belkin kit a great choice for home use.

Becky Waring

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At a Glance
  • Belkin BELKIN F5D7231-4 High-Speed Mode 802.11g Router

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