Belkin AC1200 Review

Belkin AC1200D-Link AC1200Linksys EA6300
WiFi PerformanceAC1200 WiFi (300 + 867 Mbps)AC1200 WiFi (300 + 867 Mbps)AC1200 WiFi (300 + 867 Mbps)
WiFi Band2.4GHz & 5GHz2.4GHz & 5GHz2.4GHz & 5GHz
Ethernet Ports4 Fast Ethernet LAN port
1 Fast Ethernet WAN port
4 Gigabit LAN port
1 Gigabit WAN port
4 Gigabit LAN port
1 Gigabit WAN port
USB Ports2 USB ports
1 USB 2.0 port1 USB 3.0 port
Encryption128-bit WEP
256-bit WPA
256-bit WPA2
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2)
WPS
WEP
WPA Personal
WPA Enterprise
WPA2 Personal
WPA2 Enterprise
WPA2/WPA Mixed Personal
WPA2/WPA Mixed Enterprise
AntennasInternalInternal Smart AntennasFive Galtronics bent-metal internal antennas:
three for the 5 GHz and two for the 2.4 GHz
Firewall FeaturesNetwork Address Translation (NAT)
Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
Network Address Translation (NAT)
Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
Advanced Network Protection (WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall)
MSRP$99.99$99.99$99.99

The Belkin AC1200 comes with all the features of an N600 router. Formerly, the 802.11ac routers were only introduced as N900 routers that would support the 802.11ac standard on their 5Ghz band. The Belkin AC1200 is the first 802.11ac-capable router that only supports dual-stream setup (N600) of the Wireless-N standard. Other than these differences in specs, the Belkin AC1200 resembles the N900 router of the company in terms of features and design.

Compared to other routers with similar capabilities, the AC1200 performs better on the 5Ghz band than the 2.4Ghz band. However, when compared with three-stream 802.11ac routers, it delivers slower performance, which is obvious due to its N600 capabilities.

To make up for the slower performance, Belkin has introduced it at an attractive price in the market. It is an economical router that is good for home use.

Design

It resembles the Belkin N750 DB and the Belkin Advance N900 DB in design. It has the shape of a flying object with a hidden antenna design. It is a sleek router that is made to function vertically on a small base. Given its light weight and the small base on which it stands, the router can topple easily. There is no other way of positioning the router.

It features four gigabit LAN ports that are used to connect wired clients to the router. It also hosts a WAN port to connect to an Internet source. It has two USB2.0 ports, which can take a while to detect a connected device, such as printer or hard drive.

Two wireless networks are configured on the Belkin AC1200; one is for the 5Ghz band and the other for 2.4Ghz frequency band. The names and encryption keys are listed on a label that comes attached to the router. They are also printed on bottom of the base. An additional guest network is available only on the 2.4Ghz frequency band. The name and encryption key for the guest network is also found on the attached label. The information varies for each unit and is the only requirement you must provide when you want to set up the wireless network after connecting to an Internet and power source. To further simplify the setup, the router comes with a networking cable plugged in the WAN port, requiring you to simply connect the other end to an Internet source, such as cable modem.

Software

The Belkin Router Monitor is the software used for setting up the router. It comes in a CD enclosed in the box. It offers a simple setup in the form of step-by-step instructions. To access advanced features and settings, you are required to access the router's Web interface. To directly access the Web interface, simply point to the router's default IP address, 192.168.1.1 in the URL bar of a Web browser. It will require a password to proceed. The default password is a blank field.

Features

It is a dual band router that does not support three-stream setup of 802.11n, making it the first N600 router with support for 802.11ac.

It also comes with parental control feature, which wasn't found in the previous models. However, there is very little support for customizing the four parental control levels that it offers. It also doesn't let you control the clients that are affected by this feature either.

A new, customized QoS feature termed IntelliStream is also included in the AC1200. This feature seeks to improve a user's online experience by prioritizing high-bandwidth. It isn't of any particular use though, as it doesn't effectively test the Internet speed and allocate optimum upload and download speeds.

Conclusion

While offering decent performance on both 802.11n and 802.11ac standards, it doesn't offer anything peculiarly different from the N600 and N900 routers available on the market.

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