Belkin AC1200 Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Submitted By: J. Chambers
I recently changed my ISP to Comcast. They provided me with a modem/gateway that can also be used as a wireless router. However I needed to buy a router so that I can connect a USB hard drive to it. I got Belkin AC1200. The increase in speed between the Comcast Gateway and Belkin was remarkable. Belkin also gave me a better range and many other features such as parental control and QoS, not to mention the ability to connect an external disk. Everything was fine for about three weeks. Then the router started dropping connection. Even a reboot wouldn’t resolve the problem, I had to restore the router to factory defaults to make it work which was very annoying and time-consuming. I returned it and got the replacement. The new one has been working fine for couple months now. Overall it’s not a bad router, but Belkin quality control seems to be a problem.
Submitted By: Justin K.
This is probably the easiest router I’ve had to setup (not that I’ve owned many, 3 so far) – it said so right on the box but I didn’t really pay attention to that until I opened it and saw that the router wasn’t even split in parts, everything was pre-connected (even the power cable) and I just had to plug it into my own outlets. Setting up the network on the device was as easy as plugging it into my modem, everything was configured automatically and I was able to use my connection immediately. If you need to change any settings, you don’t even have to remember an alias for the device, you can just type “…” into your browser and you’ll be taken to the configuration page. I personally found this shortcut a neat little idea. Behind that wall of simplicity though, you’ll get plenty of settings to mess around with. You can change the full range of IP settings, including configuration for dynamic address allocation and IPv6, as well as parental controls that work quite well.
Submitted By: Marvin
I’ve had nothing but problems with the AC1200 since pretty much day one, and I’m glad I finally got rid of it. First, the range – it’s abysmal. The support staff tried to tell me that it’s just my apartment’s walls, but the fact that I’ve had two other routers that worked just fine before tells me otherwise. I could barely get any reception in the next room… and that’s when the router was actually working. After around one week it started freezing randomly and had to be reset from the power button. I’ve managed to find no solution or even temporary workaround for this, at one point it just became a habit that I had to restart the router at some point during the day. Recommended for masochists.
Submitted By: JJ
The router does its job relatively fine, but it’s not without its faults. First, I occasionally lose my connection with some devices. The strange part is that it’s only affecting some of my devices, with no seemingly obvious connection between them. My Xbox 360, iPhone and Nexus 7 tablet will often end up disconnected randomly, while I also have a laptop and a TV that use the Wi-Fi connection and have never had this problem. What’s weirder is, a friend of mine has a Nexus 4, he regularly stays over at my place, and he hasn’t lost his connection once. I would also like to have a little more visual feedback on the status of my connected devices, as the AC1200 is more simplistic and bare in its connection indicator lights. I understand this is done on purpose and some people actually prefer it like that, but it’s hard to tell what’s wrong when the router is not working.