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Review: Belkin AC 1200 DB
Up until recently, wireless N was the top of the Wi-Fi range for home users. However, 802.11ac wireless AC - which the new Belkin AC 1200 DB router is compatible with - has entered the ring, offering almost three times the speed of wireless N, theoretically reaching heights of 1GB/s.
With the number of devices we have in our houses that stream media from the internet increasing, routers capable of the increased bandwidth offered by AC wireless are increasingly desirable.
Competing with the Netgear R6300 and the Buffalo AirStation 1750, the Belkin AC 1200 DB is a router for cable and fibreoptic broadband connections that specialises in two areas - media and user friendliness.
Media-wise, along with dual-bands (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), the Belkin AC 1200 DB comes with a built-in media server for streaming content to DLNA devices, and two USB 2.0 ports for attaching hard drives or printers.
Belkin's 'Intellistream' Quality of Service technology identifies media and gaming connections and gives them priority bandwidth to avoid any pauses or disruptions.
Belkin hasn't always been our favourite router manufacturer, but for a while now it has been producing some great routers, and the Belkin AC 1200 DB is no exception. It handled simultaneously streaming to a variety of devices really well, without a hiccup.
As for user friendliness, the Belkin AC 1200 DB takes this to new heights, since not only is each cable clearly labelled, but they all come already plugged in to the right ports of the router. The step-by-step setup wizard is straightforward, and in just three steps we had the router up and running.
Norton Parental Control is also pre-installed on the router, making it easy to block inappropriate content, regardless of the device your children use to access the internet.
With more impressive processors being included in the routers, we'd like to also see full antivirus protection included in the routers in the future - something that Symantec has been looking into.
Elsewhere, four gigabit ports are included for wired connections. The range and speed of the Belkin AC 1200 DB is certainly an improvement - especially when you're connecting an 802.11ac compatible device or adaptor.
The Belkin AC 1200 DB is well built, with a design that doesn't look out of place in the living room, and air vents for keeping it cool when it's working hard. Overall, it's a very good user-friendly AC modem router.