Performance-wise, the Belkin N1 Vision scored 31 megabits per second (mbps) on our midrange throughput tests, similar to the much-lower-priced Netgear RangeMax and Buffalo Nfiniti routers we tested earlier this year. Those routers were limited by their non-gigabit wired sides, but the Belkin is not, so we expected more.

We suspect performance might have been better if we could have set it to 802.11n-only mode, as on most other routers, but Belkin told us that the Atheros driver it uses does not allow this (although an update should be coming to enable the option). Running the Belkin N1 Vision in mixed b/g/n mode takes a significant toll on Wi-Fi performance.

The redeeming feature was range, which the Belkin N1 Vision, when paired with a matching PC Card, excelled at. The N1 card found an astonishing 23 different networks, including at least eight we'd never seen before with any other vendor's card. And we could connect with at least 3 or 4 bars of signal strength (out of 5) everywhere in the house, also a first.

OUR VERDICT

With a firmware update to support 802.11n-only mode and better throughput, along with a modest price cut, the Belkin N1 Vision would be almost 20-20.