Feeds
60%
Belkin Play Max Wireless Modem Router

Belkin Play Max dual-band wireless router

Router booster?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Yes, you can set up static IP addresses on all your LAN machines. Doable, but hardly “It Just Works” territory. A more promising idea seemed to be to substitute a plain internet router that actually does know how to handle DHCP properly, and use the Play Max as a secondary device, retaining its wireless, torrent downloading and media serving functions.

Belkin Play Max Wireless Modem Router

When configured other than the main router, the Play Max didn’t connect with an Internet time server. With no option for manual time-setting, the Play Max falls back into Life on Mars mode and date stamps any files its saves accordingly.

It’s easy enough to switch it into access point mode, or you can just leave the WAN port unconnected. But it seems that Belkin’s software team hasn’t thought this through: the Belkin Router Monitor app provided for your Mac or Windows machine to control all the song’n’dance functionality stops working in AP mode. It needs to know where on the LAN the Play Max is to be found. It looks for a device named “router” - and can’t find it!

Surprisingly, although Belkin’s own software loses track of the Play Max in AP Mode, Vuze’s “offline download” feature does suss out its IP address and transfers downloads to the Play Max if the client version of Vuze goes offline.

Belkin tells me a firmware fix is promised RSN, so it’s good to know they’re paying attention.

Verdict

The Belkin Play Max is potentially useful hardware, and easy to set up as a basic wireless router. But the impression that the software was patched together out of a bunch of open source functionality without properly thinking it all through doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the device. ®

More Networking Reviews

Bigfoot
Networks
Killer 2100
Iomega
iConnect
Elgato
Netstream
DTT
Cloud
Engines
Pogoplug 2

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

60%
Belkin Play Max Wireless Modem Router

Belkin Play Max dual-band wireless router

The Play Max's quirks outweigh its potential. Nothing that a firmware update couldn’t fix... but do you feel lucky?
Price: £115 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.