Belkin loads new routers with free apps
Peripherals vendor Belkin has put some extra smarts into its new range of routers, providing a raft of free applications enabling users to do more and effectively replace network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
Called the Surf, Share, Play and Play Max routers, Belkin has designed each unit to offer built-in applications to deliver what would normally be required of a NAS box.
The Surf Wireless Router sells for $129.95. The only app it includes is Self Healing, designed to repair broken connections and to work out the best channel for highest data throughput.
The Share Wireless Router goes for $179.95. It includes the Self Healing app, along with Memory Safe, an automatic backup app to store photos and important files to an external hard drive connected to the router’s USB port. You also get Print Genie, a wireless print router, allowing you to print wirelessly from any computer.
The Play version sells for $149.95 and includes Self Healing, Memory Safe, Print Genie. New apps include Music Mover, a tool that wireless streams MP3 audio to an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Other apps include Music Labeller, a music file tag editor; DailyDJ to create personalised playlists.
Play Max sells for $279.95 and includes the above apps plus one of the more useful features in Torrent Genie – this allows you to download torrent files without having your PC on, downloading files to external storage. The final app is BitBoost, allowing you to prioritise game traffic for better online gaming.
Effectively, these routers increasingly take the brains inside NAS devices and load it into the router itself. You provide the storage via external USB hard drives. With the boom in network media players and multimedia in general, NAS boxes are becoming a popular option for boosting storage in the home without buying a dedicated PC.
Routers such as these Belkin models simplify the hardware by removing the ned for the NAS box and replacing it with a simple external hard drive. And at prices that are cheaper than most NAS devices. Whether they can file-serve at the same speed as some of the higher-performing QNAP or Synology models remains to be seen. However, NAS boxes still offer RAID capability for data protection – something these routers don’t appear capable of.
- Apple issue fix note for iPad Wi-Fi connectivity issues
- Q&A – What’s the easiest way to transfer data between two computers?
- Q&A – Is it true TVs can now play videos without a DVD player?
- PC User magazine starts building Android apps!
- Q&A – Can I use a netbook as network-attached storage (NAS)?
- June 2010 issue of PC User – out now!
- HOW-TO: Samsung’s SGH-A411 cellphone and Windows 7
- Panasonic DMR-BW780/880: Why do PVRs continually arrive with small hard drives?
- HOW TO: Turn your netbook into a surround-sound DVD player
- The best media for backing up a hard drive is – a hard drive