|Belkin F5L009 5-Port Wireless Network USB Hub
|List Price: $129.99
Our Price: $69.97
You Save: $60.02 (46%)
Share printers and access media - wirelessly.PRODUCT FEATURES:Wireless access to multi-function printers, digital cameras, external hard drives and other USB devices;Works with your existing wireless network.
Your home computers are networked wirelessly, but with all the digital photos, video and music your family has been collecting, they're all running out of hard drive space. And what's more, you and your kids each need access to a printer. With the Belkin Network USB Hub, you can give each computer on your network direct wireless access to up to 15 devices, including an external hard drive to store your family's digital media and a printer that everyone on your network can share. With this convenient, easy-to-install device, the days of purchasing separate printers and peripherals for each of your computers is over.
Share up toFifteen Devices Wirelessly
The Belkin Network USB Hub allows you to give every computer connected to your network access to up to 15 USB devices. (The Hub itself will connect directly to five devices, but it also lets you "daisy chain" three additional USB hubs to it, so that you can connect a total of 15 USB devices to your network computers.) While the Hub is specifically designed for printers and mass-storage devices, it also works for most other USB devices, including most standard webcams, keyboards and mice, multifunction machines, scanners, and media readers.
Enjoy simple setup and operation right out of the box. View larger.
Included software manages all the devices attached to the Hub. View larger.
You can even dock an MP3 player and play music through your USB speakers wirelessly. If your device has a USB connection, chances are that everyone on your network can access it wirelessly. (Some high-speed devices, such as high-definition webcams and video docking stations, may not be compatible with the Network USB Hub.)
- Sharing up to 15 USB devices wirelessly, including printers, digital cameras and scanners
- Backing up and accessing data from a shared external storage device
- Playing music from an MP3 player connected to a USB dock (using USB speakers)
The perfect solution for connecting to your USB devices and drives from a wireless laptop. Note: The Hub requires a a wireless router, which must be purchased separately. View larger.
Once the Hub is set up, you simply plug your USB devices into one of its five USB ports, and the Hub seamlessly installs software that makes USB printers and other devices appear to be connected to your network computers. The convenience of this direct USB-connection emulation requires that only one user be linked to each device at a time. So if your daughter is editing video on the external hard drive, the software lets you contact her to request that she disconnects from the drive so you can access it. With printers, the Hub automatically disconnects users after completing a print job, so that other users on your network can print.
Quick and Easy Set Up
Even if you don't have an external hard drive or other peripherals you want your computers to access, the Belkin USB Hub is one of the best ways you can share a printer on your network. It not only effectively functions as the industry's first reliable print server, it's also one of the easiest to install. Set-up takes less than three minutes with the included CD. Simply insert the set-up disk, and in five easy steps you'll be ready to go. If you have the Windows firewall activated on your PC, the Hub will automatically detect it and ask you if you wish to allow it to work from behind the firewall. (Users of other firewalls must manually add the device driver to their list of allowed programs.)
While the Belkin USB Hub works best with the Belkin N1 Wireless Router (a router is not included with the Hub), it will work seamlessly with any existing wireless router. The distance and quality of the connection of your computers to your USB devices will depend on the quality of your router and your Internet connection. And aside from having a wireless network and USB devices you want to connect to, the only requirement is that your computers are running Window XP or Vista.
NOTE: The Belkin USB Hub connects directly to your existing wireless router. The Hub does not have routing capabilities, and does not include a router. You must purchase the router separately.
3-year Belkin Warranty
What's in the Box
Network USB Hub, power supply, RJ45 Ethernet cable, quick install guide, and setup installation CD.
- Allows computers to share USB external hard drives, printers, scanners and media readers wirelessly
- Easy 3-minute setup
- Compatible with all wireless routers (router not included)
- 3-year Belkin warranty
- Network Hub gives network computers wireless access to up to 15 USB devices
- as promised
I'm using this with a Belkin pre-N router, and the set-up was as easy as promised. Only glitch has nothing to do with the hub, but with my current Samsung printer (which doesn't like Macs)...more info
- Not Easy to get it to work
Tried to use this though a router and could not figure it out. Instructions are not as good as they could be....more info
- I love this magic black box
We have three computers, two printers, and one external hard drive for backing up computers, all plugged into the Belkin Hub. The Hub is plugged into a wireless router. So wirelessly we can all print and backup files. For large file transfers such as a few hundred pictures or a lots of songs we hook the hard drive directly to the computer. But for printer sharing and retrieving documents from the hard drive the Belkin usb hub is a miracle machine.
The install was very easy, just put the disk in each computer then plugged the usb hub into our wireless router and hooked up the printers and hard drive and your done.
The only little downfall is every now and then when printing a large files such as one hundred page documents sometimes the belkin hub does not automatically disconnect from the computer so you need to open the hub controller program on the computer and click the "disconnect" box. But it is easy and simple.
Works great, lasts long time!...more info
- Works as advertised
On of the things that appealed to me about the Belkin F5L009 network hub was that it *seemed* to match my Airport Extreme wireless router in size and shape, such that I was hoping to stack the two together on my "network shelf" at home. Though the specs indicated that the F5L009 was larger than the Airport, I took a gamble and ordered it anyway. It was a perfect match!
The main reason I wanted this product was so I could run printer utilities that didn't work against printers connected directly to the Airport. For that it worked exactly as advertised!
Now all I need is a matching cable modem....more info
- I'm truly wireless =)
Belkin F5L009 5-Port Network USB Hub
I, too, have been looking for this product for a while, and the payoff couldn't be more sweet. I am not connected to anything right now, but am able to use my wireless mouse, 2 hard drives, the Western Digital My Book Essential 750GB, and the Toshiba Portable USB 2.0 320GB, (which is USB powered), my OfficeJet 6100, and my Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 6000. It was simple enough to connect, but Windows Firewall must not be set to block all incoming connections. After I figured that out, it was a breeze. You plug a device in to the USB hub, and you hear the windows plug and play connect sound. Also, the hub is fast enough to play movies off of the Toshiba USB powered hard drive. Not HD movies, but the regular 700mb kind.
One gripe- I just purchased the Logitech Clearchat Wireless, and the as not fast enough. The sound was choppy on an MP3 and I didnt even try to dictate to Dragon Naturally Speaking 10. But other than that, it does what it says, and it is glorious.
Wait, it does work with the clearchat, I just had to use the USB dongle dock, and it works fine, no choppiness or anything. Have yet to test it with Dragon, but will know in a little bit. Would change my review to a 5 now but I can't seem to edit the rating.
Its fast enough to stream 1080p HD H264 Movies. I know, you think I'm lying. I transfer at 1.3MB/s while watching though on a regular WRT54G. It's AMAZING!...more info
- Excellent Product!
I needed to connect 3 printers to my wireless router in order to be able to print from any of the 4 computers connected to my wireless network, without having to leave turned on a computer to share the printers. I am using the Belkin F5L009 5-Port Network USB Hub to do that, and it is working great!
I have this Belkin USB Hub connected to my Linksys WRT54GS Wireless G Router with Speedbooster. I have 3 printers connected to the Belkin USB Hub: a Cannon MP 830, an Epson PictureMate Deluxe, and an HP Laserjet 1200 Series. For the HP LaserJet printer I am using a "Gigaware USB-A to Centronics Parallel Printer" cable. I have 4 Dell computers connected to the Linksys wireless router: a desktop and a notebook using Windows XP Professional, and 2 notebooks using Windows Vista Home Premium.
The Belkin USB Hub allowed me to configure it in such a way that the computers automatically connect and disconnect from the printers when printing. In order to use the scanner on the Cannon MP 830 I cannot use the "automatic connection" option. But connecting and disconnecting while scanning is very easy using the USB Hub Control Center, and it works pretty good.
I definitely recommend this Belkin USB Hub if you need to connect one or more computers to one or more printers! It allows me to print from any computer on my wireless network without having to leave a computer turned on to share printers....more info
- Corrupted my hard drive (OS X)
This may very well be an isolated case, but I happily unpacked my Belkin Network USB HUB after 2 months of it sitting in the packaging. I successfully plugged in a USB scanner and did some remote scanning. Taking it to the next level of wireless, I moved my hard drive over.
I plugged it in. Everything worked (kind of) fine. I could access the disk, but playing files in iTunes resulted in some skipping. Finally frustrated with the skipping, I went to plug the external hard drive directly into my computer.
It didn't show up.
I plugged it back into the USB Hub. It still didn't show up. I opened Disk Utility only to have it tell me the entire drive was corrupt. I called Belkin support and after being escalated to Level 2 support, I was told that "The drive is corrupted, sorry".
That was it. No trying to troubleshoot. No offers of goodwill to recover the data on the drive. Just a flat-out tough luck.
Like I said, this may very well be an isolated incident... But I'll never, ever plug anything into that Belkin Network USB Hub again....more info
- Does what I need it to do
I only have one laptop computer and I have severe space constraints. This device enabled me to put peripheral devices in places other than next to where I use the computer. I didn't want additional cords to the computer and I don't want to use wireless devices for data.
With this hub, I can use my wired firewall/router to access external drives and other usb devices located in other parts of the room. For instance, I can leave a wireless mouse receiver in it so that doesn't take up any direct usb ports. I've used it for several hours daily for at least 6 months now and it has worked well for me.
The worst part was installing it, especially the printer. It's not quite plug and play, but almost. As someone in another review mentions, it's "if you know how to use it". But I didn't and it wasn't easy for me. According to the router, the hub is apparently a network device, but what's connected to it act like they're directly connected. Which confused the heck out of me at first. For instance, I tried to configure what I thought was now a network printer. Nope! I configured it as direct and it worked.
I am not so sure about security for any of the drives on it. It seems they could potentially be accessed straight from the router if it's breached, there does not seem to be any password security available through the hub itself. It would take third party software to password the drive itself. Too much for me. So to be safer, I keep those drives encrypted via windows, but it all seems to make using these drives much slower. At least I've had no problems accessing them.
A few times the computer had a hard time staying connected to the devices, but it's not happened often.
I do wish it had more ports, and I'll probably start daisy chaining soon which will probably slow things down even more.
For the most part it all fires right up and it has made my life much easier since I don't have to move things around all the time. ...more info
- My experience has been mixed
I bought this unit for a local network with two Macs and a Windows laptop. As someone else noted, the box indicated it is for Windows, but I was able to also find Mac drivers on the Belkin site. The Belkin support site is not well organized, and I had to search by the product number (F5L009)rather than name in order to locate it.
The unit actually works pretty well as a print server, but is useless trying to share an external hard drive. Several other reviewers have stated this unit is not intended for hard drives, which appears to be true. What's worse, the Belkin control center periodically freezes on the Mac, and then locks up the computer completely forcing a reboot by holding down the power button (I've rarely needed to do this under OS X).
The idea behind this hub is excellent, and maybe at some point it will be useable for more than just printer sharing. It's too late to return it, so I will probably keep it as a printer server, and look for another solution for network backup....more info
- oy, BSOD nightmare
I really, really want this thing to work, because it would solve a particualr problem. If it worked, it would be great.
a) manual is atrocious - first sentence is "install s/w first", then they tell you to do a bunch of stuff, and on the next page they tell you to install the s/w. wtf ? the disk is labeled differently than what they call it in the manual, so you are stuck trying to figure out if you are missing a disk. Just needless confusion.
b) why on earth do they call this a wireless product ??? Yes, if you connect it to an ice cream maker, it would be an ice cream hub, but wtf ???
c) did OK with my printer from multiple PCs, and although the scanner was seen, trying to connect would result in BSOD.
d) Tech Support was not helpful. Took four calls to get someone I could understand. Phone personnel have to be understood on the phone. Seems obvious, apparently not....more info
- Product Good - Poor Customer Service
Finally, product works well to print upstairs while using my wireless laptop downstairs.
Unfortunately it was an ordeal. I use a firewall software not directly addressed in the limited online documentation. I spent hours in trial-and-error efforts to get the laptop to print through the firewall to no avail. Since Belkin doesn't consider this to be a network devise you get the B-team support. Their verdict - Turn off your firewall to print. Obviously this was wrong. An on-line help request got no response.
If you buy this devise, copy the configuration advice that is flashed up while installing. I never found it again on-line and had to re-run the installation software again to get the critical hints.
- Good product
This device was very easy to set up. I plugged both of my printers in to it and loaded the software in my laptops and it started working very well. However, I wish that both laptops that I have connected via the network could be connected to both my printers (via the network) at the same time. But it is working well nonetheless....more info
- Decent Value
As long as you get a really good price, which I did through Amazon, then this is a good purchase, but only for certain situations.
It connects easily enough. The software installed on both XP and Vista without any problems.
The main problem with it is that only one user can access a printer or hard drive connected to it at a time. I've been connecting print servers for years and this is a new limitation to me. Of course, this isn't really meant to be a print server and it does have a connect and disconnect while printing option.
Belkin's solution is to allow the users to send a request to the machine that has the equipment you want to use tied up and ask them to get to disconnect using the Belkin interface, which is also very easy to use, by the way.
In my situation this is OK because most of the user's are on laptops, log on sporadically, and always disconnect when finished.
Desktop workstations present a problem though because a user can log on, attach to the printer or hard drive, and then walk off, rendering the requests for them to detach worthless. There isn't a forced disconnect.
In a large network or one where users are not required to log off when leaving their workstation this characteristic of the Belkin F5L009 5 Port Hub can be a major headache.
Other than that, it has worked flawlessly and set up was a breeze.
I also like the look and size of it. With our change to VM servers and Wi-Fi we have greatly reduced our hardware footprint and this little piece of equipment fits right in.
Since my users are mostly laptops that log in for short bursts and rarely print, attaching a large hard drive and a couple of printers was an inexpensive alternative to a NAS and print servers (maybe not better, but cheaper). Multiple users do tie up the hard drive and throughput seems a little slow and can hang on large files movements.
I decided on this configuration because the hub was $70 and I found 500G Western Digital hard drives for under $100 (The price of larger drives is dropping also). Pretty cheap versus just the cost of WI-FI print servers or converting to WI-FI enabled printers- and that doesn't address the cost of the storage. Of course, this storage area is just used for user and temporary files and doesn't replace the server files and adequate back-up. (There are a lot of music and video files that aren't allowed on the server and don't get backed up.)
So, to ramble on, my point is that while this is certainly not appropriate for an enterprise situation or even one where the printer/hard drive to workstation ratio is too great, I think anyone in a small or home network could consider this hub as a viable solution. If for nothing else, the lack of user training and maintenance required as well as the minimal amount of time it takes to get everything up and running are big bonuses.
Summary: This piece of equipment works well, but the type of environment where it can be productively and efficiently used is limited.
- This works if you are lucky to have compatible hardware
I have to say that I thought this product was just what I needed. I connected my HP scanner, Canon printer, and 2 Maxtor One Touch II hard drives to it. The scanner and printer work beautifully. The hard drives, not so beautifully. Both hard drives are recognized and Windows can read and write to them. The issue that I have been experiencing is that after transferring some data (could be as little as 20 megs or as much as 20 gigs) the drive will simply stop responding. When this happens Windows Explorer freezes up waiting on the hard drive. The only way to get it to recover is to end task the Connect.exe application or reboot the system. This product is far from ready for the market and I would definitely consider it a lemon. After trying it on 2 different laptops and exchanging what I thought was a bad unit I have given up on trying to make this work. Tech support was totally useless in resolving this issue. After updating the driver and disabling Windows Firewall I still see the same issue. I would not recommend purchasing this for anything other than sharing a printer or scanner and maybe a low-usage USB drive. If you want to actually transfer data to a USB drive, this product is not for you....more info
- Works well here
I was concerned about getting this because other reviews said it didn't work with WD MyBook Hard Drives. Since that would have been a bonus for me and what I really needed was to make my scanner accessible to my wireless laptop, I gave this a try.
I am happy to say that it hooked up very easily, just followed the instructions. It had software version 1.4 already so no upgrade needed. It recognized my scanner right away along with an external Zip drive and to my surprise and delight the WD MyBook Essential 250g hard drive! I haven't had much time to experiment ( a couple days) and I will report back if things change but everything is working as advertised and I am able to access it all from my laptop no problem. Please NOTE: This unit is NOT wireless but I have it hooked up to my wireless network and that is why I can connect wirelessly to these things.
The other note is that while things are all working well, transferring data to/from the WD MyBook Hard Drive is NOT fast. It is working without problem but it takes some time. For my back up purposes it is fine....more info
- Exceeded my expectations
All in all, I'm pleased. It's not perfect, but it works much more smoothly than I expected. However, I knew before purchasing that it is not wireless, and is not really a print server.
I have it connected to:
Samsung 1430 printer
Iomega 33748 desktop hard drive
Dell 1600n multi-function printer/scanner/copier/fax (this is supposed to be a network MFP, but the network scanning is a joke)
So far I've only tested it with 2 computers at once, one XP, the other Vista.
Setup was pretty easy. There is no setup to do on the appliance at all; just plug it in to power, your network, and some USB devices. It gets an IP address from DHCP and detects what devices are connected to it. Every computer that wants to use it, though, has to have the "Hub Control Center" installed. It's a simple install that also installs whatever shim it is that convinces Windows you have equipment connected to a USB port when it's really on the network.
On the computer that uses the Windows built-in firewall, after the setup program ran, I was in business. I did have to manually set up a rule on one computer's BitDefender firewall to allow incoming traffic from the hub. The manual was pretty clear on what needed to be done, with step-by-step instructions for the most popular firewalls (although not for BitDefender).
I bought this thing in order to share the above devices, so I set the printers up to connect only when needed. That option is only for printers, and only seems to work for printing. The external hard drive I set to manually connect. I set the 1600n MFP to connect only when needed, which works for the printing function, but I have to manually connect to scan.
Compatibility with my hardware:
It works just fine with one problem: if I turn off the printer, then later turn it back on, the hub doesn't detect that it's back, and says the printer is "unavailable." If I unplug, then replug the USB cable, it comes right back up. Annoying, but not a big issue.
It works fine, connecting and disconnecting automatically. There is one very odd behavior. With some files, the print job completes, but for some reason the job remains in the queue. The most peculiar thing is that if you send other print jobs, they will go through, ignoring the leftover job ahead of them. So everything works fine, but if you open up the print queue, you see this long queue of phantom jobs, which sit there until deleted.
The print part works fine, but since the 1600n comes with a print server, it's not all that useful. It is very useful for scanning. I have to manually connect to the 1600n in order for the scan to work, but that only requires three clicks. And if you weren't going to share the 1600n scanner, you could just set your computer to stay connected all the time.
Again I have to connect manually when I want to use it, but I could choose to always be connected if I weren't sharing it. Otherwise it seems to work fine.
I did a little speed testing, and while small files (10 MB or less) copy in 30 seconds or so, which is acceptable, when I copied a 1.3 GB file, it took about 20 minutes. During that time, my computer was much less responsive, though I couldn't find any reason for it (CPU and HD usage stayed below 25%). The same file took only 1 minute when the drive was plugged directly into my computer.
I haven't done much testing of this, but when I print simultaneously to the Samsung ML-1430, the hub handles the contention nicely, automatically connecting the first computer, and on the second computer showing that the device is connected to another computer, then disconnecting the first computer when that print job is done, and automatically connecting the second computer and completing the print job.
If one user is connected to the external HD, I can see that in the Hub Control Center, and can "Request Use" of the hardware. A little text message pops up on the connected computer, and then if the connected computer disconnects, the requesting computer can manually connect.
One of the weirdest things about it is that they tout its wireless ability (the box has the word "wireless" on it at least 11 times), but it has only a 10/100BaseTX port, so in order to get wireless access, you have to connect it to a wireless access point or router, not included (which is clear if you read the whole box).
The box also touts it as "the industry's 1st reliable print server" even though it isn't a print server. It does seem to be a reliable way to share printers, though, so it does the same job as a print server. The difference is that the print queues are maintained on the desktops and contend for the printer, instead of going into a central queue on the print server....more info
- Freezes Windows-based computers as well, can't share hard drives, not wireless...what more do you need to know?
Belkin, I understand you tried to solve a big problem with this product. Problem is...well...it doesn't work! Why this product is still on the market is amazing to me, because I have yet to meet anyone who loves this, or read a completely positive review of the Belkin Networked USB Hub. It's not truly wireless (false advertising, IMHO), and freezes up your computer when you connect an external hard drive to it to use over a wireless network. That's right, Mac users, it's not just your systems. Us PC'ers are feeling the pain, too. Conclusion: please save your money, and wait it out for a product that can actually do what this product claims!...more info
- Not suitable for NAS use
I thought this device was going to be something along the lines of Linksys' NSLU2 storage link for providing network access to USB drives. Despite the blurb on the box, this device is not suitable for use in setting up a NAS (network attached storage(. There is Belkin software that is required to be installed on any computer that needs to access an attached USB drive. Unfortunately, that means that non-computer devices like media streamers, or even Linux computers, have no means of access....more info
- Locks up Mac OS
The Belkin software locks up my MacBook Pro just about every time I try to use it. The Belkin application is always "busy" when the computer isn't locked up which makes it almost impossible to configure the settings for any devices that are attached. I bought this device to allow all of our computers to utilize time machine in the background with usb drives... when it works it is awesome but it makes my OS very unstable and just isn't worth it....more info
- Piece of garbage--external HD failures
As several have already written, this is a great idea in concept, but awful in execution. I knew it wasn't "wireless" in the purest sense of the word when I bought it. But I was fine with that. I just wanted the ability to access my Maxtor external drive along with some other USB devices from my personal laptop and my work laptop. I knew I couldn't access the devices at the same time, but that was fine with me. Just didn't want to have to walk up to my home office and plug in to the external drive depending upon which computer I was working with. Thought, it would be great to just connect to my wireless network, and access the HD through the Belkin USB hub (which is connected via hardwire to the router). First day, it worked like a charm. After that, a total and complete nightmare. Every problem already written about in these reviews, I had. Drive not connected when it says it is, crashing, unable to close through task manager even, "hanging" the computer... only way to shut everything off was to shut down the computer. Just a nightmare. Since I can't give zero stars, it gets one--if only for a good idea. But save the $$$$. Truly a garbage product. I have a belkin wireless router that I absolutely love!!! It has been nothing but great... quite disappointing to find Belkin make such a crap product after the good experience with the wireless router. Hopefully someone else will take the concept and figure out a way to make it work effectively....more info
- Unusable with Mac OS X Leopard
I wanted to use this to do Time Machine with Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.4) wirelessly via my laptop (Powerbook G4 1 GHz). It did this quite well, albeit more slowly than with a dedicated wired connection. Belkin does have Mac drivers. However, if you put the computer to sleep, all hell breaks loose. If the usb drive is mounted, it takes a couple minutes to go fully to sleep. If it is unmounted, the computer goes to sleep normally, but if you wake up and try to remount the drive, Finder freezes, and after a force quit and relaunch, Finder refuses to relaunch and you are left without a Finder, needing a full reboot. The same happens if you sleep the computer with the usb drive mounted. I have learned my lesson; don't bother with non-Apple products when using Macs....more info
- Not wireless
This device is not wireless, i repeat! not! wireless.
It needs your wireless router next to your device and plug in 1 foot ethernet cable provided by belkin to each other. nothing is wireless about it
IT IS A NETWORK USB HUB
BELKIN SUCKS......more info
- Ok - needs some refinement
This item works kind of. For low bandwidth stuff it seems to work real well. Mice, blue tooth stuff and everything is great. It doesn't seem to work very well with hard drives which is what I really wanted it to do. If you want a wireless hard drive, you should check out that time capsule from apple. This doest seem to work consistently. I would really like if this was a software issue - belkin makes some nice stuff and I hope they fix this so that it works better. The idea is a great! It is only one of two products i found that does this. I also have to report one more thing, i cant proove these ar related but external hard drives always work well connected directly to the machine but they seem to fail one day after using them with the belkin, windows finds errors, asks to format them and then they end up failing. Seems funny that they work until working with the belkin wireless. I might wait for the next generation model. ...more info
- It works
I purchased this Belkin wireless USB hub to work with my MacBook Air with XP. Since MacBook Air only has one USB which make bulky to connect USB hub next to MBA. With wireless USB connection, I can easily connect the external DVD driver, card reader, printer, and other USB devices away from my computer.
Only problem is the delay for the mouse and keyboard response. It is ok for me because I use Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Like from my title of this review, it works. I almost want to purchase a second one.
- Wireless USB hub unique, and a definite winner!
I did some research on this prior to purchase:it is the only wireless USB hub made now.It works very well,allowing me to only have 3 cords (power,ext.speakers,cooling tablet)plugged into my laptop,instead of 6!This makes my laptop more portable for not having a tangle of wires to unplug to go mobile!It works well with my simple Linksys wireless router(WRT54G),and provides seamless access to my external hard drive,a serious worry prior to purchase.Per online warnings,I have not plugged my webcam into it,doing that directly to the laptop when in use.Also,my WIFI-compatible printer has had no problems working with the hub,another worry prior to purchase.A fine product,highly recommended for wireless folk or those wanting such!...more info
- Great Product - a must for home networking.
If you have a home network, network printer, and network drive then this is the product for you. The only Down side is that usb drives perform a little slow. My Canon Multipass works great....more info
- Such a simple solution to adding peripherals!!
I'm still a novice and installed this USB hub with no problems. It completed my wireless networking set up. Now, I enjoy using the printer, Labelwriter, External burner and External hard drive from all the computers in the house. I am so pleased with the ease of this high quality tool....more info
- Didn't work
This was not as easy as plug N play. The instructions are not easy to read and do not contain any solutions for problems that might occur....more info
- NOT WIRELESS. Other than that, it's awesome (seriously).
Let's get one thing out of the way right now. I have no clue why Belkin put the word "Wireless" all over this. Scrutinize the product's documentation [...], the diagrams on the outside of the box (I'll post an image when I get a chance), or pictures of the product itself, and you know there's no way this can be a wireless device.
But none of this came as a surprise to me because I did all of that research prior to purchasing.
There's a place in my house where all the portable electronics are stored. It's conveniently near the door. Most of these devices (like my PDA) should be synched frequently with a PC to retain their usefulness. Unfortunately, the laptop is not nearby, so synchronizing becomes a manual, deliberate task requiring me to fetch the device away from its storage location and fiddle with it.
Instead, what I'd rather do is have all those devices connect to a USB hub which can use my home network to plug them virtually into the laptop.
My use case seems to be EXACTLY what the Belkin was built for, because it works PERFECTLY for it. I'm serious. This thing ROCKS for doing what I described above.
1. Once installed, the Belkin forwards USB traffic to and from your PC. Your PC genuinely believes that everything plugged into the Belkin is on a USB hub physically plugged into your PC. I have yet to find fault with this implementation, and I don't expect to because it's pretty easy to do-- I don't know why we don't see more devices like this.
2. The software the comes with the Belkin worked just fine on Vista. When I plugged my PDA into the hub, my laptop noticed. If my network drops, the Belkin doesn't seem to freak out about it, and it survives hibernates, suspends, fast-user-switching, and pulling the USB cable out of the device exactly the way you'd expect a directly-connected hub to behave.
3. The device claims to share intelligently between multiple machines. I haven't tried this (I have no need of it), but it looks straightforward from what the manual says.
I'd have given this device five stars, were it not for:
1. The inexplicable use of the word "wireless" all over the package, when the device clearly isn't. Again though, this didn't mean anything to me.
2. a flaw in the installation procedure. This was annoying, but takes about two minutes to fix, so I only docked them one star. Here are the details:
TECHNICAL OVERVIEW: When you plug the unit into an ethernet cable, it appears to choose a random IP address in the 10.x.x.x range. If your home network doesn't use this range (for example, most NAT DHCP servers support the 192.168.x.x range), then the router has just made itself unreachable. The setup applet can still locate it as part of the "configure your router" routine, but when you try to configure it, the connection will time out because the hub isn't in your home network's address range (your NAT will think the Belkin is somewhere outside your home when it's right friggin next to you).
If this makes no sense to you, just skip to the workaround.
WORKAROUND: do this (in WindowsXP or Vista):
A. start, run "cmd"
B. in CMD, type: "ipconfig"
you'll see a bunch of lines. Some of them will look like this:
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.5
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
if you don't see lines like this, you have a different problem. STOP. Call Belkin instead.
C. type "route add 10.0.0.0 mask 255.0.0.0 192.168.0.5" but replace "192.168.0.5" with whatever you saw on the "IP Address" line for ipconfig above. This will tell your PC that the address range the Belkin is using is on your home network instead of out on the internet somewhere.
D. Run setup again and it'll probably work now. If it does, CONFIGURE THE BELKIN TO USE DHCP (or an address on your network).
3. the device could be a little smaller. But I can live with it as big as it is.
1. the device requires software support. The software that comes with it ROCKS, but not all operating systems are supported. Double-check unless you feel like writing the software yourself.
2. The device has limited bandwidth, so bulk+realtime devices (webcams and DVD burners, for instance) will swamp it and don't work.
I'm pretty sure that you'll have a sneaky suspicion that your device won't be compatible BEFORE you try it. If you get that feeling, make sure you try this out within the Return/Exchange window.
- It works for me
This product is what i've looking for years. I have several print servers in my closet because no one worked well with my printers. Finally this product solves the problem with the bi-directional protocol you need with modern printers. It is like a USB port sharing throught the network, so the devices connect to your computer like there are connected to your USB local port. The sharing is not at the same time, you has to connect and disconnect your devices so other users can use them. It has two features that helps you sharing among other users: one feature is for printers, that connects and disconnets the printer on demand, so other users don't have to request it, and the second is for other device types, you can request the other user to disconnect the device if you need it.
This product is for home networks, or very small offices.
The only thing that prevented me to put 5 stars is the speed, of course it is not like the native USB port, because you use IP protocol and then a wireless adapter, that's far from 400 Kbps.
One last thing: the hub itself is not wireless, like it says at the box, and many other reviwers noted, but at least you can connect it to your Access Point independently of the Wireless technology. If you migrate from your old b or g to the new N, you don't loose your HUB.
I run 6 computers, 5 are wired and 1 is a wireless notebook. I find it convenient to have an external USB hard drive and a 4 gb flash drive plugged into this hub. I've had no connection problems with any of my various model computers....more info
- Mac Users Beware!
I was searching for a network usb hub that I could use for my PC-Mac setup at home. When I saw that Belkin had provided Mac drivers for the F5L009, I jumped and purchsed the unit. That was in mid-April. It worked great on both systems until last week. On my Intel Mac, I now receive the message "SXUPTP Driver not installed. Please install the application again." Then, I click "OK" and the Belkin software shuts down.
Note that the PC software remains full capable.
I've done a full uninstall and reinstall almost a dozen times. I've removed third party software that might be in conflict. I've called and e-mailed Belkin technical support, but their only solution is to reinstall the drivers. The funny thing is, this SXUPTP.kext file gets placed exactly where it's supposed to go. The Belkin interface apparently can't find it.
I read below about Silex and its SX Virtual Link software, and how it makes the Belkin router work with Intel Macs. I suppose I could try it. But why should I have to go to third-party software to make this product work? It would be one thing if Mac drivers did not exist, but Belkin produces drivers for OS X 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5.
I've given up. I'm returning this unit, regretably. Once again, I say...if you own a Mac, invest in Apple products. They seem to have figured out the Mac-PC connection. PC products are still coming to grips with the whole dual compatability thing. I think I'll invest in an Airport Extreme router. I don't need a router; I just need a USB hub. But I'm pretty confident the Airport Extreme will be able to figure out the PC-Mac connection....more info
- Belkin F5L009
The idea is great but this item needs work. There ar too many conflicts with software and enourmous setup issues on a peer to peer workgroup especially when you are working with two different operating systems. If this were a network the a actual hub or switch would work great.
To print you have to enter via the belkin hub software, select a device then select print. There is no "one step process". Accessibility fro hard drives and printers on same hub is very difficult if non -exixtent. The technology just needs to be developed more to work as a dirct device or PNP(plug-N- play. The idea is to be able to access you network HDD or printers as simply and easily as possible. Maybe in a few years this product will be revised with plug and play features.
My best assessment for a printer access is to do the windows shared printer and files, you are a lot better off in a peer to peer workgoup. ...more info
- Works as advertised
I haven't tried using this hub for anything other than printers, but it works well for sharing multiple USB printers on a network. Each computer has to have the Belken software loaded and it's not quite as simple as having an actual print server, but it works with little effort. It did require a software upgrade when I switched to Vista though....more info
- Misleading product description
This item is sold under the pretense that it is a wireless print server. It is neither wirless nor a printer server. It is a network USB hub that cannot share printers seamlessly but thorugh a clunky software request system. Do not recommend. ...more info
- Awesome technology - easy to setup
I don't know what these people are talking about. I think this is one of the coolest pieces of technology I have purchased in a long time. It took me about 20 minutes to setup 2 PC's and my wifes Mac. I was able to share a printer, an external hard drive, an iPod Nano, another MP3 player and a universal remote control. The only downside is that only one of the computers can be connected to any device at any given time. For a printer, you can set it up to where it automatically connects when you print and disconnects when you are finished. You can also set it to launch an application when it connects. So, for example, if you want iTunes to run when you connect to an iPod....more info
- Belkin Wireless Hub
I am a techie and let me inform you that this product is as good as all the articles stated. I replaced my belkin wired/wireless printserver with this hub. The sharing interface is easy and wireless requests are extremely fast. The only issue I encounter is that on all pc/laptops when you are shutting down it hangs on closing the belkin manager. The best thing to do is use the belkin manager's EXIT function. If you do, no problems....more info
- Slow and Quirky
I have 2 XP systems and one Vista system. The device was easy to install and I was unable to get the software to operate properly on two of my systems. One is a Vista system with with 2GB RAM so that wasn't the problem. The system would lock and applications would go into a "Not Responding" mode. I wonder if it was that the Belkin NAS was so slow that the applications timed out. I had an XP system with only 512mb RAM that acted the same way. My third system, an XP box with 1GB RAM acted fine and worked well with the Belkin NAS but was very slow especially with larger files. I returned the NAS....more info
- Solid network USB hub - bad marketing
This product delivers exactly what is advertised - a solid way to put USB devices on to a network. However, there are some shortcomings which are a result of poor marketing and poor usage forethought.
Shortcomings are as follows:
- the power chord is three feet long and the network cable is a foot long. This is a problem if you want to plug it in to a UPS at floor level, and use it near devices on a shelf at eye level!
- the term 'wireless' is misleading; it should be referred to as 'networked'. If you have a wireless network, you can use this to connect wirelessly; if you have a wired network, you cannot. It would remove all confusion to call it what it is, rather than include one potential implementation in the name.
- there are some issues regarding the sharing of devices when there are multiple users: the uninitiated assumes that a device on a network is available to all users of the network, and as a result gets confused when they cannot use a hard drive from two or more computers. That is not an intent of this device and never was - it is intended to make a remote USB device appear to be local on a machine, so it can only ever be "physically" present on one. [Side note for those that want to share USB hard drives over a network: attach it permanently to a single machine, then share the device over your network... but you'd be better off physically locating it on a USB port on that machine, as you don't really want the traffic heading over your network twice. Especially if it is wireless!]
On the positive side, it really does deliver, if you know what to expect - the emulation of USB ports over a network. It permits all my USB devices to be attached, used in an ad-hoc fashion from more than one machine, and genuine freedom to work remotely from the physical devices. I have plugged in cameras, printers, iPods, GPS/radio and other gear, all of which has worked as though physically connected to the machines - complete with driver installation errors where they normally occur!
All told, I liked the product and have used it for months, and would have given it five stars if not for the ridiculously short cables....more info
- This is a "Network USB Hub" for wireless networks
Amazon needs to correct how they have named this product on this site. ON THE BOX it says "Network USB Hub", which is what it is. It just happens to be most popular for use on wireless home networks. Amazon's given name for the item is clearly misleading- and it gives others the impression that this is a wireless device. It's not fair to the mislead purchasers and it's not fair to the manufacturer.
I'm giving this a 5 because there are too many reviews on here by people who bought this device, not knowing what it is for. I bought it because I like to be a couch potato with my laptop and not get tangled up in attached wires.
It works great and does exactly what it is supposed to. I can use all my USB devices (Hard Drives, Printer, Scanner, Speakers) from my laptop on my home network, with no wires attached to the laptop. The USB devices are plugged into this Belkin box which is wired to my wireless router. I connect to them wirelessly from my laptop on the 802.11b/g home network. I hope that helps explain it better.
As far as device sharing is concerned, I've had no issues with sharing control over the various devices with other computers on the network. The utility (which must be installed on each computer using the hub)is straightforward.
- NOT wireless
This box is thoroughly misleading (or at least not clear). This is NOT a wireless hub. It requires a wired connection to whatever router you use. The ONLY way you can detect devices "wirelessly" if your router is wireless. I bought this thinking it was a way to connect my printer (in another room) to my network without running wires. Silly me. Item is being returned and Belkin has lost a customer. ...more info
- Surprisingly very easy to setup
I've grown more than tired of carrying the laptop over to my printer when I needed a hard copy. I've also wanted to add some additional storage at home that I could easily access via my wireless network.
This network USB hub has proven perfect for these needs. I'm not very network savvy, but to my surprise I was printing and playing media from a USB drive over my network in less than 30 minutes.
Now I'm in the market for a larger USB HD!...more info
- Don't bother
This is a great idea that fell apart in the implementation. Totally worthless on a Mac. On a PC it works when it feels like it. Drops connections. Shows that it's connected when it isn't. Numerous other problems. I suppose if you had a cheap standalone printer, it might be worthwhile, but multi-function devices and larger USB drives fail constantly....more info
- Awesome! If you understand how USB works....
The posts that are complaining about sharing devices, connection issues, etc. need to understand that the problem is with the USB protocol and not the device. USB devices are not designed, or even able, to run on multiple devices at once. Have you ever plugged an external drive into two computer at the same time? Why would this be any different? If you need to access a hard drive from multiple computers at the same time, get a NAS drive. The device also is not designed to power external drives, like the usb powered western digital drives noted in a review. I actually have gotten one to work with no problem, but after talking to a few Belkin guys they don't really know what will or won't work with the device. Any drive that has its own power supply should work with no problems.
Also, you can share between computer easily. If you have to do something with a different computer, you can either request the devices (sort of like IMing) or just click on the disconnect button. Simple, like ejecting a device.
If you understand what this, its awesome and works like a charm. I've gotten all sorts of cool stuff, from midi devices, DVD Burners, Printers, Scanners,cameras,etc. to work with it. The only reason I'm giving it a 4 star is because I accidently plugged in the wrong power cable (12v not the 5v) and blew out the power supply. It should have a buffer, but Belkin replaced it for the cost of shipping, so I can't be to upset about. I actually found myself missing it within a few days of messing with wires!
Also, MAC drivers ( doesn't work with Leopard yet) are available here:
Works great on my Powerbook G4!...more info
- Works well once set up
Easy to set up, and does what it's supposed to do. I can see set up might be difficult, since you have to do an install on every machine that accesses the hub. Otherwise, if you have a little computer knowledge this device is helpful for managing printers and hard drives you want to share across multiple computers....more info
- A great product, if you understand how to use it :)
I'm giving this item 5 stars since, honestly, it's one of a few if not the only one of its kind and works farely well. Also, the reason I want to give it 5 stars is because I want to balance of otherwise low ratings that stem from the poor description of the item and not from the products actual performance and how much easier it has made my life. I have a USB ext HDD, two printers, USB card reader and scanner connected to it. It's connected to my wireless router on one of the ethernet ports and I share all of these devices easily between my desktop and two laptops.
The software does take some time to setup, since you have to install it on every single PC that will be sharing the devices. Which also includes installation of the specific device software/drivers on each PC. However, once installed, peformance has been flawless and I have able to use all devices on all PCs with little trouble. I've been waiting for a device like this for some time and Belkin has done an extremely good job of delivering it.
As far as peripherals go, I wouldn't trust any other brand. Regarding the description... I actually bought the item in a store, so once you see the box, it's obvious how it interacts with your home devices and what is required to make it work.
Don't dog the product on it's description which I agree, is misleading, but it is a good product....more info
- Junk. Don't be fooled by the exaggerated MFGR claims
Box says setup in 3 minutes. Knew that was too good to be true. Set this thing up with a Linksys G router. First, it took two hours to make the thing work - and when I did, its performance was substandard. Initially, it would not power up so I had to troubleshoot why the link lights next to the CAT5 wire wouldn't receive a signal from the router. Tried another cable and it didn't change anything so I went back to the cable that came with the box. Inexplicably it started working. Next the connections seemed to work fine and the CPU recognized a webcam, 2 external HDs, and an HP laser printer. Interestingly, however, in spite of the printer being recognized print jobs would all fail. I flashed the USB hub with the latest firmware and still no success. Finally I called tech support only to get transferred to another tech line which was only operating during business hours (it was a weekend). Since I have a life and this includes a job, this project now requires business hours which impacts my job. Painful. When are businesses going to just do business 24/7? Don't understand this because in India, those call-centers operate around the clock. At any rate, not all of the MP3s stored on the external HD were recognized by Windows Media Player 11 after the wireless configuration. Passing data to the wireless HDs over wireless-G was painfully slow but tolerable. The straw that broke the camel's back was during the second day of usage when all I did was reboot the CPU, only to discover the 2 external 300GB HDs were now not connecting over the network. I opened Belkin's software and clicked the connect button to no avail. Failed to connect in spite of the software's boxes for "automatically connect" being selected. Nothing changed except a simple restart. I tried to connect to both of the HDs and it never worked. Frustrated, I boxed this piece of X up and will return it tomorrow. PD: $79.99 at Best Buy. ...more info
- JUNK (especially for Mac users)
This is just a terrible product. The hardware seems okay, but the software required to operate it is just terrible. You can only connect to a device if no one else is using it. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of wireless networking? Thanks, but I'll save myself $100 and just walk over to the dang thing and unplug it for that.
Also, the speeds are so slow. I mean REALLY slow. Using a brand new blazing fast Vista machine, my transfer took under two hours with the devices connected directly to it. I then did the same thing except going through this Belkin Wireless Hub - TWENTY FOUR HOURS!! Just awful.
Now, Belkin claims that it supports the Mac, so I bought it. It doesn't support the Mac. At all. The drivers on the Mac crash both my Mac Book Pro and my wife's Mac Book EVERY SINGLE TIME we use it.
However, I did give Belkin one star because this is a great idea. So 1 out of 5 for the theory. I'm just not paying $100 for this worthless trash in practice. Mine is getting returned tomorrow. There are plenty of other companies that want my business that actually support their products....more info
- look ma, no wires!!!
Great device. Easy set-up. The system integrates with your wireless network seemlessly with the included software. One sore spot is setting up your firewall to accept this new device. The Belkin website offers solution for many of the most popular 3rd party firewall programs.If you turn off your firewall during set-up and then turn it on after setup is complete this seems to resolve this issue.
It is so cool to move my laptop accross the room and still be able to control my usb speakers & printer. ...more info
- Works perfectly for me, very cool little device
When I got a new laptop, I decided I was sick of dragging cords around with it so I decided to make my house wireless. I wasn't sure what was out there as far as wireless USB hubs... I found one that operated without a wireless internet router, but it was more expensive. When I came across this, I decided I'd give it a try.
Setup wasn't too bad. I don't even think I followed the directions right but it works perfectly anyway. There's plenty of documentation for different setups.
I run my printer, external hard drive and wireless mouse/keyboard receiver through it (obviously for the last one, the receiver has to be within range of you, as usual). The router I'm using is a little Belkin g-band unit. When you connect to the wireless on your computer, it will automatically detect this and start connecting your devices, which takes a few seconds.
It's a nice design--small, but with enough weight to stay put, flat so you can put something on top of it.
Overall, I'm quite happy with it and I'd definitely recommend looking at this first if you're trying to find a wireless solution for your USB devices....more info
- Belkin Network USB Hub
Received the item in the mail on Friday. Started right away to get it up and running. Got to where it would see both my webcam and printer on all pcs but wouldnt let me do anything with the printer. It is an HP V40. So i went to the Belkin website and updated the firmware and the application software for this unit and after that it was an easy setup for each pc. I really like this item and got a deal for 89 dollars after rebate....more info
- Excellent product for what it does
I would have rated this product five stars or even ten if I could but for the absence of a single sentence in the quick start guide. To begin, I purchased this item over a month ago and had no luck installing it. It connected to the server but that was it. I could not see the devices I connected to the hub on the network. I tried a number of configurations but nothing worked. I gave up after a few hours and uninstalled everything and put the hub away chalking up the failure to my own incompetence. I did not try tech support because and this was confirmed by my review of the comments here I knew it would be a waste of time. A few weeks later I tried again with similar results. So I put everything away on the pile of my other hardware failures never to be resurrected. Yesterday I ran across a listing posted by C-Net of 15 outstanding products and the hub was one of them. So I thought I should try it again since CNet thought so highly of the product. No luck, same results-no connection to the other computers on the network. This time I decided to look at the CNet review to find out why they liked the product so much. In approximately the third paragraph I read the following and this is a paraphrase 'the software must be installed on each computer that wishes to have access to the hub.' I stopped and read it again in disbelief. Now I do not claim to be a expert in computerspeak but I do believe I can read an English sentence with some comprehension so I can say that that information was nowhere in the quick start guide. It does say install the software but I figured it meant install it on the computer to which the hub is connected. Well, long story short, I did what the review said to do and VOILA everything worked. I had connected two hard drives and a printer to the hub and the hub transfered each of them to the other computer where I installed the software. I was pleased. There are still deficiencies such as the asking permission to transfer ownership of the device which could be a major issue in an office environment but for me it is merely a matter of getting up and walking over to the main computer and clicking the yes button. The printer was already set up as a network printer but I connected it to the hub anyway. That did require the installation of a printer driver on the satellite machine which for me was a minor inconvenience. Also the hub has five ports but the spacing is not the best. If you have standard USB connectors, five should fit but if you have flash drives with USB connectors you may lose a port or two because of the width of the flash drive. This also may be minor but I should point it out. I also cannot attest to the reliablity of the device since I have only used it for one day. I can say that I attached a flash drive to one of the ports this morning and it connected immediately.
Perhaps the software installation instructions are placed somewhere in the manual which I did not read but I did read the quick start guide and I looked at the online help section to no avail. Maybe I missed it and I will hold out that possiblility but it's good to know that the device does work as advertised....more info
- Don't waste your time
Pouya Ziapour is right on the money. Unfortunately I bought this thing today while at Best Buy without reading any reviews first. Boy was that a mistake.
Despite being able to connect to my usb drive with the supplied software, I could not actually access the files on the drive.
Moreover, my computer grinded to a hault while the software was running.
They don't advertise that only one computer can connect to the drive - even for read only access - which is a huge limiting factor....more info
- So far so good...
Bought this mainly to connect an external hard drive. Not sure if it was specific to my case, took a lot of trial and error to get it working. Set up went through fast. The devices were recognized in no time. Problems started after that. Despite selecting, 'automatically reconnect', the devices kept getting disconnected. Windows Vista would not recognize external hard drive although the Belkin control panel showed its status as connected. Sometime, Windows recognized the hard drive but insisted on formatting before allowing it to be used. Hell, No. Thank you. Got 120 GB data on that drive. No idea what happened later. But, after restarting the laptop several times, installing and uninstalling software, things started working like a charm. Now both printer and external hard drive are connected. Do not lose connection and most importantly I can see the hard drive automatically mapped in explorer.
Called tech support a couple of times. This product for some reason, only known to Belkin, falls under 'non networking product' category and support is not available during the weekends for this product. 'Non networking product'? Go figure. Anyway, my problems got resolved on their own.
I think it was some sort of an issue with Windows Vista and my hard drive. Belkin probably did not have anything to do with this. So, considering everything else, this product certainly deserves a high rating. Installation is quick and efficient. Software is smart enough to properly configure firewall settings on most firewalls. Clean user interface. Should work almost right out of the box in most cases unless in cases such as mine. Hopefully, you will be luckier :)
- This was almost funny
I bought this Belkin F5L009 5 port wireless network usb hub, that is what it is called. I still have not figured out the wirelss part. You have to plug it into your router, and everything you want to share is plugged into this hub. You do not have anything wireless, everthing is conencted. As for customer support, sorry, they do not have any. For 4 days I tried getting through to customer support without success. I seriously thought I could have this on the other side of my office, with my scanner and printer attached, and it would connect to my wireless network without a cable. If I have to connect a cable from my printer, to this hub, then to my router, I may as well run the cable direct, share it in my printer profile, and eliminate this. So I'm sending it back. Maybe if they had customer support, I wouldn't be so down on it. They might have been able to walk me though it. As for documentation either online or with the unit, it was right in line with cusomer support, nothing useful, not even a diagram showing how things are connected, because it would have shown it was not wireless. It's a shame, i thought this would be good. ...more info
- Good little device
Everything works great with this. Now I can share my full USB all in one functionality with multiple systems without needing to move wires. The only limit is the hub only supports 15 "units". This isn't 15 devices, my multi-function counts for 4 all by itself. That is the only issue I've had with it so far, but it far outweighs the other limits.
Update: After my great experience with this, I had a co-worker buy one herself. She ended up returning the first one, and still having to fight with the second one for nearly 5 hours to get her printer to work. I did some checking with a couple other people and found these are either hit or miss devices. I hit on my purchase and it's great. If you get a miss though, you are better off returning it for an Apple Airport Express, at least that worked....more info
- Not so great device. Easy to setup. Software problematic
[...] Couldn't be happier. ^^^UPDATE^^^10/24/2007 ,,, after using this device for a week now, the software has revealed its instability. My MAC will freeze unexpectedly over and over again with the client running in the background and nothing visible going on. It freezes the OS somehow and allows you to work on one thing but locks everything else up... including the system clock... which made me late for work twice this week. I have to frequently restart my MAC to restore functionality. It's totally buggy and their website says that the software is Beta, but doesn't solicit feedback or registration from the user community so I'm assuming it's their way of saying we know it's buggy and we'll fix it when we feel like it.... nice. It also craps out on the PC's similarly and requires frequent reboots. It acts up and disconnects things for no reason which seems to wreak havoc on the rest of the system... WAIT before you buy this. It's buggy. I'm sending mine back. Amazon won't let me take away the stars I formerly awarded it.
- Well designed software, misleading packaging
First the good, this product has excellent software powering it. I'm extremely impressed by the device support and the ease of use. I have a couple of HP multifunction printers on an "island" and the Belkin gives me untethered access to them. My roomie can even connect and print when my computer is off. Life is good. The software makes everything so simple, I just plugged it in and it all started working without much effort. Compared to the IOGear "Wireless USB" kit that I just returned to the store, this seems like a miracle.
The bad: The box says "Share printers, access media - WIRELESSLY" on the outside but there is NOTHING wireless about this product. Router not included, duh, I have a router. Who said I want my USB hub where my router is?! I happen to have an old 802.11b access point lying around to test things but yeesh, for $120 include a freaking radio, Belkin!
The only bummer is the performance. This product was clearly designed to deliver "20mbps-ish" wireless-G performance. When hooked up to the 100mbps lan port, my Western Digital external hard drive reports around 3.3MB/sec tops. That's about 26mbps which is close to real world Wireless-G speeds. Acceptable for my printer use, but look elsewhere for centralized storage purposes.
I see a lot of complaints about the inability to share hard drives/printers without disconnections and prompting. Guys, this is a "networked USB hub" not an intelligent print or file server! You want intelligent file and print sharing? Designate some always-on PC somewhere in your network and tell IT to share the printer that's virtually attached to the Belkin USB hub. Same goes for hard disks. The sharing abilities are really nice to have when it comes to things that you can't traditionally share, like scanning.
Final quibble: My HP PSC950 didn't work at first. I used the "Check for updates" option and it said I was up to date. Well, it turns out there was a later revision of the software posted on Belkin's site, and lo and behold after installing it the HP PSC works just fine. What's the point of having a "check for updates" button if they don't publish the latest software to it?
So although I need to go buy a Wireless-G access point (*grumble*), I am pleased with the functionality this product delivers....more info
- Incomplete Spec Sheet
Spec sheet describes this product for use with XP and Vista. Should state that its for 32 bit only. ...more info
- Good enough for a printer server plus only a little bit more
Keep it short, this hub works. It does work with all my printers, even external DVD-ROMS. The recognition is almost instant. You can plug and unplug at wish. I agree that it does not work with the 2.5" external hard drives due to power over-drawn issue. Belkin should seriously look into this issue that everybody is complaining about. I hope it can be fixed sometime. As for the 3.5" external drives, I tested the hub with my 500GB and 300GB WD Externals. They worked very fine. Big files (videos) can be transferred back and forth; however the speed is marginally acceptable.
Despite the power issue, I am generally satisfied with the overall performance. I find no problem at all connecting the hub with my second PC and notebook wirelessly. Although not fully automatic, the switching is almost effortless.
Good does not mean perfect. First, although setup looks easy, it was not the case for me. If you router's IP is not set at 192.168.1.xxx please be sure that you press the Reset Button on the hub LONG enough for it to pick up the assigned IP. This is never specified in the manual or setup CD. You have no way to go into the hub and make changes. Calling tech support was extremely painful - be sure you call to the Non-Technical Department for this Non-Network product (as strictly classified by Belkin, trust me). Otherwise you would end up repeat-calling many times before you reach the right place. Whether or not you talk to a good rep there after depends on your pure luck (25% chance at best for me). Lastly, I concur that the way that Belkin labels this hub as a Wireless Hub is totally misleading. Unlike a real wireless print server, it is not wireless at all by itself. It has to work with a wireless router. This is in fact nothing special since all other wired print servers can have the same setup. Belkin is seriously risking its reputation based on this label.
- Great in theory, but awful in practice
I really wanted to like this product. I really wanted it to work. At the end, however, you should save your time, money, and (most of all) patience and do not buy this product. I was at first intrigued, because its capabilities sounded great on paper and it looked very nice (reminds me of something Apple would design). I purchased it to share an HP 7310 All-In-One Printer and a Maxtor external hard drive. It did a decent job with the printer, an awful job with the hard drive, and made my computer extremely unstable in the process. Technical support was a nightmare. I ended up returning it after trying to get it to work for one week straight. More details below.
1. Looks nice.
2. Works well with certain devices such as a USB mouse or a printer. However, the purpose of a network hub would render connecting a USB mouse pointless, because, for example, it does not make sense to share a mouse or access the mouse through your network while you are on your laptop in the other room. In addition, not the best method to share the printer, because only one computer/laptop can access a device on the hub at once.
1. Items that show up in the hub's control center cannot be accessed. For example, your external hard drive will show up in the control center's console with a "connected" status, but you cannot access the hard drive (e.g., through Windows Explorer, My Computer, etc.). At first I thought this was a firewall problem, but it was not. It is a Belkin problem.
2. Connectivity of devices connected to the hub are extremely unstable. Sometimes they are connected, other times they are not for no explainable reason.
3. The hub's instability creates instability on machines accessing the hub. For example, when you click on the Start button for Windows, the button will freeze in the pressed position, but the Start menu will not appear. Another example is that various programs, such as your web browser (e.g., Firefox or Internet Explorer), will freeze requiring you to attempt to end task via Windows Task Manager. Notice the key word "attempt," because many times the Windows Task Manager will not appear via control + alt + delete, and you are required to press your computer's off button to reboot your system.
4. On the very rare occasion that an external hard drive can be accessed, it is not very stable and loads extremely slow. For the hard drive to autoplay and its icon to appear in My Computer or Windows Explorer, you will have to wait many minutes.
5. Worst technical support I have ever dealt with and I have dealt with many. You are pretty much on your own. First of all, Belkin's technical support business hours are Monday through Friday 6am to 5pm. With those times, you would think it is based in the United States, correct? You would also hope that this is evidence that you will not have to deal with a technical support team that is outsourced to, for example, India. Well, you would be wrong on both counts. Not only does it seem that Belkin has outsourced their technical support, but the money they save by doing so does not even give you the convenience of 24/7 customer service or anything close, which Belkin's competitors offer. Once you get a hold of technical support, you will be placed on hold for many minutes (more than Belkin's competitors) and will be greeted by a technician with an Indian accent so thick that you have no idea what he is saying (even worse than other outsourced technicians I have dealt with). The fact that the quality of the line you are on is poor, with echoes and crackles, makes it even more difficult to decipher what the technician is saying. The technicians are there to only read general troubleshooting steps from their computer screens. They do not listen to what you have to say, and as a result, they are inefficient, ineffective, and frustrating. They do not care to resolve your problem. For example:
You: Okay, I connected my hard drive to the network hub via USB connection. Now. . . I am at the Network hub's control center, and . . . although it found the hard drive, it says that the hard drive is not connected. I also cannot access my hard drive.
Technical Support: Ok. So does the control center say that the device is connected?
You: No. I just told you that it said it was disconnected.
Technical Support: What?
You: The control center says that the hard drive is not connected.
Technical Support: Okay. So, go to the control center, and do you see the hard drive listed?
Technical Support: Does it say that it is connected?
You: No. . . *ready to pull your hair out*
6. Direct quote from a supervisor from Belkin's technical support: "The hub does not work with flash drives or external hard drives."
7. Too expensive given its real-world capabilities and poor support.
8. Does not look nearly as nice in person that it does on its box or in pictures.
9. Only one computer/laptop can access a device on the hub at one time. Thus, two computers cannot use a printer, or hard drive, or whatever at the same time.
10. None of the drivers, firmware, etc. fixed any of the problems.
11. The control center is fairly annoying as it always pops up. It would be nicer if the product (1) worked; and (2) worked in the background.
12. If you are accessing the network hub via wireless connection, make sure that your network does not receive interference from your cordless phones or microwave, etc. Otherwise, your computer will freeze if your connection gets interrupted. I would imagine there is a chance that files may be corrupted in the process if you were accessing files on your external hard drive.
13. The "wireless network USB hub" is misleading, because the network hub is not wireless. You have to connect it to a wireless router via ethernet cable to access it wirelessly. By that definition, anything is "wireless" as long as it goes through a wireless router....more info
- Does Not Work with Western Digital Portable HDs
When I received the device, I was so excited to have a way to move USB devices to the network. However, when I plugged in two portable Western Digital HD (160 GB and 120GB), the hard drive light went on for a few seconds and then shut down. I logged into the USB hub device and there was an error message saying that the device was using too much current. Both hard drives gave the same message. I was sooo disappointed. How could they possibly not test with Western Digital HDs. They have a majority of the market share. Anyway, I am going to call tech support on Monday to see if they can help.
- Great Little Device
I have a wireless router set up in our home. we weren't able to access printers using the laptop unless our old computer in our office was also turned on (connected to our old laserjet) or unless we walked the laptop to where we kept our USB color printer. I looked at wireless print servers and held out for something better. This device can act as a print server but can also use storage devices to create NAS (network attached storage) devices.
I now have both printers (B&W laserjet and an Epson color)available to use and have a flashdrive installed for some file backups. Only took minutes to plug in and run the software. One drawback was that it would not work with our old desktop running Windows 98. However, since that machine is in the same room as the printers, it is not much of a hassle to unplug the printers from the Belkin hub and just plug them into a USB port in order to print.
Cost is getting better....I see a new company rebate lowering price to $85. I still have other open USB ports on the Belkin hub, so I'm quite happy with the purchase....more info
- You DON'T have to manually connect/disconnect!!!!
I bought this as a network hub for our small office's color printer. Set-up was very fast and I didn't run into any problems.
Yes, for about 30 seconds I thought that you had to request use to connect to the printer. However, when I looked again, there is an option to "automatically connect and disconnect only when printing". Select the device in your hub control center, click on preferences, click on the connection tab, and change your connection setting to automatically connect/disconnect only when printing. It isn't hard to find this option. I say this as musician, not an IT person!
The only reason I'm giving this device 4 instead of 5 stars is that it seems to be unclear whether or not they will be releasing Mac OSX drivers. I've heard yes and no, so its still unclear.
Otherwise, this is a device that works seamlessly with our network....more info
- Using it for a Print Server - Easy and Elegant Solution
While apparently not very good for sharing hard drives, as I've read here, I've had excellent performance as a print server.
After wrestling with an actual Print Server from another company for 6 or 7 hours, only to find out my printer isn't compatible, I was desperate to avoid a repeat. Lots of research led me to question most of the other print server choices and their compatibility with my Samsung ML-1450 Laser Printer.
The Belkin Network USB Hub box said "Industry's 1st reliable print server". The Best Buy computer guy said that it was so new he hadn't heard any feedback about it. I decided to take the plunge and I'm so happy I did. It's a little more expensive than other print servers, but what's a Saturday of frustration worth to you?
The "secret" of this thing that separates it from the others is that you don't need to mess with a bunch of IP addresses. It comes with a small resident program that you install on each computer that convinces it that the printer is actually plugged in directly. As a matter of fact your XP will pop up with the Discovered New Printer message, even while wireless through the router.
All you do is plug the Hub into your wireless or wired router, then into your USB printer. You then install the Control Center (takes just a couple of seconds). When you run the program you can already see the printer there on the list. Since a printer can only be "Connected" to one computer at a time, you simply direct the computer, through the Control Center, to connect, print, then disconnect when finished. The last step is to go to your printer icon through the Control Panel and through Properties, and click on the "Virtual USB Printer Port" in the Ports section. That's it! It was so easy. The Control Center automatically told the XP firewall that it needed access. There are also very detailed, easy to follow instructions (pictures) on how to set other common firewalls made by the big companies.
It's also great that since it connects directly through my existing wireless DSL router, I don't even have to program it for WEP or WPA-PSK codes. The computers do all the "talking" and they're already coded.
I don't think you'll regret getting this for a Print Server. I guess you can connect lots of other things through it... Worst comes to worst, it'll take only a fraction of the time to find out it doesn't work for you than other brands! How's that for an endorsement!...more info
- It works better packed up in the box
I bought this thinking who needs a file server, I can hang drives off of this and it will be fantastic. So I set it up just like it is supposed to be, plugged in some Seagate 400gb drives via sleds and thought this would be great. The software install was easy and made sense, the drives picked up perfect. A quick copy of a small file and I was good to go.
Or so I thought.
My as one of the reviewers points out you can't have more the one computer connected to these drives at a time via the software without a few steps, which is a total waste of time. I attempted to share the drives out by connecting them to one computer to get around this and it failed very badly, as in whenever I would push any amount of data over a few hundred megs at it, it would judt disconnect the drive.
This would most likely work perfect if you were a 2 computer home office, didn't mind the software hard switching and are a patient person who doesn't need things to just work and not be bothered. As I am not that person I can't be more disappointed in this product and hope a software patch in the future gets around the manual drive sharing process as I am unable to return mine as well.
- Don't judge a book by its cover
When I read about this product back in May my first reaction was, "Finally!" I've been looking for a suitable device to replace my Wife's laptop as the "network sharing hub." Unfortunately, the Belkin 5-Port Wireless Network USB Hub is not the answer to my prayers.
Belkin makes many claims that this device doesn't truly live up to. Just so you are clear, this IS NOT a wireless device. You have to plug the USB hub into a wireless router in order for the "Wireless" functionality to be present. Granted, Belkin discloses this limitation in the fine print but I still find it incredulous to even label this a wireless device when it clearly is not.
Belkin's idea of "Device Sharing" is absurd. Only one computer can be connected to a given device at a time. This limitation includes Printers AND Hard Drives. Forgive me for saying so but that IS NOT device sharing. I can forgive Belkin for forcing this limitation on Hard Drives but not for Printers. User's won't want to deal with the added step of REQUESTING access to the printer before sending a print job. How the Belkin engineers/product managers overlooked this fact is mind boggling.
I've also found the Belkin Hub's compatibility with USB powered drives to be hit and miss. For example, my Western Digital 60GB Passport external drive is detected by the Belkin management software, however, the instant I try to access the Passport drive the Belkin device chokes on a fur ball and claims the Passport is "requesting too much power." Sorry, but I'm just not buying that. USB Flash Drives, on the other hand, seem to work for the most part.
Transfering Data is also hit or miss. I wouldn't recommend transferring large files to a Belkin managed drive if you are connected wirelessly. Not only are you subject to signal strength conditions but I have found that any communication failures WILL disconnect ALL of the Belkin managed devices. Transferring data between two Belkin managed drives seems to work reasonably well however, with transfer speeds only a bit slower than what a PC is capable of.
Setup of the Belkin device is probably the only aspect that I am able to positively comment on (hence the 1 star rating). Assuming you have a home network up and running, setup is simply a matter of connecting the Belkin Hub to the network and installing the Belkin Control Center software on a PC. After that, any devices you connect to the Belkin Hub will automatically connect to your PC just like a standard USB device does. Of course, this assumes that another user on your network doesn't already have control. Also, there is a caveat with regards to Printers. According to the manual, you must have the printer drivers installed on your PC before the printer will work via the Belkin hub. I'm not sure what would happen otherwise.
Belkin may be able to turn things around by providing functionality improvements via the software update feature that comes included in the Control Center application. However, I don't have much faith in such a possibility since Belkin doesn't have a track record of providing such updates. One can only hope that the open source community will be able to come up with a suitable firmware/software alternative. As such, I can't bring myself to recommend this Belkin device to anyone unless it was 1/3 the price and you didn't plan on sharing any of the devices on your network.
Sorry Belkin. I really wanted to like this product.
- Can't share hard drive
This product has a major flaw in the way it handles sharing of hard drives between multiple computers. This would seem to be fairly basic, since the only reason I can think of to put a usb device on a network is to share it.
When you connect to a device such as a hard drive through this hub you have to configure it to either automatically connect or manually. You cannot set up more than one computer to automatically connect. So if you want to use this to have a shared drive in your house, to switch from one computer using it to another you have to: 1) click on a button on the "new" computer to request that the other computer release it, 2) go over to the other computer and click okay to release it, 3) go back to the "new" computer to connect. And then you can (for example) let your "automated" backups run - or access the photos - or do whatever it is you were going to do.
To make matters worse when I first got the product, before undoing the shrink wrap, I read the manual that came with it. In the manual it indicated the problem with sharing devices. So I called Belkin's technical support. She went away to research and then came back and assured me that of course I could automatically connect from multiple computers. (so now I have to go through attempting an "open box" return, which of course means lots of phone calls etc...). ...more info