Belkin may have once been about flashy, blue LED-glowing routers with alpha-numeric model numbers, but its new Surf, Share, Play and Play Max are certainly horses of a different color. We caught a glimpse of the new range this morning, and while routers are usually a bit of a snooze fest, this group of boxes show potential of being the easiest routers in the world to configure. While they are surely vanilla-looking, they come with the SSID and encryption pre-configured. Just plug in and you are good to go, though if you want to change your network name to something "creative" you can do that with the included software. Beyond the simplistic setup, all of the 802.11n routers -- save for the entry level $49.99 Surf -- come with "apps." For instance, the $79.99 2.4GHz Share comes with a USB port that supports external USB hard drives or printers and Belkin's own backup and printing software. By far the snazziest of Belkin's "progs," as we now like to call them, is the Vuze Torrent Genie, which gets baked into the $129.99 Dual-Band, Gigabit Play Max. The software shifts the download of your totally legal torrents to the router when your computer isn't powered on or has been disconnected from the network, ensuring that your transfer keep on humming with or without PC intervention. We know, the fact that we're remotely excited by a group of new WLAN routers seems like an early April Fools joke, but this time around we actually encourage you to read the PR below for more details on these boxes.
Gallery | 11 Photos

Belkin Surf, Share, Play, Play Max press shots

Gallery | 15 Photos

Belkin Surf, Share, Play and Play Max hands-on

Show full PR text
Belkin Presents a New Way of Thinking with the Introduction of Apps in New 802.11n Wireless Router Line

• Wireless routers feature Easy Start and Self-Healing to get you online and keep you surfing
• Innovative apps such as Print Genie, Music Mover™, and Daily DJ™ let you easily do the activities you want to do
• Simultaneous Dual-Band N Play and Play Max Routers deliver the best speed and performance for streaming HD videos

(Playa Vista, CA) – March 24, 2010 – You can now do more with your photos, music, and videos with Belkin's new wireless routers. Featuring fun and powerful applications, the Surf, Share, Play, and Play Max Wireless Routers enable you to play music, games, and HD videos as well as share photos and print wirelessly from anywhere in your home.

With the explosion of multimedia content, people are looking for new and richer experiences with their photos, music, and videos. In a recent IDC survey, 72% of respondents own a digital still camera and use it at least once a month in the home. As such, we can expect that more people will want to share their photos and videos in more places. According to Forrester, "the digital music market has grown substantially in the past few years and stands at $3 billion in the US in 2008."* Similarly, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, almost 1 million homes in 2008 eliminated their cable TV to rely solely on the Internet for video entertainment. In recognizing these burgeoning needs, Belkin aims to create richer multimedia experiences to empower people to do the activities they want.

With apps designed to enhance your wireless experience, Belkin's new line of routers are easy to set up and will keep you online. The Self-Healing app automatically detects and resolves network problems and runs routine maintenance scans to give you the clearest wireless channel.

The Share, Play, and Play Max Routers offer the Print Genie app that lets you wirelessly print from any computer on the network in your home while Memory Safe™ automatically backs up your photos and files to an external hard drive (sold separately)-so you can rest assured that your precious memories are protected.

With advanced Dual-Band N technology, Belkin's Play and Play Max Routers provide the best speed and performance. Simultaneous networks eliminate interference and allow you to optimize performance for media-intensive activities, such as streaming HD movies, gaming online, and downloading large media files.

Apps on Play and Play Max let you do more with your music. Music Mover can play your entire music library on smart devices, like the Xbox® or PS3™, making your music just a touch away. The Daily DJ app serves up daily personalized playlists to match your mood. By analyzing the musical DNA of your music, Daily DJ creates playlists around three mood mixes: High-Energy, Steady Groove, and Kick Back. You can also create your own playlist by choosing a song and letting Daily DJ offer a new take on your favorite music.

AVAILABILITY
US: April 2010
Europe: Starting in early May 2010
Asia: Late May 2010
Australia/New Zealand: Mid-April 2010
Canada: July 2010

STATISTICS
40% of people surveyed don't know the wireless technology behind their networks (IDC, IDC's 2009 Connected Home Survey: Consumer Confusion Means Vendor Opportunities, Doc # TB20091008, October 2009)

72% of survey respondents owned a digital still camera and used it at least once a month in the home (IDC, IDC's 2009 Connected Home Survey: Consumer Confusion Means Vendor Opportunities, Doc # TB20091008, October 2009).

"The digital music market has grown substantially in the past few years and stands at $3 billion in the US and €1.3 billion in Western Europe in 2008." ("The Global Landscape Of Online Music Stores And Services," Forrester Research, Inc., April, 2009.)

Nearly 1 million U.S. homes in 2008 did not pay for TV, relying solely on Web TV, according to estimates from Parks Associates. ("More Households Cut the Cord on Cable," The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2009)

"As of early 2009, 78% of US Internet users watched online video in a typical month, putting online video clearly in the list of top five online activities with online heavyweights like email and search." ("How Consumers Get Online Video To The TV," Forrester Research, Inc., June, 2009.)

QUOTES
Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates:
"Belkin's approach to studying user experiences and how people are interacting with their digital content is evident in how they've designed their new wireless routers. Features such as Easy Setup and its Music Mover app help people do the activities they want to do, and Belkin is communicating these benefits in a simple way such that people can understand."
Jim Wagner, General Manager at Belkin:

"The explosion of digital content is heralding new opportunities, and this in itself is exciting. Using our consumer insight research, we learned that people want to do more with their photos, music, and videos throughout their home and across their network. Further, we found that while people had high aspirations for their network and media, unfortunately they were not buying routers capable of giving them the best of those experiences.

"With that in mind, we created a line of wireless routers based around the activities people want to do most. We made our Surf, Share, and Play Routers powerful enough to give great networking experiences, and we added easy-to-use apps to enable these activities. Now, even the most novice of consumer can create great experiences in their home and across their network."

Play Max Wireless Router (F7D4301) - $129.99
Stream HD videos, play games online, and download large media files
Features high-speed Gigabit ports for media-intensive applications and simultaneous Dual-Band networks for maximum speed and coverage
Simultaneous 802.11n Dual-Band for speeds of up to 300Mbps*

2.4GHz – Perfect for data and web traffic, and file- and picture-sharing
5GHz – Perfect for streaming media and video games
Dual-plane antenna positioning and unique implementation of MIMO technology provides three-dimensional coverage, which means consistent signal, even through walls and floors
2 USB ports to support external USB hard drives and USB printers
UPnP server
Pre-configured wireless security
Wi-Fi Protected Setup™ - 256-bit WPA®/WPA2® and 64/128 WEP encryption
VPN Support: PPTP and IPSec pass-through
Compatible with Mac OS® X v10.6 and v10.5, and Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, and Windows XP

Play Wireless Router (F7D4302) - $99.99

Provides the fastest, most reliable speeds for streaming video, playing music, and online gaming
Simultaneous 802.11n Dual-Band for speeds of up to 300Mbps*
2.4GHz – Perfect for data and web traffic, and file- and picture-sharing
5GHz – Perfect for streaming media and video games
Dual-plane antenna positioning and unique implementation of MIMO technology provides three-dimensional coverage, which means consistent signal, even through walls and floors
1 USB port supports external USB hard drives or USB printers
Pre-configured wireless security
Wi-Fi Protected Setup - 256-bit WPA/WPA2 and 64/128 WEP encryption
VPN Support: PPTP and IPSec pass-through
Compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 and v10.5, and Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

Share Wireless Router (F7D3302) - $79.99
Easily share and access documents, photos, and files from multiple computers
802.11n
2.4GHz – Perfect for data and web traffic, and file- and picture-sharing
Dual-plane antenna positioning and unique implementation of MIMO technology provides three-dimensional coverage, which means consistent signal, even through walls and floors
1 USB port supports external USB hard drives or USB printers
Pre-configured wireless security
Wi-Fi Protected Setup - 256-bit WPA/WPA2 and 64/128 WEP encryption
VPN Support: PPTP and IPSec pass-through
Compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 and v10.5, and Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

Surf Wireless Router (F7D2301) - $49.99
Surf the Web, email, and instant message from anywhere in your home
802.11n
2.4GHz – Perfect for data and web traffic, and file- and picture-sharing
Dual-plane antenna positioning and unique implementation of MIMO technology provides three-dimensional coverage, which means consistent signal, even through walls and floors
Pre-configured wireless security
Wi-Fi Protected Setup - 256-bit WPA/WPA2 and 64/128 WEP encryption
VPN Support: PPTP and IPSec pass-through
Compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 and v10.5, and Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

Play Wireless USB Adapter (F7D4101) - $69.99
Surf & Share Wireless USB Adapter (F7D2101) - $49.99
Connects your desktop or notebook computer to a wireless network
Provides optimal range and distance when paired with an 802.11n router
WPS security with the push of a button

APPLICATIONS
Self Healing: Automatically detects and resolves network problems and runs routine maintenance scans to give you the clearest wireless channel. Available on Surf, Share, Play, and Play Max.

Memory Safe: Automatically backs up precious photos and important files to your external hard drive. Available on Share, Play, and Play Max.

Print Genie: Print wirelessly from any computer on the network from anywhere in your home. Available on Share, Play, and Play Max.

Music Mover: Play MP3s from your music library on your home stereo wirelessly. Connect your external hard drive on which you store your music to the router-and move music from your computer to your stereo through devices like Xbox 360® and PlayStation® 3. Available on Play and Play Max.

Music Labeler: Automatically identifies and labels your track with the correct title, artist, and genre. Available on Play and Play Max.

Daily DJ: Get daily personalized playlists from your music library based on your mood. Available on Play and Play Max.

Torrent Genie: Downloads large media files like movies, music, and games, even when your computer isn't on. Available on Play Max.

Bit Boost™: Prioritizes traffic on your network for video, gaming, and VoIP, letting you easily select your most important data streams for seamless network traffic. Available on Play Max.

Please click here to download the press kit.
*"The Global Landscape Of Online Music Stores And Services," Forrester Research, Inc., April, 2009.

**The standard transmission rates-300Mbps, 54Mbps, and 11Mbps-are the physical link rates. Actual data throughput will be lower.

About Belkin International, Inc.
Belkin offers an extensive range of innovations designed to give computer and consumer electronics users seamless integration in their homes, cars, and on the go. Belkin, a privately held company founded in California in 1983, is the recognized global leader in connectivity solutions. Since our inception in 1983, Belkin has experienced an amazing 25 consecutive years of dramatic growth and remains committed to making significant strides in the areas of research and design.

Our diverse and far-reaching product mix includes award-winning innovations for easy-to-use networking solutions, accessories for mobile devices, such as iPod®, iPhone™, laptops, and netbooks, as well as energy conservation products. You can view and purchase them at www.belkin.com, as well as through a network of major distributors, resellers, and superstores.
Belkin also provides business-class solutions that include KVM switches, LCD rack consoles, racks and enclosures, in addition to a broad USB and cable product mix. Belkin has developed industry-leading innovations, prized by channel partners and end users alike for their dependability, customer service, and comprehensive warranties.

Belkin's U.S. presence includes headquarters in Los Angeles, a distribution center in Indianapolis, and an award-winning Industrial Design Group in Hollywood. With major facilities in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, our reach extends throughout Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, with offices in Australia, New Zealand, Korea and, more recently, Hong Kong.