The Play Max is quick, managing 41.9Mbit/s at 2.4GHz and 44.15Mbit/s at 5GHz in our 10m throughput test using our Centrino 2 test laptop. However, its performance at 20m only reached 13.7Mbit/s with our laptop. We got that up 19.1Mbit/s - just about enough for stable HD video streaming - at 5GHz and with Belkin’s own F7D4101 wireless adaptor (£44). However, the router’s 5GHz performance can’t rival the near-Ethernet speeds we saw from Linksys’s WAG320N, our 5GHz record holder.
Although the Play Max performs well and has loads of great features, it falls just short of an award. It’s the most versatile dual-band ADSL router around, with few serious rivals, but its high price and dependence on software tools mean that its only worth buying if you really need all of its features.